Beautiful (and funny) Christmas Song

Posted by Randy David Tuesday, December 22, 2009 10:14 AM
Thanks to my friend, Jason at for sharing this video. As I told him, this song really makes me miss my Dad. He loved Christmas and that made it infectious.



Posted by Randy David Tuesday, December 15, 2009 5:45 PM
DEC. 18-20 AT SCC

I had the pleasure of watching rehearsals this week and this will be a terrific performance. Well-cast with great music, singing, dancing, talented acting well-designed sets and snow.

This is very good production for all ages. An easy to follow and fun to watch musical version of Dickens' classic tale.

The show will be performed at 7 p.m. Friday-Saturday, Dec. 18-19, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 19-20. Tickets are $7 general admission and $6 for children and seniors. The campus is located at 4601 Mid Rivers Mall Drive in Cottleville.

Cast members from St. Peters include: Jennifer Brown, Nicole Cuneo, Mallory Degenhardt, Will Distl, Andrew Henke, Jessica Kahn, Connor Larabee, Samantha Taplin, and Sarah York. Cast members from St. Charles include: Zac Cary, Drew Crask, Jordan Dunahue, Annie Gardner, Charlie Gardner, Sean Gundersen, Tate Gundersen, Kayla Kochan, Emma Koehler, and Amelia Martin. Cast members from O’Fallon include: Alia Aaron, Sylvia Buso, Jake Condilerre, Mikayla Evans, Jacob Feldt, Grayson Jostes, Becca Krauss, Annie Marion, Nick Noto, and Ali Pinkerton. Cast members from Dardenne Prairie include: Troyer Coultas, Daniel Maasen, James Maasen, and Patricia Villegas. Additional cast members include Allison Engelage of Lake St. Louis, Sarah Engelskirchen of Wentzville, and Eddy Hahn of Winfield.

The Young People’s Theatre is a performing arts program by kids and their families for kids and their families produced by the SCC Corporate and Community Development Division. This year, Young People’s Theatre is celebrating 20 years.

For more information or tickets, contact the SCC Division of Corporate and Community Development at 636-922-8233, or visit the YPT Web site at



Posted by Randy David Wednesday, December 09, 2009 6:23 PM
It's always good to see a former UNO Mav do well in the NHL. Here's Scott Parse doing his best Bobby Orr imitation.



Posted by Randy David Sunday, October 11, 2009 2:11 PM


The Young People’s Theatre of St. Charles Community College will present the original production of “Halloween: The Musical” Oct. 16-18 in the Donald D. Shook Fine Arts Building theater on the SCC campus.

“Halloween: The Musical” was written by Sean Andrews, YPT assistant director and choreographer. The thrills and chills of Halloween come to life in this upbeat musical celebration for the whole family.

The show will be performed at 7 p.m. Friday-Saturday, Oct. 16-17, and at 2 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, Oct. 17-18. Tickets are $7 general admission and $6 for children and seniors. The campus is located at 4601 Mid Rivers Mall Drive in Cottleville.

Cast members from St. Peters include: Cadence Bippen, Carlin Bippen, Jennifer Brown, Mallory Degenhardt, Jenni Fischer, Allie Hammond, Jessica Kahn, Rachel York, and Sarah York. Cast members from St. Charles include: Zac Cary, Jennifer Ferry, Annie Gardner, Ali Gibbs, Madi Gibbs, Kelly Gleeson, Sean Gundersen, Tate Gundersen, Kayla Kochan, Amelia Martin, Ellen Modglin, Angel Moore, Nicole Porter, Kelsey Quargnenti, Claire Sanford, Corinne Wilger, and Cidney Woodson. Cast members from O’Fallon include: Alia Aaron, Joelle Aaron, Allie Call, Mikayla Evans, Emily Feldt, Crosby Jones, Grayson Jostes, Becca Krauss, Nick Noto, Allie Pinkerton, Riley Reedy, and Brooke Villhard. Cast members from Dardenne Prairie include: Katie Amrhein, Troyer Coultas, Sydney Thomas, and Emma Troxell. Additional cast members include Ben Stanley of Cottleville and Sarah Engelskirchen of Wenzville.

The Young People’s Theatre is a performing arts program by kids and their families for kids and their families produced by the SCC Corporate and Community Development Division. This year, Young People’s Theatre is celebrating 20 years.

For more information or tickets, contact the SCC Division of Corporate and Community Development at 636-922-8233, or visit the YPT Web site at

St. Charles Community College is a public, comprehensive two-year community college with associate degrees and certificate programs in the arts, business, sciences, and career-technical fields. SCC provides workforce training and community-based personal and professional development as well as cultural, recreational, and entertainment opportunities. For more information, visit


Lessons to be taken to heart for the Tea Party

Posted by Randy David Thursday, September 17, 2009 11:46 AM
10 Lessons for Tea Baggers | Crooks and Liars: "'If you want to live like a Republican, vote Democratic.'"

Please quit acting like lunatics and come back to earth. We miss you guys.


Andrew Sullivan is Right!

Posted by Randy David Monday, September 14, 2009 12:51 PM
Wisdom from a believer in small government:

Dissent Of The Day - The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan

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Health Care Rally in Mercer Island, WA

Posted by Randy David Wednesday, September 02, 2009 7:43 PM
My fellow blogger and friend Jason, of attends a healthcare rally. Not bad for using a cell phone camera.

Question, Jason: Do they say IN Mercer Island on ON Mercer Island?

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It's Really This Simple. REALLY! It is....

Posted by Randy David Tuesday, September 01, 2009 12:59 PM

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Hall of Shame

Posted by Randy David Saturday, August 01, 2009 6:24 PM
If you are a Democrat and live in one of their districts, I strongly urge you to vote for anyone who runs against these Congressmen in their primary. They are Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee who voted against the health care bill. At least write them and let them know you are disappointed in them. As members of the Democratic party they need to be held accountable:

John Barrow of Georgia
Rick Boucher of Virginia
Jim Matheson of Utah
Charlie Melancon of Louisiana
Bart Stupak of Michigan

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Anthony Weiner: My New Hero.

Posted by Randy David Friday, July 31, 2009 11:34 AM
I don't know if the idea was fully his, but it was brilliant. I'd like to find out if anyone voted in favor of his amendment.

Here's a link to Michael McAuliff's blog on the subject.

And this was Rachel Maddows interview with Weiner last night:

Nice Move!

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My Early Endorsement

Posted by Randy David Sunday, July 05, 2009 6:48 PM
Just a quick note:

I am going on record as endorsing Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and Missouri State Representative Cynthia Davis as the Republican Presidential ticket in 2012. Please, please, please, Republicans, listen to me on this one.....

From Blogger Pictures


Domaine de Couron Côtes du Rhône Villages 2007

Posted by Randy David Saturday, July 04, 2009 12:14 PM
Last night my house guest uncorked a wine that was recommended by a trusted advisor at The Wine Merchant in Clayton. My house guest is a founding member of the Wednesday Institute of Neighborhood Oenophiles, so I usually trust him. He informed me that the price was about $15 (or so). This is the blurb I posted on Snooth:
Based on the price I was not prepared for this wine. Right off the bat, it was velvety on the tongue. Then the fruit forward flavor came bursting through. Black fruit and leather were easy to discern. Nice balance with a little complexity. Not a lot of finish, but at this price, I wasn't expecting that. The nose was amazing, though. I kept avoiding finishing the glass because I wanted to keep smelling. This will become one my "house" reds. myRating 4/5
I'm guessing that food-wise, this would be very versatile. If anyone is looking for a good, inexpensive wine that will pair nicely with a variety of cheeses, or even a good BBQ-grilled chicken or pork. This will work. Last night I didn't pair it with anything and it was terrific on it's own.
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Posted by Randy David Wednesday, July 01, 2009 11:10 AM

Typically, I delete the "patriotic" emails I get from well-meaning friends and relatives. They don't read my blog so they may not be aware of how left-leaning I really am. It amazes me that the right-wing writers of these things always seem to assume they are the only ones who love their country. Today I received one of these from my mom's email address, and with July 4th around the corner, I decided to have some fun.

Below is the email with my commentary in red:

I Am the Liberal-Progressives Worst Nightmare.

I Am the Liberal-Progressive, YOUR worst nightmare.

I am an American.

I am an American, too. So far we're in agreement?

I am a Master Mason and believe in God.

I am a master out-of-work sales professional and believe in people.

I ride Harley Davidson Motorcycles and believe in American products.

I drive a Ford Focus and applaud the fact that you ride a Harley Davidson. It helps with our energy dependence on foreign countries. Do you drive it year round? If you do, it's nice that you live somewhere where the climate is warmer. Of course, before long we all will, unless we start driving vehicles with better mileage and using mass transit.

I believe the money I make belongs to me and my family, not some Liberal governmental functionary be it Democratic or Republican!

I am a proud American taxpayer, who helps pay for roads, bridges, schools, law enforcement and those less fortunate than myself.I also pay the salary and medical expenses for the brave men and women of our armed forces who defend my liberty. A true patriot is happy to pay for these things.

I'm in touch with my feelings and I like it that way!

Me, too, I guess. Just remember, though, if you touch your feelings too often people will begin to talk.

I think owning a gun doesn't make you a killer, it makes you a smart American.

It's your right to do so! I don't, however, think you need a nuclear weapon or an assault rifle to defend your property, or to hunt deer for that matter.

I think being a minority does not make you noble or victimized, and does not entitle you to anything. Get over it!

You and the other people whining about it, are the only ones saying it does.

I believe that if you are selling me a Big Mac, do it in English.

More importantly, just be smart enough to get the order right and give the correct change. If you must count it back in spanish, that's OK as long as you can count. Most of the english speaking kids can't.

I believe everyone has a right to pray to his or her God when and where they want to.

Agreed! My muslim friends pray five or six times a day, but they don't try to make me pray with them. What nice people they are.

My heroes are John Wayne, Babe Ruth, Roy Rogers, and Willie G. Davidson that makes the awesome Harley Davidson Motorcycles.

My heroes are Albert Einstein, Robert Reich, Bill Gates (for his philanthropic endeavors), Ghandi, teachers, US soldiers, our founding fathers, and my parents.

I don't hate the rich. I don't pity the poor.

I do pity those less fortunate than my self and want to help them. The government has a large reach and ability to help on a massive scale so I'm glad our tax dollars help them out. I'm really glad right now because of my out-of-work status.
I don't hate the "rich". I despise the "irresponsible, greedy rich" who have preyed on others and ruined our economy, rather than making their money ethically.

I know wrestling is fake and I don't waste my time watching or arguing about it.

Wrestling? Really? You felt the need to throw that in there?

I've never owned a slave, or was a slave, I haven't burned any witches or been persecuted by the Turks and neither have you! So, shut up already.

As a proud American, I think we have to learn from the past mistakes of our country and be proud of the fact that we have moved forward together. That's where teachers come in.

I believe if you don't like the way things are here, go back to where you came from and change your own country! This is AMERICA .We like it the way it is! If you were born here and don't like it you are free to move to any Socialist country that will have you.

Me too! I like it the way it is. What I love is the way we have freedom to change. Since I'm from "here" and don't have anywhere to "go back to", if I don't like something, I have the right to seek change. If enough people agree with me, it gets changed. There's always recourse to the law, as well. Democracy is a beautiful thing. I'm sure there were people who thought segregation was just fine "the way it is" at one time. We changed that. If YOU don't like it here, I hear Somalia is looking for some rugged individualists who know how to use a gun.

I want to know which church is it exactly where the Reverend Jesse Jackson preaches, where he gets his money, and why he is always part of the problem and not the solution. Can I get an AMEN on that one?

He became an ordained Baptist minister in 1968. His civil rights efforts took up so much of his time that preaching was put aside. He did play an important role in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. He actually helped solve a lot of problems during the civil rights era and deserves respect for that. I think even his biggest fans know he has been marginalized in recent years. Income in 2001 was $120,000 salary plus travel expenses from his charitable organizations. Not much different from the heads of a lot of mega charities. I'm sure other income comes from speaking engagements, etc. But of course you can find this information pretty readily on the internet if you could bothered with the truth.

I also think the cops have the right to pull you over if you're breaking the law, regardless of what color you are. And, no, I don't mind having my face shown on my drivers license.

When the data shows that the rates of being pulled over are as skewed as they are, then something is wrong. I do believe most police are good about not profiling. Although it's not pretty, I don't mind my picture on my driver's license either. It actually looks a little better than the one on my profile.

I think it's good.... And I'm proud that 'God' is written on my money.

Yeah, we need to pray that the people who hold all the money do the right thing with it. Also please note, it doesn't say Jesus anywhere so it could refer to Brahman, if you are of that religion.

I think if you are too stupid to know how a ballot works, I don't want you deciding who should be running the most powerful nation in the world for the next four years.

Agreed! But what's too stupid? Non- college degree holders? Non-newspaper readers? If you watch Fox News Network are your voting privileges automatically revoked? Maybe if you can pass the citizenship test that our naturalized citizens do, then you can vote? I'm ALL for that.

I dislike those people standing in the intersections trying to sell me stuff or trying to guilt me into making 'donations' to their cause.

Free market at work!

Get a Job and do your part!

I'm trying but the last administration saw fit to let Wall Street bring down our economy. We will be back on our feet soon. I am a hopeful, hard-working American who believes in our country.

I believe that it doesn't take a village to raise a child, it takes two parents.

I believe any good parenting, one or two. I do think more is better, hence the village. There would be fewer single parents if our children were taught all methods of birth control in our schools. There are studies that show this is true, but it is easier to remain ignorant and complain about single mothers.

I believe 'illegal' is illegal no matter what the lawyers think.

What the hell are you talking about? You lost me there. I believe an 'elephant' is an elephant no matter what the zoologist thinks? I think lawyers and judges are well-educated enough to understand the law.

I believe the American flag should be the only one allowed in AMERICA !

Try to sell that to the local Irish neighborhood or to the Sons of Italy hall in Little Italy. Hope you bring that firearm of yours.

If this makes me a BAD American, then yes, I'm a BAD American.

No, not a BAD American, just intolerant. I really want to share my country with you but you won't accept it.

We want our country back!

Trust me, after the last eight years I know EXACTLY how you feel.

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Chocolate Pie

Posted by Randy David Saturday, June 27, 2009 4:11 PM

Some of my son's theater group friends are bored with summer already. When they get bored, this is the kind of thing they do. Not your typical teenagers are they?

What a talented group of kids. I'm happy this is the kind of friends he hangs out with.


A Big Whoohooo in College Hockey

Posted by Randy David Friday, June 26, 2009 11:45 AM
Kevin Pates of the Duluth News Tribune is reporting that it's a done deal. According to him, Bemidji State University and the University of Nebraska-Omaha will join the WCHA (Western Collegiate Hockey Association) starting in 2010 and 2011.

Seemingly confirming the report, the WCHA has posted a media alert on their website announcing a press conference at 5pm CT today. The subject will be expansion.

This is very exciting news and good for college hockey in general. It is expected that the University of Alabama-Huntsville will now be admitted into the CCHA (Central Collegiate Hockey Association) to replace the departing UNO. All of the teams in the CHA (College Hockey America) now have a new conference alignment after the league disbands at the close of this season. Conference alignment is necessary for most smaller schools to keep playing the sport. This move will allow Bemidji State and UAH to continue their programs in the future.

It's a very happy day in the college hockey world! Can't wait to hear the details.

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Obama Asks the Logical Question

Posted by Randy David Wednesday, June 24, 2009 3:05 PM
Our "Spock in Chief" had a most logical moment at his press conference yesterday. But because I didn't see anyone else cover it on the news last night, I thought I'd share it here.

Obama was answering a question from reporter, David Jackson, about the "public option" part of his health care plan. He outlined why he thought it was important. Jackson followed up with, "Won't it drive private insurer's out of business?"

President Spock answered with, "If private insurers say that the marketplace provides the best quality health care, if they tell us that they're offering a good deal, then why is it that the government, which they say can't run anything, suddenly is going to drive them out of business? That's not logical." He then went on to acknowledge that, yes there would need to be discussion about the specific form such a plan would take. He was then quick to add, "Just conceptually, the notion that all these insurance companies who say they are giving consumers the best possible deal, that they can't compete against a public plan as one option, with consumers making the decision (as to) what's the best deal, that defies logic."

After I picked myself up off the floor from laughing at the way he pummeled all the free-market cheerleaders with their own arguments, I realized something more. The public option as discussed would need to cover all the uninsured, underinsured and uninsurable. I'm thinking that it's something that the private companies would be happy to see. Those are the high-risk consumers aren't they? That should free them up to make more profits.

We need more Vulcans.

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Leisure Travel Entering a Deep Hole?

Posted by Randy David Monday, June 22, 2009 11:40 AM
Earlier this morning I got an email asking me to take a leisure travel survey. As someone who spent sixteen years working for Marriott, I was curious about what the questions would be.

I went through several pages of questions about favorite vacations destinations, activities while on vacation, household income, and ages of my family. Then we got to questions about future vacations. You know, "How likely are you to take a trip to destination A in the next two years?" "How likely are you to travel to that destination in the next five years?" As I answered these questions it suddenly occurred to me: vacation destinations are likely to see decreased business, not just for the duration of the current downturn, but for a long time to come. Why did I come to this conclusion? Let's use my case as an example.

My wife and I had planned to take a 10th anniversary trip to Europe next year. Most likely going to Spain and Portugal for two weeks. I am currently unemployed, for about six months now, so that requires that we think about changing our plans and downsizing.

Maybe we go to New Orleans instead. We could drive. Maybe we could come up with discounted hotel rooms through some of the connections I still have. Otherwise, maybe a vacation home rental somewhere through, which is fast becoming one of favorite websites. We could drive and save money on dining by making some of our own meals.

The lack of disposable income in many households is a bad thing for the travel industry. Until the unemployment rate comes back down, it's not going to get any better for airlines, hotels, restaurants and transportation providers in destination areas. Nothing new here. I think we all understand this.

Here's the kicker. I was thinking that if I got a job tomorrow, we would still be able to go to Europe next year. But it hit me, I probably won't have enough vacation time to make that happen. When I left Marriott, I had nearly five weeks of paid-time-off per year. Using a couple of weeks in one chunk was not a problem. It will probably take five years to get back to the level where my wife and I can take a long vacation again.

With more and more people losing jobs, their vacation time will also be "reset" when they are finally able to find another. It's going to take five years into a full recovery before the leisure travel industry gets back to the levels from a couple of years ago.

In the meantime, keep your eyes open, we should see some pretty good deals. Don't expect a lot of extras or particularly great service for some time to come. This is going to be long and painful in my former industry.

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Pentagon Takes Bugging To A Whole New Level

Posted by Randy David Wednesday, June 17, 2009 11:15 AM

OK, I like good spy stuff as much as the next guy. According to Wired Magazine the Pentagon is ready to deploy WMD-sniffing moths.

During testing the insects were 100% accurate when WMD's were hidden inside of bright lights.
From Midspan of the Poplar

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A Very Impressive Hire at UNO

Posted by Randy David Friday, June 12, 2009 11:58 AM

Image via Wikipedia

I didn't realize Trev Alberts and Mike Kemp were this serious. The new hockey coach at the University of Nebraska-Omaha is Dean Blais. WCHA entry, anyone?

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Limbaugh Claims that 83% of Americans are Nobodies

Posted by Randy David Tuesday, June 09, 2009 11:55 AM 1 comments

Chevrolet Volt photographed at the Washington ...Image via Wikipedia

Rush Limbaugh must be back on the Oxycontin again.

Limbaugh stated on his show that, "nobody wants to support an Obama company." He cited a poll that shows that 17% of Americans back the idea to boycott a government-supported General Motors. I guess that means the other 83% are nobodies.

When did GM become an "Obama company" anyway? Last time I checked, we all own a piece now. Any input on running the company will largely come from congress, not the President.

By the way, I'd love to see an IQ level on that 17%. That idea would be like an ice cream shop partner going down the street to Ben & Jerry's to get his "Rocky Road" fix, because he is having a disagreement with the other partner. Do they think at all before they take these stances?

If anything it makes me more likely to consider a GM product. GM's gamble on the Chevy Volt has largely brought them to this point financially, but it was the right direction for the company to go. The future of GM lies with that vehicle and the public's acceptance of it. I should be in the market for a car about the time Volt hits the market and I will consider it over the Prius I was considering before.

But who cares about my opinion, I'm a nobody.

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Twitter, Meet Windows Mobile!

Posted by Randy David Thursday, June 04, 2009 4:52 PM 0 comments
I've recently discovered the joys of Twitter. I actually joined about a year ago but just didn't "get it". I had installed an application on my Windows Mobile phone that allowed me to "tweet" directly from the "Today Screen" of my phone. The problem was that it seemed to drain my battery very quickly. Having to twitter by opening explorer and signing in, just seemed to defeat the purpose of micro-blogging in 140 characters or less. So I gave up.

I came back to twitter recently and started looking around for a new app that would work from my Windows Mobile phone. At the suggestion of a fellow "twitterer" (or is it "tweeter"), I checked-out Trinket Software's "Twinkini". Am I ever impressed! The interface is extremely simple to set up and even easier to use.It allows you to quickly tweet, reply, retweet, and direct message. It does add a quick way to switch between accounts if you have more than one.

Twinkini also has a location function which can be used with other apps to make it easier to find other tweeters near you. This can make it easier to find your local tweeters and connect with them. You can also easily view user profiles, and mark your favorites. The interface seems to work in near-real-time.

Starting at $4.95 this app is a steal. You can find out more information and download Twinkini at

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The Tipping Point?

Posted by Randy David Tuesday, June 02, 2009 12:27 PM 0 comments

{{Potd/2007-01-10 (en)}}Image via Wikipedia

Tonight at 8PM (Central) ABC will broadcast "Earth 2100" which promises to be an interesting look at the "worst case scenario" for civilization. Hosted by Bob Woodruff, the show is not about climate change alone, but population growth and resource depletion, as well. It makes dire predictions based on the alarming trends our planet faces in these areas.

Think about possible water, food and energy shortages due to exponential demand from exploding population around the globe. All of those consumers producing more and more greenhouse gases at faster rates. WOW! The potential is staggering.

It will be interesting to see if any possible solutions will be recommended.

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Cheney's Head Nears Harmonic Resonance

Posted by Randy David Monday, June 01, 2009 5:04 PM 1 comments
Is he serious? According to an article by Jon Ward of the Washington Times says that death is the only option for some detainees if the Gitmo facility is closed.

"If you're going to be engaged in a world conflict such as we are, such as the global war on terrorism, if you don't have a place where you can hold these people, your only other option is to kill them," Mr. Cheney said.

"And we don't operate that way."

Really? We don't operate that way? He better look back at his own suspect actions over the previous eight years before making that kind of statement. He neglects to mention that if we operated under the law and set the moral and ethical example for the rest of the world, we might not have as many enemies to begin with.

The former vice president said that the Guantanamo Bay prison is "a fine facility" and that the White House will have a "very difficult" time closing it, because of the legal, political and diplomatic challenges associated with indefinite detention.

And who's decision was it to hold them indefinitely? Oh, he must have forgotten. And those challenges? HE's the one spearheading them.

Everybody stand back...

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Universal Healthcare?

Posted by Randy David Friday, May 29, 2009 12:34 PM 2 comments
I've been asked a lot lately about why I hold such strong views about universal healthcare in our country. Invariably, the argument against adopting it is, "talk to people in the countries that have it. They don't like it." My question is why they don't like it? Do they have anything to compare it to? If the only discount store in my town is Target, and that's the only place I ever get to shop, eventually I'm going to have a gripe.

On the other hand, I don't feel we have much to brag about here, either. People are denied life saving treatments by insurance companies every day. Those who are lucky enough to be insured. Even the small stuff is bad. Recently, my wife and I waited for SIX hours in an emergency room (from 9:30 PM until 3:30 AM) when she sliced open her finger and needed stitches. We had someone look at her finger after the first hour and were told "ooh, that's pretty bad. You're going to need some serious stitches. Now go sit back in the waiting room and we'll be right with you." After waiting a couple of hours, I asked the receptionist when they would see her. She said she had no idea. Finally, my wife insisted we leave. The bleeding had finally stopped. This is not an indictment of the people who work in the emergency room. I know they had their hands full. However, under a single payer, they could have told us, "Hey, St. Generic's emergency room is slow, why don't you zip over there and they will be able to help?" Our insurance would have been just as good at either one.

I think what it all comes down to is this question: Would you rather have a bureaucrat from a non-profit government agency deciding on your healthcare or, a bureaucrat from a huge for-profit insurance conglomerate deciding on your healthcare with profit as the main priority? Give me the government every time. At least I get to vote on the leadership.

Below are the links to a series of articles that illustrate why I feel the way I do and why it's the best direction for this country.

Universal Health Care Can Save Our Economy

Universal Health Care Can Save Our Economy Part II: Quality Control

Universal Health Care Can Save Our Economy and Keep 1.7 mill

Obama on Health Reform: The Dog That Didn't Bark

The Health Care Cave-In

The Only Sure Way to Fund Universal Health Care

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It's a Generational Thing...

Posted by Randy David Tuesday, May 26, 2009 2:38 PM 0 comments

Picture taken of the atomic bombing of Nagasak...Image via Wikipedia

The battle of musical tastes continues between the 14 year old in the house and his older, wiser male role model. Score the last round to older and wiser.

I've been hooked on Green Day's new release "21st Century Breakdown" since it came out on May 15th. It was downloaded on itunes and burned immediately so it could have near-permanent status in the CD player in my car. Much to the dismay of the younger male in the clan.

See, being an actor and the age that he is, it's difficult for him to have much rock-and-roll taste. I accept this. Around his peer group, he is constantly exposed to broadway tunes, sappy R & B, Disney tunes and and the latest in bubble gum rap, as I like to call it. He calls it hip-hop, but that's an argument for another time.

With his musical taste as a weapon. he has become one of the most annoying teenagers since Macaulay Culkin. Currently taking vocal lessons, he walks around the house and, without even realizing it, bursts loudly into song. Sometimes he sings actual lyrics. Sometimes he hums. Always it is loud. Usually it is some song I can't stand, or at the very least interrupts a good movie or hockey game.

For my part, I try to make sure that the time he spends in the car with me is quality time. We either discuss news stories on NPR or I expose him to real music. As you can imagine, much of his time is spent rolling his eyes during these excursions. Undeterred, I feel like it's my duty to develop his tastes and to make his eyes roll. It's really the fun part of being a dad. Of course, the best part is when I play a song and he says, "hey, that song is on my Guitar Hero game!" Or "that is a song by (insert sampling, bubble-gum rap artist here)" and I have to explain that (insert sampling, bubble-gum rap artist here) couldn't come up with a bass line that good so they ripped it off from The Who.

This brings us to yesterday. On the way home from his vocal lessons, I had the Green Day CD playing and he begged me to turn on NPR. That is all part of my master plan to increase his intelligence level. However, I was really rocking out to the Green Day, so I denied his request. He rolled his eyes all the way home, heaving sigh after sigh, in between complaints, of course. I was not aware he had the capability to multitask like that, but I learned something new.

After we got home and had dinner, he was cajoled into helping clean up the kitchen. While cleaning he had one his burst-into-song moments. He was humming the tune "21 Guns" ...from the Green Day album front of me. I stopped and looked right at him. At first, he thought I was annoyed because he was humming loudly. Starting to laugh, I asked "What was THAT?"

Slowly a look of realization came over his face. He looked like he wanted to spit some foul tasting drink out of his mouth but had nowhere to spit it. He blurted out, "see what your crappy music has done to me?"

It may take years and cost thousands of lives but I will win.

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Champagne Tastes on a Beer Budget? I think not.

Posted by Randy David Wednesday, May 20, 2009 9:46 AM 0 comments

The packaging plant at the Anheuser-Busch head...Image via Wikipedia

Last night KSDK St. Louis aired an investigative report by Leisa Zigman exposing a lavish meeting held by Anheuser-Busch executives. At this meeting decisions were made about job eliminations. An anonymous employee was outraged over it. The story was hyped on teasers for a few days and then aired on the 10 o'clock show.

I'm impressed with KSDK news and their investigative team. They work very hard and sometimes face hostility and physical threats to get the story and get it right. And Ms. Zigman got it right in this case. My question is the relevance of this particular story because of the way it was hyped.

Was the meeting lavish? It didn't appear so to me. Off-site meetings where large scale HR initiatives are discussed are common. A sensitive meeting should not take place somewhere where a misplaced proposal or a hallway conversation can be overheard and rumors initiated. So the fact that this type of meeting took place off-site was actually prudent.

The lake-side facility is owned by Anheuser-Busch, so otherwise, it sits empty. The same goes for the "yacht" which was used to transport the group to a dinner at a lakeside restaurant. The meetings did involve an overnight stay so feeding your employees is proper. As someone who worked in the hotel industry for several years, trust me, there are much more expensive ways to hold a meeting. As far as the drinking that went on, as long as they weren't drinking a competitors product, I don't see a problem with that either.

Currently out of work myself, I don't begrudge companies doing this sort of thing at all. Many of the workers and managers who do have jobs, have unrealistic expectations placed on them. Getting out of the office where there are fewer distractions is a good way to get them to focus and be creative.

We are letting the public hysteria over corporate spending grab hold like a runaway train. If corporations cut all of these type of events, will there be any jobs worth returning to when the economy rebounds? If anything, it provides stockholders ammunition to keep cutting perks in the workplace to the point where a coffee pot in the stockroom is considered "lavish". No surprise that someone like Juli Neimann, who is one of the best financial analysts in the St. Louis area, and someone who I admire, would come down on the side of corporations cutting expenses. In the meantime, with reduced spending, who gets more profits? Stockholders and CEOs.

Keep up the good work, Ms. Zeigman. Your report was mostly balanced as you presented some of the Anheuser- Busch PR departments facts about the meeting. I might suggest an independent expert meeting planner be consulted to give the audience an idea of how cost effective the meeting really was.

The problem with the story was the hyping of it. If the teasers had been presented as a question, "Did these Anheuser-Busch employees go too far?" the same report plays with a more balanced tone and creates a forum for civil discussion on what constitutes "corporate greed". Instead we get an emotionally charged debate leading to the memo released yesterday at Anheuser-Busch attacking Ms. Zigman personally.

Unfortunately, that increase in the rhetoric around the issue makes the piece irrelevant.

Just my $0.02.

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New Word Project

Posted by Randy David Monday, May 18, 2009 11:59 AM 1 comments

Image via Wikipedia
Taking a cue from an article I read recently, I thought it would be fun to coin new words to add to lexicon of everyday life. I would like people to submit their ideas for words or phrases to cover life situations that don't have their own words.

For instance, I ran into one yesterday (not literally) when I approached a traffic light and suddenly the light turned yellow. I was too close to stop but too far away from the other side of the intersection to clear it before the light turned red. There MUST be a name for this situation. The one that popped to mind immediately was "amber inert" but I'm sure others can be more clever than that. So let's hear it. Send me an idea and I'll post the best ones next Monday.

Feel free to submit ideas for things you'd like to name, as well.

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St. Louis Is on the College Hockey Map

Posted by Randy David Friday, May 08, 2009 12:17 PM 0 comments

City of St.Image via Wikipedia

It's nice to see that I won't have to travel as far after next season to get my NCAA hockey fix. The St. Louis Sports Commission announced yesterday that St. Louis will host the 2010 and 2011 Ice Breaker Tournaments. In between those two events, the city will also host an NCAA Men's Ice Hockey West Regional.

Less travel for Randy! Whoohoo!

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Bird Brain

Posted by Randy David Wednesday, May 06, 2009 11:22 AM 2 comments
For three straight years, we have seen the return of the first robin of spring at our house. Our first robin is little "different" than most.

This video clip is just a short sample of the bizarre behavior or this bird. Each year this robin shows up in April and starts to pound on our window endlessly. All day, every day for a couple of months. The only time it stops is when someone walks through our great room. Then, five minutes later, it starts again. I kid you not.

As I type this entry, it's there. Smack...smack...smack...smack. It's like something from an Edgar Allen Poe story. You know, "The Robin".

From Bird_Brain_

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Boston University Must Change Their Mascot

Posted by Randy David Monday, April 20, 2009 12:02 PM 0 comments

Image via Wikipedia
The Frozen Four ended a few days ago with a thrilling, come-from-behind, overtime championship for the Boston University Terriers. I was in attendance and I'm still stunned at the way the game ended. The devastating heartbreak of the Miami University contingent, who were a few seconds away from the first national championship of any kind for their school. The absolute elation of the BU fans as their team pulled off a win for the ages.

What sticks with me most is the BU nickname, Terriers. What were they thinking? Imagine if you will, thousands of Boston fans trying to chant "let's go Terriers!" Now think about a Boston accent, replacing the "r's" with "ah's"...

What you get is more like, "let's go teh-wee-uhs!" I spent half of their games looking around for the chorus of Elmer Fudd's.

Elmer FuddImage via Wikipedia

Image via Wikipedia

Congrats to BU! Now change your nickname or avoid all cheers that
actually use the term Terriers. It really makes you look silly.

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The Best Museum EVER!

Posted by Randy David 10:21 AM 0 comments

Newseum, Pennsylvania Ave. entrance, in Washin...Image via Wikipedia

Image via Wikipedia
When I was visiting Washington for the Frozen Four a few days ago, I took the time to visit the Newseum. As an avowed NPR junkie, I had heard shows broadcast from the Newseum from time to time and was intrigued by a museum dedicated to the first amendment. It was on my "must see" list.

If you are ever in Washington, DC, please take the time to visit. Put aside a minimum of five hours. You may feel like that wasn't enough. Museums are the first thing I look for when I travel. Yeah, I know, it used to be bars and restaurants. The Newseum is better than any museum I've ever visited. It's interactive, with video, audio, archives, exhibits, and even a 4D movie. It's all laid out very logically and is interactive enough to keep a teenagers interest.

For more information visit the Newseum website.

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The New Beaver Pride

Posted by Randy David Thursday, April 16, 2009 2:22 PM 0 comments

A simple thank you. That's all I can offer to the boys from my alma mater's hockey team. Thank you for bringing Beaver Pride back to the forefront.

Back in the 1980's when I was attending Bemidji State University, the hockey team at the school brought the community together for one magical season. They accomplished the near impossible, going 31-0-0 on the way to the NCAA Division II title. The championship series was played on home ice. The town, and particularly, the university community celebrated wildly. Not many outside of the participating schools paid much mind, though, and life was pretty normal in a day or two. I never forgot the feeling of being in the arena that night, a feeling of pride in the school and the city.

You see, there's always been a bit of a divide between the “townies” and the university community. Even though they depend on each other, it's too often grudgingly. The “townies” feel that it's their home and the students are just badly-behaved visitors between tourist seasons. For their part, the students don't always help themselves with the mischief they create. The university is the largest employer in the area, the alumni do create jobs, and the students do spend money. The university community often feels that the townies don't always appreciate the good things the university brings to Bemidji. Since I grew up in Bemidji AND graduated from the university, I saw things from both perspectives and always wondered why the relationship wasn't more symbiotic.

That brings us to last week, when the current version of the hockey team and a series of coincidental events may have had a lasting impact on the school and the city's relationship. The hockey team currently plays at the NCAA Division I level and had qualified as the lowest seeded team for the tournament. In their regional tournament they handily upset athletic giant Notre Dame and then traditional hockey power Cornell to capture the regional title and make it to the semi-finals of the national tournament, also known as “The Frozen Four” to be played in Washington, DC.

The entire city of Bemidji came together to celebrate the accomplishment. Not just the university, but the ENTIRE city. The pride has been palpable. The national media picked up on the cinderella Beavers' story and ran with it. Suddenly a lot more people knew where Bemidji was located and that the name translates as “waters crossing waters”, a reference to the Mississippi river flowing across Lake Bemidji.

A couple of other stories were developing at the same time. The Bemidji Regional Events Center had it's groundbreaking the following Friday. The building of this convention center/arena has been controversial in the city. The townies have resented a new arena as a tax burden mainly for the university's benefit as the main tenant will be BSU hockey. The university has claimed that it will provide economic stimulus for the area. It will also allow the hockey team to remain a viable athletic program at the university by allowing them to join a major conference. Right now, they play in College Hockey America (CHA) which is disbanding after the 2009-2010 season. They have applied to the ten member Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA), arguably the premier conference in college hockey. It is unlikely the WCHA will accept them without another hockey program applying for membership at the same time to round the conference to twelve teams. The WCHA commissioner, Bruce McLeod, has indicated that scheduling for an eleven-team conference will not be balanced enough. For the first time in more than a decade the WCHA did not have a team in the Frozen Four. As recently as 2005, all four participants were from the WCHA. Guess who was attending the groundbreaking?

So, we have a cinderella hockey team doing it's best Jefferson Smith imitation and heading to Washington against all odds; a groundbreaking for a controversial, new arena originally resented by some in the city; and in attendance, the commissioner of the league upon which the future of the university's hockey program may depend. What to do? BSU and the city did the right thing. They combined the groundbreaking with a rally for the hockey team! All sides built a lot of good will and hopefully the WCHA will accept BSU with or without a partner.

When I traveled to Washington last week, what I saw amazed me. Bemidji natives and the university community alike decked out in so much green and white that even NPR took notice. They packed the streets, bars, restaurants, parks and museums advertising their loyalties. And even though the hockey team was defeated in the semifinals, this unity should not go unnoticed. It's a huge step in the right direction and I couldn't be more Beaver Proud! Thank you.

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