Monday, November 29, 2010
All day and all night
All day and all night
...down the road
...when it is
...has an 80% approval rating in some surveys. That means that 80% of the flying public approves of any and all security measures. They know that the more security measures the safer the flights. They know that a full body scan or a pat down means that the possibility of a terrorists blowing up their flight is reduced. So what is up with the other 20% who gets all the headlines? The 20% that is complaining about full body scans and pat downs? Why is the media giving them the attention while the majority, the 80%, gets none? We all know about the 80/20 rule. In any organization 80% of the members do nothing. They come to the meetings, eat the food, sit around a jaw a lot and then go home without doing one thing while the other 20% do all the work. That is true in Rotary, Optimists and in any elected board on this planet. While, at the same time, the 80% will gladly take the credit for the work done by the 20%. The 80% is also the most vocal to complain about the work done by the 20%. This is true. Check it out. Most of you know that this is correct. With Transportation Security we do have an alternative. We will let the people who do not want full body scans or pat downs fly on planes loaded with kindred souls. People who object to security. That way when that plane that blows up with all of the complainers on board it will serve justice while the rest of us will be able to fly as safe as possible on a plane load of passengers fully vetted by the Transportation Security Administration.
...things for simple minds.
...was a negative zero
...liberal. Fiscal conservative. That is the way I have described myself for many years and through several political iterations. Today I read that Republican Senator Mitch McConnell and Democratic Senator Mark Udall have both come out against earmarks. Earmarks are set asides in major bills to enable funding for pet projects for the elected Senator or Representative in their district. Normally it is millions of dollars and a lot of time it does not make sense. The classic example is "the bridge to nowhere" in Alaska. It is, "Let's get some money and build something. Anything." Back in the day it was referred to as, "Bringing home the pork." If we can all agree on one thing it is the recent election message was that the people want less spending and less government. Even the Democrats ran on those two things. Things have been out of control in Washington for many years. Removing earmarks is a major step in the right direction.
... crystals floating in the air this morning. It is 8 degrees as I write this at 8:18 am on a very cold November 12. I am one of those people who knows just enough about science to be dangerous. I know that that you can actually see the differences in the ambient air temperature by looking at the clouds and looking at the fog/mist over the lake and the valley. The water in Dillon Reservoir is so much warmer than the air temperature that on very cold mornings a fog hangs over the water. As a storm comes in with colder temperatures you can watch the new cloud formations over the Gore Range as the temperature changes with the change in weather. I actually took flying lessons forty years ago and that was one thing that always bothered me. The amount of lift on the wing changed as the temperature changed. I like to think of the plane flying though a liquid rather than air. The temperature would control the amount of lift on the wing. When I would fly over a recently plowed field that was dark there was less heat rising and the plane would drop and the flight would get choppy. As I flew over something light the air would push the plane up. I think of those days each time I am coming in for a landing at Denver International Airport as we fly over the farms of eastern Colorado. Imagine the world encased in a big ball of liquid rather than air and you can get my analogy. Personally I would rather sit here at my desk and computer and watch all of the temperature changes from the comfort of my chair and not the cockpit of a plane. I sometimes think that the most anxious passengers must be pilots. I remember flying to and from Gillette, Wyoming in small commuter planes where I could actually see the cockpit crew and the control panel. The stall alarm and light kept going off as the aircraft lost lift and my heart would stop. I am sure the crew enjoyed the thought of some of the passengers going into shock when that would happen.
...from my old friend Lynn Black yesterday. He and I have been friends for almost forty years. He worked for me in Jefferson County in the early 1970s while he was attending the Colorado School of Trades. Yes, the gun school. He was studying to become a gunsmith. Lynn has a bachelor's degree in accounting but really was never interested in that field. He grew up along the Pennsylvania/New York border. He enlisted in the Army in the 1960s and after college moved to Colorado to study the gun trade. After gun school he went to work as a State Trooper for the Colorado State Patrol and was assigned to Steamboat Springs working Rabbit Ears pass. That did not work out so he went to work as a mechanic for Colorado Ute Power Company in the Hayden plant. He eventually applied for a transfer to the Colorado Ute plant in Nucla, Colorado in Montrose County along the Utah Colorado border. Lynn never married and always lived alone with his cats. He retired a couple of years ago and last year he became a snow bird living in Nucla part-time and in Florence, Arizona the rest of the time. He usually stops by on his way to or from the gun shows in Denver just to let us catch up on our respective lives. He has friends all over the United States and visits them all at various times. Besides being a gun nut Lynn is also a very conservative right wing voter. He and I are a full 180 degrees out from each other. We kid each other about our extreme views and always get a good laugh out of the good natured way we approach politics. Lynn is a great guy and one of my best friends. One of the reasons that this has remained true for so many years is that neither of us get angry about politics or the political landscape. We both have a huge respect for each other and for our individual opinions. He and I both really dislike people who get mad and angry over people who think differently than we do. We accept the fact that differences happen but it is not a life or death situation. We both know that there are people out there who are always angry to the extent that they get physically ill due to their anger. Life is too short to disagree. Life is wonderful when you can have a good friend with opposing views and not get upset. Life should not be a battle. Life should be a party.
...day in Breckenridge. Cold and windy. A great day to stay indoors with a good book. I normally do not recommend a book that I have not read but here is an exception. I remember Nothing: and Other Reflections by Nora Ephron. According to Wikipedia: She is an American film director, producer, screenwriter, novelist, journalist, author, and blogger. She is best known for her romantic comedies and is a triple nominee for the Academy Award for Writing Original Screenplay; for Silkwood, When Harry Met Sally... and Sleepless in Seattle. She sometimes writes with her sister Delia Ephron. Her most recent film is Julie & Julia. She is a very talented writer and a very funny person. She was interviewed on NPRs Morning Edition this morning and I had to listen to it a second time. (For those of you less fortunate who do not listen to Morning Edition, they repeat it for those of us who are memory impaired.) One of the themes in her book is something that I have written about many times. Finding your passion and once you find it to focus on it. The way she worded it is that at her age (69) a lot of her friends are now having chronic medical issues that preclude doing certain things. Her message is to find that thing or things that turn you on, that make you smile, that you find fun and go out and do them before life (or death) catches up to you. What a great message. Another comment that she made was that we all lay awake at night thinking about our failures. We dwell on the people, things, relationships that did not go well and burn up a ton of brain cells trying to figure out why things went wrong. Her thought is why don't we spend time thinking about our accomplishments? The things that went well. Glory in the positive and not even waste one second thinking about our failures. That alone is worth the price of the book.
...things that move time. We fall back as we sprang forward without any noticeable change. I now have atomic clocks and computers that keep track of the change. One hour forward. One hour back. All mysteriously happening at 2 a.m. twice a year. I read once that Benjamin Franklin came up with the idea but no one liked it then. I can't imagine the problems with changing all of those old fashioned clocks with their huge weights and pendulums. Some even had sand while others had water. In the 20th Century the idea caught hold because they thought it would help the farmers and give them more natural light to work by in the fields. The farmers hated it. It is pretty much universal in the United States with the exception of Arizona that is known for living in a different time and place and being out of step with the rest of the universe.
...communication is always tricky. It is almost as if you throw a ball into the air and it just keeps going. You never know if it lands or if it keeps going forever. I remember years ago there was a feature you could use that would send you a message when the recipient opened the e mail. That was nice when e mail lists were not so large. Today it is not uncommon to have thousands of people on a list and, given that, you might get thousands of replies when the e mail is opened and read. I use Google's G Mail as my main address but I have about twenty other addresses I could use. All of those addresses bounce into my G Mail account so people can reply to any address from me and it will always go to the same place. With Microsoft the default e mail is Outlook or Outlook Express. That means that when you click on a reply within a Internet web page it will default to Outlook or Outlook Express. G Mail just came out with a feature that turns that off and will allow you to use G Mail as the default for all outgoing e mail. Twice in the past week people have told me that they are not getting my blogs. I have checked my list and they are still on the list so the messages should go out. Another mystery. I could say that if you don't get my blog let me know. But if that is the case you will not get this one either. Another dilemma. While I am on the subject if anyone wants off of this list just let me know and I will delete your address no questions asked. Maybe with the election being over I might calm down a bit and go back to writing a daily poem.
...are sometimes slow. Especially election numbers. Just got a message that our Democratic candidate for State Senate has won her election. About 30 minutes ago got a message that our Democratic candidate for United States Senate won his race. Both were close. One was only seven votes off early this morning. Crap. I am not even running and I remain in high anxiety over all of this. Summit County remains a Democratic liberal stronghold high in the Colorado mountains. I can't imagine that any Republican or conservative would ever move here knowing that everyone else thinks differently about politics. There are plenty of counties in Colorado that are very right wing, conservative and Republican. I guess some people really like the pain of being out of step with the rest of the people.
...day is the day we all wake up believing that today is the day that all of our picks in candidates will win by a wide margin. Our personal belief system will be advanced so we can continue to save the world. That all of the incumbents will lose, that the tax measures will fail and that health care will be repealed. Not my picks but if you watch the ads that is what everyone wants. Later today if you listen very carefully you will be able to hear a lot of popping sounds off in the distance. That is the noise of a lot of bubbles bursting across the nation. Later today we will find out that our candidates lost but a lot of other candidates won. In my classes I teach that politics is like a swinging pendulum. It never stops moving. It moves to the right and then to the left. When it gets to the extreme it will complete it's arc and swings back again. What made you happy two years ago will make you mad this year but two years from now you will be happy again. I think that we should all wake up every morning being happy that we live in a nation where we can vote freely and that everyone regardless of their beliefs has the right to run for office and speak their minds.
...literally means that something does not make sense. It goes against our intuition. The things that we consider correct. This time of year as the days are getting very short I am given hope in remembering that the days start to get longer again in December just a few weeks away. Of course we forget that days start to get shorter again at the beginning of summer in June. That is counterintuitive.