Posts Tagged ‘Political’

5
Nov

Pub Guys Recording Session

   Posted by: krmb    in Daily

PubGuys Recording Session

27 October 2009

My day was spent with an eye on the clock, ’cause once again, I was going to be sure to attend the PubGuys recording session, and this time, I didn’t want to be late! I got my wish—in fact, I got chauffeur service! Kyle was able to stop and pick me up on his way on down Hwy 287 to the Firehouse Grill where today’s recording was to take place.

This is a great place, by the way . . . and a little too off-the-beaten path to be as well-patronized as it deserves.  It’s in Mansfield, in the same shopping center with the Home Goods and Marshalls store . . . right along Hwy 287.  Awesome food, huge selection of beers, (Rahr Octoberfest is on tap!) full bar, and great people!  Check it out.

It was a good session . . . made a little more special when the pub/restaurant owner came over to join the guys at the mics!

~MB

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11
Sep

Remembering

   Posted by: krmb    in Daily

Heroes Park, Arlington, TX

11 September 2008

Seven Years Later

I’ve been thinking a lot about how seven years seems like so long . . . and like it was only yesterday.

When I talked to Kyle this morning, he said I’d missed a call from him (I was unhooking the truck and trailer) just moments after he left the house.  Apparently, there was some sort of ceremony taking place at our neighbourhood’s new Heroes Park.  Kyle said there were police cars and sixty or so people; traffic being directed manually, etc.  He was hoping to tell me, so I could run down there . . . and I would have! 

As it was, immediately after unhitching my rig, I chose to remember 9-11 by doing some searching online regarding any ceremonies taking place in New York or Washington.  I learned that today was the day the new Memorial site at the Pentagon was dedicated.  I went to the television, but could find nothing, so I read everything I could find online.  Entering the new memorial, visitors pass under an archway marked with a stone carved: “September 11, 2001–9:37 a.m.,” the exact time of the Pentagon attack.  The stone itself bears the scars of that attack—it is a stone recovered from the smouldering, wrecked wall of the building. The architecture of the park is arranged in rows, symbolizing the years in which the victims were born.  The surrounding wall doesn’t just keep out the freeway noise—it’s built beginning at a height of three inches and rises to 71 inches—it symbolizes the youngest victim, a three-year-old, and the oldest.  The park consists of a bench, a pool of water and a tree, for each of the 184 victims of the terrorist attack on the Pentagon.  Each bench bears the name of someone who died there that day.  To read the names of those who died within the walls of the Pentagon, you must face the building.  To read the names of those who died on American Airlines flight #77, you must stand facing the western sky.

I found some footage of a lone bagpiper walking among the benches as he plays “Amazing Grace.”  And I found a couple of nice news reports about the new site.  I also learned that at 3:30 p.m., both Obama and McCain gathered with folks at Ground Zero in Manhattan to remember the lost, there.  I’m hoping to find some footage of that.  We, as Americans need to remember much, much more often, how we pulled together on that day, and think far, far, less of how different we think we are, one from another.  That the two candidates joined for this event, today, is heartwarming.  Kyle had said he hoped something like that would be done, and I doubted the likelihood.  I’m glad I was wrong.

As I drove home this afternoon, I took a quick, impromptu turn in at Heroes Park.  I did a U-turn, and parked my truck, immediately across from a no parking sign. (Isn’t that crazy?  Where are we supposed to park to visit this little place?)  I walked down the marked path, and read the engravings, such as: responsibility, sincerity, dedication, sacrifice.  I walked all the way down to the wall bearing the names of Arlington’s fallen in the line of duty.  Under each name, is either a Fire or Police Department badge symbol, and the words “Last Call” or “End of Watch” with a date.  A beautiful wreath seemed to be perhaps a remnant of this morning’s ceremony.  And I picked up a piece of trash and carried it back to my truck.  <sigh>

Tears for many reasons.

~MB

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8
Aug

37:12.5

   Posted by: krmb    in Daily

2 August 2007

Not a great photo really, but a springboard instead. 12.5
Do you see that time? That is 37 minutes, 12.5 seconds. That is how long it took me to get through a security line and into the “sterile area” at DFW airport. That does not include the amount of time I spent walking from one security gate to another hoping for a shorter line, nor does it include the several minutes I wasted in the queue before deciding to time the farce. First the queue was HUGE, and it was no shorter at the other two portals I tried. Second, the First Class travellers and Uniformed Employees were rude as they jostled and pushed their way to the front. I’ve written about the woes of travel before and in specific the incredibly non-efficient TSA driven security queues, but even as much as I travel I’d not seen the likes of this. It’s a good thing I arrived early enough to accomodate this brutal wait. I know for a fact that there are many folks still in the queue when their planes left. The queue was long, but I’ve waited in much longer queues that moved considerably faster. This wait was down to a variety of reasons. First: there are three metal detector gates at this security portal. Only one was being used. Second: The TSA continues to put their least-experienced professionals on the stools monitoring the bag scans. I cannot even begin to tell you how many times I heard her yell “bag check” in my 37+ minute wait. Third: The only person able to perform this so-called “bag check” was also the only person that could manually wand female passengers. She was in no hurry to do anything. Fourth: the signs telling travellers about the idiotic 3-1-1 rule are well inside the queue and nowhere near the complimentary quart-sized bags. I, personally, pointed several new travellers to the bags so they could unpack their liquids and re-pack them in the baggie. If this was done at the foot of the queue rather than at the point of screening, those behind wouldn’t be so inconvenienced. These are just simple things that can easily be addressed, but never are. I work in the travel industry for a major airline and even I detest air-travel in its current, sad, state of affairs.
Cheers.

~KR (2 August, 2007)

Listening to:
Brenda Stubbert’s Reel/Metro B by Off Kilter
on Off Kilter

Camera: Canon PowerShot S1 IS
Exposure: 0.067 sec (1/15)
Aperture: f/2.8
Focal Length: 5.8 mm
Exposure Bias: 0/3 EV
Flash: Flash did not fire

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25
Jul

Construction

   Posted by: krmb    in Daily

24 July 2007
Construction. That bane of every driver has come, in aces, to my neighbourhood. You see, a Wal-Mart is opening just over 2 miles from my house at the intersection of a busy FM highway and one of the primary arteries between Mansfield and Arlington. Despite much opposition and votes against the construction of this Wal-Mart, which necessitated the destruction of a beautiful section (one of the last in our area) of woodland, it is progressing. There does not seem to exist a direct correlation between surrounding property values and the existence of a Wal-Mart so certainly I can’t use that as any sort of defensive stance. Although independent studies done by Thomas Muller on the effects of Wal-Marts in Iowa suggests that property values could decline by 16-20% in the years immediately following the erection of the sprawl. However, since each Wal-Mart also contributed about $2 million to the local tax base, the detrimental effect was overlooked at the micro level as the macro level tended to benefit. As a small business owner (Bannockburn Bridge & East Wind Games), I am petrified by the construction. Not only does the on-going construction have an immediate negative impact on traffic flow and pattern, the long-term shuttering of long-established retail outlets is, sadly, a foregone conclusion. Wal-Mart will force a number of smaller businesses in the area to finally make the difficult decision to nail shut their doors for good. Does Wal-Mart really need a fourth megaplex in a 5 mile radius? I would hazard that they do not; but what am I? Just a little guy in a really friggin’ big world.
I took this photo for two reasons:
Construction
First, I took it to get the above diatribe out of me. It’s cathartic, I feel better.
Second, my friend Terrill challenged me to take mono-or dual-chromatic photographs in order to better myself. It’s easy, he says, to take a photo of highly-contrasting colours and make it work. It’s much more difficult to take a photo consisting of only familial colours. So, that’s what I’ve tried here. I espied the pattern on my way home, so at a friendly stop light, I leaned out the window and took the photo. The rusting rebar, the brown dirt, the dark shadows were all so very brown(ish), I thought “that’s it – monochromatic!” It’s not quite. But, close enough.
Cheers.

~KR (24 July 2007)

Listening to:
A Day Without Me by U2
on Boy

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26
Feb

Corporate America

   Posted by: krmb    in Daily

25 February, 2007
LA|Fitness
I took this photo to use it as a springboard for a socio-politico commentary. This blight on the landscape; this corporate intrusion into daily sensitivities; this behemoth that has brainwashed the sheep of America into believing that the only way to stay in shape and live a long, healthy life is to subscribe to their methodologies has recently ambushed the DFW metropolitan area. There seem to be hundreds of these monstrosities opening in our area.
Bear in mind here that I am in no way against healthy living, nor exercise, nor even health clubs where like-minded folk can do like-minded things all relating to and, hopefully, resulting in a healthier life. I exercise daily, I play soccer twice a week, and I even try to walk my dogs semi-irregularly. Even when I’m away on business travel, I exercise. I make use of the fitness spa that most hotels are equipped with and I try to walk to my destination as often as I can. I most definitely can say I am not against exercise.
No. The corporate greed drives my ire. The fact that LA|Fitness has built enormous success around an out-of-date business model that will not allow even casual questions without being ambushed by a hard-sales pitch; that we, the sheep of America, the quiet dullards that inhabit suburbia allow them to dictate how & when and with whom we exercise makes my hackles raise.
I was excited when I first saw that it was a fitness club going into the location that Stripling & Cox had occupied for nearly two decades but had recently vacated. That meant that, perhaps, there would be racquetball courts as well, which is something sorely needed in Arlington. Indeed, there were courts, but my casual inquiry at the front counter as to how much the monthly fee was and how often I could visit was met by the blank stares of a pimply-faced high-school student and a gesture that I needed to visit the sales office. Which meant: I needed to go sign-in and wait until the single sales-person on duty was finished with the poor cow he had in his office. This was all to find the answer to two very simple questions. I asked him again at which time he informed me, rudely, that the information desk did not receive the prices (information?) from corporate headquarters, and that he simply could not answer my query therefore, I must speak with a sales person.
Why?
So that some over-paid, commission-driven sales slug can charge what he wants to whom he wants? Does this mean the beautiful model-type that will look good in the glass windows of the facility will get a better deal than some poor unfortunate that is hideously overweight and needs desperately to lose the weight? I certainly hope not; but LA|Fitness’s unwillingness to publish their rates, even in individual markets, smacks to me as a company that takes advantage of their client-base too easily and too often.
All of this is going on at the same time that the Extreme Poverty level of America is at an all time high, having risen 26% in the last 5 years to a level of ~10 million souls. Millions of families of four making less than $9000 per year (as a family unit) are struggling simply to stay alive while LA|Fitness hangs onto their financial security by lying to its clients every day.
Yes. I am mad.

~KR (25 February, 2007)

Camera: Canon PowerShot S1 IS
Exposure: 0.067 sec (1/15)
Aperture: f/3.1
Focal Length: 20.4 mm
Exposure Bias: 0/3 EV
Flash: Flash did not fire

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