Monthly Archives: August 2009

Don’t have broadband?

Wish you did? Live in Tennessee? Know someone who is in this position? If your answer is yes, go visit www.connectedtn.org and click on the link for “broadband is not available to me yet.” It’s one of the round buttons on the left. This Nashville-based non-profit group is working to bring broadband access to the state’s rural areas. They’re trying to collect data on the demand. In a place like Lauderdale County, which is pretty rural, they were able to map out the data and get a provider to build out service to meet the demand. You won’t get that kind of help from AT&T.

Nice!

The Frankfurt auto show is coming up soon and rumors are starting to flow about what will be there. VW is rumored to have a three-door version of their popular and bestselling Polo that will be available with three diesel and three gas engine options.

The fuel-conscious driver can opt for a  diesel version that uses 3.3 liters of diesel per 100 kilometers. If you convert those numbers into miles per gallon, this is the same as 71 mpg. It will have a fairly small engine, as you might expect, in the neighborhood of 80 HP, more or less. Although it may not be available over in the US, pricing will be around $17,300. Diesels are not popular in the US for lots of reasons, the experience most of us have had with diesel engines is gagging on the smoke from old ones or seeing the prices for diesel even higher than regular gas, but that’s old-fashioned diesels we’re thinking about. New diesel fuels are less obnoxious and contain less sulpher and diesel cars normally get mileage that’s higher enough that the current cost differential is offset by the mileage savings. Diesel fuel also takes less distilling crude oil to make than gasoline.

Feel Good Friday

I woke up at 3 in the morning on Tuesday with the lyrics and music from this song running through my head. I couldn’t get back to sleep but I’m grateful it wasn’t bubble gum music.

We went to one of Jimmy’s concerts at Starwood several years back. We sat on the grass (it seemed natural for a Buffett concert) and waited for the fun to start. There was a guy behind us, settled in right in front of the wall. He was getting plastered at a pretty good speed and would yell out JIMMY BUF–FETT enthusiastically every now and then. Whenever an unaccompanied attractive woman went by, he’d suggest she stop and spend some time with him (he got no takers for some reason).

I turned back to look at him just after Jimmy came on stage and started playing, thinking he’s got be totally digging this now. The guy was passed out at the foot of the wall and, oddly enough, practically surrounded by attractive young women paying him no attention whatsoever. This is Jimmy Buffett and Cheeseburger in Paradise.

Scots release Lockerbie bomber

On December 21, 1988, Pan American Airlines Flight 103, took off from Heathrow Airport in London to make it’s trip across the Atlantic. Minutes later the flight blew up over Lockerbie, Scotland. My wife had taken Pan Am Flight 103 from London exactly one week before. My faith tells me I should be compassionate but it’s difficult to not feel some sense of something – not gladness or joy but perhaps justice - that he will die from his cancer soon, although in much more peace than did the 270 people he caused to fall to the earth. Some times there are no clear answers.

It’s happening everywhere else

We all know that the economy sucks right now and even though the sunrise is on the horizon and many economists believe things will head back up, companies that aren’t getting the orders are still reducing staff. Everybody gets hit when that happens. People who are gone are hit the worst, but the people who are left, though they do have jobs, they’re also doing all the work they used to do plus everything else that the people who aren’t there used to do.

When this sort of thing happens, Wall Street and the media may whsh for an alternative, but they let the CEO know this was hard, but the right thing to do. It was a tough decision, but it needed to be done.

I propose we expand the scope. Let’s cut the House of Representatives from the current 435 members to 218 and reduce the Senate from 100 to 50 plus reduce their staffs by 25%. (That will take a little amending to the Constitution, but its not real flexible in this era of changing economic realities, so maybe it does need a tweak.)

That eliminates $44 million for congressional salaries, roughly $98 million for staff salaries, plus an additional windfall of around $7.5 Billion. After all, if there are half the number of people in Congress, shouldn’t the pork go down by half as well? Oh, yeah, and how about we require that they serve at least 10 years before they’re eligible for a pension at all, and have to serve 20, 25 or 30 years to get a full pension at about the same level my pension is if I do that (hint: it’s a damn site less. My Social Security check will be bigger.)

The Southeastern Conference

doesn’t seem to understand the whole Internet thing any better than conventional media does. They now have a policy on the Internet about the Internet and SEC games. Their first mistake is assuming that anyone who posts information about an SEC event is a member of a media outlet, because their whole policy is targeted towards credentialed media personnel. It has to be because the punishment they threaten is taking away your credentials. Dear SEC, newspapers and radio and TV stations have conventional media people who love the prestige and cachet that goes with media credentials. The rest of us unwashed masses, not so much. If you take away my credential, I will never miss it since I didn’t ever have or want one anyway.

Blogging
No Bearer may produce or disseminate in any form a “real-time” description or transmission of the Event in any manner that constitutes, or is intended to provide or is promoted or marketed as, a substitute for television or video coverage of such Event. Periodic updates of scores, statistics or other brief descriptions of the competition throughout the Event are acceptable provided that the Bearer conforms to the blogging policies separately published by the SEC, as such policies may be revised from time to time. Bearer agrees that the determination of whether a blog is a real-time description or transmission shall be made by the SEC in its sole discretion. If the SEC deems that a Bearer is producing a real-time description of the Event, the SEC reserves the right to pursue all available remedies against the Bearer including but not limited to the revocation of this Credential.

Did you get that? “a  real-time description … intended to provide a substitute forvideo coverage” And they put it under the title blogging. OK, I am a blogger and a fan of an SEC team (Go Dores!) but there is no way in hell I’m going to try to type a real-time description of the game intended as a substitute for a video piece. First, I can’t type that fast and second, who needs two reasons when one is more than enough?

And if the SEC decides I’m doing that, they’re going to pull my credential? My what? I don’t have a press credential to start with, so does this make this a punishment-free crime? Woo hoo! My ship has come in!

So if I do snatch a video clip on my cell phone and boost it to YouTube, since I didn’t blog it, is there a crime? And, given that all blogs allow the owner the possibility of changing the date and time stamp on their posts pretty much at will, how can you ever prove it’s real time? It would almost be worth it to write up a detailed description of a play and then post it with the time and date stamp set before it actually took place just to tick the SEC off. I might just do that anyway. In fact, I think I already have, since I can see the future.

Sarcastic Rules for Life

  1. Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you’re a mile away and you have their shoes-they’ll never catch you.
  2. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a broken fan belt and a flat tire.
  3. It’s always darkest before dawn. So if you’re going to steal your neighbor’s newspaper, do it then.
  4. Don’t be irreplaceable. If you can’t be replaced, you can’t be promoted.
  5. Always remember that you’re unique. Just like everyone else.
  6. Never test the depth of the water with both feet.
  7. If you think nobody cares if you’re alive, skip a couple of mortgage or car payments.
  8. Do not walk behind me, for I may not lead. Do not walk ahead of me, for I may not follow. Do not walk beside me either. Just pretty much leave me the hell alone.
  9. If at first you don’t succeed, don’t take up sky diving.
  10. Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish, and he will sit in a boat and drink beer all day.
  11. If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was worth it.
  12. If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.
  13. Some days you’re the bug; some days you’re the windshield.
  14. Everyone seems normal until you get to know them-then you realize everyone else is weird.
  15. The quickest way to double your money is to fold it in half and put it back in your pocket.
  16. A closed mouth gathers no foot.
  17. Duct tape is like ‘The Force’. It has a light side and a dark side, and it holds the universe together.
  18. There are two theories to arguing with women. Neither one ever works.
  19. Generally speaking, you aren’t learning much when your lips are moving.
  20. Experience is something you don’t get until just after you need it.
  21. Never miss a good chance to shut up.