Friday, May 29, 2009

And the One in the Middle Was on the Right

Those are lyrics to the famous Johnny Cash song, "The One On The Right Is On The Left" about 4 musicians in a band who let their politics get the best of them. We often find ourselves in this position and that's why we are always told not to discuss politics and religion with family, and often times with friends. I find this on Facebook when I post something right-leaning and my hard-left liberal nut case friends go off on me for being one of those radical right-wing crazies who likes freedom, less government intervention into the private lives of citizens and stuff like that. I know - what a lunatic I am!

As I've mentioned in posts before, there is no party that represents the center-thinking portion of our society, to which I believe to be the majority of our society. Most politicians are either hard-left or hard-right in their political beliefs. A moderate rarely gets through the party's primarily election. So in essence, the majority of Americans are silenced by the fringes of our political system.

I read an article today by John Feehery on CNN.com and even though I have no idea who he is, it is nice to find someone that agrees with me and speaks openly about it. You should read his article because it is right-on.

Where You At?

Work is really starting to drive me nuts because we've had a lot of corrugating and conglomerating jobs lately, so I haven't had much time to do MY work (like blogging), only enough time to do the company's work. How unfair is that? Perhaps we should unionize. Obama could give us a controlling interest in the company like he's doing with GM and Chrysler, then at contract negotiating time we'll be on both sides of the negotiating table. "Eludius, would be happy with a 20% raise?" "Why, yes, Eludius, I would. Thank you!"

Anyway, one of my biggest pet peeves is the misuse of prepositions. It's really not that complicated, but for some reason our society doesn't get it. My dad was an English teacher and he always said, "Don't use prepositions to end sentences with" or "where do you put prepositions at?" H-y-s-t-e-r-i-c-a-l !!!

My family is no exception. I hear them say, "Where's it at?" all the time. "Where you at?" To which I respond, "I am in Bel Air at."

This always causes them to pause and say, "What? That doesn't make any sense." "I know." I love it when I get the joke and someone else doesn't.

Where are you? Where is it? That is sufficient. No need for prepositions!

Last night I was watching an old episode of Everybody Loves Raymond and Raymond was butchering the English language with his misuse of prepositions. His mother started correcting him and for the remainder of the episode he had to consciously try to figure out how not to incorrectly use prepositions. It was very funny.

And Peter Boyle - Raymond's dad...did you remember him in Yellowbeard, one of the funniest dumb movies of all time? He was one of the pirates. Great movie if you've never seen it.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Barry Rascovar Sucks at Math

If you don't know Barry Rascovar, he's a Opinion writer for the Montgomery Gazette and a former writer for the nearly defunct Baltimore Sun. He offers the liberal point of view in the opinion section, opposite to Blair Lee.

Barry's a decent writer. I usually don't agree with him, but he is definitely one of those people you can enjoy without liking - sort of like Sheryl Crow. I have a poster of her above my bed, but I'm certainly not going to join her in a Global Warming march.

But enough about her. In Barry's May 22nd article titled The Last Preakness? No Way, he defends the plunge in attendance as being attributed to the horrible economy and not the alcohol ban in the infield. It's an argument that cannot be answered as you would need to interview nearly everyone that went to the Preakness previously and learn why they didn't go this year. Any answer is merely speculation.

Personally, I think the lower attendance can be attributed to both factors, though the ban on bringing your own alcohol being the bigger factor. However, it irritated me to no end watching the irresponsible infield drunk fest. It's bad enough that during the race the Goodyear Blimp shows the aerial view of the horses running around a track that is nearly encircled by Baltimore City Police cars. But watching on national television and seeing true Baltimore is embarrassing.

To defend his position, Rascovar points to the statistics from the Kentucky Derby. Track attendance at the Preakness, which sits in the middle of Baltimore's finest ghetto, was down 31% from last year. Rascovar says, "No one seems to have looked at similar figures at the Kentucky Derby two weeks earlier. Attendance there dropped nearly 3 percent." Seriously? 3% is similar to 31%? Is this a typo or do you really think 3 is similar to 31?

Let's use his similarity argument in another context to see how close they are. If murders increased by 3% in Baltimore this year, then 7 more people would be killed. But a 31% increase would result in 73 more people getting killed. And 7 is similar to 73, right? Tell that to the morgue.

If a teacher is making $50,000 per year and s/he gets a 3% raise, then (before O'Malley and Obama take their 55%), the teacher could expect $51,500. However, with a similar 31% raise, that teacher would make $65,500. Barry's argument is holding water was well as the Democrats defense of Nancy Pelosi's CIA remarks.

So, whether the drop in attendance is because of rain, economy, or beer, or a combination of the three, claiming that the drop in attendance when comparing the Preakness to the Kentucky Derby is asinine. Perhaps Barry graduated from Baltimore City Public Schools, in which case we'll give him a pass.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Def Leppard Singer to Head GM

In a surprise move today, President Obama appointed Joe Elliott, lead singer of the popular British band Def Leppard, as the new CEO of General Motors, the government-controlled auto manufacturer.

Obama was immediately blasted by media and industry critics in addition to Republicans in Congress for his supposedly callous decision. When asked for an explanation, Obama immediately silenced his opponents by stating that Joe Elliott is as qualified to lead General Motors as Timothy Geitner is to lead the Treasury Department.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

You Know It's Time for a New Job When....

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Chinese Subs?

No, I'm not talking about the military subs. I'm talking hoagies. Sandwiches. Belly busting meat monsters. I'm familiar with American subs. Italian subs. But Chinese subs? What the heck is a Chinese sub???


35 MPG Trucks!

In an expected announcement yesterday, President Obama announced sweeping reform in the auto industry and their miles per gallon (MPG) average. Obama wants fleet averages to be 35 mpg. Is it at all ironic that this announcement comes on the heels of the virtual government take-over bailout of General Motors (GM) and Chrysler (SUCK)?

And really, what really is sweeping reform? It's rhetoric! Obama says nothing but rhetoric. He is the King of Saying Nothing. When Obama says, "We need comprehensive change that will allow middle-class Americans to move forward and achieve their dreams", what has he just said? Nothing! Fortunately I have my handy-dandy rhetoric detector for translating such nonsense to see if there is any real meaning. When I typed in "sweeping reform" it is translated to "changes where the government gets what it wants". So in this case, the rhetoric actually means something, but not what they want you to think it means.

How will the car companies achieve this lofty goal, considering that the American car company fleets also produce commercial trucks that are used by small businesses? Like any Democratically-controlled Congress would say," screw the small businesses!"

As in my previous post, every action has an opposite and equal reaction. What will be the reaction? To achieve this goal, car companies will be forced to produce smaller cars that Americans do not want, and the bigger cars and trucks that they do produce and sell will be made out of plastic, Styrofoam, and cellophane. How else can you get better gas mileage out of an 800lb engine?

Using top-notch rhetoric to support his claims, Obama said that his new mandate will save Americans over $1.5 billion in fuel costs alone. Over how long? It doesn't matter. Americans are too stupid to realize that there's no substance to what he's saying. It may take 900 years to achieve $1.5 billion in fuel savings. But who cares? We're moving forward.

Will there be any other reactions to his new order thinking? Let's see - fuel - we will use less. Will the OPEC nations and fuel companies accept that they are getting less revenue because of the simple fact that we are using less oil? Or will they continue to raise the price to the point where we will pay top dollar for the little amount that we use? What was that rule that we learned in Economics 101? Supply and Demand?

What is Supply and Demand, ask all the politicians? As you decrease demand without altering supply, then the price will go down. However, the suppliers can decrease the supply to the point where the price will increase. The suppliers will ALWAYS get their money for a product that is needed. Why do you think Doritos cost so much money? Because we NEED them! Therefore, even though we will be decreasing the amount of fuel needed to power our Smart Cars, Saudi Arabia and Exxon WILL decrease the supply and raise the price, thus guaranteeing that they continue to make the revenue that they deem necessary.

Obama - at least a few of us can see through your rhetoric.

Newton's 3rd Law of Motion

In middle school / junior high, we all learned about Newton's 3rd Law of Motion: Law of Reciprocal Actions. That may not sound familiar at first. But the layman's explanation you will surely know - for every action there is an opposite and equal reaction. This law is usually applied to physics, but it can really be applied to anything, such as economics and politics.

Unfortunately, politicians forget about this law. Instead, they pass these Earth-shattering and life-altering laws that are designed to help and protect us without an ounce of thought about the consequences of their actions. Instead, they often make the situations worse. Let's take the new Credit Card Reform Bill, sponsored by Chris Dodd (D) of Connecticut (the same guy who was outraged that banks were using stimulus money to pay bonuses until someone pointed out that he was the one included language that allowed them to use stimulus money to pay bonuses). The bill was passed by the Senate and is expected to be signed by President Obama this week.

The Credit Card Reform Bill, known to most people as the Congressional Attempt to Protect Idiots Who Don't Pay Their Credit Card Bill, has the intention of protecting the people who suck at paying their bills and from having their interest rates raised retroactively or raised without notice, or having credit limits lowered without reason or without notification. The Congress is always out to protect the people that are too stupid to protect themselves and act responsibly. To a degree this is probably needed. But on the other hand, why do idiots have credit cards in the first place?

So continuing with our theme, Congress' new bill is the action. What is the reaction? If you ask supporters of the bill, like Maryland's Barbara Mikulski, she will tell you, "there ain't no reaction cuz dis bill s'ports 'n pertects Merlin' citizens from greedy Wall Street linders." However, if you ask banks and lending institutions that issue credit cards, you will get another story.

If Congress is removing a revenue source from these companies, will they roll over and accept this goverment meddling in their business? Or will their shareholders punish them unless they take actions to generate new sources of revenue? Well, duh! Like a Baltimore crack dealer who's territory gets demolished by a Johns Hopkins neighborhood revitalization program, they're going to find new source of income.

Where will this new revenue be found? By the customers who are not protected by the Credit Card Idiocy Bill - the ones that pay every month. Gone will be the cards with no annual fees. In will be cards that begin charging interest immediately upon purchase. In will be fees for paying off your balance in-full. Gone will be the perks and rewards programs that they used to lure you to use their cards.

But this isn't fair, you say! I pay my bills every month and now I'm being punished? That's right. Because Congress has to protect the idiots, not the smart and responsible people. Perhaps you can learn to be an idiot and Congress will protect you, too!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Pot Pourri of Funny

My daughter was listening to the Alan Jackson song, "Country Boy", not to be mistaken with the John Denver song, "Thank God I'm a Country Boy", which is a totally different song.

Anyway, 2 of the lines of the song are:

‘Cause I’m a country boy, I’ve got a 4-wheel drive
Climb in my bed, I’ll take you for a ride

My daughter asked what he meant by that. My wife then told me that I had to explain it. I looked at her and said, "He's driving a pick-up truck." "Ohhhhhhhhhh!"

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My son told my wife that he didn't want to be the catcher for his baseball team. My wife asked him why. He said that Coach Sean told him that the catcher had to bring his own drink.

Think about that one and let me know if you don't get it.

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The other night it was getting late and I told my son that he had to go to bed. As always, he was resisting and putting up a fight. Losing my patience I told him that if he doesn't start listening I'm not going to be as flexible with him. Without missing a beat he says, "I have no idea what you just said."

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Please End the Torture, Mrs. Pelosi

Nancy Pelosi gave her weekly speech today highlighting how wonderful she and the Democratically-controlled Congress are and how awful the Bush Administration was. Like always, she avoided the controversial questions by reiterating how wonderful she is and how Bush sucked. It makes for good public relations.

In the speech today she talked about how the Bush Administration condoned torture of Iraqi and Saudi terrorists, while the Obama Administration is firmly against it. She pointed out that the CIA under Bush misled the Congress about torture, but now that Obama is in charge they are telling them everything. And the Democrats in Congress are also being totally honest with the public, too, unlike those devious Republicans.

Pelosi pointed out how horrible conditions were during the Bush Administration and how wonderful they are now. Each time she reiterated that the torture was going to stop. However, she kept talking. And talking. And talking.

What I want to know - are we ending the torturing of prisoners, but continuing the torture of the American public who follow politics? If Pelosi continues her mindless dribble and self-patronizing trumpeting, isn't she, in fact, supporting torture? Doesn't this make her a hypocrite? Make it stop!

Janeane Garofalo - Open-Minded Bigot

Everyone knows that Keith Olbermann is a fascist left-wing lunatic that takes great pride in free speech, but only when it's applied to other liberal left-wing lunatics. And it only seems fitting that he has guests on his show who are also fascist left-wing extremists that agree with everything he says. Hence, Janeane Garofalo.

If you have not heard, the festively plump Miss Garofalo went off on Conservatives and Republicans and Libertarians alike as being a bunch of black-hating racists. In her bigoted eyes, there is nothing else that can explain the stupid tea parties that were held across the country recently. No - you were not really protesting the government's billion dollar bailouts of the car companies and banks. You, in fact, hate black people.

Apparently, according to obnoxious name-calling Garofalo, if you haven't protested against the Bush Administration (and it seems implied that NO ONE spoke out against the Bush Administration), then you are a racist and your free speech and rights to assemble have been revoked.

If if weren't for the fact that this tattoo-besmirched atheist has a pedestal to stand behind because of her "celebrity" status, we would all ignore her and her liberal propaganda and she would eventually go away, just like Cindy Sheehan and Jerry Falwell. But instead, I get to call her names like poop-head, because, as far as I know, I still have my first amendment rights. Oh, and I'm not a racist, despite what Janeane thinks. And I feel no need to prove it.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Cinco de Mayonaisse

I am a big fan of Facebook. However, I cannot but laugh at my peers who are mostly in their mid-to-late 30's when they say things like, "Can't wait to get drunk tonight!!! Whooooo!" Uh - didn't you get this out of your system in college?

This week Americans (and a few Mexicans) celebrated Cinco de Mayo. For those of you from East Baltimore it is pronounced Sink'-o de my'-oh, not sink'-o de may'-o. One of my high school classmates wrote on his Facebook status, "Having a few shots with my girl to celebrate Cinco de Mayo!!!"

I promplty replied, "Yeah for the Mexican defeat of the invading French forces in the Battle of Puebla!"

I got no response. I suspect no one gets it.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Closing the Gun Show Loophole

I am so tired of hearing about teenage inner city criminals purchasing their guns at gun shows to avoid the mandatory background check. This loophole must be closed!

Have no fear. Congress is here. Republican Rep. Michael Castle of Delaware is pressing legislation that will require gun show dealers of fire arms to perform background checks on customers before they are allowed to sell to them.

Thank goodness! After hearing this I went and interviewed some inner city teenagers on the Baltimore Metro to find out what they thought about this new legislation. I was promptly beaten over the head with a pipe, had my wallet stolen, my pants ripped off of me and tossed out the window, and they took the gun that I legally owned. Perhaps they are not in favor of this legislation.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Are You Going to the Preakness?

Are you going to the Preakness?

"Not I", said the college kids and recent graduates. "They won't let us bring our beer and have fun this year."

Are you going to the Preakness?

"Not I", said the family. "The Preakness is held in Pimlico, a dangerous neighborhood in Baltimore. We could be robbed, shot, stabbed, or have a car stolen. It's not safe there."

Are you going to the Preakness?

"Not I", said the owner of the small business. "Obama is raising the top tax bracket to 50%. After I pay my employees and buy supplies, there won't be anything left for me."

Are you going to the Preakness?

"Not I", said the struggling middle class family. "I'm out of a job. Obama spent billions of dollars on stimulus money for the economy, but it all went to government projects. I worked for a private corporation that received none of it and had to lay off 20% of its employees."

Are you going to the Preakness?

"Not I", said the casino owner. "Martin O'Malley passed a law allowing the state to seize the Preakness and all of its assets. I'd be a fool to invest in anything in Maryland. I'd risk losing all of my money."

Are you going to the Preakness?

"Not I", said Brian Roberts of the Baltimore Orioles. "We have to go lose another game in our quest to have 12 consecutive losing seasons."

Are you going to the Preakness?

"Not I", said Joe Flacco. "I only go into the city 8 times per year on game day. It's way too dangerous without a front line to protect me."

Are you going to the Preakness?

"We will", said the sportscasters. "This could be the last Preakness in the state of Maryland. With all of the shenanigans that the Maryland General Assembly is pulling, the horse owners would be smart to just race somewhere else next year and call that the second leg of the Triple Crown."

Are you going to the Preakness?

"We will", said the jockeys. "We want to be reminded one more time why we want to move this first class event from a third class venue. Churchill Downs is nice. Belmont is nice. Pimlico is dump. Why does Baltimore and Maryland not care about their race?"

Are you going to the Preakness?

"We will", said the thieves and robbers and murderers who were let go on probation or on technicalities by Baltimore's lenient criminal justice system. "The Preakness is an excellent time for us to steal some cars and rob some folks that ain't from these parts."

And so it will go. Smaller crowds will gather and the winnings will decrease. The people of Maryland will one day tell their grandchildren how once upon a time, the Preakness was held in Maryland, not California. But those children won't believe them.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Food2

Hey, I'm giving a shout-out to Food2 today. It's a new food website and today is their first day. Check them out!

Why Mama Fainted at School

video

Happy 12th Anniversary

To me! Yes, today, May 1st, is my 12th year anniversary working here at American Amalgamated Corrugated Conglomerates of America (AACCA). Who knew I'd be here this long? Many of my friends have teased me about being a lifer, but I've had good experiences here, so I'm in no hurry to leave.

Like most companies in the country, AACCA recently had layoffs. The company did manage to get rid of some dead weight, some fat weight, and some useless people, but they also laid off some good people that were my friends. Unfortunately, that is a part of life at a big company.

When I first joined the company I was an amalgamator. I thought I was big time - except for my salary - $22,000 per year. Little did we know how insignificant we were at the time - sort of like how Republicans feel in Maryland. Fortunately, I quickly moved up into the Corrugated division and began working with customers.

I once spoke with a wife who's husband ran off with all of their corrugate. She was devastated. I talked to many people who complained about their corrugate, some young ladies who wanted to share their corrugate, and others who were delighted to learn how much corrugate they actually owned.

Several years later I had the opportunity to move up into an amalgamating position and now I am a Senior Amalgamator.

Some funny stories of my years here. There was an older employee in my department when I was a statistician who wasn't very friendly. She was probably in her mid-late 60's and hated everyone. I was new and it was her birthday and the whole department took her to lunch (about 10 people). She ordered crab cakes and before you knew it the crab cakes were gone. The waitress returned not 5 minutes after serving the food and noticed that her crab cakes were gone and commented, "Wow, you ate those fast." I quickly retorted, "Yeah, she used to be in the marines." The look of horror on the faces of my coworkers was priceless. But guess what? That lady thought the comment was hysterical and has been my friend ever since.

We've played many pranks over the years - especially when someone walks away from their desk and leaves their computer unlocked. You don't want people breaking in and getting conglomerating secrets! One prank is doing a screen shot of the desktop, pasting it in MS-Word, then adjusting the viewable screen on the monitor. When the user returns and tries to click on the icons - nothing works! Why? Because their clicking on a picture.

One of my favorite pranks is to do the Ctrl-Alt-Right Arrow. This flips the user's screen sideways. Most users are fairly stupid, so it's always fun trying to see them figure that one out.

So here's to 12 fun years here at AACCA. Here's to 12 more!
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