Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Ray Stevens-"The Global Warming Song"

Since Barack Obama decided to politicize the BP oil spill by pushing cap and trade legislation, which is based on the alleged science of global warming, it is appropriate that Ray Stevens would release "The Global Warming Song."  As usual, Ray is funny and spot on.  We all want a clean planet, but follow the money trail.  This is worth watching if just for some of the pictures and reading the crawl on the bottom of the screen during the "news" segments.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Monday, June 28, 2010

Music Monday-Craig Morgan "This Ain't Nothing"

Frequently, the things we think are important, often aren't.  Sometimes it takes a little perspective to understand what truly is important.  Often times, that perspective comes after a lifetime of experience.  I am trying more and more to understand what is important, and I am finding out that material things are the least important.  Putting that into practice, however, is a bit harder.

Come join Music Monday and share your songs with us. Rules are simple. Leave ONLY the actual post link here and grab the code below and place it at your blog entry. You can grab this code at LadyJava's Lounge Please note these links are STRICTLY for Music Monday participants only. All others will be deleted without prejudice.

PS: Because of spamming purposes, the linky will be closed on Thursday of each week at midnight, Malaysian Time. Thank you!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Peacocks and Other Sights

Indian Blue Peacock standing on a fence at the...Image via Wikipedia
Last night, I was out doing my pizza delivery gig.  Most of the houses that we deliver to are your typical suburban homes; single family homes on small lots, townhouses, and apartments.  However, some of the areas we deliver to are wooded areas with long, narrow driveways.

It was at one of the houses in a more rural area where I saw something I had never seen, at least not outside of a zoo or a petting farm.  I was backing out of one driveway, and I looked to make sure everything behind me was clear.  There, standing on top of a mailbox of the neighboring house on my side of the car was a magnificent blue peacock.  Before I could stop the car and pull out my BlackBerry to take a picture, the bird jumped off of the mailbox.

As I said before, the only place that I have ever seen a peacock was either at a zoo or a petting farm, so I was somewhat surprised to see one out and about in Davidsonville, MD.  My first thought was that it had somehow escaped a nearby petting farm, but doing a few Google searches, it turns out that a lot of people keep peacocks as pets.  Still, I would have expected a pet peacock to be kept in a pen so that it couldn't escape.  Hopefully, this bird is safe and sound.

Speaking of sights, I was driving home from doing my weekly grocery shopping this morning, when I came upon a traffic accident waiting to happen.  You know those rigid, plastic kiddie swimming pools?  I was on a two lane interstate where the speed limit is 55mph.  There was a car with a kiddie pool on top driving about 10mph with their hazard lights flashing on a merge lane that was coming to an end.  The pool was not tied to the top of the car, but the driver had one hand out the window, and a passenger on the other side holding on to the pool.  I don't know about you, but if I were planning to transport a pool on top of my car, I would have either brought something to tie it down, or sprung for the extra couple box a ball of twine would have cost. 
Enhanced by Zemanta

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Post Office Pains

The United States Postal Service Contract Post...Image via Wikipedia
A few weeks ago, I failed to respond in time to my book club selection of the month.  Consequently, I received an order that I did not want.  I contacted the book club, and asked them if I could return them since they were not open.  They told me that I could return the books in the unopened package and pay the return postage using the book rate.  That was the first time I ever had any club, record or book, ask me to pay for return postage, but a few bucks for postage beats paying $30 for books I did not want.

Last Saturday, I took the package to a nearby post office.  I told the clerk that I wanted to return them and offered to pay the return postage.  Since I had not opened the package, he said that I did not have to pay the return postage.  I offered one more time to pay, saying that the book club had said I needed to pay the return postage.  He again said no and that they would bill the company for the return postage.  Needless to say, the package showed up at my house a few days later marked "Customer must pay return postage."

So this morning I headed up to the post office closest to my house.  I walked up to the window, handed the clerk the package, told her what happened, and told her I wanted to pay for book rate postage to return the package.  The conversation then went something like this:

Postal Clerk: Did you open the package?


Postal Clerk-You do not have to pay for return postage.

Again, I showed her where the box was marked "Customer must pay return postage." I then told her, "Just let me pay the postage.  I do not want the package to come back a third time."  Finally, she weighed the package, took my $3, and applied the postage to the package.  With this type of efficiency, it is no wonder the postal service is losing money hand over fist. 
Enhanced by Zemanta

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Losing $900,000 For Not Having a $15 License

White Marlin (Tetrapturus albidus) Dysmorodrep...Image via Wikipedia
My father in law is an avid deep sea fisherman.  We love it when he comes home with some fresh caught tuna or rock fish.  He frequently enters fishing tournaments.  One of the big ones is the White Marlin Tournament in Ocean City, MD.  He has won some prizes in these tournaments, and there have been a few times that he has come real close to winning a big prize.  I don't think he ever lost out to a prize like this poor group.

North Carolina recently held their annual Big Rock Blue Marlin Fishing Tournament with total prizes of $1.66 million.  The boat Citation managed to land an 883 pound marlin that would have been a record catch and good enough to garner a prize of $912,825. 

The tournament rules require that everyone on the boat have a North Carolina fishing license which costs $15 for residents or $30 for non residents.  Unfortunately, one of the crew members did not have a valid license. The offending crew member had told the boat owner and captain that he did have the license.  Consequently, due to the rules violation, the crew lost their record catch and more importantly, lost nearly $1 million.

As I mentioned before, my father in law has come close to winning one of these big prizes.  One time he lost by a very small amount of weight.  My brother in law asked him if he ever considered artificially adding some weight to the catch, in other words, cheat.  My father in law replied that the fishing community is a very close knit community and such an action would be reprehensible to him and the community.  I think to lie about  having a license would be just as reprehensible.  Especially when that lie costs your mates a cool million.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

eBook Price War

On BooksImage by Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com via Flickr
Back before Christmas, I started looking into getting an eBook reader.  At the time, the Nook from Barnes & Noble had yet to be released, and the two main competitors were the Amazon Kindle or the Sony eBooks.  There were a couple reasons that I decided against getting an eBook reader at that time; I wanted to wait to see the Nook and I was hesitant to lay out $259 for one.

After the release of the Nook, I still wasn't sure which one I would want to get.  I had heard about a number of different problems with the Nook, which can be somewhat expected with a new technological device.  The Kindle had better reviews for reliability, but I had heard that you were a little more limited in the formats of eBooks that you could read with the Kindle.

In the last two days, the possibility of getting an eBook reader has greatly improved for me.  Yesterday, I received an email from Barnes & Noble that they had lowered the retail on their original Nook from $259 to $199.  They also released a lower price Nook that operated only on Wi-Fi hot spots as opposed to the original which has 3G capability like the Kindle.

Today on the Amazon website, they have lowered the retail on their Kindle to $189.  Personally, if I could get one today, I would probably get the new Wi-Fi only Nook.  I do not see the need, at least for me, to have the 3G capability so that I could buy a book anywhere at anytime.  I would still like to see the pricing come down a bit more, but they are at least getting to the point where it may be time to start putting a few dollars aside for one.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Monday, June 21, 2010

Music Monday-Brad Paisley "Water"

It's summertime and when it gets too hot, there is nothing better than getting near some water.  It doesn't matter if it's at the beach, the swimming pool, or getting sprayed with a hose. 

Come join Music Monday and share your songs with us. Rules are simple. Leave ONLY the actual post link here and grab the code below and place it at your blog entry. You can grab this code at LadyJava's Lounge Please note these links are STRICTLY for Music Monday participants only. All others will be deleted without prejudice.

PS: Because of spamming purposes, the linky will be closed on Thursday of each week at midnight, Malaysian Time. Thank you!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Manute Bol 1962-2010 RIP

Manute and MugsyImage by RoninKengo via Flickr
Former NBA player Manute Bol passed away yesterday at the age of 47 from acute kidney failure and a painful skin condition called Stevens-Johnson Syndrome.

Bol was drafted in the second round of the 1985 draft by the Washington Bullets, so I was able to watch the start of his NBA career.  At the time, he was the tallest player ever to play in the NBA at 7'7".  Bol was an incredibly thin player with long, slender limbs.  He lacked a lot of the bulk and strength needed to be an everyday player in the NBA.  Despite his frail frame, he managed to play 10 season in the league.  As I heard someone say one time, "You can't teach height."

The one part of his game that Bol that made him stand head and shoulders above others was his incredible shot blocking ability.  In his rookie year, he managed to play in 80 games and averaged 5 blocks per game, still a rookie record.  Despite only averaging 18 minutes a game during his career, he still is second all time in blocks per game, and first by a large margin in blocks per 48 minutes played.  He also shares records in most blocks in a half and in a quarter.  He is the only player to finish his career with more blocked shots than points.

Bol was always a bit of an oddity throughout his career in the NBA.  In his third season in the league, the Bullets drafted 5'3" guard Tyrone Bogues pairing the league's tallest player ever with the league's shortest player ever.  After his career, he was not above doing a variety of things as a publicity stunt, but there were reasons behind that.  Throughout his career and after his career, Bol was a huge philanthropist.  He sent millions back to his native Sudan to try to improve conditions in his homeland.  After his career, he participated in events like Celebrity Boxing when he fought against William "the Refrigerator" Perry.  All so he could continue his charitable works.

At the start of his NBA career, the Bullets played at the old Capital Center in Landover, MD.  It was not unusual for players for the Bullets or the Washington Caps to live in or near Bowie, MD.  As it turns out, Bol lived for a while in the same townhouse complex as my younger brother here in Bowie.  Consequently, I have a couple second hand stories about Manute in and around the Bowie area.

One day, my brother was shooting baskets with three other guys, when Manute walks on to the court and asks to play.  My brother was wearing a Boston Red Sox hat, and since Bol played his college ball in New England, he and my brother were teammates against the other three guys.  Bol mostly passed the ball to my brother, and rarely took a shot.  When he did, it was a long range shot.  He actually had a decent outside shot and one year with Golden State made 20 three point shots. 

Another story involved a friend of mine.  He was in the drive through at the bank when he looked over at the SUV next to him.  He did not see a driver in the vehicle and was somewhat shocked.  As the SUV pulled away, he saw Manute sitting in what would normally be the back seat of the car.  He had to have the front seat removed so that he could drive it.  Quite a sight I am sure.

The world was a better place because of Manute Bol.  Not because of his basketball playing, but because of his basketball career he was able to help so many others.  Manute, you died too young.  May you rest in peace.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Election Time

This is a picture of an American voting booth....Image via Wikipedia
We are a little more than 4 months away from Election Day 2010.  Locally here in Maryland things are heating up.  According to a recent Rasmussen poll, former Maryland governor Bob Ehrlich has pulled into a dead heat with current governor Martin "I never met a tax I didn't like" O'Malley.  In February, O'Malley had a six point lead over Ehrlich, so this is encouraging news.

As we get closer and closer to election day, we are going to be bombarded with campaign ads.  Living in the DC suburbs, not only will we get bombarded with the Maryland campaigns, we will also get to hear about the elections in DC and VA.  In addition to the Maryland gubernatorial race, there will be a lot of hotly contested campaigns.  At times, some of these campaign ads will be just plain annoying.

In DC, whoever wins the Democrat primary is virtually assured of winning the DC mayoral race.  Current Mayor Adrian Fenty is facing a primary challenge from fellow Democrat Vince Gray.  The other day, I was driving on the beltway when I ended up behind a DC school bus.  In the back of the bus was a Vince Gray for Mayor campaign sign.  I think that a public school bus is a highly inappropriate placement for a campaign ad.

Then there are all of the local races for county council seats.  Those are the one that really annoy me.  Last night we were headed to a Bowie Baysox game.  There were a couple of groups of campaigners holding up campaign signs and waving as the cars drove by.  Harmless enough, but annoying, at least to me.

The most annoying local candidate that I have come across lately is another one that occurred on the beltway.  It was time for the evening rush hour after a long day in the office.  As is usually the case, the beltway in Montgomery County at that time was bumper to bumper.  There was a guy driving in the lane next to me that had his picture and campaign website on a magnetic sign on his car.  As everyone is crawling along, he is honking his horn and waving to the frustrated motorists.  I wanted to flip him the bird, but decided against it.

As excited as I am about some of the upcoming elections, there is also the dread.  We are early into the campaigning and some of it has already annoyed me, but then again I am easily annoyed.  Just wait until it gets going full bore.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Friday, June 18, 2010

Try Affinity Click

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of AffinityClick. All opinions are 100% mine.

Are you a blogger looking to Generate revenue from your blog?  Maybe you have tried some other programs like Google AdSense and you are frustrated by the results.  AffinityClick is a service that is looking for bloggers to try their service at no cost.  They have over 15000 products available from merchants, and they place them on your blog.

AffinityClick offers multiple options for placing their ad widgets on your blog.  Like most ad networks, they offer multiple sizes of banners to place on your blog.  In addition to the banners, they also give you the capability to include text link ads as well.

Setting up the AffinityClick widgets is simple.  You simply go to the dashboard, select the type of ad you want, and paste the code on your blog.  Once the widget is installed, AffinityClick serves up contextually relevant ads based on your blogs content.  The more widgets you have and the longer they are on the blog, the more relevant the ads will be. 

It only takes a few minutes to set up an account and once ads start to show on your blog, you are ready to start earning money. I have decided to give AffinityClick a trial run to see how it goes, maybe you should too.

Visit my sponsor: AffinityClick makes you more money than adsense
Enhanced by Zemanta

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Talk About Reparations

Reparations.  According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of reparations is the act of making amends, offering expiation, or giving satisfaction for a wrong or injury.  These day, when you here the term, it usually refers to payment for the wrongs of slavery in the US.  However, that is not the subject of this post.

Japanese porn star Anri Suzuki holds a doctorate degree in Sino-Japanese history, so she is no dumb bimbo.  Suzuki feels bad for the actions of Japan against China in 1937 at the start of World War II.  She is offering to make amends in the way she knows best, by offering to have sex with Chinese students in Japan.

When studying the history of the Japanese invasion, she was shocked to learn the things the Japanese did during that time.  Suzuki told the Korean Times, "We have to respect the lessons of history and although we cannot obliterate it we can try and make recompense.  I want to cure the wounds of China with my body, and I offer to do this by having sex with Chinese students in Japan.  I think it would be a symbolic compensation for them."

Now that is what I call "reparations." After thinking about this for a bit, the Japanese did a lot of bad things to Americans back then. 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Obama's Oval Office Speech

I have to confess that I did not pay close attention to Barack Obama's speech last night.  I was somewhat occupied with my son in the room and taking care of getting him ready for bed.  There were a couple of things that did catch my attention during the speech.

First, was his comment that part of the reason that the spill has been so difficult to plug is because we are dealing with drilling a mile below the water.  This is true.  However, he says the reason is that we are running out of places to drill on land and shallow water.  That is patently false.  I would go so far to call it a lie.  The reason we are drilling so far our to sea and in such deep water is because of caving to the far left environmentalists.

The second thing that got my attention was his taking the opportunity to use the spill as an excuse to push another unpopular piece of shit piece of legislation on the American public, cap and trade.  Here we are hovering just under 10% unemployment and he wants to further depress the economy.  Cap and trade will send jobs overseas, causing more unemployment.  It will raise everyone's energy costs leaving less money available for other things, further depressing the economy.

I really did not need to pay real close attention to Obama to know it was a bad speech.  I found out all I needed to know when I saw this clip of Chris "I get a thrill up my leg when Obama talks" Matthews, Keith Olbermann, and Howard Fineman trashing the speech.  If you have these three died in the wool members of the Barack Obama fan club trashing the speech, it must have been horrible.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Live the Beautiful Game

OK.  I admit that I am not a big fan of the World Cup and all its hype.  However, I think this is pretty cool.  Originally, I used a photo of my son to create it, but Mrs. Dickster asked me to remove it.  She didn't like the bee scene in it.  So, instead, here is a revised video featuring former President George W. Bush.  Check it out and make your own.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Music Monday-Keb' Mo' "Just Like You"

A few days ago, I posted about how we are becoming more and more isolated as a community.  We don't know our neighbors, we are only looking out for ourselves.  Maybe, if we took the words of Keb' Mo's "Just Like You" to heart and realized that we are all the same "under our skin" then the world would be a more civil place.  We are all brothers and sisters in the end. 

Come join Music Monday and share your songs with us. Rules are simple. Leave ONLY the actual post link here and grab the code below and place it at your blog entry. You can grab this code at LadyJava's Lounge Please note these links are STRICTLY for Music Monday participants only. All others will be deleted without prejudice.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Sunday, June 13, 2010

BP Boycotts

Boycott BPImage by Rusty Boxcars via Flickr
I understand the anger of folks with BP regarding the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.  There is no telling what the total impact will be on the environment and economy of the region.  The pictures of oil covered pelicans and other wildlife is heart wrenching to say the least.

I am not here to be an apologist for BP.  They should be held accountable for the devastation taking place in the Gulf right now.  If it turns out that BP was criminally negligent, as opposed to this just being a horrible accident,  then appropriate punishments should be meted out.  Having said all that, the call to boycott BP will hurt small business more than it will hurt BP.

The vast majority of gas stations that carry the BP banner are not owned and operated by BP, but by independent operators.  Most of the big oil companies are out of the gasoline retailing business.  For every BP or Exxon station you encounter, you are most likely dealing with a local business and not Big Oil.

Jonathan Berr wrote a piece for AOL's Daily Finance page regarding how the boycott of BP hurts small business and not BP.  He quotes Jay Ricker who owns a chain of convenience stores in Ohio that operate under the BP banner.  Ricker is also president of the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS).  NACS members account for 80% of the gasoline sold in the US, and 56% of the gasoline sold is from operators that own one store.  Unfortunately for those operating under the BP banners, they have contracts that prohibit them from changing banners.  Those are the folks who are hurt by a BP boycott.

I have been, and continue to support drilling for oil, this disaster not withstanding.  Historically, our drilling has been remarkably free of spills.  Our political leaders continue to talk about weaning ourselves from our dependence on foreign oil.  One way to reduce that dependency is through utilizing our own resources.  Until alternative energy sources are commercially viable, oil continues to be the energy source that drives the economy. 
Enhanced by Zemanta

Saturday, June 12, 2010

World Cup 2010

Official 2010 FIFA World Cup match ballImage by mikkelz via Flickr
Have you heard?  The World Cup started yesterday.  Supposedly it is a big deal, but I couldn't care less.  In fact, I already wish it were over.  For the last week or so leading up to the "big event" I have seen a lot of hype about the World Cup on the news.

To paraphrase the first George Bush and his "I do not like broccoli," I proudly and unabashedly proclaim that I do not like soccer.  Sure, I have heard all the arguments.  You don't like it because you don't understand it.  Hogwash!  But it is the most popular sport in the world.  So what!

Apparently, I am not the only one that feels this way.  A recent Zogby poll showed that 63% of American men said that soccer would never be as popular as football, baseball, basketball, or hockey in the USA.  Overall, 54% of all Americans felt that way.  Only 24% of us plan to watch any of the World Cup at all.   

In my mind, I can only think of a handful of reasons to kick a ball during a sporting event; kicking a field goal or extra point, punting, or playing a rousing game of kickball.  About the only good thing to come out of soccer is the soccer style field goal kicker in football.  Although, I have to admit, I miss the good old straight on kickers like Mark Mosely.

As I said, even though the World Cup has just started, I already wish it were over.  For the next month, the news media will be bombarding us with how great the sport is.  Sportscasters will be giving us scores like 1 to nil instead of the usual 1 to nothing or 1 to zero.  Or they will talk about the pitch instead of the field.  Thank goodness the World Cup only comes around every four years.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Friday, June 11, 2010

The Uncivil Society

I am trying to figure out when it happened.  Somewhere along the way, we have become an uncivil society.    When I was younger, neighbors looked out for one another and helped one another.  Now we don't even know their names.  More and more, it seems everybody is looking out only for themselves.

A case in point would be my townhouse complex during the blizzards of this past winter.  Our home owners association requires that we shovel the walks in front of our houses.  In our complex we have assigned parking.  Unfortunately, my parking spaces are more in front of one of my neighbors houses and not mine.  Rather than shoveling his entire walk, he only shoveled a path to his cars.  I ended up having to shovel part of his walk to get to my cars.

No better place to see how uncivil we have become than on the highways, especially in heavy traffic.  It used to be that if somebody put their turn signal on to change lanes and you let them in they would give you a thank you wave.  Now if you turn your signal on, the other driver is more likely to speed up so you can't get in.  I can't tell you how many times I have been in bumper to bumper traffic and made the cardinal sin of letting a couple car lengths come between me and the car in front of me.  Such an action is sure to bring an angry honk.

This is not to say that I am not without sin myself.  When that other driver speeds up so I can't change lanes, or cuts me off in traffic, I am not above flipping him/her the bird.  As much as I support 2nd amendment rights, there is a reason why I am not a gun owner.  Did you ever see the movie "Falling Down?"  I am Kirk Douglas.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Thursday, June 10, 2010

You Go Girl!

Let's face it, when it comes to taking a whiz, guys have an advantage over the ladies.  If we are driving down the road and have to stop to pee, we can just stop some place, discretely whip it out and pee to our heart's content.  Women on the other hand, have always had to find a toilet to take care of those needs.

That is, until now.  Now women can pee standing up just like the fellas with the Go Girl urinary device. Yes, ladies, you no longer have to search for a bathroom, only to get there to discover it is disgustingly filthy. The Go Girl website advises women not to take life sitting down.  They say that the Go Girl device is perfect for active women, women who like the great outdoors, world travelers, and many others. 

I immediately thought of the 1970's and 1980's when I used to go to a lot of concerts at the old Capital Center.  It was built to be a sports arena, and had more mens rest rooms than ladies rooms.  Consequently, the lines at the ladies rooms were much longer than the mens rooms.  It was not unusual to have the women join our lines.  The Go Girl would have been perfect then.  Fortunately, Congress is working towards potty parity to make sure there are enough ladies rooms out there.

In all seriousness, I have some questions for the ladies out there.  Have you ever had the desire to pee standing up?  Is this something you could ever see yourself using?  The Go Girl website says you can keep it in your purse or pocket.  If you were to use the Go Girl, would you want to put it back in your purse or pocket?
Enhanced by Zemanta

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Future Looks Bright

Stephen StrasburgImage via Wikipedia
The future is definitely looking brighter here in the DC area.  No, I am not talking about Barack Obama and his policies.  That looks as bleak as ever.  Instead, I am talking about the debut of Stephen Strasburg as the ace of the Washington Nationals pitching staff.

Tuesday night was the night that Nationals fans have been waiting all year to see.  Stephen Strasburg was the first player selected in the 2009 baseball draft.  In spring training, he was arguably their best pitcher, but started the season in the minor leagues at the AA level.

Strasburg pitched five games at the AA level before being promoted to AAA.  In AAA, he pitched six games before being called up to the Nats.  In eleven minor league starts, Strasburg went 7-2 with a 1.30 ERA with 65 strike outs.  He dominated.

To say the least, his debut was impressive.  OK, that could be an understatement.  He was tremendous.  In seven innings, Strasburg struck out 14 batters, a franchise record.  At one point, he registered 101 mph on the radar gun on one of his strikeouts.  He made one mistake, giving up a two run home run and left with a 4-2 lead.

The bullpen did it's job, shutting out the Pirates for the final two innings.  His teammates added another run in the eighth inning.  So the Stephen Strasburg era in Washington DC is off to a rousing start with a 5-2 win in his major league debut.  Yes, things are looking good in Washington.
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Bob Ehrlich's Entrepreneur Agenda

Maryland governor Robert Ehrlich at 2nd Nation...Image via Wikipedia
When Bob Ehrlich lost his reelection campaign as Governor of the state of Maryland in 2006, Maryland was rated in the middle of the pack (#25) in the Tax Foundation's State Business Tax Climate report of 2006.  After four years of Martin O'Malley's alleged leadership, Maryland has fallen to #45 in the 2010 report.  I supported Ehrlich in 2006, and am doing so again in 2010.  In fact, I plan to be an even more active supported of Ehrlich this time around.  Below, is an email newsletter I received from the Ehrlich campaign outlining his agenda to help Maryland improve it's climate towards business.  Let's face it, it is business that creates jobs, not government, and Ehrlich wants to get the government out of the way to let entrepreneurs create jobs.

Dear friend,

I wanted you to be among the first to receive “The Entrepreneur Agenda,” a new plan I unveiled today to help Maryland small businesses create jobs and turn the economic tide in Maryland. With 3,000 small businesses closing last year and nearly a quarter million Marylanders unable to find a job, we must have higher expectations for Maryland’s economic future.

My Entrepreneur Agenda, which is product of conversations with more than 100 small business owners, is centered on three big ideas:

First, I will fundamentally change the mindset in government so that we are encouraging entrepreneurs to succeed rather than discouraging them. I will propose a Small Business Bill of Rights that guarantees small business owners a fair, timely, and predictable business environment so they can expand and create jobs.

Second, I will lower Maryland’s tax burden to jump start economic activity and put more money in the pockets of Maryland families. To achieve this goal, I will work to repeal Governor Martin O’Malley’s 20% increase in the sales tax and identify ways to make our corporate income tax more competitive so that Maryland employers stop moving across state lines.

Third, I will shake-up Maryland’s most inefficient programs, especially Maryland’s unemployment insurance system. By streamlining Maryland’s bureaucratic maze we can unleash entrepreneurs to do what they do best: innovate, hire new workers, and help improve our overall quality of life.

To read the entire “Entrepreneur Agenda,” just click here.

Thank you for sharing my interest in turning the economic tide in Maryland. I know you have higher expectations for Maryland’s economy. I do too. Together, we can create a brighter future for Maryland.


Bob Ehrlich

Our mailing address is:

Bob Ehrlich for Maryland
P.O. Box 2
Timonium, MD 21094-0002

Copyright (C) 2010 Bob Ehrlich for Maryland All rights reserved.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Monday, June 7, 2010

Music Monday-Jaron and the Long Road to Love "I Pray for You"

I have been to several church services in my life time. I have also read the gospels multiple times. I don't believe that when Jesus or a minister said to pray for your enemies or those that have done you wrong that this is what they had in mind. Happy Music Monday.

Come join Music Monday and share your songs with us. Rules are simple. Leave ONLY the actual post link here and grab the code below and place it at your blog entry. You can grab this code at LadyJava's Lounge Please note these links are STRICTLY for Music Monday participants only. All others will be deleted without prejudice.

PS: Because of spamming purposes, the linky will be closed on Thursday of each week at midnight, Malaysian Time. Thank you!

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Clean Your Plate

Wafu in Surry HillsImage by wonderyort via Flickr
Remember when you were a kid and your mother told you to clean your plate because there were starving kids in Africa who would love to have it?  If you were like me, you were willing to send it to them.  Well now there is a restaurant in Australia that takes the "clean your plate" mantra to another level.

Yukako Ichikawa is chef and owner of the Wafu restaurant located in the suburbs of Sydney.  They state as their goal, "to contribute towards creating a sustainable future we request a little more of our guests than most other restaurants."  They ask their patrons to not waste food or containers.

They actually state in their "Eat In" policy that if you agree to their terms to "not waste food" then you are welcome to eat at their restaurant.  To not waste food is to eat everything on your plate, with the exception of lemon slices, wasabi, and sushi ginger.  If you don't finish your meal, they will suggest you find another place to dine.

If you want to get carry out, they have rules for that too.  You have to bring your own containers, otherwise they will charge you $3 to use their containers.  Oh, and don't bring an aluminum container.  They aren't reusable, so you obviously don't care about waste prevention.  They also don't want you to bring in a new container that you just bought.

Now I am not a proponent of wasting food and throwing it out.  There have been times when I have been trying to lose weight, and my wife has brought home a box of donuts.  Rather than let them get stale and end up getting thrown out, I would eat them.  However, this is one business that I can't see ever getting getting any of my hard earned dollars.
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Big Assawoman Bay

As I mentioned last week, we spent a couple of days in Ocean City, MD over the Memorial Day weekend.  While browsing through some tourist magazines and maps looking for some coupons for activities for the family, I came across a map that showed two bodies of water that caught my attention; Little Assawoman Bay and Big Assawoman Bay.  I am sorry, but when I saw Big Assawoman Bay, the only thing I could think of was the video below.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Friday, June 4, 2010

American Oppose "Fat Tax"

Picture of an Obese Teenager (146kg/322lb) wit...Image via Wikipedia
I mentioned in a post last month about the DC Soda Tax Proposal how more and more jurisdictions are considering taxes on sodas, candies, and other foods that could contribute to obesity.  These proposed taxes are offered as proposals to help fight the obesity epidemic in this country.  There is no doubt that too many people in this country are too heavy.  I know I could stand to lose a few pounds myself. 

However, usually these taxes are simply a way to try to raise revenues, not really to help curb problems.  I am not a smoker, and am no fan of the tobacco companies, however, between the states and federal excise taxes on cigarettes, the government makes more money on the sale of a carton of Marlboro than the Philip Morris company does.  If you ever get the chance to visit a duty free store, compare the price of cigarettes there to the price at your local convenience stores.

Today I was reviewing some stories in one of my industry news emails that I get at work.  The folks at the Harris Poll released the results of a survey that revealed that the majority of Americans are opposed to so called "fat taxes" on sugary drinks, fast foods, and candy.  What a shocker.  NOT!  Only 31% of those surveyed were in favor of implementing these taxes

All of the demographic groups that they broke the survey results into were opposed to the taxes.  However, there were definitely some groups that were more inclined to favor the taxes.  Those in the eastern part of the country were the most likely to support while those in the south and midwest were most opposed. Similarly, younger people, higher educated, and higher income people had a higher percentage of respondents that supported the measures.

I don't think any of these are real shockers.  I think lower income folks are more inclined to go towards higher calorie products because it is more affordable.  It would have been interesting to see the breakdown of responses based on the political leanings of those surveyed.  My guess is that more liberal people would be in favor of the fat tax, where conservatives would not.
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Time to Find a New Bank

"I warn you, Sir! The discourtesy of this...Image via Wikipedia
If you stop by here and actually read some of my commentaries and rants, then you probably have already ascertained that generally speaking I am a pro business kind of guy.  I am all for a company making as much money as they can, so long as it is done in a lawful and, dare I say it, ethical manner.  You also have probably figured out that I am not generally a fan of more government regulation. 

Having said all that, I would like to relate an incident that occurred with my bank yesterday and today in regards to some fees we were charged.  Even after spending an hour on the phone with two different people, I am still left scratching my head at their logic.  After my experiences today, I can understand why the Democrats want to pass legislation to protect consumers from unfair bank fees.  The situation for me today that has provoked my wrath concerns overdraft fees.

For the sake of simplicity, I will use some simple numbers to illustrate my case.  Let us say that my wife and I had $100 available yesterday in our checking account.  My wife went out and made three purchases with our check card, each for $30 dollars.  When those purchases were made, they put a hold on the account for the amounts of those purchases, even though the money was still technically in the account.  I have no problem with them doing that and fully understand the concept of "available balance."

Getting back to my simple example of having a $100 in the account and my wife making purchases totaling $90.  Simple math tells me that we should now have an available balance of $10.  Unfortunately, there was a $12 gasoline purchase that we had failed to account for.  Subtracting that $12 from the $10 put us in an overdraft situation of $2.  Mea culpa, mea culpa.  Totally our fault and we deserve to be charged an overdraft fee.  Our bank charges a $29 overdraft fee.

But the story does not end there.  Had the bank charged us the $29 overdraft fee, I would not have been happy, but I would have fully understood.  As is often the case, the story does not end there.  Even though my bank had already put a hold on the $90 in purchases, the $12 gasoline charge was presented for payment before the charges.  Even though there was $100 in the account, the $12 was taken from the "available balance" of $10 resulting in the overdraft.

Each of the three purchases were then "presented for payment."  According to the bank, even though they had already put a hold on the $90, we now had a negative available balance on the account. Consequently, each of those three purchases were subject to the the overdraft charge.  So, in the end, for a $2 overdraft, I was charged a total of $116.  To use a word that the Democrats like to use, is it "fair" to charge $116 for a $2 overdraft because of the bank's funny math?  Again, I understand being charged one overdraft fee, but four? 
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Nissan Cube

I first saw the Nissan Cube about a month or so ago.  I saw a second one this evening driving home from work.  They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, however I think it may just about be the ugliest car I have ever seen.  Since I have seen a couple of these out on the highway in the past two months, there must be some folks out there that like the looks of the Cube. Tell me what you think.  Am I being too harsh?

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Looking for a Home? Check Rent to Own Opportunities

To say that the economic environment of the past couple years has had an impact on the housing market would be a huge understatement at best.  It has become tougher for buyers to qualify for mortgages, and consequently, housing sales have stagnated.  With the stagnant market, many buyers are now offering Lease To Own opportunities for their properties.

Renting a property and having a portion of that rent go towards equity in the home is not a new concept.  Prior to easy credit, it was one of the best ways for a new buyer to purchase a home.  With the economy the way it has been, it is growing in popularity once more.  Irenttoown.com is a terrific website to use if you are looking for a lease to own property.

At their website, they have thousands of rent to own properties you can search in their database.  I did a quick search in my zip code and found over 6000 properties available.  You can search by a number of factors, such as price, and number of bedrooms and bathrooms.  They also have a lot of great tips of things to look for or avoid for the person looking for a rent to own property.

If you are looking for a home, and want more information on lease to own, you should really check out irenttoown.com.  You should also check out this Overview for Buying a Home at US Department of Housing and Urban Development.

This post is a sponsored post through Payperpost.com.  For more information you can read the disclosure statement at the bottom of this webpage.


Related Posts with Thumbnails