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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Road Apples, #16

25 Things You Don't Know About Me
No, this isn't 25 things you don't know about me. However I have thought about it. In case you have no clue as to what I am talking about, this is a Facebook thing where you are supposed to share, with your friends, 25 things about you that they probably don't yet know. Now I can probably come up with 75 things that most people don't know about me, but I'm not sure I really want to share all of that with folks that include my children.

Oh, and for the record, my oldest daughter Katrina did it and I actually did know some of the things on the list (such as her fear of spiders). So much for the complete validity of that theory.

Fred Rogers
I posted a very well written piece of Fred Rogers yesterday evening, which reminded me of the obituary I read for him shortly after he died. I'll have to look it up. He was a truly remarkable man. In an age where so much around us seems fabricated for the moment, he was someone who was as real as real can get, down to his core. We need more people like that, especially now. There's also a certain beauty, if you will, in the simplicity of the man and what he did. Today everything seems so incredibly complex, both at a macro and a micro level. I know that's true for me. I do struggle trying to see through the clutter of my life.

Next Week
I'm traveling next week to Iowa, so let's hope the weather cooperates. I've engineered my schedule to be more tolerant of possible weather-created delays, but in February anything is possible. Here's to continued 40 degree days.

Company Stock
The stock of my company fell about 11% yesterday in news that Moody's put it on watch for a possible ratings downgrade. Now I'm all for keeping the stock price a little on the low side as I start to buy more shares, but gee, I didn't want this to happen. The implications of a ratings downgrade are pretty harsh, especially for certain segments of our business. Let's hope that the watch stays just that, a watch.

Obama Press Conference
I watched President Obama's first prime-time press conference Monday night. Was I impressed? Not really. I wasn't disappointed, but I thought he came across as very lawyerly in how he responded to questions. I also think that some of the questions were, to be blunt, stupid (Helen Thomas especially). He picked a hell of a time to be President.

Stimulus Plan Passes the Senate
Thanks in large part to Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter, an economic stimulus plan passed the US Senate and now goes into conference committee to reconcile differences with the House. Personally I worry that both packages are too big and place too much of a burden on future generations. I also agree with most Senate Republicans on one key point: the Conference Committee hearings that will reconcile both versions of the stimulus plan should be televised in their entirety. Let the American public see what they will be paying for, good...bad...and ugly.

The Distraction Of It All
I realize that there are pressing economic issues to deal with...and I thank God I have a good job myself...but I do worry that all of "this" is yet another reason for the government to yet again put off tough decisions on Medicare, Medicade and health care in general. We've had 8 years of George W. Bush being distracted by shiny objects overseas, so enough is enough.

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