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Sunday, January 30, 2011


Just a personal note about competition. It often doesn’t really tell you anything about Good, Better or Best. Case in point – the Academy Awards. Yea, I know that it’s just an advertising tool, but just look at this example and you’ll see why I’m not big on competition. My favorite movie of all times is 12 Angry Men (the 1957 version) The film was nominated for Academy Awards in the categories of Best Director, Best Picture, and Best Writing of Adapted Screenplay. It lost to the movie Bridge on the River Kwai in all three categories. As much as I enjoy The Bridge, it has never made my all time favorite list. Why? A lot of reasons. Mostly because it has that crazy British pride over all component to its plot and I’ve never been that patriotic (and I’m not a Brit).

I don’t know why The Bridge won over 12 Angry Men, but to compare the two is kind of ludicrous. First off 12 is in black and white, takes place almost completely in one room and examines human flaws in a applicable setting – that is “normal” real world issues. Bridge is a war movie set in a tropical setting and is filmed in color. It too looks at human flaws but how often is the everyday Joe going to experience a Prison Camp? It is a great movie and well acted, but it should never have been compared to 12. The only thing they have in common is they came out in the same year. How is that an issue of “best”?

I am not opposed to competition. I enjoy it and participate in it. In fact I don’t think any of us can say we haven’t engaged in completion even if we were the only one who was aware that we were competing. (LOL) I just have a problem with it being a determiner of “best”. It is hard to bring the elements for comparison together such that they all bare equal weight and appeal to “fairness”.

So, enjoy your efforts at besting something or someone. Just don’t make it the end all definition of the best possible.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Another Sign of Getting Old - The Death Of TV Icons

This photo shows the Nelson Family, Ozzie and Harriet with sons Ricky, left, and David, in their television home. David Nelson, who starred on his parents' popular television show 'The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet,' died Monday, Jan. 10, 2011, at his home in the Century City area of Los Angeles. He was 74. He was older than Ricky but the last to pass. Ricky died in a plane crash on December 31, 1985.

The TV show was not the only entertaining this family presented. Before the TV show, Ozzie had his own Band, the Ozzie Nelson Band, in the 30s. Harriet was a singer and a movie actress. Ricky was a bit of a rock star with a couple of hits. David was a producer and acted - his last film appearance was in Cry-Baby (1990).

An interesting note, before the show aired, Ozzie Nelson persuaded ABC to agree to a 10-year contract that paid the Nelsons whether the series was canceled or not. The unprecedented contract and Ozzie's insistence for perfection in the show's production paid off in the show's remarkable popularity.

Still it was an interesting time watching this family (reality TV?) live their lives from our B&W vantage point. I remember how calm the family always was. I'm sure Ozzie orchestrated their lives as well as he orchestrated his band. Everything was perfect.

Monday, January 10, 2011

A Good Bit of Advice

Multi-tasking is cool and I like to do it but I find myself having too many irons in the fire and that actually kills the joy of getting things accomplished.  So here is some advice from the USAA folks for long term goals:

Do one thing at a time.  Although you may very well want to tackle that last $1000 in debt and those last 10 pounds, don't try to do both at once, advises Princeton University's Sam Wang, co-author of Welcome to Your Brain: Why You Lose Your Car Keys but Never Forget How to Drive and Other Puzzles of Everyday Life.  Why?  Because willpower is a limited resource.  Your brain, he explains,can only be expected to focus intently on one goal at a time.  So pick your battle, win it, and then move on to the next.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Obama aide: Refusal to raise debt ceiling would be 'catastrophic'. Why???

 I'm not sure why it would be Catastrophic.  Why did we establish a debt ceiling in the first place if it can be exceeded so easily and why is holding our indebtedness to a finite amount bad?  Can we really not cut any government spending?

USA Today - Jan 02, 2011

Obama aide: Refusal to raise debt ceiling would be 'catastrophic'

The chairman of President Obama's Council of Economic Advisers said today it would be "insanity" for Congress to refuse to lift the nation's debt ceiling and that inaction would be "catastrophic" for the nation's financial recovery.

"This is not a game," CEA chairman Austan Goolsbee told Jake Tapper on ABC's This Week. "The debt ceiling is not something to toy with."

Goolsbee also discussed efforts to create jobs and generate economic growth. The debt ceiling discussion begins shortly after the 4:35 mark of the video.

The United States is about $400 billion away from hitting the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling, and a congressional vote on whether to raise that limit should come this spring. Some Republicans have called for keeping the ceiling as a way to force cuts in federal spending.

Goolsbee said that would lead to a default on U.S. obligations, "which is totally unprecedented in American history."

That would create a string of other problems, Goolsbee said:

    The impact on the economy would be catastrophic. I mean, that would be a worse financial economic crisis than anything we saw in 2008. As I say, that's not a game. I don't see why anybody's talking about playing chicken with the debt ceiling.

    If we get to the point where you've damaged the full faith and credit of the United States, that would be the first default in history caused purely by insanity ... There would be no reason for us to default, other than that would be some kind of game.

    We shouldn't even be discussing that. People will get the wrong idea. The United States is not in danger of default ... We do not have problems such as that. This would be lumping us in with a series of countries through history that I don't think we would want to be lumped in with.

(Posted by David Jackson)