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PJMcK

Profile Information

Name: Paul McKibbins
Gender: Male
Hometown: New York City
Home country: USA
Current location: Catskill Mountains
Member since: Mon Jun 5, 2006, 05:16 PM
Number of posts: 17,878

About Me

Lifelong Democrat

Journal Archives

We're going to learn something about Americans in the next few years

We'll learn if American voters care about their democracy or even if they understand it.

We'll learn if American voters have any memories of the atrocities and corruption of the Trump years.

We'll learn if American voters have any awareness of the atrocities and corruption of elected Republicans at all levels of government.

We'll learn if American voters have any empathy for anyone but themselves.

We'll learn if American voters understand that Republicans cannot govern nor do they want to.

We'll learn if the American voters desire an inclusive or an exclusive society.

We'll learn the future of our country.

Since 9/11 I've reconsidered flying whenever possible

The phony "security" measures introduced by W's administration took away the final vestiges of fun and comfort in air travel. To be clear, I think the majority of activities imposed by the TSA are intended to put money in the coffers of the sub-contractors and security equipment manufacturers who were supporters of W et al.

Nowadays, if I have to travel less than 800 miles, it's more efficient and way more comfortable for me to drive to my destination. Consider this scenario. I live in NYC and have to go to Chicago for 3-4 days. If I fly, here's my likely timetable:

1. One hour travel time to the NY airport, (plus cost of parking or cab fare)
2. I must arrive at least two hours before my flight (I'll have checked luggage)
3. Flight to Chicago, about two hours
4. One to two hours to collect luggage and get a rental car
5. One hour to drive to hotel, check in and get settled

Therefore, it's about 8-9 hours from door-to-door for my trip to Chicago. Conversely, If I drive, it's about 10-11 hours for the trip and I'll have the comfort of my own car, no crowds at the airport, nearly unlimited luggage and I'll arrive relaxed. Since the trip is essentially taking most of one day anyway, the extra couple of hours driving don't bother me and if I use them productively, I can catch up on phone calls and my music screening listening, (part of my job).

I used to love to fly but these days, it's no fun. I hate crowds to begin with and far too many passengers today are entitled pains in the ass.

Something for nothing

Humans are lazy and greedy. We want immediate gratification and rewards for little effort.

I don't gamble, except for tiny golf bets, because I work too hard for my money. Why would I piss it away on a game of chance where the odds are astronomically stacked against me? This goes for casinos, card and dice games, lottos, football pools and the like. I don't care if others want to participate, That's their choice and this is just the choice for me.

I do invest my money in the markets but the odds are generally deeply in the investor's favor, if they're patient. Without doing anything, my portfolio has increased almost 4% in the year-and-a-half of the pandemic. Imagine how things could be if Trump had handled Covid professionally and intelligently!

By the way, this is the single greatest illustration of how stupid Donald Trump has been in his life. Had he taken the $400 million he inherited from his father and invested it in an indexed fund, he would have several billion dollars today without having had to do anything. Instead, he pissed it away-- even on casinos where the odds were something like 95%-5% in his favor!-- on stupid "business" deals that all inevitably failed, including most of his prized golf courses. Trump's house of cards is completely built around debt and cash flow. It's an unsustainable balancing act. The collapse will be epic.

A conversation with an Austrian emigre

One of my mentors was a self-made success who brought his immediate family to the United States in 1938. He went to work in the mailroom of a large corporation and years later, bought the company and made it one of the finest in its industry. Sadly, he passed away about a dozen years ago but rarely do days go by that his guidance and counsel don't advise me (and many others) how to conduct our businesses.

Our conversations were fascinating, fun and insightful. Once, he told me about his decision to move to America. In brief, as an Austrian Jew, he recognized the dangers of the fascist Nazis and he and his brother made the monumental decision to move the the U.S. They struggled when they arrived but fortunately, they had a little money to smooth their transition. Once they were settled, his industriousness and savvy brought him tremendous success.

He made it clear that the dominance of the Anchluss and the nearly daily violent attacks on Jews motivated him. He didn't want his family to be trapped. He told me that the local reports of violence were always described as isolated events that were not connected to one another. Of course, he would be proven correct that the Nazis were stirring the pot to cause unrest and destabilize the societies.

He made a decision that he described as gut-wrenching and vaguely unbelievable. Yet he made the right choice.

I wonder if some of us are in similar circumstances to my friend. I wonder what he would advise me today.

That's disgusting!

First of all, who needs to eat that much food in 30 minutes?

Next, it's a totally unhealthy mix of foods.

The human body isn't designed to process that kind of gluttony.

In a country with so much hunger, how is the morally responsible?

I get it, it's an advertising campaign directed at certain men who find this amusing. This is fun? Meh. Texas.

Five pounds of ground meat could make 20-25 hamburgers. Gross.

The article doesn't give the cost of the "meal" (other than free, if you you finish it in time). A related website prices the plate at $54.95 and the joint's Facebook page has their menu listing a "normal" cheeseburger at $7.95 with a side of fries for $2.25.

There are similar "food challenges" even at higher-end restaurants. A steakhouse chain named for a famous football coach has an offer that if you eat an entire 48-ounce steak, they'll put a brass plaque with your name on it on the wall of the restaurant. There's apparently a fellow who has 11 plaques throughout the place.

Food is beautiful and necessary. This kind of behavior is revolting to me. But, to each their own.

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