Saturday, August 25, 2007

A fool such as I?

I must be a fool to come back from such a great vacation.

Maybe I should just pack my bags and go back to Nashville tonight!


It's tough to go from a relaxing seven day vacation to a hectic work day in just a matter of hours but that's the way it is. After leaving Nashville, Tennessee Wednesday afternoon we arrived back in Charlotte around 10:30 PM. In bed by 12:00, I was up early and back at it making deliveries and picking up where I left off the week before. Thursday and Friday were both hectic and very busy days. I have to close my eyes and only believe I am back in my cozy hotel room in Memphis to get away from it all but hey, that's alright.

The guys who took care of things for me while I was away did a great job with little or no trouble although they were very busy. Looks like I picked a bad week to go away but it is hard to predict when business will be slow or hot in this line of work. My hat's off to Bob, Ken and Harry for taking care of business while I was away.

Janet, my good luck charm, and I went to Memphis Tennessee for a few days, had a side trip to Tunica, Mississippi and then finished up our vacation in Nashville. The Memphis part of the trip was centered around the 30th anniversary of Elvis Presley's death. We went to the BIG concert at the fed ex forum on the 16th after visiting Graceland that morning. This was my fourth trip to Graceland and Janet's first. She really enjoyed it and so did I. We will have great memories from this trip for a long time to come. Check out this site to see more.

Graceland - Elvis

Here is a couple of pics from inside Graceland I took.

The concert was fantastic and we met people from all over. I plan to do an in depth review of the concert later but for now trust me it was Awesome! There were fan clubs there from nearly every country in the world. To name just a few there were folks from Canada, Japan, Australia, Sweden, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, and many more of course. Many folks decided to follow that dream and come to Memphis for this one and I am sure they all found it too much to handle in one trip. Many will return again once they have been to Graceland, the promised land of rock and roll.

Here's some from the concert.

We toured Beale street where the Blues music style was born and later had lunch at Corky's BBQ on Poplar St. We also visited the Peabody Hotel downtown and saw the famous Peabody ducks. We went to Sun Studios waydown Union Ave., where Elvis recorded his first records and was discovered of course by a young lady named Marion Keisker. Sam Phillips owned the studio and was not really interested in Elvis but the persistence of Marion finally broke Sam's will and he had Elvis come in about a year later and record some songs. One thing led to another and Elvis started singing "That's Alright Mama" and Rock and Roll history was begun. It was fun to see all the history of Rock music right there including the very same microphone Elvis sang into. I myself was able to sing a few bars from Jailhouse Rock into that very mic Elvis used. I was glad they let me be there do just pretend I was Elvis for a moment in time.

This is the mic as we saw it, standing in the middle of the room and then in the past as Elvis used it.

Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Johnny Cash also used that mic and were artists that got their starts at Sun Studios. You can't really mention Memphis and Sun Studious without mentioning that Sam Phillips was into the Blues. He started the studio to record the black blues artists of the day, living in Memphis playing down on Beale Street. Some of those included BB King, The Howling Wolf and even Ike Turner playing piano with a band who recorded what many call the first ever rock and roll song entitled "Rocket 88". Later when the studio had closed then reopened again in the 80's many more recent artists recorded at Sun Studios like Tom Petty, Def Leopard and U2. Check out the website it is a good one

Here is an interview with Scotty Moore Elvis's first guitarist if you want to read something nostalgic about the early days of Elvis.

Moving on I must say that Memphis is a nice city in places but all in all it is a poor city with most of the areas we saw being very downtrodden and in need of a Renaissance. It seems that Elvis is bringing a much needed influx of money to the city but I do not see where the local political structure is using it. Perhaps they are spending it all downtown but it is hard to tell. They are in dire need of major change in that city. I would venture to say if it were not for Elvis Presley, Memphis would be in serious trouble and on the verge of becoming like New Orleans before Katrina. There is a great history of the Blues in Memphis and from the looks of the city I can understand why people were always singing the blues. For the most part however when your in any particular part of Memphis you'll find yourself in the ghetto.

We stayed at the Memphis Hilton right off Poplar street and let me tell you it was as nice a Hotel room as I have ever stayed in. The bed was so comfortable I hated to leave. We picked a good place although it was about 8 or 10 miles from downtown. For the price it was more than I expected. It was more for business folks than Graceland tourists but we enjoyed it anyway. Our room was on the 14th floor so we had a nice view out over the area.

We went to Tunica for one evening and gambled a bit. We wound up winning a little money while we were there and ate at one of the buffets. It was fun and I hope to go back there again someday. Tunica was only about 45 minutes from Memphis so it was an easy drive for us. There were three casinos right next to each other in one spot so we settled in there and tried them all out. It was over 100 degrees outside so it was nice to spend the day indoors where the air conditioners were on full blast.

We stayed at the Wyndham Resort of Nasvhille just across from the OpryLand Hotel and where the knew Opryland building is located. The Hotel was amazing, I've never seen anything like it except maybe in Vegas. I would like to stay there next time I go to Nashville.

Inside the Opryland Hotel complex.

While in downtown Nashville we toured a place that is legendary to Country music and Elvis fans alike. It is called Studio B and Elvis recorded over 250 songs there. many more folks recorded there including Jim Reeves, Waylon Jennings, Roy Orbison, Charlie Pride, Chet atkins, Floyd Cramer and Dolly Parton to name only a few. The tour guide told us about Dolly's first recording session. She was so nervous when she pulled into the parking lot she hit the wall and knocked some of the blocks out. In other words she had a tremendous impact on country music and the studio itself! (hehehe) They had some of the original equipment set up in the studio that these famous artists used to record with. There is a 1939 piano that Floyd Cramer used and Elvis also played many times during the 20 years he recorded there.

We walked up and down Broadway which is the main drag where musicians play and various clubs in Nashville. It is full of bars, saloons, souvenir shops, and restaurants. We ran across a small Charlie Daniels museum there while we looked around and I of course had to go in and check it out. He is one of my all time favorites.

The Country Music Hall of Fame was a very interesting place with lots of exhibits and memorabilia. We enjoyed our visit there and it was fun to see the history of the music I grew up with. Here is a link that that website.

Country Music Hall of Fame

We also visited the Zoo while we were there and it was nothing special, just another Zoo. After you have been to the Zoo in any city they all seem to look the same, it was too hot to be walking around outside anyway and since we visited during the week hardly no one was there. Perhaps it's better on the weekend when they gear up for the bigger crowds.

So that's about it. another vacation under our belts. I am thankful to God that he has blessed us with the good fortune to be able to travel and see things we like to see. Next we plan to go to the Grand Canyon or Yellowstone Park. Still trying to decide which one to go see first.

Well I hope this little blog allowed you to walk a mile in my shoes even if it was only make believe for a few minutes of your day. For now it's over yet if your ever in Nashville or Memphis Tennessee one night and you run into Elvis just tell him Jim said hello.

He'll know what you mean.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Global Warming VS Global Terrorism

Global Terrorism VS Global Warming

It is said that today we live in a global society. It is a true statement and it seems that two of the biggest problems we face today are global problems. Here I wish to examine which of these two problems we should be most concerned about. If you look at it from a left VS right political perspective then we know which side you probably come down on.

Global Warming.

Many Scientists agree we are currently experiencing a period of global warming. The crux of the problem here is whether it is a natural phenomenon or a man made problem. Many environmentalist groups are certain that this problem is caused by man’s use of fossil fuels and they are determined to disrupt our economy by trying to hinder peoples use of energy derived from those fuels such as oil, natural gas, coal, etc. They insist we are destroying the planet’s atmosphere with our greed and need for bigger vehicles like trucks and SUVs
or sports cars that use more fuel than the smaller more energy efficient cars they tend to drive. They want us to take steps that would certainly do damage to the economy in America in order to preserve the planet (in their view). Many on the other side of the argument disagree and point to science that leads to inconsistencies in their arguments. Many scientists whole heartedly disagree that man’s use of fossil fuels has a veritable impact on the earth’s atmosphere and our need for energy to run the systems that keep our economy moving is more important than their diaphanous theory that we (man) might be causing global warming.

The left has blamed just about every weather condition of late on their global warming theory and has taken and alarmist approach to try and scare the public into believing that the most dire consequences are in store for us all if we do not fall into lock step with them and follow their prescriptions necessary to save the planet and all mankind from certain destruction. One example would be the hurricanes we experienced two years ago, Katrina and Rita. Many of the global warming alarmists said that these were a result of our poor stewardship of the planet and we were in store for even more destruction in the next hurricane seasons to follow. However we did not have one single hurricane touch the US coast the following year and so far this year their predictions of wide spread destruction have been just as paltry.

Another example of their trepidation is that the polar ice caps are melting at an alarming rate and that the coastlines of our country and around the world will be submerged within decades if we do not stop our burning of fossil fuels. However it has been proven by scientists in Greenland that the temperature has been steadily decreasing there for the last decade or so and the glaciers are in fact getting larger.

Another bit of information that seems to slip past some of the more prominent media is that the temperature readings being used by the man made global warming theorists have come under scrutiny. It has been pointed out recently that many of the surface temperature stations that are monitored by the government, providing data to the global warming alarmists are returning bad data due to the location of the units themselves. The government has guidelines about where these monitoring stations should be and in many cases they are in violation of these standards which in turn returns bogus temperature readings causing the data to be askew. Here is a link to a web-site that points this out in detail.

In conclusion the global warming phenomenon is something to be concerned about and monitored but the science behind it is not conclusive enough to determine if it is being caused by man’s use of fossil fuels or if it is just another cycle in the earth’s vast and powerful ecosystem which changes and evolves constantly. The people who want to try and raise taxes and cut our energy use by banning fossil fuels or the systems that use these fuels may well have a different agenda than what they pretend. The UN for example has embraced the global warming theories championed by Al Gore and his supporters. They want to take enormous sums of money from the richer more affluent nations and distribute it to the poorer less affluent countries around the globe. As we have seen with the UN in the past, corruption can run rampant when millions and even billions of dollars are at play and they very well may have the same agenda as the left whose global warming scare tactics are currently at their highest levels.

Global Terrorism

Now lets look at Global Terrorism. Just like Global warming it seems that many people come down on this subject differently. The political sides of the argument or Right VS Left have taken opposite stands. The right, lead by the Bush administration and some of it’s allies is heavily behind fighting what it calls a, “Global War on Terror.” Many on the left however seem to take a position that it is not as big a threat as the Bush team says it is and is more of a law enforcement problem than a military problem. In fact many of these folks believe we should let many of the terror suspects held in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba go and bring any that need to be tried here to America and allow them all the civil liberties that our citizens are afforded. Most on the right of course vehemently disagree with this approach and want them to be dealt with as enemy combatants.

Most people who follow the news are aware that terrorism has been a problem around the world for decades. In 1983 over 240 US Marines were killed in a bombing in Lebanon, since then Americans and American interests and allies around the world have been attacked over and over again with terrorist style bombings and even more brutal forms of terrorism on individuals like beheadings. Just to name a few more in 1993 the World Trade Center in New York City was bombed by Islamic terrorists. In 1996, 19 Americans were killed in the Khobar Towers bombings in Saudi Arabia. In 2000 the Navy Vessel, USS Cole was attacked and 17 US Sailors ere killed. Of course the big one was 911 and that needs no further explanation. Here is a link to a web-page that outlines many more terrorist attacks around the world.

Needless to say it is obvious we and others around the world are under attack by terrorists and Islamic extremists from the middle east and other Muslim nations around the world. This President decided enough was enough and has taken the fight to them and declared War on Terrorism. I can see no other way to describe this other than a Global War on Terror, considering the terrorists are striking not only here but all over the world where they want to bring their brand of war into communities and countries where the governments do not cooperate with their fundamentalist views. Although many on the left here in America want to say the “War on Terror” is nothing more than a bumper sticker slogan for the right wingers it is far more than that in the view of many if not most Americans and others around the world.

The final question here is which do you find to be the biggest most urgent problem to deal with today?

Is it Global Warming or Global Terrorism?

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Global Warming - Again

I read an editirial in the USA Today that set me off. Here is the link to it.

Now of course I just had to respond!

First of all you have to accept the left's premise that global warming (GW) is caused by man to swallow this malarkey. I don't and millions of others do not either.

There are a few points to cover here.

First that the human race is like a cancer on the earth. I can see why some folks would look at it that way since they consider mankind as a pariah anyway but I have come to realize that it is not true. We have advanced tremendously since we came to be and the technological society we have become is learning to live in harmony with mother earth to some degree. We do have a long way to go but America imparticular has done wonders in cleaning up pollution in the lakes, rivers and oceans as well as the air. There are many countries who have a much longer way to go in that respect but in time they can be persuaded to do their part.

The earth is a BIG organism we are but a micro-organism compared to the earth itself and all the other parts and pieces that make up the entire Eco-system including insects, plants and other animals as well as climate and atmosphere. The truth about GW is that we do not know for sure if we have any real impact on it or not and it may well be nothing more than the earth's own built in way to evolve and survive, heating and cooling itself from time to time. Floods, droughts, fires and bad weather on this planet are just normal for the earth. We happen to get in the way of these occurrences because we like to build our houses and business in areas that are prone to these types of natural phenomenon. The left likes to use their associates in the media to hype this stuff up and make it look as if we are on the precipice of disaster each and every day. Why? Because they want your MONEY!

Second let's talk about religion and the earth for a minute. Yes God owns the planet and he has graciously allowed us to live on it and use it for our needs while we are here. So we in turn should be good stewards of the resources. In fact I think many religious people are, especially evangelical Christians. Despite the fact that this clown thinks we are pretty much all Republicans out to destroy the planet for our own greedy purposes many of us are willing to sacrifice and try and do our best to not pollute and to live in a clean safe environment free of toxic chemicals, hazardous waste and other pollution. Just because we do not subscribe to the notion that our cars and SUVs are killing the planet and we are not driving Priuses, riding bikes everywhere and wearing hemp clothing does not mean we all hate the planet and want it to die!

In fact I have read that it takes more pollution causing energy to create a Prius than it does a Hummer, mainly due to the large batteries in them that are made in Canada. Here is some detailed information concerning the left's most prize, environmentally efficient automobile, NOT!

Building a Toyota Prius causes more environmental damage than a Hummer that is on the road for three times longer than a Prius. As already noted, the Prius is partly driven by a battery which contains nickel. The nickel is mined and smelted at a plant in Sudbury, Ontario. This plant has caused so much environmental damage to the surrounding environment that NASA has used the 'dead zone' around the plant to test moon rovers. The area around the plant is devoid of any life for miles. The plant is the source of all the nickel found in a Prius' battery and Toyota purchases 1,000 tons annually. Dubbed the Superstack, the plague-factory has spread sulfur dioxide across northern Ontario, becoming every environmentalist's nightmare. "The acid rain around Sudbury was so bad it destroyed all the plants and the soil slid down off the hillside," said Canadian Greenpeace energy-coordinator David Martin during an interview with Mail, a British-based newspaper. All of this would be bad enough in and of itself; however, the journey to make a hybrid doesn't end there. The nickel produced by this disastrous plant is shipped via massive container ship to the largest nickel refinery in Europe. From there, the nickel hops over to China to produce 'nickel foam.' From there, it goes to Japan. Finally, the completed batteries are shipped to the United States, finalizing the around-the-world trip required to produce a single Prius battery. Are these not sounding less and less like environmentally sound cars and more like a farce?

So does that make you greenies feel better about your carbon footprint? I know where I would like to leave my carbon footprint!

Just ask Red!

Now let's look at the compact fluorescent bulbs they have been trying for years to get us to use. Did you know that some of these bulbs contain mercury? Guess what, mercury is a potent neurotoxin, and it's especially dangerous for children and fetuses. Yes and when you dispose of one, or God forbid break one suddenly you have a hazardous waste situation on your hands. One lady in Prospect, Maine found this out the hard way and when she called the Dept of Environmental Protection, to ask advice on what to do, What did THEY do? They quarantined her house and it cost her over $2,000.00 dollars to replace one what used to be .99 cent light bulb before it was all over. How's that for energy efficiency?

In the end this guy admits that the science is confusing. That is his sly way of telling you that it has not been proven that GW has anything to do with what you and I do, there is not data to support that theory, it is only a theory at this point. The climatologists around the world disagree on this subject and many say our burning of fossil fuels has little or no effect on the atmosphere. For a little comparison there seems to be some scientific proof that there is global warming happening on Mars and the last I checked we were not there with our SUVs as of yet. Maybe someday though!

Also it seems that there IS proof that our planet has been through these kinds of warming cycles before and it was well before the industrial age. So that should give you pause to think about if we are causing GW or not.

So in the end yes, I believe God does want us to be good stewards of his creation. I like many other Christians try and do my part. That's why I do not trust or support most Democrats and many Republicans since they tend to lie like so many politicians do out there, yes I know many Republicans lie too but they will tell you the truth more often than a Democrat. The Dems want your money just like the Republicans but they will not be honest with you about how they are going to take it. They will make up stuff like (GW) and tell you we are causing all this havoc and claim that they need to raise your taxes to solve the problem that YOU created by driving your SUV. All the while they will be stuffing their political pockets with PORK projects amounting to millions and billions of dollars of wasted taxpayers money as they cry and moan that they need more and more money to fix the societal problems they have absolutely no intention on fixing!

GW seems to be their religion of choice at the moment and like some unscrupulous ministers they will preach to us about our tainting of the earth and how if we give up our cash they can try and fix what we have broken. The whole time they will not truly fix anything. They will keep the problem alive and well so that they can continue to fleece us for years to come.

Take the Social Security debacle. They have had plenty of time in the past twenty five years to fix that little problem but have they? No, and when the Republicans tried to push legislation through a few years ago to actually do something about it they stopped it dead in it's tracks. They do not care folks, they want to use these issues to keep blaming the other side and taking YOUR money!

The truth as I see it is that we must all use some common sense on this subject which seems to be sorely lacking in the above article and in politics in general, especially on the left.

What say you???