Friday, September 30, 2005

Fortunate son

I work for a company called Learfield Communications, Inc. and yesterday about 15 of us got together, kicked out of work early and met at the local Country Club to play a friendly game of golf, (and for those who wanted to-- to have a couple of cold ones and fine cigars).

The chairman/president was in my foursome--(or I was in his) as well as the executive producer and a journalist for the sports side of the business. It was great fun, we all had some laughs and I managed to par a couple of holes on a really tough course.

We do fun stuff together all the time, BBQ's, or we go bowling, or go to the lake and go boating.

It's good to like what you do, and it's even better to like the people that you do it with.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Howard Stern and Sirius

In a couple of months Howard will be leaving terrestrial radio and heading over to Sirius. Analysts think that this will bring as many as a million new subscribers to that industry.

"It's reasonable to expect 10 percent of Stern's 10 million listeners to subscribe and many analysts are factoring that in over the 5-year contract," Butson said. "But fanatic Howard Stern fans aren't going to wait two or three years to sign up."

Have the analysts ever listened to his show? People listen to the show because it is on. The analysts think that the people will follow the celebrity (and some will) but most won't. They will simply listen to the next guy/gal on that station....

Think about it, when you drive to work, does it matter what two morons are doing the "morning show" on your local radio? NO. In fact, in my market, two guys have bounced from one station to the rival station and I doubt that it encouraged thousands of listeners to change their listening habits....people put up with the ridiculous talk in between the songs that they might not be disgusted by, or they put in a CD...or listen to talk.

Lot's of people worry about the future of radio, and think it is because of all the new technology that will drive radio into oblivion. It's not. People turn off the radio because the product is unbearably bad and they have an alternative.

Just like the box office, people are going to fewer movies, not just because DVD's offer a good viewing experience, but more so because the product is just not that good anymore. Name a great movie that came out this summer----

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Maybe I'm wrong...

I had a philosophical discussion with a friend the other day about the nature of people's perceptions about other's.
I think it really bothered him that I don't share his opinion...

Sometimes people are going to think things about you that are misguided, or they may misinterpret the signals that you are consciously or unconsciously putting out. I don't think it is an individuals responsibility to try and clear up those misperceptions. If someone thinks you are a jackass, it is not your responsibility to go to them and "prove" that you aren't.
If someone thinks you are a slacker, it is not your responsibility to "fix" their thinking.

I guess my point is that I can't control what people think of me, the only thing I can control is me and my actions--everyone elses reactions are beyond my control.

He felt that if someone has a misconception about you that you should go to them and confront them and straighten them out. If they think you are a loafer, you ask them, "why do you think I am a loafer?" and they will tell you and then you argue it out that you aren't a loafer because of this, this and that....

Maybe he's right.

Monday, September 26, 2005

they call him flipper, king of the ocean

I watch this show on HGTV or one of the other cable outlets called, "Flip this House." I think that was the name of it...

Either way, it is basically an upclose look at a company that specializes in flipping for profit and they are based in South Carolina.

It's very fun to watch, the transformation and the obvious thrill that the owner and construction guys get out of taking a big pile of crap and turning it into a very desirable property. (and making a decent profit doing it)

I have still not found a property that fits my requirements:
--desirable location
--decent floor plan
--has the right things wrong (floors, paint, kitchen, bathrooms--no foundations or water leaks or roofs)
--discounted pricing or terms

I know where I am looking and it seems like they are selling for too much, if I went in and sub contracted a bunch of work, I don't think I could get my money back out...and I am not willing to try one without knowing it's a home run.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Bette Midler--shut up and sing

From a Katrina relief concert: Bette Midler said--- "I got a letter from the Republican Party the other day. I wrote back, 'Go f#$@ yourself.'" She then added, "George Bush is a fan of mine -- he came to see me in the Seventies. His coke dealer brought him."

Is there some sort of Bush bashing prerequisite in order to perform at these benefits? What's even more odd is that Clinton appeared at two concerts, this one included and was lauded with a multi-minute standing ovation. Obviously there is no point attempting to refute the "celebri-activists," because they do not offer a reasoned argument, it is pure vitriol.

Made me think of this---
'The idiot who praises, with enthusiastic tone, / All centuries but this, and every country but his own.'"

BTW, the $200 billion that the federal government has planned to extract from the rest of the tax payers and give to the Katrina affected region is enough to give every single person (500,000) that was displaced by Katrina a check for $400,000.00.
That makes sense, right?

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

My coffee is hot

Maybe it's global warming?

In an effort to become completely irrelevant Al Gore has actually managed to write the punch lines for everyone, which really takes some of the pressure off of Jay Leno's writers.

Name any malady and we can find Al Gore speaking at some university or "green" activist group claiming that global warming is the cause. Lot's of hurricanes? global warming! Cold in the winter? global warming! Gas prices high? global warming! Insurgents in Iraq? global warming! Overpopulation? global warming!

Here is a speech from last week.

back to normalcy

While I enjoy showing pictures of my children to complete strangers and friends alike, I am going to attempt to get back to normal.

It would appear that another hurricane is pounding the gulf coast, and after the tremendous loss of life and property from Katrina, one would think that people would take these things seriously...one would be wrong.
Many are choosing to ride out the storm (sound familiar?) despite the efforts by state and local authorities to evacuate. The obvious lesson learned is to have buses ready to take people out that cannot evacuate themselves (and they are doing that). The next lesson is that the people should evacuate when they are told to...

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Mother and child

Everything is perfect.


The boys are happy with their baby sister.

Ella Marie

Beautiful baby girl.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

stare decisis

I predict a ridiculous amount of emphasis on John Roberts' view of stare decisis, and I also predict his polite refusal to answer--clearly.

For those like myself who took Latin but can't remember either one of those words...in American jurisprudence it is referring to the propensity of the court to follow precedent.

In light of this confirmation it is inferentially trying to ascertain if Roberts would uphold a ruling on the grounds of precedent regardless of it's constitutionality...(like Roe v. Wade).

In cases like Plessy v. Ferguson the court broke with precedent and I think most would agree that it was the correct decision. (segregation was deemed no longer constitutional when the court struck down the Louisiana Supremes)

The real question is not about stare decisis, the real question is an abortion litmus test. Will the American electorate allow selfish Senators who are beholden to the abortion lobby get away with publicly trashing a nominee without punishment? I doubt it, remember Tom Daschle?
Probably not, but he was once the ranking Democrat--and leader of the judicial nomination "borking." He lost reelection.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Faster than Hugo

I have had at least two individuals with journalistic backgrounds say something to the effect of, (and I'm paraphrasing)...."Bush really screwed up this Katrina response, but hey the Republicans don't care anyway because it's just black people in the South and they don't vote for Republicans anyway." (as they barely contain their glee at the prospect of personally pinning the disaster on Bush)

The press, in near perfect synchronicity has denounced the relief efforts as terrible, ineffective, fatally misguided, etc....

The reality on the ground does not match the rhetoric. The predictions of 10,000+ dead are (thankfully) way overblown. It appears the official toll will be around 200 (in New Orleans), and while 200 dead is a tragedy, it has been known for years (over one hundred) that if the levees were to be breached there would be catastrophic loss of life and property. That is why Louisiana was awards more federal dollars than ANY OTHER STATE.

What Government is Doing (as of September 9, 2005)
Federal disaster declarations are covering 90,000 square miles of affected areas.
National Response Plan mobilizes resources of the entire federal government to support response and recovery.
71,100 unified federal personnel have been deployed
More than 48,500 lives have been saved and rescued
248,431 people have been evacuated and safely housed in shelters in 22 states and the District of Columbia.
Commodities delivered to date include:

o 18 million MREs

o 40 million liters of water

o 1.7 million pounds of ice

o 32 tons of basic first aid supplies

o More than 600 buses to transport evacuees

The United States Coast Guard rescued more than 23,800 lives in the wake of Katrina.
More than 17,000 volunteer medical personnel have registered with Health and Human Services to assist in recovery.
The American Red Cross, in coordination with the Southern Baptists, are serving nearly 500,000 hot meals each day.
43,000 National Guard are on the ground in three states.
U.S. Corps of Engineers civilians and soldiers have closed the 17th St. Canal levee breach in New Orleans and are now discharging water. Several small pumps throughout the city are also now online, and the Corps anticipates bringing more online as the week progresses.
All patients and staff from the 11 top priority hospitals in the New Orleans area have been fully evacuated. Three other hospitals in the area are fully functioning with fuel and power and have no need to evacuate.
15 Disaster Recovery Centers open in Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas to gain assistance from recovery specialists of local, state, federal and volunteer agencies.
List of Government Waivers and Dispensations Authorized for Hurricane Katrina Response

Jason van Steenwyk is a Florida Army National Guardsman who has been mobilized six times for hurricane relief. He notes that:
"The federal government pretty much met its standard time lines, but the volume of support provided during the 72-96 hour was unprecedented. The federal response here was faster than Hugo, faster than Andrew, faster than Iniki, faster than Francine and Jeanne."
For instance, it took five days for National Guard troops to arrive in strength on the scene in Homestead, Fla. after Hurricane Andrew hit in 2002. But after Katrina, there was a significant National Guard presence in the afflicted region in three.

The fact that the response has been unprecedented, the loss of life minimal-- considering the damage, and the rescue efforts have been amazingly well executed, the press will continue to attempt to hang an albatross around any republican they can blame...because Bush bungled, Brown botched, and Chertoff is a jerkoff...

Besides it makes a better story to have Geraldo saving an old lady, and Matthew McConeghy saving poodles and Kanye West and Jamie Foxx denouncing Bush as a racist, then to actually report the truth.

(Update....Brown has resigned. And for anyone not aware of the pop culture spin, Kanye and Jamie recently cut a track together, so while their public denunciations have happened at different times and in different venues, there is no question that they are coordinated to get their names in the press---to sell more records. After all, if you can't profit off of the backs of people suffering through a natural disaster's aftermath, then why bother making records?)

Friday, September 09, 2005

Big project

On Saturday I decided late in the afternoon that something should be done about my yard. It was sod and the drought of the summer killed it off like a 5 gallon bucket of Roundup.

Six days later and many many hours behind a very large gas powered tiller and voila! I am the proud owner of 2500 square feet of completely lifeless dirt, think of the Kansas Dust Bowl on a much smaller scale.

Here a shot of three generations out enjoying the heat...

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

to the extent of its dominion...

Hugh Hewitt said:
For the federal government to act in the face of a natural disaster, it's help must be requested and its guidance accepted by the state and local officials.
"“States are accorded wide latitude in the regulation of their local economies under their police powers," the Supreme Court wrote in the 1976 case of New Orleans v. Dukes, and that wide latitude extends to every aspect of disaster planning (or non-planning.)
Every effort to blame Bush (or laughably Secretary Rice) is simply demagoguery, and whether born of ignorance or malice, injures the very people it purports to be offered on behalf of. My mail box is full of angry denuciations of the agenda journalism of Bush opponents dressed up as journalists --like Neal-- who are swearing off assistance in this disater because of their anger of its twisting by amoral partisans seeking to score points off a natural disaster combined with towering incompetence of state and local officials.
That refusal to help is just as wrong as the agenda journalism of the MSM lefties and the posturing pols. The scale of the storm ought to have blown away all attempts at assigning culpability, but as the left shows no sign of recognizing what most of America has already figured out, then answers to their fake questions asked through crocodile tears should be given.

I know that there are those that would accuse FEMA, or other federal agencies of failing to protect the people of New Orleans. I am sure that there are lots of individual incidents of failures, we are (last time I checked) human and to err is....but I believe in the goodness of men, in the generousity of people trying to help people, and doing the best that they can.

I don't believe that we have responded to this natural disater differently due to the race of the majority of those affected. Many of the hands accepting assistance are black, many of the hands offering it are white.

The color of one's skin does not make their rescue any more or less important.

Venomous Vultures

Wes Pruden of The Times--

The vultures of the venomous left are attacking on two fronts, first that the president didn't do what the incompetent mayor of New Orleans and the pouty governor of Louisiana should have done, and didn't, in the early hours after Katrina loosed the deluge on the city that care and good judgment forgot. Ray Nagin, the mayor, ordered a "mandatory" evacuation a day late, but kept the city's 2,000 school buses parked and locked in neat rows when there was still time to take the refugees to higher ground. The bright-yellow buses sit ruined now in four feet of dirty water. Then the governor, Kathleen Blanco, resisted early pleas to declare martial law, and her dithering opened the way for looters, rapists and killers to make New Orleans an unholy hell. Gov. Haley Barbour did not hesitate in neighboring Mississippi, and looters, rapists and killers have not turned the streets of Gulfport and Biloxi into killing fields. The drumbeat of partisan ingratitude continues even after the president flooded the city with National Guardsmen from a dozen states, paratroopers from Fort Bragg and Marines from the Atlantic and the Pacific. The flutter and chatter of the helicopters above the ghostly abandoned city, some of them from as far away as Singapore and averaging 240 missions a day, is eerily reminiscent of the last days of Saigon. Nevertheless, Sen. Mary Landrieu, who seems to think she's cute when she's mad, even threatened on national television to punch out the president -- a felony, by the way, even as a threat. Mayor Nagin, who you might think would be looking for a place to hide, and Gov. Blanco, nursing a bigtime snit, can't find the right word of thanks to a nation pouring out its heart and emptying its pockets. Maybe the senator should consider punching out the governor, only a misdemeanor. The race hustlers waited for three days to inflame a tense situation, but then set to work with their usual dedication. The Revs. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, our self-appointed twin ambassadors of ill will, made the scene as soon as they could, taking up the coded cry that Katrina was the work of white folks, that a shortage of white looters and snipers made looting and sniping look like black crime, that calling the refugees "refugees" was an act of linguistic racism. A "civil rights activist" on Arianna Huffington's celebrity blog even floated the rumor that the starving folks abandoned in New Orleans had been forced to eat their dead -- after only four days. New Orleans has a reputation for its unusual cuisine, but this tale was so tall that nobody paid it much attention. Neither did anyone tell the tale-bearer to put a dirty sock in it. Condi Rice went to the scene to say what everyone can see for himself, that no one but the race hustlers imagine Americans of any hue attaching strings to the humanitarian aid pouring into the broken and bruised cities of the Gulf. Most of the suffering faces in the flickering television images are black, true enough, and most of the helping hands are white. Black and white churches of all denominations across a wide swath of the South stretching from Texas across Arkansas and Louisiana into Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, Alabama and Georgia turned their Sunday schools into kitchens and dormitories. In Memphis, Junior Leaguers turned out for baby-sitting duty at the city's largest, most fashionable and nearly all white Baptist church, cradling tiny black infants in compassionate arms so their mothers could finally sleep. The owner of a honky-tonk showed up to ask whether the church would "accept money from a bar." A pastor took $1,400, some of it in quarters, dimes and nickels, with grateful thanks and a promise to see that it is spent wisely on the deserving -- most of whom are black. The first polls, no surprise, show the libels are not working. A Washington Post-ABC survey found that the president is not seen as the villain the nutcake left is trying to make him out to be. Americans, skeptical as ever, are believing their own eyes.

Wesley Pruden is editor in chief of The Times.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Satellite image

There is a link to a satellite photo that was released by AP here


I know that it is fashionable to bash Wal-Mart, they "drive small businesses out of business" they "price gouge their suppliers" etc.....

How about this...
BENTONVILLE, Ark., Sept. 1 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Following PresidentBush's announcement today that former Presidents Bush and Clinton will lead anationwide fundraising effort to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina, Wal-Mart President and CEO Lee Scott contacted President Clinton and the WhiteHouse and committed $15 million from Wal-Mart to jump-start the effort. As part of this commitment, Wal-Mart will establish mini-Wal-Mart storesin areas impacted by the hurricane. Items such as clothing, diapers, babywipes, food, formula, toothbrushes, bedding and water will be given out free of charge to those with a demonstrated need.

Regardless of your feelings on Wal-Mart, they are doing a good deed for people in need. I wish them luck.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

pointing fingers

Two quick things about the hurricane and its aftermath:

--first, people without food and potable water wandering into an abandoned grocery/ceonvenience store and grabbing the supplies they need to keep their family alive....are not "looters."
On the other hand, people wandering the streets helping themselves to flat panel TV's and expensive electronics are sick in the head (and they are looters).

--second, why are people wasting their efforts and breath and resources pointing fingers at government officials for a failure to protect them from a natural disaster? Have we come to a point in our evolution that we collectively believe that the all powerful federal/state/local governments can prevent a hurricane/flood? It is a natural disaster that has hit a particularly vulnerable city, and while search and rescue is still attempting to locate survivors, it seems particularly bad form to "blame Bush." For an example of this ridiculous finger pointing, see here.
It's a former Clinton advisor once again claiming that their administration warned everyone that a hurricane might hit New Orleans, but Bush diverted money to fight the war in Iraq. Do these guys ever shut up?
And is it terribly prescient to predict that a coastal city on the Gulf of Mexico might be hit by a hurricane? Isn't that akin to saying "it might get hot in the summer and after that it could be cold in the winter?"