Thursday, July 26, 2012

Irony Check

The mayor of Boston does not agree with statements made by the CEO of Chick fil A who was exercising his First Amendment Rights so the mayor is going to use the POWER OF HIS OFFICE to prevent Chick fil A from building a restaurant near Faneuil Hall, which is on the famous Freedom Trail, which tells the history of how Americans gained their freedom from the tyranny of oppressive governments.

The mayor of Chicago believes that Chick fil A does not share the same values as the City of Chicago so he is going to use the POWER OF HIS OFFICE to prevent the construction of a Chick fil A in his fair city. But since his city is also a murder capital of the USA, he has no problem in allowing Louis Farrakhan, an avowed anti-semite, help "police" the streets. (and I guess he didn't realize that Chick fil A already has one restaurant within the city limits. He'd know that if he checked their web site)

Retribution for voicing ideas counter to those of the politicians currently in power - isn't that the working definition of a NAZI?

Pitchforks, tar and feathers will be distributed soon.

August 1st is Chick fil A appreciation day. Go get a sandwich. And middle grandson loves their key lime pie. Get some if they make it at a restaurant near you.

Follow Up: It's as I suspected. The Chicago Chick fil A is a franchise owned by a local Chicagoan. And they'll add about 100 jobs to the economy. So he is punishing his own constituents.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

An Education in the Classics

The other day my son and his wife had to go to a wake so we kept the grandsons for dinner. It was a slow TV night but I noticed that the Turner Classic channel had "Fobidden Planet". You know. The movie with Robbie the Robot and a sound track that was all electronic sounds. Made in 1953, it was one of my favorites as a kid.

I thought the boys might find the special effects a little hokey since they were brought up on CGI but after about 15 minutes in to the movie, the 12 year old turned to me and said, "This is a good movie, Grandpa."

Now the challenge is to find another SF classic. What about "The Day The Earth Stood Still"? Any others?

Monday, July 23, 2012

USS Miami Follow Up

It has been determined that the fire on board the USS Miami that caused $400 million of damage to a United States Submarine was caused by arson. Casey James Fury, 24, of Portsmouth, NH, a civilian painter/sandblaster at PSNY, has been arrested. He failed lie detector interviews made by the NCIS. His reason for setting the fire - he wanted to get out of work. I have a feeling he won't have to worry about work for a long, long time.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Happy Ramadan

Ramadan began at sundown July 19. Be alert.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Obama's Logical Progression

When the President says, "You didn't build that.", he means that you do not deserve compensation for your creativity and labor.
When you are not compensated for your creativity and labor, you stop innovating.
When you stop innovating, the country falls behind the rest of the world in technology.
When the country falls behind in technology, it becomes a third world country.
Don't live in a third world country. Kick Obama out!

Saturday, July 14, 2012


I discovered Lee Child's series of book featuring Jack Reacher earlier this year. The good news was that it gave me a whole series of books to read - and the opportunity to read them in sequence. I am almost up to date with the series and look forward to Child's latest release.

But now I read in the entertainment news that Tom Cruise is going to star in a movie version of one of the books. Whaaat? Jack Reacher is 6'-5" and 250 lbs. Tom Cruise is smaller than most of his ex-wives.

Who would you cast for the part of Jack Reacher?

Friday, July 13, 2012


Up before the crack to attend some meetings in Houston. As luck would have it, thunderstorms shut down Intercontinental for several hours. The good news was that they let us off the plane so we eat and other things. I finally arrived in Houston 4 hours late. I had missed the morning project status review meeting but I could still make the afternoon meeting. That meeting was a kick off meeting on the preparation of a fairly substantial document we had to prepare to satisfy our regulatory overlords in the Yankee Government. It describes our development plans - in detail. I arrived at the office to find that meeting had been postponed for one hour because, wait for it........some people had problems getting over from New Orleans. Obviously, they were piss poor planners because they picked a flight that left them no time cushion and I had to suffer for their incompetence. They had still not arrived when we started the meeting but there were too many managers sitting there to postpone it any longer.

The meeting lasted all of a half hour. After we introduced ourselves, the leader said he would tell us what our responsibilities were in an email. And that was that.

I had a 16 hour day of travel for 30 minutes of meeting.

PS: Star Sighting - RJ from Swamp People was on the same flight in the morning.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Taxing the "Rich"

I did a little research over at the National Taxpayers Union to see who pays what. Interpolating their data, I estimated that those who make $250,000 or more are in the top 3% of adjusted gross income (AGI). That 3% account for 48% of the taxes received by the government.

By contrast, the bottom 50% of taxpayers have an AGI of $32,000 or less and pay only 2% of the total taxes collected.

If you are in the top 5%, your income is above $155,000 and you help pay 59% of total taxes.
If you are in the top 10%, your income is above $112,000 and you help pay 71% of total taxes.

The top 1% earns more than $344,000 and pay 37% of taxes collected.

Obama does not understand that when he sets the bar at $250,000, he is including many small companies, most of them LLCs, who are small businesses. If he adds to their tax burden, he will kill their growth. That means fewer people hired and no spending on expansion. Some estimate that this may include more than 900,000 small businesses.

The economy can't be fixed by taxing the top 3%.

Monday, July 9, 2012


Bro-in-Law is at mile 950 on his Appalachian Trail thu hike. In a few days he will be at Harpers Ferry which is the half way point. He was able to meet up with his son last week and they hiked together for about 10 miles.

If he maintains this pace, he should be able to get to the end before the snow.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Obamacare Taxes for 2013

Do you think you can skate by without being taxed by Obamacare? Think again. Here are 5 taxes Fox News tells us about:

Medical Device Tax: a 2.3% tax on all medical devices from stents to artificial knees to CPAP masks. This will be passed along to the consumer.

Medical Bills Deduction: You will need more than $10,000 in medical bills now before you can deduct the expenses instead of $7,500.

Flexible Spending Accounts: These will be capped at $2,500. You will no longer be able to use unlimited pre-tax money to pay for medical bills.

Investment Income Surtax: Own stocks? Get dividends to supplement your retirement income? The capital gains tax will increase to 23.8% and the tax on dividends will increase to 43.4%.

Medicare Payroll Tax: It will cost employers $86 billion over the next 10 years.

Note that all of these take effect after the election. There's a reason for that. They didn't want you to realize that Obama lied about increasing taxes on the middle class. Do the right thing in November. Please!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Book Review - Fire on the Horizon (The Untold Story of the Gulf Oil Disaster)

Clay recommended this book to me. It is written in the style of Sebastian Junger in that it reads like fiction, but is fact. The first 200 pages or so are dedicated to background. The authors develop some of the key characters, describe the construction of the drilling rig Deepwater Horizon, provide a pimer on drilling and well construction, and describe life on a rig and the lifestyle of the rotating shift offshore worker. After 200 pages, they get into the minute by minute experiences of the survivors of the blowout of the Macondo well and the aftermath of the disaster.

I was impressed with their ability to accurately describe the working conditions, lifestyle and politics of an offshore drilling rig. My first job after college was for one of the major drilling contractors. I spent 2 years constructing a rig and another year working on them providing engineering support. I participated in an unplanned "evacuation drill" and witnessed first hand what happens to a group of men operating in panic mode. (after this incident, a friend of mine admitted that he left a perfectly good lifeboat because (1) people were too panicky and (2) he left his cigarettes in his room and suddenly felt the need for a smoke. Plus, he saw the radio operator sitting in the lifeboat and knew that someone had to man the radios. I was one of the few who stayed on the rig. When people on another lifeboat saw me in the ballast control room as they were being lowered, somebody said they should return and get me. The response was "F 'em. We gotta go!") I lost friends when the Ocean Ranger sank. I worked at the Korean shipyard where the Horizon was built and fought the same herd of motorbikes they describe everyday. In short, this book is, in my opinion, an accurate description of offshore life and the incident. If it has any shortcomings, it's in the technical descriptions of drilling and the well design. These are highly technical subjects and difficult for someone without an engineering background to comprehend. But, it's still worth a read.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Head Count

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia played catch up last month by beheading 16 people. Most of the executions were either for murder or drugs. There was also a kidnapper/rapist and Muree bin Ale Al Asiri was executed for witchcraft. Yes, it's 2012 and our key middle east ally still executes people for sorcery and witchcraft.

Next month might see the execution of the idiot who killed two people when his automobile got away from him during a game of "drifting". Clearly, he is a dangerous criminal that needs to be eliminated. (If I were him, I'd pay the blood money and be done with it)

Year to date beheadings in KSA is now 43.