Joseph Beth Bookstore

Warning to any reading – be prepared for a bit of a rant. I had some extra funds, it was a nice, I am still recovering from my recent four days off and just really not into stay late at work this eve. So, I got out of there right on time and headed on over to my favorite new book store. It is called Joseph Beth and the original is located in Lexington, Kentucky.

Bit of history with me and JB as I call it for short. It opened just a year to two before I attended college in Lexington and Transylvania and I was an avid reader than, perhaps more so then now. Matter of fact one of things I loved was they had a coffee maker in a center little cubby and mugs – and you could check out the book you were thinking about purchasing in a chair while having a cup – and then read some while waiting on your companions and drink more coffee.

So anyway, I feel like me and JB have kind of matured together from our early adult hood. I am now 38 and they now have four or five locations, including one in Cincinnati and one in Charlotte, North Carolina. No longer do they have the free coffee for while you look, instead is it is a cafe with a sandwich menu and lattes of every choice imaginable and for a price of course. Some great things have to change I suppose. That is not my rant however.

Today, with my extra funds, I decided to go pick up a book that was on the reduced shelf last time I was there a week or so back. A week or so back I picked up one there too. Currently reading the one from before, Native Dancer: The Gray Ghost. The new one I picked up was related, Man-O-War. Yes, there is a theme there. I felt I had to pick up the second one soon as they tend to not last on the reduced shelves very long – and especially with the Derby having just occurred I figured they would go pretty quickly. I just love getting a hardback edition for the just a few pennies more than a paperback version would cost – if there even was a paperback edition offered.

So on to my rant. They have a new book discount club. Which I used to a be a member of one a LONG time ago. But this one is called Give Back or something. So since I have been single I make it to JB about once every two to three weeks or so. I was actually in there when they were advertising the Give Back program, but it was the day before they started selling the sign-up. The sign-up is $25.00, but gets you 30% off best sellers, some % off staff recommendations, and $20 or something every time you spend $200 (which is where I would likely get my discount). It also include like $20 or $25 gift certificate to the cafe and some other fringe benefits too. Oh and in some situation some % goes to a designated charity of the card holder or something like that.

So I have been to JB at least two-time in the last seven days, and three-time in the last fortnight, give or take a day or two. And every time I have made a purchase. I have not presented a discount card – nor have I been asked to purchase one. I was leery of asking to purchase one, as I did not know the exact price and on the cards in the store it doesn’t list one (I only know that from looking online a bit ago). My point is these, I would think that the sales folks should be asking if I am interested if I don’t present one at the time of purchase. Especially like this eve, when I purchased a good $25.00 worth of stuff in three different items all told. JB – if you are reading this you have to get your sales people to do better (oh – and I know I could have asked at anytime – but I was really kind of testing this thought and have found JB staff to be failing bigtime – heck even McDonald’s asks if I want fries or a pie).

Not intended for public consumption

As I sit here this wonderful spring morning in limbo waiting on a couple of other things to happen so that I can proceed with my plan to take over the w… er… plan for the day I thought I would make another entry or two here on my blog. I am sure that everyone who is reading this has been aware of the recent week on the political front, especially as Obama and Clinton continue to slug it out for the democratic nomination. I am further sure that most everyone is aware Reverend Wrights controversial comments made in the pulpit and the subsequent defense of his statements this past few days. I think that Wright has pretty much said enough and the Obama has filed for a divorce basically, so nothing really needs to be said there.

What I do want to touch on is a senator (I believe I have that correct) who was interviewed by NPR on either Monday or Tuesday afternoon this week. His comment in defense of Wright was something like Wright made these comments in his church, similar to being with a close group of family members, and the comments “were not intended for public consumption.” Now what kind of inane logic is that?

First of all, as a semi-public character, speaking from the pulpit, assumed at an open church (ie, you didn’t have to present a membership card at the door or they booted you out) how can anyone think that it was not an intended for both the church and anyone in the public. Besides that, anytime you take the podium, even if it is a pulpit, you are speaking in public. I also have to wonder, what were the videos shot for to begin with? Was this a for a broadcast to local TV? I don’t know the answer to that, but if it was then the public outside of the church was certainly welcome.

Take this one step further though, suppose I am in a group of people at the office and someone in the group tells a sexist joke. Obviously not intended for the public – just the two or three people immediately surrounding the person telling the joke. However, if someone nearby overheard and was offended do you think the argument that the joke was not intended for public consumption would hold up in any sort of sexual harassment proceedings later brought about? And for the record this is much more a case of not intended for public consumption then someone preaching the pulpit.

Lets move to the extreme, as so many folks really are questioning why this is even news worthy in respect to Obama’s campaign for the White House. Lets put the situation in slightly different light. Lets suppose that it was discovered that McCain’s preacher made comments from the pulpit that said the KKK had the general right idea and that America was being brought down from its greatness by its minorities (NOTE: I am speaking hypothetically here – I do not necessarily believe this way nor do I have any evidence that McCain’s preacher holds such views). But if this were to be the case wouldn’t we be in an absolute uproar about McCain being the presumptive nominee for the Republican party? The assumption would be completely that if McCain associated with such times that he must hold at least somewhat similar views.

Anyway, just a little irked at how much the racial card is being played in this election process this year. I feel that it is a strong double standard of reverse discrimination going on throughout the process. Of course, the obvious would be said, I am a white man so I am a racists. But just so you know, I think Condolisa Rice is a pretty clear choice for McCain’s running mate and I further suspect McCain will be a one term president and I would not object to her running for the White House herself in four years.

Mea Culpa

A short blog to apologize to the few regular readers for the site having been down that last week. It was my fault. I forgot to pay an invoice to the ISP. Well, more like, I forgot to transfer the ISP(*) automatic billing over to the newly issued debit card. Now I am sure some of you are saying that shouldn’t take a week to process.

You are correct. Once I transferred the account, with the automatic debit occurring and due to some additional expenses with horse supplies (additional moveable electric fence, some regular shots, medicine and supplies for an injured horse) I just didn’t have the funds to cover the $30.00 bucks.

Why didn’t I just put it on a credit card? Well, bottom line is I don’t have one of those. I have a debit card and try to avoid credit as much as possible. The exceptions I have made to that in the last few years was purchase the farm – which I of course no longer own, the car that I had to get last fall when my truck quit and I really needed something a LOT easier on gas, and a vet bill from over a year back for a colic surgery on a miniature horse.

So – bottom line here is I got to be more organized about making sure all my ducks are in a row in the future. Again though, my sincere apologies to anyone who missed things when they got some page about the account being suspended or something.

I will also note that in about 2 weeks there may be a slight outage again – though hopefully not. I went with the current ISP in a moment of weakness to save a little money for some grandiose plans that an associate and myself had. Those things have mostly fallen through and I don’t have the need for such the grandiose plans, though I do still have a few of those. Anyway, this ISP is located in the former eastern block of Europe, truly showing we are a global economy. However, I would prefer to support an American company and turns out with out the grandiose plans I can actually do so a bit cheaper – which is an even better deal. Also there is the bonus of not having to send a message 3 times to tech support to get someone who understands enough English to do things correctly.

This means that at some point I will move this blog (along with other sites) to the new host. Hopefully it will all go smooth and silk and there will not even be a blink, but a warning just in case.

* – Thought it a good idea to note that ISP stands for Internet Service provider. This typically refers to the companies bring internet service to your home or business for you to have access. However, in this case I am referring to a company that offers hosting services for me to place websites onto. The fees are usually very reasonable and include some structure for the actual storage space and hardware as well as the bandwidth (traffic to and from the website) that is being used. Probably the more correct terminology would be Web Hosting Provider or Web Hosting Services, but WHP just doesn’t have the recognition that ISP has. Further, it is still an Internet Service Provider in the fullest meaning of the words.

Nostalgia…

I find myself sitting here at the computer, a few good bourbons with just enough coke to give it a darker shade, and I am cleaning out some old files, moving some to an archive, and generally looking at things I have not seen in three to five years minimum. Anyway, it was with a tinge of sadness that I came across the picture that follows. That ugly dog, and yes, I fully agree he was ugly, as that is what you get when a Australian Shepard is crossed with a Terrier. Anyway, his name was Walker. Walker Dog to be specific. He had a funny step that reminded me of my Tennessee Walker Horse at the time (another blog deserved to be posted about Special Dark, aka SD).

Continue reading “Nostalgia…”

I suck (or can I get a do-over?)

So – I have about 100 notes of some sort of another from current events, inward reflective thoughts, or just how much I missing being on the road with friends heading out a joust. However, I have had an extremely unproductive blogging month and half. It would be easy to blame it all on my hectic work schedule, which has had me at the office way to many times past 11:00p.m. (even 1:00 & 2:00a.m. a couple of times), not to mention several days over the weekends of late. I could also combine trying to get in what time I can with and doing things for the horses and just generally trying to have a life (which I have not had the last month plus excepting one weekend). To clarify – time spent with the horses is LIVING!

Continue reading “I suck (or can I get a do-over?)”

Recession Rant

So I am looking around at all the news of late about the impending recession or that we may actually already be in one. I am seeing all the recent news about tax breaks to help restart the economy and what more can be done to get things going. I even noticed sometime in the last 24 hours that the basic stuff we need in the grocery store has really jumped prices in the last year or so (eggs jumped nearly $1.00, from around $2.00 to $3.00), though we already knew there had been a big jump in some stuff such as gasoline in the recent years, it too is on the upsurge again. It is really starting to sound like a doom and gloom kind of situation.

I have to admit though that I am not terribly surprised. We have moved much more toward a service (and some will say information) based economy. We, here in the grand old United States of America, outside of a few noted exceptions, just don’t make things anymore. And what things that are made or grown here, typically has such a disconnect from the originator to the end consumer that we hardly even recognize the connection – that is many other blogs I need to write someday.

Anyway, what I see, as admitted amateur economists, services are usually those things that are easiest to cut out of things when a budget gets tight. Well, we should all probably be paying more attention to out budgets then we have in the past, but with the pressures on easy money beyond our means, Americans are starting to feel that push. You cut out one service that you don’t need and so does your neighbor and so on. Now there is some body in a service industry or two that is now really feeling tight on the financial side of things, maybe to the point of laying off someone or as a really cutting back on expenses. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Growing wheatThe interesting thing though – if the situation continues to spiral those folks that are making and growing things – those things that we all have a true NEED for like food and clothing (oh wait – that is all overseas now) will continue to do well. In fact, if it all doesn’t get absorbed by the fuel surcharges and middlemen, farmers may actually end up seeing a little bit of an increase in revenue for their product. A new concept for farmers – even though food goes up at the grocery very little of that goes back to farmers.

Bottom line – I think that moving toward a service economy has it merits, but I don’t think we can all move into services or we end up being owned by someone else for our basic needs. I wonder if there is a correlation to be looked at here from great empires that have crumbled in the past? Did Rome collapse because it become fat and lazy and outsourced to much to the fringes of the empire? What about Greece – too few olive growers and to many philosophers? Bonaparte’s France – was the problem a lack of people in France still doing the basics to support the basic infrastructure and have enough left over to support a massive army in the field all the time?

Conservativism and McCain

I find myself back at a Panera (note I was at a different one yesterday). I am taking a brief break between the things that I have to do today in different locations and I really needed some coffee. Panera has both good coffee, decent wireless connection, and is right along the path I had to drive anyway. It would have been foolish to pass it up.

As I was sitting here I was reminded of a conversation from some obviously very conservative gentlemen at the Panera yesterday near to me. They were all in agreement that Senator McCain was not the right guy for the republican party. They all had the opinion that he was not conservative enough for the republican party but the exact issue that he was not conservative enough on varied between them.

Continue reading “Conservativism and McCain”

MySQL & Sun

I noted on something that come across my inbox yesterday that MySQL is being sold to Sun. I was kind of shocked and a bit disturbed by this. A note, the deal was reported worth one billion dollars. Not a bad deal of you were one of the two contributors to the code (see below).

First my shock, I was under the impression that MySQL had been developed and released under the GNU GPL licensing schemes. Which basically I thought meant that the code was free for everyone to develop and that everyone got to use all the contributions that came from everyone developing the code base. And that all this development leads to great things on the software package and everyone is happy. Apparently however, there are some variations where the GNU GPL licensing allows for code to be wholly owned by a few people – in this case apparently two. And I guess, though I didn’t realize this, that they have not taken any code developments from anyone else – otherwise how would they be able to sell the MySQL product to Sun?

Now my disturbance – Sun has a bit of a bad track record with things from an open source stand point. What is even worse about this particular product that they have acquired is that it is used by, well I suspect millions of computers, but if not, easily approaching the first million for sure. I know in my server room there are now less than 20 installations of MySQL, possibly more. Now when all of those were installed there were no license fees of any sort associated with using them. Now that Sun has purchased the product, will that change for the future usage of the product? Beyond that, will the product have new innovations in the future that keep up with technological demands? Or will it become stagnant, wither, and eventually die?

Chuck Norris, teenagers, and presidential hopefuls

Chuck NorrisChuck Norris is apparently a major player in the presidential primary campaigns for the 2008 election cycle. First, just to keep Chuck from coming and wanting to kick my behind-end, let me state that I have no problem with him endorsing any candidate he wishes (my understanding the nod goes to Huckabee). Nor do I have any problem with his stumping for said candidate, especially on issues that Chuck holds dear and feels that candidate is the best man or woman for the job. What I do have issue over is the marketing power of such folks as Mr. Norris (and I am sure there others like him) and the way the candidates have recognized this and are fully taking advantage of it.

Continue reading “Chuck Norris, teenagers, and presidential hopefuls”