Recently posted quotes:

"There is no distinctly American criminal class - except Congress." Mark Twain (1835-1910)

“Be thankful we're not getting all the government we're paying for.” -Will Rogers (1879-1935)

"Stability in government is essential to national character and to the advantages annexed to it." -James Madison (1751-1836)

"Liberty must at all hazards be supported." -John Adams (1735-1826)

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Swine Flu Panic

There are more cases today than there were yesterday. I’m still not sure there’s anything to be overly worried about. All that I read says that the cases are mild in nature unless you are in the at-risk groups: the very young and the very old. Aren’t those the at-risk groups for everything?

Patsy called and ask me to pick up some “flu items” at Sam’s when I went to get toner. There was not much left, but I got what was there.

She also said that one of the assistant VP’s had an experience yesterday at dug store check-out where she had asked the counter-girl how much an item was, gloves or wipes – I don’t remember which, and the girl told her $6.99. She asked again: “What will it ring up at?” The counter-girl again said $6.99. She asked the counter-girl to ring one up and it read only $4.99. What was the girl gonna do with the extra $2.00 and how was she gonna get it from the Asst-VP?

You just never know anymore.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Secede or not to secede?

The papers are still running editorials and commentary on the Gov’s comments on seceding?

How can this be? Where are their heads? Why is this still in the news?

Maybe we should start some joint conferences to determine the split of tax revenue or how about the REAL big one: how will we split up the social security base. Can we get an agreement concerning the FICA shift on the 1000 or more people moving to Texas everyday?

How about the bailout money? Will that still come our way?

Where do we need to start building our mint or will we contract that back to DC? How about the Texas quarter; will they have to be collected up and returned to be melted down and recast?

Man; there’s just so much to do.

Got any ideas?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Swine Flu on TV

I sometimes wonder just what we did before TV. I have some faint memories of “The Lone Ranger”, “Gang Busters”, and even “Fibber McGee and Molly”.

All we see today is CNN and their followers highlighting the Pandemic of Swine Flu. We are four, five, maybe more days into this situation and there are currently sixty-eight suspected cases of the virus within the US and most of those are in New York. CDC says Swine Flu cases JUMPS to 68. Let’s see: that’s 68 divided by 230,000,000? Real close to 0%. You have to chase a lot of decimal places to get to the correct percentage.

There has even been some questioning about the safeness of eating US pork products. Where did this come from?

The real fear here is the “slow news day terror”. They have nothing to tell us. Oh ya, they did set aside some time awhile ago to show video of a truck-jacking case south of Atlanta and Arlen Specter changing sides in Pennsylvania.

I hope we can't catch it by watching TV. They haven't said yet!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Rain and DOG sitting!

I find myself inside today. I tried to do the outside thing earlier but even under the patio cover, I was getting wet from the rain and wind.

I had to take the dog sitting operation inside.

First, after getting us all inside, I had to make the room puppy proof. We will be spending a lot of time in here today. There have been several down pores already; really wet in the back yard. Buck was just setting out in the rain; taking it all in with no worries about the weather. Gus runs back to my chair every time lightning cracks.

I believe Gus is having “grandchildren withdrawals”. Alison kept him fairly well tuckered out the entire weekend. She ran him from pillar to post both Saturday and Sunday. Last night, he was very restless. I think he was wondering where everybody had gone. He kept searching or though it seemed.

After we all were situated inside, they both sacked out. It is the best and we do need the rain!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Daughter and her family comin’ down

Getting prepared for visit from my daughter and her family. Really looking forward to it. The grandkids are a joy! Ya never know what they will say next, even the little guy, he’s just fixin’ to be three.

I usually try to have some form of “excitement” ready to meet them when they arrive. This has usually been some piece of clothing lately. They have every toy known to mankind – also, some never seen in the free world yet. I try to stay away from toys for that reason.

I am at a quandary for this visit. I don’t have anything for the grand daughter this time. I have looked and looked and just haven’t found anything that I liked, yet. There’s still some time left.

I do have a t-shirt for the little brother. Sorta an “earth day” type deal – “conserve water, drink chocolate milk”.

Maybe, Ali will get excited about it enough that she doesn’t notice that she didn’t get anything this time? Probably NOT!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

How easy it is?

Just how easy is it to waste almost the entire day? Do you really need any help in doing so?

Well, today has been just that kind of day. It seems like every thing I touched didn’t work, failed halfway through or took longer than it should have. I did get the pup fed on time; at least that worked out right. Of course, I had help – he reminds me when he is hungry. You can’t ignore him unless you are in the next county. He’s gonna let ya know when it’s time.

First off it was the printer. It started sending me messages about half way through the forty page document I was trying to print. The confound thing wants to tell ya when it’s getting low on toner. I tricked it a couple of time and got several more pages out; but then it started thinkin’ harder than me and won the battle. I just get some more toner when I go grocery shopping tomorrow.

The “drag” of Gus (the new pup) by Buck and I took longer than it needed to take; but ya gotta just keep the training up.

Then I ran outta iced tea – a major setback. This was the easiest fix all day.

I’m still trying to figure out the “TWITTER” thing. I had a message about “following” and I think I fixed it; I guess somebody will tell me if I didn’t

And so it goes………

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

School Closings ????

A most interesting editorial appeared in the Austin American Statesman this morning concerning the “school closing” policy of the state.

One wonders why the guys running the state board of education can’t understand just what they are or are not doing, depending on your point of view.

Why on earth would they close a school that shows marked improvement? Where is their head? The Statesman takes the view that they are closing ”buildings” as opposed to schools and completely ignoring the problem. It’s the teachers, the parents & students, the curriculum, the environment of the students or something else – it’s not the building.

There has to be a better way to approach this problem. There is a bill before the legislature this session that addresses this but is now stuck in committee.

This problem, unlike the perceived problems of voter ID and allowing guns in the workplace or on campus, needs more attention than it is getting.

This is the future staring us directly in the face.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

It’s not just another day!

I took this from the final paragraph of the editorial in the Austin American Statesman this morning. The 21st of April, 1836 is not just another day – it’s special to a vast area, most of which the inhabitants of know nothing about. They don’t even feel beholding to the little eighteen minute battle that took place just after four thirty in the afternoon today some one hundred and seventy three years ago.

San Jacinto Day, every 21st of April is the day we should celebrate just like that other victory day, 19 October 1781, when General George Washington overcame General-Lord Cornwallis at Yorktown, Virginia. General Sam Houston’s victory actually had a much larger impact, total acreage wise, than general Washington’s victory.

It is estimated that nearly a million square miles of territory changed sovereignty that day. What is now the states of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, California, Utah and parts of Colorado, Wyoming, Kansas and Oklahoma was opened up to Jefferson’s manifest destiny.

Thank General Houston for going against the odds and four of his six commanders who voted against that afternoon’s charge.

Here we stand, Americans not Mexicans!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Gotta get a bigger BOX

New pup, Gus, is getting bigger every day. He’s almost outgrown his “computer box” as he bangs around in it every time he rolls over during the night.

We looked at Sam’s Club, the HEB and even stopped at the Office Depot to see what they have; all for naught. None of them had anything to offer any larger than we currently possessed. The best we could find was the box (attached to a pallet) at the Sam’s Club that was holding dog beds; they wouldn’t take us up on our offer.

I got to thinkin’ as we were driving home. Monday morning, I’m gonna call FedEx and see what they will contract for to pick up Gus every evening, fly him to Memphis overnight and return him each morning? This sounds like my best bet; depending on their offer.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Secession and the Governor

So, what’s all this talk of secession?

Maybe, it’s a good idea. Maybe it isn’t. But the original question was the 10th Amendment and State’s Rights. That’s always worth discussing.

This all got started the other day at the “Tea Party”.

There is one thing for sure, whether it is Washington, D.C. or Austin, Texas: the bodies that sit in either place need to start paying attention to what the people are saying. You would think that after last November’s election; that would be abundantly clear to even the most casual observer.

The local legislature still hasn’t heard the word. They’re still debating the oddest thoughts in the time we are livin’: Voter ID without voter fraud being an issue, Guns at work and on campus, Secession from the Union. Where does it stop?

We should seriously consider voting them out of office: every man, woman, Jack and Jill of them. They are not doing what we sent them there to do.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Austin Mayor Election Heating Up

Finally, the election for the mayor of Austin is heating up. It’s about time. Everyday there is something in the local news directly related to the election.

I am still weeding through the list of candidates; of course there are really only three strong vote getters involved. Two are actually to my liking and the outa-touch grand-mother, I believe has run her course. She will get votes because there is a following there that will not be convinced there is actually a better alternative.

It’s easier to run from the outside, taking pot shots at those on the inside track, then it is to have to run with a record. All grandma has done was back in the 70’s and some as state comptroller; but nothing lately. Most saw through her bid for governor; but you realize Kinky help upset that cart.

I am still looking for the real test – when will we actually get to see and hear debate on single-member-districts. Austin has outgrown the current method.

Just look at place #5 on the City Council slate and see what’s going on there. The guy is running unopposed. That should only be the case under the single-member-districts form of government. Under the current form; you can pick and choose who you run against and it becomes especially awkward when someone decides to not run and the voters are only offered a single choice.

An election back or two the two best candidates in the entire election were running against each other for the same spot on the council. This left the voters with less than the best running for the other two spots. So, out of the three spots open for that election; we elected one real strong candidate and two weaker candidates instead of the alternative of two strong and one weaker. Go figure?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Doctors and their Staff???

Once again, I had an unpleasant visit to a doctor’s office. They can be the biggest waist of time and they don’t seem to care a hoot!

Today’s adventure comes on the heels of Monday’s adventure; a visit scheduled over a month and a half ago. Seems the doctor decided to take the day after Easter off; perfectly within his rights to do so. The rub comes from the fact that nobody saw fit to notify me. Additionally, my wife had taken off from work to accompany me to this rather unpleasant procedure.

I show up and then am informed that the doc is not in and I need to reschedule. I also need some lab work accomplished and a CT scan finished prior to seeing the doc. We went next door right away and had blood work drawn in lab conveniently located and scheduled the CT scan for today, Wednesday, 15 Apr 09. We couldn’t get another appointment to see the Doc until the 1st of May; although I had done no wrong.

I arrived today at 0850 hrs for my 0900 hrs appointment and was told to have a seat; actually the guy signing-in just before me was told that and the window shut. I had a seat and fifty-five (55) minutes later I decided I had had enough and advised the receptionist that I was leaving. She immediately exclaimed: “Didn’t they call you back for the CT?” I responded: “NO and I am leaving!” I will not go into the inept operation I experienced last year with your CT operator – that was an ordeal in itself.

Not one person ever came out to advise me or anyone-else for that matter, that things were running behind. Nobody had that assignment or if they did; they so reluctantly dread it, they never do it. I had had enough.

Once before a couple years back, I had been left for almost three hours in this same facility without any thought or concern. They just don’t seem to care! Where else is kind of behavior acceptable? Nowhere, to my knowledge. They just wouldn’t get away with it anywhere-else. If this was a business where you could walk out and go next door to their competitor and get satisfaction; they wouldn’t stay in business long. Doctor specialist don’t seem to get it. They know that it could take you months to get set up with another doctor; so they allow their staff to get away with this kind of behavior.

You shouldn’t have to stand for it!

After arriving home, I put together a letter and turned it over to the US Mail notifying the Doc that I was gonna seek out another physician to provide the service his staff obviously didn’t see fit to provide. Don’t take it. Stand up and tell them: “You’re fired!”

I spent many years running “support operations” at many, many places in my career in manufacturing and the military. I never once came across an operation as bad as this one.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Leadership and the Alpha Male

I’m sitting out on the patio watching my two dogs act up in the back yard when I realize that I have seen this before. Not before when I had the older dog, Buck and his sister Maggie; but long before that.

I have been watching this action take place, over and over, through out my entire career. It’s the same thing you see in any pack, group, and a bunch of people together or a work group for that matter. Somebody is the “alpha male” and the others aren’t; no matter the size of the pack//bunch.

Somebody is leading and the rest aren’t. Watch the others and see just exactly what they are doing. As I watch my two in the back, the pup, Gus, is trying his best to get Buck to play. Buck isn’t having any of that. Buck has bigger and better fish to fry. He won’t give in and ever once-in-a-while lets Gus know that he won’t. How does he do that? Well, its not a pretty site and Gus doesn’t feel real good about it for a short period of time – he has a real short attention span and memory also.

Suffice it to say, Gus is learning. Buck is teaching. How many times have you witnessed a group where the “non-leaders” want to play and the leader is mentoring them to follow the path of his leadership – do it the way I show you to do it!

Yes, I’ve seen this play out, over and over, through the years and I am watching it take place again. Right in my own back yard. It’s somewhat amazing how far we have come in domesticating ourselves. Did ya think I was gonna say our pets? No, ourselves.

However long it took, we have domesticated ourselves to fit the pack mentality and have learned to lead and how to follow. We all fit into one or the other category. Which do you fit into?

Monday, April 13, 2009

Heroes and Leadership

Isn’t it great to hear of your everyday American Citizen’s heroics like those that have been displayed in this short year so far?

Capt Chesley B (Sully) Sullenberger of US Airways flight 1549 and Capt Richard Phillips of the Maersk-Alabama. They are true heroes and belong right up there beside those of the United States Military.

Heroes and leaders aren’t necessarily the same thing; but both these guys have shown that they were leaders in the process of becoming heroes.

Man, ain’t it great?


Backyard activities

As I sit out here watching the dogs and squirrels go about their business, I wonder why I am doing this blog thing. I always have something to say; but have learned over time it's always better to think prior to opening up your mouth - you can't get it back in once you have let it fly.

I am trying to get this book I just completed picked up by either an agent or a publisher. It seems to be harder than I ever imagined it would be to do so. Everybody has a different idea about how they want you to present it to them. I will keep trying.