Saturday, December 29, 2012

"Home Improvements" Moment

Tim Allen wasn't the first to come up with the concept, but did do a great job of giving it "life" to others.

When I was a kid, I got a Six-Million Dollar Man action figure. It stood about eight inches tall with movable arms and legs (action figures when I was a kid were ACTION figures - not immobile figurines.) You could look through a hole in the back of his head to look through his "bionic eye" (in the show, he could zoom in on things far away - with the action figure it was looking through the wrong end of binoculars), and by pushing a button in his back his right arm (also "bionic") would go up. My parents went all out. Included was a rocket that Steve Austin (same dude) would ride inside. And when you simulated the crash (check out the intro titles to the show below) you could open it up into an operating table to "build" the bionic man. Really cool.

Another cool item was a backpack he would wear that was actually a crystal-set radio. These are radios that came with an alligator clip that you would connect to a ground (like a metal fence/post) for "power", and with the earphone (one-half of a set of ear buds for you "whipper snappers") you could listen to AM radio.

I remember the first day my parents left me with my older brother as my "baby sitter". He was in the one end of the house and I was in the other - the TV room. I was playing with the crystal-set radio and was fussing with the lack of quality signal I was getting when listening to it. So I thought, "What I need is MORE POWER." I took the power cord from my brother's cassette player (it had no power adapter/converter, also known as a "wall wart"; just a straight cord with an end with two holes [female end] that plugged into the two pronged [male end] of the cassette player), plugged the one end into the wall socket, put the earphone in my ear, and took the alligator clip and plugged it into the two-holes at the other end of the cord.

There was a spark. There was smoke coming up from the carpet where I was sitting. The alligator clip had MELTED. I looked at the palm side of my hand and it was BLACK! I screamed.

My brother came running down the hall yelling, "I'm dead! I'm dead! I'm dead!" He took me in the bathroom and scrubbed the black off of my hand (burnt skin??)

Nothing like a little "more power" to hurt oneself.

Oh, and we didn't tell the folks until we were adults - like, thirty-some years later!

© Emittravel 2012

Sunday, December 23, 2012

O Come All Ye ???

One of the great things about old hymns is the theology that intertwines them. Many of them can be considered creeds set to music. But not all are "accurate". I want to talk about one such hymn; a beloved Christmas carol sung every year. It is a great song, overall, but I think it is a little misguided. The original lyric, credited to John Francis Wade (1711-1786) is as follows:

O Come All Ye Faithful
Joyful and triumphant,
O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem.
Come and behold Him,
Born the King of Angels;
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord.

O Come All Ye Faithful. Why the call to the faithful? Christ came to those who were sick and in need of a physician, not necessarily to those who were considered "righteous". He came for all of us, and all of us should come.

Joyful and triumphant. The first to hear of the news were shepherds in the field - and they were not joyful. They were scared out of their wits. He calls us all, in the joys and sorrows, to come to Him.

O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem. This line sets the state of our Lord - the child in the manger - this side of the cross.

Come and behold Him, Born the King of Angels. Angels have been on the outside, awestruck by the concept of grace - unmerited, unearned favor - upon mankind. Born the King of us all.

O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord. Nothing I can say there. Just adore Him.

O Come All Ye Faithful, hurting, in sorrow, doubting, seeking, etc.
Joyful, scared, longing, and triumphant, lost, broken,
He's come, ye, He's come, ye, to right where you are.
Come and behold Him, Born our King and Savior;
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord.

Merry Christmas!

© Emittravel 2012

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Dear Sigmund

With the recent tragedy at an elementary school in Connecticut, the conversation has seemed to focus on gun control for the most part. Events such as these make us want to do SOMETHING - even if it has very little effect. Politicians trumpet stricter gun laws - banning so-called "assault weapons", to make it look as if they are doing SOMETHING of value. Understand, that is what politicians do: they legislate away problems. In Connecticut, however, they already have strict gun laws; a ban on "assault weapons" and elementary schools are already what are called "gun-free zones". Yet, this still happened. Are more gun laws really going to fix it? I think we have the focus on the wrong issue.

We sit and wonder, "what kind of mentally deranged individual would do such a heinous thing as this?" And that is the heart of it: people who do these things ARE mentally deranged. But what can we do about that?

We need, not just easier access to even better mental health provisions but, the PERMISSION to suggest it. When Nidal Malik Hasan, a U.S. Army Major opened fire in the Fort Hood military base in 2009, nobody thought to question his behavior prior to the incident. After all, he was a psychiatrist. Surely he of all people was mentally healthy.  Rumors floated around about his state of mind AFTER the incident. Really?

Terms like "dark", "loner", and "quiet" describe the last few school "terrorists". Such are ascribed AFTER the tragedies. People come forward AFTER the tragedies to make these statements. Why not before?

(Here is where I may upset my readers.)

The enemy, as Pogo once said, is us. The fault? Is ours. We are too afraid to say something BEFORE. Maybe it's "politically incorrect" to point out that someone may need care or observation. Maybe we are afraid of being sued. Maybe we have pushed our moral code so far down within us that we won't take the risk of being accused of being "judgmental". Who are we? The whacko religious-right? Absolutely not.

Do we need better healthcare laws that promote mental health services? Maybe. But what we need more is the loss of the stigma that the need for mental care has attached to it. Look at Alcoholics Anonymous. There is nothing shameful about admitting you are an alcoholic and need help. We have gotten over, for the most part, that stigma. What about in the areas of depression? There has to be more than prescription-medicine-commercials-for-depression to reach people. And not just for those needing the help, but for us - those having to live with the aftermath of ignoring it.

It's time for us to realize that our society is full of hurting people. Reach out to them. Help them. If you are in a church it is your duty to reach out to them. Don't wait for the government to handle this. We all know how beneficial another law can be . . .

Note: the title of this blog comes from an episode of the television show "M*A*S*H". In it, Dr. Sidney Freedman is coping with his own depression; writing a letter to Sigmund Freud.

© Emittravel 2012

Monday, December 17, 2012

Stuff My Brain Says #57

Liberal social programs are genuinely sought with the betterment of people in mind. Sure, there are those in leadership who just want to rule over others, so making them the arbiter of all that is "good" helps keep the reigns in their hands. But for the most part, social programs are designed to help. The only problem is that for a country to truly be socially liberal, it must first be fiscally conservative. You have to be able to afford the programs, or the very programs that were designed to help people will become dependencies that will inevitably go away.

Basic economics: when your outgo exceeds your income, your upkeep becomes your downfall. It is not a matter of compassion. It is a matter of mathematics. And mathematics doesn't lie.

Just ask those in Greece.

© Emittravel 2012

Friday, December 14, 2012

Stuff My Brain Says #56

That's the thing about getting older: you reach the point where you start to wonder, "Which half of the hour glass has the most sand?"

Nothing like a new calendar to emphasize one's mortality.

© Emittravel 2012

Monday, December 10, 2012

A Little Christmas Cheer

We just finished performing our third annual dinner theater at the church I attend. One of the "bits" was a parody of a classic Christmas song. We performed it at one of our recent church services for the congregation (so you KNOW it is family-friendly) and it was captured on video. The parody lyrics were written by my dear friend, Jim Toncar. Also filling in vocals with Jim are Ruben Roman, Scott Mintz, and Dave Hasse. I'm the hairless guy doing the lead.

Being that I've only written two Christmas poems over the years, I thought I would share this instead:

Merry Christmas!


© Emittravel 2012

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Stuff My Brain Says #55

As we draw closer to the last days of the calendar, I find that the topic of the Mayan calendar's end-date of December 21 has been on the lips of quite a few folks. I wanted to write something that deals with the topic of end times, especially in light of this, but I realized that I already had a rather healthy article written. So, as a little bit of a "flash back", here is the link to that article: Why Muslims Should Be America's Biggest Supporters. Enjoy! -j.p.

©Emittravel 2012

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Stuff My Brain Says #54

I just read that Congress has proposed the addition of an online sales tax as a rider to the defense authorization bill. It's not that I'm for or against an online sales tax, I'm just mad that these bozos put the two together. What does an online sales tax have to do with defense?? Answer: not a damn thing.

For more on this, see my blog article on the concept of one bill, one vote.

© Emittravel 2012

Friday, November 30, 2012

Stuff My Brain Says #53

If the purpose of elections is to win only, the Democrats have proven they are the more capable. But if the purpose of elections is to place representatives into office who will help move the nation in the direction that the founders put in place, with the best long-term interests of its peoples in the foreground, than the Democrats have failed miserably. Or, more accurately, half of the voting populous has.

© Emittravel 2012

Monday, November 26, 2012

The President's Novel Idea

President Obama has a unique plan to handle the financial crisis, but it will only work if Republicans will get off of their high horses and embrace it. For every $1 in tax revenue (a.k.a. "increases"), there will be $2 in spending cuts. Novel! And it will work! The solution to the growing debt has been found. President Obama has shown his incredible, breathtaking intellect at work.

Not so quite. Here is what I want to tell Republicans (and fiscally-minded Democrats - and I know you are out there!):

Ronald Reagan was offered the same plan. He found that the only way to get significant spending cuts would be to accept this and raise taxes.

George H.W. Bush was offered the same plan. Mr. "read my lips: no new taxes" embraced this plan as the only way to get significant spending cuts.

How did that work out? They both accepted tax increases (hurting Reagan's reputation of limited government and literally eliminating Bush's chances for re-election). The promised spending cuts? NEVER HAPPENED. And what did you get? The Democrats trumpeting how the non-tax-increase Republicans LIED and increased taxes when election time came around. They don't care about the debt: they only care about getting votes (and unfortunately, so do you Republicans.) The ruse? "Compromise." In order for the media to show that you are willing to compromise, you need to accept what the Democrats are dishing out. If you don't, you are obstructionists to progress.

If I were you, I would demand to see those cuts put into action FIRST, and THEN allow the tax increase. You know, "show me the cuts, and then I'll show you the money".

Hurt me once, shame on you. Hurt me twice, shame on me. Hurt me three times??

© Emittravel 2012

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving Day

Been awhile since I stopped to write verse. Today, a day known for reflection, has stirred the following from my heart. May it touch yours. -j.p.

Tidings glad
In midst of sorrows
Comfort given
When all seems lost
Looking forward
Glancing backwards
Bending knee
Before the cross
Seeking mercy
Deserving nothing
Arms outstretched
Towards One who's true
Giving thanks
Deep in hardship
A cry for grace
It comes from You
Joy unspoken
Shouts of praise
Tears of cleansing
Purpose to pray
Peace in remembrance
Hope for the future
A life in renewal
Each Thanksgiving Day
J.P. Wiegand
©Emittravel 2012

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Stuff My Brain Says #52

You have to understand, the media can't help but give their opinions. 9/11 has changed news in a profound way. Gone are the days of morning, 6 pm and 11 pm news broadcasts. Now you have 24-hour news. Really? There are enough things happening to provide 24-hour news? Of course not. And the repetition would be mind numbing. So, they speculate, postulate, and opinionate. There are discussions with "experts" - usually via a lopsided panel. Human-interest stories to give you the "heart" of the matter at hand. And on and on.

Also, being owned by the entertainment industry doesn't exactly help either.

© Emittravel 2012

Monday, November 12, 2012


Legacy. Something left behind to be remembered by. A statue. A journal. An object or vision of such power that the life of the person it represents is unmistakable - and totally impactful.

I was thinking of such legacies in the Bible: altars - piles of stones; festivals and holidays. Then I thought of one, maybe unintentional, legacy that I haven't heard preached. The book of Exodus describes God's deliverance of His people from slavery in Egypt through Moses. The last of the "punishments" upon Egypt for not letting His people go was the death of the first-born male.

In order to differentiate the Egyptian household from the Israelite, and to create a legacy to pass forever along the family lines of Israel, the Passover is initiated. One part of the Passover was to take the blood of the slain lamb and paint it on the door posts and top of the frame. This was a sign to the angel that was coming to "pass over" those particular households. You can read the account in Exodus, chapter 12. The Israelites were to hold an annual Passover, teaching their children so as not to let the memory fade from their culture.

Here is where the unintentional(?) legacy comes in. The Israelites had departed, taking all of their belongings (and some given to them by their Egyptian "neighbors"), yet one thing remained: the blood-stained door frames. Who was this for? The Egyptians - to remember the God of Israel by. Not only did the Egyptians have to deal with the loss of their first-born sons, but they had a visual reminder as well.

What happened to those houses of the Israelites? Nothing is mentioned. But imagine being the new owner.

© Emittravel 2012

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Stuff My Brain Says #51

The major problem facing the Republican Party is integrity. They talk a good talk, but don't follow through in office. We didn't get to $16 trillion by just the Democrats holding the checkbook. I was going to mail a pen to President Bush (GW), but I kept hoping he would find his veto pen. Took way too long for that.

The other difficulty is their message of limited government and spending cuts doesn't sell. But that is politics. You don't get elected threatening to take away all of the goodies that were given out to get elected.

Some say the problem is that Republicans are too right wing. Some say they are not right-wing enough. And still others say the secret sauce is to move to the center. I think the Republican party has the center in their sights and have steadily been moving that direction. From George Bush's "compassionate conservatism" (a.k.a. "liberalism"), to John McCain's not knowing on which side of the "aisle" he belongs, to Mitt Romney's flip flopping so much he's worn himself out evenly on both sides, the Republican party has been moving closer to the center with hopes of capturing more voters. Keep in mind, for the Republican party to move to the center means they have to move to the LEFT.

Republicans don't need a new message; they need to follow through on the one they've touted for years.

© Emittravel 2012

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Stuff My Brain Says #50

On the drive to work, listening to podcasts and worship music (the practice songs for this coming Sunday), I found that I was angry and bitter about the news this morning. I had rants going on, some in my head, some verbal, concerning the end of the Republican "ideal" - that being limited government, less spending, and a strong standing in the world - amongst other things.

And then the Holy Spirit gently, as He always does, spoke to me. I turned off the audio system and prayed. The reason I felt so angry and bitter concerning this was that, for the majority of the last four years, I have NOT prayed for those in authority over me. The fault for my feelings is not external, it is internal. If I would have been praying more, and bitching less, I would have faced the outcome - no matter what it was - with peace.

Should I have been concerned during the last four years? Yes. Should I have voiced my opinion? In both conversations and my blog. Should I have strived for what I thought was right? Absolutely. But I should have ALSO prayed.

So, "Lord, I pray for those in authority over me - at the city, state, and national levels. Give them wisdom. Give them an ear to listen to Your voice. Give them a heart willing to be led by Righteousness. Protect them and their families. And Lord, give them Your peace."

© Emittravel 2012

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

. . . Or Press "3" for Annoying

This is sort of a sequel to the blog topic 'Press "2" for Polish' that I wrote about a year ago. The reason for it? Today, November 6, 2012, is election day here in the United States. Not only do we get to chose our next President (okay, THAT is another topic in itself - "Why You Don't Chose The President"), but we also get to vote for various elected officials, tax levies, etc. And that means voter ballots.

For me, the ballot was three long, double-sided pages. I got to read the item presented and then fill in the appropriate oval with a black pen, designating my choice/decision. The ballot was then fed into a double-sided scanner. And you know what? The ballot could have been half the size. Why? Because half of the ballot was in Spanish. Again, as I said in 'Press "2" for Polish', we are a largely Eastern European family here in my neighborhood. Though there are individuals where Spanish is the language of their roots, it doesn't seem to be prominent here.

Now, what follows may really annoy some of you. But as I state in my blog bio, get thicker skin. My intention is not to offend, but offences do come.

Up until several years ago, if you came to live in this country, and wanted to make something of yourself, you would learn the English language. For well over two hundred years, this has been the norm. People from all over the world, and backgrounds and cultures completely foreign to each other, came here, learned the English language, and made something of themselves. I admit, sometimes it was the second generation immigrant who really mastered the language, but not exclusively. When I was in the Navy, I would meet people in other countries who were so proud of their ability to speak English. And they WEREN'T living HERE!

So what happened? Why the shift to everything being in both English and Spanish? Sure, there are theories out there that sound "reasonable", but you know what? I'm thinking that the reason for the push for Spanish is that there is a belief by various individuals and groups in this country that Spanish-speaking people are too stupid to learn English, and therefore must have everything in their language. Understand, I don't personally think that is true. I'm thinking that learning English is easier today than ever - just look at all of the technological advances in education formats. But I can't help but believe that this MUST be a (viable) reason for the dual-language phenomenon over the last several years. And if I were you, I'd be VERY annoyed and insulted by that.

Of course, there IS the whole voter block thing . . . but that is for another blog topic . . .

© Emittravel 2012

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Wisdom from the Porcelain Pulpit #2

It's J.P., with more "Wisdom from the Porcelain Pulpit".

(NOTE: Usually items in this series come from things I've read. This one came while watching a movie. I was so struck by the line that I had to pause the movie, run it back, and play it again. Yeah, I love DVDs for that. I hope it impacts you the same.)

"The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what we share with someone else." - Lester Bangs ("Almost Famous")

That's it folks: be real. To each other. In what we say to each other. In all of those . . . moments. There is nothing else worth giving. Nothing else has value.

Thank you, Cameron Crowe. Good reminder. 

© Emittravel 2012

Friday, November 2, 2012

Stuff My Brain Says #49

People in the insurance industry have things called "Acts of God". That is when hurricanes hit, tornadoes hit, and the like, and are deemed acts of God. Well, where does "man-made global warming" come in? If man-made global warming has such an impact on our environment, that it causes floods and storms, should we no longer call those acts "acts of God", but "acts of man"? And if they are acts of man, should they be held accountable for all of the accidents that take place? Katrina. Should Katrina be considered the will of God, or the will of man because of pollution? What about Sandy?

Now, I don't believe in man-made global warming, but God is still sovereign - God is still God - God is in control. How many things take place because things are "in motion" and they take place?

© Emittravel 2012

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Stuff My Brain Says #48

You know, the debates are way overrated. The moderators are "esteemed members of the press" and not REAL debate moderators. These folks are "owned" by the entertainment industry and their focus is ratings - not news. They thrive on conflict, because conflict increases viewership - and viewership, through advertising dollars, pays the bills. 

What is needed are REAL debate moderators. You know, the ones that moderate debate clubs in high schools and colleges. Sure, bias will still be an issue, but have you ever watched one of those debates? They are time sticklers. They don't allow people to have open, interrupting-each-other arguments. There are rules that have to be followed, or time is deducted, as well as points. 

When they finally get around to leaving these media bozos out of the debates and bring in REAL moderators I'll watch. Until then? There are always old "Cheers" episodes on Netflix . . .

© Emittravel 2012

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Wall

For me, one of the difficult aspects of writing a blog is finishing what was started. Creative writing has been my shtick for a good many years. I've posted a few poems to this blog to share some of that with you. When I've written poetry, I find that I have to complete the poem in one session. I can't start it and come back to it later. The mood has changed. The muse has taken me in a different direction.

Writing a blog seems to have the same process for me. I've got a "stack" of blog topics in the queue. I've got some as titles only. Others have a list of concepts to hopefully jog my memory. And others have been started but, due to extenuating circumstances, have been left to finish later. This means the queue is getting bigger - the fear of running out of blog topics is hardly an issue.

So now I'm trying to capture the mood, the frame of mind, the energy, of a particular topic. And it is difficult. It has a great start, but is dying on the vine. And I want to finish it. I really do. The working title is "Cliché Christianity", and I stopped writing with a single reminder note: "God Moments". What the heck does THAT mean? What was the approximately three pounds of computer above my shoulders wanting to share? How do I recapture that?

What about you? I'd like to think that I'm not alone here. For those of you writing the "Great American Novel" - how do you write over a period of YEARS? And more importantly, what do you do to get that muse?

© Emittravel 2012

Friday, October 12, 2012

Stuff My Brain Says #47

While at a local restaurant I viewed a table of six, where a mother took her baby, covered him with a small blanket, and breast fed him. Now, this doesn't bother me in the least. As a matter of fact, any man who says he IS bothered, is simply masking his jealousy of the baby.

Now, being someone who can't leave well enough alone, I approached the table (after she was finished) and said, "My mom fed me the same way when I was an infant. Problem was, it took me to about 2nd grade before I could eat without a blanket over my head."

The whole table broke out in laughter. Score.

© Emittravel 2012

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Chosen Exit

Title: The Chosen Exit

Scene: A small, one-car garage. The room is dark, but for the headlights of the running automobile that shine on the back wall. There is no dialogue; only the thoughts of the main character.

Tom: (sitting in lawn chair next to car - head in hands) Just one more breath. That's all I need. One more breath. What does she know anyway? She doesn't care. She thinks I'm useless. She says she wants more. He'll never satisfy her. He can't love her like I have. Someone stable - she says. Someone with a career - she says. Someone who completes what he starts. I'll show her. One more breath. Think I won't do it? Think I'll run away? I'm more of a man than he ever'll be. More of a man than you can handle. I don't need you Katy. Go on. Just get out of my life. My life. My life is nothing without you. Go on. You'll find me and wish like hell you'd have stayed. But it's too late. I can't take it anymore. This is one project I'm finishing. Yeah. You'd…be…proud…of me…Katy.

Scene: A small, one-car garage. The room is dark, but for the fading headlights of the silent automobile.

J.P. Wiegand

This was my entry for the December 2004 Writer's Forum Challenge on The theme for the challenge was to write a short script, or screen play, about people trapped in a confined space (elevator, room, coffin or some other). I guess I took the idea of "trapped" and pushed it out of its box to come up with this one. 

© Emittravel 2004

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Carrot & Stick

I have a friend where I work that is the polar-opposite of me politically, and I have to brag: I love this guy. He is articulate, very funny, and makes me think. I'd like to say he possesses qualities lacking in most liberals I've met. I overheard him having a conversation (yes, also known as "eavesdropping") with another coworker, where he maintained that the wealthy among us should pay a higher percentage of taxes than those making less income. Since I wasn't part of that conversation (did I mention the eavesdropping"?), I decided to hold my opinion for the blog. Of course!

Here is why that concept, though sounding morally superior, fails in the "real world". Let's call it "Carrot and Stick Taxation". My friend believes that because a person has become wealthy under the benefits provided FOR him (again, I'm using "him" for grammatical purposes only - don't get all weird on me), he should have to "give back" for those benefits. Get it? Okay, let me explain.

The "carrot" is the benefits provided. The "stick" is the "give back" - or higher taxes. The government provides an environment where one CAN (that is up to the individual to make it happen) succeed, in order for that same government to take of that success back into its own coffers. Some of the benefits include tax "loopholes" that wealthy people have.

For one thing, those same tax "loopholes" exist for everyone equally. Those who have become successful are in a position to benefit from them. I for one, since I am not self-employed, am unable to partake in many of the write-offs provided in the tax code. I know: how unfair! Someone has gotta be punished for that!

Where is the incentive, under that philosophy of taxation, to succeed? Why work harder, put in more hours, and sacrifice more, to turn around and hand over the fruits of your labor (involuntarily - you know, like a robber at gun point)? Isn't that one of the reasons communism NEVER works? The State tells you how much you can make. "Wait, J.P., the government isn't telling anybody how much they can make." Really? You want to think about that statement a bit? Isn't that what happens when the government "lets" you keep "so much" of your income (after they take what they believe they are entitled to)? This line of thinking is already taking place: look at ObamaCare, where the government will tell which procedures can take place at what price - thereby limiting the amount of possible income for physicians (and everyone else in the medical profession).

Carrot and Stick Taxation has never worked in practice, though it sounds so "nice" in theory. But again, class warfare always sounds good - unless you are the one under fire!

© Emittravel 2012

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Stuff My Brain Says #46

Hey candidates! If I can't trust you to tell me the truth in a 15 second commercial spot, why should I trust you as President?

© Emittravel 2012

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Stuff My Brain Says #45

I've read quite a few articles concerning how our government wants to know/control after-tax money held in foreign banks. Apparently our "evil rich" store money there and our government believes that it needs to get its hands on it.  Understand, if you are an American citizen working over seas, many banks will not allow you to open an account to manage your after-tax income. In a lot of cases, people are giving up their citizenship because the hassle to live there is not worth keeping the American "label". It is only "so convenient" to keep your money in mason jars behind the cereal in the kitchen cupboard (and no, that's not where I keep it . . . )

So why does this line of thinking, the government's insatiable appetite for your money, exist? Because our government outspends every dollar it gets, it is constantly looking for sources of revenue to outspend. Are you one of those who believe that the "evil rich" are not paying their fair share and should be punished? Than understand that you are dangerously close to the camp that believes that the government owns it all. The line that says "net income" on your pay stub is the amount the government LETS you keep (albeit, temporarily). They can take that (back) anytime they please.

Now, think about running a business with THAT in the back of your mind.

© Emittravel 2012

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Ptolemy Syndrome

Long before Copernicus discovered that the earth revolved around the sun, Ptolemy believed and taught that everything revolved around the earth. The earth was considered the center of the universe. As a matter of fact, Copernicus got in a lot of trouble with the Catholic Church because of his discovery. Some people just have difficulty believing that the universe does NOT revolve around THEM. I'm sure you have met a few of these in your time. Below are just a few that I thought of. I'd love to hear others - feel free to post them to this blog. Maybe people will be enlightened . . . like Copernicus . . .

People  who can't count in a 12 Items or Fewer line.

Men who think they have better aim than they do, and leave the toilet seat down.

People who use the Entrance as an Exit of a parking lot.

Texting while driving.

Taking the last cup of coffee out of the pot and leaving the empty one on the burner to burn - or better yet, not making another pot for somebody after them.

Those people who travel down the lane that is ending so that they can merge at the front of the line, thereby causing a traffic jam.

People who take two parking spaces.

People who don't use those really convenient shopping cart collectors in parking lots and just leave the cart in an empty space. You know, the space you were about to pull into.

Those individuals who pull out in front of you and then travel about ten miles below the speed limit.

Line cutters.

People who refuse to use the crosswalk buttons/signals, and walk on the "don't walk" - making the traffic wait for them.

Those individuals who drive with their high beams on, even when approaching on-coming traffic.

People using their electronic devices on a plane before they are allowed to.

Two-year olds. Enough said.

Those who come to Mass and make a bee-line to the exit immediately after communion. I mean, this is God's house. Would you go to someone's house and have dinner, and leave before dessert? That's kind of rude.

People who walk around stores and leave things in various places, because they decided they didn't want to buy them, instead of putting them back where they came from.

People who change the diaper of their child inside their car, and leave the dirty diaper on the ground in the middle of the parking lot.

Did I mention the non-use of turn signals?

Those who throw trash out of their car, when they are only twenty feet from a trash can. (See the diaper comment above . . . )

People who believe that their opinion is right over everybody else, and everybody has a right to their opinion. Oh wait a minute, that one is me.

© Emittravel 2012

Friday, August 31, 2012

Stuff My Brain Says #44

I would like to ask President Bush how it feels to be a three-term President. Since everything has been his fault over the last four years, he must still be sitting in the Oval Office. I guess that means the Democrat campaign slogan should be "Give Obama a Chance!"

© Emittravel 2012

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

As Hope Burns

Prior to my meeting, falling in love, and marrying my lovely wife Lisa, I was a mess. I was still trying to get over someone and was refusing to allow myself to get close to any other woman. This poem came out during a non-numb moment - if you know what I mean. -j.p.

The seasons have come and gone
Time drifts slowly past
People come and go
Impacting in ways small and great
But some memories remain
Peaceful yet haunting

I told you once
(Seems so long ago)
That there will be others in my life
Mere shadows compared to you
Words of prophecy
Falling into fruition

Why can’t I forget you
Stop caring each and every day
Wondering where you are
Missing you so much
Recounting the moments
Immersed in my failures

Where do these tears come from
How can they continue to fall
Haven’t I cried enough
Shouldn’t my heart be dry
And yet I wonder
How many tears have you shed

Do I ever touch your thoughts
Speak to you in the quiet
Alone in your bed
Can you feel my arms around you
Does my name cross your lips
In the sorrow of prayer

I wait for you
After all this time
I reach out
Try to touch you in my musings
And love you
As hope burns

J.P. Wiegand
© Emittravel 2004

Monday, August 13, 2012

Why You Don't Choose The President

It's official: GOP candidate Mitt Romney has chosen Paul Ryan for his VP. Will this turn out to be a good choice? We don't know. There is the impact on the election and, more important, the impact on the potential administration. 

We understand why the election impact: a candidate is trying to capture a voting block that he may otherwise be not as likely to win over on his own. (Note: I'm using "he" throughout, since when the gender of the person is unknown, "he" is grammatically correct usage. Using "he/she", or alternating "he" and "she" makes reading clumsy for the audience.) What I want to address is the impact on the administration. Mainly, why do we let candidates pick their own running mates?

According to Federalist #68: "The Vice-President is to be chosen in the same manner with the President; with this difference, that the Senate is to do, in respect to the former, what is to be done by the House of Representatives, in respect to the latter." The 12th Amendment gives instructions on choosing the President and Vice President. In neither document does it state that the Vice President is chosen by the President - neither as President, nor as a "running mate". 

Shouldn't the Vice President be elected in the same manner as the President, as described by our founding documents? I understand that choosing one's own running mate allows the balance of the ticket, but one of the main responsibilities of the Vice President is to take over in case of the loss of the President. If something happens to the President, wouldn't we want the SAME things in a Vice President? Isn't the point to have a seamless "change of command" in such a loss? Why would we want someone who would take us in a completely different direction? 

Think back on all of the President/Vice President combinations we've had. Would you honestly have voted FOR the Vice President chosen?

Barack Obama / Joe Biden
George W. Bush / Dick Cheney
Bill Clinton / Al Gore
George Bush / Dan Quayle
Ronald Reagan / George Bush
Jimmy Carter / Walter Mondale
Gerald Ford / Nelson Rockefeller
Richard Nixon / Spiro Agnew / Gerald Ford
Lyndon Johnson / Hubert Humphrey
John F. Kennedy / Lyndon Johnson

The above list goes back to just before my birth. Just think about the combinations. Why would anyone willingly choose these combinations? Sure, some of those aren't so bad, but if given the opportunity to choose, would you have done the same? I don't think I would have.

But again, when the game is to get elected, what is best for the country slips in importance.

So remember when going to the polls: Since the Vice President is selected as a running mate, you don't, ultimately, get to choose who is President. If something were to happen to this person if elected President, would you REALLY want their chosen Vice President to take over? Brrrr - is there a chill in the room, or is it just me?

© Emittravel 2012

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Pleased to Meet You, Hope You Guess My Name

My wife and I were having a conversation concerning the reason I write my blog, and she suggested that I let you, my readers, in on the "why". As you have probably guessed, even though this blog tends to go all over the place, it keeps circling back to things that make me want to scream. A friend of mine, blogger and photographer extraordinaire Mark T., used to highlight his blog with pictures of rolls of duct tape. The more angst, the more rolls of duct tape were needed to keep his head from exploding. Sometimes I have felt like stealing the concept for this blog!

Therapy. Therapy for me, mainly, and maybe inspiration for you. That's the idea of the blog. And not just psychological therapy; but physical. Oh yes, there is a physical reason for me to blog. Let me give you the history:

Years ago I used to write poetry on a semi-regular basis. I've posted a few of them in this blog, and will post more as the mood warrants. Writing one usually began with feeling a very strong emotion, and the deep desire to express it. I'd grab a pen or keyboard and start pouring it out. I would know the poem was complete when the emotion subsided. There were times when I would find myself typing a word or phrase, getting up from my chair to pace - with tears pouring out of my eyes, to sit and type another word or phrase, and repeat. I guess I'm an emotionally-intense person.

A few years ago I found myself being jarred awake, about an hour and a half after falling asleep, by an "evil Tiger Woods" with a nine-iron to the side of my skull. At first I thought they were migraines. Migraines that were so bad that if I had a gun within reach I would have put the barrel in my mouth and pulled the trigger. After about a month of these, and being deathly afraid to fall asleep, my wife and I started scrambling for anything that might stop them.

One of the symptoms was that my jaw ached really bad. We contacted the dentist, thinking that maybe my wisdom teeth were coming in. I had one removed in Navy boot camp (1984), so I thought maybe one of the others were causing the issue. Nope. My wisdom teeth were fine. I did have wear on my teeth - the dentist determined I had been grinding them. So he gave me a bite guard to wear when I went to sleep.

Ever use one of those things? First off, you drool like a St. Bernard. Second, you try to fall asleep, with the fear of choking on the damn thing. I never had the choking issue: I clenched that thing so hard that when I woke up in the morning I had to pry my jaw apart to remove it (it had suctioned my jaw together). Clearly this was not helping.

We tried sleep aids. Now, I'm not much into strong medication. I don't even like getting intoxicated - I like maintaining control. So we started with something that the body normally generates: melatonin. This stuff gives me really weird and vivid dreams (who needs Netflix??), but doesn't eliminate the grinding. Someone at work suggested Ambien, so I talked to my doctor. What I was prescribed was what I call an Ambien knock off: Zolpidem. What this does is calm your brain down when you sleep.

Here is what was happening: when I fell asleep my brain would run like crazy and I would stress. I would start grinding my teeth, which would tighten the muscles that ran from my neck up the side of my head and WHAM! Migraine. Or, more accurately, a tension headache. The Zolpidem helps my brain from running like crazy, which eliminates the first link in the chain of events. I don't take it every night (as prescribed); only when I feel my jaw getting achy, or I don't get a good night's sleep the night before.

Now why the blog. My wife, my dear, sweet, beautiful and scary-smart wife, suggested that I do what I would do to express the emotions I was feeling. But instead of poetry specifically, just write. Let it out. Get it out of your head. There was one small problem with that concept: I already write. I'm one of those guys with an AWFUL memory. I journal EVERYTHING (or as much as I remember) already. So just writing won't do it. So, I took inspiration from my wife's blog and started one of my own. Not only do I write, but I expel. I get it out of my head and out "there". There is an old cliché that says, "Joy shared is doubled, and sorrow shared is halved." I've got the whole world to share with. And thanks to you, my readers, I have not had a migraine/tension headache ever since.

There you have it. Now on with the rants!!

© Emittravel 2012

Saturday, July 21, 2012

"The Facts Ma'am, Just the Facts"

My wife follows a number of blogs that hope to inspire better education. Being a high school teacher, she is always looking for ways to improve her craft. As she was going through some of her RSS feeds, she played a video from that actually annoyed me. She was kind enough to send it to me so that I can share it with you, and give you my inevitable two-cents.

Before I rant, I just want to say that there is a lot of good things presented on The above link is an exception, not the rule.

First off, I'm not a card-carrying-member of the Tea Party. Nor am I a part of the oh-so-honorable Occupy Movement. I am a person who does something on my own: I think. And in this instance, I'm thinking that the message above is an insult.  Here's why:

According to the video, the Tea Party kept the conversation to "taxes, taxes, taxes". It's no wonder, since the topic at hand was a tax increase to "save the library". Being that those who supported the tax increase knew that they were on the losing end (with an economy in the toilet, people stretched beyond limits, and a government spending billion after billion on failed bailouts), they had to change the conversation. What did they do? They lied. Call it what you want: clever marketing; a play on words; expanding the truth. In the end, it was a lie. Instead of talking about the tax increase they came up with this "book burning" story - a falsehood, a slanderous premise, a lie. The Tea Party had no desire, nor ever considered, burning books. But when you can't win with facts, you change the argument.

They pummeled the story of book burning in any form of social media outlet possible until every non-thinking entity was screaming at how terrible the Tea Party was for wanting to burn books. Again, something they've never put into their bylaws or mission statement. At the last minute, when they were about to get "caught" with the lie, they said that not funding the library would "be the same as" burning books. Really? Are you kidding me?

So, the lesson here is, don't worry about the facts. Facts don't matter. Emotion is the key. Better yet, don't even mention the facts - they only get in your way.

© Emittravel 2012

Monday, July 16, 2012

Stuff My Brain Says #43

According to a recent news article, the U.S. Navy's new "gender-neutral" aircraft carriers will not have urinals. My question is, would you get written up for leaving the seat up?

© Emittravel 2012

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Quit Your Whining

I want to whine. Today reached the mid-90s - with a heat index over 100. Very hot. Stifling. Wearing shorts, sandals, and a t-shirt is almost unbearable. I normally go outside with a hat, but it is almost too hot to keep it on my head. I seem to almost always be drinking from the faucet - glass after glass. Yet, the sweat seems to pour out as fast as I drink it in.

I want to whine. I hate the heat. I drive my Jeep with the top on because the sun is too cruel to take the top off. I can't ride my scooter because the idea of helmet, gloves, long pants, boots, and jacket discourage me before I can enjoy the idea of the ride. I know I can ride without the gear, but I don't believe the lack of safety gear is worth the risk. So I don't ride. Besides, the wind that hits me provides no comfort - I feel I'm in an air oven. And red lights are excruciating.

I want to whine. But I can't. Why? Because the above two paragraphs hold options: I can stay inside with air conditioning. I can choose to ride the scooter or not. I can reach into the freezer and add ice to my glass of water if I so desire. And there are those who can't.

Across the ocean from me are men and women in full battle gear - boots, helmet, flack jacket, camouflage from head to toe. And they don't have the option to take off their gear - the lack of safety is not worth the risk. They carry water on them - no ice. Warm. All they can drink is on them. They can't step over to the sink like me.

Unlike the air conditioned roof over my head, they have no shade. The shade of a Humvee is nothing in comparison. Outside is dust and bitter wind. Inside is an Easy-Bake Oven on steroids.

And they don't whine.

They do what they do because it is the right thing to do - and they know it. They do it for you, and they do it for me.

So I can't whine. I can only pray. Not for MY comfort, but for THEIRS. Their safety. Their health. And a quick return home.

Join me.

© Emittravel 2012

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Stuff My Brain Says #42

Some random stuff my brain says:

So, if you traveled faster than light, would you see yourself traveling?

I really have to quit trimming my beard over dark towels . . . I'm just sayin' . . .

Irony moment: did you ever consider that Simon & Garfunkle's "I Am a Rock" is sung as a duet?

I've come to believe that Neti Pots are not designed for people with mustaches . . .

If "mail" is the word that describes "letters or packages that are sent or delivered by means of the postal system" (thanks, then shouldn't bills be described as "fee-mail"?

Did you ever notice that little dogs think they are big dogs, and big dogs think they are lap dogs? Proof positive that God has a sense of humor!

© Emittravel 2012

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Stuff My Brain Says #41

Today the Supreme Court stated that an integral part of ObamaCare is constitutional: forcing people to purchase something is being called a "tax"; which is Constitutional for the government to implement. Even though there is nothing in the Constitution that gives the Federal Government the authority to regulate health care (or banking, the auto industry, or education for that matter), those power-hungry morons in Washington, D.C. will provide us with their mastery of efficiency (think Post Office, DMV, the tax code, etc.) of the health care industry.

A note to all of you idiots who voted for this administration: Remember all of those stories that showed alternate histories of the United States (like the show "Sliders")? Well, welcome to "AmeriKa". You earned it.

© Emittravel 2012

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Stuff My Brain Says #40

I think it a pretty sad state of affairs when a person is championed who looks at all things through "race-colored glasses". No matter what the issue, right or wrong, moral or immoral, legal or otherwise, there are some who take the viewpoint that dissension to their opinion HAS to be racist. Take it to heart: if this describes you, you are a very small-minded and cowardly individual.

Of course, that just means I MUST be racist . . .

© Emittravel 2012

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Wisdom from the Porcelain Pulpit #1

It's been awhile since I wrote the intro to this format of my blog, so you may want to check out Wisdom from the Porcelain Pulpit before reading on.

It's J.P., with more "Wisdom from the Porcelain Pulpit".

While working my way through the devotional, "My Meditations on Saint Paul" by Rev. James E. Sullivan, M.S. (Confraternity of the Precious Blood, 5300 Fort Hamilton Pkwy., Brooklyn, NY 11219) I found myself "talking" to the book - actually disagreeing with it. Let me set the stage:

This devotional is set up with a reference to a Bible passage, a paraphrased (in the author's own words) telling of that passage, the author's own reflections on the passage, and a prayer. It has been a real pleasure so far. I like the perspective of the author, and he makes me think. This particular devotion covered Acts 9:31-43, the telling of the miracle of Tabitha being raised from the dead. It talks about Peter's acting in response to Jesus' "sacred trust" to feed His sheep by teaching in various towns. In the city of Joppa some of the people come to him begging him to do what he can for a girl named Tabitha who had died. She was a seamstress who made tunics and cloaks, and greatly helped the poor. The passage tells of Peter's praying over her and her rising from the dead.

Here is where I'm stepping in. The author used phrases like, "Peter had just performed a tremendous miracle", "he actually brought a dead person back to life", "didn't notice Peter or his awesome power", "could never do what Peter did, could never cure a wound instantaneously or bring the dead back to life". We have to remember that Peter did not have the power to do ANY miracle. Nor does any minister today. Miracles are strictly of the realm of God only. God will work THROUGH individuals, but the source is strictly His. And with the source, all glory is His as well.

If we do not give the glory back to God for the work HE has done, we take the impact of the miracle away. Miracles have one major purpose: to point people to God. Sure, the immediate impact of the miracle upon a life is important, but without giving glory back to God you take it all for yourself.

I work as an executive assistant, and I believe my job is to do the things my boss shouldn't do, so that he can do what no one else can. Now, if he is doing something and asks me to assist him with it, it would be wrong of me to take the accolades for it when it is completed. They belong to my boss - I was working for him. Same with miracles, or any other "work" we do for the Lord.

Jesus gives us a great example when He heals the ten lepers, and then tells them to go show themselves to the priests (fulfilling the requirements in the Old Testament). Only one stops and comes back to Jesus and gives Him the praise He so rightly deserves (being God). Jesus even asks him, "Where are the other nine?"

If you are willing to be a "tool" in the hands of God, He will use you - in large and small ways. But ALWAYS give Him the glory. He deserves it.

© Emittravel 2012

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Stuff My Brain Says #39

I read an article that stated that the American Medical Association (AMA) has recommended that obesity education be funded by a tax on drinks containing sugar. That means that the AMA wants to fund a government program with the money coming from the very thing that the government program is setting out to eliminate. In an ideal world, the program would be effective, people would stop drinking drinks containing sugar, and then the program would go away - no longer needed. In the real world (or at least that of government folk), the program would run ad infinitum.

How can this be? Simple. The money received in taxes is placed in the general operating budget. The program pulls from that budget. When that source of revenue (a.k.a. "tax source") dries up, the program continues to pull from the budget. There is less money, so other means are needed to continue funding it (like tax increases on the "evil rich").

I believe it was Ronald Reagan who said, "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!"

And now you know how.

© Emittravel 2012

Friday, June 15, 2012

Stuff My Brain Says #38

In my humble but accurate opinion, I think the Environmental Protection Agency should be pushing for a wind farm in Washington D.C. - there is enough hot air blowing around there to completely replace the city's fuel needs - and several states in the vicinity for that matter.

© Emittravel 2012

Friday, May 25, 2012

Stuff My Brain Says #37

Wait. Either it is, or it isn't. On one hand we have the coveted "Buffet Rule" (an increased tax percentage on the so-called "wealthy") that is being touted as truly fair by our President. You see, according to the Buffet Rule, wealthy people are not paying enough in taxes and it's not fair - so says Warren Buffet, the one for whom the bill is named. On the other hand, we have people like Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Senator Robert Casey (D-PA) who want to make it so that any person with a net worth of over so much who leaves the country and renounces their citizenship as having left PRIMARILY for tax reasons, and bar them from ever returning to the country. You see, there is a gentleman named Eduardo Saverin (a co-founder of Facebook) who is doing that very thing. Wait. I thought all wealthy people felt they didn't pay enough in taxes and should pay more. Why would anyone want to ever leave this country based on paying too much? Which way do you want it? Either they want to pay more or they don't. It can't be both.

© Emittravel 2012

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Stuff My Brain Says #36

One of the major differences that I've read concerning Republican and Democrat politicians is that most Democrats have a background in the legal establishment (a.k.a. "lawyers") and most Republicans have a background in business (corporate or private). As far as running the government is concerned, both have their pluses and minuses. I think the real benefits are seen when politicians leave office. Most Republicans go back to what they were doing before taking office (or retiring). Democrats, like Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, seem to keep hanging around like the annoying relative at the end of a family function - they never know when to go home!

© Emittravel 2012

Friday, April 27, 2012

Not Scratch 'n Sniff

With Spring in the air, the sound of hammers on roofs will be a sweet addition to the birds building their nests. Like it or not, every neighborhood will be visited by the ruby-throated roofer (or sparrow . . . whatever. This intro has gone way awry!) All that to say, like the roofers, "I've got shingles."

Okay, not the same kind. Theirs come from roofing material supply companies. Mine came from , uh, well, I'm not sure, but my doctor confirmed them Wednesday morning.

But that's the point: I don't know where they came from. I just found myself with them. I had chicken pox (or, as I've heard them called, THE chicken pox) when I was a child. I have a vivid memory of my mother covering me from head-to-toe in Calamine lotion, telling me, "Don't get that on anything. Now go lay down on the couch", and my being rather confused by that subtle parental misdirection. And the doctors were right: once you've had (the) chicken pox you're done. You won't get them again.

Then there's (the) shingles. You know, the "adult" reincarnation of (the) chicken pox that are not (the) chicken pox but stem from the same virus.

I've determined that diseases should be included in PETA's campaign in protecting those we share the planet with. Why? Because diseases are clearly intelligent life. They have a "survival instinct". For instance, (the) shingles are very contagious - before the rash becomes visible! That's right, you are spreading them before you are even aware you have them. That's ingenious - or insidious. Either way, they know that if they are only contagious when the rash is there, they would be eliminated by isolation.

See Spot? See Spot Run! Or, Run From Spot!

And I know why they call them (the) shingles: I desperately want a piece of shingle to scrape this rash with!!

"Mom! You got anymore of that Calamine?"

© Emittravel 2012

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Win(RT)s & Losses

Microsoft has proven once again that they are completely out of touch with the consumer market, and have NO intention of EVER reaching out to them.

First off, let’s look at the new operating system on the horizon: Windows 8. Nothing new here. We've been hearing about this "reimaged Windows" for over a year now, and there has been quite a bit of excitement over it. I admit, I've had a "thrill up my leg" whenever I heard news of it. But, just like a politician's ability to deflate any campaign promise, Microsoft has gone out of its way to pop that balloon. They have come out with the name(s) for the new operating system: Windows 8 (obvious?), Windows 8 Pro, Windows 8 Enterprise (which is different from Pro how?), and WinRT. What? WinRT? What the hell is that?

There has been many guesses to what WinRT stands for, but the (sarcasm alert) funny part to me is that it is the one that will be natively installed on new store-bought tablet devices. So, you are sitting in that local coffee shop and pull out your tablet. Someone at the next table asks you, "Hey. Is that an iPad? An Android tablet? Or a Windows 8 tablet?" And you answer, "No, it's a WinRT tablet." Because you CAN'T call it Windows 8, because that would be lying (which is okay IF you ARE a politician . . . ). And since it's been called Windows 8 for so long, that person will think you are some kind of obnoxious engineer or developer, and knock over that expensive cup of coffee all over your table when they walk away from you.

Another thing. I've been using my HP Touchsmart tx2 convertible laptop for about three years now, and have recently upgraded it from Windows Vista Home Premium to Windows 7 Home Premium. One of the things I like to use is Windows Media Center (WMC) to watch movies while at lunch (temporarily ripped from DVDs). A nice feature of WMC is that, since my lunch is only an hour, I can pause a movie and continue it from there the next day (without having to leave the software running the whole time - like if I had an actual DVD in the player). One of the things WMC was not able to do was to automatically play an inserted DVD, or even allow me to select DVD when in the program. I went online for help and discovered that, according to Microsoft, in order to play DVDs with WMC I would need to be using AT LEAST the Home Premium version of Windows 7. Uh, that is what I'm running. If I want to be able to play DVDs with WMC, I would need to upgrade, and here are some handy links to help me purchase that. Morons.

So, I went to Microsoft's Contact page for some support. I searched their support page and wouldn't you know it? No WMC. That's right. There is no support assistance available for this program. Are they discontinuing it? Well, if you WANT WMC to run on your new Windows 8 device (not including purchased tablets with WinRT on it, because that's not Windows 8), you must be using the Pro version, and PURCHASE it separately. So, I'd say that yes, they are discontinuing it.

Microsoft has had one major problem (and many, many minor ones): their marketing department SUCKS. I think that the department is not full of marketing people, but computer engineers. You know, those same folks that think WinNT and WinRT are such friendly consumer-grabbing names. Microsoft comes out with a terrific product, does their best to keep it a secret from the public, spend lots of money developing it, and when it starts to catch on - BAM!! They drop it.

Sorry Microsoft, but the "thrill up my leg" is gone. I think I will stick with my Windows 7 convertible laptop (another first that has gone away) until I HAVE to make the change. And this is not just me talking - do you think businesses (many STILL running Windows XP - another "great" name) are going to invest in cosmetic changes and funky names? Only when they have to. Only when they have to.


© Emittravel 2012

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Stuff My Brain Says #35

Currently, President Obama is pushing for his "Buffet Rule" - a minimum tax rate upon the wealthy. He said that they were not paying their fair share. That's right, with about a $5 Billion/year estimated influx of cash to our oh-so-financially-trustworthy government, the concept is nothing but a gimmick. In other words, just a little class (envy) warfare in an election year. He says it's all in the name of fairness. I say that is a LIE. Mr. President, if you really want to spew such rhetoric with a straight face, how about, in the name of fairness, make the 47% of Americans who pay NO income tax pay their share? That would validate your (faux) sincerity and bring in much more to the coffers than the "Buffet Rule".

Oh, wait. I'm sorry. I forgot: this is an election year. You don't want to piss off all of those folks living off the government (in other words, receiving the benefits of this nation without the same sacrifice as the rest of us) now would you?

© Emittravel 2012

Friday, April 13, 2012

Stuff My Brain Says #34

The Department of Justice is "fighting" book publishers for collusion: getting together to manipulate the market (a.k.a. adjusting pricing models). You see, collusion between companies is illegal, and the government needs to step in and stop it. Why? Because THEY weren't invited! Colluding with businesses to manipulate the market (usually with disastrous results) is the "job" of the government. Shame on you publishers. Besides, you may have missed out on a too-big-to-fail stimulus!

©Emittravel 2012

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Stuff My Brain Says #33

I really would not have a problem with paying taxes if the government was a better manager of my money. And I'm not alone in this. Think about it: why do the "wealthy" spend so much time and money AVOIDING taxes? Because they KNOW what a lousy investment the government is! That is one of the main reasons I laugh at people like Warren Buffet who say that the wealthy don't pay enough - HE takes every tax loophole available! Because Warren Buffet didn't become Warren Buffet by throwing his money away with bad investments.

Get a clue Washington. You want more tax revenue? Jesus said it best: "Whoever is faithful with very little is also faithful with a lot, and whoever is dishonest with very little is also dishonest with a lot. So if you haven't been faithful with unrighteous wealth, who will trust you with true wealth?" Luke 16:10,11

© Emittravel 2012