Tuesday’s Rambling Thoughts – June 17, 2008

My nephew, at long last, received the government stimulus check in the mail yesterday. Unfortunately, it was not for the $600.00 that he had been told he would receive in a letter just last week. It was for $300.00 instead. He called the toll free number that was in the enclosed envelope in case the check was in error. They told my nephew he needed to send the check back and they would reissue. He asked why not just send him another $300.00 check instead. The answer? “We have rules and regulations we must follow. You must send back the check if you want us to send you the correct amount.” The United States Government…you just gotta love’em.

Speaking of my nephew, he was part of the education cut in our state this year. He is a high school teacher in his first year. He is currently unemployed as a school teacher. However, with the low unemployment rate in our state and especially our city, he could get a job basically in any industry. But, he wants to be a school teacher. He’s been that way all his life. He’ll always struggle financially. But, as he told me, he’s not in it for the money. Teaching is his passion. That reminds me of a bumper sticker I used to see all the time; “If you can read this, thank a school teacher.” Amen.

Have you noticed someone’s name being out of the news for the past week or so? Hillary Rodham Clinton. Remember her? Not much heard from her since that woeful concession speech she made. I still think she’s going to make a stink at the convention. I have no idea what she’s going to do. But, she’s going to make a power play on Obama. It’s not like the Clintons to go down without swinging. Bill Clinton has been absent from the spotlight even more. The decision to trot him out to make racial innuendos in South Carolina was a huge, huge political mistake. He’s always been a guy that was easily angered. But, during this campaign, he’s been going off on people like a man possessed. His chance at a return to the Oval Office has gone down in flames. Neither of the Clintons is taking it very well. Stay tuned.

Saudi Arabia intends to pump more oil. According to news reports, they are going to pump oil at record levels to quell unrest around the world over gas prices. In a surprising turn of events, OPEC has come out and declared there is simply no reason for the surging increase in gas prices around the world. OPEC has stated repeatedly there no shortage of oil to justify this continual increase. OPEC has reason to worry. This is going to cause them short and long term problems. Short term; people are going to cut their gas usage drastically as a result of the increase. More and more people are either using mass transportation, motorcycles, bicycles or just walking. This in turn will have a dramatic effect on the oil producing nations as supply will start surpassing demand. I look for a summer vacation time to spent close to people’s homes. Long term should be obvious; a cheap viable alternative to fossil fuels. This is OPEC’s worst nightmare. In some ways, if this turns out to be true, the gas increase could be a blessing in disguise if we get off our rears and discover an alternative to oil.

Finally, my 3 ½ month old beagle puppy, Ralph, scared me to death last Saturday. I let him play in the backyard in the late afternoon due to the heat. I have carefully inspected the fence several times to see if there was any way he could escape. I looked outside and no Ralph. Frantically, I run outside and start yelling for him. I run down my street looking for him, asking neighbors if they had seen a little beagle puppy anywhere. I’m just sick with worry by now. I get in my car and go around the entire neighborhood looking for him. I could not find him. It was now going on two hours in my search and it’s getting dark. I go back home in total despair. He’s like a child to me now. I sat down in my lawn chair in the backyard trying to think what to do next when I felt a warm lick on my ankle…RALPH!!! I picked him up like the proverbial lost son, but now he was found! I was overjoyed at my little buddy coming up like that. I had absolutely no idea where he had been. The only thing I could think of he was lying under the thick bushes next to my house due to the heat (I never let him stay outside more than thirty minutes by himself). In my frantic run outside, I suppose I didn’t bother to even look there for him. From now on, we go outside together and come in together. I’m still not convinced he isn’t the canine version of Harry Houdini.



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Upon hearing about your nephew has JUST received his stimulus check, it makes me feel a little better that I STILL have NOT received mine. I hope they at least get the amount right.

The price of oil. Hmmmm, had a feeling there may be some consorting going on. But if it is not OPEC's fault and oil companies are more to blame, aren't the oil companies also risking the long term effects? Good for us, though. Finally, more attention placed on perfecting other viable alternatives.

It's odd about this stimulus package the government has to get us out of this recession. They think this will work when they can't even get the amount right to the right people. Amazing.

Erika, good point about the oil companies. It's like biting the hand that feeds you some respects. It's my theory (and that's all it is) the oil companies are similar to the tobacco companies denial of cigarettes causing cancer. I think the oil companies know basically just how much of the world's oil supply is left. So, they are making as much as they can, while they can. They claim they are sinking "millions" in research of viable energy alternatives. But, that's like trying to put yourself out of business. It's going to take entrepreneurship to find alternatives. Not the oil companies. Thanks for the comment and come again.

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