Virginia is for lovers……of traffic!

So yesterday and today I am in the Norfolk area for the 2010 Signature Conference of the Virginia Sesquicentennial American Civil War Commission.  More on the conference on my other blog later.  Today I write about the traffic nightmare that is the Norfolk area. 

Since I was nearby I thought that after the conference I would take a little jaunt to Colonial Williamsburg which is one of my favorite places.  I slipped out of the conference a little early, headed to my hotel to change, and jumped on I-64 to Williamsburg.  Google Maps indicates it is a 53 minute drive.  Now I know Google Maps can sometimes be in error, but I made it back from Williamsburg to the hotel in the span of 45 minutes so Google Maps in this case is close to accurate.  However, thanks to amazing rush hour traffic and the rude, crappy drivers that go along with it, my journey took me 2 hours.

Oh what fun!

PS, while writing this post I learned that WordPress spell check doesn’t understand the word sesquicentennial.

Posted in Annoyances, Traffic, travel, Virginia | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

No Magic Pill

So I’ve been thinking about this recession we are in and the whining by both Democrat and Republican alike.  The problem is that in this microwave, drive-up, fast food world, we want a solution to the recession and we want it yesterday.  That goes to the root core of the general unrest and dissatisfaction in this country.  If the stimulus package put forth by the Obama administration had worked quickly we wouldn’t hear near the complaining we do today.

The problem is that this recession is like a Monday morning hangover after a drunken weekend of hedonism.  For years the typical American engaged in risky overspending putting thousands of dollars on their credit cards, buying homes they could barely afford, and having today what they could pay for tomorrow.  Well, now its tomorrow and you can’t pay for it.

There is no magic pill or powder to rid us of this ression-hangover and time is the only panacea for this mess we have gotten ourselves into.  Think about it, after years of recession, struggles to put food on the table, and the emptying of bank accounts just to stay afloat, do you really believe that the average American will ramp up their spending overnight?  Believe that and I’ve got a bridge to nowhere to sell you.

I predict that whatever plan comes down the line, Republican or Democrat it won’t be fast enough for the American people.  Then the party in power will be replaced by the other party and they will try something different.  This will have the effect of watering down the different plans out of this mess and recovery will take longer increasing frustration.

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An Open Letter to the People of Afghanistan

Nine years ago today terrorists reached out from training camps in your country and attacked mine, murdering not only Americans but citizens from over 90 different countries.  This group of terrorists, al-Qaeda, were supported by the government of your country at the time, the Taliban.  At no point immediately after 9-11 did the  people of the Unites States shout, “Death to Afghanistan”.  Instead, we recognized that the act was perpetrated by radical extremists and held them accountable.

A few days ago a radical extremist in this country proclaimed that on 9-11 he was going to be burning copies of the Koran.  He has since backed down yet I hear news reports of people in your country shouting “Death to America”.  This is what distinguishes us in the United States from the people of Afghanistan.  We use reason and wisdom to seach for and to hold the people actually responsible for horrible acts, responsible.  However, in your country instead of crying out against this one pastor, Terry Jones, or his congregation, you seek to hold an entire nation responsible for the act of one individual.  This is complete and utter foolishness. 

There are some in this country that want to hold the whole Muslim world responsible for the attacks of 9-11.  There are more of us in this country who declare that those attacks do not represent the whole of the Muslim world.  Unfortunately, the irresponsible actions of your countrymen who seek to hold all of America responsible for Pastor Jones’ actions only serves to paint your whole country as evil in the eyes of many.  Is this the way that your Holy Book teaches you to act?

Posted in 9-11, Afghanistan, Islam, Muslim, Politics, Taliban, Terrorist | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Do I look clueless?

I guess the question for today is: can’t anyone take responsibility for their own actions?  When I was younger I liked to read the comics.  One of those fond memories is of the Family Circus.  Often over the years that I was reading it the parental figures would have a running battle with the little “NOT ME” ghost or gremlin that plagued the family.

Well, now fast forward 20 years or so and I seem to have that same running battle except in this instance instead of a house full of kids I have groups of adults hiding behind the “NOT ME” gremlin.  The scenarios change from day-to-day – a room left in tatters, a reservations totally screwed up, equipment not taken care of – but the reaction is the same: “I didn’t do it”, “It was clean when we left it”, “I put it away”.  I think that the day someone actually admits to goofing up I might just pass out from the honesty.

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Kudos, Kudos, Kudos

This blog is not just about me complaining about the bad things in life (although that is fun); it is also about handing out the “kudos” to those who do well.  That being said I have 2 “kudos” to hand our this week.  Both are related to an incident that happened this weekend with one of our beloved kitties.

My darlin’ and I are both animal lovers.  We have three cats – 2 senior & 1 kitten.  One of our senior cats has been diagnosed with hyperthyroidism.  Late last week we noticed that this cat had for the most part stopped eating.  Now this kitty is definitely a chow hound so her behavior was definitely noticable.  By Saturday night it had been almost 2 days since she had a good meal.  Our concern grew so we called one of the local emergency animal hospitals.  The Bradley-McMinn Pet Emergency Clinic had us bring the kitty in right away.  She had a fever in addition to the vomiting and diarrhea.  Also, her white blood cell was through the roof.  They kept her overnight, all day Sunday, and until Monday morning.  The crew treated our little patient wonderfully and even called today to check up on her.  I want to send out a big THANK YOU to the crew who took such good care of our little one.

On Monday morning we picked her up and took her to Taylor Animal Hospital, her regular doctors.  They kept her Monday to see what was happening and let her come home in the evening.  We are really not sure what the deal is, the folks at Bradley-McMinn thought it might be something called a “thyroid storm” but the white blood cell count doesn’t seem to fit.  Either way she is currently home and eating again.  The folks at Taylor also called to see her status and we will be visiting them in the morning to see where the white blood cell count is.  But I need to issue a big THANK YOU to the folks at Taylor as well for the time and effort that they have put into the case.

Two wonderful animal hospitals and a bunch of caring people at both.  I am thankful.

Posted in Animals, Cats, Kudos | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Comcast waited for me!

Here is a post for all of you who hate to hear the words, “We will be there between 2-5” or some variant thereof.  Well, one of the reasons that I haven’t posted in a while is that my darlin’ and I are moving.  That’s right we’ve left “mediocre-ville” and have moved into “almost shangri-la”.  Anyway, as part of that move comes the necessary setting up of cable.  So when I called the other day I did indeed get the dreaded, “Our technician will be there between 2-5”.  Lo and behold I was somewhat surprised today when at 10:55 AM my cell phone rang and it was the Comcast fellow asking if I wanted and early install!  Truth is that I did, but I was at work so that I thought was that.  I told him that I’d be home around 12:30 but couldn’t do it any earlier.  Well, when I pulled into my parking lot, there he was sitting in his truck waiting for me!  No it wasn’t a mirage and I haven’t completely lost my mind.  He was really there and waiting on me.  Long story short, he had me connected in no time.  For the first time in over a decade I’m actually happy with Comcast.  Maybe tomorrow pigs will fly.

Posted in Comcast, Moving | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Ratty Hotel

Well, here I am in Richmond, VA for the Society of Civil War Historians meeting.  You can read more about that on my American History Blog.  OK, so I roll into Richmond late last night and check into my hotel.  The first problem is that they don’t have exactly the room I reserved (with a King sized bed).  They give me a room with 2 twin and I am told that I can take any problems I have with that up with the manager in the morning.  Honestly, that wasn’t a big deal so off to my room I go.  The first room has a broken air conditioner that should have been replaced a century or two ago so I ask nicely for another room.  When I am given a second room the lock doesn’t work.  Third time is a charm right?

Third room:  at least the AC works fairly well, but as I walk about the property one thought comes to mind:  What a DUMP!

So this morning I paid them for the night and headed for a Marriott.  In case you are wondering what I call ratty let me show you:

This is the view I saw on the way to the second floor.

Here is the door to what I hope is some storage closet.  No it wasn’t the door to my room, but sloppy none the less.  The room was not as bad, but still felt dirty.  Anyway, all is well that ends well.  They gave me no argument when I checked out this morning; my guess is because they know the condition of the place.

Posted in Annoyances, Events, Hotels, Richmond, travel | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments