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Archive for June, 2012

So, I just got back from California.  While on the plane to California, I was the bread of a medium guy/big guy sandwich.  In other words, I was on the window and another guy (bigger than me) was on the aisle, and a guy in between.  But, on my return flight, the middle seat was held by a woman that could not have weighed more than a buck 0 five sopping wet.  Needless to say, the return flight was much more comfortable for me and the other members of my aisle.  It got me thinking, what if we were required to give our weight when buying our airline ticket?  Think about it.  Let’s say that only middle seats were available.  If you knew the size of the people in the aisle and the window, wouldn’t that inform your decisions of which middle seats were preferable?  If you are one of my smart readers, I am sure you see the flaw in my plan already.  What about liars?  If you are a woman, and you weigh 115 pounds, it would be to your advantage to say that you weigh 300.  It would decrease the chance of anyone sitting next to you.

It’s a basic Game Theory problem or Prisoner’s Dilemma, depending on your academic training.  For example, in Hawks and Doves Game Theory, a hawk will fight and be aggressive to obtain a resource, but a dove will never fight and be submissive.  So, if a dove meets a dove, they share the resource equally, but if a hawk meets a hawk, they fight and incur a cost with diminished access to the resource.  Of course, if you are a hawk and you meet a dove, you get everything.  So, a population of hawks and doves should reach a balance.  Not too many hawks and not too many doves.  In my Airline Game Theory, we would have True Weight (Low Medium High) versus Liar Weight (Low Medium High).  For example, if a True 350 pound person sits next to a True 100 pound person, the seats are shared in favor of the 350 pounder, however, the 100 pounder receives low costs, due to their small size.  Two people that are True 150 pound people, would share their seats equally.  However, if a Liar High 150 pound person (someone who really weighs 350 pounds) sits next to a Liar High 150 pound person, they will incur very high costs, and no one will win.

So, what is the answer?  Let the airline make seating assignments based on everyone’s weight, using an algorithm that maximizes comfort for all concern.  This would mean you would not know your seating assignment until the very end, but wouldn’t it be worth it?  I love this idea.  I am a big guy.  If you are a big guy, trust me, you do not want to sit next to me.  Airline people, if you are reading my blog, make it happen.  This is a great idea.

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What is up with airline travelers?  Is it really necessary to keep your cell phone on when the plane is taking off?  They’re like children, and the teacher has to go around slapping people on the wrist to get them to turn their iPhones off.  And guess what?  If you refuse to listen or at least be quiet during the safety announcements, I have every right to leave your butt behind when the crap hits the fan.  Finally, no matter how much you complain, you can’t will the plane to be on time.  So sit down, shut up, and put your damn seat belt on when the sign is illuminated, because guess what?  That sign is definitely for you.  I’m just sayin’ …

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So, my father is in the hospital.  He is in critical condition.  He is stable, but still critical.  I was not sure if I would blog about this subject.  It is not a subject that is very entertaining, so if you don’t want to continue reading, I understand.  I am not exactly sure why I am writing about it, but I feel like I need to write about it.  It is kind of … cathartic.

I am going to label this as my first real crisis.  I have led a rather … I don’t know if sheltered is the correct word, but I can say that there have not been too many problems in my life that I felt I couldn’t fix.  Under most circumstances, given enough time, I think I can fix anything.  That is amazingly egotistical on my part, but I think if you knew me, you would probably agree.  Probably on both parts, the egotistical and the fix anything.  I figure if you are going to have an ego, at least back it up, right?

I called my father on Father’s Day, but he did not answer.  A little while later, his wife sent me a text to indicate that the paramedics had taken him to the hospital.  I had no major reaction to the text.  After all, it was just a text.  My father has no medical history that I am aware of, as matter of fact, I don’t even think he has ever been sick, at least to my knowledge.  His RN even stated yesterday that he has no medical history to explain his current state.  But that’s my Dad, or Ron as I call him (I call my biological father by his first name, to do otherwise feels weird.  I have no explanation for you at this moment, but it is probably not for the reason that you think).

Ron is not a complainer.  My father could get into a car accident, have his leg chopped off, and hop to work.  “Hey Ron, I think there is something wrong with your leg.”  He’d say, “It’s alright, let me finish my work and I’ll drive to the hospital later.”  Someone would say, “But your leg is chopped off.”  He’d reply, “It’s just the left one, I can still drive.”  That’s my father, no exaggeration.  This is the same man who called converting a one-story house into a two-story house a side project.  That’s how I spent my summers in junior high, building a house.  No, I am not exaggerating.  Just in case you are wondering, I left out the “It’s just a flesh wound” quote out on purpose.  It’s over used, and if you said it while reading this, you are a nerd.  Sorry, had to be said.

It’s weird seeing my father in this condition.  It is very surreal.  When I walked into his room, seeing all those hanging bags, tubes, and frail body, it was like I became a little boy.  Why is he like that?  What am I seeing?  Someone needs to fix this.  I just wanted to leave the room.  I didn’t leave the room, but I couldn’t stop thinking, it was just a text.  How did we go from a text to this?  It was as if I watching myself, but as a little boy, scared and confused.  It was a very uncomfortable situation, but then I did what I know how to do; it is time to fix this.  I wanted to know about every detail that led us to this place.  I talked with my step-mother.  I talked to the nurse.  I examined every bag that was hanging on a hook.  I looked at his blinking screen and was thankful that my brain understood the acronyms and curvy lines.  I asked every question I could think of, and any word that was spoken that I did not completely understand, I filed it away in my brain to study later.  I spent half the night reading about every medical condition that could be related.  In order to cope, I became House.

Obviously, I did not have any “A-Ha” moments last night.  Mostly a lack of sleep and trying not to think about my father’s current situation.  It would be cool if I could talk to the doctors, and say, based on my analysis of the situation, this is what’s going on.  Give him 15 cc’s of blah-blah-blah and watch the magic happen.  That would be awesome, but unfortunately, this is not a TV show.  I finally did fall asleep last night.  I awoke with no revelations.  I cried.  That seemed the right thing to do, and then decided to write this blog.

If you believe in God, I would appreciate your prayers.  If you don’t believe, than I appreciate your support.  If anyone can beat this thing, it is Ron.  I will probably continue my reading about his medical condition.  I will continue to ask questions.  I will continue to try to “fix” this situation, because that is who I am, but one thing is for sure, I am no House.

If you are still here, thanks for reading.  I’m just sayin’ …

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So, it is finally over.  Two and half million people voted and governor, Scott Walker becomes the first governor to survive a recall.  Fifty-three percent of the vote goes to Walker.  Walker raised over 30 million dollars to win.  Barrett only raised 4 million.  You know what?  How many programs could have been saved with 34 million dollars?  It is ridiculous.  Don’t raise my taxes, but I will give you $500,000 so that you can win a campaign.  The world has gone crazy.

Do you realize that you can’t win a major political office without money?  Also, why does no one have a problem with the inherent conflict of interest?  Governor Scott Walker received over $500,000 from Diane Hendricks of Beloit, Wisconsin.  Are you telling me that he is not obliged to keep her happy?  At least a little?  I am not blaming Walker for this, I am blaming the system.  I want to be President of the United States, and I think I would make a damn good one, but I can’t.  I do not have the money, nor the connections to money to make it happen.

I am glad the recall is over.  As I wrote in a previous blog, I was against the recall.  We are still a divided state, heck a divided country, but I think there needs to be more stringent guidelines for recalls beyond disagreement.  Besides, I am not convinced that Tom Barrett would have done a better job.  There, I said it.

PS – I did vote, but not for whom you might think.

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A couple of days ago, my five-year-old son and my wife were admiring their respective uvulas.  As a matter of fact, they called me over to ask what that “punching bag” at the back of the mouth was called.  I told them it was their uvula.  I am hoping that my son will refer to this object using the correct term, rather than “the penis hanging down from inside mommy’s mouth”.  True story.  And I have no more to say on the matter.  I’m just sayin’ …

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