Monday, October 31, 2011

Catching Up on Civil War 150 — Battle of Barbourville

The Battle of Barbourville September 19 1861. This was located in Knox County, Kentucky.

This was the first battle of the War in Kentucky:

Kentucky Union sympathizers had trained recruits at Camp Andrew Johnson, in Barbourville, throughout the summer of 1861. Confederate Brig. Gen. Felix Zollicoffer entered Kentucky in mid-September intending to relieve pressure on Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston and his troops by conducting raids and generally constituting a threat to Union forces and sympathizers in the area. On September 18, 1861, he dispatched a force of about 800 men under command of Col. Joel A. Battle to disrupt the training activities at Camp Andrew Johnson. At daylight on the 19th, the force entered Barbourville and found the recruits gone; they had been sent to Camp Dick Robinson. A small home guard force commanded by Capt. Isaac J. Black met the Rebels, and a sharp skirmish ensued. After dispersing the home guard, the Confederates destroyed the training camp and seized arms found there. This was, for all practical purposes, the first encounter of the war in Kentucky. The Confederates were making their might known in the state, countering the early Union presence.

Here's a video report about the reenactment of the battle:

Catching Up on Civil War 150 — Battle of Cheat Mountain

Battle of Cheat Mountain took place September 12-15 1861. The location Pocahontas County, West Virginia. This battle took place east of where Carnifex Ferry. It also saw the first action of Robert E. Lee in the Civil War.

A little about the battle:
Gen. Robert E. Lee directed his first offensive of the war against Brig. Gen. Joseph Reynolds’s entrenchments on the summit of Cheat Mountain and in the Tygart Valley. After their victory at First Manassas the Confederates could spare troops for the secondary theater, although they were ill-equipped and poorly disciplined. Lee’s objective was to regain control of as much of the state as possible, not only to claim it for the Confederacy but to disrupt the impending referendum on statehood. It would be a black eye for the Lincoln Administration if they had to cancel the vote, scheduled for late October.

Here's a little about the reenactments that took place for the battle

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, and re-enactors from across the region will descend upon Chase Farm Park on Great Road this weekend, Sept. 16-18, to re-create the Battle of Cheat Mountain in "A Call to Arms."

The park will come to life with hundreds of re-enactors as they set up camp for the weekend, and thousands of spectators are expected to come experience the power of living history.

The re-enactors, or living historians, will invite visitors to step back in time to September 1861, shortly after the start of what would be four long years of the bloodiest conflict in our nation's history. Their goal is to portray as accurately as possible what it was like at that time. As one of the first events to officially be endorsed by the Rhode Island Civil War Sesquicentennial Commemoration Commission, "A Call to Arms" is considered to be one of the most elaborate re-enactments being undertaken in this area in 2011.

Catching Up on Civil War 150 — Battle of Carnifex Ferry

Battle of Carnifex Ferry September 10, 1861 in West Virginia

Another battle in West Virginia which wound continue to see conflict for most of the rest of the war. It was important to control this area because of the railroads and the arsenal that was at Harper's Ferry. Carnifex Ferry is about an hour an half drive away from Charleston, West Virginia. This turned out to be a Union victory:

Learning of Col. Erastus Tyler’s rout at Kessler’s Cross Lanes, Brig. Gen. William S. Rosecrans moved three brigades south from Clarksburg to support him. On the afternoon of September 10, he advanced against Brig. Gen. John Floyd’s camps at Carnifex Ferry. Darkness brought and end to the fighting after several hours. The strength of the Union artillery convinced Floyd to retreat during the night.

The state park that is located at the site has turned out a series of articles on the battle. They are in PDF format and can be found by clicking here.

Happy Halloween

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Our First SNOW

Oh no snow!!!!!

It started in the afternoon. I'd gone out to the post office and to go to CVS. It was maybe a little after 1pm. It was just starting. It was hardly coming down but had started to collect on the windshield.

Then it hit! I was desperate to make it to the store. I needed milk. I needed eggs. I needed bread. I needed toilet paper. What would happen to me as the inches upon inches began to pile up. Would I be able to drive to the grocer store? If I couldn't drive would I be able to walk to the grocery or would the drifts be too high?

Well actually the snow came down for an hour or two. It barely covered the grass let alone the side walk or the street. But if it had I would have been already to be in high Washington DC panic mode when it came to snow.

Here are a couple of pictures of DC's first "snow" of the season.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Tug Toner

The internet can give access to so many important things. The ad for the Tug Toner is one such thing. Watch and learn but most of all enjoy!

Halloween Peanuts

It's a rather rainy, cold sloppy Saturday. A good day to stay in and read or book or play a game on the computer or catch up on cleaning (well maybe not the last one). Also a great day to see more of Linus and the Great Pumpkin. Click on the image for a large view.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Gum Update

Well things are going fairly well. Not much pain at all. Some discomfort. The main thing is figuring out how to chew my food.

But there is a very funny story to tell. Wednesday night I'm just about to go upstairs when I realize I haven't taken my pain medication. I'm not in much pain but the best thing to do is to take it just in case the pain decides to flair up.

I've turned off all the lights on the first floor. The upstairs hall light is on. I go back into the kitchen to take my Ibuprofen. Now here's a little back ground. The bottle of Ibuprofen that I have in the kitchen I bought at Giant foods. It is from a company called CareOne. It just so happens that I also bought a bottle of stool softener. It's from the same company. The bottles are of similar size. The colors used on the labels are sort of the same too.

I walk into the kitchen reach into the cabinet take down a bottle. I take the cap off and get out four pills. I'm supposed to take four of the regular strength Ibuprofen. I have the pills in my hand and think these feel like gel caps. The Ibuprofen is a tiny little pill. I turn on the kitchen light and see that in my hand are four pills but they're the stool softeners. Needless to say I put them back and got out the Ibuprofen.

Definitely dodged a bullet actually in this case a pill. I can only imagine what my night would have been like if I'd taken the stool softener. Here's a picture of the two bottles.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

More Peanuts Halloween and the Great Pumpkin

So far so good after my Frenectomy. I don't have very much pain. There is a little discomfort. Hopefully this is sign that everything will be fine. TO celebrate here's another funny strip about Linus and the Great Pumpkin.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I had a Frenectomy Today

That's not something you get to say every day.

It is part of the fun process of shoring up my receding gums. Part of a fun multi year process of moving gum material from other parts of my mouth to my gums that are receding. This first part was to cut the frenum in my lower set of teeth. This will help in the big gum graft that will go there later. That probably won't happen until next year.

So here's a little back ground:

There are many frenae in the mouth, such as the strand along the middle base of your tongue, or on the middle inside of your upper or lower lip.An overly short frenum below the tongue restricts tongue movement and affects speech. Shortened frenae on the inside of the lips pull on the gum tissue. This can cause the gum to recede away from the teeth or gaps between the teeth to develop.

My periodontist said I didn't have a really bad problem, but I would need this done as the first step in the whole gum graft process.

All I can say is what fun!

But actually it wasn't very bad. Well I should say it hasn't been very bad so far. I had an appointment at 10:30 today. It took less than 30 minutes from start to finish. He numbed the area where he was going to make the incision. I could barely feel the Novocaine when he gave it to me. Then it was pretty quick. I was able to see the thread he was using for the stitches.

He then put some material as he said sort of like Silly Putty around the stitches. This is essentially a dressing that hardens. The idea is to keep it on until the next appointment which is next week.

I was told to go home and take it easy. Put some ice on it. Eat soft food for the first day. After that I can eat just about anything except particulate foods (seeds, nuts, popcorn, etc.).

I was told to make sure I took pain medication even if I didn't have any real pain. He said I needed between 600-800 mg of a pain reliever. He said he would write me a prescription or I could just take 4 of the extra strength dose of whatever pain reliever I liked. Anything that is except aspirin because aspirin is a blood thinner.

So I'm home now and I'm going to take it easy for the rest of the day. Lie down and read my book and take an nice nap.

The Great Pumpkin, Peanuts Halloween

This is a start of a very funny series in Peanuts about Linus and the Great Pumpkin. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A trip to the Newseum

It was a spectacular sunny Sunday. My friend Stu and I met up at the Newseum. Here are a couple of pictures taken from the terrace. As you can see, there weren't many people out that early on a Sunday. We got there when it opened at 9 am. This is such an amazing place to visit.

We stayed for almost three hours. In no way did we see everything but we got wonderful sampling of some of the great exhibits that are there. Here's just a little of what we saw.

The Newspaper Room

This is so very cool. A host of front pages over time of major events along with other exhibit materials. The front pages are divided into years going back to the 1500s. There not so much front pages then. There are three trays that pull out with a front page in each. You could spend hours in this exhibit alone. Some very interesting stuff.

Inside Tim Russert's Office

This is sad exhibit about the great journalists Tim Russert. At the same time a fasinating look into how he worked.

The President's Photographer

Taking pictures of framed pictures doesn't really work out all that well. But I hope this gives you an idea of some of the pictures from exhibit:The President's Photographer. There is a great film about this exhibit; the screen is probably a good 40 to 50 feet wide. Some really great shots. Here are a few.

G-Men and Journalists Exhibit

This was a very interesting exhibit. The second picture is the death mask of John Dillinger.

A little more about the exhibit:

The FBI’s efforts to fight crime and its starring role in popular culture are examined in an exhibit now at the Newseum. With 200 artifacts — including the Unabomber’s cabin, Patty Hearst’s coat and gun and the electric chair that killed the Lindbergh baby kidnapper — nearly 300 photographs, dozens of historic newspapers and interactive displays, the exhibit reflects the sometimes cooperative, sometimes combative relationship between the FBI and the news media.

Pictures of the Year at the Newseum

From the Newseum site:

The exhibit showcases the year's best news images from Pictures of the Year International, the oldest photojournalism contest in the world.

Monday, October 24, 2011

My Digital Camera and the Geek Squad

I had problems with my digital camera. You can go here to read all about it.

Essentially the lens cover would not open and close all the way. I could get the camera to work by using my finger to open the cover. That's what I did when I went to New York. The Monday that I got back from my trip I took the camera to Best Buy. I'd bought it there and had gotten an extended warranty. I'd been told when I'd brought it in early that it would take 3-5 days to get it back.

That didn't turn out to be the case. Because the camera I had wasn't rapid return (at least I think that's what they called it), it was going to be sent out to get fixed. It would take 2-3 weeks for it to be repaired. I wasn't too happy about that. First off because when I'd bought the extended warranty they didn't mention that if the camera had a problem it would be fixed. They gave the very strong impression that if anything went wrong the camera would be replaced. The other thing was of course 2-3 weeks to fix the thing that's nuts.

Off the camera went. A few days after it was sent off I got an e-mail from the Geek Squad saying they'd received the camera and were working on repairing it. Then about a week later or so another e-mail saying still working on it and giving me a tracking number so I could follow the repair process.

Then along comes another e-mail from Geek Squad. It said:

Hello Jason,

Thank you for choosing Geek Squad!

In an effort to ensure your service was completed to your expectations we would like to give you an opportunity to provide feedback on your overall experience with Geek Squad.

Below is the first question of a brief survey that should not take more than a few minutes to complete.

In addition to providing us with feedback, you will have the opportunity to request a follow up contact by a member of Geek Squad if you have any questions or concerns stemming from your service.

Please rate your recent service experience with Geek Squad

One small little problem I didn't have the camera. I'd never been told it was fixed or to pick it up at the Best Buy where I left it. I checked the status of my repair. The service history said completed product has been picked up by the customer. I was not happy at all.

I called the Best Buy where'd I dropped it off. This is what I was told. By default a product is always shipped to the customers home address. I'd said I was never told that and if I had been I would not have had it sent to my home. I then had to ask who it was being shipped by. I found out it was UPS. I then had to ask for a shipping number. I then said to the guy why did I have to call you to find out this information. I should have been told about this. I said I was very disappointed with the service.

I did go to UPS' site and found out the camera should arrive on Tuesday. At least now I know to be on the look out for it. If I hadn't called I would have been completely in the dark about when it was going to show up.

In the comments section of the Geek Squad questionnaire this is what I said:

The fact that I received this survey first before I was told that camera had been fixed and was being sent to me speaks volumes. I should have been informed the camera was fixed by e-mail. I should have been informed what company was shipping the camera and what the tracking number was. I should have been informed when to expect the camera to arrive at my house. I should not have had to call the store and ask for the information.

Lousy, lousy, lousy customer service. Would not recommend Geek Squad to anyone!

I said I wanted someone from the Geek Squad to contact me. I left both my e-mail and phone number. It will be interesting to see if anyone bothers to call me back.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Metro Gets One Right

This weekend Metro did major track work on the Red Line:

On the Red Line, buses will replace trains between Fort Totten and New York Avenue as Metro installs new track, ties, insulators and provides a work zone for District of Columbia Department of Transportation bridge work near New York Avenue station. Two stations -- Rhode Island Avenue and Brookland -- will be closed as a result.

I was doing things both days that would require me to use the Metro. I thought this would be a big huge pain in the ass. It turned out not to be the case at all. There were a couple of glitches. On Saturday it was a little confusing exactly where to catch the shuttle but to New York Avenue at the Rhode Island station. Also the route to the New York Avenue station seemed a bit convoluted. Lots and lots of turns. Also the driver of the bus on Saturday had printed instructions on the route to New York Avenue. He had a little trouble but then again there were as I said lots and lots of turns.

Sunday things worked great. I was meeting up with my friend Stu at the Newseum (more on that later) around 9 am. I had to head out early. I gave myself about an hour to get there. I got to the Rhode Island station just as one of the shuttle buses pulled in. There were Metro employees at the bus stop. One asked where I was going and I said New York Avenue. She told me get on the bus that had just pulled in. I got on and a few moments later the bus left. I was the only one on the bus. Now they very easily could have waited until more people got on but they didn't. I thought that was great.

Ended up I had no problems meeting Stu by 9 at the museum. The trip back to Rhode Island went just as smoothly. Nice to know that Metro can get things right.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Music from A to Z

A long time ago at the start of each year I would listen to the collection of music I had by artists.

I would start at A and then go to the end. Now this is in the time when I had albums. You remember those from a long time ago in a galaxy far far away. That's how music used to come. You'd play them on a turn table and that would be hooked up to a receiver which would have speakers hooked up to it. I know it all sounds so very quaint but that's how you used to listen to music.

Well I decided the other day to do that again. This time, of course, I'm listening to all my music on my iPod. I'm not planning on listening to all 10,654 songs that I have. I'm going to listen around a half hour for each artist. I'm not sure how long this will take. I only have until the day after Thanksgiving when another one of my traditions start and that's only Christmas music until the start of the new year.

I'm on B right now so I have a ways to go.

Funny Video

I saw this on a site. It is a dog playing a piano while howling. Yes, it is silly but it also very funny. Happy Saturday!

Friday, October 21, 2011

2Political Episode 64

2PP064 - 20 October 2011

2Political Podcast Episode 64- is now available. You can listen to it or download it from the podcast site, You can leave comments there as well as download or listen to any episode (you can access the five most recent episodes from the list on the right side of my blog).

After special days, we talk about the “Occupy” protest movement, which has come to Auckland, too. Then we talk about Cain’s moronic plan to dramatically increase taxes for the poor and working people so the ultra rich can have tax cuts. Arthur says he can’t tell if Cain is stupid, wilful, a liar, etc. What’s up with him?

Next, look at the poor quality of Republican presidential candidates, and what a big problem Romney still has actually winning the nomination. We can’t remember a presidential campaign ever being this unfocused at this point in an election season. Arthur makes an impassioned argument that if people are unhappy with their party, they have a personal responsibility to change things.

The photo accompanying today’s shownotes is of the Devilsfood Cheescake Jason mentioned, and is from one of his blog posts about his recent trip to New York City.

Please leave a comment (anyone's welcome—agree or disagree!), or you can ring the 2Political Comment line on 206-350-3982.

Links for this episode:
Persons Day - Canada
And more about Persons Day
Hogeye Festival – Elgin, Texas
Dissolution of the 49th Parliament – the NZ event Arthur mentioned
Tent and sympathy – Arthur’s blog post on the “Occupy” protest in Auckland
Protesters in McPherson Square - Jason’s blog post on DC protestors
Thoughts on the Republican Race – Jason’s blog post that Arthur mentioned
Arthur’s blog, podcasts and videos can be accessed here.

Get 2Poltical Podcast for free on iTunes

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Catching up on Civil War 150

I fell behind with a couple of features with the blog because of my aching head in September. One of them was following the Civil War 150 battles. So in the next couple of days I’m going to try and bring that up to date.

For a very long time, I wasn’t all that interested in American history. I thought it was pretty dull. I read many books on European history. I just found it so much more interesting. Then I got a two volume history on the American Revolution called a New Age Now Begins by Page Smith. I was spell bound by the book. It was so well written and had the perspective of not only the important people of the day but from the average person as well. Many letters and diary entries from the famous and not so famous made the revolution come alive.

Smith wrote a whole series of books about America history. One of them was on the Civil War and is one of the best that I’ve read on the war. So here’s playing catch up on Civil War 150.

Dry Wood Creek
September 2, 1861 in Vernon County, Missouri. The battle for Missouri continues:

Col. J.H. Lane’s cavalry, about a regiment strong, set out from Fort Scott to learn the whereabouts of a rumored Confederate force. They encountered a vastly larger Confederate force near Big Dry Wood Creek. The Union cavalry surprised the Confederates, but numbers soon made the difference. The Confederates forced the Union cavalry to retire and captured their mules, and the Confederates continued their march towards Lexington.

This is in fact part of a series of skirmished/battles that took place for control of Missouri. They included Battle of the Hemp Bales or the Battle of Lexington which occured September 13-20, 1861:

Following the victory at Wilson’s Creek, the Confederate Missouri State Guard consolidated in the northern and central part of the state. The next move was (under the command of Maj. Gen. Sterling Price) on Lexington. Col. James A. Mulligan commanded the entrenched Union garrison of about 3,500 men.

At the same time the Battle of Liberty was taking place. This took place in Clay County. Not very far the Battle of Lexington. September 17 1861:

The fight lasted for an hour without notable result. The Union withdrawal let the Confederates continue consolidating influence in northwestern Missouri.

All three battle were Confederate victories. It allowed them to gain greater control over Missouri. Missouri was considered an important state for the Union. It was important to keep it in the Union. If not the whole state, then at least the part of it that was along the Mississippi. The long range strategy of the Union was to move down the Mississippi River and control the area around it. This would cut the Confederacy in two.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Protesters in McPherson Square

Here are a few pictures of the Occupy DC people. This is right near my office at McPherson Square. Here's a little more about them. One of the members of the action committee said:

“Before, we were going out daily, but we were still in the infancy stage. Now we don’t want to burn people out, “said Lehner, 23, who is from Tampa but now lives in the park. “We are trying to get a bit more organized…We are still going to be marching in the streets, just not everyday, but trying to organize it so it’s more planned out.”

They say there are going to try and stay through winter.

End of the World (again)

Well it’s the end of the world again.

Yes, it is that time of the year again. The leaves begin to change color, the fall TV season starts, football is in full swing and the rapture is right around the corner.

Resident doomsday nut Harold Camping says

“A lot of things we didn’t have quite right will probably be finished out on Oct. 21,” the 90-year-old Camping says in a message on his Family Radio Network website. “That looks like it will be at this point, looks like it will be the final end of everything.”

Seems old Harold had a stroke early this year but his mind is still sharp as a tack. He still knows that the end is coming. He rants on further by saying:

The tone of his message is more mild than his previous declaration. Shying away from talk of wrath and judgment, he says “the end is going to come very, very quietly probably within the next month . . . by October 21. Probably there will be no pain suffered by anyone because of their rebellion against God . . .” he said. “We can become more and more sure that they’ll quietly die and that will be the end of their story.”

As I always say it's good to have a hobby. Harold's seems to be being a first case nut job.

Still I was looking forward going to the Newseum on Sunday with a friend. Oh well. At least it won't hurt this time around

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Thoughts on the Republican Race

First a little fun at the expense of the Republican field. I only saw the video for this on Monday not the actual sketch from Saturday Night Live but it was very funny. Here’s what “Herman Cain” had to say in the debate:

“I never thought that anyone would look at it... The original goal of the 9-9-9 plan was to get me a show on Fox News. ... If America is looking for catchy, unworkable solutions to complicated problems, Herman Cain has the answer.

How we fight terrorism my 5-5-5 plan. For every terrorist, America will send five planes, five soldiers, and five of those dogs that caught Osama bin Laden.

How do we fix healthcare my 3-3-3 plan. Every time you get sick you get three pills, three days off, and three chicken-noodle soups.”

The rest of the sketch was equally funny with Newt Gingrich and Michele Bachmann being in a janitor’s closet. The person who emerged from it would be invited to the next debate. And the debate was sponsored by Marriott on the Marriott channel. Very funny stuff.

And it really points out what a terrible group of candidate the Republicans have. The newest darling is Herman Cain how long he stays as the “front runner” and a threat to Mitt Romney remains to be seen. Cain could be the new flavor of the month.

The conventional wisdom is that Romney is the most likely nominee. He is first or second in polls. In a couple of polls recently he came in second with Cain being in front. Sort of like a few weeks ago when Perry was in first. Romney’s number seems to hover rather consistently in the 20s. Follow this link to realclearpolitics and it shows Romney’s range. The low is in the Gallup poll at 20%. The high is the Rasmussen Reports poll at 29%.

And here I believe is a problem for Romney. He never gets above 30%. And the flavor of the month comes along and ties him or ends up ahead of him in polls. Romney hasn’t closed the deal with Republicans most notably the Tea Party. They think he’s too “liberal” on some issues and changed his positions on some too. I also think the fact that he is a Mormon is a reason as well.

I think many fundamentalist Christians agree with Rev. Robert Jeffress, a Rick Perry supporter, who said in part:

“The decision for conservative evangelical Christians right now is going to be do we prefer somebody who is truly a believer of Jesus Christ or somebody who is a good moral person but he’s a part of a cult. And it’s not politically correct to say but it’s true. Mormonism is a cult.

This is a line that I’ve heard for years about Mormons from fundamentalists. I think Romney has a ways to go to win over this important bloc of the Republican Party. Frankly I’m not sure how he’s going to do it. And that means getting above 30% is going to be a hard climb.

As for Mr. Cain, the 9-9-9 plans leaves a great deal to be desired. Cain has essentially dismissed any criticism of the plan. Over the weekend he did admit that some people would pay more taxes.

The few actual break downs I’ve seen done by the media (as far as I’m concerned the media has done a very poor job of showing how this plan would impact the average person) have shown that most people would pay more. In fact it looks like if you are poor or lower-middle class you’d be paying a great deal more. If you were in the upper income brackets you’d be getting a huge tax break.

Once again a Republican presidential candidate supports another massive shift in the tax burden from the rich to those less well off. This time I think and hope it will be exposed for the fraud it is. Then the question is what is left of Cain campaign without 9-9-9. I think I see another flavor of the month biting the dust.

Stamping Out Germs

This is a very very funny series from Peanuts. Lucy gets it into her head that she will stamp out people's cold germs. Here are six panels from a very funny series. Happy Tuesday Treat.

Stamping Out Germs, Part II

The second part of this very funny series where Lucy tries to stamp out colds.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Odds and Ends of the Person Kind

Just some random thoughts and events that I've noticed in the last few weeks while I've people watched in and around DC.

Late for the bus
This happened last week while I was waiting for my bus to go to New York. I had a 9am bus. I was in line around 8:20. It just so happened that I didn’t have to wait long for the Metro at Rhode Island Avenue. It’s also only one stop and then a short walk to where Megabus is at North Capital and K Streets NE.

Also I like to get there early just in case. It just so happens that there is an 8:30 bus. I decided not to take that one because it stops near Baltimore. The 9am bus is non-stop. It arrives about 15 minutes after the one that leaves at 8:30.

So that’s the set up for these two events. A woman comes running into the holding area few minutes before 8:30. She just makes it on to the bus in time. At 8:35 another woman comes along. She too is running. She too is trying to catch the 8:30 bus. She was rather surprised that the bus had already left. She was put into the standby line for the 9am bus. I’m not sure if she got on the bus or not.

I’m always amazed that people are late. Yes things can happen but it seems to me you make sure they don’t happen on the day you are going some place. What you do is make sure you get there early that’s something I always try to even if I end up waiting 40 minutes. I’d rather do that than miss the bus.

Texting and Walking

I have to say I find it annoying when I’m walking down the street and I have to move out of the way when someone is texting. The person texting should at least be aware of where they are. I can’t tell you the number of times when I haven’t move out of the way the looks I get from the person who’s texting.

A few weeks ago there was a woman walking down the street texting. She was not watching where she was going. She ended up walking into a sign. And I’m not talking about brushing up against that sign. I’m talking she ran smack into the sign face first. It took a great deal of self control not to burst out laughing.

The tourists are gone
It is amazing the change on the Metro each year once Labor Day has come and gone. Literally the tourists disappear. Well that’s not exactly true. Tourists with kids are gone because school starts. The tourists you are left with are usually older or from another country. This was very noticeable when I had a friend in over the Labor Day weekend and into the next week. We went to a couple of museums and they were essentially empty. It was great to get around and see things.

This will only last until around Thanksgiving when they will be back in town for the holidays. But for now it’s nice at rush hour to just deal with the locals.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Cain to the Fore

The new darling of the Republicans for the next couple of weeks is Herman Cain. Cain replaces the last best great hope of the Republicans Rick Perry who replaced Donald Trump. Seems Republicans are having a problem figuring out who would be the best candidate to replace Obama. Romney continues to hold around 25 percent. He doesn’t seem to get much above that which doesn’t bode well for him.

Cain shot into the lead after Perry self destructed during the debates. It seems Mr. Perry can’t debate at all. I guess in the last one he essentially disappeared into the wood work.

Cain’s big point is the 9-9-9 plan which he says is simple and straight forward. It would be fair to everyone or so he says. The reality of the plan is something completely different. This would be a huge burden on the least well off who spend a larger percentage of their income they anyone else. I think the editorial in the Post today sums up the problem:

Even if it generated adequate revenue, Mr. Cain’s plan would do it on the backs of the least well-off — and to the benefit of the wealthiest taxpayers. The 47 percent of households that do not pay federal income tax because their earnings are too low would be subject to a new 9 percent tax on their income — plus the impact of the 9 percent sales tax, with no exceptions for spending on basic needs such as food, clothing and shelter.

f course the 9% sales tax would be above and beyond any state or local sales tax there is. For instance if I went and bought a pair of jeans in DC I’d be paying 9% national sales tax along with the 6% DC sales tax. An increase in the cost of the jeans of 15%. Now let’s start thinking about how much this would cost on larger items. Let’s say a washing machine or couch or a car or a house. Yes as far as I can tell since you are buying the house there would be a 9% sales tax on that as well. I’m sure that would be a big boost to the housing market.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Up to New York City

Up by bus to New York City on Sunday. Another fun trip. Here are some pictures.

How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying

I went up to see How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying. I liked the show. Daniel Radcliffe was really great. I was very impressed by him. He made the show really fun.

I got a couple of pictures of John Larroquette. I also got a picture of Radcliffe too. Well I should say I got a picture of the back of his head. If you look at the last picture, there's a tall guy in a white shirt. Next to the tall guy is a guy wearing a baseball cap that's Daniel Radcliffe.