Friday, February 22, 2013

Bitter Pill - Time Magazine looks at US Health Care

60% of US bankruptcies are from health care costs!  Time Magazine's cover story this week analyzes 7 bills and sees where the money goes.  It makes me so sad, it is so broken.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Just Saw "Traces" at Shryock - Fantastic!

I always had season tickets to all the shows at Shryock, but not with it this year.  Went on a whim to this show.  Got a good single ticket, at the last minute.  What a great show.  Tip of the hat to the performers and the Shryock folks that booked it.  Need to figure out what is coming and get tickets.  What a blast.

Everything is on the Internet somewhere, so here is a little sample of what you missed -

Saturday, February 16, 2013

From the Joke email pile

Southern Illinois in the winter, 55 degrees yesterday and 37 now?  Just got this a few minutes ago -

I get this poem every winter & every winter I love re-reading it.
It's a beautiful poem and very well written.

A poem by Abigail Elizabeth McIntyre

The End.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Sitting On Top - my buddies claimed that Wendler was a great Chancellor?

I was sitting with the good old boys at lunch a couple of weeks ago, and one guy showed up late.  He sat down and ordered, he always gets a Reuben sandwich, which is good at Quatro's.  Not long after ordering, he announced that Walter Wendler was a fine Chancellor of SIUC and he doesn't know why he doesn't still hold the job.  There were some nodding heads from other people, but I was shocked at his opinion.  I announced, in my typically shy way, "I thought that Wendler sucked."

After the torches were extinguished and the pitch forks put away, we started to talk about why we thought what we thought.  Their argument was that Wendler is a Christian Conservative, a gentleman, a fine fellow, a man of well measured thought and excellent manners.  My argument is that Wendler, as leader of SIU had a simple job, that was to write the master plan, man the bully pulpit to support that plan, and try to steer the bureaucracy that is the SIU administration to have the best results possible.

So, I asked my friends, "did any of you believe that Southern at 150 was a good idea, or even possible on the day it was published?"  The answer all around was no, everyone knew that Southern at 150 was rubbish.  So, Wendler was a terrible Chancellor and I think they now agree.  Still a man you would be happy to call your friend, but who cares?

There are two reasons I write about this now, first, I see the new Chancellor has thrown Southern at 150 into the trash (where it has always belonged) and is starting again.  Don't know if she will write a plan that is possible, that the people who work at SIU might support, but it can't be much worse then Southern at 150.  Second, I found an old DE article about my blog yesterday.  From the end of the article -
"He may be one of those people who wants to keep it the way it was 20 years ago," Wendler said.
 I have to admit, yes Uncle Walt, I wish SIU was as good as it was 20 years ago.  I wish the Football team was playing in the old stadium, and that money had been spent on the mission of the University.  I wish the enrollment was as high.  I wish the standards for grades were as high.  I wish the students were that skinny.  I wish the graduates were as employable.

I have written here about my failures, and I'm going to write more about success and failure.  In Carbondale, SIU is the big fish and this is how you make a big fish fail.  I don't see Poshard doing better, but maybe Cheng will?

Of course, your comments are welcome.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Wow, those guys are big

Caught this article about Yao Ming (retired NBA center) and JJ Watt (NFL Defensive Player of the Year, 6'-5" tall and 295 lbs) meeting.  It is amazing how big Ming is.  I'm 7" and 120 lbs smaller then Watt, and he looks like a child.

SIU is failing - a suggestion, follow the money.

I have written about SIU Carbondale in detail, in the past.  I'm not planning to start dealing with them (much), but a little comment.  If you spend all your money on fast food and milk shakes, you are going to get fat.  If you spend all your money on drugs and booze, you are going to get stupid.  If SIU spends all its money on football stadiums, basketball arenas, and administration buildings, they are going to lose students.

Research universities are about teaching students and research, not about sports and administration.  As soon as SIU starts spending their free money on the things that actually drive their business, things should start to turn around.  I'm not expecting it, until Poshard is fired/quits to explore running for governor, but maybe then they will stop messing around and do what is right for the "University?"  You can always hope.

Of course, your comments are welcome.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Comments, I forgot about them.

In the old days, when I had hundreds of readers, I got lots of comments.  Lots of good stuff in the archives of the blog, I had forgotten until I reviewed it a couple of days ago.  Now that no one is reading, I get a comment anyway.  As you know, if you see it pulled out, I'm going to make fun of it. :)

Talking about an old post on the American Tap the commenter says -

Sorry man...I call your bluff. It is now 2013 and nothing has been done to fill this "hole". Local shops like Booby's and El Greco are gone...You also forgot to mention Brad's relationship with henery's daughter. Kinda crazy but the only reason I saw this post was somebody told me Henry has been released on bond...What a scumbag!!! 
As my now, 6 year old post says, it was the right thing to buy the American Tap and take it down.  Booby's died the death of a burned out owner, with no clue how to make a decent sandwich, or to several better competitors in their market space (you can choose which story you like).  El Greco's is closed today because the owner got an offer to sell the building he couldn't refuse.  I'm expecting it to reopen soon.

Brad and Henry's daughter?  He should be so lucky.  She is cute and the story is she is smart and nice too.  I hear nothing about them being a couple.  I know it is crazy, but I feel story for Henry.  Sounds like a juror broke the rules and cheated him of a fair trial.  Don't know if he gets off if the rules aren't broken, but that isn't the way the US Court System is supposed to work.  If he is found innocent on retrial, he isn't getting those years in prison back.

Back to the idea of restaurants closing - who cares?  Service businesses come and go.  We should cry about SIU losing students and factories closing.  There will always be a better restaurant opening and killing off the old places.  That is capitalism and it is a good thing.  I'm good with the American Tap land being empty, when it is needed, someone will buy it and build.  That is capitalism at work.

Monday, February 11, 2013

A thought about raising a daughter

My oldest child is my only daughter, she is off at college doing her thing.  I guess we all miss our children when they move away, and I miss seeing her.   I remembered that when she was very young, maybe 3, I decided that I would going to play only female singer/song writers for her in the car.  Let creative women be the soundtrack of her childhood.  Since I drove her around a lot, headed toward half the rides before she was 8, and most everyday for the next 8 years after, she heard the songs I programmed for her constantly.  There was a revival of pop/rock woman singer/songwriters in those years, and we listened to many of them.

The day she turned 13, I picked her up from the Rec Center after swim practice and played her a male group - The Who's Greatest Hits.  She said, "this is really good, did you just get it?"  She didn't know that in my 6 CD changer, I kept a CD just to play for her.  I told her the truth, I had owned it for years.

I had seen this Funny or Die bit before, but I recently stumbled on it again.  Reminds me of Susan Boyle, but that was a real surprise.  We listened to Jewel quite a bit, and this whole Karaoke gag reminded me of those days.  We saw Jewel in concert, and she really can hit all those notes every time.  The Who song I played for her first was "Won't Get Fooled Again," that is good stuff too.  Funny, once my daughter didn't drive around with me anymore, I stopped listening to the collection of women singers.  Makes me wonder if I would still like them.

Often you do the right thing, the result is good, but no one knows what or why you are up to.  You just do it, knowing that the result might or might not be related to your acts.  You don't do it because you want to be thanked, but to make the world better.  Children make it so easy to do the right thing for their benefit, much harder to reach out to others in the same unselfish way.  Maybe, we should be trying harder to act unselfishly, for the greater good?

facta, non verba

I recently found my old iPod Shuffle in the bottom of a moving box.  It was something I took to the gym with me, several times a week, for a few years.  It looks pretty beat up in the picture, but it works fine.  It was still clipped on the very robust headphones that are required to survive the gym 5 days a week.  I had forgotten the quote on the back of this iPod, "facta non verba" or Deeds, Not Words.

As I start my second tour though Carbondale, attempting to help with economic development, I need to remember this lesson.  Everyone can talk, only a few people do.  That is my goal, to do something good.  It wasn't that I didn't try last time, I just didn't succeed.

As I start thinking about starting a company again, there is a little tingle of excitement, of danger, of possibility.  Unfortunately, those are only words, the deeds to make it go are much harder to come by.

Of course, your comments are welcome.

Friday, February 08, 2013

Local Company goes

Grit, a new headphone company based in Southern Illinois, has launched on  My ears don't work with those ear plug things anymore, but I think I might buy one anyway.

Take a look.