Friday, July 28, 2006

There are Days..............

This has been one of those weeks. Any one that has worked in Sales (not to be confused with peddlers) is aware, there are days when no matter what you do, and how well you do it, it just does not happen the way it should. This week had one of those and it has kept me emotionally and intellecutally engaged. Also, maybe just a bit depressed.

I love Dilbert. Alice of the "Fist of Death" is my hero. I am not sure if its the irreverence, the fact the characters are engineers or what, but it is a great strip. Like all good humour, it has a strong foundation in truth.

When I was management in a Fortune 100 company, reading the Dilbert strip helped keep things in perspective and me laughing. It still makes me laugh.

Scott Adams is a genius!

Our daughters are home and life is good.....have a great weekend

Monday, July 24, 2006

"Da Kid" V, Road to Iron Man

1.2 mile swim
56 mile bike ride
13 mile run

We just returned from "Da Kid's" second run at the Racine half Iron Man.

Unlike last years 100+ heat, this year was very pleasant with temperatures in the mid 80's and winds a very moderate 5 MPH. "Da Kid" put in an outstanding effort and reduced her time by more than an hour. Part of that was weather, part of that was equipment. I think most of it though was her hard work in training and it shows.

I hate to brag up our daughters, but I really am impressed.

Next stop, Wisconsin Iron Man in September

2.4 mile swim
112 mile bike
26 mile run


Thursday, July 20, 2006

Some Times.......

Some times we forget.

The Mid East seems determined to wallow in a nihlistic quagmire. More jobs are going overseas. Famine, tribalism and pogroms are the order of the day in the Horn of Africa. The Chinese seem determined to assert their world power. Global warming appears to be a larger issue than even the doomsayers thought. Our political leadership continues a decades long tradition of foolishness. It seems we are at the "End of Days"

Adding to my own miasma are issues that have come to light this week that bode future difficulty for the sibs and me.

At times we forget important things

The "End of Days" has been expected for a couple of thousand years now. Despite our leadership, we seem to keep muddling along. Jobs have gone overseas before, and come back. More people live on this planet at a higher standard of living than ever before in history. Global Warming has been here before and is fixable. The Chinese, like the Russians and the Romans will find that World Powers come and go.

On my own issues. If I was born 20 years earlier, neither my sibs or I would have lived to our current age. We are around to deal with these pending problems. My family is well and by the standards of any Age. I live in a golden one.

Some times we get so wrapped up in problems, we miss the blessings.

Monday, July 17, 2006

The "N" Word

It seems we have developed a political phobia in this nation for words begining with the 14th letter of the alphabet, "N". It appears that the most politically incorrect words begin with N. I am not trying to raise the specter of Mark Furman or the OJ Simpson trial. I am not even talking about the word "nigger". *gasp*

Nope, I am talking much dirtier, N-U-C-L-E-A-R.

Last night I listened to one of our elected village idiots talk about how we are going to end our dependence on foreign oil by making ethanol. Apparently no one has shown him the math, explained the reality of hydrocarbon supply streams or the impact of the Global economy on all this.

I agree that Ethanol is ONE component of a larger energy policy to reduce world wide use of fossil fuels. It is not however the total solution. The reality is that we are using fossil fuels (coal, petroleum, natural gas) at a rate that is non sustainable.

So, we need to start using that nasty "N" word again and begin discussing nuclear.

We wrote our congressman and senator last week (the other is a lame duck). I will be interested in what they have to say. I suspect that all of them will be waiting for some one else to take the lead.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Bastille Day?

Who the heck celebrates Bastille Day? (besides the French) and who cares? (besides the French)

Well, apparently all the Wisconsin German types. I ended up in downtown Milwaukee last nite and stumbled into a very large, organized street party for Bastille Day. Considering the current "cool" view most Americans have of France I was surprised.

After a careful review of the street activities, (Fun run, calypso bands, beer tents etc) it made a lot more sense. It is like Cinco de Mayo, most Americans have vague notion, if any of what it is but do find it a good reason to party.

Soooooooo, PARTY ON!!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Stalin and Hitler were Pikers

Hitler was responsible for the death of 6 million Jews and who knows how many others. Stalin was responsible for killing at least 20 million Soviet Citizens.

Both of them were small time.

An article in todays Star Tribune, references the expected world wide death toll in this century from tobacco related diseases. 1 BILLION. This number of course includes those pesky ones associated with Cancer and Heart Disease that Tobacco claims are not related to smoking. This is expected to be a 10 fold increase over the 100 Million that died in the 20th century.

So, however you look at it, as horrible as Hitler and Stalin were, numbers wise, they are small potatoes compared to Tobacco.

I still wonder how those "people" sleep at night

Sunday, July 09, 2006

A Passing Vocation

This post will hit closer to home for Catholics and those who grew up around or in Catholic communities. I spent my teen years in a very Hispanic community and of course married into a VERY Catholic clan. One of my sister in laws is a Sister. She is 17 years my senior and took her vows at a time when I was still trying to figure out why girls were supposed to wear dresses. (I still do not know the answer) Over 40 years later, she is still one of the newer members of her order.

Despite liberalization (she has not worn a Habit since 1971), over the last few decades the interest of women in pursuing a religious life has fallen dramatically. Many orders are now in real danger of disappearing along with the work they did in the community. The average age of Nuns in her order is 78. This is raising real issues for the church (which they are ignoring) regarding the long term support of these women as their orders fade away.

I am not bewailing the dissolution of a centuries long institution. Even though change is inevitable, I think we should mark and reflect on the passing of a worthy vocation.

This picture of nuns represents the view expressed by my parochial school peers

Monday, July 03, 2006


Yesterday, "Da Kid" and I did our second annual 4th of July ride (yeah, I know it was July 2). Like last year, we started in Hinckley MN and rode north along the Munger Trail. We started the ride with temperatures at 70 F and a light breeze out of the west. We sheaded north at a good clip (for me) of 16-17 MPH with a nice easy cadence. We stopped near Moose Lake (32 miles) for fluids and to make some minor bike adjustments. We continued north to just south of Carlton and made our turn at 50.5 miles. By this time the day had warmed into the low 80's and more importantly the breeze had picked up and shifted to the South West. "Da Kid" decided to kick up the pace and we started hitting 18-19 MPH going south.

Like last year we stopped in Moose Lake to replenish our supplies and were once more amazed at all the fat people running around with boats, 4 wheelers and other motorized toys. After refueling, we continued to crank our way south. At mile 80 I hit "the wall" and proceeded to slow down. The last 20 miles took me as long to complete as the previous 30 had. "Da Kid" beat me back to the car by a good 25 minutes. At the end, it was 91 F, but we had completed 101.35 miles. My first C-ride of the year. A good day.

Today, we are going shopping!!

Like last year, our stop in Moose Lake troubled me when I see obesity being the norm rather than the exception among our fellow citizens. In the 100 miles we spent on the Munger we did not see more than 30 people using the trail. In our one stop in Moose Lake proper, we saw several hundred obese people with motorized toys. Why have we associated motors with outdoor time? It certainly has not helped our collective fat problem.

*I stole the last pic from EB72. It is a perfect example