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Monday, December 28, 2009

'New Rainbow Rockford Files'

I have just discovered the plot line for the new 'Rockford Files'. By discover I mean that I just came up with the amazing idea.

So this is the whole deal. It seems that in the future, due to California's liberal definition of marriage, Jim and Angel are finally able to bring their relationship out of the shadows. After the two hour very special wedding episode the happy couple adopt three young boys. These young boys form the nucleus for the 'New Rainbow Rockford Files' you see one is Asian, the other Hispanic and the other African American. It is a can't miss and I think I see an Emmy in the future.

Monday, Dec 28, 2009

Good morning everybody, I hope you all had a good Christmas weekend and that the rest of the week is a good one. I know people are not done traveling around for the year so I hope the roads stay clear and everyone is safe for the rest of the time.

I normally do not address entertainment news on this blog. I have another one that I do not write on anymore where I tried to cover stuff like that back when I was unemployed. Needless to say now that I am working full time it is hard for me to be active on this one everyday though I try my hardest to keep it up. But, back to the matter at hand, I heard this morning on the radio that Hollywood is planning on remaking 'The Rockford Files' and I just do not know what to think. Well I know what my first reaction is and that is "How dare they?" In fact I was a little surprised at the intensity of my response.

In this particular case if I am understanding what I heard correctly they are remaking this as another television show. I think I would almost prefer a movie better. I enjoyed the film versions of both 'Starsky and Hutch' as well as 'The Brady Bunch'. But those were both played pretty heavy for the ironical comedy value and I do not see 'Rockford Files' making that work. Though my friends who also grew up with and love the show can get each other laughing pretty good talking about the show and bringing up things we remember about it. For me, one of the things I remember the most is an particular episode where some kind of tough guy was chasing Jim down and he ran into a bathroom. Now it was pretty common for Rockford to get knocked out or beaten up. That seemed to be a running joke on the show. But, in this case, Jim had a trick up his sleeve. He spread some liquid soap on the floor and then took roll of coins out of his pocket. Well the hoodlum came in and as he slipped on the soap Jim just cold-cocked him. The roll of coins blew up and Jim took off. I remember laughing and I still laugh thinking about it.

I think a main reason why the idea of a remake bothers me is that other then John Wayne there is not another actor that I enjoy watching like James Garner. I love him in the old 'Mavrick' series as well as his work in 'Support Your Local Sheriff'. I almost forgot to mention 'The Great Escape'. I think it is because as a child every time I turned on the television it felt like he was there. He is one of the last remaining old time actors and I think in some way George Clooney reminds me of him. I think they are different kinds of actors but they both have a certain likability.

Well my post took a strange turn today but that happens sometimes. I hope you all enjoyed a little trip down memory lane. If you get a chance this week watch a film or television show with James Garner. You will not regret it. Do not watch 'Tank' you will regret that but watch a different one.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Tuesday, Dec 15th, 2009

I am writing from the office this morning. I drove in which was probably a mistake but I made the choice to drive in my car and deal with the headache of traffic as opposed to taking the train and walking two blocks in the rain. I probably should have walked in the rain. It isn't like I do not have a rain coat or anything. Also having grown up in Oregon I am very aware that rain does not make you melt. So I think I opted for the mental stress of driving in the rain as opposed to the minor physical stress of walking in the rain. I think that is pretty lame on my part. I am going to have to try to get back on track. (hee,hee) Excuse me for a moment I believe my tasty, tasty coffee from Stumptown has finished brewing.

Ahhh. There we go. I know I have told you before about how much I love coffee so I will not bore you with the details. But just know that as I type it is coursing through my body and filling me its power!!! Though today the power does not mean a whole lot. I have lots of bits and pieces popping around in my brain but nothing that I can get focused on enough to write anything coherently about.

One thing I read about last night was about Mormons running for political office and the article talked both about Mitt Romney and Glenn Beck. I found it pretty interesting as it addressed also the amount of Mormons that work for the federal government in foreign service positions. It seems that the CIA recruits regularly at Brigham Young University (BYU) because their graduates fill a couple of different criteria. One being that they speak a foreign language and the other a college degree. This happens so regularly in fact that some countries have expressed concern about people returning to the country in foreign service positions after first being there as missionaries. So I found that a little bit fascinating but I try to not mix religion and politics. Though it is often hard to not.

What else? Oh yes... it seems that Glenn Beck has once again opened his mouth and inserted his foot. He compared his skepticism about climate-change to Galileo's struggle “to enlighten mankind that the earth wasn’t flat.” I have a couple of problems with this. The first being that Glenn Beck is in no way like Galileo. I am not even sure why he thinks he can justify thinking of himself this way. The other is that during Galileo's time everyone already knew the earth was round. To put it as simply as possible Columbus sailed the ocean blue in 1492. Galileo lived in 1564-1642 so I just have to wonder does he even write anything beforehand or is it all off the cuff. Because it isn't like this is the first time he has gotten basic history wrong. Just one example is his often misquoting of President Theodore Roosevelt and his famous line "speak softly, and carry a big stick" when Beck repeats it he says "Walk softly and carry a big stick".

Now I realize everybody makes mistakes. I do it often and I often will use a word incorrectly in a sentence hoping for a laugh or because I just was not taking the time to think before I spoke. The difference between myself and Mr Beck is that I do not have millions and I think it is millions of listeners an watchers and readers hanging on my every word. I do not have people repeating what I say like it is the gospel. I would like to think that if I was ever in that position I would have a team of researchers as well as some editors to help me make sure everything that I was saying on the air and writing in a speech or in a book was correct. Otherwise why would I do it?

I would hope that if his dog and pony show continues that he would spend some time on fact checking and getting things correct. Because as far as I am concerned he just seems like another entertainment personality and will most likely end up hosting Family Feud in another 20 years or so. But I could be wrong. Perhaps it is going to be Palin-Beck in 2012 or Beck-Palin. If so the world should be an interesting place.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Monday, Dec 14th, 2009

Monday morning and the world is rolling along. The Prime Minister of Italy Silvio Berlusconi got hit in the face over the weekend with a thrown statue. It seems that initially people thought he had been punched and I know there have been incidences of people being hit in the face with pies in Europe but I think this is the first time anyone has been statued.

I am not poking fun by any means at this because the Prime Minister broke his nose and was pretty shaken up by the attack. But it makes we wonder if I had ever been so upset to strike out at a political leader. I have been in a few fist fights over the years. I do not think I have had more fights then what is normal for boys growing up. So I can understand getting upset and squaring off against someone but this seems to be completely different then that. The obvious difference that the PM and the statue thrower did not square off and raise fists in the approved Louis L'amour style. Also the statue thrower was mentally ill so it is probably wrong of me to try to find a rational reason for the attack. But that does raise an interesting point. If someone strikes out at a leader are they by definition mentally ill? If you opinion is that they are then how do you account for differing political rebels over the years who have struck back against standing governments?

I know for a fact that in the case of the American revolution they built basically a legal case against the King of England that would allow them to begin the fight. So I would think it would be hard to make a case calling them mentally ill. Though I am sure there were people who did not believe in the cause and would have argued passionately that they were insane to even attempt such a thing. I sometimes wonder how upset I would have to be to take up arms against the big G Government. I know there are people very upset right now about the Obama administration just like there were people on the other side very upset about the Bush administration. There are also people very upset about the nature of Government in America and feel that the two parties are just different sides of the same coin.

I wonder what that would do to the world or America in general if there were to be another revolution in this country. I think that one of our strengths in America is that we have an election every four years and that helps us to not build to so much anger and frustration that violence is the result. It is going to be interesting to see what happens in the future as we move forward politically.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Ringing Silence of the Crickets!

*chirp, chirp* Can you hear that folks? It is the sound of nothing. That is right no response at all. I did not think I asked that hard of a question. I thought it was a pretty simple one actually. But, I understand people are busy and have a lot going on with the holidays and their daily lives. So I will forgive them this one time. But, if I am transgressed upon just one more time then the forgiveness will not be forthcoming. Now, as for Joel and Sherry, or Sherry and Joel because we all know ladies come first, I give them each a gold star and move them to the front of the class. I hope the rest of you realize what an honor this is for both of them and will strive to achieve the same. As for the others well "Your revolution is over! Condolences. The bums lost."

But back to the 2% tax idea. It is interesting to me to note that Sherry doesn't like the idea because she thinks:

"it's reasonable to ask those that make more to pay a higher percentage"

She also raised a good question about the absence of deductions and what that would mean for people with children as well as would it apply to corporations or just the workers. Both of these are valuable questions and ones that I do not have the answer to. I am in agreement with her on it being reasonable to ask people who make more to pay more. But, I think that the way the tax code is and the presence of deductions makes it so those that make more can often afford the lawyers they need to use the deductions to pay less then those who make less. One benefit I see of the flat-tax model is that with out deductions the wiggle room gets taken out. 2% is 2% and no amount of dancing is going to change that. So while it might be hard for some to pay that amount. I would think that for others we might actually be collecting more then they currently pay.

Now Joel coming at this from a more conservative position then Sherry states that:

"I would only support a flat tax if it replaced the system already in place. I cannot support more taxation, I can support a different type of tax, just not more."

That is a valid point Joel makes. He does not have a problem with taxes in general, he has a problem with the poor use or in some cases criminal use of these funds. I am in agreement with Joel on this, I feel that there are provisions in the Constitution that allow for the support of the populace and that the way this happens is by taxation. The differences for most of us come in to play when we start talking about the specific things that the money goes for.

When I think about the way we are taxed in the great state of Oregon I feel that if we were to drop the personal income tax and replace it with some form of a VAT or a Sales Tax we might just be better off in the long term. Now, that is just a hunch and I have not done extensive research on the issue but I would be willing to be educated so please feel free to let me know how I wrong I am please do so.

That is it for today. I hope everyone where ever you are has a good day and please feel free to join the conversation.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

A little more time.

I just wanted to thank Joel and Sherry for sharing their thoughts yesterday on the topic of the 2% flat tax. I am hoping that a few more people will throw their hat in the ring so I am going to hold off today on addressing my thoughts as they compare to theirs. So please folks if you are jumping in and reading please feel free to address yesterdays topic either on this blog post or the other but I would love to hear from you.

I think both Joel and Sherry raised some interesting points and were a fine example of the difference in thinking between a conservative and a liberal to use two really broad sweeping general words that do not really address who they are as people. But I am steering this train so I get to to use any words I want to. So get over it!!

Seriously though. Please add in let me know what you think and lets talk about it.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Glenn Beck and his 2% Flat Tax Plan

So on Dec 4th Glenn Beck was on the O'Reilly show and he floated the idea of a 2% Flat Tax tied to a balanced budget amendment that would go directly to the deficit for nor more then 10 years and would be a Constitutional Amendment. It was interesting watching these two, I will just use the word personalities, talk to each other. The exact words were that if we guarantee no more spending we need a tax to fix the deficit.

The first thing that I found surprising was that these two conservative personalities would put the idea of a flat tax out there. Now on the surface this sounds like a pretty good idea. But, I am not so sure. After I thought about it for awhile and read some things and talked to a few people I wonder how good it actually is. Putting aside the idea that it is odd that two leading conservative television hosts would advocate for more taxes. I found it odd that the amount infrastructure that would be needed to administer a flat tax is enormous. I was talking to my friend Steve about this idea and he raised an interesting point.

Steve said that regardless of whether or not you liked the idea of more taxes for what ever higher purpose. That the need for states and communities to have to develop a system to collect the flat tax revenue makes the idea a poor one. He countered with "why not, since the system is already in place nationwide to collect Federal Income Tax, why not just add 2% tax to that and earmark it strictly to go to the deficit." Steve thinks that the core base viewer for Beck and O'Reilly would not like them advocating for more taxes.

The more I think about it I think he is correct. Even if it is just on the logic side of things as how do you put together the infrastructure to collect that VAT. In some areas you would just be creating more government and we all know that the Beck style Conservative does not want to create more government.

There are lots of problems in America and one of the major ones is the deficit and how do we get out from under it. So, while it is interesting to hear figures throw out new ideas this one is not a workable one in my opinion. I also would like to hear from my readers. Do you think this is workable? What would work better? Why do you think we are in this position? Are we going to ever be able to actually get out of this hole? Please let me know your thoughts.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Monday, Dec 7, 2009

Good Morning folks, just wanted to drop you a quick note to let you know that I will not be writing today. I have to take care of some things this morning so I will be driving into work. But tomorrow I want to talk about something that Glenn Beck and Bill O'reilly (sp?) both floated last week and that is the idea of a 2% nationwide VAT earmarked in Becks case or tied to a balanced budget amendment and with a deadline of I believe 10 years. So I wanted to talk a little bit more about that and hopefully hear a little but about peoples thought on a VAT or Value Added Tax. So I will talk to you tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Tuesday, Dec 1st, 2009

Good morning, I hope everyone is well today. I am doing pretty good the morning after my birthday. I did not do much in the way of celebrating. I went to dinner with some good friends and that was nice. But overall this was not how I expected to be spending my 40th birthday week. I had envisioned a trip to the Oregon Coast and staying in a nice beach house or something along those lines but that did not happen.

I am going to do my best to not dwell on my family problems or keep going back to what is going on in my life but I ask you to bear with me because there are going to be times when that kind of thing just happens. It may happen more over this month with the holidays and everything going on. I just hope that I do not bore you with my complaining.

I heard an incredibly sad story this morning on the radio it was about the 15 year old girl in Richmond California who was gang raped outside of her homecoming dance earlier this year. The NPR show talked about the town itself and had a reporter who had grown up there go back to Richmond and talk to a few people including a couple of the students from the school itself. One of the students said "We do not want this to define us." My first thought was I can understand that but when a girl gets attacked for two hours and no one calls the police or even tries to intervene it is hard to not blame the whole school and the town for what went on.

The talked to a school councilor who said that in places that are poor or hard scrabble that it is easy to pick someone as an other and that they lose their humanity. That this often happens where men gather. She used that phrase twice. "Where men gather." I am not sure what she meant by that. Are all men to blame for the actions of a few young men? Anywhere there is injustice or crime in the world rape happens. That does not excuse it nor does it make all men culpable for the actions of a few men. Are all men just a few steps away from being a rapist if the opportunity strikes? I hope not. I certainly do not think that I would be capable of such an act. In fact I am unable to imagine myself being so out of control that this would happen.

So who is to blame? Do we blame society? Do we blame the families of the boys? Do we blame the girl for how she was dressed? Or MTV? Do we get philosophical and blame the fallen nature of man? Maybe the boys are just bad apples and regardless of their upbringing would have been rapists at some point. We all know that rape is not a crime committed solely by the poor. But what drives a person to cross that line?

These are the thoughts in my head today as I ride along on the train. These are not fun thoughts but they are my thoughts. It makes me sad that people are victimized all over the world for all kinds of reasons and I know that the only one whose behavior I can be sure of controlling is myself. I just hope I can be a member of society that gives back and does not take away. I hope we all can be that person and we all can look out for others who are being preyed upon and hurt. If we can all do these things then maybe just maybe we can make the world a little better for those around us.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Happy Birthday To Me?

Well. Well. Well. Look who is turning 40? That is correct my loyal readers. I am turning 40 years old tomorrow or today for those of you who are reading this tomorrow morning or this morning but I am writing this on Sunday night which is the 29th. My birthday is on the 30th. Now that we have that all cleared up.

So where do I begin? This has been quite the year. I graduated from Western Oregon University in June with a B of S in Political Science and a minor in Philosophy. I was super happy to get that done. I really enjoyed being in school and I liked the process of both doing research and writing papers about my research. I got involved with Model United Nations and school and eventually was the President of the club. I also really enjoyed that. I enjoyed going to conferences and speaking in public about what ever topic was at hand. So in the long run school was a really really good thing for me. What has not been so good is the amount of money I now owe in school loans. I went to a state school so my loans are even less then some. I hope I can pay mine off someday.

Let us see... Oh I also was married at this time last year. I never expected to be divorced. I never expected to be divorced at 40 years old and living alone. Well not totally alone I have two ferrets and a hamster. Maybe I shouldn't tell people that? But anyway, I am 40 years old and newly divorced and really at a crossroads in life. I am not sure what to do with myself. I like my job I find it interesting to be able to put things on the ballot and to let voters have a say in the democratic process. I like to think that I am helping the common man. I am also hoping that my work can help to make Oregon a better place in the long run. I hope that is the case down the road.

But as far as life outside of work? I am not sure what the future holds for me. I enjoy the blogging. I do not know if what I say or write down has any worth to other people but I enjoy doing it. Who knows maybe I am inspiring the youth. But all that to say. I am going to continue to blog and I am not really sure what form it will take. The political blogging bores me after awhile and I am not sure if me throwing my random thoughts out there is actually of any interest to people. But I am going to continue doing that I write with out a plan and I am crazy like that.

So look out readers!! I am not sure what to look out for but LOOK OUT!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Hot off the Press: Sizemore running for Gov.

I am surprised today. I just learned that Bill Sizemore is running for Gov of Oregon again. Some of you may recall that he ran in 1998 against Kitzhaber and was creamed.

Please read below

Bill Sizemore

I am just wondering what he is thinking. I am frankly amazed by this.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Monday (I'm Back)

Good Morning everybody, it is Monday and I am back on the train. I had an interesting week because I had a sick ferret and I was supposed to be giving him medicine in the form of an eye drop every six hours. Because of the nature of that schedule I felt like I needed to take him to work with me. So we drove in. Overall it was not horrible though one day there was a car fire in Lake Oswego/Tigard area and that really gummed up the works. So while it was nice to drive and have the ability to get home a little bit earlier then the usual. I do not think that the trade off was worth it. I much prefer the relaxation of the train and the ability to blog as we travel.

The debate is starting in the House on the Health Care bill so I think it is going to be interesting to see what comes out of this. I personally do not think that the democrats have enough votes to make this pass. I also think that the insurance companies are to entrenched and have to much at stake to allow this to pass. That is all my personal politics aside. I just think that the amount of money that is at stake will make it a little hard or the bill to get through. I had a friend tell me this weekend "that 97% of bills that make it to debate pass." But as usual with this friend who gets the majority of his news from Fox television and mainly Glenn Beck he was unable to tell me where that particular quote came from. He also just assumed it was valid. It may will be. But I always find it funny that he will throw out numbers but then is not able to tell me where they come from or who said them.

Speaking of Glenn Beck. He unveiled his "100 Year Plan" this weekend and I am going to be writing some about that as the week goes on. I found some of his ideas pretty interesting so I hope I can dig a little deeper into that and unpack it so we can see what it means and what he thinks its effects will be.

I am also looking forward to Thanksgiving even though this will be the first one in the last 8 years without Nicole. I imagine it will be at times both sad and happy. I will have a good chunk of my rather large extended family there and that is always a good thing. I hope she is able to have fun however she decides to spend it. In fact this whole holiday season is going to be an odd one and a substantial change from last years when everything seemed to be going so well. But I guess you never can tell what people or thinking or planning even if you think they are being honest with you about the future.

All that being said I hope we all have a good short week and I am looking forward to writing and to discussing some things with all of you.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Sick Ferret

Hey folks. I just wanted to give a quick heads up to my few loyal readers. I have a sick ferret that will be riding to work with me because I have medicine that I have to give him every six hours. So my posts are going to be pretty spotty for the next week or so. I will check in now and then but do not expect daily updates.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wednesday, Nov 11 2009, (Veterans Day)

I want to say thank you. I want to say thank you to the men and women who are serving and have served in Americas military. I have both family and friends that have served and are serving in different areas of all the branches and all personal politics aside these people are doing an extremely hard job. It is a job that frankly many of us do not want to do. But I feel that with the world being what the world is there is always going to be a need for some form of military or defense force or what ever term we want to use for armed people to protect us from the possibility of invasion. That being said I am putting a video below it is by Terry Kelly and it is about the Canadian Military but I think it is honoring to the military men and women all over this country. Please take a moment and view it.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Tuesday Afternoon

Well I am sorry you are sick Joel. I hope you feel better soon so that we can discuss the whole Dairy bailout issue. I think it is an interesting one and one that has some more validity given the way the fed has been throwing bailout money around.

I saw a poster on the MAX today for United Way and it said "Advancing the Common Good" , I thought that was a very interesting phrase. Now I know the idea of a Common Good is often used with a socialist position behind it. But I think that the whole idea of living in a society means that when the common good is advanced then we are all better off in the long run. I think for a lot of people the problem comes in when they feel like they are being forced to make that choice for the common good as opposed to choosing out of their own free will.

I just like the way that the phrase sounds "Advancing the Common Good". I hope that I can do just that with my life.

Tea for Tuesday.

I am shocked not one response yesterday. I guess people do not like dairy. I love a nice glass of milk or some Tillamook extra sharp cheddar cheese. But, I guess I am in the minority. I am not surprised by that. When you think at the extremely high level that I do you become used to being ahead of the masses.

Oh sure people get upset with me but that is because they do not understand the intricate nature of my thought process. The failing lies with them not with me.

Nothing much of interest with me today the radio seemed preoccupied with the Fort Hood memorial services and the motivations of the shooter. That is not a bad thing at all. I just did not find it really interesting to write about and I do not think I could add anything to the conversation. I will say this I think the US military may have to rethink some of their actions concerning Muslims serving in the military. At some point enough of these attacks and some of these actions start to constitute a pattern.

I am not wanting to debate the rights and wrongs I am just saying that when things began to happen on a regular basis then some sort of pattern starts to develop.

I think today is one of those days where I take a little nappy nap on the morning train. So I bid you good by.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Monday Afternoon

I am starting a little experiment. I am going to try to blog in the afternoons on the way home as opposed to just reading my book. I hope to respond to any comments or questions that have come in about the mornings post. But, if no one has made a comment or asked a question I may just free write or address something that I heard at work or on a topic that I am finding I was not able to really dig into in the morning session.

Today the main topic of conversation at work was the season finale of Mad Men. I will not go into specifics since I know that I have readers who are not caught up on it. But I felt like it wrapped the season up very nicely. It answered some questions I had as well as setting things up nicely for next year. I am really looking forward to it. In fact I think I may go home and start at season 1 and work my way through it until the beginning of season 4. Though I am sure I will finish all of the DVDs before the beginning of the next season.

The House passed the health care bill this weekend and one of my friends posted this response on his face book:

"YES! The House passed the Healthcare Bill the other day....One step closer to the Republican dream....outright taxation of the poor because of their poverty..."

I found this to be an interesting response. While I am well aware that he has his tongue firmly planted in cheek I know that he is a Republican and is firmly opposed to any form of governmental health care. So I am not sure if he is seeing an end result from this that I am not getting or what.

Other then that today was pretty light at work. The circulaters turned in their sheets and we verified some signatures. Oh today was also the day that the Berlin Wall fell 20 years ago. To put that into some kind of perspective for the younger readers of which I believe there are precisely none. The Internet was not a must have house hold item then and the wall fell primarily due to the grass roots efforts of the people in East and West Germany literally risking their live to actively tear down the wall. It was a pretty amazing event in my lifetime.

Well that is all for today. I hope I can continue this process and that the end result will be one I can be proud of.


It is Monday morning and we are back on the rails again. There were some very interesting stories on the radio this morning. The most interesting thing for me has to be the economic issues of Oregon Dairy Farmers.

According to oregonbusiness.com the dairy industry in Oregon has been struggling since the financial crisis drove down dairy prices last fall. The article notes :

"The average price paid to Oregon dairy farmers in 2008 was $20.11 per hundred pounds of milk; the average for 2009 to date is $10.94. Most farmers need prices in the $15 range in order to break even."

Those are some pretty amazing numbers to me. That is a 50% drop in price in the space on one year. The article goes on to note that when dairy was selling for $20.11 many farmers bought more cows and increased operations but the substantial drop in price is forcing many of them out of business. A farmer in Rickreall is quoted as saying that he is losing between $6,000 and $8,000 a day, totaling $1.2 million so far in 2009.

What I find most interesting about this is that this farmer and some others across the country are calling for more price regulation to stop the cycle of boom and bust. I know that I have readers on both sides of this issue. I have one reader in particular who works within the dairy industry and I want to hear peoples thoughts on this issue. The way things stand right now there is what the article called a modest bailout coming for the industry from the federal government of $290 million in direct payments and $60 million to buy cheese.

That does not seem modest to me at all. I guess the question for me is since the precedent has apparently been set for bailouts is this not even something to worry about. Or are bailouts for agriculture a completely different issue and one that should be encouraged since it is a food and health issue? I am not sure what to think. I realize that the basic issue behind the price drop is that when prices went up farmers increased productivity and caused a glut in the market and that glut caused a price drop which is now forcing farmers out of business because they are still paying off loans they received while trying to capitalize on the price hikes.

So can we expect a new price hike once this glut goes away? Are we better off forcing a static price of say, $18, or is it better for the market and the country as a whole to ride the waves of boom and bust?

Friday, November 06, 2009

Freaky Friday

Boy oh boy, I had an unpleasant drive this morning. A storm came roaring in from the coast and while it was moving east at a good clip it felt like I drove through the center of it on the way to the train station. I had the wipers on full blast and just sheets of water on the road and flying off of my and the other drivers tires. I am glad to be sitting on the train. It looks like it is letting up now I just hope it will be a little less stormy on my drive home.

Sad news yesterday about the shootings at Fort Hood. I am not going to say anything about the supposed motivation of the shooter. I do not know and we may never truly know why this happened. This is not the first time something like this has happened and it will not be the last time. The one thing that it does for me is make me realize that while my problems may seem pretty huge and emotionally debilitating to me. I am still alive, I am still relatively healthy and I have the majority of my family around me. I hurt for the families of the slain. I hurt for the family of the shooter. The questions going through every ones mind with no answer must be truly maddening.

To go through life is hard enough without people hurting each other. There is so much pain on a daily basis and this incident just serves to highlight that we need each other. That we need to surround each other and prop each other up through times of unrest and violence. We are all humans and deserve the same dignity that we want to be treated with.

I realize that I am rambling here. There is a lot going on inside my head today. I hope everyone has a good day and a better weekend and I to see you all here on Monday.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Thirsty Thursday

Good morning folks, I am sorry I was unable to write yesterday we are in the process of moving offices at work and I needed to drive in.

That being said on to the topic at hand. Which is? I read an interesting article on another blog that I read now and then called Blue Oregon. Now Blue Oregon is a very liberal blog and centers primarily around issues within Oregon though they do address some national issues as well. There was an article last week about how Portland needs to be more diverse.

I found this interesting because it generated a large amount of comments about how bad Portland is and how there needs to be more diversity amongst its population. But I think people are missing the point completely here. The article was focused on African American diversity and the amount of African Americans in Portland is about 6% of the total population. It does not take into account the large number of Asians, Hispanics, and Europeans that live in Portland. That in and of itself is a problem for me in the article.

But I think the biggest problem for me is the idea that the diversity of a city can some how be artificially controlled by the people who live there. My first thought was how are the residents of Portland supposed to attract people. Even more how are they supposed to attract the right kind of people for the diversity that the author obviously wants? This is the article.

I do not think you can manufacture diversity and Portland and the Pacific Northwest in general is not an area that has ever attracted a large African American population. In fact I believe that the majority of people who have moved here came during WWII and were working in the shipyards. That as a matter of fact is how my family came to be here from North Dakota.

What are we going to do, start busing people in so that we can raise the diversity level to a healthy 15%? Or is that not high enough. Would it be even better if we could attract an African American educator who wants to start an African American University here? It just seems to me that only in a city like Portland would there be a discussion about how not diverse enough they are and how can we manufacture something artificially that really should not be manufactured.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Tee-rific Tuesday

Lets jump right in. I heard on the radio this morning that Warren Buffett purchased Burlington-Northern Railroad for 44 Billion dollars. I found that pretty interesting news. The announcer said that Buffett has always been interested in companies that produce things people need. He owns Dairy Queen and companies that produce underwear and sell diamonds and steel. When it is put in those terms it is pretty obvious to me how he has made so much money. I am sure there are lots of intangibles when it comes to making money but he sure seems like he has a good handle on what makes money and what doesn't. When asked about the purchase Buffett said, "It's an all in wager on the economic future of the United States."....."I love these bets."

Another thing of interest this morning was that the announce said that the trains have always been a early warning system for the state of the economy. He said that three years ago the freight business started to fall off right before the recession hit and now it is starting to grow back. It is going slowly but it is going. So that was good news. But what I found most interesting was the fact the President Obama has said that he wants to pursue a high speed rail system here in America.

As all of my regular readers know, I am a huge fan of the rail. I think America made a huge mistake in the years following World War II in not building a rail system that moves passengers at a high speed, the naysayers will tell you that it is not cost effective and that it moves to slow. But I would argue that while that can be said and is true of todays rail system, that building a system that moves people up and down the I-5 corridor would in the long run help out the state of Oregon and probably help out the USA as well. I think ultimately traffic would ease up and traffic easing up on I-5 would benefit all of us. But for the train to work it is going to have to be a generational thing and could take several years for people to get into the habit of train riding. But once they do there weould be a steady flow of riders coming from Salem and beyond into Portland to work and be entertained.

It is going to be interesting to see what happens in the future with transit and population and the cost of gasoline. If the cost of fuel continues to rise then I am sure that we see more credence given to the idea of a high speed train system. I for one certainly hope that is the case.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Mundane Monday

Good Morning Oregon and the world!! I hope everyone is well this Monday after Halloween. I had an absolutely great drive this morning. While it was partly foggy there were areas where the sun was breaking through and those areas were very nice looking. Traffic was light and seemed to be flowing along nicely and overall it is shaping up to be one of those nice November days that are cold and clear. These are the kind of days that makes it nice to be an Oregonian. All of you who are not from here I would recommend that you come visit. But, please do not move here. It is hard enough trying to get the Californians out of here.

I mean really, I understand that California sucks but pick a different state. Maybe Arizona the weather is more your speed and it is so warm the the ladies wear much less clothing then they do here. It also gets dark and rainy here for a good 9 months out of the year. Oh it is horrible the people who were born here are all pale and hairy with a winter mane. Why just last week I saw a gentleman with a rain coat on and shorts underneath it. Now I ask you what person would want to live in a state like this. There are brewpubs on nearly every corner and the only thing that there appears to be more of then the brewpubs is the coffee houses. I do not mean the dreaded corporate dragon Starbucks either there are actually genuine locally owned coffee houses. I am pretty sure that Starbucks is like Kentucky Fried Chicken, I think they put a substance in their coffee to make you crave it fortnightly.

I have managed to avoid their evil by growing and refining my addiction to the beans of Java. The beans that give me life and intellect. Why just the smell of that freshly brewed cup of coffee is enough to begin to clear the fog from my mind. Then as the coffee crosses my lips and flows over my tongue and down into my gullet its true power is released. The transfer of energy begins and the coffee gives me its gift.

"Thank you Lord of Coffee, thank you for the power that you have given me today." Wait, what's that you say? I will need more coffee tomorrow and probably the day after that? Stronger doses? What does that mean? Soon I will be drinking black coffee like some kind of longshoreman. I highly doubt that. What would the point be if I am unable to add sugar and some cream to it? It does not even taste that good. That will not matter to me. I really doubt it. Oh, my head will hurt so much that I will dump the coffee into a glass and pour hot water over it so that I can get it into my body faster. Why, that doesn't make any sense. I would stop enjoying it. Oh, but I will not stop drinking it because my life will have no pleasure if coffee is not in it.

"It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion. It is by the Beans of Java that thoughts acquire speed, the hands acquire shaking, the shaking becomes a warning. It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion." (stolen from unknown source with apologies to Frank Herbert)

They sell coffee at the train station. I will get a cup there. Just to keep my hands warm of course. Just to keep my hands warm.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


Hello again, hello. I am coming to you today from the chair in the living room. I am driving to work today so I thought I would get something out rather then skipping it entirely.

I tried to watch the Daily Show last night. I noticed it was on and thought I usually enjoy that so I will watch it again. But I am not sure what happened. There were parts that I found humorous but overall it really seemed to be lacking for me. There was a section of the show where Jon Stewart was talking about the first speaking engagement of our last President Bush. Now I am well aware of the idea that President Bush as a public speaker does lend itself to some humor but in this case the Daily Show seemed almost mean about it. I think what bothered me is that I like things to be a little clever. I am not above mocking someone or something and I often find that kind of humor pretty funny. But, this seemed pretty mean spirited. Which, while they are a comedy show, seemed out of line from a show that has largely risen above the pettiness that seems to have infested the other political shows like Olbermann and Beck.

The new just showed President Obama at Dover Air force Base he was there to honor some of the latest soldiers that were killed in Afghanistan I believe. It was interesting to me because they showed him saluting as a coffin was carried past. Now I believe that in the years prior to Vietnam they used to show the coffins of dead military personal on the news as sort of a tribute to there efforts on behalf of the country. But, I think, correct me if I am wrong that the amount of military killed and the anger the Vietnam was generating caused the presidential administration at the time to move to stop the practice. I wonder if we should go back to showing the service men and woman come home. I think that it is to easy to forget that we have people dying on foreign soil and in a America whose military is composed of volunteers it really seems easy to forget that the people who are being killed are more then just statistics.

They just mentioned on the news that the United Nations General Assembly voted against the U. S. embargo of Cuba. This is not a surprise the vote was 187-3 with only Israel and Palau supporting the U. S., I find this interesting because this is the 18th year in a row that they have condemned it. My problem with the embargo is that if we were being consistent about how we were treating communist countries we would be embargoing China instead of Cuba. I submit that China by far is a bigger threat to us. I will grant you that Castro is not a nice man and he is not deserving of our friendship but it just makes no logical sense for us to treat China differently then Cuba. Wait let me note that it makes economic sense because Cuba does not have millions of dollars of our debt and American companies doing business there.

That's all I got folks, have a good day.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Journalistic Integrity?

Good morning friends, I have mentioned before that I have been listening to three types of radio on my way to work and coming home each day. These are basically conservative, moderate, and liberal though to be fair NPR does lean more to the liberal but I like that there stories tend to be a little deeper and thoughtful and not so full of the propaganda that either side likes to throw around.

That being said the lady on the liberal station that is on after work was going on and on last night about Rush Limbaugh and several passages that he had read from what he thought was President Obamas thesis from Columbia. Here is the passage,

" ... the Constitution allows for many things, but what it does not allow is the most revealing. The so-called Founders did not allow for economic freedom. While political freedom is supposedly a cornerstone of the document, the distribution of wealth is not even mentioned. While many believed that the new Constitution gave them liberty, it instead fitted them with the shackles of hypocrisy."

Now Limbaugh read this passage on the air and then went on a rant about Obama and the damage that he is doing to America. It was not that his rant was any different then other rants but word soon came down that the quote was actually not real. That it in fact was completely made up. It was taken from a blog called Jumping in Pools.

Well it seems that this is a blog that does mainly satire. I looked it over and really was unimpressed with the level of humor or even cleverness in it. But that is a story for another day. But, why I bring this up is because this whole so called thesis was completely made up by them. Once Limbaugh found out this was his response

"So, I can say, "I don't care if these quotes are made up," "I know Obama thinks it."

Now, while it may very well be true that this is what Obama thinks. I think the bigger issue here is integrity. Should not a news show actually do research and verify what they put on the air. I know there are people who feel that what is on liberal radio or conservative radio is all truth all the time. So I wonder should he not apologize rather then just attack. I understand being embarrassed when egg hits your face. It has happened to me before. But I do not claim to be a journalist. I am not held to any kind of standard. I can write and often have about whatever garbage I want to write about. But even then if I knowingly say something that I am wrong about I will do all I can to correct it.

It seems to me that Mr Limbaugh is doing just the opposite of this. I could be mistaken and if I am please let me know. But do it gently please. I am very sensitive. I promise to print a full retraction if that is the case.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Terrific Tuesday!!!

I got nothing today. Last night was one of those nights were you feel like you never really fell asleep. I woke up at 4:30 and my first thought was what is going on. I should still be asleep. So I rolled over and then the alarm went off and now I am sitting on the train but havinb a hard time keeping the old peepers open.

I was going to write about the French going after Scientology but I am just to tired for that. I will see you tomorrow.

Monday, October 26, 2009


It is Monday morning and I wasted a good part of my morning writing time trying to come up with a clever title for today. As you can see. I was unable to come up with one. I like to write and I am well aware that some days I do better then others. But it kills me sometimes to try to come up with a title each day. I tried initially to title each post related to riding on the train but I eventually gave up on that. I just had to hard of a time coming up with something new so I am now just throwing up the days of the week. I know it is pretty clever.

I had a nice weekend at the coast. It was basically just one night but it was nice to get away and the people I was with are super good people. I have known them all for years and I usually have a great time with them and this weekend was no different. I played some craps at the casino and basically broke exactly even. So that was fun as well. I would have liked to win some money but I am willing to break even that is better then losing.

I just realized that next Sunday is Daylight Savings Time. I believe that it is Fall Back. So we lose an hour. I have a question for people in that regard. What is the point anymore of Daylight Savings? I understood that we needed it to some degree in the days of old when it came to farmers and people wanting to get their work done during the daylight hours. But, what is the point now? We have electric light bulbs and we are able to work when it is dark. Stores are open later and it seems to me tat we do not need it. Why not just leave the time the way it is? Does anyone have an answer for me?

I wanted to thank those of you who answered my time travel question last week. I thought all of you answers were very interesting. It seems like a fair amount of the fiction I read involves time travel of some sort. I wonder why people find the idea so fascinating? I like the idea of people going back in time and bringing their modern ideas and equipment with them. To me that is more interesting then people coming forward in time and being unprepared for what the future has for them. I also like the idea of being able to go back in time and change what is happening in the future with a new idea or new political plans. Not that things are going to always be better but that things would change and I wonder if some of the newer political ideas would work or if things would be pretty much just the same.

In political news it seems that some people are concerned about something coming up in Stockholm and that President Obama may be giving away America. That at least is what Lord Brockton is saying. He appears to be popping up all over the internets. I have not done deep research into it but it seems like people are making a mountain out of a molehill to me. I just do not think that, as I have mentioned before, in a 4 to 8 year span President Obama is going to really be able to fundamentally change America. The latest whispers I have heard is that this is a first step to a one world government. I really hope people are mistaken but then my cynical side kicks in and I think well we already have a one world government it is one controlled by the corporations, I would like to be wrong about that as well. But I feel like that is closer to the truth then anything else is.

On that happy note I will leave you as we are going to be pulling into the station. So I ask you please, explain the point or need of Daylight Savings Time in modern day and your thoughts on what is going on in Stockholm. (One paragraph Van) :) I will talk you you later.

Friday, October 23, 2009


Well it is Friday and we have made it through the week. I am looking forward to the weekend. A good friend of mine is turning 40 and I will be joining him and his family at the coast. Which is what I did last week as well. This is going to be an interesting year in that most of my friends are turning 40 and I will be doing the same. I think I have heard that 40 is the new 30 so I should be fine. Maybe I will get myself a new tattoo or a convertible. I actually doubt I will do either of those things but you never know I guess.

I do not have much to comment on today. The car ride was a little but unfun with the rain and the other cars driving like it wasn't raining. The radio was not very interesting this morning either. There was some talk about the Portland Beavers and the Portland Timbers and the trouble with finding a stadium for the Beavers to move to and how Beaverton is split in terms of wanting it or not wanting it. I am excited about the idea of the Timbers becoming a Major League Soccer (MLS) franchise but I could really care less about minor league baseball. I like sports and I like baseball but the Portland Beavers as a whole have never been very interesting to me.

While the idea of MLS coming to Portland excites me quite a bit. I know there are some mouth breathers out there who do not like soccer. So for them I say. Nuts to you and bite my tongue at them. I think the bottom line with soccer is either you get it or you do not. If you do not get it then there is no way to make someone get it. That being said all the cool kids love soccer!!

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Well first off I want to say thank you to the two readers who took the time to answer my question about going back in time. Both Joel and Travis highlighted some historical events that I did not even think of so that was pretty neat. I just wish more of you would have responded.

Well on my daily quest for radio diversity I heard some interesting things. On the liberal station they talked to one of the candidates for the upcoming Oregon Gubernatorial election a man whose name completely escapes me right now. Which does not bode well for him. In a state like Oregon with an ex-Governor running again as well as the founder of Soloflex and the former Secretary of State name recognition is going to be huge and the name of a former business man for Hewlett Packard with no previous government experience is not one that people know. I just heard his name no less then 10 minutes ago and I am totally drawing a blank. I can remember the other candidates names but I am going to opt to not name them for fairness sake.

On the conservative side of the dial they talked about the recent federal governments plan to not go after medical marijuana users. I thought that was fascinating for several reasons. Lets see, leaving aside the moral issues of the drug as well as the differing positions as to whether or not it should be legalised and taxes. I think it all comes down to states rights or Federalism. In Oregon voters have voted to legalize marijuana for medical use. That is our right as a state. Now my personal choices aside and in this case I am in favor of medical marijuana. The key for me is that the state decided not the federal government.

I realize that my position may not be consistent in that I am in favor of the federal government controlling some things. But, I feel that way primarily because the states control so little that any step toward letting a state decide is a good one. I understand that there are most likely bigger issues at stake then letting a state decide to allow the use of medical marijuana or not and it isn't that the federal government is saying that marijuana is legalized but it means that they are not going to be spending resources on pursuing sick and terminal people who just want a little bit of relief.

That is all I have this morning on a foggy Thursday. I hope everyone has a good day. I will talk to you tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Good morning folks. I am sorry that I missed you yesterday. I ended up driving myself to work because I had to pick up papers from the elections office. I am sure you believe me when I say that I would have rather ridden the train. It is not that the drive was bad. It actually went very smoothly but I like being able to write for you folks and I am not able to do that and drive at the same time.

I mentioned before that I like to listen to basically three different radio stations as I drive to the train station. One is National Public Radio (NPR), the other is Portlands progressive station whose numbers I am unable to remember and the third is Portlands conservative station that play Lars Larson and Rush Limbaugh and the like. So I was attempting to do just that as I was driving but it was a rough trip. NPR was and is doing there fund raising drive. It isn't that I dislike the fund raising because I understand the need for it but it is the fact that it seems to go on and on. So I switched over to the liberal station but that seemed to be all commercials. The funny thing is that both of those stations seemed to be playing the same commercials. Which surprised me. I would think the marketing would lend itself to a different audience but I guess I was mistaken.

So I switched to the conservative station and they were talking about what they would like to be able to see or record if they could go back in time with a camera. I found that the most interesting. They talked about going back and seeing dinosaurs and seeing if it was really a comet that wiped them out. A caller mentioned being in the Oval Office and seeing how much advance notice we really had about Pearl Harbor. I found that an interesting idea. Some one mentioned spending a day with Jesus and his disciples or with DaVinci or perhaps Mozart as they were creating something. There was another caller who wanted to find out who had grounded the planes on 9/11 but the announcers rightfully brushed that person off because it would not have been beneficial to get derailed into that discussion.

But, what I found most interesting was the person who mentioned returning to the moon and taking some new pictures with a color camera in high definition. I thought wow that would be pretty neat to see those pictures as opposed to the grainy black and white footage that we have now. But all that being said I am hoping for some interaction from my readers. So here we go. I would like you to list the 5 times or places that you would like to go back to and either take part in or just watch as a fly on the wall. They can be in any order of preference but just try for 5 please. To get us started here are mine.

1. The signing of the Declaration of Independence.
2. The joining of the transcontinental railroad.
3. Hitler in his bunker at the end. ( Just to see if he was crazy or not)
4. Do anything with Ben Franklin
5. The first Super Bowl win for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Those are mine folks for better or for worse. Please tell me yours.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Monday, Monday

Good morning everyone, to this foggy Monday. At least it is foggy where I am in Wilsonville sitting on the train waiting for us to leave the station. I hope you all had a fine weekend and got some relaxation in.

I was down at the Oregon coast in a small town called Pacific City with some friend for a 40th birthday. The funny thing is I will also be down at the beach for the same thing this coming weekend. That should be fun. It will be a time of board games and relaxation so I am looking forward to it.

There was not much to listen to on the radio this morning. The Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB) station that I listen to some mornings is in the middle of a fund drive so that was out though they did talk a little bit about Iran and the Uranium enrichment and a plan to send some of the Uranium to Russia and France for enrichment and then have it returned to be used in medical isotopes. I think that is an interesting idea. One that I hope Iran can agree to. But one never knows how these diplomatic things will pan out and the suicide bomber attack on the Iranian Royal Guard from a Pakistani really just complicates things right now.

I also listen to a conservative station in the morning but I did not manage to make it over there today. I did make it to the AM 620 station which bills itself as Portlands only progressive radio station. Which is funny to me because when I first heard that said I thought it was "aggressive" radio and really that is pretty true. Today they were discussing a new business venture in Seattle, Washington that sells deeds for different circles in Hell. These deeds people can buy as a gift and give them to others in a framed certificate. It is a funny idea and one that will probably make the creator of this plan a nice sum of money. But what struck me as odd was that the first thing the broadcaster did was wonder what circle Glenn Beck would be in. Now I am no fan of Glenn Beck, I have complained about him in the past and I know that broadcasters talk to their core audience and I am definitely not the core audience of either conservative radio or progressive radio. But, it just seemed a mean spirited attack to say that Glenn Beck would be on the crying circle of Hell. I am all for going after a man for his politics. But, I see no reason to mock anyone because they get emotional when they are discussing an issue that is important to them.

It may be that I take this a little closer to home because anyone who knows me, also, knows that I am a crier. But, I do not think that my getting emotional takes away from the validity or importance of something I am trying to say. Now I realize some of my readers may feel that Glenn Beck is just putting on a show and that may very well be true. But, if he is crying for a show I think it is hurting more then helping him.

That being said I do not like Glenn Beck and I think he is hurting the country overall with his antics. I have to be fair and note that he began his anti big government run during the Bush administration but he seems to have really hit his stride with the Tea Party and the 9-12 movement stuff. If you as me he is gearing himself up to run for some sort of office on a back to the Constitution platform. One of limited government and fiscal responsibility. I hope I am wrong but I also hope I am right so that I can tell people see Glenn Beck is just like all the rest of us. He is looking for himself and wanting to rise to power. So we shall see what happens but I feel like it is something that I want to keep an eye on.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


Hey folks. No blog today I drove myself into work. Have a meeting after work. I hope everyone is well and I can spill my wisdom all over your brains tomorrow!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Sorry about the lack of an update yesterday. I was feeling a little under the weather and I did not make it to work. I am feeling better today and I hope you all are well.

Lots of interesting goings on this week so far. This morning on the radio they talked about a move to tax soda-pop I believe a penny an ounce per serving. The reasoning they were using were the same as the reasons for the different tobacco taxes. Health reasons. Now I believe that I have had this conversation before when it comes to taxing tobacco. I do not smoke. Well, lets be clear I do not smoke cigarettes but I do have a pipe and I smoke that now and then usually a nice vanilla black Cavendish that smells oh so nice. But that isn't the point. The point is that I understand why there is a desire to tax tobacco and a large reason is the idea of second hand smoke and that a person who does not smoke can still get lung cancer. But soda-pop is different. I can go to a store and not have someone blow soda-pop into my face. I am not going to get cancer from drinking soda-pop and if my friend drinks it next to me I am not going to have to taste it against my desires.

I think we are all well aware that America has a obesity problem. But, where do we stop once we began to tax soda? Do we tax candy? Do we tax potato chips? Where do we separate the line from looking out and preventing known disease causing agents and from just controlling people so that they are unable to eat how they like? I realize that my questions are just opening up a can of worms. But I wonder is there an answer or should what one eats or drinks be a totally personal choice that other people should mind their own business about?

That being said I shall continue to sip my coffee that I am horribly addicted to and the government can have when they pry it from my cold dead fingers!!

Monday, October 12, 2009

From the Living Room...........

Hello folks! Well thanks to the WES and Trimet my train is not running due to maintenance I should say that my normal train at 7:49 is not running. Which leaves me to either catch the 7:19 or the later train which runs at 8:21 which would make me late to the office. Now we all know how important it is to me to get to work on time so that I can continue to make the world safe for Democracy!!

All that being said, it means that I am writting this in my living room because I am going to be driving myself up to the office today. I hope I am back on track tomorrow. haha Nice one Lance, back on track. I am so funny. I do not have much else to report. I hope you all had a good weekend and remember to take a deep breath now and then and walk away from the internet and the politics and the stresses about the future of America and the world as we know it. Just take a moment to live in the now and not worry about the future.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Gentlemans Folly

Hey everybody. I must confess that I have a bit of a plan in mind as I sat down to write on the train this morning. But, I realized that I do not write very well with a plan in mind. At least I do not think I do. There may be a few of you out there who feel like I never write very well and to those I say psshaw!! I shall do as I like. Good day to you sir! I said good day!

Back to the point. I tend to do everything from the seat of my pants. When I have had to give speeches I would often write down my speech and then promptly leave it in my pants pocket as I would then just talk about what ever popped into my head. I am not sure if that was the best way to give speeches but I always did well in class. It worked for me.

I heard on the radio this morning that President Obama received the Nobel price for Peace yesterday. I am not sure what to make of that. I think it is to soon in his administration to give such an award. Now, some of you that think the award in and of itself is silly are going to say it doesn't matter when he received it because recognition from an international agency is a waste of time. Others, are going to say that this is a great thing and that the USA is finally moving toward a time of unilateral diplomacy rather then might making right. All the politics of the issue aside I am thinking it is too soon for such an award. I mean lets wait and see for a year or two to even see if the policies that he has implemented are even effective.

I am not going to go deep into the pro Nuke/No Nuke argument but I am not even sure that a completley nuclear free world is the safest world possible. I may have to explore that thought later.

Thursday, October 08, 2009


Just a short note to let my 3 to 7 readers know that my head is feeling a little foggy this morning and I do not foresee any writing going on. I hope everyone has a good day.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

A Czar To Far, One Czar To Many

I was listening to the radio this morning and they were talking about a Congressional hearing concerning the advisors or, "CZARs" if you are Glenn Beck, that President Obama has hired. It was an interesting listen. Both Bush Sr and Jr hired multiple czars and I imagine that many of the presidents before them did as well. So I am not sure if this is a new argument or just one that I am paying more attention to.

It seems like the biggest complaint from critics of the system is that these people are unelected. That they are chosen by the President and that there is no accountability. But I wonder if that is people getting to worked up over basically a non issue. I can understand being concerned with the appointment process of the Surpreme Court. They make laws that affect the entire country. Now while it is true that these Czars advise the President and in doing that they may have some effect in the policies of the country I just do not think it is the same thing.

I think it would be good for the President to have several advisors coming from different areas on an issue so that he could hear multiple sides of said issue. If a decsion is made that is made by the President. The Czar can not and does not make policy. In affect anything or anyone the President listens to on any given day on any given subject is an advisor or sorts. These Czars are in a position of having the Presidents ear. That is true. But they can't direct troops, they can't make laws, they can't enforce anything.

To be worked up about this when there are so many other issues going on right now makes no sense to me.

That is my two cents. I woke up late today. I was moving part of last night into a little house near where I was living before. It isn't ideal but nothing about this whole situation is ideal. Things may change in a few weeks or months but for now this is the best plan for both cost and piece of mind. I hope that living alone I can reach some sort of mental clarity and begin to figure out what is going on. I do not have high hopes of that but you never know stranger things have happened. But, for now I have a bed in the house and my TV and entertainment center and my XBOX and my laptop. That is it short of a few clothes. I feel like the house has some potential not that I am an interior decorator but once I get some furniture in that will make a difference.

That is it for today. I hope you are well. I leave you in the capable hands of the Snuggler

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

The Beans of Java

Good morning readers, I hope everyone had a nice weekend and you were all able to be either productive or relaxed or perhaps a bit of both. It looks to be another pretty day today. This time of year is one of my favorites. I love the cold and sometimes foggy mornings and the clear sunny days. I like being able to wear a pair of shorts and a jacket. I wish that the valley was like this all year. I do not mind the rain. But there is just something about this type of weather that I really like.

The brightness of the sun coming through the window makes it hard to see my screen this morning. It always makes me laugh when I see the ads on TV for laptops or internet service and someone is outside in a park just computing away. I realize things might work differently for other people but I can hardly see me screen outdoors let alone type on it. I have been interested lately in buying one of those mini laptops. They look like the perfect thing for blogging on the train. They are light and easily portable. We will see what happens. I need to type on one for awhile and see if I am actually able to do that since I have such big hands.

More geese flying along the tracks this morning. What an amazing site that always is to me. The way that they fly in formation and sail along looking so effortless. It is always fascinating to me as well when I watch them from inside the train or a car or the house how silent they look. I intellectually know that there is noise going on and that they are honking and their wings are flapping but when seen from the inside of the train car they appear to be sailing silently through the air, Almost magnificent creatures, using the wind to soar on.

Some of the leaves have started to turn color and I am enjoying watching the change of season as well. I am looking forward to some snow I just hope I can get to Wilsonville when that happens. Several bikes on the train this morning it is going to be interesting to see how long they are going to ride for. If they are riding when the weather gets rainy the train car will turn to a sauna with the steam from the wet clothes. That should be some fun riding.

Sorry for nothing exciting to report today. I did not hear anything that really got me going this morning. I will chat with you tommorow I am sure.

Monday, October 05, 2009


I am driving today so no blog post. I apologize for any inconvenience.

Friday, October 02, 2009


Today on the way to the train I was listening to NPR and they talked to a women who had worked in a lumber mill in the Washington coastal town of Cosmopolis. I found the name of the town fascinating. I have no idea how it was named or even how the town was founded. I did a quick Google search and found the Wikipedia entry that I linked but other then that I did not not find anything. I fully intend to do a deeper search later.

I also heard today that President Obama was in Copenhagen to find out if Chicago was going to get the 2016 Olympics and my first thought was..........big deal. *shrug* When I was a kid I remember being very excited about the 1984 Olympics in L A. But since then I have not really cared. I am not sure if that is a sign of me growing older or of the world changing and the impact of the Olympics meaning less and less. I know a lot of my earlier interest in the Olympics and sports in general is due to my mother. Often my friends would and still do tease me about my knowledge of figure skating as well as professional bowling and tennis. In fact I think I know or knew anyway more about figure skating then most hetrosexual males have any right to. :) In my parents house growing up if there was a figure skating event on the television my mother and I watched it. Since I moved out on my own I have not watched figure skating. I do not think I miss it but thinking about it does bring up some fond memories of my youth.

As per usual my section of the train car seems to be empty this morning. I do not know why. Perhaps it is the growling sounds I make as I type this and when I write a sentance that I like I let out with a "WOOP! WOOP!" people do not seem to apriecate that. Well it is their loss if they do not understand my genius. I realize few do. But one day like Nesse rising to the top of the Loch my genius will surface and the world will tremble in fear!!! "WOOT! WOOT!"

Why are people staring at me? Oh! There I go again spraying my genius around the train car.

WOW! The train is going through some fog and there are some geese flying along next to us through the trees. That is pretty cool. It was a nice image to see on a Friday morning. I actually dug the winter hat out today and plopped it on the head. I am also wearing a jacket thing so it must be a little bit chilly today.

Well I hope everyone has a good weekend and I will see you all on Monday.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

And Now Back To Our ..............

Good morning everyone. I hope you enjoyed the brief interlude into the adventures of L. Andrew C, gentlemen philosopher and adventurer. I hope to be able to continue his adventures at a later date. So any feedback as to interest or enjoyment or even if you felt it was a waste of time please feel free to comment.

I hope that the absurdity of the writing was a nice break for people from all the stress in the news with the health care debate and Iran playing around with nukes and General Macrystal (sp?) calling for more troops in Afghanistan. I really am truly glad to be back on the train and able to blog again. While last week was a good one and beneficial in terms of getting work done and for the future of VOTE Oregon (Protecting the Electorate since 2009), as well as a shorter commute. I really missed the time I have on the train to sit and write and share my thoughts with my readers.

I know some of you read this everyday and I am thankful for that. Those of you who read me every few days I am thankful for that as well. I just had some thoughts about last week. I would say that I was in the minority in the room. Not in terms of race or religion but in terms of politics. You see this was a predominately conservative group of people. The room demographics seemed to break down like this. The majority of volunteers being both Seniors and Republicans. Then there was one or two, at most, senior Democrats followed by some middle-aged Republicans and then some younger college age Republicans. Now where does that leave me? Well I am an registered Oregon Independent Party member. So I found most of the discussions pretty interesting.

But I want to step away from the political positions of the people and just take a look at the people in the room. What we had was a very diverse group of people who took the time to volunteer in this effort. There were ex-military men, School teachers, farmers, housewives, small business folks as well as college students. What tied all of these people together was their belief in the Oregon System. In Oregon the referendum system is often the only way that the minority can be heard in Government. Some would argue that the system is to messy and results in laws that are not needed and often wasteful.

I would counter that the nature of Democracy is such that it is messy and sometimes wasteful but to me that is the beauty of it as well. We live in a country and state that lives and sometimes thrives under a system that allows for consistent periodic change. I like that. I like that eight years ago for many liberals America was being destroyed before their very eyes. Then the two terms of President Bush ended and now President Obama is in charge and for many conservatives America is being destroyed before their eyes.

Now I am not saying that there are not problems in today's government. Because we all know that there are. But what I am saying is that, for me at least, there is always hope. Because change is always coming around the bend. I look at the makeup of Congress today and remember that several years ago it looked entirely different and after a certain amount of time people grew fed up with it. The grew tired of the actions of Congress and they voted them out. Sure, the pundits on TV said it was a new mandate. I think it was a mandate but it was a mandate for new people and hopefully new behavior in office. Now today's Congress seems to have missed the message and people seem to be getting fed up again. I think soon there will be another change coming. I hope this change wakes some politicians up and makes them realize that this isn't about party politics but about ethical behavior and a responsibility to make America a better nation.

Because for the citizens of this land the only real option for us is to continue to vote out the politicians we do not agree with and vote in those we hope will do a better job. So just remember people when it seems darkest, when it seems like the future of our country is at stake, when it feels like you have no voice. there is change coming. There is change built into the system and by believing in the change and allowing for it to work we can make America a better place. So just hang in there folks.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Thus Spake.........

Oh! I see you survived the onslaught my friend. Why are you cowering under a seat? Whats that you say? You slipped whilst jumping from seat back to seat back emulating my fighting style. How very brave of you to attempt such a maneuver. Your sure you did not swoon like the ladies you were supposed to be guarding. Now, now, no reason to be angered. As you can see we are ok. The train is moving along nicely and the brigands are dealt with. Pardon? Oh that, dripping from my blade? Why the blood of a brigand of course. I trust you did not think I was going to greet them with a hug and perhaps a polite political discussion about the error of their ways. I would never do such a thing. In fact the first one to attempt to board was spit upon my blade. In fact I recall as I ran him through I heard a low pitched wailing from behind me back amongst the women. You are sure that was not you...........

Well never mind we are safe and the problem has been dealt with. Oh the blood coming from my shoulder? That is just a flesh wound. Nothing to be concerned with. Come now, show me how you jumped from seat to seat fighting off the brigands. Oh, now do not be shy. I long to see such a performance. I understand your hesitation it is often hard to reenact something that never happened. Oh it did happen! I see. Were there, perhaps, any witnesses to your feats of daring do? Hmmmm, I see, there were not.

Oh! Perish the thought, I would never call a gentleman such as yourself a liar. Why I hesitate to even utter the word. What do you mean, I just uttered the word? Well, of course, I did but that was just as a example. I warn you sir you do not want to bandy words about with one such as myself.......I will leave you to think on that. Good Day Sir!!

That being said L. Andrew C turned flinging his cape with a flourish and strode away. Several women swooned as he strode past but he paid them no mind. His mind was occupied with other things today.

I am glad to be back on the train.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


I just want to apologize for the lack of updates. It is not that I do not want to write. Because I do but the work we are doing right now is taking place entirely off of the computer and is also as I mentioned before off of the train line as well. But, I promise I will return to touch bases a little bit like I am doing now and that on Monday I fully intend to return with a new installment of the serial I have been working. I know it is a bit different then my usual stuff and I hope you are enjoying it. I also hope some of the new readers I seem to have picked up thanks to CT are enjoying it as well.

Monday, September 21, 2009

A Word From Our Sponsors

Due to the nature of the work this week. There may be some blogging but there going to be no train riding. So things should get back to normal next week as the train rides began again.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Fogbanks? How do I make a deposit?

Welcome my friend. I see you have decided once again to join me. I am glad you are here. Despite your obvious physical inadequacies, for you see it is foggy today and within the fog lies all manner of beastie. I know you think me crazy when I tell you this but it is true. There are the remains of unwary passengers up and down this rail line to give truth to my tale.

For you see with the fog comes a lowering of visibility and the engineer must then slow the speed of the train to compensate for that. It is all very simple and one that most true gentlemen would have learned in school so I apologize if the logic of this escapes you. Now where was I? Oh yes, with the train moving slower this allow all manner of ruffian both human and animal to make an attempt at what they see as a rolling buffet. A rolling buffet that will allow them to satiate themselves upon the blood of the weak and the innocent! That is where you and I come in my friend. For as we both know I am neither weak nor innocent! Ho, Ho, you blush and I hesitate to tell you more but just know this that were I to tell the tales the ribaldry within would cause yon maidens ears to redden and her breath to quicken but that is a story best told at another time.

Back to the matters at hand. We must needs look most alert as the train goes into a corner. This is where matters are likely to come to a head. I will charge you with standing watch of the elderly and the feminine whilst I repel any and all attempted boarders. Oh! I know you believe yourself capable but I do not need you gumming up the works believe me. I am an old hand at such events and am looking forward to the attempt. You would be best suited amongst the petticoats and the lace as when the screaming starts the lower pitch of your voice will make it easier for me to hear you and assist.

Do not be ashamed by your screaming. Many men greater then you have been left screaming when faced with the ruffians that assault this train. Many men greater then you have been left bleeding on the floor as their ability to protect themselves was lost when the violence began. So fear not. I shall be at your side and protect your virtue. The train will not stop so we must just keep the hosts at bay and we shall be through and safe in no time. Wait!! Did you hear that? To your post man, for it has begun...........................................

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

"Of Tea and Strumpets"

Oh I see you have decided to return and join me in a trip up the rails. North to........NO! Not north to Alaska. Why in the world would one want to go to such a state. You may as well move to darkest Africa. I have heard it tell that in Alaska they have mosquitoes that will carry off a small child. The men there sport enormous beards that go down to the middle of their chest or further and are infested with all manner of rodents. Why I met one fellow that had an angry squirrel in his beard. It was absolutely horrifying I can tell you.

So where were we? Oh yes! Welcome back to the train. I hope this trip is less stressful for you. I see you have brought along a stout walking stick. That is good to see. If needs be the stick will double quite nicely as a thwacking club. Not that I think we will need one. Never fear on that account my friend. I am well versed in all manner of manly arts and I fear no man or beast. If any foul fiends were to try to board the train I would have at them with a vengeance. You would be better off hiding under a seat perhaps. You do not seem muscular and I can tell by the way that you move about that you are all kinds of clumsy.

Now, now no reason to get your feelings hurt. One must be practical when it comes to ones own protection. Oh leaving again so soon? I understand. Have a safe and pleasant day sir and I hope we meet again.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

"Leaves are Falling, Come Down is Calling"

I realize that yesterdays post was pretty dark and if you were or are a first time reader thanks to my friend Christopher linking me from Word Around The Net I just want to let you know that I am not usually so dark. I mean there are times where the music I listen to and the movies I like would lend one to think that I operate in some sort of gothic fog but those rumors are untrue. Well mostly untrue. I do like a good crushed velvet jacket preferably black or dark red and I would wear some dark eye shadow if I could get away with it.

I am after all riding the train and as I have noted before riding the train is what gentlemen do. I would also wear either a nice powdered wig or a hat. It would depend of course upon the season and perhaps what ever festive event that I had been invited to attend. If the weather was dry I would be with out my top coat but I would have my cane and my hat as I entered the train car. But in times of inclement weather I would need my splendid top coat and I would need my manservant to follow me with my umbrella. A gentlemen does not carry his own umbrella oh no. Indeed carrying your own umbrella would get you banished to the luggage car on my train.

Gentleman only please in my cabin. Perhaps you would like a nice glass of sherry or port to sip as we glide almost magically along the rails. What's that you say? This is your first time aboard the train. Well, then by all means take a seat and gaze out the windows as we roll along. No need to fear bandits on this route sir as the Kings men have long cleared the tracks of any obstacles that may have lain in our path. Besides, I have my trusty sword cane and flint lock to defend us. What do you mean you have no weapon? Why a true gentleman always travels armed. What would you if we happened upon a ruffian or perhaps a young damsel in distress? One must be prepared for all events. One never knows the obstacles that life may throw in their path. Oh do not look downcast sir! I did not mean to shame you. I only mean for you to be educated upon the path of a gentleman. Oh you must leave the train? Fare thee well, I shall see you anon.

Thus ends today's adventures in the mind of the gentleman philosopher L. Andrew C. He will return tomorrow with more tales of adventure and ribaldry upon the tracks of Oregon.

Monday, September 14, 2009

"Let The Grey Geese Fly"

It is a dark and dreary day today. Which right now fits my mood perfectly. I am not angry. I am more sad then anything else. It is not something I can write about right now and those of you who know me in meat space I will let you know what is going on soon enough.

The world is never constant people and things change on a regular basis. When you look at things at their atomic level things are slowly decaying on a regular basis. So even though I would like to think that I can rise above such things the sad truth is that I can not. That none of us can. That as much as we like to think we have a modicum of control in our lives it just isn't true. There are forces at work that are much bigger then we are and those forces move and cause action and reaction that we are unable to stop or even slow down.

I am going to stop now before this spirals down into the darkest depths of Mordor. Because believe me I can go there.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

A Civil Discourse

I listened to the Presidents speech last night about health care reform. It was interesting to me in several ways. I do not think anyone would argue that something needs to change in terms of health care in America. It seems like the argument starts when you begin to discuss how to pay for it and who it covers. In fact during the Presidents speech what caused the most stir was when he said that his plan would not cover illegal immigrants.

That surprised me. Not because people disagreed though the vocal nature of the disagreement did. I thought South Carolina Rep Joe Wilson was out of line when he yelled out "You Lie". I understand being upset and disagreeing but his response did not seem appropriate for the location of the speech. Had it been a formal debate I would have expected it more. I would have expected more of a response when the President said that the people who had talked about the existence of death panels were liars.

The response or lack of response by the Republicans surprised me. I really thougt they would jump on him for calling people liars to there face. I wonder if Sara Palin was still Governor of Alaska if there would have been any response because there just wasn't. Also and I have not seen it attacked much so far today but I am sure that it will happen as the day goes on. I was surprised when President Obama said that his plan would not add one dime to the deficit. I mean come on. Not one dime! That is really not even a plausible position.

Lets at least be logical about the cost of this purposed plan. As far as I am concerned the cost does not bother me. I think we are wasting a large amount of money within the defense industry and if we juggle some of it around then the health plan could happen with out it bankrupting America. But to say that it will not add a dime to the deficit is just plain bad math. I hope the numbers shake out better as more discussion happens on the issue but I will be surprised if this plan doesn't end up costing us qute a large amount of money.

I would love to have a discussion about this issue. the pros and the cons, the nuts and bolts of why and why not it would be a good idea. But, what I am not interested in is having an argument about it. So please if you read this silly little blog of mine. It doesn't matter to me if you are pro or con on the issue but lets talk about it. Lets see where we differ and why we differ. Lets see how big the differences are and if we can reach some common ground on it. But, lets discuss it. I do not want to shout and sto stomp my feet. I want to have a conversation. I am willing to be wrong. So please share with me your thougts on the issue of Health Care reform in America.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Between The Rails

Good morning gentle readers I hope you are looking forward to yet another installment of my adventures on the transit rail system of Northwest Oregon. It was a cloudy drive up today without the low lying fog that I enjoyed so much yesterday. But I did see a couple of interesting things on the way up. The first thing that I noticed was a hot air balloon floating through the sky. What I find interesting about the hot air balloons as a whole is that from the ground they seem to drift along so silently. But when they release gas to inflate the balloon and to keep it aloft it is really quite a noisy process.

The other thing I noticed was a semi truck with an open trailer full of chickens. That is correct, you heard me. The trailer was full of cages of chickens and they were white chickens. That was a surprise let me tell you. I know it makes sense for them to be transported that way but I do not know if I have ever seen a full chicken transport before.

hmmmm, lets see in legal news we had a hate crime at the house this week as our black button quail Onyx appears to have killed our white button quail Milky. Needless to say the wife and I were saddened by Milkys passing. We are still not sure what caused the violence we think overcrowding may be an issue in the cage. But, we have not had problems like this before. But when we saw Onyx go after another bird we caught her and put her in isolation. So we are trying to figure out what the correct response should be. I am thinking we have have her make little tiny license plates.

But, on to my observations about todays passengers. The couple with the Christmas dog are not here and they have been replaced by what apears to be a young business woman. She reminds me of the Cake song about "short skirt and a long jacket". I wish I could remember the name of the song. But, she is wearing a brown skirt and a matching brown jacket and appears to be headed to the office. A bit furthur down the car is a young hispanic fellow wearing a Southpole sweatshirt and baggy pants. He is bald and has his labret pierced (the space below the lower lip and above the chin). He is bald and if it was not for the peircing he would look like your sterotypical latino gang banger. I have no real way to tell aside from his clothing. The rest of the train appears to have the usual people. There is a blonde lady with short hair that the last two trips has had to literally run for the bus when the train stops. I do not think she has been successful in catching her bus. I think she asked the conducter to go faster today.

The car is pretty quite today. The passengers seem content to sit and look outside the window or close their eyes. It is very green outside and that is nice to see and there is a chill in the air. But the temprature in the train car is comfortable for me. Which probably means that it is cold for others. It will be interesting to see the leaves change color as we move into the fall. I need to start taking some pictures to document the changes.

In political news the Surpreme Court is hearing a case today a campaign finance and freedom of speach. It is going to be interesting to see how this plays out because depending on their ruling it could undo, I believe, two decades worth of campaign finance law including the, much hated by conservatives, McCain-Feingold act. Right now the issue is a 90 minute film that a conservative group wanted to put out during the last Presidential primarys attacking Hillary Clinton. The problem with the film was not the content but it was how the film was funded. Had the film been funded by a PAC, political action committee, it would have been fine but it was funded by general funds funds from a union and that is illegal under the present set up. But as long as corporations are thought of as individuals there seems to be a hook to challenge the ruling.

I personally think that there should be limits to how much anyone can give to a candidate. It matters not to me if they are an individual or a group. I think limiting the amount of money serves to level the playing field and take some of the strength away from the incumbent who may have greater access to funding because of the connections that they have made while in office.

Well that is it for today. I hope you have a good one.