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Archive for the ‘paranoid’ Category

I’m up.

My head thinks it still wants a pillow, but the rest of me says otherwise. After a very impromptu Friday evening that included a bike ride, and a tasty little dinner with an old friend, I’m up early on a Saturday (nothing unusual for me). I relish the early morning “quiet” hours, and this relishment dates back to when my kids were babies. Spending an hour or two alone with the newspaper or the television on in a very hushed level – with a hot cup of coffee – saved me from years of therapy as a young father. My kids, like anyone’s, were true angels while sleeping. Still are.

I was 26 when my first child entered our world, 30 when my son was born. At that stage, the demands in life seem gargantuan. There’s a mortgage and car payments and so-so jobs where you have to prove yourself daily and your employer still thinks you’re just a kid who only deserve a paltry salary. Not to mention I lived in a depressed Iowa city. But the sitch did change and here I am today in much, much better condition. But I digess.

These early a.m. solitude-filled hours let me think best. I solve all the world’s problems before the sun can blare through the windows. I bet neither McCain or Obama can accomplish what I can on one pot of coffee. (That sounds a little boastful, doesn’t it?)

She’s Coming

After communicating back and forth between Minneapolis and San Francisco via comments left mostly right here in the WordPress world, Mockingbird has found a reason to fly into Minneapolis. She arrived this morning and she’ll be chill-laxin’ with her actor/theater guy for the next 10 days. It’s a perfect time to be in this part of the country. The days are pleasant, the nights…cool. A Minnesotan becomes, somehow, happier when September rolls through.

I’m sure Mr. Little House cast member will do a fine job showing my blogging friend a wonderful time when he’s not on stage, but I’m making it my personal mission to give her a couple unique dining experiences while she’s here. I’ve not met a fellow WordPress blogger in person before, so that experience alone will be worth the price of admission (oh wait, WordPress is free).

Riding the Minneapolis Bike Tour

One of my next big adventures will be this year’s Minneapolis Bike Tour. Unlike the Nature Valley Grand Prix, this is actually a ride anyone can participate in. It’s the second annual bike tour that crawls along with 8,000 of your closest friends and neighbors through the scenic byway system that loops around the city’s beautiful lakes. Paved trails where the speed limit is 10 miles per hour. There are two options, a 14-mile route and a 37-mile route. I’m up for the longer distance, but unsure if my friends have prepared properly for that kind of time in the saddle. Either way, the local paper sponsors the “Aftour” party, and we’re all certain to have a lot of stories to share following the ride.

More to come on that one.

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I’ve always been one to believe first and foremost in the people who inhabit the world around me. What’s the CSI saying, “Trust, then verify.”

Take advertising, as an example. I believe that Clorox Wipes will kill bacteria. I believe that the Bose Wave music system offers a premium way in which to listen to music. I believe that Toyota’s hybrid vehicles use less gas and are eco-friendly. I have no experience with these well-branded consumer goods, but I choose to believe the premise for their existence.

This is not to say I’m a gullible Gus. When something doesn’t sound or feel right; when the tea leaves don’t really make sense; and when the obvious truth overshadows a statement made, I have radar that sends me into “yellow” and even “orange” alert status.

When politicians talk, I’m always on alert. I’m aware that the likes of Hill and Obama will pretty much say anything to gather the support they need. By the very nature of someone running for office, they may have good plans and intentions in mind, but like a circus tent pitch man, they’ll still say most anything to win office – only to find out they’re hamstrung by the mess made by their predecessor. One has to admire those willing to “make a difference” this election year given the piles of steaming shit the Bush administration is leaving in the West Wing, for example.

Which brings me to my point in this post.

Be yourself on all fronts. After all, who are you trying to impress? The boss who’d sooner hear all your ideas and claim and take credit for the best ones himself? The parents who will never get over their disappointment when you chose to major in English instead of Law? The girlfriend, who only really wants to know the true blue you anyway – and sees through all your hyperbole and innuendo without blinking?

If you tell me you are this or that, you damn well better be that. As adults, aren’t you tired of the ninth grade posturing made to befriend the most popular or “coolest” kid in class. That just doesn’t translate well after high school and is certainly an unattractive attribute to wear on your sleeve.

Truth makes it easier, not harder, to love each other, and appreciate all our big hairy differences. So let’s fall on the truth and spend the balance of our time making small differences in our worlds.

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I want to get paid to write a column for a liberal newspaper.

Why?

Earlier this week, a local Minneapolis columnist (who happens to write for the Star Tribune) inked a piece on the newly chosen contractor who has been selected by the State to build the replacement bridge over the Mississippi River. (You likely remember that a bridge collapsed on August 1. So the city needs a new bridge to carry traffic over the river.)

This columnist’s viewpoint focused in on Flatiron, the Colorado-based contractor, and how it was shipping in several Ford F-150s it purchased from a Colorado-based car dealer. He conjectured that Flatiron chose to buy its work trucks from its home state in order to cheat Minnesota out of $65,000 in sales taxes.

Pul-eease!

So when I get miffed about stupid thinking, I tend to fire off responses. Here’s what I wrote to the columnist after reading his flotsam…

I skim your column from time to time. Today’s was a little embarrassing. Hyper sensitive guys like you tend create people panic over trivial observations that are written or said with no authority or verification. In your latest piece, you contend that Flatiron is somehow screwing the state out of $65,000 in taxes because it shipped in its work vehicles for the I-35 bridge project. Hmmm. Consider:

1) Does Flatiron have a contract with a Ford Dealer in Colorado? Did you call the Ford Dealer out West to ask if Flatiron was under legal obligation to buy vehicles from it?

2) How much in salaries and employment taxes will Flatiron pay while its here in the state building the bridge over the course of the next 12 months. Let’s do a quick guesstimate. Two hundred people, averaging $50 per hour and working 60 hour weeks for the next 52 weeks. That’s $31 million in salaries paid locally – a bulk of which will get spent locally – and the state will get several million in employment taxes. Doesn’t feel like we’re really short-shrifting anyone now does it?

But don’t publish that statistic. Just continue building paranoia among your weak-kneed liberal readers as you further your belief that somehow the State of Minnesota and its bridge builder are both trying to get away with something evil.

It’s a bridge for shit’s sake. You would do well to do some bridge building of your own.

(-My Signature and phone number here)

PS: I wonder if Flatiron ever buys its trucks from its Colo dealer for a location job and then winds up donating or selling them on the cheap to local charity when the job is completed?

Yeah. I need to be a columnist.

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