Saturday, August 27, 2005

Blue Laws Revisited

When Peggy and I lived in Germany in the early 90s we fit right in. I think if I had found another Job to pay me we would have stayed. It certainly was an option we considered carefully. We loved the Church we were part of; we loved the people who were our friends. We loved the culture. We toured more castles and attended operas at the drop of a 3-cornered hat. Many times on Sunday afternoons.

I enjoyed the fact that Germans never could quite figure us out. I spoke well enough with an accent that didn’t identify me as an American. They thought I might have been a Frieslander. Peggy didn’t have an accent at all with what German she spoke since she didn’t know she was supposed to.

It is even to this day one of those “”what if”” deals for us. What if we had decided to stay and even become citizens? We both qualified. Germany is one of those countries where your bloodline gives you entree to citizenship. Even today I get a German language feed on our TV. I keep up with German politics and economics. I also like the Taggeshau, which gives a non-American perspective on world events. We were there during the Gulf war. That was interesting. I’m quite interested in the upcoming election. I hope Frau Merkle wins. She most likely will.

I guess it was the will of God for us to come back when we did. I’ll never know.

One thing in long retrospect I miss is Saturday afternoons and Sundays the way they’re done (or were done) in Germany. Stores closed for the most part by 2pm Saturday. And didn’t open again until Monday Morning.

This made rushing off to the mall on Sunday PM for a little shopping or someone not able to be home (or in church) because they had to work on Sundays.

Sunday was a forced family and friends or go for a walk day. There was NOTHING else to do. Gasoline was expensive. So we talked, we ate, we walked, we window-shopped, we went to the park, and we went to the Sunday afternoon dance. It really broke up the week. In fact Germans often number their weeks and don’t say, you’ll get it on the 15th of June, but they will say, you’ll get it week 23.

When I grew up in North Dakota we had “”Blue Laws””. Stores closed, you couldn’t buy liquor on Sunday, and Bars were closed. I don’t know the origin of the name. I suppose if I cared enough I could look it up and find out why.

The Saturday afternoon and Sunday Sabbath rest was a part of life. I don’t think our lives were worse because of it.

Today the world is busier; Tuesday and Sunday for many working people are interchangeable. Even if they were not religious folks Sunday was the Lords day.

My guess is our economy would do just fine if blue laws were implemented nationwide. People would figure it out. I have heard and read all of the arguments for and against Blue Laws. I have seen it work well in a modern age. I don’t think North Dakota is better off for repealing them.

I know Germany isn’t better off for relaxing the restrictions (Wal-Mart, that great paragon of virtue, pushed for repeal of Blue Laws in Germany).

I’m not imagining that anything is going to happen. I just wish it would.

I have lived both and I like it blue better.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

A Predictor of your Future??????

There is a theory, it'’s sort of horoscopic so I put less credence in it than others. But, here goes.

The song that was number one on the hit parade on the day you were born has a long term effect on your life'’s destiny. You will like the song. It will form and mould your life like the stars.

There is a website which will tell you what song was number one when you were born. You can test this theory.

I have heard of many people who have done so and they claim it to be true. I would appreciate hearing from you if it'’s true in your life.

HereƂ’s the only sad part. They only have songs back to some time in 1952. Evidently there was no top 10 before that.

So for you ""“more mature""” folk, sorry. We don'’t count I guess.

For all others, I have opened up the full regalia of commenting access. You no longer have to jump thru any hoops to do so. Comment away, I don'’t know who you are.

Wait that'’s kind of dangerous.

Paying off the old Mercedes

I know I am not the only one to have a root canal in history. Most of your who are good enough to read this have been thru it.

I remember an old Star Trek movie, the one with a whale they were transporting.

There was a scene where Bones (The Enterprise Doctor) found himself in a modern day hospital setting.

He was appalled by the nature of medicine in 1995 . He saw some doctors treating Captain Kirk.

He said, “STOP you Butchers, Savages, stop your primitive fumbling”.

I may not have the dialogue right but the sense that if we were to go back 200 years to the day of leaches, battlefield amputations without anesthetic or sanitary efforts which killed more than it saved we would scream the same thing.

I have to say that the root canal of today is still a savage rude clumsy way to treat a problem. In the day and age of lasers and I don’t know what in 50 years Bones would say STOP if he saw today’s root canal procedure.

This is a procedure which is far too:
  • Painful
  • Complicated
  • Expensive
  • Invasive
  • Clumsy
  • Time consuming (4 visits)

If a dentist today would offer a root canal for $300 in two visits all-inclusive he would own the market. There are millions of people walking around with dead roots that flare up from time to time and need a root canal type procedure who would avail themselves if it weren’t so brutal.

I do feel much better, but when I broke my arm I would have felt better if they had amputated it. I wouldn’t have been better off later. The parallel holds.

So, my dentist friends (and relatives) can you figure out how to do this right and make this ordeal workable? Someone will and when then do you will have to. Be a pioneer.

I fear too many dentists look at the root canal as another avenue to paying off the old Mercedes. Follow the money and you will better understand the current state of root canal procedures.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Root Canal

There’s a reason Root Canal and Hell Rhyme. I just had one. Wow. I’m numb. My fingers still work. I will end up paying the price of a pretty good used car for this. I’m irritated with someone, not my dentist.

I don’t know how much of this fun I can stand or afford.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Can't France just secede from the World?

I lived in Europe for a few years (Early 90's). We had a joke (in Germany). Q - Why are there trees along side the roads in France? A- So the Germans don't have to march in the sun.

Always good for a yuk. Particularly from Germans who on any given Tuesday think about invading Czechoslovakia, Belgium or France.

So that you know, outside of Paris the French are really great. It's the ecocentric French in Paris who are now accusing Lance Armstrong of doping up to win the Tour de France.

Hey Fifi, could it just be that he's better than you baugettephiles??

Just asking.

Sore losers.


I have been fortunate to have good teeth most of my life. But age ravages all things. I have had a world class toothache. I go to the dentist for really "good" news at 10AM tomorrow (that's positive confession).

My toothache was so bad I had to take (am taking) an antibiotic so the dentist can work on the tooth. This can't be good. (Wait, that was negative confession).

I'm a pansy when it comes to taking prescription drugs. No side effect is good. I take almost none. I will tough it out. I tried to with this one. Didn't work.

Yesterday in pain I attempted to work. I could barely drive. My mind was preoccupied with the pain, my body swooned. My face pulsed with every heartbeat.

I got a glimpse of how those on Chemo or other serious disease (that's why they call it Dis- Ease) can become discouraged. That's why they see themselves hopeless.

My reliever was an antibiotic and a dentist. Theirs may be only time and eternity.

I will be more tolerant and caring with those with chronic pain in the future.

Waiting for the other shoe to drop

Right now in my life are several shoes one of which has dropped and the other is still dangling on the metaphorical foot. This dangle is uncomfortable and I don't like it.

They used to say it was the angle of the dangle that mattered, I think it's the dangle.

Yes, this is about you!

Some things need to be left behind closed doors

Pat Robertson announced in front of God and everyone that the US CIA needs to assassinate Hugo Chavez of Venezuela.

OK, he's a bad guy. Not good for the USA to have in their domain (The western hemisphere). I'll bet Pat has President Bush's phone number. He isn't the first one to think about this. That's what we have doors for.

So take the wacko out. I'm ok with that. But for everyone's sake don't talk about it on the air. It only makes you look like the wacko Pat.

Now, if and when Ol' Hugo goes on prematurely to that great junta in the sky, the finger pointing, pontification and palpitations on the part of the press will be preposterous.

File this under dumb moves Pat.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Don't fill your tank all the way to the top (See Ethanol Below)

I predicted a long time ago that this oil price surge would be temporary. I still believe that and want to help allay your fear. An OPEC member who has every reason in the world to see oil stay high agrees with me. His technical analysis is better than mine but as my friend Larry Ristvedt continues to say, The cure for high prices is high prices.

So, next time you fill your tank relax. Don't fill it all the way to the top with high priced fuel. Trees have tops and we just hit one. When I heard some young oil analyst on FOX NEWS proclaim that prices were going to $90 and $3 gasoline was here to stay I said thank God. The oil crisis is over.

This isn't contrarian thinking exactly, it's more the reality of the market. Think Lag and Reaction. Think long view.

Don't fill up your tank.

UPDATE: A column in todays Chicago Tribune (Sunday) is pretty revealing. The price of gasoline and crude oil is coming down. Read it for yourself. I also posted it here to make sure you could read it without subscribing.
These people are smarter than me and I say again. Don't fill your tank all the way to the top.