Thursday, February 26, 2009

Power Play

While it is rare that we lose power, it does happen occasionally. Usually it lasts only a few minutes and then comes back on with little interruption in our daily routine.

Yesterday the power went out about 245pm. My wife was upset because she had just put dinner into the crockpot and was expecting to cook it for about 4 hours. I said, don't worry. The power will be back on in a few minutes.

An hour later the power was still off and the only thing cooking was my wife. Since only the electricity was off, the gas stove was still working. You just had to light it manually. So the contents from the crockpot went into a stove pot and begin cooking on the stove.

I told her that as soon as we got everything on the stove, the power would come on. Well, I was wrong again.

By now it was starting to get near dusk. I said the the power would be on any minute now because it is getting late and whatever went wrong, they will have it fixed before dark. Wrong again.

Dinner was ready so we ate by candle light. Dinner was really enjoyable. Normally the TV is on and we watch either Jeopardy or Wheel Of Fortune depending on the time. Last night because of the power outage, there was no TV. We actually had to talk to each other for all of our entertainment. It was kind like being out on a date. Very enjoyable. Maybe I should break the TV in our dining room.

After dinner I called the power company and they said that the power would be restored by 8 pm. OK, that will work. By 9 pm there was still no power, so I called again. This time they apologized first (bad sign) and said that the power would not be on until 7 am in the morning.

Bad. By then things in the freezer may start thawing. Not good.

Then at about 930 pm all the power came back on.

Go figure!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Finally A President That Can Talk

It is great to again have a president that can speak.

Not only speak, but is willing to speak to people who disagree with him. I was very impressed last week (or maybe two weeks ago) when he went into areas that had not voted for him (unlike the former president) to speak about the stimulus package. He spoke before an unscreened audience (unlike the former president) and willingly took questions from people who did not agree with him (unlike the former president). He answered their questions in a clear and concise manner (unlike the former president) and was gracious to all (unlike the former president).

His speech last night was inspiring. Let's hope his programs can match his rhetoric. There is no question that the man can deliver a speech. It was quite a contrast to both the previous president's speeches and to last night's republican response.

The poor republicans. They have no new ideas. Their solution is more of the same -- tax cuts and more tax cuts. They don't see to realize that the stim includes tax cuts. But then again, maybe their problem is that these tax cuts are primarily aimed at the middle class, not the upper class. They don't seem to realize that tax cuts for people who are already living on the edge gets into the economy much faster, because they spend it right away, than tax cuts that target the rich who have the option of just saving it.

In fact, I think their whole idea of tax cuts to stimulate the economy is somewhat in question, especially the Bush tax cuts which Obama wants to let expire. Here is a graph from Angry Bear that shows the growth in real GDP (gross domestic product) since the early 1950's broken down by presidents.

The increase in GDP during the Bush years are some of the lowest in the past 50 - 60 years. So much for the economic benefit of the Bush tax cuts. The other thing to note is that generally speaking the highest growth occurred during the 50's, 60's and 70's when the marginal tax rates, the tax rates on the richest people (people making over $3 million in today's dollars), was much higher (70% to 90%) than it is now.

So, I say go for it Obama.

Sunday, February 22, 2009


I haven't felt very "bloggy" lately. I don't think it is the lack of things happening, I guess I just needed a little break. Of course we don't have Bush to kick around anymore so politics is not as interesting. The republicans are doing their best to fill in for the lack of "Bush". Do they really think that doing nothing is better than doing something? They just keep making the same suggestions that got us into this mess in the first place.

Oh yeah, updates.

My teeth are doing well. Actually, not the teeth. They were pulled out. The holes -- what's left after you pull out the teeth. That's not quite right either. The dentist plugged up the holes with dead people bone. Anyway. The drugs did their job. No pain. The stitches have come out and everything feels fine. I just have to wait a few weeks until it is time to remove the membranes covering the dead people bone.

The smashed up puppy is well on the road to recovery. She is able to run around as long as she does not jump up on things or play to rough. She can go on short walks (15 minutes). Everything should be healed completely in about another 3 weeks. Then she will be able to run, jump, and play just like before her accident.

My 9 year old granddaughter goes for her final fitting of her back brace next week. It will take about another week for them to make the final changes and then she gets to wear it for the next 5 years. It's not quite that bad, but almost. She is suppose to wear it at least 20 hours a day. She can take it off to bath, play soccer, etc. But as the doctor says, she is growing 24 hours a day so the longer the brace is on, the better it is for her.

Today is Oscar day. It seems like people either love the Oscars or hate them. I am more in the hate category. My wife is in the love category. Thank goodness we have more TVs in the house than we do people. And she does not know how to operate the 60-inch HDTV, so I am going to go now and watch the Lakers and have a beer.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

We are having a relatively low-key day. I will relax around the house most of the day - do a little work on the computer and read some. This evening we are going out to dinner at our favorite French restaurant. They always have something special for holidays. It is a fairly early dinner, 6 pm. We will be home by 830 or 9. When you get to be our age, that is a full evening out.

Have a day of happiness and love.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Pulling Teeth

Today was tooth day. This is what I spent an hour and a half of my morning looking up at.


I wrote earlier about having to have a tooth pulled. It turned out that after having a consultation with the dentist, if that is what I should call him, (he's an oral and maxillofacial surgeon) we decided that two teeth should come out. They were both on the left side, one upper and one lower. The crown on the upper on broke off about 3 weeks ago. The lower one also has a crown. There is decay on the root and under the crown. The Dr. said that the tooth would not last much longer. He was surprised that it was not bothering me yet. He said that it also looked like there was an infection starting so his recommendation was to take out both teeth. He said we could do it one at a time, or both of them together. I chose both together.

Besides pulling the teeth, he also did bone grafts, essentially filling up the holes with dead people bone. He took powdered bone, presumably from cadavers, mixed it with some secret sauce, and stuffed into the holes where once lived a couple of my teeth. Then he covered it over with a membrane -- he said that it was similar to plumbers tape. You know, the stuff they wrap around the end of a pipe before screwing it into a fitting. Instead of getting it at Home Depot, he pays 100 times more and gets it from a medical supply house. Then everything was sewn together and I was kicked out the door with some good drugs.

I just took a vicodin, so if I get a little loopy, you know why.

Actually, as far as tooth pulling goes, this guy is good. I have had three different dentists pull teeth in the last year or so. This dentist is by far the gentlest. There should be an advantage to paying a quadrabizillon dollars instead of just a bizillon. I guess this is it. He went slow and easy. There wasn't a lot of pulling, pushing, and twisting like the other two guys. And one of these teeth was probably the most difficult extraction.

I will survive. The drugs are good. Now, I am going to contemplate my navel.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

"Don't Know, Don't Care"

That is what I heard from my wife when, after watching a commercial for a 2010 Mercedes, I said "Why are they bringing out the 2010 models when we are barely into 2009?"

I remember that as a kid, the new cars came out around October. I remember riding my bike down to the local Chevy dealer to see the new cars in their showroom.

Lately it seems that the new car models have been coming out earlier and earlier in the year. Why is that? Will the 2011 models be coming out before the end of this year?

Well, I know if I ask my wife, she will say "Don't know, don't care".

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Refreshing Times

It is really refreshing to have a president that is willing to go out and talk to the people. Yesterday Obama held a town hall meeting in Elkhart IL, and today he had one in Fort Myers, FL. Neither of these places voted for Obama in the election. And contrary to our previous president, these audiences were not pre-screened. He took questions from the audience, fan and foe alike. He is not afraid to meet the common person on the street. He is willing to go into areas that did not favor him and actually talk to the people -- the real people, not a bunch of hand selected cronies that only toss him softballs.

Keep it up Obama. Get the people behind you and there is nothing that the politicians will be able to do to stop you.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Pissy Post

What is it with politicians? Democrats may be tax evaders, but the republicans seem to have a lock on sex scandals. Here is the latest:

Man who led Sen. John McCain's presidential-campaign office in Pueblo arrested for child molestation

Even religious leaders -- look at the ones who have been brought down by sex scandals -- scandals involving the very things they preach against. And it is not only the lunatic religious right, but also the mainstream Catholic church with their child-abusing priests and the cover-up of it.

Enough ranting. I'm sorry. I was planning a happier and hopefully more entertaining post, but the above article just got me pissed off. And I've been in kind of a pissy mood lately anyway. I have to get two teeth pulled on Thursday and I am not looking forward to it.

I will try to do better next time.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

More Bang For Your Buck

Take it easy guys. This post is not about getting more time with your favorite hooker.

There is an interesting figure in an article over at Mother Jones about stimulating the economy. The figure shown below is supposedly from Moody 's and congressional testimony.

It shows what kind of return you get for each dollar put into the economy. The top earner is food stamps. The second one is extending unemployment benefits, and the third one is infrastructure. In other words, give money to those who need it the most. They will turn around and put it back into the economy.

At the bottom are corporate tax cuts, making Bush income tax cuts permanent, and accelerated depreciation. These items put money into the hands of people and institutions that already have money. They do not turn right around and spend it. As a result the economy benefits very little.

So, who supports the best ideas and who supports the poorest ideas? Given what has happened over the past 8 years, none of this should come as any surprise.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Happy Groundhog Day

Now, go eat some sausage!