2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.  Which goes to show that I was really focused on other things in 2012.  Maybe I’ll actually blog in 2013.  We’ll see.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 3,800 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 6 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Time for a Change?

ImageYou have to wonder: why are some people so convinced that the president is so… evil. It certainly seems that way when you listen to some of the conservative voices in our land. Give a guy 2 wars and the worst world economy since the Depression – while spreading rumors that he’s Hitler, or the Antichrist, or a socialist, or a communist or a Muslim (after complaining about his Christian preacher) or not from this country (even though the state he was born in released an official copy his his birth certificate – people aren’t satisfied because the document says “certification of live birth”).

What has all this given us? The Associated Press is out with a poll that suggests that a majority of Americans now like black people less than they did before. A former Republican governor (John Sununu) says, on camera, that Colin Powell is supporting President Obama because they’re the same color – then having to backtrack when people complained. I’m like most people – I’ll slow down when I drive past a car accident because I’m curious to see what happened. But I don’t know that applies to Donald Trump. The government, in the form of the State Department, which issued a passport, the Social Security Administration and the IRS, which gladly takes the president’s taxes; have accepted Obama as a naturally-born American citizen for decades.  And I really doubt that Harvard would have allowed him to be editor of its law review merely on the basis of affirmative action – since putting an unqualified person in that role would have hurt the university’s reputation for years.

ImageHas the president solved the nation’s problems?  No, he hasn’t.  Has the Republican-controlled House of Representatives offered workable solutions – or have they spent more time and effort opposing the president in an effort to stymie his plans?  If both sides had met in the middle – without the “our way or no way” influence of the Tea Party – would we be better off than we were four years ago?  I think even the most strident Tea Partiers can answer that (and if they are honest, their answer would be the same as the answers that sensible people would give).

On that note, when Gov. Romney makes the point that he can reach across the aisle to engage Democrats in Congress, I wonder whether he’s really aware of his record in Massachusetts.  Several outlets went back and counted; 844 vetoes.  That’s a lot of reaching across the aisle – to slap down Democratic legislation.  And they reached back across the aisle, overriding 707 of those vetoes.  As Frontline noted, Romney cooperated with the Democrats in the Massachusetts Legislature to create a “legacy” issue for a presidential run – RomneyCare.  His bad luck that he had to turn his back on his own effort when he was forced to go “full conservative” during the GOP primaries and first weeks after the conventions.

And do we need a “businessman” in the White House?  Didn’t Mr. Bush have an MBA and a background as a “successful” businessman before turning to politics?  Business people have to turn to experienced government hands to navigate the halls of power.  If Romney turns to the same type of people that Bush turned to, isn’t it likely to have similar results?

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Sunday morning coming down

Housekeeping showed up early, so I headed down to Starbucks around 8:30 (big ups to Fremstad for hipping me to their phone app).
Grabbed the Star-Advertiser and plopped down by the pool to wile away the morning.
I feel bad for Pam, who is on a dock somewhere, working. Not dock work, but that communications thing she does.
I feel a nap in my future.

20120701-084801.jpg

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Sitting by the Pool

DATELINE: Wakiki

So, it’s been a while since I’ve actually wanted to post anything.  Politics is such pain.  The president passes a healthcare plan that’s basically Republican in its origins; but the Republicans are in such a “get him” mode, they’re willing to scorch earth to cal it rampant socialism.  Even after a conservative Supreme Court upholds most of it.  I just can’t understand why so many people think the world is going to end because the government is requiring people to pay for health care.  The Affordable Healthcare Act doesn’t require the purchase of insurance – so if you don’t want to buy it, don’t.  This just makes you pay a penalty to cover the cost of caring for you if you get sick or hurt.  The way it was, the rest of us had to pay for your not-having-insurance tail by paying higher premiums.  So if my premiums drop; isn’t that a good thing?

Anyway, to the reason for this post.  The girlfriend had to travel for work and asked if I wanted to come along.  I’m busy at work and had recently paid off all my credit cards, so I wasn’t head-over-heels, but I understand the value of going with the flow.  And this flow was heading to Honolulu.  I’m not going to go into this international delivery company’s purpose for being here, but it’s got to do with a long-lost aviatrix (keep your eyes on the news).

Leaving the mainland

Anyway, if you’ve ever had the opportunity to come here, the first thing you have to suffer through is the trip itself.  We flew United, which changes in Chicago.  And just so you know; it’s 9 hours from Chicago to Honolulu.  We were on a Boeing 777, which is an incredibly large plane.  we changed seats pre-flight, otherwise. I’d have been in the middle seat of a 5-seat row.  So, two hour delay at O’Hare.  First, there was a door on the plane that wouldn’t close.  Then a summer thunderstorm shut down everything.  Did I mention this was a 6:30am (or, damn that’s early) flight?

We finally got off the ground.  Skipped the in-flight movie, which was The Rock in “Journey 2.”  Sorry, Dwayne, no desire to see that one.  I had “Sherlock Holmes 2; Game of Shadows” on the laptop.  Okay, but not as rollicking as the first one.  I think the Sherlock series on PBS’s Masterpiece Mystery has spoiled me for Holmes movies right now.  We were close to the lavatories in the middle of the plane; good for convenience, bad for ventilation.  I hope you’re listening Boeing; that’s a design flaw.

On the ground in Honolulu

Instead of landing at 2pm, we landed at 4.  After getting the bags and the rental car, we didn’t hit the interstate until the height of rush hour.  And, as I knew from the last time I was here, it’s a slow go on I-25.  It took 2 and a half hours to get from airport to hotel to check-in to room change (construction) to bags in the room to car in the garage to back in the room.  By this time, we’d been up and moving since 5am Friday in Memphis.  It was 6:30pm in Honolulu, or 11:30pm back home – and we still had to meet the team for dinner – and I’m not even a part of the team!!  Although, if you’re in Honolulu, stop by Town, the food is excellent.

Diamond Head in the distance

After Pam headed off to work, I took a jaunt up the beach toward Diamond Head.  Sand made it a slow-go, but there’s nothing like cooling your feet off in the Pacific Ocean.  I have a couple of observations after watching the people enjoying the beach.  Kids love the beach.  Running, splashing, jumping, squealing – kids do, while adults are more content to sit, watch, read and limit movements.

After a few miles, I got the laptop and headed to the pool to work on this.  Got a gin & tonic and wrote until the other half showed up.  No luaus, boat trips, tours or much else besides eating too much, but this is only the first day.

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Let’s Take a Tebow

First, better luck next year Denver. The New England Patriots put an end to the Broncos’ season over the weekend, laying a 45-10 beat down on the Mile High kids. The loss has not put an end to the talk about Denver quarterback Tim Tebow. I’m okay with the deconstruction of his quarterbacking ability during the season. Perhaps his mechanics need work. Maybe John Elway should be spending more time talking to Tim about improving his work on field than telling the various media what he thinks Tebow needs to do. After all, he is the Bronco’s executive vice president of football operations. Anyway, the kid may not be the best technical QB out there, but he’s big, tough and has shown an ability to pull games out of the jaws of defeat.

Tim on one knee: From Reuters

So, honestly, if there’s enough stuff going on with Tebow on the field, why has there been so much attention paid to what he does off – by that, I mean the taking the knee business? I’ve been watching athletes pray, cross themselves, kneel, point to the heavens – any number of things during events for years. If an individual wants to make an exclamation of their faith, why should anybody else care? Sure, it takes attention away from the sporting event, but it’s a football game, nothing more. And haven’t we seen football players take a knee in seemingly dozens of football movies? “Rudy,” “Knute Rockne, All American,” John Wayne’s “Trouble Along the Way…” I think all three of those films also have priests encouraging the lads to say a prayer.

Maria "Tebowing" - From AP

Some people complain that Tim’s pushing his faith down our throats, but really – we’ve seen dozens of players from teams all over the league gather at the end of a game to join in prayer. The Fellowship of Christian Athletes have been saying prayers at stadiums all over the NFL. But for some reason, Tim’s knee work has gathered an almost absurd amount of attention. Maria Menounos, the host of “Extra,” was seen Tebowing on the red carpet on her way into the Golden Globes Sunday night. Okay, I don’t watch her show, so this is probably the only time I’m going to see Maria doing anything. I know there have been a lot of folks dropping to a knee to spoof the kid – but really, leave the kid alone. If he wants to pray, that’s his business. It’s not as if Tebow is asking God to ignore everything else to guide his throwing arm – and it’s not as if God would ignore everything to give Tim the hook up – although God could if He wanted, without ignoring anything else. Maybe if we all spent a little more time thanking whoever it is we pray to, we’d be a little more happy with who we are.

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