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The Sandwich Shop

These are my thoughts. They are based on what I see going on around me.

Location: Cincinnati, Ohio, United States

I know very little about myself. If I did know myself better, I probably wouldn't be doing this.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Problems Are Money In The Bank:

In my lifetime, I have seen a major change in the way our society deals with domestic dissidents. The days of police and army troops clubbing striking workers (or any other troublesome group) into submission gave way to the more "sophisticated" approach of offering the leaders of dissenting groups a slice of the economic pie too large to turn down.
This approach ended disputes and added to the power base of the upper end of our movers and shakers. The problem is this approach has been used for so long that it has become "too much of a good thing " in our society.
Only a very naive person in our society today could claim not to see the "complaining for cash " system we operate under. Instead of individuals leading causes for the greater good, in most cases their goal is eventual admission to the "big boys club ".This has led to a situation in our society that encourages us to condone anything that turns a profit. Discrediting a profit turning venture is the only form of blasphemy universally recognized these days.
The by-product of this is a national attention span that is based on one thing and one thing only. people only complain until they get either money or some other form of compensation.
While this, no doubt, makes for a short-term improvement in living conditions, it does absolutely nothing to eliminate the problem that was being complained about in the first place. As a result of this cycle, problems go into hibernation; they are never eliminated. So, every decade or so, we see the exact same problems popping up and treated as if they are a big surprise.
Until we face the fact that some problems are bigger than cash or lifestlye compensation, they will never go away. If we are not willing to do that, it means that in reality we really don't care as much about the problems as we say we do. In reality, we are saving these problems to be used in the future as coupons we can redeem for cash or merchandise.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Dear, (person who knows and likes another) *
Here's wishing that everyone has a
( 1. laughing and gay, full of fun )
( 2. religious and festive season before and after Christmas Day; Yule; Yuletide )
( 3. feeling as a person does when he is well and having a good time )
( 4. never having been before; now first made, thought out, known or heard of, felt, or discovered )
( 5. 12 months or 365 days; January 1 to December 31, Leap year has 366 days )

* friend
1. merry
2. Christmas
3. happy
4. new
5. year

- Season's Greetings from "Land Of Lawyers Inc. Ltd."-

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Manditory Apartment Life:
Forget about two or four years of manditory military service for all high school graduates. If the goal is to give these young men and women experience in the real world, teach them discipline, and help them be better citizens instead of Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines simply make it manditory for all high school graduates to live in a poorly built apartment building with fellow tenants they have nothing in common with for two or four years.
Nothing, and I mean nothing, teaches how to survive the sea of diverse humanity that we call America better than a stint in an apartment building with walls so thin you can hear your neighbor think. Nothing better teaches that no matter how many psychology or civic classes one might have had in high school, none of them prepare us for the off the chart personality types that live either upstairs, downstairs, or across the hall in the average apartment building.
We are wasting valuable time and money trying to convince high school students the value of a higher education and the need for them to participate in our political system by telling them anything in high school other than, " If you don't wise up, you're going to spend the rest of your life living downstairs from some nut in a cheesy apartment building." Those that have been there are already nodding their heads in agreement.
Only those who have heard a loud pounding on their apartment door and opened it to find the wild-eyed guy from downstairs yelling, " If you don't turn that music down, I'm going to kill you.", even though you weren't playing any music, learn how to negotiate with hostiles.
Only those who have walked out back of their apartment building to find a fellow tenant letting the air out of the tires on your car and when confronted the offender replies, " I was going to park here.", know the true meaning of applying justice in unorthodox situations.
Only those who have gone "home" for Thanksgiving only to find all their belongings gone and a street level window at the rear of the apartment pried open when they return from the holiday know how it feels to see a guy wearing a t-shirt that looks just like one you used to own about a week later.
Only those who have gone "home" for Christmas and retuned to the apartment two weeks later and opened the refrigerator to make a sandwich, and discovered that their roommate had unplugged the refrigerator when he went home for Christmas know how so little food can rot so much.
Only those who have seen a huge roach sitting in the middle of the apartment floor and tried to stomp the roach only to see it rear up on its hind legs and actually challenge you know the real meaning of the term "final stand".
Only those who have called the apartment building landlord and complained about a leaky roof, leaky faucet, cold hot water heater, noisy neighbors, bugs, lack of heat, etc. know where the term "lip service" came from.
The list goes on and on. Compared to cheesy apartment living, military service is no less sheltered a lifestyle than high school life is. At least in the military the enemy lives in a different building than you do.
Imagine how many twenty to twenty-two year olds would hit the streets chomping at the bit to make this country and the world for that matter a better place to live in, a place where no one should have to suffer through living with " the guy in the next apartment" or the " girl with all the cats", if they had to live in a cheesy, leaky, bug infested, rip-off prone apartment building for a couple of years with temants like the ones those of us that have been there had. Heck, it motivated us to get the heck out of there and never look back, didn't it ?

Saturday, December 10, 2005

From: Tuesday, April 8, 2003
"Oh yeah ? Then what about over here ?"
There is a strange phenomenon that revolves around the human experience. Some call it religion, some call it fate, some call it irony, the sarcastic among us call it a cosmic joke. In all cases it is usually represented by an event that challenges the intent/or motives of something we humans have done. What is truely startling about the event is the fact that it always appears to happen on its own. Although we attempt to ignore it, we never really can.
The entire world is watching the conflict in Iraq as you read this. It seems every nation on the planet has an opinion on the fight. Whether those nations are for or against the conflict they seem to agree that the human rights violations taking place in Iraq are not tolerable.
Oil, politics, and money have all been denounced as motives for the conflict. Recent discoveries seem to prove that some really nasty things have been going on in Iraq.
Diplomatic solutions are being sought in other parts of the world where violence, or the threat of violence, is a way of life. In every case the respect for human life is being presented as the reason these conflicts must be resolved. You can probably name most of the trouble spots without thinking very long.
Stopping violence in the name of respect for human life sure sounds like we humans have finally got it. Enter the aforementioned "event".
The civil war in Nairobi, Kenya is in its fifth year. last week alone almost 1,000 people were killed. After five years, the U.N. isn't even quite sure who's killing who.
It seems the attackers, and those being attacked include women, children, and men. In other words, everybody is killing everybody else. For the most part, Nairobi offers no monetary benefits to the outside world. If religion,fate,irony, or cosmic joke challenges our human motives, then the events in Nairobi are the granddaddy of them all.
Remember the U.N. only represents the world we live in; the world is actually populated by individuals. The harder the world tries to convince itself that it is made up of individual pockets of people that are not affected by any of the other pockets out there, the more situations like Nairobi will pop up.
Whether you call it religion,fate,irony, or cosmic joke it all seems to point out the fact that more often than not we do things because we have to, but say we are doing them because we want to.
The entire world should be concerned about the killing in Nairobi as it is any other place in the world. If respect for human life is the motivation to stop violence, wouldn't a place that had nothing but human life to offer the world be the place to make the world prove that its motives are pure ?

* I wrote this at 9 o'clock in the morning, two years and eight months ago. As I re-read it I realize it has a sketch-like feel to it. Until I came across my copy this morning, I had totally forgotten the fact that I wrote it. The question I find myself asking myself is "Has the world changed in the last two plus years ?"
My answer ( to myself ) is " I really don't know ". What I do know, is that senseless killings are still going on around the world. I also know that the only ones anyone seems to have an interest in stopping are the ones that would benefit them financially or security-wise.
Wouldn't it make quite a statement based in religion,fate, irony, or cosmic joke if the reason the sensless killings around the world won't stop is because the simple fact that they are wrong is not a good enough reason for the entire world to put a stop to them wherever and for whatever reason they happen ?

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

The " Where Things Come From " File:
You can sometimes find the players unceremoniously thrown on the shelves of thrift stores ( usually upside down ), and you can sometimes find small piles of the discs the players used to play, but you hardly ever find the two together.
Considering the fact that the players cost around $700 when they first came out and the discs around $15 each ( in 1979/1980 dollars ), it's interesting to see the whole setup sell for under $20 if you happen to come across one these days.
Most of the people who will settle down tonight to watch their favorite form of entertainment on a DVD will have no idea that the grandaddy of the DVD player and the DVD disc was available for sale back in 1979 ( that's twenty-six years ago ).
The disc was called a "videodisc" and the player was called a "videodisc player". In 1979 both Magnavox and RCA had competing versions on the market. Magnavox discs wouldn't play on RCA players and vise versa.
Between them Magnavox and RCA had invested $130 million on betting that the nation was ready for the next level of home video. The Japanese chose to sit on the sidelines of the battle because they felt the public wasn't ready for videodisc technology; they were right.
While the picture quality was far superior than the average VCR at the time, the discs were limited to a 60 minute playing time. This meant movies had to be drastically edited, or shown on more than one disc.
As eager as people are for new forms of entertainment, they are more adverse to entertainment that gets interrupted. Sounds simple, but the folks at Magnavox and RCA went deep into their pockets to prove this law of human nature wrong, and they lost.
The videodisc player never did reach a high level of popularity with the public, but it did break ground in the area of disc-based video. While Magnavox and RCA launched and eventually bailed out on the technology, the rest of the industry learned from it . So when you think of old hand-cranked record players, crystal radio sets, old computers that had no graphics, be sure to add videodisc players to the list.
If you own one of these setups, hang onto it and keep telling your kids and grandkids about how one day they will be able to take it on the
"Antigue Road Show" and make a fortune.

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Friday, December 02, 2005

What Is It ?
It is said to be the only purely American instrument.Supposedly, it was invented by a slave in Macon, Georgia, some time around the late 1830's or early 1840's. The first factory to produce these instruments out of metal was built in Eden,New York in 1916. Although the factory originally made other things along with this musical instrument, the instrument became so popular that it eventually replaced all the other items and became the only thing the factory produced.
The factory not only still produces these instruments, but all the metal versions of this instrument in the world are produced in this one factory
( an estimated 2,500,00 a year ). The same machines that produced the instruments in 1916 produces them today. The first major repair work ever done to the machines that produce these instruments was done in 1994 when the original 1916 "clutch pins" were replaced. A single 10 horsepower motor runs one of the machines that makes these instruments. The factory is capable of producing 12,000 of these instruments a day.
This instrument has been played by more people world-wide than any other instrument. It is the cheapest factory-made instrument on the planet. Most music stores do not sell this instrument. What is it ?

You only need one hint; that would be the name of the compnay, "The Original Kazoo Company". Yep, that's right; all the metal kazoos on the planet since 1916 come from the same factory in Eden, New York. Why no competition ?
Since the original 1916 machines still produce the kazoos and the machines paid for themselves many decades ago, no competitor can absorb the start-up costs that new machines would include and be able to sell their kazoos at a competitve price. That's right; there is a kazoo monopoly in America.

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