The observations and opinions of a person who has no discernible insights or ideas.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

"A fine Mahoke to you all" 

An acquaintance of mine recently reiterated one of the common themes from Doonesbury in the last few years, which is that the Bush camp has suffered from its loyalty-above-all attitude. In general, I concur with that, but the post has got me thinking about a few things.

One lesson that can be learned form Iraq is that many Muslims will stop at nothing to stop the US. My first thought was that this is because they are not civilized enough to follow the golden rule (granted, a Christian term) of combat which is that you do not act in any way that you would not be willing to have the enemy act. As I think about it, I realize that the real problem is that they know that no matter what they do, the US will always respond in a civilized, restrained manner (except perhaps after we have insurgents in prison, but that's another story). Not only will the US not respond in kind, but if the US responds with an appropriate, measured, accurate show of force, they will complain to anyone who will listen, including our own reporters, that they have been brutalized.

It would seem that the Arab world is not ready to play nice with the rest of the world. For that matter, they're not really ready to play nice with each other, unless it's to unite against a common enemy. A lot of Americans are no more ready to accept that there are people who are not ready for democracy some Muslims are ready to accept that there are people who are not ready to accept Allah. It takes time to change from a totalitarian government to one where everyone is considered a full citizen.

In the meantime, we're crippled by our own decency and our own national schizophrenia (seriously, where did this red/blue state thing come from?). At least our commander in chief has a clear, unified vision, even as his newly regrouped opponents can't decide what to do to thwart it (answer: whatever will help them the most in the polls).

Rhetorical question: Which is better, a person who is fully committed to his/her own view of the world or a person who's decisions are all made to follow the fickle whims of millions of uninformed people? Discuss.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

"Homer's Museum of Hollywood Jerks!" 

My car is enjoying its last days. We're planning to replace her soon, but in the meantime, we've been taking a few moments to foil double parkers. Today at lunch, I found an almost empty space that contained the left tires of a truck who's driver probably thought that he was winning a free double space for the cost of people thinking that he was a bad parker. He didn't count on my little golf cart which fit perfectly into the middle of the space, leaving him several inches on the driver's side of his truck.

When I got back to my car, I didn't find any dings on my car (I think that everyone looks at my car and realizes that they'll be worse off if they try to hit it with their doors), but I did find a note on my windshield. It had a slightly perplexing smiley face and the last word was a little garbled, but the rest of the note read, "Thanks for parking so close--you Mother..."

This would be a precious memory, but it gets better. My nephew loves emergency vehicles and has recently decided that he can say "firetruck" more efficiently than the rest of us (he says it loudly...and often). Well, before I went into the restaurant, I checked the license plate of the truck (which is odd, since I have never done so before) and noticed that it was one of those plates with a fire department symbol on it.

And the story doesn't even end there. Tonight I got a call from the Professional Firefighter's Association asking for money. The caller had a tough time of it because I started laughing as soon as I heard who he was. I didn't give him any money, but at least I didn't tell him to firetruck off.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

...And a new one just begun 

A few days ago, we had an anniversary. I meant to look up when the first post was made here, and it turned out to be three years ago Thursday. The day slipped quietly past, only commemorated by Google forcing me to change my account from the old Blogger one, bringing this site and three others over to the new format.

The good news about all that was that the problem with the posts not appearing until below the archive links somehow got fixed. Now I don't have to update my format (which I was loathe to do, mostly because I'm too lazy to figure out how to do it right) and we can continue as this site has existed essentially since its inception.

Traditionally an anniversary like this would be a time to get all retrospective, but I'm holding my boy and he's more interested in chewing on his toothbrush than reminiscing about when daddy was single and unemployed.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

The one that doesn't mention how much Dodge cars annoy me 

Two weeks ago, I went on what was almost my first solo business trip in about a year and a half. I’ve been traveling in groups, except for an 8 month stretch when I didn’t travel at all. The thing with this trip was that I was going to the same place as two other guys from my office, but I was doing different things there, including a side trip to the next state over. The funny thing about the other two guys is that I didn’t see them at all outside of the base where we were working, and we were even staying in the same hotel.

Being on my own gave me the freedom to get thoroughly lost, which I did as often as possible. On my way back to the hotel after the first day of work, I took a side trip looking for a store and ended up driving several miles through the greater Scranton metropolitan area. I really only made about three wrong turns, and I learned where I was going. When I revisited the same places (from a different direction) the next day, I recognized them and could find my way out from there. I ended up visiting a ski resort (it’s just above my hotel, which is funny because I didn’t see it on either of my first two visits to the area).

On the last full day of my trip, I went from Scranton to New York City (okay, I went to a place in Jersey that’s a few miles shy of the Big Apple, but you get the idea). One of the downsides to visiting a company by yourself is that you have to pay attention the whole time you’re there. If you sleep, then there’s no point in them talking, you know. Anyway, after work, their government rep took me across the river on a driving tour of Manhattan. It was my first time visiting the city (I drove through the Bronx and part of Queens on my last trip to the area, but that doesn’t count) and I was impressed. The city is very large and teeming with people. It also has almost every inch of land as fully utilized as possible. It’s another world, that’s for sure.

While I was gone, my son started eating three new kinds of food. It’s hard to leave him when he’s so young, and it’s good to be home. With any luck, I’ll have a while before I can get lost in a strange town again.

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