Archive for September, 2008

Politics is killing this country

Monday, September 29th, 2008

So depending on who you listen to you may think that today’s failure of the House to pass the bailout bill was the fault of the Republicans. Or maybe you looked a little deeper. Both New Hampshire Congressmen who are Democrats voted against it. In fact if all the Democrats has voted for the bill it would have passed.

What happened is that people who are in very close races for reelection almost all voted against the bill. Phone calls in many districts were running 100 to 1 against the bill. If you are in a close race it takes a lot of courage and integrity to vote for what you think is right when it means going against what people are asking you to do.

Now maybe some of these people were voting their principles. Based on their records I am sure that is true for many who voted against the bill. But I doubt that is true for all of them.  Why would a Democrat vote against more government control? Highly unexpected. Just call my a cynic. In any case this vote made it a lot easier for me to vote for the Republican in the House race. I have been up in the air on all the races this year.

But this is just so typical. There is so much going on in Congress and it is so much about staying in office for the sake of the job (salary, perks, etc) that many congress critters seem to default to the leadership line or the party line or be overly influenced by lobbyists. It’s disgusting.

I’m really fed up. I hope the Republican party falls apart and is reborn as several smaller parties. Then maybe the Democrats will do the same thing.

Stress Eating

Friday, September 26th, 2008

This has been a stressful week for me. A lot of stuff going on with some travel, some talks to give and some deadlines to meet. So naturally I have been wanting to eat a lot. I’m trying very hard to not eat every time I want to because I am trying to lose weight. Add more stress which adds more desire to eat. Why does stress make people hungry? I think I figured it out.

We all know about the basic fight or flight response to danger. Our basic primal instincts come over when there is something to dear and we figure out is we can/should run or we must/should fight. I think there is a third response – feed.

If we are under stress but there is no obviously way to fight or take flight these same basic primeval instincts come to the conclusion that there must be a shortage of food in the works. So since there is food available now we should eat it. The body at some subconscious level decides that we need to fatten up for the coming shortage. The body is looking for a simplistic answer. Modern stress seldom responds to simple solutions though.

So it should be “fight, flight or feed” that we talk about. What do you think?


Monday, September 22nd, 2008

So I got on the scale the other day to see how much I weigh. And then for a lark I decided to get on it again a second later. Somehow I gained almost 3 pounds in that second. A second later I lost half of it. I wound up standing on the scale 6 times and getting six different weights. The closest two were about 2 tenths of a pound apart and the furthest apart was about 3 pounds from lightest to heaviest. What’s up with that?

And then today I looked at an electronic parts scale and watched it move up and down in weight displayed without anyone or anything being near enough to touch it.

I figure that some of this is related to changes in air pressure. But all of it? And three pounds worth? It’s all very frustrating especially for someone who is trying to lose weight. Did I lose a pound this week or gain a pound? Crazy.

School Choice

Friday, September 19th, 2008

Oh this is very funny.

Can you see this on the Daily Show?

Ahoy Matey!

Friday, September 19th, 2008

Do na’ forget tis talk like a pirate day again!

Time To Get Serious About Energy

Wednesday, September 17th, 2008

I don’t care if you are worried about global warming or not there is a serious problem with energy needs in the US. I see it as a national security problem and as an economic problem. We can’t depend on foreign oil and we can’t possibly drill enough of our own. It just doesn’t work that way. That is both a security problem and an economic problem.

But there is more to the economic problem. Sending all that money outside the country means less to invest locally. Plus even if and when we wake up to the need for more efficiency and better/more use of alternative sources of energy if we don’t get going soon we’ll be dependent on foreign inventions and products there. So still more money leaving the country. Where as if we invested in it now we could quickly become leaders (and hence exporters) of the technology and products.

Why is no one doing anything about this? Not even Obama is really getting in on this. McCain pays lip service but doesn’t seem very serious about anything but more drilling. I like the plans that T Boone Pickens is proposing. It just makes so much sense. And it makes sense in a capitalistic world! He’s spending a ton of his own money to promote his plan and he’s getting on TV and putting his own ads out there. But who is paying attention? Not enough people. Scary.

Gas Is Cheap

Wednesday, September 17th, 2008

Well it doesn’t feel that way at the pump and I was really unhappy about the check I had to write out on Monday to fill the oil tank in my basement. But there is good news. The Annals of Improbable Research has a new article out that calculated the price per gallon of other liquids that are commonly used. White Out is over $400 a gallon! Red Bull is over $30 a gallon.

Does any of this make you feel any better about the price of gas? No, me either. 🙂 The only thing that helps even a little is coming home from countries where gas is $8 to $10 a gallon. BTW in those countries you never see people sitting waiting for any period of time with the engine idling. Never. And their doors and windows are a lot better than ours are at keeping out the draft and cold air. We could (should) learn some things from them.

Now These I Get

Sunday, September 14th, 2008

This is the basic digital lifestyle sort of video. I’ve seen it a number of times and am surprised Microsoft doesn’t make more of it.

This one is a fun look at business and the new Microsoft Office.

McCain’s Election to Lose?

Saturday, September 13th, 2008

So I have been reading a lot of left wingers suggesting or outright saying that Obama has lost the election. Say what? So here now is my analysis of where we are at.

To win a presidential election one has to “run to the middle.” Obama made a huge misstep in my opinion picking Biden as his running mate. Obama is perceived by most as being far left. Everyone sees Biden as far left. So what ever beefing up this selection did with the far left Obama probably already had them so this doesn’t help. Misstep Obama.

McCain is unusual in that the far right sees him as too far to the middle so he needed help with his right wing base. Palin gives him that. On the other hand Palin hurts him with the left and left middle. On the other hand women in the middle like that he picked a woman. The women on the left are upset about who he picked but he was unlikely to win them over any way. Over all no gain. No misstep but no big win either.

McCain is running off a lot of talk that is anything but “straight talk.” It’s ticking people like me off a great deal. He is also upsetting people who dislike mud slinging and attack ads. OK some people are buying what he is saying but will they turn out to vote? Big misstep McCain.

Obama adds are just not generating buzz or discussion. The attack ads are mild which is good but is he really giving us enough of a reason to vote for him and not against Bush, I mean McCain? No help but no big misstep.

People are still really ticked off at Congress. McCain is running against Congress which is strange since he is part of it. But he is seen, somewhat correctly, as being in but not of Congress. Obama has to be working for a big win in Congress this year. Why? Because he is seen as too much a new guy who hasn’t earned his place at the head of the ticket. He needs to be helpful to Democrats who are running to win seats or to retain seats. So running as hard against Congress is not an option for him. Advantage (though small) McCain.

You may or may not have noticed that Obama has dark skin and McCain has light skin. For reasonable people that doesn’t make one bit of difference. Unfortunately being a reasonable person is not required to vote. I hate to admit it but there are still people who will not vote for  an African-American candidate. How many of them are out there? I don’t think anyone knows because most of them are smart enough not to admit it publicly. This is the great unknown in this campaign. Depressing as it is personally to me it would be foolish to discount it as a factor.

I think this election is just too close to call. I do think that McCain more than Obama will determine the outcome. I think he is seriously hurting himself with the half-truths, distortions, and out right incorrect statements he is making. He may yet convince people like me to stay home on election day.

And then there is the Electoral College. Can Obama win enough of the large states with large urban and minority populations to win the election even without a majority of the population voting for him? I think there is a good chance of that. Could McCain win enough of the so-called red states and pick up a couple of states where bigotry crosses party lines? Perhaps.

But we have a month and a half yet and a lot could happen. The Palin decision could look even worse in a couple of weeks. Some blatant racist action could win Obama a lot of sympathy. People could turn away from McCain for not being straight. One candidate of the other could blow a debate. Palin/Biden is going to be awfully important. I can actually see that being a huge factor.

So too early and too close to call. See me in a month. 🙂

Latest Bill and Jerry Video

Thursday, September 11th, 2008

It’s about 4.5 minutes long and you can see it here. I think its kind of funny. More on the what’s this all about here.