What is the liberal equivalent…

of the black helicopter conservatives? You know the ones who are so into conspiracy theories that they make everyone cringe. These are the people who are convinced that the new administration is out to put all the gun owners in concentration camps and execute them.

Politics is a circle, go too far right or left you still end up in the same place. So what is the left side version of the black helicopter conservatives…

Football Game over the weekend…

We watch one professional football game during the year at our house. We watch several college games and all of our boys little league games. When deciding who to cheer for this weekend I was leaning toward the Cardinals just because a friend lives in their town and I’m not really close to anyone from Pittsburgh. (In fact the only name from Pittsburgh that comes to mind is a certain con-man named Joe who stole a lot of money from his Congressional wife. Montoursville would be a different story.)

But then Schneider Downs Wealth Management of Pittsburgh sent out a press release which has been picked up all over the Net about how the S&P500 does really well during years when the Steelers win. They do include a disclaimer – –
“It never hurts to be positive,” explained Ms. Skeans. “However, the reality is that the performance of the S&P 500 is influenced by numerous factors, none of which involve football. I think it’s likely that this year’s market performance will be much more heavily influenced by fundamental factors and by the restoration of confidence in financial markets around the world. Investors eventually will return to the equity markets in search of long-term profit in light of the significant sell-off that has occurred, rather than the number of yards Willie Parker gains in the game.

Still I find it interesting that a Pittsburgh company would play on financial fears in order to garner more fans. I wonder if they have any data on whether the good vibes from having more people cheering for their team has any real effect on play.

In any case, I’m looking forward the advertisements.

Atlas Shrugged

I’m listening to Atlas Shrugged again. The first time I started it, I couldn’t stop. It’s amazing how many of the catch phrases from the book I’m hearing from the mouths of pundits on the news and I’m not talking the positive phrases. The lack of responsibility, the constant blaming of someone else until it reached a nebulous unknown responsible party, we should help the smaller people because they deserve a chance even if they don’t deliver, and the lack of leadership taking a decision because it’s right and not because of popular opinion.

The human element should be more important than effectiveness and efficiency – James Taggart’s words have come out of the mouths of more than one environmental activist during the last several month.

The desire for mediocre businesses to be protected from better more efficient competition by government regulation reminds me of the big three automakers pleading at Congresses doorstep.

Hearing that people succeed not because they work and apply their brains but because they are lucky sounds so much like the Legislator who felt that those who built businesses from scratch and have succeeded are “winners in life’s lottery.”

Of what importance is an individual when the group is in trouble? What if the individual is the one who has the idea which keeps the group from starving? Why punish the individual for making the right decisions by making them give of their gains for those who made the wrong decisions? How many motivational and “success” speakers got their true start after a huge failure which left them bankrupt? I keep thinking of the quote attributed to Jimmy Cagney – – The government came in and gave us a check in one hand and took away the dreams with the other.

Email Etiquette…

Avoid fluffy messages and weapons of mass distribution:
Stop playing ping-pong:
Don’t forward jokes, chain messages, messages of faith, or political rants
Use an accurate subject
Put the bottom line first so people don’t have to wade through to get the point.

A quote to think about..

“There is a great deal of difference between an eager man who wants to read a book and the tired man who wants a book to read.”

By G.K. Chesterton

This applies to so many other things as well.

Overdyed threads…

I love using most overdyed threads. They have a rich tone and feel wonderful. I rarely have any difficulty with them and the only issue is to remember to cross each stitch as you go in order to prevent any of the variegated threads from becoming muddy instead of showing their vibrant colors. Last night was the first time I’ve worked with Olde Willow fibers. Someone gave these to me and the Providence Brown seemed like a great substitute for GAST Bark. I had been stitching for a bit when DH asked for something and when I gave it to him, he asked what was wrong with my hands. They were black!
Yes, the dark brown dye was wearing off on me as I stitched. So I took the bundle of thread, and soaked it to get the excess dye off. What a mess. I had to soak it 3 times to get all the excess off. So now the question comes up, do I frog out what I’ve done with that or just try to avoid washing this piece before framing?

What would you do?

Are you Better off Today than you were a year ago?

Oh, Yes!!

This time last year I was going nuts. My husband was on bed rest and he was convinced he would lose his foot to avascular necrosis. I was working full time, at school full time working on my MBA, I had an ultra genius who couldn’t turn in homework and was failing his freshman year that was balanced by the youngest finally having that reading thing click. And to top it off, I hadn’t worked on my hobbies since I started school.

So here we are, a year later and what an incredible year.
I went to South America where I rappelled at Iquassu Falls.
I took my boys to Finland for my grandfather’s funeral and then to Paris where DS#1 discovered he loved sculpture and I discovered that DS#2 is afraid of heights. He still went to the top of L’arc de Triomphe and Le Tour Eiffel with us.
I graduated with my MBA – I have that piece of paper that says I have managerial and analytical skills.
My ultra genius figured out that grades matter and is doing better in school and my dyslexic has been accepted into the honors program in Junior High.
My daughter has found her bliss and is working with the zoo systems and getting her degree to make sure she stays there (although it will probably mean leaving here since our zoo has limited paid positions).

Yes, there are still issues in my life but not as many as last year

Oh, and best of all, I’m working on my hobbies again. I’m back on schedule for the 100 Project Challenge

My problems are nothing….

When I look at what this man has done with his challenges.

Get Back Up

It’s Sundance time again….

Fewer stars and people in general descended on Utah this year. It’s being debated whether the cause is the economy, Obama’s inauguration, or a poor selection of films at Sundance this year.

I doubt it’s the selection, this is the 25th year of the film festival and there is more than the films this year. During the Sundance Festival days (January 15-25), you can download the short film Instead of Abracadabra free from iTunes.

I can see the lower attendance being caused by corporate sponsors not shelling out as much this year as they did in previous years. After all, if you’re laying people off, how do you justify sending senior management on a ski and movie trip?

Or it could be a dilution of the audience since Sundance is no longer truly for independents we have the Slamdance Festival which is a great alternative for the truly low budget film maker ($99 specials anyone?). Slamdance is where I saw Ringers: Lord of the Fans and we met one of the actors from Lord of the Rings but didn’t have a camera with us. At that time they were looking for a distibutor and they appear to have found one since you can Netflix it now.

And not to be excluded – we have X-Dance Action Sports Film Festival as well this week.
So, anyone in the mood for a movie?

Buh-Bye Circuit City…

Circuit City to Liquidate

I studied Circuit City in management and cost accounting. They have been the model in several case studies and were featured in the book Good to Great. They’ve been touted as the model for retail success and forward thinking leadership in their management team.

So when I hit the article above, I was reminded of a comment made by one of Dick Marcinko’s team members in Real Team: Rogue Warrior. He said something to the effect – we ran into trouble when we started to believe our own press, we didn’t believe that we needed to train as hard anymore. This little niggle in the back of my head wonders the same about Circuit City.

I’ve shopped at Circuit City. However, I feel more comfortable at Best Buy. Let’s face it, I don’t buy electronic components often. But I may walk in to browse for a movie or look for a game for the kids. Circuit City didn’t have a lot of that selection, or if they did, I couldn’t find it the way I can at Best Buy. Circuit City was just too “geeky” for a non-techie like me. I felt lost in the store.

I wonder if that was part of the problem?