Thursday, December 29, 2005

There is something in the toy box...

that I cannot find. An old toy, the batteries almost gone, with just enough strength left to emit an ocasional string of notes. It can tell when I am hunting it, and remains silent untill I leave the room. I have hunted through the box, waiting for it's dying warble, but it continues to elude me. The lonely remnant of a past Christmas or bithday, fighting for its little electronic life, knowing it will not recieve new life, but be cruelly discarded, like the unwanted detrius of a old year. I will find it, never fear, and judge it's worth.
A f%&*in' Happy Meal toy! It has been relegated to it's proper place. Would have been more satisfying to jump up and down on it screaming curses, but there were kids around.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

I love books.

Books. All those stories, just sitting there, waiting to be brought to life by someones imagination.
I just finished Robert Parker' s Widows Walk. I like his writing, The new Jesse Stone novels are very good.
I am always worried about seeing the movie of a book I liked. I was very impresed with the Lord of the Rings. Harry Potter translates well into movies, I quite enjoy them. I have high hopes for the Narnia movie, animation is a wonderful thing, and it should be fairly simple to transpose the storyline into a screenplay. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas was all right, but it is so much richer in the book, the movie lost a bit. Congo was a letdown. That book scared me so bad, I should have been hiding under the bed after the movie. (And yes, scary movies still scare me if I know what is going to happen.) I hate horror movies where they have people doing dumb things. Oh my gosh, there is a noise outside the cabin-let's all run out in the dark! Sorry, I am staying inside and counting my bullets, identify yourself before you come back in!
I keep coming back to this blog, but nothing new gets posted!

We had a good Christmas. Good friends, family, food. Presents. Beverages. Little kids, wired on sugar and a Santa high, racing around like gerbils on acid, leaving behind a trail of foil chocolate wrappers and discarded gifts. Isn't it amazing how normally intelligent parents buy items they Know they will hate, but it is worth it to see the childs face light up as the gift is unwrapped. And then you watch My Little Pony videos for hours. And dress Polly Pocket in her tiny little clothes, and search the house for one miniscule white pump so she can go to the ball.
I need a vacation. I may drink too much on New Years.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

It comes, sweeping over the mountains like a tide of renewal,
Brushing away the snow and cold,
like a bad dream banished by a Mothers gentle love.
Ah Winter, you cold hearted wretch,
loose us from your icy grasp, give us a brief respite.
Your day will come again,
we will be wrapped in the chill regard of your icy stare,
But for today I know, your grasp is weak,
till your frosty turn at the wind, you'll seek.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Measured by Scandal

Isn't it interesting how public figures define success by what makes or doesn't make the news? Either good or bad, it is the public perception that defines many people. I wonder if some people actually review their own morals, or just go by public records. I was once asked how I could go out in public without my make-up and hair done. I replied, If other people don't like the way I look, they do not have to look at me. This is who I am. I do not care if everyone likes me, I may not like them. But to live your life so everyone will like you seems very barren. Diversity is important, It is what makes us individuals. Some people rant, swear, lose their tempers. Some are quiet, reserved, bottle everything up. Neither is wrong, nor right. Everyone needs to rock the boat every once in a while.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Blogs amaze me. People posting so many different things. Meeting people you would have never spoken to in your life. People you would be great friends with, and people you wouldn't like. Discussions on politics and religion, polite, thought out (mostly), logical discussions. Amazing. There are some very humorous people out there. I wonder if they are like that in real life, or is this the forum they chose to release it, where no one can actually see them? I think most people are honest in their blogs. Anything else would be like cheating at solitaire. This is like a glimpse into peoples daily lives, but you get a feel for who the person is. You can learn alot about peoples feeling for issues, local and world wide. What the weather is like in Georgia. How someone you don't know is doing in school, or treatment. What people did for the Holidays. There is no first sight of a person to form a perception around, only the words that have been typed to form character and substance. You can see the things you have seen through someone else's eyes, or answer a question from thousands of miles away, when you didn't hear it asked.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Merry Christmas

It used to be nobody got insulted if you wished them Happy Holidays. It was a term used to cover the time between Thanksgiving and New Years, a way to wish others well, and imbue in the world a sense of peace and joy regardless of their religious preference. I would now like to wish everyone in the world "Happy Holidays." Whatever that holiday is, whenever it falls, in a tradition of goodwill and good wishes. Take it how you will.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Don't take this wrong

Just to clarify. I do not have a problem with college kids making decent money over the summer. If they can find a job that pays well, gives them a few extras, more power to them. However, the entity paying them must justify the expenses. City workers are payed well, have good benefits, paid holidays etc. (I know, I have tried to get several city jobs.) But any business must earn enough to meet payroll, expenses, and turn a modest profit or that business will close. This is a harsh reality.
I worked at a small business in Great Falls for nine years. I started not knowing what I was doing, and was paid accordingly. As my skills increased, so did my pay, to a certain level. I worked very hard, learned everything I could, and ended up skilled in a trade where you only make money working for yourself. In nine years my hourly wage was never over $10.88 an hour. I had 2 weeks vacation and limited paid holidays. Part of the time I had crappy medical coverage I helped pay for and left me thousands of dollars in debt when I had my daughter.
I guarantee I worked harder than the majority of city workers you see driving around in city trucks, or having their morning break at Town Pump. I know some of them. They are good people. But they are not held to the performance level that a private business must be.
But my point is that business could not support paying me more, for a variety of reasons. The Bottom Line. The money left after everything else had been paid. I would like to see accountability . I don't care what the Park & Rec director gets paid. I don't care what the kids mowing the golf course get paid. I don't care what the guys shoveling out the gutters get paid. As long as the work they do justifies the pay they get and the bottom line comes out on the good side.
If a lawyer pays himself all the profit from his practice, what does he pay his receptionist? He can't, she leaves. Will he be out there answering the phone in falsetto, wearing short skirts and heels? Or will he take a pay cut, hire a working mom at whatever wage she has to demand to justify working, and try harder to satisfy The Bottom Line.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

I seem to be bad at math

Looking at the article in todays paper about the golf courses and I don't seem able to add right.
Here is the breakdown, using very rough accounting.
4 full time employees @ $14.92 per hour x 40 hours = $2387.20 per week
15 seasonal employees @ $10.88 per hour x 40 hours = $6528.00 per week
So when the course is open they Must make $8910.00 per week just to cover the hourly wage!

Singer says in the article raw labor per year is $421,683.00 of which $171,652.00 is benefits.
Reardon says $457,000 per year of which $141,000 is benefits and seasonal workers only get "vacation, sick leave, holidays and the city pays FICA & those kinds of expenses" I am assuming that is in the $141,000.
(She also says that she doesn't know where NGA (Singer) got it's numbers. Hmm, who paid for the study he did? Who's accounting was he looking at?)
Now these numbers are Labor Only! How can the golf courses make money with these kinds of labor costs? This seems staggering to me. Add in all the other expenses, fertilizer, equipment, power, Water? The debt payments, and all the sudden why did we only lose $200,000?
Now I understand most business make money off labor, and I don't really see how you could here. An electrician makes x$ per hour, but the shop charges substantally more to cover operating expenses. I checked how much it costs to golf. City course is $25.00 green fee for 18 holes, MLCC is $50.00 for 18 holes.
So city courses would need 51 golfers per day to pay their employees. Add a few more to pay the benefits. add a few more to pay the other bills. And $200,000 divided by $25.00 = 8,000 more golfers a year.
Anybody know how many people in Great Falls golf?

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Ever since I began my foray into the world of blogs I have been a regular reader of Treasure State Jew. I find religion facinating and have for many years been interested in many different kinds. Reading Aarons blog, some views on the Christmas season and its religious connotations were addressed, which got me thinking. So I have been doing a bit of reading on his particular religion. I would like to make it clear, I intend no insult, criticism, or indorsement of any religion, belief, faith etc. This is me trying to understand how different people live their lives.
I was especially curious about food and the role it plays in this faith, since food is something that everyone needs and is addressed in virtually every religion. I was not aware of the meat and dairy segragation. This must make it difficult to go to restaurants and non Jewish dinners. However I have great respect for anyone who incorporates religion into every facet of their life, having seen far to many people who simply proclaim their faith, go to church a few times and consider themselves devout. I read on a post at TSJ that there were in fact 613 Commandments. Had to read them, since I did not know this before. I found them to be quite in-depth, addressing everthing from harvesting crops to divorce. I intend to continue reading some of the information I found. I now have, and will continue to gain a better insight into how members of this religion live in our current society and merge their history and religion into daily life.

Friday, December 02, 2005


Just tried to get validation decals for my boat online. Didn't work so I called the nice people in Helena. They are having technical issues and asked if I would please pass on this Message to anyone who had problems: They are having technical issues with the online registration process, please keep trying. If you are not in a big hurry to use your boat, they suggest waiting until the problem is fixed vs going to a regional office. The regional offices are not finding the registration info either, so it won't do much good. The nice lady said she blamed it on the snow, just because they have no clue what the problem is.

Quick Stuff

Boat Owners need validation to launch. This was in yesterdays Outdoors section. Any of you have boats? Did you go down and get the perm decal? Paid extra, never do it again? Well, that's not good enough for the feds. Once again, federal law overrides and virtually blackmails state law. "Montana must comply to recieve federal money" Yeah, I know, it's free, just more paperwork. Give me one legitimate reason for this.

Letter to the editor in todays paper, a gentleman suggest leaving a store if you are greeted with anything but "Merry Christmas." He has a right to his opinion, but so do the store owner & employee. This is absolute B.S.! Consumer blackmail?

The whole issue over what to call a Christmas tree? It's a damn Christmas tree! has it ever been anything else? I believe this whole issue is to get around the religious aspect. If it is a "holiday tree" or "seasonal tree" it can be put up in a place that should not promote one particular religion? Bull, it is still a Christmas tree.

Casino says it may sue over county planning error. OMG someone really screwed up! Can these people not measure? "Nerud said the planning department used a map and a ruler to determine how far the casino was from the city. The liquor control division used GPS mapping for a more precise measurement."
The casino is in Ulm. I think there are two liquor licenses in Ulm. This is .14 miles inside the G.F. donut. I think Ulm has a right to its own little zoning donut.
It has I believe, been in business for several years. They noticed this in October of last year. No, wait, Chuck, the owner of the business noticed and told them. He will now be punished for being an honest person.
Ya know, if you go to a restaurant and order a steak, and the waitress writes Steak on her little pad, then brings you chicken, and you say I ordered steak, she looks at her little pad, where it says you ordered steak, and she apologises and runs back to the kitchen to get your steak, that you ordered, you get your steak, after everyone else has finished, you eat alone, the restaurant is out the cost of the chicken, and most likely the steak, if they want you to come back, since they messed up, and you go home knowing a mistake was made, but that kind of thing happens, it was made right, not that big a deal.
Now if the gov't ran the restaurant, I think it would go something like this. You go to a restaurant and order a steak, and the waitress writes Steak on her little pad, then brings you chicken, and you say I ordered steak, she looks at her little pad, where it says you ordered steak, and she tells you she knows that is what you ordered but they are serving chicken tonight. Steak, that you ordered, is on the menu, but only because someone made a mistake when they were printed, and they are trying to fix it, but they still have a committee working on what color it will be, and most likely the steak, if you want it, will be in the restaurant across town, they will give you directions on how to get there, but you still have to pay for the chicken, because the restaurant does not take responsibility for their mistakes.

Thursday, December 01, 2005


Tomorrow is the Christmas Stroll. The sister wants me to go with her. Haven't been to it in 9 years. Hmm.... Kids would probably have fun.
On the subject of kids, I just finished a project for a friend. She gives her small relatives Tonka dump trucks on their b-days. Not just regular Tonka's either. They paint the ones for the girls girly colors and put customized door decals on all of them and the kids name. I did one with custom flames down the sides. Very cool. Wish I had pictures. Wish I had a digital camera. Wish I had a magic broom that would clean house. Wish I may, Wish I might, Ok this is going nowhere fast.

Had to post this.

Thanks to David for the link to the link etc. where I found this. Seriously, folks if you have nothing better to do for a few minutes, go say hi to someone you don't know who won't be home for the Holidays. These guys have some great stories to tell. Regardless of your feelings on the war, these are the people that make America great. The people in the military should not be blamed for the actions of our elected officials.
Lets bash the politicians!