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A Matter Of Opinion

Archive for December 2009

Wednesday’s Loose Thread

Anybody going to First Night? Anybody staying up until midnight? Anybody hoping Dick Clark stays home?


Headlines for 2010

So what are some headlines you’d like to see in the coming year? Off the top of my head:

“Media ignore celebrities”; “City, state, federal workers agree to pay cuts”; “Jobless rate plunges”; “Trader Joe’s buys YMCA site”; “Eyman to head budget-cutting panel.”

What are your headlines?

Monday’s Loose Thread

I’d heard that it’s warmer down south this time of year. I can confirm that this is true.

Thoughts on this Monday after Christmas?

There must be a pony in here somewhere

If you value the ability to look on the bright side, you may enjoy this anecdote, courtesy of the lady who shared it last evening on my bus ride home. She and her boyfriend will be spending Christmas Eve with their respective children, but her boyfriend’s son will be at his mother’s home for Christmas.  They reassured him that Santa understands such situations and manages to find both places.

“Sweet,” replied the boy. “We’ll get twice as much stuff.”

I hope you’re enjoying the  holiday season.  This post will probably stand as the long-weekend loose thread, so festoon it as you wish with decorative, brightly lit thoughts. 

More clout for Washington?

The Washington Secretary of State’s Office is reporting today that preliminary population figures indicate the 2010 Census will result in 10th congressional district in this state.  Nothing is certain until the actual count is taken next year, but if the analysis out of Olympia is right, Washington state will have another vote in the House of Representatives, not to mention a 13th electoral vote in the 2012 presidential election. 

Wednesday’s loose thread

Sad news today about the Riblet Mansion, also known as Cliff House, where the Arbor Crest Winery maintains its tasting room.  It was heavily damaged by fire. Sorry to see that happen to such a landmark, not to mention an important local business.

That’s one of many topics that you can talk about here on today’s loose thread.

2 more officers shot

As you may have heard, two Pierce County sheriff’s deputies were shot and seriously wounded after they responded to a domestic disturbance today. Family men with children.

Feel free to post your thoughts on this troubling news item.

Tuesday’s loose thread

It’s noon. You’ve waited long enough for today’s loose thread. Time to unravel whatever mysteries and insights occupy your mind.

Who looks out for frazzled fliers?

Federal regulators are giving airlines about three months to comply with new rules regarding those inordinately long delays that leave passengers trapped for hours on the ground, waiting to take off or deplane.  

In just the first half of this year, more than 600 planes stood on the tarmac for three hours or longer, the duration at which the new rules kick in, requiring airlines to allow passengers to get off. After two hours, food and water must be provided, and lavatory and medical care requirements also are established.

This is in accord with years of pressure from passenger advocacy groups about a ”bill of rights” meant to prevent those aggravating delays, some of which have lasted 10 hours or longer.

Airlines say compliance with the rules could actually lead to more delays because of ferrying planes and fliers back and forth to the gates.  Bet on the cost of fares and amenities to go up, too.

Is this really a matter for federal regulation, though, or should it be left to free-market competition?  Federal authority is justified to assure that planes are airworthy, pilots properly trained and air traffic orderly.  But some might say that an airline’s ability to deliver satisfactory service to its customers is better left to consumer pressures.

What do you think?  

Sugar plums and what other loose threads?

Finally got the meager house lights strung along the eaves yesterday, knowing they’ll come down in about 10 days.

What visions dance in your heads today?

Friday’s Loose Thread

1. New Rule: If you’re going to be an idiot, do it on your own time, otherwise you might cause a  retrial.

2. What’s that saying? “Everybody bashes cops until they need one.” Corollary: “Every cop  defends the department until they think they’re wronged.” (last item)

3. Happy holidays!

Thoughts about these items or those of your choosing?


Thursday’s Loose Thread

Cards sent. Gifts wrapped. *pant! pant! *

Thoughts on current events go here.

Wednesday’s Loose Thread

Really liked this article today about Vernon Baker. A remarkable life.

Thoughts on this or other matters?


Pleasant Dreamliners

Within 10 minutes of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner’s takeoff today, U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., issued this statement:

“Today’s maiden flight of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner is a game changer. It marks a new level of technological excellence by combining the world’s best jet fuel efficiency with lower emissions, a more comfortable passenger experience and a quieter environment for airport communities. 

“I want to offer a special congratulations to Boeing’s exceptionally productive and skilled work force in Washington state who made this historic first flight a reality.  Watching all their hard work take flight today is truly evidence that American workers can compete and win to build the best products in the world. 


“The Dreamliner adds to the long list of breakthrough Boeing aircraft created in Washington, including the 707, 747 and the 777, which revolutionized commercial air travel. Thanks to composite material, the 787 will be the world’s most efficient and environmentally friendly aircraft, helping both the consumer as well as the environment.”

The flight (two years behind schedule) was to last five hours and hundreds of miles during which pilots were to engage in several tests to make sure the plane would perform in the air as well as it does on paper. 

Given the junior senator’s certitude about success, don’t you wonder why the flight and tests were necessary?

Health care, agriculture and govt.

“When has goverment ever made anything better!”

Interesting analogy to agriculture in this New Yorker article by Dr Atul Gawande.



Tuesday’s Loose Thread

Pretty drive this morning. Snow sure covers a lot of ugly.

Monday’s Loose Thread

“Once again, we come to the Holiday Season, a deeply religious time that each of us observes, in his own way, by going to the mall of his choice.” -- Dave Barry

Either global warming has sucked all of the air out of the room, or there’s nothing else of interest going on.

Post those random thoughts here.

Friday’s Loose Thread

So did  you get your Sarah Palin books signed?

Thoughts on this day?


Tuesday’s Loose Thread

It seems every year at this time there’s complaints about the assault on Christmas. What about the holiday’s assault on me?

Thoughts on this breezy, sub-balmy day?

Monday’s Loose Thread

Was almost done with the Christmas decorating when that north wind blew in and forced me to surrender. Grr! Brr!

Thoughts on this lovely day?

Tuesday’s Loose Thread

Suspected cops killer shot dead. Story here. Editorial here.

Your thoughts here.


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