Archive for September, 2008


September 25, 2008

I’m not up to speed on the current trillion dollar bailout deal [Is anyone really?], but I do have one question that keeps nagging me:  what happened to personal responsibility?

One of the great blessings we enjoy in the United States is the freedom to make personal choices.  That freedom comes with an attached obligation–you make a decision, you must take responsibility for its consequences.

Except if you loan money to people that you knew would not be able to pay you back.  Except if you borrow money knowing that the only way you can make the payments is if the value of your home continuing to increase at the speed of light.  Except if the magnitude of the problem is best expressed in scientific notation.

What happened to taking responsibility for the decisions we make?  Why would it cross anyone’s mind that if you make a ready bad decison, someone will come in a take care of it for you?


William Tell Comes to Lancaster

September 23, 2008

A quarter-mile stretch of highway in Lancaster, California has been altered to play the William Tell Overture, probably better known as the Lone Ranger Theme, as cars drive across grooves cut in the road.

The musical road is only one of four in the world and the only one in the United States.  It is part of a Honda Accord promotion.

The grooves were configured to play the music as cars cross the grooves at 55 m.p.h.

The project was approved by the the Antelope Valley Film Office in an effort to promote film making in the area.  The music was supposed to only be heard from inside the cars.  However, the sound travels much farther than was planned. Not everyone is happy with the music.  Nearby residents are complaining of the constant noise.  One said that it sounds like an out-of-tune orchestra.  Another said that it is a scratchy, high-pitched drone.

William Tell or the Lone Ranger won’t be in the area for long.  The road will soon be repaved to mute the orchestra.

Econ 101

September 19, 2008

Here is another “Dear Mr. Obama” video.  It’s a little over 4 minutes long, but it’s worth viewing.

National Play-Doh Day

September 18, 2008

Play-Doh was an accidental invention.  Originally developed in 1956 as a wallpaper cleaner, Play-Doh was used by the inventor’s sister, a kindergarten teacher, as a substitute for messy modeling clay.  And an iconic toy was born.

Play-Doh is a mixture of wheat flour, water, mineral oil, salt, colorings and perfume.  More than 2 billion cans of Play-Doh have been sold.  Play-Doh began with one color–grayish white–but soon was released in the primary colors—red, yellow, and blue.

Can you think of Play-Doh without smelling it?

What’s Up with Wonder Bread?

September 18, 2008

In August 2007, I made a post on the demise of the bakery that made Wonder Bread in southern California.  While checking my blog stats, I’ve noticed that this old blog entry is getting a lot of hits.  More than 50 one day.  Currently, it is the second most popular entry I have, right behind tattoos.

While I can understand somewhat people searching tattoos, what’s up with Wonder Bread?

Constitution Day

September 17, 2008

On September 17, 1787, the Constitutional Congress ratified our United States Constitution.

The Constitution was signed in the Pennsylvania State House–the same place where the Declaration of Independence was signed.  It is now known as Independence Hall.  Of the forty-two delegates who attended most of the meetings, thirty-nine actually signed the Constitution. Edmund Randolph and George Mason of Virginia and Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts refused to sign due in part due to the lack of a bill of rights.   While it was signed on September 17, 1787, the Constitution didn’t take effect until 1788 when it was ratified by 9 states.  More than 11,000 amendments have been introduced in Congress.  33 have gone to the states for ratification and 27 amendments have been approved and adopted.

Our Constitutional is the foundation document of the longest operating government in the world.  John Adams referred to the Constitution as “the greatest single effort of national deliberation that the world has ever seen” and George Washington wrote to the Marquis de Lafayette that “It (the Constitution) appears to me, then, little short of a miracle.”

50 Days

September 15, 2008

In 50 days, we Americans will go to the polls and will select the next President of the United States.  Right now, the choice could not be any clearer to me.  This will be my 10th presidential election.  My candidate has won two-thirds of the time.  Hopefully, in 50 days, my record for voting for the winner will be at 70%.

Months ago, John McCain would have been on my list of also-rans.  I thought of him as a great patriot, a so-so senator, and a lousy Republican.  But this election cycle brought us a bunch of surprises–in both parties–and now we have a choice between John McCain and Barack Obama.  Here are some of the reasons that I will vote for John McCain:

  • The Common Defense—Today, the most important role of the President is that of Commander in Chief.  I want a president that understands that our nation is in jeopardy.  I want a president that clearly understands that there is good and evil.  I want a president that will deal effectively with evil, not a president that will naively think that we can talk our way to safety.
  • Sanctity of Life–I want a president that understands when life begins, not one that thinks that question is “above his pay grade.”  I want a president that understands that a baby is a blessing, not one that doesn’t want his daughters to be “punished with a baby” if they make a mistake.
  • Nominations to the Supreme Court and other Federal Courts–I want a president that understands that the role of the court is to interpret laws, not to create them.  I want a president that will select judges who will base their opinions on the law, not on their feelings.
  • America’s Role in the World Community–I want a president that will do the right thing because it is the right thing to do, not a president that is concerned what other nations will think.
  • Judged by the Friends You Keep“–I want a president that has honorable friends, not a president whose closest associates are a criminal lobbyist, a murdering domestic terrorist, a hate-filled pastor, and an ungrateful angry wife.
  • Successful Experience–I want a president that has achieved something in his life, not a president that can only read a talk well.  I want a president that has created change, not one that only talks vaguely about it.
  • Balance–I want a president that can “work well with others,” not a president that has consistently voted throughout his short career as a legislator as the most liberal member of the Senate.

In 50 days, we will decide who will occupy the most important job in the world.  The choice is clear to me and I hope it is also clear to you.  I can’t see how we can give such an important job to such an inexperienced man with such wrong-headed ideas.

The “Dear Mr. Obama” Video

September 12, 2008


September 12, 2008

Hurricane Ike as it approaches the Texas coast

Four years ago, we enjoyed a nice trip to Texas to visit my Uncle Jack.  One of the highlights of the trip was our stay in Galveston.  Galveston is an interesting island just off the mainland.  By just off, I mean that you don’t really realize that you are on an island.  You drive over a bridge and you are there.  It was my first visit to the Gulf of Mexico.  I was surprised how warm the water was–bath temperture–and how shallow the Gulf was–I could wade out for a long way without getting my waist wet.

Galveston was hit by a hurricane in 1900.  More than 6,000 people were killed.  It still remains the worst natural disaster in the history of the United States.  The storm surge was higher than most of the island and it destroy many of the city’s homes and buildings.

Galveston is once again in the cross-hairs of a large, powerful storm.  With today’s technology, we know it is coming and can take appropriate safety precautions.  Let’s hope that all will be safe from the storm.

The 11% Mayor

September 12, 2008

Wendy and I have a running joke about the mayor of Los Angeles.  He is on the local new every day and sometimes several times.  The PR events are rarely (probably NEVER) worth the effort.  We laugh and wonder if he ever has time to do anything important.

The LA Weekly has reviewed Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s official schedule for the 10-week period from May 21 to August 1, 2008.  The mayor claimed to work more than 900 hours in this period.  The fact is that he only spent 96 hours, or 11% of his time, on official city business and a big chunk of that time was meeting with lobbyists.

For the full story, go here.

The mayor is a joke.  All flash and no substance.  Hopefully the voters of Los Angeles will understand that when Villaraigosa comes up for re-election next year.