Thursday, 9/2/10, Public Square

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Filed under The Public Square

55 responses to “Thursday, 9/2/10, Public Square

  1. wicked

    Who got rain yesterday? My sidewalk was wet for maybe 10 minutes. I hear the chance is better today. I’m not counting on anything.

    I don’t recall Kansas being so humid when I was a kid.

    • Downtown we got a very few sprinkles; that was it.

      When I was a kid, it depended upon where we were living. Around Whitewater, it was not as humid as it was when we were living in Halstead, but both were more humid than Wellington, which was always less humid than Wichita…

  2. Here is what your last post reminds me of, 6176 —

    • tosmarttobegop

      I could not quit chuckling, it does not matter where or which rural community is was living in.
      Getting directions was always like that, like West Sterling road… that is the road East of Sterling!
      And of course East Sterling road is West of sterling!

      Frick corner… everyone knows where you are talking about in Rush.
      Except for that the Frick’s have not lived at that corner for about fifty years and there is nothing there that would tell you they ever have!

      I was driving a dump truck for Rice county and had to turn in the middle of nowhere at the Mamick Elementary school.

      I drove up and down a two lane black top and never seen any school or building that looked like it might have been a school.

      Finally I called back to the shop and asked why I could not find the Mamick Elementary school thinking I must be on the wrong road? The person I spoke to laughed at me for being so stupid then said

      “Well of course you are not seeing any damn school, everyone knows it burnt to the ground back in 1935!”.

      If you every research the history of these rural places it is funny as all get out what some towns were named and why. Like one that was named “ 1 tet bigger then the other” it seemed that during the naming process there was a big fight between one side and the other. The leader of the side that lost in the naming process wife what a large woman and renounced for being rather lopsided in the upper area.

      Now of course the name of the town was change long ago And it has been so long ago I do not remember anything else like what the name was changed to and I think that the town has since died.

      There was a town in Az, that was named “Fixed wheel” it was the last place along the way to the West coast then you could get a wagon wheel fixed. So when a town sprung up around the house where the
      black smith lived the name seemed logical.

  3. It rained for a couple of minutes between 3 and 3:15 p.m. It didn’t rain that whole 15 minutes, just a couple of them between those two times.

    My granddaughter walks from the nearby high school to my house each Monday and Wednesday, and since school dismisses at 3:15, I paid attention because it dawned on me we hadn’t mentioned “what if it rains.” So while I was wondering about this, it quit raining. We did have the talk and now we have the plan.

    I also don’t remember this kind of humidity. It could be my old memory, it could be how intolerant I have become to heat and humidity, it could be I was always having so much fun in the summer time when I was young I had no idea of what the weather was.

  4. On a somewhat more serious note, it does seem more humid “now” than “then”. Of course, part of “then” was the drought that occurred (roughly) between 1953 and 1956, 1954 being the worst, according to my memory.

    I’ve always had little physical tolerance for the combination of heat and humidity; that combination has always been troublesome as long as I can recall. I’m sure this applies to fnord as well, only her memory isn’t as good as mine. 🙂

  5. wicked

    fnord, I saw this in my Publisher’s Lunch email.

    Denver’s New Citywide Read: The Help

    I googled and found this:

    http://www.denverpost.com/ci_15962164?source=bb

    • I’ve nearly finished the book — I’ve had so many people and events get in the way of me doing whatever I please here of late. 😦 It is one of those books I don’t want to finish, don’t want to end, and at the same time I’m impatient to read the next word and have several questions answered… It has made me laugh, cry, and think.

      • wicked

        I’ve been trying to do some reading, although that will probably end for a while again, thanks to the next deadline. I’ve found a YA author I really, really like. (When I first started writing, it was Young Adult, but for reasons I won’t go into, I left it behind.) The book I just finished by her was about a teen being physically abused by her boyfriend. Of course it’s fiction, but too true in real life.

        Last night I finished an adult book (woohoo!) by Judy Blume that I bought last year. You remember Judy, right? It was a bit different, but I enjoyed it, even though there were some things I related to and didn’t want to and also that I figured out the end right before it ended, so the “surprise” wasn’t so big. (Yeah, yeah, run-on sentence.) It definitely evoked emotions of all kinds throughout.

      • Of course I remember Judy Blume, but I had no idea she wrote adult books. Haven’t thought of her since my daughters were young.

        Lois Lowry is my favorite author of young adult books. I met her in person one year at the William Allen White book awards. “The Giver,” “Stay! Keeper’s Story,” and many many more are some of the reasons I love her books.

        Jeanne DuPrau (I also met her at the same place, different year) did a series of books that began with “The City of Ember,” which were excellent, so she’s another favorite.

        Reading isn’t as easy as it was. Now that I think of it, what is? Back to my original thought — I tire more easily, my eyes, my back, my arms, and can’t stay in one position whether it be lying down or sitting without the need to move. I’m old, and getting older, thank God.

      • wicked

        How neat that you met Lois Lowry! I met Mary Downing Hahn (December Stillness was my favorite, and I reread it this summer) and Jerry Spinelli (Maniac McGee) at the same place. (WAW Awards Banquet) 🙂

        The librarian at the middle school library and I became great friends during those years.

        BTW, for anyone interested, Judy Blume has some great info on her website about censorship.
        http://www.judyblume.com/censorship.php

        Judy has written 3 adult books.
        Wifey
        Smart Women
        Summer Sisters (the one I read)

        I’ve added The Help to my list of must reads, when time allows.

  6. Perhaps a bit of good news on the employment front?

    I noticed somewhere (sorry, didn’t get the link copied) that worker productivity has dropped. This would mean, if true, that the businesses will need to hire a few more folks to continue the level of output.

    Related: in our building is located The Specialists Group, a placement service. August brought a small increase in placements. The supposition is that 1) things aren’t getting any worse; 2) the aforementioned drop in productivity might be related to the number of applicants who are employed but are burning out due to the requirement that everyone do multiple jobs, all of which is apparently causing some hiring.

    I don’t know what to think, other than the “burnout” issue is real, based upon casual conversation with clients, other business people, and the various clerical and support staff folks that are around.

    • indypendent

      My son works as a delivery driver for an engineering firm servicing aviation. My son has been called into work at 4am and does not get off until the last delivery is made – which has been as late as 9pm or 10pm. This schedule has been going on for the last 3 months.

      My son is getting physically worn out from this grueling schedule but what choice does he have – go down the road to find another job?

      • wicked

        I wonder if all this isn’t because companies fear business will drop off and they’d have to layoff any new workers they might hire.

        I’m not saying it’s right. We have laws against working people to death. But I do like to look for a reason.

        I know that UPS works much the same, and the weeks leading up to Christmas are hell for their drivers and the drivers’ families, because of those same conditions your son is dealing with.

      • wicked

        indy, it sounds more like a case of not knowing how to save time and money. Then again, I don’t know the trucking business. But I do know that it’s a bit of a drive to Conway Springs. I have ex-relatives-in-law down there. And a few relatives, now that I think of it.

        Another reason they may be doing it is because they can. That doesn’t bode well for the future. I hope your son is getting plenty of OT pay for those hours and is socking it away, if possible.

    • The burnout is real. My sister recently got a promotion. The salary increase was small, but she is now doing the job she did before and two other people’s jobs as well. FUN!

      And most people are just hanging on for dear life because they feel lucky to have a job.

    • prairie pond

      Late to the party as usual.

      617, a drop in productivity will only result in more hiring if the demand is there to justify it, right? And I’m concerned that this is a demand based recession. A drop in productivity may result in fewer layoffs, but I suspect it’s all based on demand for goods and services. That’s why it’s such a dangerous downward spiral. Hiring won’t pick up until demand picks up, and demand won’t increase until jobs and income increase.

      Nice tidy little circle.

      On the other hand…

      A little productivity drop, or at least having productivity not keep pace with prices, will result in some inflation. A LITTLE inflation wouldnt hurt, as it would make interest rates pick up and that might not be a bad thing right now. How much inflation though is the question. And another question is, how close are we to significant deflation? If we are on the edge of deflation, then some inflation might be good.

      Our economy is wholly unprepared to deal with deflation. IMHO, that’s why companies arent hiring. They are just hanging on to their profits, and cash, without hiring or increasing spending on means of production. They think if there is some deflation, their dollars will be worth more, not less, like they are in a period of inflation. That’s why they are not hiring or borrowing.

      I’m sorry, that’s not very clear, but economics wonks will know what I mean 🙂

      • Your points are well taken, PP. I feel that we (the U.S.) had better think about deflation. Japan is in the throes of a deflationary period.

        As an adjunct to your points, and perhaps as a restatement thereof, if we are in a demand based recession (there does appear to be some evidence of such extant) a period of deflation will only exacerbate the recession, viz., why buy a widget today when the same widget may be purchased tomorrow (or next week or…) for less? That may well be what is driving current business practices.

      • prairie pond

        Yes, thanks, 617. I don’t know why I couldn’t explain what I was trying to say. Thanks for doing it for me!!!!

  7. “He hoped and prayed that there wasn’t an afterlife. Then he realized there was a contradiction involved here and merely hoped that there wasn’t an afterlife.”
    Douglas Adams

    Just seemed appropriate today, for no apparent reason.

  8. There is a report of an oil production platform explosion 80 miles off shore of Louisiana. 13 crew on board, all rescued; one injured, as I understand it. Vermillion Rig 380 is the name, not producing(?).

    • wicked

      Owned, I believe I read, by a Houston company. About half as deep down as the BP rig. No indication oil is leaking, but that’s an early impression, from what I read.

      And the loonies are out saying Obama did it. Yeah, and Dubya created Katrina and sent it to destroy the Gulf coast almost 10 years ago. Do people have no idea how ridiculous they sound? Never mind. Forget I asked that.

      • indypendent

        I thought God sent Katrina as a punishment.

        very heavy sarcasm////

        I’m all for drilling as long as there are safety measures planned and we can drill as safely as possible. But as I understood from all the BP oil rig reporting, those safety measures were not even planned. There was no safety plan but to say – check with this guy ____________(name) and that guy had not been in the business for years.

        It’s stupidity like that that can kill.

        Let’s face it, any drilling comes with risks – but if those risks are planned for and then the safety plan carried out if and when something happens – then aren’t we all the better for it?

        I know, I know – I’m going to have to turn in my GOP registration card if I don’t believe in regulations.

  9. indypendent

    wicked – I don’t know why my son’s employer is doing this. It would help if they just hired one more person so they could possibly rotate those long days and not put it on one or two guys all the time.

    What really upsets my son is when he goes in a 4am and then he drives to Conway Springs and then gets a call that another part is ready for delivery when he gets back to the warehouse. Guess where the awaiting part needs to be delivered – you guessed it – Conway Springs.

    So, you may be right – this employer wants to look like he is the best guy for getting parts delivered and making his staff suffer the consequences.

    I don’t know – but it seems like they are wearing out the good people they have working for them when there are obviously good people looking for work that they could easily hire someone to help with the overload.

    • wicked

      Oops, answered in the wrong place. School function at 2, so my mind is jumping around.

    • Just a few thoughts (in addition to the ones earlier expressed about laying off soon after hiring): the costs of a new hire are much more, generally, than the costs of paying additional overtime. E.G., the FUTA and Kansas Unemployment Tax contributions (on the first $7,000 and $8,000 annual compensation, respectively); additional workers’ comp insurance premium; the cost of training, due to loss of the trainer to do his/her job during the period. None of these justify working existing staff too hard when there is sufficient work for another, but are considerations an employer must take into account in the process, when determining whether the additional employee is a good choice.

  10. indypendent

    I know, I know – I’m going to have to turn in my GOP registration card if I don’t believe in regulations

    correction: I’m going to have to turn in my GOP registration card if I do believe in regulations.

    See what two little letters and an apostrophe can do?

    LOL

  11. Arizona’s governor when called out about the fear tactics she uses —

    • Sounds like our former President–never admit when you’re wrong, never say you’re sorry.

      And they think that is the position of strength.

      I guess it is, if strength=stupidity.

  12. I know our country started 1/20/09. I also understand we’re not to mention the 43rd president as he is an innocent who bears no blame and deserves only credit for all his deeds, so here is a video titled, “Eight Years in Eight Minutes,” that succinctly brings you up to the point where time began.

  13. http://robertreich.org/

    Said much more succinctly and clearly than I could.

    • Scary stuff, reality, isn’t it?

      I find myself of late telling my son that he should move out of this country as soon as he can because there is no future here. I can’t believe I think it, nevermind say it. There was a time when I believed that the American people could do anything, change anything, fix anything. I find my optimism greatly deflated by the overarching air of ignorance, fear, blame and greed in our society.

      China is on the rise and this country has fallen to oligarchy or corporatocracy or whatever it the proper name for it might be. I wonder what that means for the future of democracy?

  14. Freebird1971

    Just a thought, With Hurricane Earl on the way now would be the time for Obama to show he is a leader and inform the nation what his contingency plans are and the steps he has and will take to implement them.

    • He already has FEMA reps, water, emergency supplies up and down the eastern seaboard, they’ve been there two days. They are currently helping with the evacuations, and will be there for anything needed if the storm wrecks havoc.

  15. This is dated Sept. 1, and says, in part:

    CRAIG FUGATE (administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency): Well, because we’re not sure where this storm may have the greatest impact, we have been working with all of the governors’ teams from North Carolina all the way to Maine. And we have our teams ready to go in. Our teams are currently in the North Carolina Emergency Operations Center. But we’re also moving supplies, both into North Carolina and up into New England, just in case we’re going to need, whether, you know, we take an impact anywhere along that coast, additional supplies to support the states.

    And we have some of our search-and-rescue teams on alert. And we’re bringing in some of the management teams just in case. Again, we don’t have a forecasted landfall. But because this is such a large area, we don’t want to wait and find who is going to need help or where the impacts are going to be. So, we’re putting our teams in just about every one of those states, as the states are activated for this storm.

    http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/weather/july-dec10/earl_09-01.html

  16. Living in Kansas, where we may have a few minutes warning of devastating storms I’ve always wondered why people don’t take advantage of the days of warnings in advance of hurricanes. I suppose they become ‘jaded’ same as we do about tornadoes.

    • wicked

      I have friends in Florida. One lives on the east coast near Boca Raton. She’s already stocked her ‘safe room’ with food and water for this season. She has a gas-powered generator so she can keep current on the weather when she’s in the room. She knows how to protect her house by boarding up windows. Many people down there are more prepared than some of us here are.

  17. Then again, all we have to do is go under our homes, or a neighbors home, stay a very short while and return to protect what is ours whether it was or wasn’t damaged. It would take some doing to go away knowing in advance authorities may keep you from returning. Then there is the fact that storms weaken, take turns, don’t become what they could have… Yes, I guess I can see why they don’t use those days of advance warnings.

  18. tosmarttobegop

    Well had the consultation with the vascular surgeon this afternoon, it is totally blocked.
    what ever damage was done has been done and there is nothing he can do, ………………..
    …………. I am going to live!

    Otherwise I am fine and he did not see any other problems except he that because I have this blockage there is the possibility that there could be others somewhere else. So he is going to talk to my G.P and suggest that I have a stress test.

    Though if there were he thought by now the symptoms would have showed up.
    No chest pains or legs hurting so who knows?

    • Good news!

      I think.

      I want all of us to work really hard on getting … younger. This gettin’ older isn’t for sissies, and I think I might be a sissy.

  19. tosmarttobegop

    One Sunday there were three tornado warning and each time the only shelter we had was to go to the church on the other side of their parking lot. So three times that Sunday my wife and I showed up at that church and stood around in the basement along with everyone else.

    The third time I was there I ran into the preacher and said to him:

    You know revere I am beginning to think someone is trying to tell me I need to come to church more often!

    The deacon which are generally the people in a church with the least sense of humor piped up and said I should not be making funny of it!

    The preacher interrupted the deacon and said he thought it was funny!

  20. tosmarttobegop

    Well I need to go check the other blog I had lambashed the Cons and mainly Division.

  21. tosmarttobegop

    Some one said I gave Division too much to think about that is why he never answered.

    I gave him a freebie in saying now he can say the way I think is because I must of had a stroke!

    • indypendent

      I thought Division was ol Paulie. If so, then facts are never dealt with – they are simply swept under the rug like most good little GOPPERS do.

  22. tosmarttobegop

    I have to stick around, when the granddaughters turn ten we will go swimming with the Dolphins.
    Man I can not tell you how much I am looking forward to that!

    Shoot I am planning on getting in the water just so another summer will not have gone by without getting my head under water. The problem is that both lakes I am thinking of is no better then digging a hole in the yard and filling it with the garden hose. Ahh I was born and live in the wrong state to be a diver….