Friday, December 30, 2011

Governor’s Weekly Message: Happy New Year



(DOVER, DE) In his weekly message, Governor Markell says the new year gives us a chance to make some new resolutions, both personal and shared. The Governor shares some of his…
“Some of my personal resolutions are the kind I’m sure I share with many Delawareans such as my resolution to work off all those amazing cookies and slices of pie that seem to pop up between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. But some shared resolutions we can make together to try and help all Delawareans… like resolving to keep job creation our top priority; to fight to bring new jobs to our state and to help existing employers expand the number of Delawareans on their payrolls,” said the Governor. “We need to keep supporting our state’s small businesses, helping entrepreneurs turn innovations into jobs. And, we resolve to continue our efforts to make our public schools stronger; to work together with teachers, parents, students and the companies that will someday hire them; to ensure that kids graduate our schools ready to compete and win against students from all over the world. We resolve to remain sound stewards of our state’s resources, aligning our budget priorities with our state’s needs and commitments. We resolve to support our communities by spending time volunteering and learn from one another; to recognize that the areas where we’ll find agreement are so much greater than the areas where we’ll find conflict.”
“I think 2012 will be a more successful year if we keep these resolutions together,” said the Governor. “I look forward to working with you as we resolve together to keep Delaware moving forward.”

About the Governor’s Weekly Message:

At noon every Friday, the Governor’s office releases a new Weekly Message in video, audio, and transcript form. The message is available on:
Transcript of the Governor’s Weekly Message: Happy New Year

ObamaCare at its Finest

The idea for this post was sparked by a conversation I had with the billing department of Lankenau Medical Center.  I won't go into the conversation until I tell the whole story:

My Story begins during a U17 Girls Soccer Game near Philadelphia PA.  Tiffany (my daughter) plays soccer for the MOT Wildcats.  On this particular day we traveled to Philadelphia PA to play a league game.  Now I do not remember whether they won or lost.  As is my usual job I video taped the game.  Tiffany was playing a center forward position and the girls had a free kick at the goal.  There was a very good possibility of scoring from this situation.  Here is the video clip of the free kick and the point at which Tiffany was injured.



The first part of this video shows the action as it happened from my perspective.  I then replay the video and, using software, zoom in on the point of contact when the injury occured.  As best as we can see she was trying to head the ball into the goal.  The goalie was trying to catch the ball.  Her head hit the goalies gloves with very little ball contact.

Tiffany did get up and shook off the event feeling no adverse effects.  The game continued for another 10 minutes.   We then walked to the car.  Tiffany seemed to be fine.  Once in the car she begins to cry due to her head "really hurting".  Long story short we immediately drove to the nearest emergency room.  Where Tiffany received TOP NOTCH service.  I found the nurses and doctors to be excellent.

After about 2 hours it was determined that Tiffany only hit her head hard and that it was not a concussion.  Her headache had subsided and we were once again on our way home.  She has completely healed from the incident and continues to play soccer today (With head gear as dictated by me)

This brings us to the conversation I had with the hospital.  The total cost of the hospital visit was $777.  Which when at the emergency room our "co-pay" is $100.  However based on the fact that she was NOT admitted to the hospital the insurance company Aetna would not cover the additional $677.  Which of course I spent several weeks arguing about why this sum was not paid by the Insurance company.  This was a losing battle.  I gave up based on how much time I was using to fight the issue.  I think that is what they wanted me to do - Give up.

During my conversation with the billing department I asked this question:

"If I did not have Health Insurance would my visit cost have been lower?"

The lady on the phone said

"Yes, it would be based on your need.  You would also have to sign an affidavit saying you did not have insurance.  If we later found out that you had insurance you would be charged with insurance fraud."

?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

I don't fault the hospital, they are only following the insurance healthcare policy set by President Obama.  If we are responsible Americans and pay our health insurance bill each and every month.  We are not allowed to receive preferred pricing on our health care.  We receive the highest rate.  Can anyone say "ENTITLEMENT PROGRAM" .  This means that the Deadbeats that choose not to carry health insurance receive the lowest cost healthcare.  Yet they do not pay into the system.  Does anyone see the problem here?


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Confessions of a Newbe Blogger....

So here is my confession of being a blogger. The interesting thing about blogging is that you can easily put down exactly how you feel. No matter how right or how wrong it may be. Tie that into the fact that I am extremely opinionated and you have a fairly volatile combination. Let me explain:

In my blog post - Is Santa Claus Real? I make reference to the following:

"People that, only during this Holiday, walk into a store like Walmart (Correction it was Burlington Coat Factory) and pay for the lay away items that have payments late, are only fueling the entitlement wave in this country. (It was probably crap they didn't need. That is why they did not finish paying for it.)"

I am referring to the guy in Philadelphia that walked into the local Burlington Coat Factory and paid $65,000 to the layaway department to pay for everyone that was late on their layaway payments.

Now on the surface it definitely looks like entitlement.  But wait there is more, today I was watching the evening Philadelphia news and sadly someone had abandoned a baby girl in an old cardboard box on the side of the street next to a pile of garbage.  Luckily someone found her and now she is doing fine in the hospital.  Her name for now is Baby Noel.  Wow, I am for once, speechless.  How could anyone do that?

In that segment a nice lady decided to get on Facebook and organize a baby shower for Baby Noel.  Everyone of her friends agreed as well as her local church.  The baby will be well clothed and have toys.  
Brings a tear to your eye right?  In addition to this,

This lady is one of the many Burlington Coat Factory layaway folks that had their payments made for them.  Here is what she said during the news cast interview:

"I just wanted to pay my good fortune forward. Not only did I receive help with my childrens toys I won the school raffle for $250. "

I humbly ask the same question again, Is Santa Claus Real?  I must say YES baby Noel Santa does exist.  Is Santa Claus Chinese, ....No baby Noel he is American.  Is Walmart the new church.... No baby Noel Walmart is not our place of worship.

I hereby stand corrected and confess to my ignorance.  Perhaps I fell victim to the same mainstream media that I rant about in this blog, or I am possibly (absolutely) to fast to judge.  Whatever the reason I stand corrected.

New Years Resolutions.....????

Well, I am sure you know where this post is going to end up. So I will try to keep it short and sweet. New Year's Resolutions are like Christmas Spirit. Just read my post on that situation and this should help give you a clue about the Stupidity of people. (Yes, I am talking about you, the reader of this post) What makes people feel that they have to have a certain date to form goals and/or make changes in their lives. I did a search on Google and found the Top Ten New Year's Resolutions, Here is the list:

1. Stop Smoking
2. Get into a Habit of being Fit
3. Lose Weight - the Battle of the Bulge
4. Enjoy Life More.
5. Quit Drinking
6. Organise Yourself - this is one of the keys to reaching your goals
7. Learn Something New
8. Get out of Debt
9. Spend More Time With Family
10. Help People.


According to this article, 97% of everyone that make a Resolution will fail within 30 days. So why make a resolution at all? In my opinion, it is just like the Christmas Spirit thing. People are cows. Have you ever been to a Dairy Farm? At a Dairy Farm, the farmer will put cows on a feed and milking schedule. Now cows aren't all that smart. After all, the reason we eat them is that horses out-run us. Cows will line up to be milked in the same order everyday. They will eat from the same area of the feed bin everyday and of course sleep in the same stall every night. All this without direction from the Farmer. This is just like people.

The mainstream media will announce that it is time to celebrate New Years by having shows about resolutions and new beginnings etc. Heck the exercising industry has been capitalizing on our stupidity for years. Have you ever noticed that there are a lot of advertisments about exercise equipment in December and January? Stop it!

Now because I am NOT the type of person to set myself up for failure. I can safely say that given the top 10 list, here is where I stand:

1. Stop Smoking - I do not smoke so this is not a problem.
2. Get into a Habit of being Fit - I workout all year
3. Lose Weight - the Battle of the Bulge - I workout all year and do not have a problem with weight.
4. Enjoy Life More. - I enjoy life all year long.
5. Quit Drinking - Whaaaaaa...... Thats just crazy talk.
6. Organise Yourself - I am organized
7. Learn Something New - Learned everything I need to know in Kindergarten.
8. Get out of Debt - I'm so deep that there is no hope.
9. Spend More Time With Family - Already spend all day, everyday with my wife.  Kids are overrated.
10. Help People. - I help people with my blog!

So people, I say stop following the cow in front of you.  Stop eating from the same area of the feed bin.  Unite and stop the insanity of these trivial, media driven, holiday "Traditions".  

So what am I suggesting?  Well I say when that ball drops in Times Square, grab your significant other and kiss them.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Digital Rights Management enables and encourages piracy.

Digital Rights Management 2005-10-19

In 1972, before Betamax and VHS, there was a consumer videotape system called AVCO Cartrivision. Cartrivision had black retail cartridges, and red rental cartridges which could not be rewound by ordinary players. This was to prevent people from watching a movie a second time without paying again. This feature was demanded by the Studios as a condition of their cooperation. The system was a commercial failure. Later, Betamax and VHS were developed without the cooperation of the Studios, so the Studios attempted (and failed) to legally suppress them. This led to the creation of Home Video, which generated a vast amount of money for the Studios. They make more money now in Home Video than they do in theatres.

The system the Studios liked failed. The system the Studios hated made them wealthy. The Studios do not know what is in their own best interest.

Engineers are famous for producing systems that are far too difficult for ordinary people to use. This is because they are unable to understand the user experience. The Studios suffer from the same problem. They liked the tape system that could not rewind because they thought they were entitled to more money every time their program is watched. But they did not consider that rewind is a convenience. It allows you to playback a section that you may have missed because there was a distraction in your home, or to play again a scene that you really enjoyed, or to start the show over for the person who arrives late. Very few people have the time to watch a rented movie more than once, anyway.

People have reasonable expectations about what they should pay for and what they should be allowed to do. The Studios' expectations are radically different. The Studios will use their clout to enforce their expectation with hardware (such as disabling rewind). They don't care if the hardware product fails. That's not their problem.

This brings us to DRM (Digital Rights Management). The Studios have been insisting that all digital media systems include special mechanisms to force their desires onto consumers. In particular, they want to extend the idea of Copyright to increase the amount of money they can demand from consumers.

US Copyright Law contains a doctrine of Fair Use. Fair Use allows a person to make certain uses of a copyrighted work without the approval of the copyright holder. It also contains a doctrine of First Sale, which says that the owner of a copy is entitled to do anything they like with the copy so long as they do not make another copy. So, for example, if I buy a book, I may then sell it to someone else, or loan it, or rent it, or give it as a gift.

The Studios do not like First Sale. They want to have the exclusive right to sell their works. They have been effective in forcing Congress into adding significant strength to Copyright Law, and in using the US Government to force its Copyright Law onto other countries. They have not been able to eliminate the doctrines of Fair Use and First Sale, so they are attempting to use DRM to technologically circumvent the law.

In a DRM regime, you do not buy a copy, you buy rights to use a copy. The rights could be to view it once, or to view it twice, or many times, or until a certain date. The rights could apply to a single device. The rights could include the ability to modify the work. The rights could include the right to share the copy with friends and family. The rights could include the right to access the special features.

The Studios enjoy the benefits of mass merchandising, but they do not like that there is one price for all. They want to be able to charge higher prices to people who value the content more. DRM is a way to do that. Also, DRM allows them to make their own copyright laws and have them enforced by the consumer's own devices.

The Studios are using the pretense of Piracy to justify DRM. They point to the reversals of the Recording Industry, claiming that if there had been better DRM in music, then the Recording Industry would not be suffering now. I believe that the Recording Industry's problems are not due to unauthorized copying. There are much deeper problems. I think they are wrong to blame their customers for their problems.

The Studios do have a real problem with piracy. Mass duplicators in China, India, and other places produce authentic looking unauthorized copies for sale at retail all over the world. This is clearly illegal. However, DRM will have no effectiveness in stopping this.

The Studios have another problem with piracy. They currently have a model which includes windows of exclusivity. A movie will open in theatres, and then some months later it is sold on DVD, and some time later again it is released on Premium Cable. The problem for them is that the theatrical release creates demand which they are unwilling to satisfy. This creates opportunities for pirates, who can bring DVDs to market before the Studios are willing to. DRM will have no effectiveness in stopping this. Fortunately, there is a simple, non-technological remedy: The Studios should release the DVDs sooner. Their product will be of much higher quality than the pirate product, and will be cheaper as well. Also, if they release the DVD at the same time as theatrical, they can save a lot of money in promotion and advertising.

DRM will have an effect in homes, making the use of media frustrating and confusing. DRM devices are designed to fail to do certain reasonable things. This is not good.

Ultimately, DRM will fail. The theoretical foundations of DRM are weak. In the long term, the Studios will be forced to abandon DRM, either because of consumer backlash, or because circumvention becomes so common that DRM becomes an annoyance to the Studios. For example, consumers like having the right to copy, and in some cases will pay more for content that comes with that right. Indeed, this is what the Studios are counting on. The obvious thing for a pirate to do is to produce copies that have no restrictions. This is the only way they can make product with higher value than the Studio product. So, instead of preventing piracy, DRM enables and encourages piracy.

As always, the Studios do not know what is in their own best interest.

Whatever happens, we are likely to see DRM for a while. HDMI (High Definition Media Interface) which is becoming the preferred cabling method for HDTV systems (such as STB to monitor connections) includes HDCP (High Definition Content Protection). BluRay and HD-DVD both contain AACS (Advanced Access Content System). DVD still uses CSS, even though it has been broken.

One of the biggest DRM problems is with interoperability. Most DRM systems are mutually incompatible, and there is no one system that works everywhere for everything. This is a problem without a solution.

In France, where there is a tariff on blank media, copy protection has been declared illegal by the courts. They found that the purchase of blank media includes a payment to producers to compensate them for copies, so preventing copying is immoral. This may spread to other countries with media tariffs.

This creates two problems for the Studios. They can no longer claim moral superiority when asserting their need for DRM. DRM cannot work in a networked world when whole countries are unrestricted.


Reprinted from Douglas Crawfords post on Google+

Friday, December 23, 2011

The consumer speaks....

It would seem that the American Consumer is lashing out at the supporters of SOPA.  I just read this post on 'Whats hot on Google+'  I think it says it all:

"I just got a call from #GoDaddy. The rep said he noticed that I'd transferred my 60+ domains away (I've still got a few there that I'm working on transferring, but am being conservative with, since I can't afford any downtime at all with them), and wanted to know if I'd tell them why. I got to tell them that it was because of their #SOPA support, and that I couldn't in good conscience give my money to a tech company that would support legislation like that. I told him I was aware that they had reversed their position, but that their explicit support of it in the first place had cost them my confidence in them, as it is at the best viciously ignorant, and at worst, malicious. The rep was quite sincere in his apology to me, asked if there was anything they could do to win me back. He had a "We support IP protections, and now realize that support of SOPA is too broad" song-and-dance routine that probably came in from a PR memo today. I told him "no thanks", and that was that. I'm impressed by the customer service hustle, but it shows that this little incident really spooked them.

I think that the backlash against their support was a lot more swift and severe than they'd anticipated. Their initially glib "lol, whatever" response was replaced by "oh god, please stop punching us in the quarterly financial report!" real fast.

I feel really bad for the customer service reps that have to do damage control on this. You know that they're going to be pulling overtime this Christmas weekend because their bosses screwed up. The guy I spoke to was professional, but you could tell that he'd made a lot of very similar calls today. He didn't even try to sell me, just sort of accepted it with a "Yup, I hear you, and we're sorry, let us know if we can do anything to get you back". Doesn't change my stance, though.
This is fantastic news on the anti-SOPA front, though. This has demonstrated that we, as consumers, can have an impact where it counts. This legislation is funded and driven by corporate interests, and demonstrating that we are able and willing to impact corporate bottom lines if they support legislation like this sends a very clear message. GoDaddy capitulating is a huge win, because it's the first stone to come out of the wall. Now that GoDaddy has demonstrated that they were taking too much damage to continue with their support of SOPA, it empowers people to exert similar pressure on other companies, and it demonstrates to those companies that there are enough angry people out there that you need to listen up and pay attention."

Credit goes to Chris Heald.  This is his post.  You can read it on his Google+ profile

I then read some of the comments on his post.  I won't reprint them here but one of those posts came from GoDaddy's competition.  Again an example of American Capitalism at work:

"Unlike the competition, we oppose SOPA because we believe in internet freedom. Transfer your domains over for $6.99 with code SOPASucks. Offer valid for COM NET ORG INFO and BIZ TLDs."

This was posted in a comment and came directly from Namecheap's Facebook page.


You can read how GoDaddy has pulled their support.


UPDATE:  Who supports SOPA

Governor’s Weekly Message: Happy Holidays



(DOVER, DE) In his weekly message, Governor Markell says it’s a time for goodwill and gratitude and he says ‘thank you’ to Delawareans.
“Whether it’s Merry Christmas, Mazel Tov, Umoja or simply Happy Holidays at your home, there’s no doubt this is a special time of the year,” said the Governor. “A time to remember the friends and family we’re so lucky to have around us and a time to reflect with love on those who left our lives too soon. A time to take stock of what we’ve learned, what we’ve faced, what we’ve overcome and what remains to get done, together. But more than anything – this week is a time for goodwill and gratitude; to reflect on any blessings we’ve received and to know from where those blessings have come.”
“This has not been an easy year – but it’s been inspiring to see how our state keeps pulling together – how many hard working Delawareans stay focused each day on creating more jobs, on building new opportunities to keep people working and on helping others get back to work. And while there have been more opportunities this year than last, we need to make sure next year is even better,” said the Governor. “This week, whether you’ve lighting a menorah, kinara candles or putting lights on your tree; whether you’re reflecting on your own faith, or just reflecting on your family – I hope these holidays find you safe, happy, warm and resting up, and that you’re as excited as I am for the chance to keep Delaware, moving forward.”
About the Governor’s Weekly Message: 
At noon every Friday, a new video message is posted to the Governor’s website and YouTube channel and is distributed to Delaware media outlets.   Transcripts of the messages are posted and the audio version of the Governor’s message is available on iTunes as a podcast for distribution to personal MP3 players and home computers.   The Governor’s weekly message is currently being carried on the air and posted on websites by various media outlets, and the direct link is:   http://youtu.be/nD7Vn2uJcFg.
Constituents, media outlets and others are free to link to the Governor’s video message on YouTube -http://www.youtube.com/user/GovernorMarkell – or on his Facebook page - www.facebook.com/governormarkell – or on the Delaware State website at http://governor.delaware.gov/information/podcast_video.shtml.  All are also invited to follow him on Twitter – www.twitter.com/governormarkell – and submit ideas through http://ideas.delaware.gov.
Transcript of the Governor’s Weekly Message: Happy Holidays

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Let's Fight for our Right



I know that most everyone has heard of SOPA.  If you haven't then read the Wiki about SOPA.  I urge everyone to contact their elected officials and voice your opinion on this Bill.  Here are some sites to help you do that:

Demand Progress
Stop SOPA Now
Here is a post at Reddit
What you need to know about SOPA
Sign the Petition

Bottomline is that this blog (you are reading it now) could be banned.  I voice alot of opinions that are not popular.  Perhaps they would get upset and ban me by shutting this blog down.  Hmm. last time I read something about this type of censorship I was reading about Hitler in school.

Please voice your opinion.  Let's face it you might not agree with what I say all the time, and quite frankly I most likely would not agree with you.  I would however never fight to have you shut down and out.  Opposing views is what makes this country great.  The ability to voice an opinion different that what some politician may not agree with.  Do we want to give the big Corporations and government that power?

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Housing Authority Program Enables Individuals to Move from State-run Facilities to Rental Units


December 19, 2011 – (DOVER, DE) – On Monday, December 19th, the Delaware State Housing Authority (DSHA) hosted an event to celebrate the stories of five individuals who are moving from long-term care facilities and foster care to rental housing with the help of DSHA’s new State Rental Assistance Program (SRAP).
The objective of the SRAP program, which was launched in August 2011, is to assist low-income individuals who require affordable housing and supportive services to live safely and independently in the community.
The event recognized several individuals who are successfully utilizing the SRAP:
  • Sandra Johnson and Alfredia Forrest —They are leaving Emily P. Bissell Hospital and are currently looking for new homes in or near the Wilmington area.
  • John Talone — He is leaving the Delaware Hospital for the Chronically Ill and plans to move to the Claymont area.
  • Matt and Mindie Stevenson — 19-year-old twin brother and sister who are leaving foster care. They are moving in as roommates in New Castle.
“This is a wonderful story and a great example of how we’re helping individuals to move from State institutions back into communities or who are aging out of foster care — both vulnerable, special needs populations,” said Governor Jack Markell. “The State Rental Assistance Program is also a great illustration of how State government agencies can effectively work together to both serve our citizens and achieve cost savings for Delaware.”
Supported by Governor Markell, SRAP was made possible by $1.5 million in funding from the General Assembly and a memorandum of understanding with the Delaware
DSHA - Sandra Johnson and Alfredia ForrestDepartment of Health and Social Services (DHSS) and the Delaware Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families (DSCYF). Within the first five months of the program, 129 applications have been received and 88 SRAP vouchers have been approved. 
“We’re extremely pleased to have worked directly with DHSS and DSCYF to make this program a reality and to help many individuals in need with rental assistance,” said Anas Ben Addi, Director of the Delaware State Housing Authority. “SRAP is the realization of a lot of groundwork laid by the nonprofits, advocates, legislators and many other partners who worked with us to help shape the program and assisted us with facilitating its implementation. Thanks to their efforts, we are able to offer this unique program today.”
Several studies conducted in the last five years have indicated that one of the most pressing housing issues facing the State of Delaware is homelessness of individuals who need long-term stable housing and comprehensive supportive services.
Along with Delaware’s Ten-Year Plan to End Chronic Homelessness and Reduce Long- Term Homelessness (2007) and the working group report Housing Delaware’s Extremely Low-Income Households (2009) – which identified a need of over 1,000 rental subsidies to adequately house this special needs population – the Homeless Planning Council conducts a Point in Time (PIT) study each year. The PIT conducted in January 2011 estimated there are nearly 6,600 homeless persons in Delaware this year.
The SRAP program will help to fill this need and also benefit the State of Delaware, who will no longer need to house individuals who are able to live independently in the community or are ready to leave foster care with appropriate supportive services.
“Because of the work of the SRAP team across our three agencies, vulnerable Delawareans will be provided affordable housing and supportive services to live safely and independently in the community,” said Department of Health and Social Services Secretary Rita Landgraf. “At DHSS, SRAP is helping individuals who are leaving long- term care at the state’s institutions and seniors who are being diverted from nursing home care so they can remain in the community. For these individuals, the rental assistance program is critical in helping them to achieve self-sufficiency and, ultimately, reintegration. And, finally, as state agencies, we are being fiscally responsible as we transition more individuals from high-cost institutional care to more affordable and sustainable community-based services and housing.”
DSHA estimates that it will cost between $8,000 and $10,000 per household per year to provide rental assistance with the SRAP program.
In contrast, it costs $270,000 per year for the State to house an individual at the Delaware Psychiatric Center, nursing home care costs $70,000 per person per year, and foster care costs the state $24,000 per year for the average 2-child family. Many of these families and individuals are often in the state’s care because they cannot find or afford safe and decent housing.
According to DSHA, SRAP will save the State of Delaware:
  • $63,100 per person for individuals in state-run nursing facilities;
  • $144,400 per person for individuals in the Delaware Psychiatric Center; and
  • $8,450 per family with children in foster care.
“Youth who age out of foster care face the obstacles of becoming an adult much as their peers do, but often without the support and resources of a family,” said Vivian Rapposelli, Secretary of the Delaware Children’s Department. “Programs like SRAP don’t just offer housing support; they provide hope for our young men and women. They give them peace of mind and allow them to begin the next phase of their life on a solid foundation.”
DSHA - Group Photo
The Delaware State Housing Authority (DSHA), formed in 1968, is dedicated to providing quality, affordable housing opportunities and appropriate supportive services to responsible low- and moderate-income Delawareans. In addition to its role as the State’s Housing Finance Agency, DSHA is unique in that it is also serves as a Public Housing Authority and acts as a Community Development and Planning Agency. As a Public Housing Authority, DSHA receives funding from HUD to build, own and operate public housing in Kent and Sussex counties, two of Delaware’s three counties. For more information about the Delaware State Housing Authority, please call: (302) 739-4263 or visit our website at: www.destatehousing.com

Monday, December 19, 2011

Freedom of Speech

Nuff Said

Latest Archaeological Discovery Believed To Be 10,000 Year Old Remains Of First Politician

An archaeological team, digging in Washington DC, has recently uncovered what is believed to be the fossil remains of the first politician to have ruled some 10,000 years ago.

Although at the time of this writing, the team is not 100% certain, based on the the few clues that have been uncovered thus far, combined with the physical positioning of the skeletal remains, all indications point to the fact that this assumption is valid.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

11 Rules They Don't Teach You in School

I know that most of you have read these rules.  Bill Gates created these rules several years ago.  I just want to put them here in my blog for future reference.

Rule #1
Life is not fair - Get used to it! (Like I tell my kids, "If life was fair, Dad would have hair")

Rule #2
The world doesn't care about your self-esteem.  The world will expect you to accomplish something before you feel good about yourself.

Rule #3
You will not make $60,000 a year, right out of high school.  You won't be a vice-president with a car phone until you earn both.

Rule #4
If you think your teacher is tough wait till you get a boss.

Rule #5
Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity.  Your Grandparents had a different word for burger flipping -- They called it opportunity.

Rule #6
If you mess up it's not your parents fault.  So don't whine about your mistakes. Learn from them.

Rule #7
Before you were born, your parents weren't as boring as they are now.  They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you thought you were.  So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parents generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.

Rule #8
Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life has not.  In some schools they have abolished failling grades and they'll give you as many times as you want to get the right answer.  This doesn't bear the slightest resemblance to anything in real life. (A rule the occupiers should learn from)

Rule #9
Life is not divided into semesters.  You don't get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you find yourself.  Do that on your own time.

Rule #10
Television is not real life.  In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.

Rule #11
Be nice to nerds, chances are you'll end up working for one.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Is Santa Claus Real????

I guess you already know which holiday is my favorite.  Just in case you missed my post on that subject you can read it here.  So I guess you have already figured out that I am not a big Christmasy kinda guy.  Well neither are any of my family.  The reasons for this is probably rooted in my childhood or perhaps it is genetic.  I am not sure.  All that I can really remember about Christmas as a kid is that when the day came and we opened the presents I never got what I asked for.  My parents were horrible present buyers.  (not that it really  matters I'm an adult now and have gotten over it)  If my distaste for the holiday is genetic, we would have to take a look at my mother.  She was a big Christmas person.  The house was always decorated and music was playing.  (So what happened to me?)  I think it was the present thing.

So keeping all of the above information in mind.  I want to try to answer the question posed in the title of this post.  "Is Santa Claus Real?"  Well logically we know that there is no way that Santa could possible do what it is that he does.  There is no one person at the North Pole making toys all day.  Plus as an adult I happen to know that no fat guy with a beard enters my house to leave expensive presents for everyone.

So is Santa Clause a feeling we get during this time of the year?  Well, lets think about that for a brief moment.  To try and determine the validity of this theory lets look at my experience as a Computer re-seller.  Every year starting around the end of November we get people in that want to buy laptops and computers for someone for Christmas.  They are usually rude and mean.  So after a few weeks of being treated rudely we tend to get punchy.  So much so that we can't wait until December 26th is here and the holiday is over.  Over the years we have actually closed the business the week before Christmas so that we would not have to deal with the rude mean people.

So here is my take on the whole Santa thing.  There are certain things that are basic during this time of the year regarding people:
  1. People that buy crap for people they barely know and expect crap from people they barely know ARE NOT IN THE CHRISTMAS SPIRIT.  They are selfish bastards.
  2. People that buy crap for someone in October knowing that the person they are buying it for needs the item at that moment yet waits till December 25th to give it to that person is an EVIL A-HOLE.
  3. People that, only during this Holiday, walk into a store like Walmart and pay for the lay away items that have payments late, are only fueling the entitlement wave in this country. (It was probably crap they didn't need.  That is why they did not finish paying for it.)
  4. The dead beat that had his lay away item paid for by the guy in #3 walks out of the store saying "I should have put more crap on lay away since it was free"
  5. The guy in #3 is simply trying to make good after acting mean and rude sometime in the past.
  6. People that walk around wearing santa hats and reindeer antlers ARE NOT IN THE CHRISTMAS SPIRIT.  They are simply swept up in the wave of "I need to buy crap."
  7. Just because it is December people will say Merry Christmas, have a happy holiday or something similar and never really mean it.  Case in point the other 11 months of the year they don't even say thank you or have a nice day.
  8. During this magical time of the year extended family members will only call during this time because they realize that they either need something or they feel guilt not calling the other 11 months of the year.
Now lets keep in mind exactly what Christmas is supposed to be and what we are supposed to be celebrating.  Does anyone remember?

Christmas is a Christian holiday on December 25 that commemorates the birth of Jesus. I found this information on this page.

So buying crap for people that you barely know and getting crap that you don't need from people that barely know you is NOT what Christmas is?  So Santa Claus has nothing to do with Christmas.  So when, exactly in the traditions of Christmas do we celebrate the birth of Jesus?  HMMMM, I think that we should rename Walmart.  The new name will be CHURCH.  I mean after all that is where we buy most of the crap that we give to people who then take it back to Walmart for credit.  Now here is the next connection that will probably make you say Ah Ha.  Everything in Walmart is made in China.  Chinese people are short.
Hmm, see where I'm going with this.  If China is where all the crap we buy is made then it would seem logical to say that Santa is Chinese, and Elves are really just Chinese children forced into sweat shops to create the stuff to send to walmart (church).  Got it!  Now I understand.


So to answer the question posed at the start of this post. - Is Santa Claus Real?  I would have to answer YES Virginia, Santa is real and he's Chinese. In addition, as requested by +Blogger I am sharing my opinions to Google. 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

State and City Officials, Clergy and Law Enforcement Join Together to Announce Gun Buy Back


Photos are available for media use on Flickr, courtesy of Patrick Jackson of the Delaware State Senate.

Citizens can turn in firearms anonymously for bank gift cards

Wilmington – A Gun Buy Back program planned for Saturday in Wilmington provides an easy and safe way to turn in unwanted firearms.
Today Gov. Jack Markell joined with Wilmington Mayor James M. Baker, State and City officials, law enforcement and Wilmington clergy to announce a “Gun Buy Back” program that will allow citizens to turn in unwanted weapons in exchange for bank gift cards.  Citizens can exchange a handgun for $150; an assault rifle for $200; and a rifle or shotgun for $100.
“We’re doing everything we can to keep people safe, and the gun buyback is an important step,” said Governor Markell. “This is the state, the city and the community working together with law enforcement. If we take one gun off the street and save one life by doing this, it will be worth it.”
The Department of Safety and Homeland Security (DSHS), in partnership with the Delaware State Police, Wilmington Police Department, local pastors in the Wilmington community and City officials, will host a “Gun Buy Back” to collect unwanted weapons in exchange for bank gift cards.  On Saturday, December 17, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Delaware State Police and Wilmington Police officers will man the following two locations to collect unwanted weapons and distribute the bank gift cards:
Ezion Fair Baptist Church, 1400 B Street, Wilmington
Canaan Baptist Church, 3011 New Castle Ave., Wilmington
A new law was passed this year, establishing the Community Firearm Recovery Program, to provide a mechanism to safely remove illegal, unsecured, abandoned or unwanted firearms from local communities. The legislation allocated $100,000 for the program and designated DSHS as the program administrator.
“Citizens can turn in guns anonymously with no questions asked. Our gun buy back program makes it easy for Delawareans to safely get unwanted weapons out of their home,” said Lewis D. Schiliro, Secretary of Safety and Homeland Security. “Removing weapons that could fall in the hands of children or that could be stolen and used in a crime is one more way to make our communities safer.
“Wilmington is most appreciative of the efforts by the Governor and Secretary, supported by our own community, to take guns off the streets, said Mayor Baker. “As a whole, Wilmington is a vibrant City where the majority of citizens enjoy and appreciate everything that our City has to offer. It is important, however, to address head-on the issue of guns that are used too frequently by a small segment of the population to frustrate us as we move our City forward. It is my hope that the gun buy-back program will help not only Wilmington but each of Delaware’s counties, towns and cities to eliminate guns that could fall into the hands of criminals.”
Several community and church leaders have played a crucial role in supporting this initiative and identifying other partners to assist with this project including Wilmington Councilman Justen A. Wright, Bishop Aretha Morton, pastor of Tabernacle Full Gospel Baptist Cathedral, Rev. Dr. C.T. Curry, pastor of Ezion Fair Baptist Church and Rev. Dr. Christopher Bullock, pastor of Canaan Baptist Church.
“The Gun Buy Back is one piece to a much larger puzzle. Gun violence has plagued our families and City for far too long. This is a concerted effort with government officials, law enforcement, community leaders and you—the community—to minimize the gun violence our communities experience on a regular basis. Citizens of Wilmington, New Castle County, and surrounding areas we need you to make this a success,” said City Councilman Justen A. Wright.
The Department, in coordination with Wilmington and New Castle County community and faith-based leaders, is also promoting an anti-violence message to the communities in Wilmington and its surrounding areas. In addition to the Gun Buy Back event, Bishop Morton, Rev. Curry, Rev. Bullock, and other community leaders will hold a community event at 6:30 PM on December 16, 2011 at the Tabernacle Full Gospel Baptist Cathedral to promote the campaign against violence.
“This is the first of many steps needed to begin resolving the issue of gun violence and murders in our city. As Wilmington clergy, we see firsthand how gun deaths are devastating our families —those of the perpetrators and the victims. Fewer guns on the streets will lessen the opportunity for shooting injuries and deaths,” said Rev. Curry.
Citizens are asked to make sure the weapons are unloaded and the safety is on. Handguns should be in clear plastic bags and ammunition should be in separate clear plastic bags. Long guns should have a clear plastic bag wrapped and taped around the gun, covering the trigger guard.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Occupy Dover ...... Really?


I had to share this photo and a Facebook post by my good friend Pete Teague. Apparently Pete talked to the Occupiers in Dover Delaware. Here is his post:

"This is a picture of Occupy Dover (Delaware) on the Capital Mall in front of Legislative Hall. I am not making fun of them, I really am not. But I don’t think this Chapter of the Occupy Movement is getting the required traction – it’s been three weeks with the same 5 tents and folks. I did stop and chat with them today between meetings. Among other questions I asked: So what bill (piece of legislation) are you asking the rest of us to support for the cause? The response: Oh, there isn’t one. We just want the Legislature to see that we are here and watching. I said, you might want to think of a more impactful approach, I'm not sure sleeping here on the Mall is going to cut it. [Overall, I guess I still don’t get how this movement in its present form is going to change anything.]"


Am I making fun of the folks...... Well Yeah of course. What idiot sits at the Legislative Hall and doesn't have some sort of action they want the rest of us to stand behind?

Listen people, if you really want to make an impact, spell out what you want from the legislature. We are all sitting in our nice warm offices laughing at you. I mean you don't really give us a choice. I don't know what you stand for so I can't support something that not even you know what it is.

If you spent this much time looking for gainful employment you might actually get closer to the 1%. I mean as an example, what if you won the lottery and suddenly joined the 100 million dollar club. Would you still be in those tents in freezing cold December? I think not.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Most Inane Thing Yet

Yes I said it 'Inane'.  Stupid, idiotic, crazy, any of these alternatives will work just as well.  But I digress, You are probably wondering what I am taking about.  I am talking about the stupidity that people find interesting.  As an example of what I am talking about I give you Jenna Marbles:

Jenna Marbles has a Youtube Channel, You can find her on facebook, her blog, and of course follow her on twitter.  Oh and don't forget her vlog.

At the time of this writing she has 347,500 Vlog subscribers, 1,790,000 subscribers to her youtube channel, 823,000 fans on facebook, and 595,000 followers on twitter.

She is, needless to say, a very popular girl.  Now you might be asking yourself, "Self, what in the world does this girl do to be so popular?  She must take her clothes off."  Well here is her latest video on youtube:




This video alone has received over 1,400,000 views in the past 2 days.......

Now I ask you, seriously, Really?

Now I am not faulting Jenna, she has latched onto a niche and is making money on her great idea. (more on the money later).  I think that she is a genius.  After all she has created a character, fine tuned her act and parleyed it into a money making venture.  She is having great success.  This people is the American Dream.

Here is one of her most popular videos which at this moment has over 12 million views:




Thats right she wears bikinis and well you have to watch it to believe it. (I know i just lost a few brain cells)  Well in any case, I promised to talk about the money that she might be making.  Right now she has 67 videos, she produces a new video every Wednesday.  I am pretty sure she is a Google partner and may be getting paid by Google to produce more videos.  So for the ease of math lets just look at her latest video which has 1.4 million views over the past 2 days.  How much money could the ads generate for her over this time frame.

Well we need to make a few assumptions.  First that only 1% of viewers will actually click on the ad that is either at the beginning of the video or on the upper right hand corner of her channel page.  Then just being very conservative lets say that she earns ten cents per click on those ads.

1,400,000(number of views) x .01(1% clicks) = 14,000 clicks

14,000 (clicks from above) x 0.10 (amount per click earned) = $1,400 (in 2 days)

Like I said the girl is a genus.

Well, now that I have explained my purpose here, I go back to the original title of this post.  The most inane thing yet.  Have the people of America digressed to the point that we watch stupidity.  Does America relate to this type of activity and believe that their life is somehow the same.  I hope not.  Remember these videos are just a marketing act to get you to view them.  Hell they even got me to blog about them.  LOL, I must fit the mold as well.  Jenna, I bow to you, you are a marketing genus.