Thursday, October 30, 2008

Winter Forecast 2008 - 2009

My winter forecast is: Cold.

No, wait that's too simple. I actually don't do a forecast where I look over data and analyze things. I have hunches, I guess you would call them. They are the product of my subconscious mind processing my observations of weather trends.

Of course the temperatures will get cold in Oklahoma during the winter. Winter days around here are chilly in the afternoon, and cold overnight, sometimes freezing. Sometimes we have freezing temps during the day, but usually when we have a snowstorm, or worse, an ice storm.

Some are expecting a hard winter. I think we are in for a dry one. We've had 2 wet winters in a row, and Oklahoma winters tend to be dry. I believe we are due for a dry winter. We will have a few winter precipitation events, but only one or two will be major. I also believe we will see several episodes of very dry and very cold air coming straight down from the north.

So far, the only observations I have made that support this hunch are these: we have already had 2 freezes in the Tulsa area, but we haven't had much rain since mid-September.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Elections 2008

The elections are 2 weeks away. I've not said much specifically about them, and have made only a few political posts. However, I do realize the importance of politics and voting.

If you are one of those that don't see the point in voting, let me propose a little exercise that will open your eyes. Get out a sheet of paper or a notepad and your wallet/billfold/pocketbook. Make a list of what's in your wallet. Then go over the list and put a mark by any item that is issued by a government entity: money (Dept. of Treasury), driver's license (DMV in most states, DPS in OK), etc. Also put check marks by anything that is government regulated: credit or debit cards (banking), business cards from regulated or licensed operations (plumber, electrician, wrecker), etc. Now count the number of marks, and the number of unmarked items.

Now, if you are one of those who chooses not to vote because, "All politicians are crooks," consider this: Where else do you get to choose your crook? If you didn't have a choice about being robbed, but you could choose which crook, would you choose one who would steal only $10, or one who would steal $10,000? Or, would you let someone else decide? Guess what you do when you don't vote.

Back to this year's elections.
Too many of Obama's supporters think he is some kind of a savior. Well, I hate to disappoint them, but there is only one such position, and the current occupant, Jesus Christ, is not planning on vacating His spot anytime soon. I'm sure He's not too happy that people are trying to replace Him.

Speaking of Jesus and politics, I said in an earlier post that Jesus was probably more conservative than some people think. Consider some of His parables.
Parables are not deeply mysterious. They are illustrations of spiritual principles taken from common experience. The most well-known parable is the one about the Sower. This was something very common in an agricultural society where the work was done mostly by hand, because not many people had animals suitable for plowing and such. When Jesus started by saying, "A sower went forth to sow..." I'm sure more than one listener thought, "Been there, done that, my feet still aching from all that walking!"
I won't go into the spiritual side of the parables, but Jesus gave some parables, that just on the level of human experience, they would make no sense except in a capitalist economy.
The best one of these is in the first part of Matthew 20. A landowner needs to hire some men to harvest his crop. He goes to the village square early in the morning and hires some guys to work for a day's wages. He goes back at 9 AM, noon, 3 PM and 5 PM and hires more men. Each time he does, he offers a full day's wages to each group. When he pays everybody at 6 PM, he pays them all a full day's wages, including the guys that had been there only for an hour. The ones hired first thought they deserved more, because they had been there all day. But the landowner pointed out that they agreed to work for one day's wages, and he paid them what they agreed to. If he wanted to pay the other men the same amount for working a shorter time, that was his business and not theirs. He was paying with his own money, and it was his to do with what he wanted.
Of course, this story wouldn't make sense in a socialist or communist economy. The landowner wouldn't be a landowner, it would all belong to the government. Some bureaucrat would tell him when the harvest had to be finished, and how many workers he would have for the harvest, and how much to pay them.
Now, try telling me that Jesus was a socialist. Jesus flat out said that the kingdom of heaven was like the landowner, the capitalist.

I'll admit that McCain is not my ideal candidate for president. But he is not trying to pass himself off as any kind of savior, because he knows he's not, and presidents are not to be saviors.
Too often I hear or read where people say the president runs the country, or he runs the economy. NO HE DOESN'T!!! THAT'S NOT HIS JOB, NEVER HAS BEEN AND NEVER WILL BE!!! IF YOU THINK THAT WAY, STOP IT, STOP IT, STOP IT RIGHT NOW YOU....
Sorry, lost control there for a second. But this kind of ignorance is what gets liberals elected, and leads to the financial problems we are having right now. The government is not responsible for your welfare, you are. We do not have a command economy. No command economy has ever prospered. Communist China is prospering right now, but only because they have adopted limited capitalism. Orientals also have a very strong work ethic, and that is what has sustained them through years of socialism.

For those that doubt Sarah Palin's foreign policy experience, take good look at a map for once. You cannot enter or leave Alaska without crossing an international border or international waters. If you were to take that map, cut out Alaska and place it over the 48 contiguous states, you will see just how big the state is. Even though the population is small, governing that much territory is a challenge.

While I don't agree with all of McCain's positions, I believe he is right about the most important issues, he truly cares about this country and wants what's best for it, and I also like his taste in women.

Saturday, October 18, 2008


Follow up on the Installing Software? post:
If you do have to call tech support, do yourself and the technician a favor: CALM DOWN!
I deal mostly with students that are installing software so they can work at the dorm or at home to finish their assignments on time. I know the pressure they are under, I've been up against deadlines too. But some people act as if they don't get the assignment in on time, they will fail and they have no hope of success. However, I have flunked courses, retook them and passed. Unless you are studying to be an emergency room surgeon, just how important is this work?
Stress can keep you from having a proper perspective on things. When discussing your problem, relax. Also, prepare for your call. Is the software giving you an error message? The message will have information the tech will need to research your problem. Keep the message up on your computer, or clipboard the text of the message into Notepad. The tech might have to ask you to send him or her the message in an email. Also, you might take some quick notes on what happens when you take the actions that cause the problem to appear.
I'm writing this because I actually hung up on a potential client this week. She had installed AutoCAD on a Mac notebook, and it was acting strange. For those that don't know, Autodesk, the company that makes ACAD, decided long ago to stop producing ACAD for Macs. They only produce it for Windows operating systems. To run ACAD on a Mac, you have to load Windows. I'm not sure if Autodesk supports ACAD in this setup. But that's not why I hung up on her.
I hung up on her because she needed to calm down. From the way she was acting, I believe that if I told her to calm down, she would have just gotten more upset. You could hear the tension in her voice. She talked fast, and threw a lot at me with each breath. If I didn't answer right away, she would start talking again and not give me time to think. When I did tell her that a virus could have gotten on the Windows side of her system, she contradicted me. Macs are NOT immune to viruses! It's just that hackers have easier targets in PC's. If Macs were as popular as PC's, they would have the same virus problems that PC's do. When I realized that she was making me nervous, and she wasn't likely to listen to anything I had to say, I hung up.

On the flipside, I had a very pleasant surprise yesterday. As I have mentioned, I work at home. I record information about the calls I take in a database that I access by a remote connection to a 'puter at the main office. Someone from the office brings my paycheck to me. But they have to deliver checks to other employees in the area, so it's not like they have to come out of their way to get my paycheck to me. The drive directly from the office to my house takes about 15 - 20 minutes. When I used to drive to the office, I would stop at a C-store for something to drink, and the trip was about 30 minutes.
I get a call from Barbara at the office. She asks if I'm going to be home about 30 minutes later. I say I was fixing to go somewhere, but I should be back by then. She tells me she would leave the office about 11:00. She then explains that they're being audited on Monday, and the accountants can't find the W-4's, and she needs to come by with a form for me to sign. In the back of my mind, I though, "Yeah, right!"
I run my errands, and get back in time. I'm actually sitting in my room about 11:30 when I hear a car door slam. I grab my pen just in case, and head towards the front door. Instead of a form, she had a cake, balloons and a birthday card signed by the people at the office. I haven't had a birthday cake in years. Usually, birthday celebrations at my house consist of ordering in pizza, and a card that might be handmade. The cake is chocolate, with lots of butter cream frosting, and it is so rich and deliscious!
I didn't get pizza, but Mom and I went over to Bixby because she wanted to get some fresh okra at Conrad Farms, then we went around the corner to the Apple Barrel Cafe, where she treated me to lunch. We both had catfish, which neither one of us has had in a while.

Just a few minutes ago, while typing in the previous item, I turned off my radio. I listened to the Tulsa University game against University of Texas - El Paso. TU won, 77 - 35! There's been talk about TU getting ranked in the Top 25, and now with a win this big, and 7 - 0 record, and other teams in the Top 25 faltering, it should happen. If it doesn't, well, I'm not saying it's time for pitchforks and torches, but...