I’m a Random Ramblin’ Man!

I had originally planned to post a thoughtful, well-considered post on how, despite inheriting two wars, a failing home mortgage market, rising energy prices, record deficits, increasing unemployment, GITMO, and an increasingly-polarized voting population from George W. Bush, President Obama has acquitted himself admirably with professionalism and manners in an open and transparent way by using his vast and well-honed skills as a Community Organizer, politician, and family man to bring diverse groups together and reduce unemployment, curb reckless spending, stop runaway deficits, lower energy prices, and decrease political & social instability in the world.

Unfortunately, I’m a bit strapped for time, what with work, signing up for ObamaCare, the tax deadline looming, and (most importantly) Red Sox Opening Day fast approaching. So, instead I’ll just randomly ramble:

  • If General Motors knew they had a problem with faulty ignition switches as far back as 2005, how come the public didn’t know about it until after the US Government’s control of the company ended, the Union sold their company stock for a $3.4 Billion profit, and GM appointed their first women CEO?
  • I don’t understand why King President Obama hasn’t personally met with Dictator President Vladimir Putin to confront him on his military takeover of the Crimea: It would give Obama an opportunity to play golf in Sochi only minutes from the beach, as well as to compare manly chests.
  • How could Taco Bell have introduced a new breakfast menu that included scrambled eggs but not any salt or pepper to put on them?!?
  • As of April 1st, 2014 deadline a little over 7 million people have signed up for ObamaCare: What’s going to happen to the other 40 million or so people in America who are still currently uninsured?
  • Why is it short-sighted, irresponsible, and greedy for a private corporation run their business based on their next quarterly report but it’s not for politicians focused on getting reelected in 2 to 4 years?
  • How come it’s evil for large paper companies to harvest tree stands responsibly by planting new saplings, but it’s “Green” to permanently cut down tree stands to install solar collectors?
  • I heard the official White House Pastry Chef quit after Michelle Obama told him he couldn’t use butter, shortening or sugar in his desserts. Anyone know where he went because I’m still looking for a good New York Style Cheesecake.

Oh, and about that post on Obama? April Fools!

Thanks for reading!

Posted in Environment, Politics, Ramblings, Sports, Technology, The Economy | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

So Wrong, Logically Speaking.

Leave it to the State of Connecticut to design a scratch ticket that wins if you get 7 as a symbol but not if you get 7 as an actual number:

(There should be a used lottery ticket here...)

(An ACTUAL "7" doesn't win?!?)

I’m betting this is intentional :-)

Thanks for reading! (and remember, Lottery games hurt the poor)

Posted in Games, I'm Laughing!, Not Surprisingly, Ramblings | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Biblical Numerology: A New Discovery?

Christians familiar with the Bible know that it favors some numbers over others, such as three (representing “wholeness”), six (evil or imperfection), seven and it’s multiples 14 & 21 (perfection), and 12 (totality), among others.

One of those “others” is the number forty (40), which the Bible mentions 146 times (at least in my Bible), and includes Noah’s ark withstanding 40 days of rain, Israel wandering the desert for 40 years, Goliath taunting Israel’s army for 40 days before being felled by David, and Jesus preaching for 40 days on Earth between His Resurrection and Ascension into Heaven.

But, did you know that Illinois Governor Pat Quinn (D) may have discovered a lost Biblical  reference to the number “40″? And, a timely one at that:

“There’s a principle as old as the Bible that if you work 40 hours a week you shouldn’t have to live in poverty.”
- Illinois Governor Pat Quinn (D), speaking to MSNBC, March 21, 2014.

I applaud the Governor for rounding out my childhood CCD education, but rather than (incorrectly) invoking the Bible to advance a political agenda or cater to their constituency the Governor might be better served to take counsel from these other, actual, Biblical verses:

  • “For the Scripture says, ‘You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain,’ and, ‘The laborer deserves his wages.’ ” – 1 Timothy 5:1
  • “Do not take money from anyone by force, or accuse anyone falsely, and be content with your wages.” – Luke 3:14
  • “I said to them, “If it is good in your sight, give me my wages; but if not, never mind!” So they weighed out thirty shekels of silver as my wages.  – Zechariah 11:12
  • [some workers] grumbled at the landowner, saying, `These last men have worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden and the scorching heat of the day.’ But he answered and said to one of them, `Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for a [fixed wage]? Take what is yours and go, but I wish to give to this last man the same as to you. Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with what is my own? Or is your eye envious because I am generous?’ ” – Matthew 20:1-16

The Bible doesn’t mention what a “fair wage” is – it only teaches us to be fair, righteous, just, and charitable. It doesn’t say how long one should work, or whether one can avoid poverty by working hard. In fact, the Bible provides few guarantees other than spiritual reward for those who walk in the Lord’s path. However, it does teach us what happens to those who won’t work, and to those who are skillful in their work.

Thanks for reading!

Posted in Are You Kidding me?, History, Politics, The Economy | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Signs of Change at McDonalds

About six months ago I stopped at a McDonalds in northeastern Massachusetts for a late night snack, and as I filled my cup I noticed the ice machine was covered in official, sternly-worded warning signs:

  • “Please limit your stay to 60 minutes while eating.”
  • “Free refills limited to current visit only.”
  • “Only McDonald’s food allowed in this restaurant”
  • “Free Wi-Fi for customers only.”
  • “Limit Wi-Fi use to 60 Minutes”

The sheer number of signs compelled me to take a picture, but just in case I overlooked a sign saying No Still or Video Photography allowed in this store, I took one on the sly with my (very old and inexpensive) cell phone:

(Photo missing? Sorry...)

(Ice dispenser or rules book?)

Now, the ice machine signs were in addition to the signs at the counter limiting the number of free sauce cups (Six nuggets? Only one sauce cup!), charging you for extra sauce cups, refusing bills over $50, and asking you to report any food allergies before ordering your food*.

Gosh, this level of behavior modification makes Seinfeld’s classic “Food Nazi” episode look downright tame by comparison. And, it seems that some McDonalds locations are actually enforcing their rules limiting the length of your visit, charging for extra sauce cups, and even charging for ketchup packets.

Wait, extra charge for ketchup?!? No worries, I’m a mustard fan. However, once my local McDonalds started charging 25 cents for one pouch of mayonnaise to dip my fries into I’ve started to order fries less frequently – besides, their “McDouble” is cheaper, has less fat and calories, and getting extra mustard on it is still free.

I’d like to say that McDonalds is doing this because as the economy improves more customers are visiting their local Mickey D’s and won’t mind keeping their stay short out of respect for later customers, or paying a little more for their food and condiments.

But, perhaps the opposite is true: As people hurt by the continuing economic malaise have not only gravitated towards McDonalds’ “Dollar Menu” (now “Dollar Menu and More“) but also a “free” source for their forks, spoons, straws, napkins, condiments, restrooms,  and Wi-Fi, it’s no surprise McDonalds is increasing prices and rationing dining supplies as they experience a fourth straight month of declining sales in the USA.

Yep, it looks like McDonalds sure isn’t clowning around anymore: Which may not be good for us if it’s really true that Big Macs drive the world’s economy.

The ironic part of this entire story? Today a friend informed me  that the McDonalds location prompting this story recently closed. I’m guessing it wasn’t due to the “improving economy“.

(*...sometimes I announce I’m allergic to camel meat, just to get a reaction out of them… once again, I digress… and, I’ve never eaten camel meat)

Thanks for reading!

Posted in Environment, Ramblings, The Economy | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

I get Schooled on How Times have Changed

Stories such as these from my friends only serve to confirm my belief that at my age I don’t consider myself “old”, simply “a generation behind” :-)

At my hometown’s elementary school the school Librarian was showing a picture of Statue of Liberty to Kindergarten students.

Asks them what she is holding. “A torch,” says one student. What’s in the other hand?”, she asks. “An iPad,” replies another. “Could be a laptop,” says a third student.

———————————————————————

The son of my friend’s hair stylist is a Sophomore studying Engineering at UMass Amherst’s Commonwealth College (an elite college within UMass Amherst which requires a separate admission and acceptance after being accepted to attend UMass… but, I digress).

In general, Sophomore year is the “make or break” year for Engineering students (it sure was for me!) and he’s struggling with the workload. His mom, while Skyping with him on a Wednesday night, noticed two things: The almost constant pinging of his cellphone from friends texting him; and his girlfriend (who also attends UMass) passing in and out of the room. When asked how often he checks his phone he said “every couple of minutes.” Later, she asked often his girlfriend visits and he replied every day since her dorm is nearby.

His mom told him that when his dad was in college back in 1983 they only saw each other on the weekends, never during the week. Her son then asked: “Well then, since you saw each other so seldom, how often did you text each other?”

Thanks for reading!

Posted in Environment, I'm Laughing!, Ramblings, Technology | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Confirmed: Time REALLY IS Relative

When I paid almost $900 to get my water pump, coolant hoses, and antifreeze replaced at my local nationwide service center it took them almost 10 hours to perform.

But, when I paid absolutely nothing to get my water pump and antifreeze replaced at that same local nationwide service center when the water pump failed after just 96 days it only took them about 4-and-1/2 hours to perform.

Which just goes to show: (1) Time is money, and (b) Time is relative. :-)

Thanks for reading!

Posted in I'm Laughing!, Not Surprisingly, Ramblings, Technology | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

My Question for Upset Atheists

Apparently, Atheists are suing to have the “911 Cross” removed from the 911 Memorial Museum in New York, which got me thinking:

  • When I see graffiti defacing a building or bridge I get upset because someone has disrespected another’s property.
  • When I see a gang symbol, such as clothing, a hand signal, or other marking I get upset because someone has made me fearful.
  • When I see the tax forms arrive in my mail I get upset because I wonder how wasteful government is with my hard-earned money.
  • When I see a US Flag desecrated I get upset because I love my country, which the flag symbolizes (but, I’m not upset at the desecrator(s), because that same flag symbolizes the 1st Amendment)
  • When I see a symbol of my faith desecrated I get upset because I wonder what motivated the person to do that (but, I still forgive him/her).

So…

When Atheists see a religious symbol, why should they get upset? After all, as Atheists those symbols have no meaning to them. And, I don’t get upset when I see an Atheist symbol: I think most of them are just pretty symbols.

Thanks for reading!

Posted in Ramblings | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cruz-ing for O-Bruising

“We are still a nation of laws. You just have to check with Barack Obama every day to see what they are.”

- Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), speaking at the annual D.C. roast at the Gridiron Club, 03/08/14

(and, a tip of the ol’ Red Sox cap to Tony Lee at Breitbart.com)

Thanks for reading!

Posted in I'm Laughing!, Media, Politics | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Attention Red Sox Fans

The 2014 Red Sox Season is fast approaching (and with it my favorite part of  “Climate Change” – Summer :-) , so I’ll be redoubling my efforts to review my couple thousand photos from 2013 and post a new gallery for your entertainment – that is, in between work, making sure I’m signed up for a qualified health insurance plan, filing taxes, working on my tag sale site, and a few dozen other things.

Thanks for reading!

Posted in Media, Ramblings, Sports | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

You can Count on those R@ycyst Republicans!

I’d read about this in my local newspaper (how quaint, someone still reads newspapers… but, I digress), and thought it was not only too good to check but eminently chart-worthy (as always, click to embiggen):

(My bar chart is missing...sorry!)

(When it really counts, count on the GOP)

That’s kinda hard to believe, so I checked it anyway, and by-golly-gumbo it actually is true. Of course, I’ve only charted the really important stuff – all the rest is just “detail“.

Still, I was impressed by one detail of the chart: Percentage-wise, more Republicans than Democrats supported and expanded the liberty, freedom, and representation of the individual in our Constitutional Republic – but not one Republican supported the mandatory subservience of the group to the individual (“…12 million Americans who are uninsured and unhappy with their health care — less than 5 percent of the citizenry.” – source)

And, speaking of percentages, now that the citizenry has had the time and information to reflect upon mandatory health insurance (as opposed to health care), it seems Republicans may have a growing majority of those sharing their view.

Health care for all? Health insurance? Health subsidies for the truly poor and indigent? Self-insurance? I’m for all of those things. But mandatory health insurance with no guarantees regarding the availability, depth, quality, or effectiveness of actual health care? This is not how to get it done.

Thanks for reading! (and, stay healthy, or else!)

Posted in Are You Kidding me?, History, Not Surprisingly, Politics | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment