Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Good Morning...but I digress.

For those of you (all three of you) that read this outside of Indiana, you might not know that the Democrat contingent of our legislature is taking a now over one month vacation in Illinois! I wonder if they are partying with the guys from Wisconsin?

It started over right-to-work. Which basically is that a company can hire a person for a union job and the union cannot require them to join the union. Doesn't sound right does it? Well there are a couple of things the unions and Democrats don't want you to know. The biggest being that if they don't pay union dues the union doesn't represent them. So it doesn't do away with collective bargaining. It just allows them to hire someone for a non-negotiated wage and benefit package. Most of the union members you see demonstrating at state capitols don't know that fact. Their union's stewards are keeping that information from them. Unions will tell you they are working for the middle class. How many middle class people do you know that are making 28-30 dollars per hour? Along with their health and retirement benefits completely paid by the company? Is yours? Mine is not and never has been. Also, if you don't do your job, or don't do accepted quality work, what happens? You usually lose your job and get to find another one. But if you’re in a union don't worry. You either get moved to another job if you're working in construction, or another line in a factory, or your supervisor is replaced with one you can get along with.

Growing up I heard stories from friends' parents about people they knew in the factories (UAW Chrysler and GM plants) that played cards all day, came in drunk or high if it was a second or third shift job, or left the factory and went shopping half the day. Nice work if you can get it. Remember the old adage about you never want to buy a car built on Friday or Monday? There is a reason!

Okay, I know not all unions jobs are bad and not all union workers are drunks or people who don't work. But what would you do if you knew your work performance didn't matter concerning you keeping your job?

A big part of the problem in Wisconsin and Indiana is teachers. You want to talk about quality of the product produced? In Wisconsin only 30% of eighth graders can read at grade level. Now they are making good money, getting fully paid health and pensions but not producing a product that will even be able to make a wage to be taxed to cover their retirement.

Indiana spends over $10,000.00 PER CHILD PER YEAR for education! Back thirty five years ago, when I was in school, it was LESS THAN A GRAND! And I bet I got a better education than they do now. Now I know I haven't taken into account inflation but I bet it wouldn't be nine thousand dollars. There are great teachers out there; there are even good administrators. You just have to find them!

Right now in Indiana you can hear radio ads about the governor taking half of that ten grand away from public schools. What they are not telling the listener is it's about school choice. Vouchers so a parent, the few that care about their kids, can choose where their children go and who helps mold their futures. Our president sends his kids to a private school in Washington; why can't you choose where your kid gets his education?

Plus it will force the public schools to COMPETE for those dollars. Maybe it will be more reading, writing, math, and science, and less how to put a condom on or political correctness classes. Think about any home-schooled kids you might know; pretty sharp kids over all. I know not every mother can hom- school their kids, but why can't you send your children to a school that will train and educate them how you would if you could?

Yeah, I know, now you wish I'd go back to writing a blog entry every couple months. I said, my wife reminded me of this the other day, that I'd write what moved me and I would probably make some people mad. Well here you go. I don't mean to make anyone made but it’s my opinion based on over fifty years on GOD's green earth.

Monday, March 28, 2011

How quick can a month and a half go?

I cannot believe I've missed writing anything in my blog for a month and a half. I had something a few days ago, but after my wife (mini-editor) checked it she closed the file it was in and somewhere over the rainbow it went. So here we go again.

My wife has six more physical therapy sessions left and she'll be as good as new again. Well, her doctor did say she wasn't 20 anymore. so she might not be back to her old self, but she'll be in better shape than she was on January 14th!

I have a new found respect for what she does and has to put up with. You also listen, sometimes half-heartedly, to your spouse when they come home from work and they tell you about their day. Well, after working with her almost everyday for the last couple of months, I understand. Tax season isn't fun for the preparer either.

This reminds me of something that happened to me probably 15 years ago. I was having lunch by myself and sitting at the next table were four people, all very business dressed, laughing and having a good time, using a lot of accounting terms in their conversation, and it was around the first of April. Now at home there was no laughing, accounting terms were stated in less that joyous ways, and my wife would usually walk in the house, eat dinner, and drop into a chair falling asleep before she hit bottom: usually at nine in the evening!

When I finished my lunch, I walked over, smiled at all four of them, and said, "You have to be IRS agents. Nobody else I know could be having lunch on April first, talking in accounting terms, and having as much fun as you are." I got four 'deer in the headlight looks' as one of them showed me her IRS identification card.

Yeah, I figured I'd be audited for the rest of my life. So far so good!

One of the things I have been doing lately, while helping my wife wake-up and get dressed every morning: I've been watching the local morning news programs. You can get some great material there. Plus you can have some serious wonder about your fellow man.

First piece of evidence: there was a piece about a condemned former motel that the city was going to do a sweep of to get any homeless out of the building. I had a couple of thoughts there.

First, they were not planning on tearing the place down till fall; do you think they just might MOVE BACK IN between now and the fall? Plus, and this is what I really thought was funny, the girl relating the story then tells everybody that the lights they might have seen late in the evening while driving by were homeless people lighting candles in the motel. REALLY? I thought it was dogs and cats lighting fires TRYING TO KEEP WARM!

Second, talking about an auto accident with loss of life the news person said, "The police are talking with witnesses and the alcohol will soon be arriving at the scene." So are they going to give everyone a drink for helping them?

Third, there was another accident on an interstate north of Indianapolis. A State Trooper was doing a u-turn on the interstate and hit a SEMI! Now he didn't happen to pull in front of a semi at night not running any lights. He hit the trailer's rear wheels. Luckily the trooper was not seriously injured nor either person in the semi, but he hit the rear side of an eighty foot long vehicle! I certainly don't want him checking into evidence in a case I'm involved in. I bet the next meeting with his superior was interesting: explain just how you missed that!

Okay, now on another subject. Another town surrounding Indianapolis is thinking about changing their intersections into roundabouts. Now if you don't know what a roundabout is, watch National Lampoons European Vacation, the part where Chevy Chase drives around for hours trying to get out of one. Welcome to Carmel, Indiana!

When they first were installed nobody had a clue how they worked or how you drove in one. They have a yield sign; for some reason many people suddenly believed they turned into stop signs, and if there was a car anywhere you could see, you couldn't move! Remember, Indiana is a pretty FLAT state....

I've waited for several minutes, along with fifty or so new friends, while someone, several times a woman in a mini-van, waited for her engraved invitation to drive around the roundabout. I have also had an older gentleman driving TOWARD me blowing his horn, yelling, and making interesting obscene gestures while driving the wrong way around one. Here's a driving fact for you sir: if everybody else is meeting you instead of driving the same way you are, you're probably the one DRIVING THE WRONG WAY!

About a month ago I saw the best; I was taking my wife to work and I was following a person in a Buick SUV. There is a roundabout on the north side of I-465, in Carmel, and a normal intersection on the Southside of the interstate in Indianapolis. Well, this person driving the SUV stops and waits for several seconds at the yield sign at the roundabout, okay I've been there and done that, but then when they get to the RED-LIGHT on the other side of the interstate (don't get ahead of me now) she drives right through it never even slowing down!

So if you live, or know anyone, living in Beech Grove, Indiana. Pray for them! They'll need it for the next few months after the first couple get installed.

So hopefully I'll be back writing soon, although my wife told me yesterday I'll be helping her because it isn't April 15th yet, (see the above story about the IRS and you'll understand) and I'll get rolling on the first Jim Benjamin book which will be titled Elapsed Time. I'm going with drag racing terms for the titles of the books because it is a central activity in all the stories. I am also going to do a last go-over of Kat's Decision and ship it off to my editor, Lauralynn Elliott. So I am hoping it will be available from Amazon or Smashwords in a couple of months.

Kat is a private detective story set in Indianapolis. She is the daughter of a police officer and has four cop brothers. She's beautiful, tough, and has some damaged baggage to get though. You all will know when it's out!
Till then, Peace!