Sunday, April 30, 2006

Happy Days are Still Here!

It started on April 18, 2006 (see HOORAY for SUNSHINE)! It is now May the 1st and I'm still having a sucession of upbeat days! Let's see--that's twelve days of optimisim! For me that's a record.

More importantly, another nine and I'll be at 21 consecutive and that, so I told, equates to a habit. Yep, the world is definately flat!

The dogs like it, the wife is still wondering where her husband went, and although I've heard nothing official, I'd imagine by now there is a pool at the pub as to how long this will indeed last!

Me, I'm enjoying the hell out of the novel experience!

Sleep Tight New Albany!

Saturday, April 29, 2006

From Whence Do Ye Hail??

It is a given that save for the indigenous peoples that were already here when the Europeans first set foot on these shores, we are all decendants of an immigrant population.

They came in boatloads from every corner of the world to inhabit this New World! For the vast majority of them, their only posessions upon stepping off the ship were their culture, their music, and their acquired skills. They hit the ground running with a vision to create a home and a country that was more ideal, more free, and in most aspects better than the land of their birth.

Through a combination of individual endeavors and collective accomplishments over multiple generations, they realized their dream. The majority eventually united for they came to understand that standing alone on principle was a recipe for loosing to the highest bidder! It was also discovered that unity of purpose did not have to mean loosing one's individual heritage in the process.

As time went on a system of law was developed to protect us from both ourselves, and intruders from elsewhere. Borders were declared and requirements for citizenship were formed.
Again, the majority agreed and adhered to these guidelines. It must be stated at this point that the majority of which I speak was not of one creed or ethnic orgin but rather of an ideal that was seen to be far better than had been previously experienced.

From that point to this, wars have been fought and fortunes have been spent ( and made) to repel any perceived threat to that ideal from within as well as without.

Fast forward to the present and we find ourselves embroiled in controversy regarding the very issue from which we all sprang. That being immigration or more to the point, uncontrolled immigration.

Are we still a nation who welcomes the oppressed? In essence I think we are. However, post 911, I believe that stricter adherance to that rule of law is in order! The procedures for becoming a legal, naturalized citizen of these United States has long been established. To glibly bypass those procedures is folly.

There is a school of thought which expouses the point that immigrant workers are quite content to do the lowly tasks that we Americans refuse to do. That is in fact true in some cases. It is also fact that by circumventing regulations, they end up in highly skilled jobs for which they are not qualified. In doing so, they in effect lower the payscale for those qualified workers in that field.

Case in point. In the trucking industry, of which I am a member, one is required by Federal Law to be able to speak and read the English Language at least to the proficency level of being able to understand the road signs and fill out the required paperwork in order to hold a Commercial Drivers License. However, one can enroll in any one of thousands of truck driving schools in this country, and have a CDL in his/her pocket in 14 to 21 days. Personally I know of no one who has yet failed the CDL test regardless of their ability to communicate in English!

If I recall there was a similar scenario a few years back concerning flight schools. That one didn't turn out so well as I remember. Just another example of requirements no longer being required.

But I digress. My point here is that these folks are guiding 80,000 pound missles up and down our highways with no understanding of the language, the signage, nor the vehicle they are operating. They are doing so for less money than those of us who have the training and experience to do so safely and efficiently.

Granted by their standards, they are in most cases, far better off financially than from whence they came. However, by ours they are barely keeping up with poverty levels and dragging us down with them. By the way, this situation is not limited to just the trucking industry. Similar events are taking place in other industries across our land.

So do I care what language they sing our National Anthem in? No! But I do care that they feel they have the right to do so without having gone thru the process to earn it. I also care that those who are profiting the most and spending the least are not those doing the work.

Want to come to America and make it your home? Welcome, come on in and join us. But do so the old fashioned way. EARN IT like your ancestors did!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Hooray for Sunshine!!

Today was one of those rare days in my existence in which the planets were aligned, the ethers were calm, and my mental state was of all things, happy. I cruised around between downtown Louisville and back to our terminal in New Albany smiling and singing to myself as though I were in my right mind.

Dispatch eyed me warily all day and our mechanic dove under a trailer trying not to be seen everytime I drove into the yard. They were certain an explosion of nuclear proportions was eminent. For reasons that even I don't claim to understand, it never occurred. As a mater of fact it wasn't until my final load of the day that I got mildly aggitated at a fellow driver. He cut me off while approaching the Sherman Minton on the Kentucky side. However, he had little choice because of the left lane being closed for maintenance, so I gruffly gave him a free pass!

Is this a harbinger of things to come? Is Lloyd showing signs of actual patience? Will the sun rise tomorrow? To the latter I'd say yes. As for the two former, those who know me best would say, "not a chance!"

As for me , I'm clueless but I'll have to admit it was a refreshing day nonetheless!

Sleep Tight New Albany!!

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Double Trippin' (smokin' the homegrown?)

The professor's latest installment has left me with more questions than it has answers and again, since they cannot be asked directly over yonder, I'll have to pose them here.

First of all what exactly is the job of the New Albany Flood Control District Board of Commissioners?

Are Ron Graingier, Charles Baird, Gary Sams, Clinton Sorrels, and Charles Weigleb full time employees of this board or city employees in other departments?

If they are employed by this board, what are their daily responsibilities? What are we paying them to do specifically?

Is Ms. Mastrolia the executive secretary for this this board only or are her duties shared between this board and the Mayor?

Is her $10,000 per annum salary for her work with the Mayor or with the board?

If Shane Gibson is in fact the cities part time attorney, how can he possibly be on the full time payroll from 8AM to 4PM Monday thru Friday?

Is Mr. Gibson acting as the part time city attorney on this board or as legal council for this board itself, or none of the above?

As for Anthony Torran, Tom Cannon, and Ron Torran, do thier 8A to 4P job descriptions have anything to do with the responsibilities of this particular board specifically?

Albeit may appear that I am trying to be a wiseass here, I'm not. As a citizen I truly Do Not Know the answers to these question! But I feel that I must before I can make an informed judgement as to whether or not these people have their hands in the cookie jar.

My understanding is that most if not all of the various board positons are appointments either by the Mayor or the City Council! If that is not correct, please educate me.

If I am correct, then it appears to me that we are asking people to do extra work for the taxpayers benefit above and beyond their primary job description. I further conclude that some of our citizens feel cheated by the fact these people get paid a stipend for this extra work.

Now for the really big questions!

Are any of you willing to work overtime away from your families without pay? I,m not!

Are any of you more qualified either by experience base or education in this particular field of expertise than those who have been appointed to serve? For if they were appointed to this task for any reason other than the fact they have experience or education in this field, we are in more trouble than we know! We would have to conclude that the person or persons who did the appointing are less informed than we on the street are! That possibility is too scary to even consider!

By the way, if you can prove your qualifications by degree or experience to do these jobs and are willing to do then for nothing, please step forward! We apparently need you to save us from ourselves!

The last question is this. Do you know anyone who is qualified and willing to accept these positions for nothing? If so, how do we attract them to serve the public? Please answer, for inquiring minds need to know!!

By the way, in reference to the title of this post. Partaking of home grown recreational drugs, is like drinking cheap beer. They both react negatively with ones brain cells and cause irreparable damage!

Have a great weekend New Albany!!