Army Inanity

I don’t particularly have anything against the army. I don’t particularly have anything for the army either. And while I don’t have anything against the idea of heroes in general, I can’t seem to comprehend the hoops that people will jump through to create the heroes. Take Pat Tillman. He’s the man who was killed recently in Iraq. Not that that would help you recognize his name. This is the guy who declined millions of dollars from the NFL and chose instead to join the army. Know him now?

I can respect that decision. It’s an amazing example. Even if you don’t agree with the reasons that the army is fighting in Iraq, it’s still an inspiration to see someone make a choice like this. I’m sorry that he died before anyone knew about the story, as it should have been promoted from the get-go. But what I don’t get is why the army feels that they need to embellish the tale by offering him a posthumous promotion.

It’s nice, it’s pretty, it gives me warm fuzzies. But the reason the army gave? They note that they promote people as a recognition that you have the potential to do more. I don’t have anything against Pat Tillman, either. But what exactly is he going to do in the future that he hasn’t done already?

For the People?

So you say that our government is actually of the people, for the people? In such an instance, what would you do if the government abandoned something? Stripped the pieces they wanted and left the rest? What if you were a collector and you were interested in restoring the item? What if you went through the process of registering your find with the government, dug the item out of a swamp, transported it halfway across the country and even did some work on it? I certainly have my opinion on who has the rights to the item.

That government for the people? They have a different view. “Oops, sorry – we want that back, and you need to pay the costs to make that happen.”? This is for the people?

What to Wear?

The latest school tactic to fight gangs is to outlaw solid-colored shirts. So you can’t wear shirts with logos. You can’t wear shirts imprinted with much of anything – fashion names, sports teams or even cities. Now you can’t wear solid-colored shirts. We can only hope the next terrorist alert doesn’t tell us that they wear pinstripes, or kids are going to be stuck with plaids and polka dots.

Family over Money

Just a few minutes ago, I was intrigued by a headline that said that last year’s star wide receiver for the Carolina Panthers, Steve Smith, had given up a $100,000 bonus to participate in an offseason workout program. Uh-oh. Smith’s up to his antics again. Maybe a five-year contract wasn’t such a good idea.

Then I read the story.

It turns out that Smith has decided to work on his own schedule, which allows him to get up earlier in the morning, turn in a workout, and be done about the time that others are getting to the stadium to start their workouts. This leaves the day free for the family. It also allows for the family to take trips, where Smith can (presumably) work out on his own schedule while out-of-town. Not an option with the team program.

I have to say I’m impressed. Not many people will give up money for their family. Fewer still will give up an easy $100,000 over a relatively short period of time for it. But Smith did. In his own words: I look at it like I’m forfeiting $100,000, but I’m gaining the smiles on my family’s faces.

Bravo, Steve.

Wal-Mart Needs Mail

Wal-Mart has about everything. They need mail. At least a mailbox. I needed to mail a letter the other day and the nearest mailbox was 5 minutes away from Wal-Mart. Okay, 5 minutes isn’t going to kill me, but it was in the wrong direction. And it’s not like I was walking, so I wasn’t getting any healthier in the process. It would have been so much more convenient if I could have just mailed the letter at Wal-Mart.

Even better than a mailbox would be a little shipping center, like the UPS Store. I’m at Wal-Mart every week anyway. Then I could handle my shipping needs while I was there. Anyone in Arkansas listening? If so, I’d just appreciate a little finder’s fee. Nothing much. You can check my wish list for ideas.

What We've Lost

I’m no fan of Dubya. I’m just not. To be fair, I’m not particularly fond of our two-party system, either. Neither one represents my interests, and there’s not much possibility of getting a viable third party together. Doesn’t mean I’m going to stop trying.

In any case, while everyone bickers about what was known and what wasn’t known prior to September 11, the fact is this: It doesn’t matter. I’m sorry, but the people who died that day are still dead. No finger-pointing is going to change that. For those of you who think the knowledge would have helped some live (I actually heard this on the news this morning), get over it.

Continue reading “What We've Lost”

Hiring Safe Drivers

That’s the sign I saw on the back of a Schneider tanker truck yesterday.

Now normally I probably wouldn’t pay much attention to a sign like that. Things are going reasonably well at our little company, and while I may like some extra income, the hours spent driving probably wouldn’t help my back. I certainly wouldn’t be able to do much other work while there, so that would severely limit my availability to other clients.

Anyway, the thing that caught my eye was that a part of the sign appeared to have been spray-painted, so that it was not legible. That in itself wouldn’t be eye-catching, either, but the part that was spray painted was the part of the phone number that comes after 1-800, and that I found puzzling.

Maybe it was done by a dock worker who was supposed to remove the sign from the truck and couldn’t figure out how to separate the sign from the truck body. So instead he (or she) improvised. I like the creativity. But what I don’t get is why he (or she) would leave the 1-800? For that matter, why leave anything on the sign for someone to read?

Perhaps it was the work of a vandal, someone who wants people to get excited about working as a truck driver, then be disappointed because they can’t find the whole phone number to call. That doesn’t make much sense either.

Then again, maybe it was a truck driver. Someone who has time to read the paper and hear all the dire predictions about job conditions, and figures that if there is a line of applicants waiting, their own job is that much less safe. Now that explanation makes sense, in a twisted sort of way.