Have we upset Iraq with a few surveillance drones?

Jalal Talabani - President of Iraq

Oh no… It looks like we may have upset Jalal Talabani, the president of Iraq by possibly flying some surveillance drones around Bagdad. I guess he doesn’t quite understand how many US cirtizens are still in his country to help him keep things from falling apart. Sure our combat troops are back home but they left behind over 40,000 people. The US Embassy alone has over 11,000 employees.

Another factoid is that Iraq’s oil sector, which accounts for more than 90% of the government’s budget, relies heavily on tens of thousands of foreign employees to keep the oil and the cash flowing.

Since the US military has cleared out of the country I guess some way is needed to keep an eye on US citizens risking their lives there. These Drones seem like a good way. If Mr. Talabani doesn’t like it, and he has been making trouble for these hard working people for a while, then he should probably give all the US citizens their walking papers and send them home.

But I don’t think he will do that.

Tomorrow is the big day in Florida!

It has been an odd primary season. First it looks like Romney has won Iowa then he hasn’t. But then he does win the Romney friendly state of New Hampshire while Gingrich whips his butt in South Carolina. Now the drama in Florida. Gingrich claims his opponent has outspent him by about 10 to 1 as the latest polls show Mr. Gingrich losing his lead.

This is all like watching a sporting even like the super bowl to me. It’s a game. Unfortunately the stakes are high. But with the economy appearing to be on the mend and a ramping down of the war effort (along with the huge defense bills) who ever wins the White House in November should do okay.

On Gingrich… The best thing that has come out of his campaign and people actually taking him seriously is that he may have lowered the bar for what it takes to be considered a viable candidate. In the old days, two years ago, a candidate that was thrown out of office on some kind of ethics violation, took money from special interest groups, and had to install a revolving door in his home to accommodate a stream of wife’s and lovers would not have even made it onto the ticket. Thank you Mr. Gingrich for clearing the way for future potential candidates. After you most will look pretty clean.

What is the name “Mitt” short for anyway?


Test post from iPad… It works!

This is a test Post on my iPad using an app called Blogsy. I have been doing a lot of research over the last few months looking for just the right blogging software to use and this seems to be the one.

I started out with the GoDaddy Quickblog system but although it is pretty good, I could not do posts from my iPad. So… Today I switched things over to a GoDaddy hosted WordPress system. So far so good. It took me about two hours to set things up. There so many interesting settings I’m sure I will be tweaking this thing for quite a while. There as also loads of features to explore.

Coincidently Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) has announced blowout earnings today. They had over $46 Billion in 4th quarter earnings. That’s a lot of iPads and iPhones.


The Marvels Of Modern Doctoring

One of my new year’s resolution was to get a Primary Care doctor. This has been on my new year’s resolution list for the last five years. Since my last doctor died in an accident I have been acting as my own primary care doctor. No I have not been checking my own heart, blood pressure, etc… I have just been going to straight specialists when I needed some medical attention.

But finally yesterday I (really Mrs. Invisible) found a doctor. The visit was a real eye opener on what they have been talking about when it comes to more accessible medical records. This is one of the ways the medical establishment thinks they can bring down medical costs.

For the last few years I had been getting regular blood tests to track my cholesterol along with the other buffet of tests a person of a certain age should get. If anything I was a good diligent patient for a team of specialists even though I did not have a primary care doctor.

So… And this is the wow part… I was sitting there in the doctor’s office and armed with my name, birth date, and social security number the doctor was able to bring up all the results form all my tests even though they were done at two different medical institutions. Every detail was there. With a few quick clicks she could have produced some nice graphs and charts.

Amazing stuff!

Yes, I did ask the doctor if I could donate some of my excess cholesterol to those people who may need it.

Thoughts on MLK day…

Martin Luther King day and there is a lot to think about on this subject. A leader like this does not even come around every generation. It’s hard for me to think of another person who personally instigated so much positive change for so many people beside Mahatma Gandhi.

MLK was a true leader and inspiration to millions. He lead without regard for himself or the potential personal consequences. We are about due for another leader like this. In fact I will go as far to say we really need a leader like MLK. A selfless person we can all rally behind. one of the current political crop on either side are even close to 50% of an MLK.

Why?… Because most of the people in Washington and and aspiring to Washington seem to be in it for their own personal gain. The tell tail sign is that no one seems to be ready to make things happen even if there is personal risk.

On to more positive thoughts… I recently saw the film “The Help”. Watching this once again will remind you of all that MLK work for. Seeing that movie and knowing what really went on here just a few short decades ago is embarrassing. What were people thinking? See the movie and you will get what I am talking about.

The big question is… A few decades from now what will we look back at and say “we sure were stupid”?

Not at the same level as what MLK brought to light but on the short list could be things like:

  1. No term limits for congressional representatives.
  2. High taxes will solve all our problems. (See Europe if you need more proof)
  3. Being fooled by all these high priced universities into thinking that a $200,000 Liberal Arts degree would find meaningful employment for your kids.
  4. Actually thinking Social Security would work.
  5. Believing the the Government always has our best interests at heart.

Do you have anything you would like to add to the list?

Another perfect omelet update…

Today’s omelet experiment was interesting… There was a quarter cup of heavy cream left over from something Mrs. Invisible created earlier in the week so I added it to the pancake batter for the egg. Here is what I tried this week for the perfect omelet experiment:

1. Did not use the blender.

2. Use a quarter cup of heavy cream to make the pancake batter.

3. I let the batter sit for about 20 minutes.

4. I only used about a quarter cup of pancake batter with three medium eggs.

5. I threw the eggs in with the broccoli, onions, spinach instead of folding these in after flipping the omelet. I stirred the fillings in with the eggs in a hotter pan.

6. After flipping the omelet I folded it with the cheese.

How did it turn out? Better than last week. The less pancake batter and cooking the egg with the fillings (except cheese) made a difference.

I think I am getting close on this. Next week I will try it with milk instead of the heavy cream and a little less pancake batter.

P.S. I ran 7 miles hard this morning to earn this omelet.

Is there magic in community theater?

Mrs. Invisible and I took in a musical at the local community theater last night and it was great entertainment. We have seen the slick broadway productions about every musical known to man and paid ticket prices as high a $300 a seat.

But last night we saw The Producers at our local small town theater. There were about 150 people in the sold out space and the show, although made up of local volunteer actors was very nice. Plus we only paid $14 for each of our first (and only) row center mezzanine seats.

So where’s the magic… This community theater thing works on so many levels. We get seats for less than the price of a New York Taxi ride. The theater makes a few dollars. And all the volunteer actors have lots a fun. It truly is a win-win-win situation.

If you have a community theater in your area check it out. You might be surprised and you will certainly be able to get a ticker for less than $300.

Who is really creating all the jobs?

I heard Mitt Romney this morning on CNBC and he had some interesting and surprising things to say. Beside all the stuff we have been hearing for the last few years he talked more about Bain Capital where he was one of the guys at the top.

I guess some of the other prospective Republican contenders have been taking pot shots at Romney because of his past association with an actual company that made money for its investors. I guess Mr. Romney should get ready for more of this if he is the eventual guy up against Mr. Obama in November.

But the interesting thing Romney said was that when he worked for Bain Capital (A combined Venture Capital Firm and private equity company) he created more jobs than Mr. Obama has so far. I hope he has the numbers to back this one up. If not, expect some need for damage control.

Keep an eye on how Mr. Romney deals with these attacks on his private sector history. It will be very telling on how the next ten months could go for him.

Unfortunately all this proves is that once again it is very hard to get qualified people to run for President of the United States. What can they do to fix that? Offer a bigger pay package and stock options?

Is there really a stock market January Effect?

Articles have been flying around about the stock market’s January Effect.January Effect. People have attached this “January Effect” term to the idea that if the first few days, weeks and month of the year are good for the market then the rest of the year will be be good.

Well… I have been watching this January Effect from the shadows for a while and I have a few ideas on what it really is about… Actually what happens is the Stock Market’s volume drops in the last two weeks of December and right around that time the investors who are in the market seem to be doing tax loss selling.

And… Come January more money starts to flow into the market from year-end bonuses and new retirement fund deposits.

So what does this all mean?

If you didn’t make your moves to buy up some solid stocks in December it might have been too late. The only thing for sure in the stock market is that you can just end up with a lot of cold water even if you are careful.

Perfect omelet update…

My Saturday omelet got a little closer to perfect. Every week I learn a little bit more. This week I kept the pancake batter down to 1/2 cup with three eggs and the omelet was prtetty fluffy. I used the blender to try and inject some air but that was probably not needed. Next Saturday I will try this:

1. Wisk instead of blending.
2. Fry the filling (broccoli, spinach, onions) then cook it with the eggs.
3. Add the cheese last when the omelet is folded.

All this assumes that the pancake batter/egg ratio is good.

In the mean time I would like to thank the chickens for all the great eggs. Thank you chickens!