Sunday, May 31, 2009


In our house the Queen of Recycling is my wife - the lovely Cynthia. My major tasks are cutting up cardboard into itty bitty pieces and stomping of empty containers to flatten them out. I guess that is commentary on my weight. Maybe I can hire BB to do it? Anyways, we have the three bins for various items and that is an aggravation. In Attleboro they now have single stream recycling so everything is tossed in together inside soon to be delivered 64 gallon containers. Waste Management handles the pickup and uses their plant in Avon to do this. In the meantime folks can use the 18 gallon bins until the new ones arrive. I’d love to see that here in Middleboro.

David Ortiz is done. He is missing cream buffs that in the past would have been hammered hard somewhere. No more. This happens in baseball occasionally where a star player suddenly loses it overnight - Al Rosen, Ralph Kiner and Jeff Boroughs come to mind. The Sox have been very patient but the time for a change is necessary and that does not mean sitting for a few games but for a few weeks. Sox cannot trade him since his value is zero and his contract is for 12 Mil for this season and next. But for a five year period he was just about the best clutch hitter I have seen on any team.

Gatehouse News has announced - like The Globe - significant pay cuts. Gatehouse is best known for destroying two South Shore papers - The Enterprise and Patriot Ledger. The Enterprise has become virtually useless especially the sports section. Makes you appreciate the Gazette until they finally suffer corporate interference.

Someone commented on the content of this blog regarding readability of late and I have to agree. There has not been much “action” lately and that means some faux pas action by the usual suspects. Most of the irreverent comments from those who stop by need something to actually comment on. I certainly don’t want it to sink to the level of - now that would be difficult.

Slight change to the banner for a bit in support of Green School.

Sunday, May 24, 2009


The recent sales tax increase proposal has certainly got the ire of the citizenry up. As one who voted in favor of the income tax repeal I can gladly say “I told you so.” Please enjoy your helping at the Crow Mart.

I contacted several legislators on this issue and the response has always been the same. In fact - exactly the same. “It pained me to vote for it.” “I saw no alternative.” “I have filed legislation to address reforms.” All the legislators were Democrats since they have a monopoly on the legislature and the few Republicans have the good sense to realize a fiscal con game. As far as those responses. If it hurts so much don’t do it! As my doctor would say: “If it hurts doing that don’t do it.” The alternative is simple - get the reforms out front. Most of us common folk know what has to be done. The filing legislation is the biggest joke it politics. The ready made excuse. How much legislation is “filed” and never gets acted upon? Another linguistic con game. Taxes are the government cost for “doing their business” but a good portion of us in Massachusetts now seriously question how this business is run. When your government appears to have all the integrity of Lehman Brothers and ENRON there are problems.

The Green School issue has certainly stormed ahead. The money count is rising rapidly and some are stepping up with resources such as the painting contractor offering services. Some wish to play the blame game on how we got here and that is quite easy to do but does not resolve the issue. What this will come down to is feasibility. In the meantime contact Lincoln Andrews about contributions either fiscal or other.

Post away.

Saturday, May 16, 2009


The recent airline crash in upstate NY focused on several problems and I will give my own take on a few. The pay. A first officer usually is paid in the vicinity of $37,000 per year after the first year and prior to that it is in the $20-24 per hour range. This is fairly standard on most airlines and represents their pay based on a maximum of 1,000 hours per year on jet aircraft. The pilot of the crashed commuter plan was flying a turbo prop and therefore could fly 1,250 hours per year maximum. Pay increases rapidly and by the third year it jumps to $66 per hour and that is based on gate to gate time. Clock runs when you leave the gate and stops when you pull into the gate. A captain - usually a 3-5 year period - will earn about $100 per hour and that will increase with sonority and aircraft flown. A senior captain can be in a $150,000 - 200,000 range.

Aircraft flown is interesting. My son flies the series that carry between 48 and 96 passengers. Once they exceed a certain number of seats the FAA requires an additional flight attendant so they will keep configuration under 50 and under 100. His routes are varied and it is not unusual to fly five legs in a day - five takeoffs and landings in a variety of conditions. In the last year he has probably had more take offs and landings than some pilots have had in ten years.

The commute is something else. Most of the pilots have extensive commutes and that was brought out in the Buffalo incident. My son lives in Massachusetts and is based in Milwaukee so he is usually on either a Mid West, Delta or FedEx flight to get to and from his home base. He left Friday night and will overnight in Milwaukee at company expense and then fly for four days. On one recent flight from Milwaukee there were seven pilots onboard from different airlines returning to Boston. One pilot was based in Salt Lake City and has to commute four to five times a moth. The pilots and crew of airlines fly at no charge on any airline that has room and this can apply to off days as well. Hop a flight and have a mini vacation.

The traditional training ground for commercial pilots has been the military. That has changed dramatically to where only 25% of current commercial pilots have military backgrounds. My son does have military but not with fixed wing aircraft. Why has this happened? Deregulation. Pay, benefits and working conditions have changed substantially and the aura and shine of being a commercial pilot is long gone. Not unusual for even a senior captain to have a part time job. I know one former pilot who worked for Eastern, Piedmont, Braniff and retired from TWA…well, TWA actually got retired and he packed it in. Notice the trend? Four failed airlines. His pensions all vanished and was forced by regs (since changed) to retire at age 60.

The commuter turbo that crashed is the new trend setter in regional passenger routes. Smaller, more fuel efficient and more cost effective such as the CRJ series I mentioned. No 180 seats with 50 empty. But the training is questionable as are the working conditions. The thing to remember is that in virtually all crashes it comes down to pilot or human error.

Nancy Pelosi! I heard the talking heads on her news conference from hell and managed to catch it on the rerun. What a wreck! This may have been the most embarrassing display I have ever seen at a press conference.

President WOW will continue with terror tribunals. No problem with that IMO.

The economy took a big step backwards last week as several indicators show a stall situation and that is totally frustrating to all. I really want to eat some crow on this situation as I felt it would take a few years to straighten out several decades of foolishness. Right now this may be just a step backward and two steps forward. Keep a close watch on the S & P index and if that gets to a 1,000 in a few months things will be looking a lot better.

Post away.

Sunday, May 10, 2009


The markets are really picking up and I am shocked. Never anticipated such a quick rise especially the S&P. Almost at beginning of 2009 levels and if you are willing to accept the markets as being the forecaster of economic recovery. Other signals are also being interpreted as being signals but it does seem bizarre when those signals indicate bad news but not as bad as it could be. Asian, Latin American and European funds have been doing exceptionally well. Bank stocks have been a gold mine. The sad reality is that measured unemployment is at 8.9% and real unemployment is probably around 16% - those collecting a check, those in transition, those who have dropped out of the labor market and those who work only part time. Long, long way to go on this mess.

Hal had an interesting post regarding documentation that the tribe may have been recognized prior to 1934. Isn’t that wonderful! I’m sure the ancestors that go back thousands of years would be delighted if the could be resurrected and given that astonishing news.

Limo apparently is focused on some non descript radio show that emanates for Brockton. I have listen only briefly months ago thanks to a link provided by BB. Maybe they have a studio audience and I can wander in and watch?

You win with pitching. I can find you several World Series winners that had lousy hitting and stellar pitching but cannot do it the other way around. The Sox bull pen continues to impress and Penny has back to back quality starts. Beckett appears to be a very good pitcher who had one great year. Dice-K is on the mend and should be ready to send Masterson back to the bull pen in a few weeks. Waiting in the wings is future Hall of Famer Smoltz and two kids who have been the best in the International League - Bowden and Buchholz.

So, you “unsophisticates” can post up the “wazoo” all you want. Feel free to copy over any posts you wish to continue with. Several have been rather informative.

Saturday, May 2, 2009


Will the caps on charter schools be lifted? Not if Gov. Patrick has his choice. Then again, when you collect a bundle of money from one of the most reactionary unions around - MTA - what would you expect?

Maybe Patrick will end up on the SC? Naturally, the options for the SC are being pigeon holed into various ethnic, racial and gender groups. I have not heard of a transgender candidate surfacing yet.

In this state the Democrats have shown the end result of one party rule. I can’t imagine a more corrupt and brazenly self-interest managed government in the country. Again, regressive taxes will be imposed without accompanying reforms. Each Legislator will file - count on this - a small mountain of legislation to address reform. That way they can return to the voters with a “See what I’ve done!” File and passing are two different things.

I’d give WOW a grade of “C” on his first hundred days of which amounted to a fawning PR blitz by a media that leaves me wondering where and when journalism disappeared? Thankfully, Fox news, Rush and the internet are around to tell the other side of the story from their own biased perspective.

The most important issue continues to be the economy and the continued contraction and rising unemployment have shown that this recession is quite deep and will remain lasting. That debt will impact growth and standard of living. Maybe the economic pundits within the administration will be right and six to nine months will be the time line? Heard the same from former president what’s his name.

Joe Biden managed to do a major screw up. No surprise with that. I guess we should not go where crowds are? No supermarkets? Don’t know. Have to ask the VP of Foot In Mouth.

Globe is still around for a few more days.

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