Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Friday, December 27, 2013

You Can't Pick Family (but you can keep them out of the kitchen)

My wife has taken over the preparation of Christmas dinner and has been doing it now for several years. This usually involves meal preparation for at least 20 people. She starts cooking in mid December in order to have everything ready and she sets a very formal table. This year was particularly difficult as we had her mother living us for post op care following a triple bypass and heart valve replacement. But one thing that we can usually count on is that we will have plenty of leftovers and those can save her the chore of cooking at least for a few days while we nosh on them.

Yesterday we headed for the refrigerator to pull them out and microwave them for dinner but they were nowhere to be found. After some thought and picking through the memory of the chaotic clean up after the meal we determined that one of our "sisters in law" walked out of the house with most of our leftovers. She made off with all the oyster dressing, the scalloped potatoes, most of the white meat from the turkey and all of the stuffed roast pork. We don't begrudge people a take away plate but this was over the top. Well, lesson learned. She will not be allowed into the kitchen ever again.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

A New Orleans Christmas Classic

What is Christmas without this classic song.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Hyvaa Juolua

Merry Christmas Y'all.

Monday, December 23, 2013

The Emirates and Freedom of Speech

When I worked in Dubai I became aware of some of their laws regarding freedom of speech. Basically, if you say anything bad about the Sheik, you can be arrested. And that includes bad satire. Now we have the case of an American that has been convicted and sentenced to serve one year in a Dubai jail for making a video that the government said violated their cyber security laws. It is supposed to be a tongue in cheek representation of urban ganstas in an area of Dubai known as Satwa. Satwa is primarily an area that contains Indian and Pakistani businesses and is the center of the knock off stores.
Shez Cassim from Minnesota was the film maker. Here is the video in question. Do you think it is worth a year in jail?

If you travel, be aware that other countries have different levels of tolerance for criticism and that if you run afoul of their laws, the US will not help you unless you can generate a lot of publicity.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Obama's Election Manipulations

I've written before about how government regulations will be used to control the country. And now the Washington Post, not an especially conservative rag, has an article about how the issuing of regulations was delayed to benefit Obama in the 2012 election. The graph below shows how the pace of issuing regulations was slowed prior to the election to keep them from becoming campaign issues.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Book Review - Spirit of Steamboat

This started as a short story but Craig Johnson decided to turn it into a novella. It is not a mystery story as much as it is an adventure tale. Of course, Walt Longmire is the central character and it takes place after Walt has been sheriff only a few months. A traffic accident during a December snow storm leaves a child in need of emergency air transport on Christmas Eve. The only vehicle capable of flying in the deteriorating weather is an old B-25 and the only person who can fly this beast is Lucian Connally.

This story is appropriate for the Christmas season and aviation buffs will enjoy the technical aspects. This is only 129 pages so it won't take long to read. And while it helps to know the Longmire backstories, it's not completely necessary.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Sidebar Addition

I stumbled upon a new web site that I promise will become a big time waster for you. It's called "Retronaut" and the link can be found on the right. If it's quirky, it will be in this site. In a very short time I learned that the US Government tried using nuclear bombs to "frak" gas fields in Colorado and New Mexico as late as 1973. I also learned that the Pledge of Allegiance has gone through four revisions. The first two did not include the words "under God". Also, the salute to be made during the pledge was similar to the Nazi salute and was changed to the hand over heart in 1942. See, it's educational.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Packing in Church

Middle grandson's school had a Grandparents mass last Saturday evening. While his school is not in the worst of areas, it is in an area that could be described as "sketchy". It's a bad enough area that restaurants within a couple of blocks pay to have uniformed police officers on guard duty. I debated whether to leave the Airweight in the car while we went to mass or to carry it into church. The decision was made for me when I found out that we would have to park on the street and walk about 200 yards to the school chapel - it went into my pocket and went to communion with me.

I'm not sure why I had this aversion to carrying in church. Anyone have any thoughts about this?

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Fast Food Strike

The fast food strikers are being sold a bill of goods by the unions. If they get their demands, they may have the added benefit of losing their jobs to technology. The only purpose of the order taker at your local fast food establishment is to smile and punch some buttons that sends you order to the kitchen crew. If you think about it, you could perform the same activity. All they have to do is put a  touch screen at the order station. You punch your order into the screen, swipe your credit card and you are done.

Take a look at your local big box store.......why do you think that there are so many self check out stations now? At my Home Depot, one person can now oversee the operation of 4 checkout stations because the customers do it themselves. Sams, Wal Mart, Lowes, Home Depot; they all have self checkout.

Liberals think that they can change the rules that business operates under and nothing will change. They seem surprised when business adjusts to compensate for the new rules, and it's usually the low level workers, the same people liberals claim to want to help, that suffer. For example, Obamacare has driven business to reduce the numbers of fulltime workers to avoid the regulations.

I understand that some chain restaurants are experimenting with order screens at the tables. It won't take long for that to catch on. What good is a job that pays $15/hour if that position is eliminated? If you want to earn more money, you need to develop marketable skills.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Finnish Independence Day

Today marks the anniversary of the adoption of Finland's declaration of independence from Russia by the Parliament in 1917. The holiday is second only to the end of the Finnish Civil Way on May 16, 1918.

My grandparents had emigrated in 1903, well before independence. Listening to her parents stories about growing up under Russian oppression may explain why my mother disliked the Russians so much. Of course, their invasion of Finland in November of 1939 thereby starting the Winter War  probably didn't help.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Head Count

Saudi Arabia executed four (4) men last month raising their year to date total to 69. Three were murderers and one was a druggie. Technically, only three should count for "head count" as one of the murderers was shot. If you remember, KSA had a shortage of swordsmen and planned to resort to execution by gunfire.

In other head count related items.....My wife bought some Chistmas decorations the other day. They looked OK in the store but when we got them home and hung them, they looked demonic. For effect, I hung them on our Festivus Pole.


Is this what happens when Santa meets Col. Kurtz?