Posts from the ‘Random Thoughts’ Category

The 112th Congress of the United States

90% of Americans are not happy with congress (Gallup) yet we will reelect these clowns. I have a simple to comprehend solution for this but it will take a great deal of intestinal fortitude by the electorate.

You see, the problem is that while people believe we should “vote the bastards out” they don’t mean their own bastard. If your congressperson is of the party you like then it is likely you believe they are doing OK and it is everyone else that sucks. Thus when the next election comes around you vote that person back in. Guess what, they ARE part of the problem.

We need to send a simple and strong message to our elected officials by turning out half the house and a third of the Senate at the next election. If they don’t straighten up and fly right after that we do it again and again and again. The polls are the ultimate term limits tool and the only one we need. Face it if we actually got a responsible bunch of people in there shouldn’t we keep them as long as possible.

Now comes the hard part. At the next primary if your party is in power in your district you need to vote against the incumbent. I’m talking the primary here so hopefully that isn’t too painful. If you succeed in removing the incumbent at the primary level your job is done and you can continue to vote for your party in the general election. Now comes the really hard part. If the incumbent wins the primary you will have to vote for someone outside your party in the general election. Preferably for someone who has a chance of wining. Typically that means crossing party lines and voting for the person you can’t stand.

The point here is not to put a particular party in power it is to remind congress who the boss is, we the people, not we the corporations.

Simple solution, hard to make happen.

BTW those 10% that are happy with congress should have their voter registration cards revoked. 🙂


Les Misérables

Been a long time since I’ve written here and it seems kind of weird to make the new post a review of a movie but several people have asked about my thoughts after I posted I was seeing it today.

It was a “good” movie. I’m sure it will do well at the box office. I’m not nearly as critical of the cinematography and editing as my youngest son and wife are but apparently it wasn’t up to par. I will agree that it was way to much “in your face” or maybe “in their face.” I’ve seen the show once on stage and of course that is all at a distance. It seemed like every other shot was right up someone’s nose.

Russell Crowe tried his hardest and looked great in the role but his voice just wasn’t really up to it. I don’t fault him for that, I fault the people who did the casting. Hugh Jackman did better but wasn’t really there for everything either. I confess I missed Anne Hathaway’s big part but was told she would have hit it out of the park had the camera not been up her nose and down her throat.

Sasha Barron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter were perfectly cast and pulled of their parts splendidly. One review Liz read said they were “over the top.” Well, yeah, they were supposed to be.

Young Cossette was amazing. That young lady nailed the part vocally and acting wise. Amanda Seyfried and Eddie Redmayne were also excellent even if he is strange looking.

The recording of the singing live worked sometimes and was a disaster other times. In the end they should have re-recorded all of the singing in the studio with a full orchestra so they could have maximized the voices quality and used the orchestra to better effect.

Oh by the way, it is long. Fortunately the Lost Pines 8 has a full bar.

Yet another change

November 4th, 2011. The last day of my first week of officially telecommuting. Granted I did this after the fire and when my truck was in the shop but this is the first week of “my rules.” I am at my desk by 6:00 AM thanks to Liz having to be out of the house before then for her job. I make myself available until 6:00 PM. You are going “What the heck, a 12 hour work day, are you crazy?” Well no I’m not. Depending on what is going on I could work 12 or more hours, this is high-tech after all, but that schedule allows me up to a four hour stretch of my own time in the middle of the day. On Tuesday I went to a friends studio and threw some pots and spent a lot of time talking to people. It was great. I’ve dealt with potential builders, the team clearing our property, gone in to town to just look around. It is really cool. I plan on not letting it happen but I made it clear to my boss to not let things fester if he thinks I’m not holding up my end of the bargain. He told me that he liked me and my work too much to let it get to the point of festering. That is a hard thing to live up to. Most of my hardware is cooperating and I need to do some rearrangement in the office but I’m digging this.

This, for once, is an expected change. Back in May I started a job at AT&T which is documented here. which lead to another job which lead to a part-time job working for my direct boss at the current job. Yeah, only slightly confusing. W (no not GWB) and I hit it off really well at AT&T and when he quickly moved on to a regular full-time job he asked me to join him. I gave him one condition. I had to be able to work from home starting in November when my lease in Dallas was up. Didn’t know that “home” would be a new address at the time but that is how life works. Frankly the place we are working doesn’t have the potential we thought it did but W has his own company on the side which has much greater potential. So I am working part time there as well for a cash/stock combination of compensation and we plan on it being fairly big within a year. The first goal is 1,000 customers at $10 a month (do the math). More details to come.

Changes Again

Well the truck driving phase of life has come to an end. I have secured a six month contract doing Coldfusion development in Richardson, TX. That is a Dallas suburb. I’ll start in May 2nd. I have mixed feelings about the change. I’ll miss the traveling around and occasionally being able to see family at the spur of the moment. On the other hand a steady and consistent income stream will be nice too.

Have to go up there this week to find a place to live. Any recommendations on areas to stay away from, too dangerous or too expensive are appreciated.

Stuck in Missouri

So you ask “Why are you sitting in a weigh station in Missouri?” Because I am an idiot. When we picked up this load we were told it weighed 35,000 lbs. We went to a scale and it was over on the tandems (trailer tires). I did the math to calculate how far we had to shift the tandems and did it. Since we were not going to drop the load at a terminal I didn’t bother to re-weigh. I also never noticed the total weight, 81,360 lbs. Thirteen hundred pounds over legal maximum. Had I seen this rather important detail I would have taken the load back to the shipper to get stuff removed.

When we got to the first weigh station in Missouri it was open and we got pulled in. Of course we failed the weigh and to make it worse Liz was driving so even though it was my fault she got the ticket.

We spent the night here, got pizza delivered which was a bit weird. In a couple of hours another truck will show up to take part of the load. We then still have to make the delivery nine hours away. I hope the other driver has enough hours available to finish today.

Beginning to doubt we will make it home for Thanksgiving. Not sure what this will do to my driving career or my marriage.

The Tea Party

Calling the Tea Party racist is stupid. They are not a party like the Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, etc. that have national organizations that can be held accountable for actions taken in the name of the group. There is a group called Tea Party Federation that is something of a clearing house but I have also read that they don’t want a national organization. The NAACP is afraid of one thing, a conservative backlash to Obama. Inevitably that backlash would push our country far to the right and minority groups don’t want that. So they get out a broad brush and paint all TPers as racist. Got news for you, there are racists in all parties and even among minorities. When you are 100 years old and vote for the first time because the candidate is black, well half black anyway, that is racist. When you are black and vote against a black candidate because you don’t like what they stand for that is progress. BTW I voted for Obama so don’t send the label this way.

You don’t care about the environment

When you look at a truck going down the road you probably assume it is packed from stem to stern. A lot of the time that is true. Other times, like our latest load it doesn’t seem like there is much in it if you look but it is heavy. Twenty-one 2′ x 2′ x 1′ blocks of lead don’t take up much space but they weigh a total of nearly 44K pounds so that makes a ‘full’ load.

Where you end up with a less-than-truckload, or LTL, is with FedEx and UPS. There are other LTL carriers, all those doubles you see are LTL but most of them are not as time sensitive so they can gather up several LTL loads going to the same place and fill the trailer.

So where is this going. You sit at home and sort your recycling and take it to the curb or the center and feel real good about yourself. Then you order something on-line and have it sent overnight because you just can’t live without it any longer. It goes from warehouse to truck to plane to truck to sorting center to truck to you in 24 hours. That day both the overnight company and USPS came to your house. When I ordered my Austin City Limits concert tickets I had the option to deliver overnight. The tickets ship in June and the concert is in October. I think I can wait a couple of days for delivery. Think of the carbon footprint of that thing you ordered compared to waiting for regular mail delivery where things tend to get grouped in big lots for shipping.

Next time you buy on-line take time to think about how soon you really need it. Reduce the energy and save a few bucks.

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