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.

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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 vrbo.com, 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 http://www.trinketsoftware.com/Twikini





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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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