I know you have all seen this on TV but I just had to post this funny Sprint commercial. When he jumps up onto her during the song, you can’t help but to laugh.
This weekend I went downtown Oklahoma City to see some more construction of the new Devon Tower. The building has reached 13 floors and the crane was not going to be tall enough to lift items to the top of the building. This weekend the two cranes were raised to make room. As you can see in this picture the closer crane is holding the end piece to the smaller crane on the left. There are people on the crane attaching the end piece .
The crane on the right is about 450 feet tall at this point. It is holding the end piece to be attached to the other crane on the left. By the time this building is completed, the cranes will be about 1,000 feet tall.
In this picture you can see the people working on the crane trying to attach the two pieces together. They are clearly more brave than I am. I cannot imagine working 450 feet above the ground trying to bolt two pieces of a crane together. This is a job where they really earn their money.
In the last picture you can see the building at 13 floors. Actually there are 12 completed floors and the top is the floor to the 13th floor. You can see where they are installing the windows on the bottom. This is going to be a huge building by the time it is done. It will be more than four times as tall as it is now. I will continue to post updates as time passes.
I want the ability to snap a picture on the go and post what I am doing at that moment. There may be something like that available but I have not found it.Let’s see how this turns out.
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One thing that is frustrating to me is that you cannot depend on a decent bus system in this city. The routes are sporadic, fragmented, and just not usable for the average citizen. It is my belief that it is done this way by design. The Oklahoma City bus system named Metro Transit is a very poor example of a bus system. Our leaders such as our Mayor Mick Cornett use the argument that it is unwise to use the bus system in areas that do not have the density to make it economically feasible to serve. This argument though it may seem to have its merits on the surface do not address the whole picture. While not having population density in certain areas may seem to be a real issue, it ignores the spotty and sprawling nature of the Oklahoma City metro area. Sure there may not be the density in some areas but there are very dense areas just beyond those areas. In other words, excluding an area of the city from coverage simply for not having the population density, also excludes very dense areas just because they are slightly beyond the less dense area. An example of this would be that people in Del City, a low income area that is very densely populated, get no bus coverage at all because of a lack of density between downtown and Del City. And then you have no coverage to Tinker AFB, the largest single site employer in the entire state. Anyone that has been to the area knows that traffic is horrible around Tinker AFB both at the beginning of the day and at the end. They cannot use the excuse that Tinker is a secure base because I lived in Denver, Colorado and Tucson, Arizona, and Phoenix, Arizona, all of them having bus service right onto the base.
A bus does not have to stop at all at a stop where no one is present or no one wants off the bus. In the areas where the density is lower the bus can simply look at the stop and keep driving if no one is there. Many times I hear people say that it is not worth it to have a decent bus system because no one rides it. Of course no one rides it because they cannot be depended upon. If a bus only comes through twice a day, then it is not useful for anyone. Secondly if the bus takes a strange route similar to some of the Congressional districts where they snake around in no useful fashion then no one can depend on it to get them where they need to go. When a bus system is designed with population centers in mind and not through normal thorough fares then it is doomed to fail. It is my belief that our leaders know this and make these decisions for the sole purpose to be able to say that the bus has low ridership and therefore not worth the investment. They do not want to spend the money on it because they want to use it on their own projects.
I would be willing to put money down that would guarantee that if we had a bus system that went all the way through the city on all major North/South and East/West through fares over a period of time, that it would be a major success. Their making excuses is just another way to not do the right thing so they can build their train downtown that only benefits a rare few. I am not opposed to the MAPS3 so much as I am opposed to proposing new thing like a rail system downtown while ignoring the rest of the city. If the leaders would just “suck it up” and do the right thing in the beginning, they would be a success in the long run. I have nothing against Mick Cornett or any of the council members but I do think they are deflecting the issue in the name of density and everyone suffers. Even though Mr. Cornett’s own MAPS3 campaign had a web site where citizens were allowed to vote on things they would like to include in the MAPS3 initiative, the citizens chose public transportation as the number one item. The number one issue that people were willing to pay for and the Mayor and council ignored it completely. Mr. Cornett in his speech addressed public transportation as though it was going to be addressed and then submits a rail system for downtown as fulfilling this requirement. This was a slap in the face of those that voted for this initiative. Since then, the citizens have complained that we need public transportation and the Mayor and council talk about density. How many times are we going to hear this? How many times are we going to get a council that has such tunnel vision as to ignore the wishes of the city?
I support the efforts and successes of Mayor Mick Cornett on so many fronts but this issue is not going to go away. The population continues to grow and the South Central part of the city is falling apart with gang activity and yet they purposely ignore the wishes of those that put them there. It is rare to hear me complain about not spending public issues since I am a conservative but I think we can all agree that in this day and age large cities need a real, comprehensive bus system that can be depended upon for people to get to work. Our city covers more than 600 square miles not counting the suburbs and many people do not have cars. They can however afford to pay for a bus ticket. I say do the right thing and get us a real bus system.
My wife and son were going out for breakfast this morning and we were discussing movies and the topic came up about when the hero dies. My point in the conversation is that I really have a difficult time understanding the appeal of movies where either the hero dies or the bad guy wins. I mean, most movies are are fictitious and are the product of someone’s imagination. I can speak from first hand experience that the world is a wild and crazy place with lots of problems. Anyone that has ever had a death in the family had someone get into trouble with the law knows that life can be pretty stressful. I mean most people have the normal daily stresses of a mortgage payment, car payments, work, and just dealing with the stresses of daily life. When I get home from work after dealing with a stressful office environment, the last thing I want to do is go see a movie where the bad guy wins or the good guy dies.
My point in all of this is that in the real world, there is a lot of stress and without the assurance that there is more to life than the many problems of this world, one can be left without hope. Having the hope that is given to me by the Bible really helps. When many people are already stressed out with life in general, and they are given the opportunity to escape for a while into a fictitious world of make believe that is afforded by a movie, I just cannot understand the appeal of a movie that is a complete downer. We had this discussion in the car while driving to get breakfast. No one really gave a reason to argue the other side of the story so I am sort of left wondering the appeal. The only thing that comes to mind would be that in the tragic loss portrayed in a movie that some valuable lesson would be learned. Even then it does not appeal to me but I can somewhat see where one would have that appeal.
If a person could use their imagination to create anything they wanted, it is hard to believe they would create a tragedy and this is sort of how I see a movie. It is a made up story that is intended to get the audience involved somehow. I would not feel the need to get engrossed into someone’s make believe tragedy. The way I see it, I have enough problems to deal with in the real world without imagining a new one. Maybe I see the world too simple but that is how I see it. I think a lot of my opinions are black and white because of my personality. If you click on the “About” link above you can see where I took this personality test called the Meyers-Briggs and found it to be very interesting. My personality was an ISTJ where among other things, they see everything as rational, black and white. It is funny that when I went to these classes they spoke of the strengths and weaknesses of each personality type. Being an ISTJ, everything seems so clearly right and wrong so when they tell me these things, I just have to take them at their word. I would encourage any of you to take the Meyers-Briggs personality test and the classes that go with them because they are very interesting. I am so glad I did.
I know this topic is of no real value to anyone but it was an interesting conversation that I wanted to share. It is amazing how two people can see the same thing and think of them in completely opposite ways.
I just installed the new Internet Explorer 9.0 beta and this is what I saw from the moment I launched it. I could not close it through normal means. I had to Ctrl+Alt+Del and end task on it several times to close it down. I was getting really irritated that I could not close it down. This is as far as I could get it to go after launching it several times. I do understand by the very definition of being beta means that it is not ready for full release and likely to have bugs. I have heard stories on the Internet that it is supposed to be light weight like Chrome instead of the very slow bogged down monster that is Internet Explorer 8. My first impression is not very good though I understand it is a beta. I downloaded the 64 bit version since I am using Windows 7 64 bit. You know, people have told me in the past that I should not use the version 8, 64 bit version because there are not enough functions available to it.
My point to that is why have a 64 bit operating system if you cannot run 64 bit applications? Those that know me also know that I am not a big fan of Apple and find myself defending Microsoft on a regular basis. I have to admit though that Internet Explorer has been a sorry program for the last few versions. Almost any browser runs better than it does. I went to Firefox for a while and now I pretty much use Chrome exclusively. I really want Internet Explorer to have a come back but they are not doing anything to give me hope. It is interesting to not that I say they need a comeback when they are still nearly 90% of the market share. What I meant to say, I wish their quality would come up a few notches. I genuinely hate Internet Explorer these days and only use it as a last resort. My work forces us to use it and I can hardly stand it.
Let’s just hope the next release works better than this. I would like to have another option to use that is not slow and takes for ever just to load a web site like Internet Explorer 8 does.
If you pay any attention to me at all, you know I have some pretty strong opinions and 744 is no different. In Oklahoma, education is the issue that no one is allowed to oppose and therefore the issue that is used to scam the people. The commercials for proposition 744 are fairly typical with scary music playing in the back ground showing kids losing to surround states. They do this in the form of football fans losing to Texas and then Missouri. Then they clarify that kids are not losing to other states in football but rather in education spending. I forgot the actual dollar amount but I think it was $1,600 per student. The commercial says that Oklahoma spends $1,600 per student less than surrounding states. What the commercial fails to do is what they always do when trying to get voters to vote for a fraudulent education bill is to omit how much money is spent on the generic term of “education”.
The political leaders in Oklahoma have made a science out of begging for money while telling voters to vote “Yes” for the kids. The voters ALWAYS vote yes and forfeit more of their money to help “the kids”. What most people miss though is that on the ballots they never earmark the money for kids but rather for education. Education is a buzz word like “reform” that is misused to deceive the voters. What the leaders have done is taken over many hospitals downtown like Presbyterian, children’s, etc and changed the name to “OU Medical Center”. This means that multiple hospitals now fall under the term “education” and so qualify for the money that people voted YES to increase spending. In other words, the commercials used children and sympathy for the children to make people feel guilty to motivate them to vote YES. The voter was duped into thinking he or she was helping the kids but really they were paying for the construction of many hospitals downtown. They were also paying for the construction the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University. If you have been to either of these universities lately you will have noticed how they are now extravagant mansions.
I have noticed a patter with Oklahoma education initiatives using children to sell their proposition and then once they are passed, the children never see a dime of this money. Percentage wise, Oklahoma spends nearly double on education than any state around them. When someone like myself dares question this, they are often blown off and told that you cannot pay attention to percentages because Oklahoma is a poor state. They tell you that even though this state spends a higher percentage, it equates to lower dollar amount than say Texas. I reject this notion because they are playing the numbers game without looking at the whole picture. Of course 50 percent of 25 million people will be a larger number than our 3.5 million people. When you look at the per capita numbers of children, you cannot legitimately say we are spending less. You can make the argument that we are spending less “ON” the children but not less on education.
My point to all of this is that Oklahoma spends a fortune on education but mishandles the money intentionally deceiving the voters. They never have the intention of spending a dime on these initiatives on the kids or teachers, or the schools that children go to. This is why they use the term “education” generically. Once you vote for these initiatives, they put it in a pot labeled education. The state changes the meaning of issues to call them education like the OU Medical Center so that the money can be spent there instead of for the children. The happily ignorant voter is duped again. This is why I will not miss this ballot because I do not want to have my name attached to a bill like this. I will make a prediction and say the voters will be duped and vote for this in the end but it will not be me. Our state uses education the way the U.S. government uses social security. Neither party ever even makes an attempt to secure it but rather uses the issue to dupe voters into voting against the other candidate. Once in office, they conveniently forget about it until the next election.
Don’t be duped into voting for “education” when the teachers and children are being used to spend the money elsewhere. They have no intention of spending this money on the teachers and children and never do. If you have been paying attention at all, you would have noticed that every single time the state wants you to vote YES on education, the parade children on the screens and say that Oklahoma spends less than neighboring states on the children. This may be true but that does not mean the state is spending less on the generic education. This means they are spending the money elsewhere in the name of education. It is the issue they want to keep when they want to get into your wallet. The issue is more valuable than fixing it. As long as they can keep using this to get more money out of the people, then they will.
How many times are we going to see this? Do you remember they did the same thing to get the lottery passed? I am not saying I am opposed to the lottery but rather that they used the children to get it passed. Every time you will hear the sad music on the commercials while parading children across the screen. The next time you vote on education, read the whole ballot all the way through. Look for any indication that the money will be spend on schools for children and not universities. If it does not specifically say the money is going to be spend on elementary, middle school, or high schools, or teachers and not professors then you are likely being duped again. I can tell you this before even looking at the ballot because I have seen this so many times that it is predictable. Another thing that is wrong about this is that in Oklahoma the state legislature must have three fourths vote to pass any tax increases. The legislature is the only one that has the authority to pass tax increases. When you vote to spend more on education, it will come from other state spending because this will not be a legislature vote to increase taxes.
What ends up happening is that many people that work for the state end up getting their spending cut so that “education” gets their increase. This angers those employees who begin to put pressure on the legislature to raise taxes. Once the door is opened here, it never closes. Once the precedent has been set to raise taxes when the money has no oversight, then it can be used indefinitely. This is a bad idea all the way around. Education spending has become a racket and not used appropriately again and again. Let’s tell these people to spend the money where it was originally intended and not allow them to get away with the misuse of our tax dollars. If they want to build another hospital then they need to tell people that is what they want. Do not allow them to tell us they are helping the kids all the while spending it somewhere else.
Sometimes bad things happen to good people. That is what I tell myself since I received this horrible news. How is a person supposed to go on after such traumatic information? I am likely to miss work while I seek psychiatric treatments in an effort to help me deal with such a loss. Just kidding!
As you know, I am always downloading the newest toy just so I can see how it works. Most of you know what Foursquare is but for the rest of you, it is a location based service where you can use your cell phone and the internal Global Positioning System (GPS) to check into various venues so your friends can know where the ‘cool’ places are. There are many of these available these days but Foursquare gives non value awards for checking in. Among them is the naming of the user as the Mayor of a location once they have checked in a certain number of times from that location and the user has checked in there more than anyone else. I have been named Mayor of many places such as the listed Waffle House at I-40 at Sooner Road in Del City. Since I moved out of Del City, it is not as convenient to go there as often so it seems that someone named Donna has bumped me from being the Mayor.
This has happened to me a few times and I think it is funny. It is supposed to energize your competitive side to go check in more and take the title back. I know many of you are scratching your head trying to understand “why?” You are trying to understand why anyone would want to do this much less be encouraged to do so. Well, I cannot explain it but it is fun. This is another social networking site that among many. There are other sites such as Gowalla, Google Latitude, and Facebook that also do location based social check-ins. I do not use Foursquare that much anymore but it is pretty cool the way it posts check-ins on your Twitter, Facebook, etc. I just thought I would have some fun with this email that I received. If you are inclined to try location based social sites, Foursquare is fun to use and I would recommend it.
I hope that Posterous will eventually come out with their own app for my phone. Well I think this post is long enough so I better get it posted.
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