Thursday, March 31, 2011

One Cent Solution

The discussions go on --- about cuts to the Federal budget. WIth a new deadline looming, there appears to be little concern for getting to an agreement. It appears there is more interest in getting air time for one point of view or another.

Over the past year, there have been several panels, think tanks and groups that have come forward with recommendations to getting the Federal budget under control. All have been ignored.

It appears those Federal aristocratic bodies for enacting laws have the NIH (not invented here) problem. Actually that is not the problem since one of their own -- Rep Paul Ryan from Wisconsin -- is ignored like any other suggestion. Why. It's all about votes and getting re-elected. Job security for the legislative aristocrats.

Several weeks ago I had suggested that government could operate like private business (in your dreams) and have across the board cuts of 10%. That may be a little draconian. Over the weeks since then I decided that a 1% cut would be a great accomplishment.

Appears that I wasn't the only one thinking about the issue. Less than a week ago, I came across the One Cent Solution. Their proposal -- like all the others -- would be worth discussing within the legislative bodies. Won't happen.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Tattoo On Teenager

Spotted the early teen boy with tattoos down both arms to the wrist. There was also a tattoo climbing out of his collar and circling in front of his ear. He was shopping with his mother who had numerous tattoos on both arms, but none on her face.

Could it have been an hours long face paint session for the teenager. Not enough of the usual color for that process. Could it have been a bunch of temporary tattoos that will wash off in a few days. Don't know for sure, but it sure had the look of real tattoos from ten feet away.

Having tattoos is a personal decision and I allow everyone their choices in life. But an early teen! No doubt the parents approved the tattooing. Then there is the cost. It may have been possible dad has the "permanent ink store" and did the work.

With skin aging and sun damage, those crisp lines of those tattoos will blur. Wonder what the young man's thoughts will be ten to fifteen years from now.

I sure hope they were temporary tattoos that will wear away during his spring break.

Years ago in a sushi bar, I noted a most useful implementation of a tattoo. The 30ish server had his entire scalp tattooed to look like hair. Sure beats a spray on to cover that bald spot.

Another practical approach... To avoid the daily makeup routine, there are women who have tattooed eye liner and eye brows. Perhaps even the lipstick.

The world and its people and culture will continue to change and we will adapt to the new look -- including your banker or financial adviser with a tattoo climbing out of his white shirt collar.

No doubt the reader wonders whether I might have a tattoo. How about I leave you wondering.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Work-Life Balance

Long time readers of my blog and others have frequently been exposed to my thoughts on "balance" in the work place.

Here is Scott Adams' Dilbert cartoon (3/23/2011) on the subject:

It reminded me of a quote from George Carlin. As luck would have it, that quote appeared in the comments for this Dilbert strip. The quote:

"It used to be called 'labor department'. But that was no good because it constantly reminded the people at the top who actually did the work. So they changed it to 'personnel'. That was better but it still reminded the people at the top that their workers were people. So they changed it again to 'human resources', and what do you do with a resource? You exploit it! Naturally. This is yet another example of how the people who wish to control our lives begin by taking control of our language."

Monday, March 21, 2011

Random Photo -- Cell Phone Reception

Spotted this sign (in 2006) on the curvy road to Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest. Located near Bishop California, the curvy road occasionally opens above the valley below for reception to the cell phone towers.

Addiction to Twitter, Facebook, or the latest value of the stock portfolio, this sign is a welcome addition to those addicted travelers. How did we ever survive back in the "dark ages" when there were only land lines and answering machines.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

High Noon

10,000 years ago, Og was talking to Moog, "Carga hoonk gohenka". Rough translation, "Short shadow when sun directly overhead".

Nature doesn't know about clocks and all that man invented stuff. Today it is called high noon (or 11:00 a.m. with DST) when the sun is at its highest overhead casting the shortest shadow. Hiking in the "desert ranch land" behind the Saguaro SKP park, this north south fence line (according to my GPS) casts a shadow almost parallel to the fence line.

Looks close to high noon. At least at this location. However, according to the accepted time for this location, it was close to 12:30. If Arizona observed that other foolishly invented concept of daylight saving time, it would be 11:30 a.m. as this photo was snapped.

Og and Moog didn't deal with clocks or time. Their focus was finding food.

Regarding daylight saving time.... How about getting rid of daylight saving time. What's the point. Rather than resetting all clocks ahead one hour for eight months of the year, how about resetting all clocks around the world ahead one half hour and leave the clocks the same year round.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy Green Day

Not to be confused with the Green Party or the Green Movement. This is about just celebrating the green.

Just a few days away from the vernal equinox, there isn't much evidence of spring time green in the desert. The only greening of vegetation seems to be the cottonwood trees as they bud out to present a green tinge to the brown landscape.

Green is what it is all about on St. Paddy's day. To celebrate the day, the fountain at Fountain Hills (Arizona) spouts green. How about that.

This photo from several years ago when I happened to be there to celebrate the event.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Tucson Festival of Books

Returned to Benson today from the Gilbert Ray Campground. Just ten miles from downtown, the campground sites are surrounded by desert flora -- saguaro, palo verde, creosote. Fauna is present with quail, cactus wren, gila woodpeckers among many others. Gilbert Ray is my favorite place to park when in the Tucson area.

The Tucson Festival of Books was the reason to be in Tucson. The Festival was tents on the mall of the University of Arizona campus. In addition, auditoriums, class rooms and lecture halls were used for the author presentations and workshops.

C-SPAN Book TV was present to do live broadcast of several programs through Saturday and Sunday. The televised presentations were none in which I was interested. So I passed on the opportunity to try to appear on TV.

The Book Festival is not only for adults. There were numerous tents and venues appealing to the younger readers. Between sessions there was eating, visiting booths or watching mall entertainment to occupy the time of young and old. These chess players were intent on their game.

The National Parks were represented on site with several booths including performers relating first person experiences of the west's earliest explorers.

My interest is non-fiction. Specifically adventure travel. The subject of one panel discussion was the Grand Canyon. Four authors related their love and relation to the Grand Canyon. One of those was Craig Childs. I've read all his books except for his most recent -- Finders Keepers - A Tale of Archeological Obsession and Plunder.

Nature is an unforgiving and treats all alike regardless of age, color or belief systems. Craig Childs and others like him explore Nature and live to relate their experiences including some life threatening times. Admiration and respect of that natural world is infused in the writings of those authors. That theme came through at the presentations I attended.

A session titled "Crazy Desert Dudes" included authors relating their experiences of challenging Nature on Nature's terms. More authors and books to place on the list for Southwest adventure reading.

I'm already looking forward to next year's Festival.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Joys Of Mud

Going through some old photos of my children in their early years.... Came across this photo and found myself laughing. Vanita, TJ and neighbor boy (name?) are enjoying the miracles of mud.

No mud flinging that I recall. 

Monday, March 7, 2011

Random Photo

Silver Slug rests amid a field of California Poppies.

Taken in 2003 near Lancaster, California during an Escapade gathering.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

How Bad Is It

How bad is the US economy. Pessimist or optimist. How about some facts and figures.

Thanks to Boonie for the URL pointer to My Budget 360. It is a great site with articles and an analysis about the state of the US economy. A couple of recent posts:

Just Wondering...

Did I miss something when I took Econ 101 in college. Need demand for creation of a supply. Appears the politicians and pundits didn't read the same books. There continues to be talk about creating jobs -- i.e. supply. Huh! No financially savvy company will create a supply (with those new jobs) if there is no demand.

Just Wondering.... Again...

How come any Federal budget item that has voters or lobbyists doesn't get cut. You heard it here first: That Federal budget will be in the news for months to come until the Federal legislators finally ignore voters and lobbyists and make everyone (the ones with votes and lobbyists' clients) suffer. That includes recipients of the Federal largess including the Pentagon suppliers, Medicare, Social Security, Medicaid, etc. As an example: What's wrong with death panels? We are going to die. Get used to it.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Saguaro East Hike Photo Ops

 Unusual form for crested Saguaro.

Natural water tanks. Good place for a dip to cool off. Modesty prevented such action.

Along the trail a photo op with snow atop Mount Lemmon far in the distance.

Patient fellow hiker, Duane, waits for me.

Appears this hare believes he may be unnoticed. Those ears sure were noticed in spite of the hare's intent.

Desert garden.... Palo verde is nurse tree to four small saguaros. Teddy bear cholla is in front. Prickly pear occupies a small space. Finally within the branches of the palo verde is the desert mistletoe.