Sunday, July 05, 2009

Merle's Random Thoughts

Most of them you don't want to read. Three times today I asked my wife Claire to go get a hammer while I counted to 10. But finally I switched over to her computer and we will see what happens.

Roger Federer in the best tennis player of the modern era I have ever seen. The longest 5th game in Wimbledon history played over 4 hours and 14 minutes decided by two points. Andy Roddick is the most improved player I have seen this year. The finals was a tremendous physical and mental battle between two real people, not a game on a machine that most any young kid or f--- can play while seated.

The women's side of the Wimbledon draw was a let-down. The Williams ladies are the best in the world by far. What I don't like about women's tennis is that they only play 3 sets to win or lose. Yet they demand and get about if not totally equal pay.

I've played most major sports and tennis is by far the toughest physical game (in which points are scored) from both a physical and mental standpoint, that I've ever witnessed or played.

I've been diagnosed with a small cartilage tear and I'm off much physical activity for two three weeks from any tennis. You can see why this is such an irritable blog. Usually, I'm rather mild in my analysis as to the real world and it's inhabitants. Hmmmmm.

Larry Hughes from Peoria but formerly from Gridley passed on this week. Larry was a star athlete and great person. When I coached Heyworth High basketball back in the fifties, we had the misfortune of meeting Gridley twice in the McLean County tournament, losing both times with Larry, Wilbur Hany, Perry Klopfenstein (Perry bought my business in Pontiac and has flourished in all ways. He also has a column on today's editorial page that I agree with), a BIG man named Grusy, all being outstanding or dominant players.

When I read about guys like Larry who I coached or coached against, I get a sadness to think they are all younger than I, but by some luck, I'm still here.

One of the capital spending programs I believe the county put on hold, was the purchase of a record storage building. We, nor most of the elected officials, I'm told, do not have a RECORD RETENTION PLAN. I suspect governments all over are buying record storage space even though most documents are microfilmed and stored in different locations. Billions of paper documents are being stored that are of no value unless they are signed by a prominent person and are a collectors item. Another use of the building was or is to be for some of our local governments to hire people at taxpayers expense to train people how to run a business. In competion with those who help fund the training, of course. There are several hundred retired business owners could do that for free. If asked. At a recent minority meeting, I heard a middle-aged woman say that she couldn't find anyone to offer her advise. I was kind in my reply.

Some state governments are passing laws demanding that ALL businesses pay workers sick time whether they use it or not. We do at Peoria County I believe, as I'm still getting how the system works explained to me. More socialism which is rampant in this D.C. administration rubbing off on most other governments along the way. No one wants sick people to come to work but too many people who want a day off, just call in sick. I know. I owned many businesses over a 28 year period of my life. The good employees seldom seemed to get sick. Hmmmmm.

While the Dilbert comic strip usually is an attack on big business in the private sector, today's strip I thought most appropriate describing what might be going on in some of the public sectors locally. Hope we have some of the same results locally as illustrated in the Dilbert strip. Probably wishful thinking on my part.

Neither my wife and I have done well with our investments over the past 18 or so months. I advised her to sell her Caterpillar stock and she did. Wise move so far. I advised her to get out of another investment. She did reluctantly. Saving of several thousand dollars so far. Today, we argued about pulling out of well-known brokerage that has a allowed a 22% drop in her investments with them over the past year. The broker is trying to convince her to keep her money with him "because the market always comes back over the 'long' run". How long the "run" is they won't say, of course, because they DON't know. Anybody believes that today, I have some stock in a local ball club to sell. I'm sure it will come back in the "long run". But hey, brokers and con men have to make at least a couple hundred thousand a year, right?

After donating to dozens of good causes over much of my adult life, I'm letting all the people who voted for the $27 million library fiasco, the "one day", money available or not; Museum boondoggle, those people like JS reporter Catherine S. who believes the PPD is operating in the black, the ones who are backing the new downtown hotel with your money, just one hotel so far, all the working people with fat pensions, (think City of Peoria) all the people with excess cash visiting the casinos, all who can afford the high priced tickets at major sport and other "circus" events; I'm letting them pick up the deficits as I do not plan to donate much this year for any cause. Why not, just like the government can't stop funding every grant and entitlement like the PPD whose stimulus requests are in excess of $5 million like $1.8 for the Kellar Branch Trail, $1.4 for a new PPD headquarters, consultants who make bundles for telling people how to spend OPM because they couldn't hold a job in real life, and all politicians especially in D.C. with gold plated health plans and unlimited time to visit any or all countries with their wives or others; (at largely taxpayer's expense) well that's enough, I'm retired for 17 years and these are not good times for retirees in Peoria.

That's why and I'm glad I got through that paragraph.

I was pleased to see Madoff get life in a prison that at least, doesn't have a dock for yachts. Richard Scruggs, a big time white collar crook (whose thievery I blogged on a couple of years ago) who unfortunately will be released by 2015, this ALLEGED crook Mozilla, buddy of some of our most powerful in D.C. and formerly CEO and everything else at CountryWide Financial and a whole bunch of white collar crooks doing time or will be doing time. Makes me believe that government has other attributes then "hogs at the trough" as so often epitomized. The private sector is not immune to thief's even those dressed in "suits". Unfortunately 95% of all people in business, are really basically honest. I don't believe the percentage is so high in government. Those who are really good at spending OPM really believe they are compassionate people. Problem is, they seldom see a cause that they can't with a little pressure, become extremely passionate about, sometimes with their own or OPM.

Oh, and did my friend Karen from the JS note that the new Bel-Wood projected cost is now $41 million and not $27 to 29 million as last reported by the JS? A lot of compassion for a $41 million "safety net" especially since the county will need to borrow $38 million over 30 years.

Go figure and goodnight.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Merle have you read this?

10 Things Major League Baseball Won't Say

It's from

Here's the tiny URL, followed by the long URL. The tiny one is the easier copy/paste.