Thursday, February 28, 2008

Fussball

Here is something interesting. We call Soccer..Soccer. Germans call Soccer Fussball. When you play the game with the little guys on the spinny things on the table with the little white ball, we call it fussball, but germans call it table soccer. You would think we could at least agree on one of the names. I hate at an official German restaurant this evening. The small city of Idstein I am staying in is very old and not to many people speak English. When I ate dinner and spoke in English, I got to see what it is like to be stared at by everyone. We talked about such fun topics like homeschooling, which is illegal in Germany.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Pulp Fiction Reality


I walked into McDonald's today and ordered myself a "Royal with Cheese". I did all the ordering in German. I find myself able to speak it more with each day. Now, instead of pouring mayo on the Pommes Frits (fries), they pour Katsup. They gave me the largest katsup package I have ever seen. They saved the mayo for my royal with chees. Couple of other things, no pick-up trucks over here. And the Germans do not drink beer like it is water. They say the beer trinken in Sude Deutchland, near Munich. The central area are wine drinkers. Also contrary to popular demand, Oktoberfest is not that big of a deal here. Only the areas in the south do anything. Just like St. Pattys day, we have taken the holiday to new heights. I have also learned that Germans are very regional. They are very prideful of their towns and regions, looking at different regions like they are totally different people. An the language varies from region to region and village to village. They have said that in some areas they can't understand anything the others say. And when I use the internet, all the main sites are in german. I can't get it to go to english.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Deutche Oberservations

I don't see any overweight people, teeth are a bit iffy, there is so much smoking going on I think kids are born with nicotine stains on their fingers, and they all like their water with "gas", meaning carbonated. I like my water straight up on the rocks, but they don't use ice.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Um Gottes Willen


I'm in Germany. Things are expensive. So my trip didn't start out so great. There was supposed to be a person at the airport waiting for me. There wasn't. I had to to pay about 80 US dollars for cab ride to my hotel. I better get reimbursed. Then, I got to the hotel. There was a lovely note on the door to its customers: sonntag ab 17:00 Uhr geoffnet (Opens at 5:00 on Sunday). Unfortunately, I arrived at 3:00. So I waited on the doorstep for two hours while half the town walked by and stared. The family finally arrived after their afternoon bike ride and I was able to begin my day.

I walked around the town center, that is where I am located, and took pictures of the old buildings. This is the stuff you only see in books or movies, so it is pretty cool. After a nice walk, I was hungry for dinner. Now what does a guy like me do for dinner in little Idstein. There are little restaurants all over, but half of them look like they may or may not be open, and the other half looks like it is a person's living room. And once I get in, how do I know what to order and how do I explain what I want. I remember passing a Burger King and McDonald's on the edge of town whan I came in. In my mind it was very close. It was starting to get dark and a little more chilly, but I still struck out on foot by myself. I was so sure I was going the right direction. I even congratulated myself on my skill for navigation. Whoops. I was walking blind. To make a long story short, 45 minutes later, I made it to BK and ordered in German. I didn't use any English. The lady barely knew what I was saying. I asked for it to go, but got it on a tray instead. I scarfed down my food and took the 15 minute walk back to my hotel. I knew I would get lost this time because there is some medeival tower right next to my hotel, so I can never get lost. That is all for now. By now I have ben up for 30 hours. I have to stay awake so I can adjust to the time zone. We are 7 hours ahead here.
To my wife and kids, I love you.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

First leg to Germany

It begins by going to chicago O'hare ORD airport. This is supposed to be one of the busiest and nastiest airports to fly into and out of. Right now I am at KCI. it is 5:00 and I have another hour and a half until I leave for this portion. This would be one of the times where getting here early backfired. This first portion is certainly the hardest. I had to say goodbye to my family. It was one of the hardest things I have done. The longest I have been gone is two days. It has been two hours and I miss the already. See you all in Chicago.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Jericho: Why Gun Control is a Bad Idea


I was watching Jericho last night and something was made very clear, we must never allow for gun control of any kind. To set the stage, Jericho is a show about a rural Kansas town that has been cut off from the rest of the world after nuclear explosions destroy 23 cities, bringing the country to its knees. Thankfully for the town residents, everyone has some degree of rifle or hand gun and and an endless supply of ammunition. This comes in handy when the residents of the neighboring town, New Bern known for having the nearest Costco, decides to invade and take over Jericho. The result is a pitched battle between one militia and another.
Here is what I noticed, although this is acting, every member of the militia handled their weapon as if they were on the streets of Iraq. Rifle close and raised, controlled sited bursts of fire. These men fired like they knew what they were doing. Now lets compare that to the scenes you see on the news of third world countries, included eastern europe. They hold their rifles out and away, just spraying the air hoping that a bullet connects. The stand in the middle of the street looking at the news camera holding down the trigger. Basically they suck.

We cannot have gun control because if our country ever does break out into such chaos, I don't want our people to be an embarrasment on the Television.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Ford and GM: Their cars won't be the only antiques


Year after year these automanufacturers, especially Ford post disappointing quarters or net losses. Certainly sales play a large part of it, but the real truth is that the UAW will end domestically owned automanufacturing in this country. Unions have wiped out textiles, steel foundries, and electronic manufacturing. Next on the list is the automotive industry. The myth is that things like NAFTA and cheap labor have taken away our manufacturing base. The truth is that we did it to ouselves by the marxism imposed by unions.

Before I begin to explain how we are set up for failure, let's get it out on the table that manufacturig jobs do not require the highest level of education and training. If it did, they wouldn't do it in mexico and other 3rd world countries. So,how can a business possibly succeed in the global market when you are paying "laborers" hourly wages that in most other countries could hire 5 or 6 people to our one. Add on to that you aren't just paying the laborers that are actively doing work, you are paying for all the laborers past in pension and healthcare. Until these unions come to grips with the fact that their greed has sabotaged this steady employment for all future generations, you can say good-bye to Ford.

Manufacturing is labor. It is time this nation pays labor wages for labor work. Get the Unions out. The consumer might actualy get a well made automobile at a reasonable price.

Why would quality increase with lower wages. As stated previously, it doesn't take a person making 35 to 55 dollars a hour to spray paint the undercarraige of a Taurus, but because of Unions, there is no competition amongst workers, no incentive to be better than the next person because raises are not determine based on value to the company. Quite the opposite. I believe that in a plant workers will only work as hard as their worst man. Why not, he gets paid the same.

If you got rid of the unions and started pay off low, allowing people to increase their pay based on performance and not union contracts, profits will rise, prices will fall, quality will rise, and maybe some of those manufacturing jobs will come back.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Netflix-instant-view: The Saga Continues


Netflix adds the movies bit by bit. Just today they added the classic, The Shinning. Here is what my beef is, Netflix has a tab where you can browse the recent additions. One would expect to click on this tab and see the most recently added movies in order of their addition to the list. This couldn't be further from the truth. You have to view the entire queue to see what movies were recently added, and the only way for you to know which ones are the most recent is by memorizing the list from the day before. Not a problem for a person new to Netflix, but a big problem when you are trying to grasp exactly what movies have intant-view capacity.

Along the same lines, Netflix sorts its movies by genre. So if you want to see what movies are available in a certain genre, you have to look through them all, also not in any order. But, what is visible by sorting through that genre is not the entire playlist. A movie, like the Karate Kid, may be available for instant-view, but you have to specifically search for that movie in the search function to see if it is. Poor browsing capability and poor listing of new moview, I again downgrade Netflix instant-view to a bust.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Economic stimulus Package Spicket


The Bush stimulus package is turning into the spicket that won't turn off. This measure truly shows that we have crossed the line of principle that has kept us from socialism for so long. I really think that the majority of people would rather receive a hand-out taken from the pockets of working people. The same thinking that has caused millions of Americans to plunge themselves into consumer debt is taking hold in the public sector as well. "I want it and I want it now and I am perfectly happy taking it from you to have it." It used to be that you just had to vote for a Democrat to make that a reality. Now it doesn't matter what party. The Republicans will ask for less spending, but it is spending never the less. We need to be slapped in the face. Working people include the rich. The rich are the ones that fund the vast majority of government spending.
The Senate wants to add spending for a whole assotment of people that don't add anything to the economy. The Republican response is typical. They do want to spend money on those groups, just not as much. The rate at which this nation bleeds doesn't matter. It is still bleeding and we have no coagulant in sight.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Netflix Instant View Online Bust Starting to Thaw

I am slowly beginning to warm up to Netflix Online movie seletion. With the end of the writer's strike at hand, I have hope that the title selection will increase by leaps and bounds. Because the writer's strike was about the revenue from online sales, studios have been reluctant to adopt this new medium. That will change, and it is already starting. Each week I get a pleasant surprise as an additional view-worthy title gets added. I am an ealry adopter, not yet ready to offer my endorsement. I just looked at a couple of the new releases today such as Beastmaster and the Neverending Story. I just saved some money by not having to buy these classics.

Kurt Russell. An actor I like


Somewhere between Kurt Russell and Kevin Arnold's Dad in The Wonder Years, is my Dad. Kurt Russell looks a bit like him. What I like about Kurt is that he has been in hollywood his whole life and he is no liberal. Like me, he is a Libertarian. When a guy makes quotes like the following, you gotta love 'em. "My generation couldn't stand me and I couldn't stand them. In high school I was to the right of being straight. I believed in the work ethic, making money, and they all had this beef with the nation. Vietnam disappointed me because we didn't win." Kurt Russell from IMDB.com

All engines ahead for Deutchland


I am going to Germany. I can't believe it. I never travel and like it that way. Now I will be flying 13 hours to a foreign country. I'm excited and nervous. I have never been away from my wife and kids for more than 2 days. From what I have learned, I will be staying in the only hotel in this small town of Idstein. Picture National Lampoon's European Vacation. I asked if there will be bathrooms or bed pans.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Super Tuesday: The Coronation of the Benign Oligarchy

If I ever bought into Michael Savage's theory that the country is run by a benign oligarchy, I do now more than ever. Watching this race is like watching sons fight for the crown after their father's death. As conservatives, we need a third party. Democrats and Republicans are like gel in a lava lamp. The float around in the heated political mess as two separate blobs. Eventually they come together and one blob takes over the smaller blob, leaving just a little floater to split off and grow into a bigger blob. In this case, the Democrats have taken over the Republicans. They didn't really take over so much as the Republicans moved to become Democrats. John McCain. The man sought the Democrats in 2001 to see about becoming a Democrat. How could anyone vote for him and expect tax cuts, free speech, and closed borders. And to all the evangelicals that voted for Huckabee, you played right into the McCain-Huckabee trap. Huckabee is only their to peel off states from Romney. There will be a position for Huckabee in the McCain administration, you mark my words.

I can't stand any of them. The only hope for the long run is a conservative party, like libertarians, without the drugs. The Oligarchy is in place. It started with Bush Sr, then Clinton, then Bush again, and whether it is clinton or McCain, they are all part of the same family. The Oligarchy is benign now. With continued victories, it will turn into a tumor that will wipe away all of your liberties.