Monday, October 17, 2011

To Ramble or Not to Ramble? A Ramble.

Okay. So here’s the deal. For over a year, I was prolifically writing blog posts. Well, prolifically for me anyway. It seemed that I had something to say about every other day. Idea after idea came to me, and I typed and posted away. Then….all of the sudden….poof. All of the ideas just came to an end. Ugh. Putting together a blog post became work. No energy. No fun.

So, I thought: Mike, you’ve just got to slow it down. Give yourself a break. Take some time and allow the creative batteries to recharge. Well, time has gone by. Weeks in fact. However, I’m still finding myself lacking in defined inspiration.

I’ll think about an idea during the day (when writing isn’t really an option), but by the time I have a few moments to create it’s all gone.

Now, I’m left with a choice. Do I just hang it up? Consider the blog a passing fancy? Or, do I act like a baseball hitter who’s in a slump and keep swinging until I work myself through this?

What do you think?

For now, I’m left with random thoughts. Just little snippets of opinions and views that I can’t seem to develop into something more substantial. Here are a few examples:

1. Occupy Wall Street. Somehow, I think these protesters are somewhat naïve about what they are trying to do. I don’t want our country to veer totally into the direction they are trying to pull it. People need to feel a sense of ambition to succeed, and an expectation that they will reap the benefits of that success without the concern that the government is going to ‘redistribute’ their earned reward. On the other hand, have you ever looked at an annual report and considered what the CEOs of major corporations make per year? I saw one the other day, and the guy’s annual compensation package reached $1.5 million. 1.5 million dollars! He’s just like you and me. He has two legs, two arms, one brain, and 24 hours in a day…and, somehow he’s worth that much? I don’t blame him for taking what’s offered to him, but the question is begged….why is it offered? Why do American corporations feel so obligated to be the so profitable and so successful that they lay off their fellow citizens and move those jobs to other parts of the world? Sure, they can automate every function and save on human overhead, but do they really need to?  You've got to wonder why to save a few million, they'll lay off dedicated workers and move factories to foreign countries, and then on  the other hand pay ONE GUY well over a million dollars? If the Occupy Wall Street protests do nothing more than pull back on the reins of greed, then they’ve done something good for this country. I just don’t want them to stop the wagon altogether and park it in the barn.  Balance, folks.  Balance.

2. Dan Weldon’s Death. I’m a guy who cannot view someone else’s grief without struggling to contain my own emotions and I usually lose that battle. Watching the pain in the faces of the crews in Las Vegas was tough to take. Also, I was touched by how they all banded together and honored their fallen fellow racer in such a fitting manner. That said, I think I’ve seen that wicked crashed just a few too many times in the last 24 hours. Why do the news channels feel so obligated to show a man’s death over and over and over? Lastly, I’ve heard it mentioned on the news today that maybe the IRL should stop racing on oval tracks, or that they need to change the rules to make it more safe. Slow things down. Etc, etc. Folks, part of the excitement of racing for both the racers and the fans is the danger. I hope I never see another driver die in my lifetime, however, they know the risks. It is their choice. Let them make it.

3. Politics. I am completely sick of both the Republicans and the Democrats. I don’t think either party has a clue of what to do. One side doesn’t want to stop spending, and the other side doesn’t want to sacrifice. Are we going to have to collapse as a nation before things change? Or, is it finally time for a new party to arise and lead our country down a reasonable path. Is it time for one of the traditional parties to go the way of the Whigs? I think it is possible today for that to happen. As a society, we are much less dependent on TV and the costs incurred by advertizing there. Now we have the internet. Just look at what the protesters are doing with the social media. What if that got harnessed for a fraction of the cost of TV to create a reasonable new choice for leadership in our country? Notice I’m not saying a “third” party. I want a new party. One or both of the current ones need to go. And, I’m about sick to death of the TV pundits on both sides. Geesh, enough already!

4. The Proposed 9. 9. 9. Maybe it’s not the answer for our tax system, but none of the traditional candidates seem to be able to think outside the box. Right now, we need someone thinking outside the norm. We need a game-changer. Is Herman Cain the guy? I don’t know, but I like the fact that he’s not just the same old stuff. If point 3 above doesn’t come about before November 2012, I’m going to have a difficult set of choices to make and maybe Herman's the guy.

5. Bank Fees. Recently, it was announced by several major banks that they are going to institute a monthly fee for people to use their debit cards to make purchases. They claim they NEED those fees because of changing regulations that have caused them to lose profits on credit card charges to retailers. REALLY? Come on now. Seems to me that I’ve recently heard of the billions of dollars in net annual profits reported in annual reports. So, they need my $4 or $5 per month? Maybe they could drop the salaries of their CEOs by a million or so, and let us keep our money as a show of good faith after we bailed them out a couple of years ago. Just a thought. Besides, I thought that debit cards were saving them oodles of money since they didn’t have to handle all those paper checks anymore. What happened to that? If I get hit with a fee, maybe I’ll go back to paper checks in protest.  I think what I hate most about the major banks is how they make you feel powerless.  They are like towering tyrants pushing the peons around.  No wonder people are protesting on Wall Street.

I guess that’s enough rambling for now. Pray for my creative streak to return. I like to write, but I just need something to say.

Until my next ramble….


PS. My dog, Xena is snoring on the couch. Do they make those Breathe Rite Strips for dogs too?

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