Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Where will you be in 20 years?

I was talking to a person I really liked the other day and asked them if they had their goals written down. They asked me what I was talking about. I'm sure you all know that if you write your goals down, you are much more likely to accomplish them.
We all have dreams . . . We all want to believe deep down in our souls that we have a special gift, that we can make a difference, that we can touch others in a special way, and that we can make the world a better place.
So begins Tony Robbins in "Awaken the Giant Within," his best selling book. If you haven't read it yet...

I learned a question worth asking when giving a guess lecture for a student group a few years ago. I asked them, given a choice of becoming really good at video games, not world class mind you, just very good, or starting a company and making $20M, which would you choose? Then I asked them, what are they doing to make that dream come true? The real answer for most students is nothing.

One of the sad things about living in Carbondale, is so many people are planning to be worse off in 20 years then they are today. So many people's lives were capped when they reached their last college graduation. Few are striving to be great, few are striving at all. We know the janitors, working civil service at SIU, have given up. They aren't learning, they aren't striving, they are filling their slot, until they retire and then they are going to die. Ask them if they want to live to 100 and they say, "what for?" OK for them, but I don't want to be that way. Do you?

It is sad to see SIU's administrators, not working hard to become better managers, hiding behind layers of secretaries, ducking out the back and not working hard. It is sad to see SIU's professors not doing research, not pushing for new knowledge, not working to become better teachers. It is sad to see SIU's students not working to learn the knowledge offered up in their classes and from their professors, and instead worrying about their video games, cell phones, beer bongs, $7/hour jobs and paying for their personalized license plates. SIU is a place that needs an overhaul, it needs to become an organization of striver's again. I can see some movement on the very top, but so many people will have to be fired to make it come true, I don't see it happening.

I have been here for six years, trying to do service for my hometown. Some things turn out well and some didn't. I have 5 or 6 friends I'm leaving behind, that I'm not sure I will be able to replace. I have hundreds of acquiescences, that are great people too. But, I don't want to be here, in a town where a majority think being smart and having no life goals is a good choice. Mediocrity is such a bad life choice. If you have to choose between having a great potential and a PhD or having less potential and making more of it, always choose to work harder.

The questions I leave you with now, where will you be in 20 years? Shouldn't you be doing more, both for yourself and your society?

Carbondale City Coucil acts for more worthless meetings

When dealing with the most well regulated, supervised, taxed, and followed issue in the city, our city council, decided that religious groups, drunks, heath inspectors, tax collectors, state officials, liquor company sales people, and normal clients weren't enough. Carbondale needs several layers of worthless meetings, before it can do, what the state laws says it must. On the other hand, aren't there more important issues for Carbondale to be working on?

I was impressed that Joel got a pine cone up his rear and actually did something. Now, wouldn't be good if he did something positive for the city, instead of championing a continuation of worthless city bureaucracy?

Just imagine if the people on the Liquor Advisory Committee and the City Council spent the time wasted talking about liquor issues and did something worthwhile with that time? We could get into what a pain it is for the business owners to have to educate 15 people on what they are doing, instead of 1 (like everywhere else), but we all know that Carbondale is supposed to be the hardest place to do business in Illinois. I was thinking neighborhood watch or picking up trash would both be a better use of City Council time?

SIU's future just got brighter? DE goes around the bend

I was going to write a little something, but had to make fun of Kyle and Joel first. Came across this editorial in the DE and had to comment. Athletic Directors don't make the sun come out at a university, they are more like a cherry on a milk shake (you still have a milk shake if the cherry isn't very good). Who cares if Mario stays or goes? He is a nice guy, he maybe good at his job, but we will not know that for 10 years, but he has very little to do with anything going on at SIU right now.

I know compared to approval of $14M more for Morris Library, this is good news, says the DE, "although the BOT has approved the new budget, the University has not found a source for the money." I liked their "There is a light at the end of Morris tunnel," passage too. I guess, approving money, you already spent, but don't have, is now light at the end of the tunnel?

I get the idea that when the BOT meets, the circus is back in town. The DE editorial staff seems to be the kids in the front row, believing the clown's magic tricks.

Underaged students scheming to get beer - News flash!

Fresh off the presses, it appears that some underaged students from SIU are planning to go to a bar and try to get beer! Apparently, they found out there was a party and they think that they can crash it and get a beer without being carded. The reason this is worth of note, this is the first time that underaged SIU students have ever tried to be served in a Carbondale bar. Informed sources say that the party organizers will be publicly chastised, if the bar allows underaged drinking (or even if they don't).

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Big SI news? More Illinois corruption

Anyone else think it is interesting when you start to look at the big news in Illinois this summer and it is all based on corruption in the state government. Electrical rates, budget, selling the lottery, big subsidies for Chicago mass transit, anti-smoking laws not being signed (to give the casinos a chance to buy some votes), etc, etc.

Here is Southern Illinois, our big news is the new baseball team in Marion. Of course, that deal is all about political payoffs, state paybacks to campaign contributors, and honest business people having to complete with a state backed competitor. If you take a step back, it should turn your stomach.

I have heard the rationalization, we got ours, they do stuff like this in Chicago all the time, and I don't think about it. But in the end, when you support the Miner's, you are giving your approval to a fellow who gave $1M+ to the Gov. and other Dems. in campaign funds. The money is from tort lawsuits from the Metro East area, then funneled in to campaign funds, then given back with interest in grants. Without the campaign contributions, it would just be lucky pork barrel, but I guess no one gets that lucky.

Illinois, the "Land of Corruption" strikes again. Another day, another dirty deal. The next day, the people of Illinois just forget or realize that this level of dirt is normal here.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

A few thoughts

Kyle responded to the last post, he says he heard from a guy, that a girl heard from another girl, that if you voted for Brad, that maybe there were free drinks at the victory party. The fellow Kyle was talking to assumed that meant there would be underaged drinking. Kyle didn't follow up and find out what really happened. Kyle is also claiming that he only started this rumor after election night, but I have was hearing it for months. Kyle has written the rumor into the comments to this blog, at least twice before the election was held. So Kyle is lying and/or stupid (I guess if he doesn't know he is lying, he is stupid?). Tracing it back to the source isn't hard, the finger points to "Mr. Dirty Tricks" himself, Tom Redmond. Kyle, you are an idiot, but maybe you will grow out of it? Tom, if this is true, you really need to get a life. Try working a compaign on merit, instead of Nixon dirty tricks. The citizens of Carbondale are pretty smart, even if they are pretty lazy, and are hard to fool with BS.

The new College of Education dean was hired, his key work is "Schooling for Good Rebels: Socialist Education for Children in the United States." Good grief, he did a book on the education for 10,000 students between 1900 and 1920? The short description doesn't say, did it work? Did the students go on and do something with their lives? Lots of pithy thoughts, but I hope the new Dean can find the backbone to raise standards to a reasonable level in the college. The days of handing out degrees (in particular graduate degrees) like their are 6 packs of beer, should be ended.

My daughter just completed her freshman year of high school. She has been home schooled and played in the CCHS Band in Fall (made all District, but freshmen can't make all state band). She received her first recruiting information from U of I today. We can assume that SIU will never, never send her anything, can't we? Lots of work to do for SIU, I wonder if they will ever get it right?

I'm packing my shop on to pallets and getting ready to move. Ironically, I was called for jury duty on the days we are moving. I have a couple of goodbye things in me, so expect a couple more items here in the next 10 or 14 days.

Hope you are having a great Summer.