Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The OFG: cold and irascible (XXVII)


Winter is a time of joy, playing in the snow, building snowmen, hopping a sled to jet down a hill, nothing but rosy cheeks and laughter. At some point between 10 and 55, though, things change. Snow turns from a playground to something which requires removal from driveways and sidewalks, and which requires caution when driving in it. Thankfully, there are still those rare days when, because I am snowed in, I can treat it, again, as a magical day.

Snow shovels

Let it be known that there is no such thing as a "user friendly" snow shovel. Sure, some devices are marketed as being easier on one's back or requiring less effort to use. Big deal. I'm holding out for the Snow Transporter Beam. It will not only remove the snow in an instant, it will dump it on the driveway of some unsuspecting smirking relative who lives in the Sun Belt.


It's what is required if you are one of the aforementioned captains of finance who thinks he can take bailout money and still fly on the company jet to the Seychelles and call it a business trip.


If that same captain of finance believes he can also buy a million-dollar makeover for his office, he has crossed from 'imaginative' to 'delusional' and may well learn what he looks like with a number embroidered on his shirt and pants which match a bit too well with his shirts. We won't mention the roommate nicknamed "Monster Masher."


A natural response when faced with the fact that there is now no one in the government to protect you once the truth comes out about your illegal acts in support of a certain recently removed administration.

Of, by, and for the people

No, really. Our 16th president said it out loud at Gettysburg. Our 43rd one tried to steer the ship of state out of the waters owned by the people. Fortunately, we sent him back to Texas before he could destroy the country and brought in a new guy. He seems to understand that we own the ship, the waters, the land...all of it. He works for us.

Personal computing

While I can claim a number of years of good living thanks to my employment, all of which for the last 25 years has involved Wintel (Windows/Intel for those of you unfamiliar) computers, I can testify to my love/hate relationship with them. It seems so wrong that so many people spend their lives trying to wreck Windows computers. Of course, their real goal is to steal money, or extort money, or to find money under their pillows. The 'under their pillows' part isn't working, so they have moved on to stealing from anyone who has left their computer vulnerable and done silly things like leave plain-text password lists on their computers. Or, stealing credit-card lists and extorting money from the company they stole the list from in exchange for a promise to keep quiet about it. You get the idea. They are the bad guys. It is the one part of my chosen area of expertise I completely hate.

Outlandish ideas

Throughout history, major globally impacting shifts have taken place. Some have occurred due to climate change, or earth's magnetic field shifting. Just about all the change in the last two thousand years, though, have come about because we did something. Many times, it has been because one of us came up with a new idea and followed it to its end. Almost every time, that person faced ridicule, expulsion from academic circles, and often was left in financial ruin. Just as I hate the bad guys I detailed just now, I dearly love the ones who tilt at windmills and never give up. Some become famous after they have departed the planet, others chase a dream which they never quite reach. All, though, start with a wildly outlandish idea. Bless them, every one.


Lynilu said...

Some many comments, so little time.

I'll limit myself. Winter/Snow shovels: I got a beautiful snowfall yesterday. I'd say it ended up at about 5-6 inches. Fortunately, I really don't need to shovel snow, because I live in the country, but I have a snow shovel, nonetheless. Just before I read your post, I stepped out to clear the steps, my only real need for the shovel, and if I don't clear them, they can be dangerous. I was amazed that everything just slipped off the steps! Except for the depth, I might have used a broom. Apparently, the snow was fairly dry, and the temps just came above freezing after I came back in, so there was no melt. The steps were dry under that blanket of snow! I love this kind of snow shovel use!

Imagination/Delusion/Paranoia/Of, By, and For the People: Yes, yes, yes, and yes. I just hope now that Congress will join our 44th in working for us. Somehow, they still seem to be thinking Of, By, and For The Immediate Needs for Power and The Last Word. But I'll keep my fingers crossed, as difficult as it is to type that way.

Rick Hamrick said...

Lynilu--we sometimes have those really dry snows here, usually when it is really cold. And, I use a broom when we see snow like that, although six inches would be pushing it, Four, no problem.

I hope you are right that Congress (in particular, the minority party) will figure out that obstructing government action to ease our way through this recession is a really bad idea.

While I admire Obama's continuing efforts to create a bipartisan sense of mission, it is apparent that, unless things change dramatically, he will be left to ram through his solutions with little or no help from the opposition.

I was so sick of the trouble they had caused our country, and I am already sick and tired of their whining now that they have been booted from majority status. I fully recognize that partisan politics is not something practiced only by the guys in the red states, believe me.

At the same time, enough is enough. If they don't want to play nice when the clear and emphatic majority of Americans insist on solutions, then they can become even more marginalized than they already are. So be it.

Thanks, as always, Lynilu, for stopping by and sharing!

Olivia said...

It's good to see the OFG back, Rick :) I missed him! xxoo, O

Lynilu said...

Rick, our nation was established on the principle of the multiple party system to keep a balance, to "keep things honest." I believe that is what has kept our system going for so long. I think a good argument is part of the health of the system, and I welcome constructive forms of dissention. However, now is not the time for unfocused argument. We are in a true crisis. We need solutions, not posturing.

You and I feel this crisis greater than those "on the Hill." My retirement has shrunk till I'm nervous, very much so, about being able to remain independent till death. Your future is jeopardized by the loss of your job, and I'm guessing your retirement funds are likewise threatened. At our ages, our hopes for recovery are more limited than they are for younger people. And those who have the luxury of amassed fortunes greater than ours and perhaps via sources that are now being called into question, don't seem to get it. The short sightedness of those who waste time in accusatory finger pointing make me insane with anger. I just want to scream!

I understand the burden we are passing down to our future generations, and I really hate that. But without a solution that matches the accesses already taken, we will collapse.

We'll make it, through. Sometimes, I don't know how, but I refuse to believe that enough good people will ignore the needs and indulge in self-righteousness. I just can't give up on people in general. I'm such an idealist.

I'm going to go lick my wounds now. :')

Rick Hamrick said...


You have delivered a most-eloquent description of where we are. You are correct: my own retirement nest egg has taken a huge hit, and I know I am blessed to have a longer time for it to recover than those who have already retired.

Please read my latest post. It offers no concrete solutions, but it does offer something we all need.

Thanks, Lynilu!