“I’m Sorry, Officer. I Obviously Seem to Have Taken a Wrong Turn.”

Another month goes by without a post, and I’m writing about this…

We had a wet snowfall Thursday night, dropping around 3-4 inches.  Windy, blowing snow, and icy conditions just made traveling that much more treacherous.  Despite that, it was off to work.

Fifteen minutes from the house, there was trouble.  I hit a patch of ice, and the back end of the truck broke loose.  After a couple of side to side motions and frantically trying to keep the truck moving down the pavement (no, I didn’t touch the brake), the truck turned totally around and headed for the side of the road.  I went over the embankment backwards into the ditch.  The truck came to rest parallel to the road in the ditch, facing the opposite direction of my intended travel, four feet from the road and three feet below the road surface, in standing water up to the driver’s side door.  Yeah, it was a steep drop off, and just like a well, wet at the bottom.

In retrospect, it could have been much, much worse.  I could have hit the guardrail and spun off on the opposite side of the road, where the drop off was much steeper, and the water deeper.  I could have hit oncoming traffic.  There were trees on both sides of where I went over.  The truck could have flipped over on its side, or worse, completely over on the roof.  And the truck could have gone further into the ditch, where the water was much deeper.  Yeah, hitting traffic & trees, over a steeper drop-off into deeper water and upside down was definitely the worst-case scenario.

Regardless, three hours later, the truck was pulled out, and no damage to the engine, suspension, or body.  A couple of tires were low where I think the tires separated from the rims, but a quick air-up, and they seem to be holding.  Me, I’m banged around a little bit, so I’m sore, but I didn’t crack my head on the window or frame.

I have to commend the Deputies that were on the scene.  They were polite, courteous, and very professional.  They did, however, crack some smiles and laughed out loud when I greeted them with the title to this post.  Hopefully, it was a relief for what was shaping up for a very busy morning for them.

As a side note, work is still nuts, full of chaos.  My role within the company appears to be changing too, so we’ll see if that results in a reduced workload or not.  Yeah, we’ll see…

Until the next time, be well.

Just a Few Things…

As you have noticed, the blog’s look has changed again.  One difference from the others to this one – I wrote the theme practically from scratch.  The basic framework coding is from Whiteboard, and uses a grid-layout from 960.cs.

If you don’t understand any of the above, don’t worry.  It’s bit-head talk.  But I can’t help but be a little bit proud of the handiwork.

And now on to the rest of the post…

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Iran’s presidential elections only show the political turmoil that is associated with that country.  If Ahmadinejad had been defeated by the more moderate Mousavi, I think that this country would sit back and ignore Iran’s nuclear ambitions.  Instead, the public is beginning to see the political power of Iran not only rests with an elected president, but with a non-elected council of imams.

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North Korea is moving toward another missile test firing that will be aimed toward the vicinity of the Hawaiian Islands.  With North Korea possessing a nuclear warhead and a missile that could potentially reach a US state, can anyone think that this is anything else but “not good.”  What I see happening is another round of “send us food or we’ll land a nuke somewhere.”

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ABC transmitting from the White House on June 24 is, quite frankly, a coup for ABC.  While ABC is in serious need of ratings, the subject matter of Health Care Reform via Obama without an opposing viewpoint smacks of being more of an infomercial than news.  While ABC is stating that it will control (!) the content of the program as well as the questions, I really wonder if ABC and the White House think that the American public is that stupid to believe that all sides of the subject will be explored by an adoring media.  For instance:

Why is it newsworthy that Obama killed a fly during an interview?  When the people in attendance (including the reporters) hoot, holler, and cheer President Obama for the action, one wonders what else they would (or would not) report on if they are that much in love with Obama’s actions.

And it isn’t too much of a stretch that they wouldn’t report anything bad or not complementary of their “chosen one.”  After all, when Obama points out, in public, the one network that constantly questions his actions and policies, then the realization has to set in that honest, factual journalism and scrutiny are not on the agenda of the main networks and news organizations.

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Cap and Trade for Reducing Carbon Emissions legislation for Global Warming Climate Change are passing through Congressional committees.  While the intent of this legislation is noble, the science inspiring these bills is far from convincing.  What the ultimate outcome will be is that the American citizen will incur higher energy costs – after all, companies and corporations do not pay taxes and penalties because they pass these costs on to the consumer of their products.  And in this economy, that will be devastating.

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Immigration policy changes are on the agenda for next week.  While there are real humans out there, it must be remembered that these people are here in violation of the laws, and the companies hiring them are also in violation.  What part of “illegal” is not understood by our lawmakers and the aliens?

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The unemployment rate for Michigan is over 14%.  The state is almost shovel-ready – to be buried in a deep hole.  Many other states aren’t in any better shape – 10% and up, with the national average rising from 8.9% to 9.4%.  And I thought that the huge Stimulus Porkulus Bill with all of its billions was to prevent this.  Kindly excuse the cynic in me, but “HAH!!”

Four Weeks and Counting…

Four weeks ago was my last day at Chrysler.  And yesterday was the day that I got my final check from Chrysler.  It’s sad because I have 11 years tied up in that place, and it almost seems like it was a waste of time because of how things turned out.  Yes, it still sucks…

One would think that I would have lots of time to peruse the ‘net, and visit everyone on the blogroll every day.  That’s not the case as many of you know that I haven’t visited very much.

My days roughly go like this:  Wake up & see the wife out the door.  Get breakfast and make coffee while the computer boots up.  Settle down with coffee & answer email and look at job postings and apply to the most promising.  When that’s done, then it’s working on a website for a fellow refugee opening up a stained glass business.  Somewhere in there it’s making house repairs since the winter wasn’t very kind to the house.

While it’s nice that I have the time to do the repairs, I find myself getting about as depressed as the Michigan economy.  No nibbles on the job front, and this is the longest that I have been out of work times two.  All of this contributes to a sense of anxious depression.  It’s hard to handle a situation that I have prepared for, but haven’t experienced in my professional life.  It is hard trying to keep the spirits up while trying to find a job in a market with 30,000 other engineers in the same boat applying for the same job.  Frustration only begins to cover the efforts on the job front.

I hope to settle down into a routine that includes more visits and postings as well as taking care of the essentials.  Bear with me as I continue down this path in the journey of life.

In the meantime, I look at the state of the economy nationwide, and the promises made by our President while he jets all over the world making faux pas & apologies for the success of our country.  Wall Street & the financiers get passes on their losses & lack of foresight, and the automotive companies get raked over the coals for the same thing.  All one has to do is look at who made and received campaign contributions, and then it all makes perfect sense as to why that is.

The promised change seems to be for the worse, and the hope is fading to despair even for the stoutest of Obots…  My fear is that the country will burn while the President fiddles around with his global song & dance (and that was a second-rate act, wasn’t it?).

That’s all for now, but I have another post in the works.  Until then, take care.

Stealth Government

I didn’t watch President Obama’s speech last night, and I probably should have.  I was just too tired, and figured that I would look over the transcript at a later time.  Well, I haven’t exactly done that either…at least not completely…

But one of the items that popped out at me was his directive that a website be formed (www.recovery.gov) to provide the American people the “transparency, oversight, and accountability” to track where the money for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) is going.  To which I say…

Good Luck.

Government now cannot track the billions of dollars that are spent on Social Security, Medicare & Medicaid, and other social services much less any other part of the government.  Cost overruns and outright fraud account for more mismanagement.  Yes, I know that President Obama has promised to “ferret out any and all cases of waste and fraud,” but so has every other President, to no avail.  And now we are to expect an accounting down to the penny of where the Redistribution of Future Taxpayer Dollars ARRA is being spent?  Please do not insult my intelligence!

Governments cannot operate under transparency.  If so, then why do so many committees that are trying to work out compromises meet behind closed doors, and the minutes not available for public review?  If so, then why did the ARRA (all 1000+ pages) not be published in time (48 hours was the promise) before the vote was taken?

Because that very same transparency would expose the vile corruption that takes place in our government.  The power-plays, the gamesmanship, the outright stupidity of our elected representatives would be exposed for all to see, and no amount of media whitewashing could cover it up.

So where is the oversight and accountability?  Government watching itself and holding itself to the highest standards?  Who determines the standards?  Sounds more like the fox watching the hen house for the farmer.

Which now brings me to a local instance of government trying fly completely under the radar…

The local government wanted to hold an election yesterday for the purpose of floating a $70 million bond for updating the schools.  The notice for the election went completely unnoticed by yours truly and his newspaper reading better half (wife) until the day of the election when one of my coworkers mentioned it.  There was only a couple of inches in that day’s paper, and it was buried in the back pages.  Of course, it would mean that our property taxes would go up (again!) to cover the bond for the next 30 years. I already have an ax to grind with the local educational system (that is a rant for another post), but this was about as underhanded as I could think.  Springing this on us at the last minute “for the kids” in a time of when houses are being foreclosed upon, people losing jobs all over the place, people leaving the state in droves, school enrollment is dropping, and government is wanting us to voluntarily raise our property taxes?  Come on!!  Where is the common sense?

And now we have a President who is arguably a great orator, promising to be all things to all people, and ready to jump over tall buildings to set things right for this country via government intervention.  Reminds me of the Ronald Reagan quote:

The most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help.

The government is here, and it’s wanting to “help.”  God help us all.