Sunday, January 29, 2017

There Is No Such Thing as a Free Lunch

I've been involved in two different conversations this week regarding people who think something should be "free."

Ultimately, if something takes some effort on the part of someone who provides a service or product it is NEVER free.  It always costs someone something.  Could something be "free" to you if you don't have to pay for it?  Perhaps, but it still isn't free.  It actually costs the person who provides it.  They put time, effort or some kind of cost into it.  So it still isn't free.

There are people who seem to think some things should come to them free as if by magic.  Well there is even a show on TV the last few years where the saying is, "Magic always comes with a price."  That is just as true for the magic services and products some people seem to believe they are entitled to receive.

They believe they should get free healthcare, free food, free TV, free internet, free college, free (you name it).  Why?  Because they are entitled.  These things should not be only for the "rich" you know.  The problem is that none of these are EVER free.  They always cost someone something because magic comes with a price.  The people that provide these things are working for a living and trying to support their own families and meet their needs.  They do that by EARNING some income and paying for the things they need.

Every free service or product comes at the expense of someone else.  The person who wants the free thing believes themselves to be deserving and that the person who is going to pay the price should get "nothing for something."  In civilized society that is the mindset of the people who stick a gun in your face and demand your money because they want it and you should just give it to them.  Why?  Because you have it and they want it.  Hey, you have more than you NEED and they want more than they have so that's the way it should be.  Right?  They think so.

It is a good thing to voluntarily help those who are in need.  It is robbery to have your money forcibly taken from you whether it is at the point of a gun or through taxation without representation.  It is not the purpose of a government to play Robin Hood.  

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Democratic Hypocrites

It is fascinating that people who claim to be for free speech, wanting people to "abide by the results of elections," are concerned about the welfare of the people, and particularly the children then behave in exactly the opposite way when they don't get their way.

Democrats were all concerned about free speech until they decided they didn't like something that was being said.  Then it was: block venues where speeches were taking place, disrupting speakers, causing problems in various venues, and doing everything possible to prevent people from freely speaking.

Democrats were all concerned that someone might not "abide" by the results of the Presidential election.  Then the Democrat candidate lost.  So Democrats protest the results of the election, riot, attack people to the point of even children being attacked and claiming that the President elect is NOT their president.

There were even Democrats that claimed that they would pack up and leave the country if their candidate did not win.  Now they are saying they are not going.  Too bad.

You see, people like that didn't really want an election.  They wanted a coronation.  They don't want the rule of law, they want to be a law unto themselves.  They don't want what is best for the people as a result of a choice by the people, they want what is best for them specifically and to hell with everyone else who does not agree with them.

They couldn't even let the whole of their own party decide who the candidate should be.  They had to rig the game internally so that the person who actually might have fairly won could not even be a candidate so that the chosen one of the elite could get her shot at the Presidency.  They have no one to blame but themselves for their loss. 

The Democratic Party is a joke and now the joke is on them.

In the last decade the Republican party (which has its own problems) lost multiple major elections.  There were no disruptions of the speeches of Democratic candidates.  After the losses there were no riots.  After the votes were done no one was attacked because of who they voted for.  No one claimed that the President was NOT their President.

I don't like either party and I have said repeatedly I think they should both be embarrassed for not being able to come up with better candidates for President.  That being said, the vote is done, the people have spoken.  If you don't like it, there is the door, don't let it hit you on the way out.

I have no sympathy for hypocrites. 

Sunday, August 14, 2016

No Right to Freedom from being Offended

We have a right to certain things.  From the United States Declaration of Independence it is claimed we have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

What we don't have is the right to not be offended, angered, irritated, or annoyed by things people say or do providing they have not broken a law.  No, offending you is not against the law.  You may wish that it was, but it is not.

People these days seem to think that if you say or do something that they don't agree with that you should be stopped from saying or doing it just so that they can be free from being offended by you.  These people have no idea what the concept of free speech is all about.

The freedom of speech is the freedom to say the things that might offend, aggravate, irritate, annoy or even anger people because they are things that those people do not want to hear or do not agree with.

The freedom of speech is a freedom to not have to say that the emperor's new clothes look so nice.  It is the freedom to say that what everyone is doing is wrong in some way.  It is the freedom to express a different and perhaps highly unpopular viewpoint.

I listen to what people have to say even if or when I don't like or agree with what they are saying.  I might also express a different opinion or point out areas where I believe they are in error, but I listen.  I don't try to shut them up, shout them down, or ask that they be prevented from talking.  After all, what they are saying is what they are thinking and there is probably a reason that they think that way.  It could be a good reason or a bad reason, but nevertheless it is their reason and they might not be alone in that opinion whether they express it or not.

It's much better to know what people think than to have them bury it until it leaks out another way.

Let's face it, some people actually look for ways to be offended and would find something offensive about saying good morning to them.  They might react with, "What do you mean, 'good morning'?  What's good about it?  Are you saying light is better than darkness?  That's prejudiced against those of us who like night time!  That's offensive!!! People everywhere should stop saying that right now or face a lawsuit."

Many years ago at a previous employer we had a big meeting that was presented by the Human Resources department.  This was to be a meeting about diversity in the workplace.  I had no problem with that, but then came the presentation.  Near the beginning they showed a picture from the 60's of a bunch of old white guy engineers in suits and ties working on some project.  They then proceeded to say that this is the way engineering had been and we no longer wanted the company to look this way.  Being an old white guy at the time, this caught my attention.  More so it caught my attention because it was people like those who had built a company which was the second largest employer in our state at the time (somewhere near 18,000 people at the high point). 

Then, during the rest of the presentation, they showed what they wanted the company to look like.  I had no issue with the people that were in the pictures.  They were Hispanic, Indian (India Indian), Native American, Black, Chinese, Japanese, etc.  They were all young (20's and early 30's).  Many were women. Then I realized something.  None of those people were old white guys.  Yes, I mean NONE.  It registered with me.  If I had been the kind to take offense at such a slight I could easily have been offened, but instead I just remembered it.

Then the layoffs started.  Then they got worse.  There were a few new people hired, but the demographic was changing.  Then things got even worse.  Within a few years I was gone along with a lot of other old white guys.  Just a few years later the company went from the second largest employer in the state to not being an employer of anyone in the state. They had succeeded in changing their demographics alright!

In the process of giving us a presentation which was unwittingly offensive, they told the truth about some decisions they were about to make which ultimately led to the elimination of their own jobs.  How ironic.  The handwriting was on the wall the day that presentation happened.  Ultimately I was glad they inadvertently offended me, because as a result I was prepared for the eventual outcome when it happened.

Monday, July 25, 2016

New Truck

I got a new truck a couple of months ago.  As a result I find that I am focused on getting the best possible mileage out of it while monitoring the mileage indicator display on the dash.

This has become almost an obsession.   

With my old truck, a 2002 GMC Sonoma, I did not have any way to monitor the mileage except for me manually keeping track which I did.  That truck routinely got 20.5 MPG week in and week out for my standard work week (sometimes under 20 and sometimes as much as 22).  

With my new truck, a 2016 Chevy Colorado, I am getting a pretty consistent 25 MPG under the same driving conditions and have even gotten as much as 26 and 27 MPG over intervals of as much as 50 miles. 

So I am getting anywhere from 22% to 31% better gas mileage with the new truck.  Of course it happens to be a 4 cylinder instead of the 6 cylinder Sonoma, but its horsepower rating is the same or better.  I never thought I would go for a 4 cylinder engine, but it was a combination of factors that contributed.  I wanted the Extended Cab rather than the Crew Cab.  Why?  Because I wanted the longer bed and wasn’t looking to really carry 2 two people in comfort in the back seat.  I just wanted some extra internal storage (I got used to that with the Somona which was also Extended Cab). 

Yes, I could have had a Crew Cab with the long bed, but then it would not fit in my garage.  So Extended Cab it was to be.  It turns out they really don’t market the Extended Cab with the 6 cylinder engine.  You can get it with a special order, but the ones on the lot are all 4 cylinder trucks.  Besides that, I wasn’t anticipating towing any great loads that would drive me toward a V6.  I do have a utility trailer, but it’s just for small stuff.
So far I am happy with my choice and even happier when it comes time to fill it up with gas.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

They can't all be right but they can all be wrong

It's been an even longer time since my last post, but I just had to get something out of my system.

In recent days with all the killings that are taking place due to religious ideals and beliefs, I am struck by the ultimate hypocrisy of the adherents to these various religions.

First let me state unequivocally that ALL religions are nothing but rules taught by men. They all claim to have a direct line to God. They all claim to be loving, peaceful, kind, giving, and benevolent yet what comes from them is hatred, violence, abuse, manipulation, lies, and destruction.

 From their claims, which are totally in conflict from one religion to the next, it is apparent that they can't all be right, but they can all be wrong.

Not one of these religions can prove that they are the "true religion" or that the God they worship and claim to follow even exists. Not one of them.  They all use their "Books" which are written by men to justify their actions.  Their actions betray the shortcomings of their "Book" and their beliefs.  They are just "small" people who are trying to be important by claiming to have the ultimate big brother who can beat you up if you cross him or them.

I don't know everything about reality and probably never will.  I am sure there is way more to it than we currently understand because that has always been the way that it is (we constantly learn something we didn't know).  However, what I do understand is that these religious fools have no answers.  They are just trying to look like they do.    

Saturday, August 16, 2014

It's Been a Long Time

Well, it hasn't been quite a year, but almost.  Some things have gone OK and some have not.
I am still here, so that's something.  Mostly I have been over at the Antique Radio Forums   helping people fix radios online.  Yes, that's a bit of a challenge when you can't see the radio (sometimes they post pictures), and you are working with someone who may have never repaired a radio in their life.

Lately I have been thinking about something and I may have finally been able to put it into words.  It is the following, "I have the power to change how I react to things."  Probably doesn't seem all that profound does it?  Well maybe it's not.

What I am getting at is that I don't have to let people get to me, make me angry, make me depressed, make me frustrated, or whatever.  It is me that does those things to me in reaction to what other people are doing.  If someone does something irritating, I really don't have to let it "drive me up a wall."  It's my choice.  I have the power.

The world may be going to hell in  a hand basket, but I don't have to wreck my whole life over it.  I have the power to choose what I do about it.
In the mean time I am looking forward to retiring someday.  Right now it looks like about four years away.  But things change and you never know what tomorrow may bring.  In the mean time, I'm going to choose to have a good day.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

It's Sad

Sometimes I see or hear something that just makes me sad.  Often it is seeing that a business has closed.  It always reminds me of all the people who invested their time and money getting that business off the ground.  Then there are the employees who counted on that business for a pay check so that they could pay their bills.

Today I heard of yet another business closing.  It was the drive-in theater in Globe, Arizona.  Strangely enough we had just driven by that theater a couple of times this last summer and were pleased to see that it was not sprouting weeds and were happy to think that a drive-in was still operating.  Yet, that was not to be for long.  We had no idea they were already on the verge of closing.

A drive-in theater closing reminds me of those times that I saw a movie at one of them and the experience that I would likely never have again.  The owner said that the new digital projectors were something he just could not afford so closing became inevitable.  Yes, there is one remaining drive-in in Arizona, over in Glendale, but I am not likely to ever go there.  I'm sure it is just a matter of time before that one closes too. 

It just makes me sad.