Utterly Random Thoughts

Things That Have Crossed My Mind Lately

Random Thought #1:
Senator Barack Obama gave a speech yesterday. Jon Stewart on the Daily Show pretty much nailed it when he said something like: “A historical day. Tuesday, 11 a.m. Eastern daylight time, a prominent politician talked to the American people about race as if we’re adults.”

There are several video clips HERE that are worth watching.

Random Thought #2
I want one of these wind turbines to put on my house. I’m grumpy that I have three minutes to look at their web site and I can’t find any prices. I want three, actually — two to power my house and one on my garage to power my (as yet mythical) plug-in hybrid car. In fact, why don’t hybrid cars come with wind turbines — kind of a package deal. You buy the car and some guy comes and installs a wind turbine on your garage.

Random Thought #3
Try as I might, I just don’t have time for that FacePlace or FaceBook or whatever it’s called. I set up a little page in there because someone told me it was a neat thing to do. I suppose it is, but I get requests all the time to log in to MyFace or FaceSpace or whatever it’s called because “so-and-so poked you” or “so-and-so wrote on your wall.” It’s all fun stuff, really it is, but I just don’t have time for it. I’m too busy ranting about being busy.

Random Thought #4
Why do people bring things to a print shop they don’t want printed? Example — I got an e-mail today saying, “Here’s a photo for the newsletter. Ignore the other five attached photos, and the three small animated GIF’s attached to my e-mail. All you need is PCD847312.” Five minutes later, “Please ignore my last message. Use PCD847313 instead, and ignore PDC8747311 and PDC8747317, which are also attached to this message.”

Why not just send me THE ONE PHOTO YOU WANT ME TO USE? No. Instead send me 42 nearly identical photos with nearly identical file names, then holler at me when I get the wrong one in your newsletter and demand that we only charge you half price.

Another customer sent me six identical files with different file names. I called to ask if they really wanted us to print 575,000 (or whatever) copies of all six files. “Oh, no. They’re all the same. I just thought you’d like extra copies in case one didn’t work.” They came THIS close to having their order multiplied by six, and of course they’d reject the other 2,875,000 copies (in full color of course) and would refuse to pay for them, at which point my boss would turn red and I’d get hollered at.

Random Thought #5
Arthur C. Clarke died yesterday at the age of 90. He’s the one that wrote 2001: A Space Odyssey and about a zillion other science fiction books, but more importantly he’s the one that conceptualized how a satellite in geosynchronous orbit might be used as a communication device. (That’s when you place an object in an orbit such that it falls around the earth at the same rate the earth rotates, thus appearing motionless in the sky — perfect if you want to point a satellite dish at it.) Please note that he had this all figured out on paper in 1945 — twelve years before the Soviets launched Sputnik, the first satellite to orbit the Earth. It was the 1960s before Clarke’s computations were proven and the first telecommunication satellite was launched in what is now known as a “Clarke Orbit.”

Not only was he a well-known science-fiction writer and theoretical physicist, but he served in the Royal Air Force in World War II, had degrees in math and physics, ran his own scuba school in Sri Lanka, and was active in underwater exploration.

The world needs more thinkers like Clarke.

Random Thought #6
Why does beer taste better in a bar than at home?

Random Thought #7
When the drought hits, will anyone remember that it was Carter that put solar panels on the White House and Reagan that took them back off? Will anyone remember that Clinton warned of the impending oil and environment crisis and that Bush did nothing? Does anyone remember that the United States Government had a massive surplus at the end of the Clinton era, and that prosperity ruled the land? Does anyone know how much money $3 trillion really is — that’s how much the War in Iraq has cost us. Our government has, in the last seven years, spent our money so fast it makes my head spin. And now it’s time to pay the piper — us taxpayers owe a LOT of money for what our government has been doing, and the bill will come due. Whomever wins the next election is, unfortunately, going to get blamed for a lot of stuff our current administration is doing — AND we still have terrorists to catch… And our bridges are falling due to lack of funding. And the homeless and poverty rates are too high. And our educational system is faltering. And our health care system is losing ground. And it’s too expensive to get treatment. And, and, and…

There are a lot of problems to be fixed.

If you’re reading this on Facebook, you can see the original blog at www.radloffs.net, click on “Blog.”

7 thoughts on “Utterly Random Thoughts

  1. Bluzlover

    The computer is the scourge of the printing industry, of all industries for that matter. It has made “experts” out of fools. Files you don’t need, the wrong file type, functions that look great on screen, but won’t print,etc.

    A fellow I work with has looked into a wind turbine and he determined that it would take 10 – 12 years of his “savings” to pay for the purchase and installation of the turbine.

    I’ve never checked out Facebook, but after spending some time on myspace, I have learned that it is a passtime for people with too much time on their hands.

    I think someone waiting on you, opening the bottle of beer is why it tastes so much better in a bar. Maybe, as an experiment, you should politely ask Dagmar to serve you an opened bottle of beer at home this evening. Hmmmm?

  2. The Guv'ner

    You are absolutely correct on all points, Sir! Which makes for bad commenting because…I AGREE.

    You are spot on about the beer. Bar beer is always awesome and beer at home, while equally cold and tasty just doesn’t have that added shot of ambience necessary for full pleasure. Only the bar can provide that.

    If I owned a house I’d absolutely try to switch it to solar generated power. I think many states probably provide grants for this purpose as well, no?

  3. Chris

    Leo — Beer in a box, with a fox, on some rocks, but not with lox.

    GiBoobs — Baaa… Oddly enough as soon as I pushed “publish” on this blog I got four Facebook requests within five minutes… Like I said, it’s all fun, but golly, sometimes I just don’t have time for it… Gosh, I say. Gee.

    Bluz — You’re spot-on about the computer being the scourge of the printing industry. The problem is that half the bad files I get (including the six identical files I ranted about in my post) come from professionals — pros in the graphics industry right here in Sioux City. They should really oughta know better…

    Anonymous (and I know who you are) — I think putting a wind turbine on an electric car is nothing short of genius!

    Guv — Agree away! That makes me happy. I’m sad when people disagree… Why can’t we all just get along? *Kum ba yah…*

  4. The Lady Who Doesn't Lunch:

    I like your “Random Thoughts” as they comply with the theme and name of your blog. Also they are excellent observations.

    I had totally forgotten about the solar panels on the White House. Nancy was probably behind their removal. She probably thinks that wind turbines are ugly too.


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