Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Way Things Should Be

I have had a job of some sort since I was 15 years old. I was raised to believe that if you worked hard and did a good job, then you would be rewarded. There were times when that belief held true, and I received better than average pay increases.

Unfortunately, all too often in today's corporate and business world the opposite took place. I can recall getting weekly department updates of record sales weeks during the course of the year only to be told at salary review time that salaries would be frozen because we weren't "profitable enough." Other times, we were rewarded with a coupon for 10% off of a grocery purchase during Thanksgiving or Christmas.

That is why the story of the Spurgen family is so special. The Spurgen's sold their family owned business, Peer Bearing Co., to a Swedish owned firm. Nobody would have batted an eye or even blamed the family if they just pocketed the profits from the sale, especially in today's economy. However, the Spurgen family decided to reward their employee's for their service and contribution to the company's success by paying out $6.6 million in bonuses to their 230 former employees.

It is nice to know that there are business people out there who still get that their success is contingent on those that work for them. Sure, the owners who take the risk should receive the largest rewards, and I am sure that the Spurgen family profited handsomely from the sale of their company. In a world where corporate executives fly on private jets to beg Congress for money to help them through tough times, it is nice to hear about a company that does the right thing.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Notorious Cherry Bombs-It's Hard to Kiss the Lips at Night That Chew Your Ass Out All Day Long

I first heard this song listening to an Internet radio station. I thought it was hilarious with lines like "Man, I remember when her eye were so blue and shiny. But, God, you aught to see what's happened to her heinie." Then I got to see the music video below and found out that the Notorious Cherry Bombs featured country stars Vince Gill and Rodney Crowell as the lead vocalists. This song is dedicated to married men everywhere.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Montgomery Gentry- Speed

It is a timeless theme in music. Trying to get over a lost love. Doing everything you can to escape the memory and the pain. Just get in the car and drive to escape. Combine it all and you get Montgomery Gentry and "Speed." The other reason that I am posting this video is because I believe the woman in the video is former Playboy Playmate Maria Checa, and I always thought that she was kinda cute and looked real.

Ron White

I admit it. I liked the Blue Collar Comedy Tour (well maybe not Larry the Cable Guy.) Here is a little bit of Ron White.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Last night, as I was browsing around YouTube to try to find something cute or funny to use for my Thanksgiving post, it occurred to me that Thanksgiving has become just another holiday that has lost it's original meaning. Thanksgiving originally was a time to celebrate the harvest and to give thanks to God for the harvest and for continuing to sustain us. We continue to have a feast to commemorate Thanksgiving, but it has come to mean a lot of other things: a four day weekend for a lot of people, football, and the start of the Christmas shopping season (speaking of holidays that have lost their original meanings.) Not that there is anything inherently wrong with any of these things, but they do not remind of us the true meaning of the holiday.

So, instead of something funny or cute, I decided to reflect on the true meaning of Thanksgiving and post some of the things that I am truly thankful for.
  • My son, who I love more than I ever thought I could love someone and has taught me a lot of valuable lessons about enjoying the moment, which I need to be reminded of more than I care to admit.
  • My wife, who frequently thinks of little things that she knows I would enjoy, like the two pumpkin donuts I had for breakfast this morning.
  • My family and friends, for being there with their love, advice, and support, both emotionally and financially, during tough times.
  • My country, which in spite of her flaws is still the greatest place to live and provides us with a standard of living that is the envy of the world.

So this year, when you are gathered around the table stuffing yourself with stuffing and the rest of the bountiful feast, look around you, enjoy the moment, think about all you have, and truly give thanks. Have a very happy Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Our Tax Dollars at Work

I probably should have commented on all of the business bailouts our fine federal government has committed the taxpayers of this country to fund. Our government keeps handing out money to troubled firms to keep them from having to face bankruptcy. So what do we have to show for our money?

First, we have AIG Insurance who received $85 billion from the government. A few days after receiving the money, AIG spent $440,000 for a retreat at an exclusive spa for some of it's agents. Naturally, that raised a few eyebrows as to how are money was being spent. It was not enough, however, to keep the government from "restructuring" AIG's bailout to make it a total of $150 billion. (More on AIG later.)

Next we have the CEO's from the big three American automakers, GM, Ford, and Chrysler, coming to the nation's capital to beg Congress for $25 billion to help them get through some tough times. Times are tough for the automakers, so tough that each CEO flew to Washington in three separate private corporate jets. Thankfully, they left without the money.

The latest to dip into the taxpayer's wallets is Citibank. Citibank has recently released 53,000 workers and had their stock price cut in half. The government has invested another $20 billion in Citibank on top of the $25 billion Citibank received in the initial "Troubled Assets Relief Program." Citibank, though, has no plans to try to get out of a $400 million deal for the naming rights of the New York Mets new stadium. Meanwhile, AIG intends to keep it's deal with the Manchester United soccer team to pay $125 million to have their logo on the team's uniforms.

I have no problem with company's having corporate jets, or sports sponsorship deals. However, if you are coming to the government for assistance, get your house in order. When money is tight for me, I have to give something up. I end up brown bagging it for lunch at work, and I give up those Starbuck's lattes. How many of those 53,000 employees at Citibank could have been kept with that $400 million they are going to pay to the Mets.

Maybe, GM got the hint from their trip to DC. They have retired 2 of their corporate jets. They also announced that they were ending their sponsorship relationship with Tiger Woods a year early. These are things they should have done prior to coming to Washington. These companies need to show the government they are taking steps to help themselves before they get any help from the taxpayers.

Flip Wilson Tribute

When I was a kid, the first comedy album I ever owned was Flip Wilson's Grammy winning "The Devil Made Me Buy This Dress" released in 1970. That same year, NBC launched The Flip Wilson Show which ran from 1970-1974. As a kid, I watched the show regularly. The show featured Flip's comedy routines, especially his popular characters Reverend Leroy pastor of the Church of What's Happening Now, and of course Geraldine Jones who popularized the phrase "The Devil made me do it." The show achieved high ratings and much critical acclaim with 11 Emmy nominations and won Flip a Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Television Series.

Ten years ago today, Clerow "Flip" Wilson, Jr. passed away at the age of 64. With much respect to Flip on this the 10th anniversary of his death, here he is as Geraldine Jones with Bill Cosby.

Monday, November 17, 2008

A Good Sign?

My old friend, David Mills, over at the Undercover Black Man blog has tried to assure me that he believes that Barack Obama is too smart to govern from the far left, despite his record. About a week or so ago, I heard no less a conservative than former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich say the same thing on the Sean Hannity radio program. Gingrich has said that if Obama immediately begins trying to govern from the far left, that he could see the Republicans regaining seats in the House and Senate in 2010 and Obama facing a tough re-election campaign in 2012.

In what could be a sign that President elect Obama is serious about reaching across the aisle and developing solutions to the country's problems, he met today with John McCain to discuss ways to work together to fix the problems in Washington. The two men issued a joint statement vowing to work together to reform Washington and end the bitter partisanship that currently exists inside the Beltway. Obama has said that he intends to include a Republican in his cabinet, but aides to both men say there is no cabinet position in the works for McCain.

It is too early to tell what direction Barack Obama intends to take the country. We still have two months before he is sworn into office. Hopefully Newt and UBM are correct and that Obama is too smart to govern from the far left. Hopefully these are positive signs that Obama intends to work with both parties to find solutions. I want to believe this is the case, however, I can't seem to shake the lingering doubts.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band-The Movie

It was thirty years ago today that Sgt. Pepper, the movie, with the Bee Gees and Peter Frampton was released and quickly became one of the worst movies of all time, and I SAW IT. I should have known better than to think anyone other than the Beatles themselves could make this film. At the time though, the Bee Gees and Peter Frampton were on top of the musical world. Most of the musical performances were solid. Some of it outstanding, like Aerosmith and their version of "Come Together," and Billy Preston performing "Get Back." Then you have performances like Steve Martin doing "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" that just make you cringe. The acting and storyline, however, was down right lame.

Below are the Bee Gees and Frampton performing the opening number and below that is the movie trailer.

Some Baysox Photography

I know that baseball has been over for a while now, but I just wanted to post a few photos I took during the last two seasons at Bowie Baysox games. One of the things I love about minor league baseball is that there really isn't a bad seat in the house.

Adam Loewen pitching.

Oscar Salazar makes contact.

Chorye Spoone delivers a pitch.

Nolan Reimold connects for a homer.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Welcome to the USSA

I hope I am wrong, but I can't shake the feeling that we are quickly headed to becoming the United Socialist States of America (if we haven't already gotten there with all of our bailouts). We are on the verge of electing the most liberal senator in the Senate and the least experienced candidate in history to the office of President of the United States. Combine that with Democrat control of the House under Nancy Pelosi and the Senate with Harry Reid and you have the potential for the federal government to grow beyond its already enormous reach.

We have a candidate that believes the Constitution is a flawed document that reflects the fundamental flaw of this country that exists to this day. He also has been quoted that he would not appoint justices to the Supreme Court who adhere to a literal interpretation of the Constitution. Yet we are to believe him when he takes the oath of office and promises to "defend and uphold the Constitution of the United States."

The Democrats believe they know what is best for all of us. Government is the answer to everything. The more we rely on government, the more they control us. The more they control us, the more power they get and the less freedom we have. Our founding fathers deliberately framed the Constitution to limit the power of the federal government. That is why we fought the Revolutionary War for our freedom, to escape an oppressive government and high taxes.

The Republicans have brought this on themselves by abandoning the conservative roots of Ronald Reagan. Though I am registered as a Republican, I don't think of myself as a Republican. I consider myself more of a Libertarian than a Republican, but unfortunately under our current system, there is little chance of a Libertarian having a chance at making a serious run at the Presidency. Until that day, I will remain a registered Republican, because they are closer than the Democrats to my beliefs. Maybe this will be a wake up call to the Republicans to return to the fiscally conservative ways of Ronald Reagan.

The Problem With America- Rant #1

God, I hate stupid people. OK, that may be a little harsh, but I think it really reflects the problem with this country in general. There are just too many people in this country who think they are entitled to get everything from the government. I think that may be the genius of Barack Obama. Cater to that mentality and promise to take care of their every need.

I truly understand what Neil Boortz means when he made this statement on his website today:

The last thing I would want to do is discourage any capable and qualified
voter from heading out today to vote. Now by capable and qualified I
mean someone who is actually a citizen and someone who has somewhat of a clue as to what is going on out there.
The sad truth is that there are going to be legions of voters like that idiot woman at an Obama rally who thought that once Obama wins here mortgage payments and gas for her car were going to be taken care of.

Election Day

Well, I did my civic duty and headed to my local polling place and voted. I was running a little late for work this morning, so I drove by about 20 minutes before the polls were set to open. There were people parking two or three blocks away. I knew it would be crowded and a long wait, so I headed to work.

My wife called about 10:15 to tell me she had just finished voting. She said that our polling site was much more organized than in previous years, and it only took her 20 minutes to check in and get to the voting booth.

I left work around 4:30 and made my hour long trek home on the beltway. I got to the polls around 5:30 expecting to have to wait at least an hour to cast my ballot. In the past when I have arrived in the early evening it takes me over an hour to get to the booth. I was very pleasantly surprised to see very few cars in the parking lot. It took me all of 10 minutes to check in, get to the booth, and cast my votes.

My plans for the rest of the evening are to sit here on the couch with a bottle of wine and watch the results roll in. Hopefully, I will be celebrating a victory for my candidate.


Related Posts with Thumbnails