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My Vote For President March 28, 2011

Posted by Fritz in Yachts and other things that float.
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The time is drawing near when we will begin to see the contenders emerging for the Republican nomination for President. A favorite website has a poll going showing Sarah Palin way out in front with their readers. Since opinions are like a**holes… we all got one, I thought I’d weigh in.

Gov. Sarah Palin

Gov. Sarah Palin 47, former Gov. of Alaska. I love her, she’s my kind of conservative, she’s smokin’ hot and did I mention she’s smokin’ hot?  She shouldn’t run because she can’t win. Reason, her voice. She’s got a tinny, whiny, Alaskan/Minnesotan/Fargo twang  going on that is the reason people call her dumb. It’s a horrible reason but it’s a fact.
She needs to stay being the Right’s biggest fund raiser and King maker.

Mitch Daniels

Mitch Daniels. 62, Gov. of Indiana, past OMB Director. Nicely conservative. No name recognition and he slightly resembles George W. Bush.  Never gonna win.

Herman Cain

  Herman Cain. 65, columnist, businessman, talk show host. Staunchly conservative, got all the creds for my vote. He’s black and while that makes him an equal to Obama in the race race, the country is not ready to have another black president right after the nightmare we have now. Great VP choice though.

Newt Gingrich

Newt Gingrich. 67, former Speaker of the House. Brainy-ack with too much baggage. ‘Ol Newt couldn’t keep it in his pants earlier in life and that’s gonna cost him the chance to be prez. Married three times, he is better served as a Secretary of State or VP.

Haley Barbour

Haley Barbour. 63, Gov. of Mississippi. Just one earful of his southern accent and you’ll agree he’ll never get elected. That and the fact he’s obese and was born in Yazoo, MS…

Mike Huckabee

 

Mike Huckabee. 55, former Gov. of Arkansas. He’s a bible thumpin’ righty who is way too religious for me and the masses. Name sounds too close to huckleberry.

 

 

 

Tim Pawlenty

Tim Pawlenty, 50, former Gov. of Minnesota.  Not enough name recognition though he has the right conservative creds. Somebody’s gonna make fun of his name and equate him to polenta…

Michele Bachmann

Michele Bachmann, 54, member of Congress, Hmmm, what do I say here. She’s a big time Tea Party favorite but I fear she’s got too big an ego for her current stage in politics. A Sarah Palin wanna-be without the wow factor. Another great conservative who needs to wait in the wings and support the only person I think can beat Obama and that is….

Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney, 64, former Gov. of Massachusetts. It won’t be easy but if Mitt hires a killer PR firm, admits he was wrong on his health care plan in MA and stays solidly right of center on EVERY issue, he can beat Obama. He’s gotta deal with the Morman thing which is absurd in this day and age but it’s a fact. I think it can be done with GOOD PR. Good looking man and family. The Right needs to do the right thing and crown him the Rep. nominee now so he can start attacking Obama without a bruising nomination fight.
That’s my two cents worth.

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College Tour Time March 18, 2011

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An annual right of spring just occurred in our household—the obligatory college visits during Spring Break in your Junior year. Earlier this week we set out for visits to the two rival state schools; FSU and UF.

For this trip Tallahassee was our first stop. We arrived mid-day on Tuesday and spent the first 30 minutes driving around getting our bearings. The capital of Florida is a medium sized town of just over 170,000— including the 40,000 students at FSU. Not only our state capital, Tallahassee is also home to Florida A & M University and Tallahassee Community College.

FSU is literally down the hill from the state capital—both the original building and the new high rise that houses our state government. The original building was open for tours so we decided to become tourists and checked it out.

A very cool old building built in stages beginning in 1845. Restored to its 1902 appearance, the Historic Capitol stands as an icon at the center of Florida’s Capitol complex; the modern-day nerve center of Sunshine State government.

A private collection of vintage campaign buttons and banners was on exhibit in one of the old capital’s rooms and I couldn’t help take note of the nasty tone of political campaigning even back in the 60’s.

We finished our history lessons and grabbed some lunch at an outdoor café which allowed for plenty of people watching. Sidewalks filled with men and women in business suits were a striking difference from south Florida. Downtown Tallahassee was all about lawyers and lobbyists.

We started the campus tour the next morning at 9 at the visitor’s center. While waiting in the lobby for the program to begin we were met and chatted with Mike Meleney, an admissions director who covered south Florida high schools and would actually review our daughter’s application. There were about 80 or so in our group and after a brief introduction by Mr. Meleney we were split into several smaller groups for our tour of campus.

The main campus is compact—just 452 acres. It is nestled among century oaks covered in Spanish moss and lots of hills. Our two student guides, Jaclyn and Ijen, did a wonderful job of informing us about the school as well as imparting a true love for their alma mater and all things Seminole. Throughout the day at every meeting and event we were greeted with a genuine warmness that can only be generated by a true passion. We had lunch on campus and even saw the inside of a dorm when my daughter caught up with a neighbor friend who started school there this Fall.

We were interested in the Honors College and as luck would have it Jaclyn was a member so we were able to get the inside scoop. Florida State’s academic requirements for admission are tough, especially the Honors College. In 2010, the middle 50%  GPA range of entering freshman was 4.1-4.4 and the SAT’s were 1950-2090.

The following day we did Gainsville. The University of Florida was two hours south and east of Tallahassee. We again started our day at 9 with an orientation. Student guides split our group of several hundred into three and we set about the campus for our 90 minute tour.

From the beginning the feel of the school was much different. UF was a much larger campus—2000 acres with 50,000 total students enrolled. Our tour was lead by two young ladies who were very good and certainly loved their school. We saw the outside of lots of buildings and heard how great it was to be a part of ‘The Gator Nation’. We also heard a lot about all the national championships and how cool it was to be a ‘Gator’.

They finished off the tour with a visit to the Swamp—the Gator football stadium. I will say I was impressed as there is no holier ground for a college football fan in Florida.

Since moving to Florida in ’88 and well before my daughter was born I had always leaned towards all things Gators. They always seemed to command the sporting world and ‘The Gator Nation’ was omnipresent wherever you went in the state.

Over the years my predilection towards the orange and blue grew as they racked up national football titles and seemed to establish themselves as the academic powerhouse among state schools. GPA and SAT entry requirements for freshman are absurdly high—actually ranking the school as the tenth most difficult state school in the country.

I wanted the best for my daughter and thought she simply had to attend UF.

It was one of the UF guides who actually helped us make up our minds. During her closing remarks she said you had to feel the school ‘telling you’ if it was the right choice.

By the end of tour in Gainsville all three of us felt the same message. It would be Garnet and Gold in this household!

 

 

 

Good Morning March 14, 2011

Posted by Fritz in Yachts and other things that float.
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The switch to Daylight savings time is always a bit un-nerving for me. While I like the later light in the evenings, waking again to darkness when all winter I have been slowly enjoying the creep towards a brighter dawn seems like a set back. I decided to try to make the best of it this morning.

I was up before 6am. The sky hadn’t yet begun to lighten from its dark slumber. The windows in my office were open— taking advantage of the cool nights. The sounds of dawn began to waft  around me and I paused from my web surfing to let this morning greet me in its own unique way.

With the world seeming to be in an unprecedented state of dis-ease I was thankful my little space was calm and quiet. The waxing dawn was singing a sweet morning melody and I realized how blessed I was to hear it. It lasted about 10 minutes.

A siren began to wail, growing louder as the distance between us shortened. It finally began to fade and the morning songs of the birds returned to fill the void. But the spell was broken. More sounds of civilization began to take over and as with the now brightening sky, my world was waking.

It was just ten minutes but it was my ten minutes. Good morning to all.

Technology Is The New Crack March 8, 2011

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Update to my last post

The Coming Dark Age March 7, 2011

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I have long thought that we are but a nano second away from returning to the dark ages.

Last week my sister Kate and brother in-law Kurt visited. They arrived in a 2012 Ford Explorer prototype. (My brother in-law is a writer for an automotive blog and he gets a new Press vehicle to drive each week). This car was a technological wonder. Multiple video screens that can be split, over-layed and multiplexed displaying everything a driver could possibly want (and not want)  to see. I am sure there was more computing power in this car than went to the moon the first time.

As we rambled down the road to dinner Kurt was proudly touching screens and interfacing his I-phone via blue tooth through the stereo while speaking to the GPS announcing our destination address to the voice actuated system. I was enjoying the plush comfort of Corinthian leather, sweetly surrounded by that new car smell all the while watching the technological show unfold before me. Then it dawned on me just how dependent we have become on technology. We are addicted to gadgetry.

Kurt was on his fourth try with the Ford Sync voice activated system when I suddenly imagined a world, so taken by the sophistry that technology makes our lives better, without it.   What if suddenly an electromagnetic pulse emanating from an EMP detonation or nuclear explosion just rendered every electronic device useless? This gorgeous, 2012 leather-lined luxury limo would stop cold in its tracks proving the age old acronym for F.O.R.D. (found on road dead).

And of course there would be no cell phones, or lights or power or radio or TV. Pumps and motors would not work. Refrigerators would grow warm. It would be like it is after a hurricane only permanently. In just 24 hours serious panic would begin to take root across the entire affected area. If it was a major attack or one with multiple explosions over a wide area, vast portions of this country would be living in an instant stone age with no real hope of getting out.

Since 98% of the population has never hunted or trapped and can only identify an edible vegetable through the packaging, things would get very ugly very soon. In an instant the 21st century would reverse itself by 200 years.

Kurt never did get the Sync system to recognize the address of the restaurant but that was ok, I knew the directions. I’m not going to rely on technology to get me to dinner.

 

 

 

The World’s Biggest Ponzi Scheme March 4, 2011

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Karl Denninger illustrates the Social Security and Medicare hoax better than anybody. It’s an  easy to understand analogy that needs to be preached from the mountain tops.