Saturday, November 29, 2008

Traveling around, home for thanksgiving

We've been traveling around the last few weeks, Milan, Vienna,
Bucharest, Athens and Madrid, and now we're in the usa for thanksgiving.
The security people at the Bologna airport know us by sight, which is always
a sign that I've been working too much

We have managed to do some sightseeing though, and I've tried to setup
meetings on thursdays so that I can take off friday and the weekend to
play tourist. So the travel in europe seems to be better than what you'd get
in south lousiana and texas.
Here we have the acropolis in
athens, which would be similar
to the gas station and restaurant
in port fourchon.

Below is a picture from Ploesti in Romania. Apparently a good
topic of conversation isn't "was the damage very bad from the
bombing campaigns carried out by the us army air corp in world
war 2?" Since every former axis city I've been to has buildings that
are in the guide books as "mostly destroyed during the 2nd world war,
but rebuilt to match the original 13th century construction", I find myself
guiltily quiet around locals when the topic of history comes up.

I was really curious
how old the smokestacks
in the refinery were, if they
were the same ones in the
famous b-25 raid picture,
but it's probably not a good
topic to bring up.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Good luck tomorrow america

It's 7 am here in Italy, ,just turning midnight back at home and I'm wishing I was back
there to vote.

From an email from John McCain straight to my work email address that didn't get stopped by the spam filter or filed in junk:

Throughout my years of service, I've been faced with challenges where I could have taken the easy way out and given up. But I'm an American and I never give up. Instead, I choose to show courage and stand up and fight for the country I love. Today, I am asking you to stand with me and to fight for our country's future.

Our country faces enormous challenges and our next president must be ready to lead on day one. My lifetime of experience has prepared me to lead our great nation. I'm prepared to bring solutions to our economic challenges, bring our troops home in victory and improve our nation's healthcare system.

Time and time again, my country has saved my life and I owe her more than she has ever owed me. I have chosen to show my gratitude through a life of service to our country and tomorrow, you will have a choice before you.
I humbly ask you to make the choice that will allow me to serve my country a little while longer by casting your vote to elect me as your next President of the United States.

go vote america, pull the lever for McPalin.

Sunday, November 02, 2008


(linked from mostly cajun)

Barack Obama discovers a leak under his sink, so he calls Joe the Plumber to come and fix it. Joe drives to Obama’s house, which is located in a very nice neighborhood where it’s obvious that all the residents make well over $250,000 per year. Joe arrives and takes his tools into the house. Joe is led to the room that contains the leaky pipe under a sink. Joe assesses the problem and tells Obama, who is standing near the door, that it’s an easy repair that will take less than 10 minutes.

Obama asks Joe how much it will cost. Joe immediately says, “$9,500.”

“$9,500?” Obama asks, stunned. “But you said it’s an easy repair!”

“Yes, but what I do is charge a lot more to my clients who make more than $250,000 per year so I can fix the plumbing of everybody who makes less than that for free,” explains Joe. “It’s always been my philosophy. As a matter of fact, I lobbied government to pass this philosophy as law, and it did pass earlier this year, so now all plumbers have to do business this way. It’s known as ‘Joe’s Fair Plumbing Act of 2008.’ Surprised you haven’t heard of it, senator.”

In spite of that, Obama tells Joe there’s no way he’s paying that much for a small plumbing repair, so Joe leaves. Obama spends the next hour flipping through the phone book looking for another plumber, but he finds that all other plumbing businesses listed have gone out of business. Not wanting to pay Joe’s price, Obama does nothing. The
leak under Obama’s sink goes without repair for the next several days. A week later the leak is so bad that Obama has had to put a bucket under the sink. The bucket fills up quickly and has to be emptied every hour, and there’s a risk that the room will flood, so Obama calls Joe and pleads with him to return. Joe goes back to Obama’s house, looks at the leaky pipe, and says “Let’s see – this will cost you about $21,000.”

“A few days ago you told me it would cost $9,500!” Obama quickly fires back.

Joe explains the reason for the dramatic increase. “Well, because of the ‘Joe’s Fair Plumbing Act,’ a lot of rich people are learning how to fix their own plumbing, so there are fewer of you paying for all the free plumbing I’m doing for the people who make less than $250,000. As a result, the rate I have to charge my wealthy paying customers rises every day. “Not only that, but for some reason the demand for plumbing work from the group of people who get it for free has skyrocketed, and there’s a long waiting list of those who need repairs. This has put a lot of my fellow plumbers out of business, and they’re not being replaced – nobody is going into the plumbing business because they know they won’t make any money. I’m hurting now too – all thanks to greedy rich people like you who won’t pay their fair share.”

Obama tries to straighten out the plumber: “Of course you’re hurting, Joe! Don’t you get it? If all the rich people learn how to fix their own plumbing and you refuse to charge the poorer people for your services, you’ll be broke, and then what will you do?”

Joe immediately replies, “Run for president, I guess.”