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Friday, January 30, 2009

People Suck

Another sign of what is wrong with the people in this world. Sent from a cranky reader: 

I am sending you this from work so I can not use the words I want to describe how rude people really are.  Anyway,  I had a procedure done on my ankle Tues. night so I am on crutches and wearing this big foot brace.  Needless to say I do not move very fast.  So I am at a big parking lot downtown coming from a meeting.  There are 6 elevators going up so I stand in the middle waiting for whichever one to open up.  The elevator takes for ever so I lean against the wall because my foot starts hurting.  Finally, the elevator shows up but of course its the one at the far end and is full.  I start walking over to it and it begins to close.  I yell to please hold.  Everyone looks up but does NOTHING as the door is closing one guy yells out SORRRY  NEXT ONE.  I stand there in shock. I can't believe how rude people are.  Actually, I guess I can, I just don't want to believe it. 

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

House Blocks Digital TV Postponement

It's not to often that I agree with republicans on a subject, but today I do. As most of us know, February 12th is the day that analog TV signals will be shut off, forcing everyone over to digital. The Obama administration attempted to push through a postponement, giving till June for the switch over. But when the bill reached the House of Representatives, it didn't get the 2/3rds vote to pass, which means, move on to real policy and subjects. If some poor-assed person,  hasn't forked up the 40 bucks needed to get a converter box, then screw them. It's just TV, some people actually choose not to have a TV. That's right, they read, watch movies, or do something besides sit inside the house staring at a box of images. 


- Full story on MSNBC - 

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A Decent First Week

He's still working on getting a stimulus package passed, but as first weeks in office go, Obama has done a pretty decent job.

1. Signed order closing Guantanamo Bay within a year
2. Began talks about getting out of Iraq, and upping forces in Afganstan
3. Signed an order ending the ban on federal funds for international groups that promote or perform abortions. This reverses a Bush policy that, "bans U.S. taxpayer money, usually in the form of U.S. Agency for International Development funds, from going to international family planning groups that either offer abortions or provide information, counseling or referrals about abortion." (source Seattle PI)
4. Banned aids from accepting gifts or money from Lobbyist. And they can not go work for a company that lobby's with in two years after leaving their position. And if they were in a position to lobby, they can't come work for the office in a role that was effected by that lobbying.
(Source whitehouse.gov )
5. Issued a pay freeze for his senior staff members, due the setting an economy example. Although, they still earn a pretty penny.
6. Freedom of Information in the Administration. promises to be open to the public on decision in his white house.
7. "moved to give states a freer hand in curbing greenhouse gas emissions from cars, and to enact tighter fuel-efficiency standards that could remake the auto industry" (source MSNBC)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Mileage Tax

With tax revenue falling, and road repairs and construction still in need, the government is looking at new ways of generating revenue. The National Surface Transportation Infrastructure Financing Commission has been charged to review options and make recommendations. Most of the options being explored are to be expected, such as raising the national gas tax. This has been the key method of funding the system to date and hasn't been raised since 1993. But, with vehicles becoming more fuel efficient, they have found this method "no longer sufficient, " according to the interim report that has been published. One of the more interesting options being reviewed is a mileage tax, according to the Seattle PI. The idea behind it, is all new cars would be manufactured with a GPS that would track mileage driven. Tax at this level would break down to total miles driven, and could even be broken down to peak and non-peak hours. According to an article on MSNBC Oregon is in the process of currently testing the feasibility of this. They have installed GPS systems in about 300 cars. As you can imagine there are many critics to this proposal, including privacy advocates, people upset about the expense of the option that would be passed on to consumers, and the potential loss of incentive to buy fuel efficient cars.

My proposal to the Commission is as follows:

1 - A slight increase in the gas tax, and no increase in the tax on diesel. Diesel is currently taxed higher than gas, even though it is a more efficient of a fuel. A leveling of the taxes will even out the cost and with diesel now made to a higher cleaner standard, people should be encouraged to move to diesel fueled vehicle.

2 - Tax people based on the amount of driving they do. Except, don't use costly and invasive GPS system. Instead at each emissions inspection, tax total mileage driven since the last emissions. This would encourage people to drive less, and resolve the privacy issues people are concerned about with the GPS system. Also by taxing based on usage, it will encourage people to move to the cities, and/or use mass transits options. Exceptions to the policy could include buses for mass transit, truck drivers and any other business or industry that relies on large amounts of travel.

The National Surface Transportation Infrastructure Financing Commission will have two years to complete its report. Comments on the interim report (available at http://financecommission.dot.gov/index.htm) should be submitted in writing to Jack Wells,
Commission Staff Director / Designated Federal Official, at Jack.Wells@dot.gov

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration Day

I made it to work about a quarter till the hour, just enough time to log into my computer and go the official inauguration website, and watch Barack Obama take the oath of office. Since I was at Microsoft it seemed appropriate that I use the technology of this generation to watch this historic day. But unfortunately, as mentioned, I was at the Microsoft campus and was logging in from the office. The website using Microsoft’s Silverlight kept freezing up on me. I'm sure it was part due to the load of people on it, and part due to the usually slow network connection I get in the office.

I immediately gave up on the internet and decided to watch the inauguration the old fashion way, on the TV. The building has a lobby with a 42inch plasma on the wall, always turned to MSNBC. I was pleasantly surprised when walking down there to notice approximately 15 to 20 people had the same idea. A few of them even moved around some chairs so they could sit and watch. I walked towards the back of the group and began to watch myself. We all listened to Rick "the prick" Warren give the invocation, and we applauded the soulful voice of Aretha Franklin singing "My Country 'Tis of Thee". As the time for Obama's swearing in came, the crowd grew larger, with a few people gathering on the stairs of the lobby to listen. As we stood and watched Obama speaking clear English, we had to deal with the occasional indifferent look of people passing buy, or the quick cut through as someone ducked under the TV on the way to the break room. As his speech continued, I began to get a little annoyed at the people walking through and around, "didn't they understand this is a historic moment?" I thought. Yes, there was the one woman watching with a paper towel for her nose and eyes, but there was also the woman sitting with her laptop on her lap, and instead of watching she was sending e-mails. I'm sure whoever she was responding to could wait 10 minutes. But in the end, when he was done, we all applauded equally, because we knew even though some might care more about this day than others, it was still a day to be remembered. No matter what we were doing at the moment the 44th president of the United Stated was sworn into office.

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Great Black Hope

Tomorrow we will finally get rid of the Bush and enter a new era of no Bush. Barack Obama will be sworn in as the 44th president of the United States, and as every news reporter feels the need to point out, also the first black president of The United States. I'd like to make a correction to all the news reporters, he's the first half black president of The United States. Besides the fact that I don't really care about his race, he's not black, he's got a little cream mixed in his coffee. So can we get off the race, and move on with actually hopefully having a president who speaks clear English, and is intelligent, and will hopefully dig us out of this pit of Bush we've been in over the past eight years….

Friday, January 09, 2009

Pee Pee on Your Face

Here is a guy who knows how to deal with problems. A 50 year old man in Willmar Minnesota was fed up with teenagers toilet-papering his house, so he filled a squirt gun with fox urine and sprayed the kids with it. The unfortunate part of the story is that the guy was charged with misdemeanor assault. It's a sad, sad world we live in, that doesn't allow someone to spray pee on people who are trespassing and vandalizing that persons property. As far as I'm concerned the guy (Scott Wagar) should get a parade.

- Full Story on MSNBC -

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Clueless Delivery People

Example 1:
Sitting in my office

Knock, knock
Me: Come in?
Person: Delivery for Javier.
Me: This is a vacant office and has been for a long time.
Person: So you’re not Javier
Me: (thinking, do I look like a Javier that would order a deliver to a vacant office) No

Example 2:
Walking back to my office, I come across the delivery girl with a stack full of boxes on a cart. She is standing next to it, typing on her delivery record. I stop, because she is blocking the hallway. She looks up to me, and takes a half a step, that I'm assuming is supposed to allow me enough room to walk past her. I might be skinny but I'm not that thin. So I open my arms and give her a look like, what do you want me to do. She then move again, giving me enough room.

Her: "Are you (enter some name here)?"
Me: "Nope, your just in my way" I say as I walk past.

Monday, January 05, 2009

iPhone Tool Dude

My "what a tool" winner of the day today, goes to the guy in the elevator who was so busy playing with his iPhone, that he forgot to hit the button for the floor he wanted, so he had to ride to the third floor before noticing it, hitting the button and having to ride back down. There is a life outside of the iPhone, so wake up you tool.