A Word of Advice for All Advertisers

I know. I have no degree in advertising. I have no degree in higher learning at all. However, I do have eyes in my head and I have likely a little better mind for reasoning than most. That is to say, I can observe and draw reasonably sound conclusions.

Now, let’s say I’m watching a TV show and one of those irritating, highly over repeated ads come on. You know the ones. The ones by the lawyers seeking their 40% for legal fees; the ones advertising for Medicare part C; etc, etc and so forth.

Instead of leaving the room to make a sandwich, I change the channel to avoid the obnoxious blather. Then, no matter the reason, I don’t change the channel back. Maybe I forget. Perhaps I decide I like what’s on the other channel. I don’t know. Maybe the remote breaks or gets lost.

Your ad, which is immediately after the repetitive gibberish is not watched…the one for which you paid good money. The money, goes down the tubes, never to even be seen again. I imagine the ad agency as well as those writing the check don’t like like my little story.

Based on the above, it would seem to me that advertisers would not want to pay prime prices for time following “such fantastic works of art.”

Odd. While watching TV just now, one of those irritants came on. I’m not sure I’ll change it back. I sort of like this program better.

I mean, there are irritating commercials. Then, there are just irritating blabbing, if you get my point. I mean, I do believe we are all now well educated on bad water at Lejeune and the benefits of part c Medicare.

Surprise, Not All Stove Are Hot

It is something, likely, as old as stoves. Most folks quickly learn not to touch hot stoves.

Actually, it is not so important today as it was a couple of centuries ago when ole Ben first started building stoves. Generally speaking, when someone would touch a hot stove, they were not apt to repeat it.

Actually, I suspect it went back even farther than that. Before there were stoves, there were fireplaces. Before fireplaces campfires, or their equivalent.

I even heard a tale of one of the big wigs at Levi learning not to kneel next to campfires…first time. It was then that they decided to remove one or two of the rivets from the area just below the fly of their famous canvas trousers.

The one thing brought away from the first experience was the probability of pain, sometimes a little embarrassment too. However, here’s the news. Not all stoves are hot. Not all rivets are hot. It just is that once exposed to these experiences we mostly come away thinking they are, or at least can be. It is referred to as inductive reasoning. Because the first stove we touch is hot, we assume all stoves are hot.

What if the reverse is true. What if the first stove you touch is ambient temperature? Do we then assume that all stoves are cool to the touch. If we do this, we expose ourselves to many painful experiences. This is called inductive reasoning.

While it is useful, it can easily lead to errors. For instance, if we see a brown Labrador retriever, it would be wrong to assume that all dogs are brown and weigh eighty pounds. Indeed, it would be wrong to assume that all Labs are brown. Oddly there are some that are black.

On the other hand, suppose we touch a hundred cool stoves. Can we then assume are stoves are cool? If we see a hundred brown Labs, are we to assume that all labs are brown.

You see, even though we see a large number of examples, we cannot truly assume anything.

Until we see a large enough number of examples, we cannot positively say that we know all labs are brown and that all stoves are cool. Even when working with large numbers, inductive reasoning can lead us astray.

I wish that kids in the eighth grade were required to spend a few hours learning about inductive and deductive reasoning. I am convinced the concept is extremely important in so many parts of life.

Let’s take for instance, the woman that is robbed by an African American. Is it right for her to be afraid of all African Americans? Of course, not. Yet, it may take her years to get over the experience. Our fears are not always founded on good logic. Indeed, her fear might keep her from many good friendships.

The somewhat opposite of inductive reasoning is deductive reasoning. In deductive reasoning, we draw conclusions from many, perhaps exhaustive numbers of examples. It is best that these examples are at random. It is the way that medical research is done. I suppose we can say that statistics and deductive reasoning are interrelated. The more the examples and the more random, the more accurate will be the stats deductive reasoning that depends on the stats.

If we have a random selection of a million dogs, it is likely that only a few will be Labs and we will likely see a few black dogs, white dogs and even a few multi-color dogs. Therefore, we can have a more accurate idea of the coloring of dogs. If we take a random measurement of a million stoves, we might actually find that only 30% are hot enough to cause pain, or even discomfort. (only a wild guess, not am actual statistic)

I’m not going to try to create an equivalent example with the thievery. It’s far too complex and there are too many ways it can go wrong with my imaginary statistics. Moreover, I am not going to suggest that a woman should get robbed a million times. Two or three maybe, but no more. Still, the principles remain firm. With a larger number of examples, we would be able to draw more accurate deductions.

However, we need to be careful about drawing snap conclusions. When we go from the millions of examples and try to derive a single situation from millions of examples, we can still be wrong. For instance, if I may. It would not indicate that a thief is of any ethnicity, and it would be wrong to make any such suggestion.

Yet, every day, I see some people blame Black men because of individual as well as vast statistical data. Those methods just don’t work. And, by the way, the methods don’t work on Caucasian policemen, again, regardless of past inductive or deductive reasoning. You cannot convict a policeman based on past experience just as the woman cannot convict based on past thieves.

Perhaps the most horrible example of inductive reasoning is when the person says, “Single parent families are just as good as two-parent families.” Then they go about calling out two, three or four examples of good kids brough up by single parents. That logic has two holes. First, it is based on a very small count of examples. Second, there is the probability that, if there is a second parent, the child would likely have turned out better. The statistics back it up. We are talking millions of examples not just two or three.

On the other side of the coin, I see people say that a particular person turned out good or bad because of his parent(s). The stats prove that some good kids come from bad or broken homes and bad kids come from homes with good parents.

In this case, the inductive logic gets us nowhere and the deductive logic only shows trends. The trend shows overwhelmingly that two parent homes are better. But logic tells us that it is only true if they are good parents. Abusive and or alcoholic parents rarely qualify as good parents. Yet, again, some good kids come from homes with abusive parents. Sorry. I have no explanation for that. I’m not sure there is one.

For those who are not truly familiar with the terms inductive and deductive reasoning, may I suggest you take an hour or two and look into it on the net. Most will find it far more complex than most of us realize. For instance, one thing that must accurately be determined in inductive reasoning is an accurate correlation. For instance, that dance by that Voo-do doctor likely has nothing to do with that solar eclipse. On the other hand, all that rain I dumped on my lawn the other day likely had nothing to do with the thunderstorm we got the next day, though it did seem a little coincidental. If we collected enough data, it is likely to be proved that the one thing had nothing to do with the other.

Almost Paradise

As I considered the title to this post, I realized I came up with something of a good book title. At least, it seemed that way to me. Now, I need is a good book to go with it. Come to think of it, maybe someone did already. It would be a shame if someone else beat me to it.

The point is that the place I moved to in 1977 was really nice and had been for decades. It was almost paradise, though there were a few problems.

Some of the roads were spread with pot holes. My poor little car had a real problem with the little trailer bouncing around behind us. There were but a small smattering of places to eat and we could find but 1 doctor office, 1 dentist and one pharmacy. The closest hospital was 15 or 16 miles away.

However, the schools were nice and there weren’t many police. Wasn’t much need for them. It truly was almost paradise.

In this world there are problems with paradises. Southern California, before 1950 was an almost paradise. Now, look at it. I won’t go through the list of problems there now. Everyone knows. The desire to live in paradise has destroyed it. Now the U-hauls are leaving and the people are going to other paradises; as Texas, Florida, etc.

in all likelihood, those paradises will be spoiled too. It almost always happens. Unfortunately, paradises draw the unsavory element as well as the exemplary.

It’s happened and is happening where I live. If I possible, I’d leave as soon as i could. If there were an army of police, it would not be enough. The undesirable element is drifting south from Memphis. It does say something about Memphis. No one wants to leave a good place for a worse one.

We now have doctors hospitals dentists, the whole works. Even the streets are smooth. However, it seems that every fourth car I see nowadays has Shelby County plates.

Don’t actually have too much of an objection if they want to spend Tennessee dollars in Mississippi, but they bring their driving habits too. Not only that but they bring their crime, mostly drugs, and robbery too. A couple of years ago, I posted a story about a break in in my house. Dumb thief! One look at my little 900 square foot house and he’d have known I don’t have anything.

The area right across the state line had two big thriving malls and the area around it had a multitude of stores, restaurants and businesses. The malls are now all but closed and the parking lots are all baren.

Needless to say, the value of my little house has skyrocketed. Every time Memphis comes up with a bad idea my property value goes up.

The problem is that as they leave what used to be a near paradise, they bring their stupid ideas with them, and ruin our neighborhoods.

It is not just a local problem. It won’t be long that the illegal aliens will bring their ways to our nation and destroy our national paradise.

This reminds me of a passage in the Bible in which it says that murderers, thieves, liars, adulterers, etc, etc, and so forth will never go to heaven (paradise).

At the time I first read it, I did not see the full significance as I do now. You see, any place where such people are allowed would not be paradise. It would not be long before even the steets of heaven would be ruined. When the corrupt are denied access, about anywhere would be great. Then, with Jesus there too, it will be perfect.

If you would like to go there, you need a reservation. The only way to get the reservation is to accept Jesus as your savior. Then, he will cleanse you. Those not born again are not cleansed. They will not enter paradise. They will only see eternal punishment.

if you think about it, it makes sense. Who wants a paradise full of corruption and the corrupt. Certainly, God doesn’t.

Now if I could just get all these liberals to go back to Memphis where they belong!!

History of TV Reception

When TVs first came out, the TV antenna soon followed. After just a short time, a person could pan the rooftops and see the antennas sticking up from most of the houses.

Some had to settle for rabit ears. Some, me included had broken antennas and settled for wire clothes hangers. My clothes hanger worked very well. I wish I could say it was because of my great knowledge of electronics but, in my case, I had a good picture without having to alter the hanger at all.

On the other hand, some needed 40, 50, or even 70 foot masts to receive signals from a 100 or more miles away. To complicate matters, some received signals from 2 or 3 different directions. To do this, they had what they called rotors and they worked well. It was a tad on the pricey side though. Not only did one need the equipment, but it also had to be installed.

I don’t know who first thought of the idea of cable, but I noticed it being installed in rural areas in the late 50s and early 60s. It was good for the stations and sponsors as it increased those receiving their programming and ads. There is no need to say it was good for those receiving cable. That’s obvious.

Over the years, those selling cable found more customers and types of customers. People in apartments and folks who hated ugly antennas sticking up all over the neighborhood. Also, the reception quality improved.

Perhaps one of the main reasons the cable idea spread so rapidly was the increase in channels available. People in San Diego watched L.A. channels, for example. In addition, what I call pseudo-stations started popping up.

Then, to improve reception and increase features, they went to digital. I never liked that much in the past, even less now. What started out to be a way to receive a good picture for 15 or 20 a month has turned into a huge conglomerate (if I may misuse the word) of sations, most of which are mental wastelands that I spent 226 a month. That is a big bite from my social security.

I just had my cable disconnected and I am now aware of why I don’t like digital TV. If a person buys an expensive antenna, after spending hours adjusting it and fussing with it, it almost works, almost doesn’t. Mostly, gone are the days of using a hanger. Now we must use 39.95 antennas that I can’t even receive all the local channels I received just fine in the old analogs. Moreover, I keep losing the picture into wild pixelations.

I guess the FCC had us in mind as they made the decision to digitize broadcasts, or at least I hope so. Then again, maybe it would help if the 39.95 antenna worked better than a clothes hanger.

(Does anyone know where I can get a metal clothes hanger? )

The Doctor Will See You Now?

While I was in the Marines, I did not need to concern myself with the cost of medicine. Uncle Sam paid for it. That meant, if I could see a doctor, I was treated well. It also meant that if I had the flu, I worked sick.

The alternative was to wait three hours to be seen. Most of time, I would see a corpsman, not a doctor. He would give me a bottle of aspirins and give me light duty for 24 hours, which meant I went back to work. I learned the pattern early and didn’t bother trying to see a doctor anymore.

The hitch was that without the light duty authorization, they could make me do some heavy work. Actually, they did that anyway.

It is, sort of, a picture of communism. Everyone gets paid the same and everyone has to do the same amount of work. Unless I was falling down sick, I did as much as everyone else. Also, they had someone with a few stripes making sure I did it.

Once I became a civilian, if was sick, I called in. I was able to do that eight times a year. Mostly, I only used two or three sick days a year. When I worked for a bank, I worked 3 1/2 years straight. Didn’t miss a day. Still, if I got sick, I could take a few days off without getting an excuse from the doctor.

More important, If I felt bad enough, I could actually see a doctor, usually in an hour or two. Nowadays, I do have to wait some, but I still see a real doctor. When I was having chest pains, there was no wait at all.

The real problems with the military medical system started after I got married. I had a four year old that was having problems breathing at night. I did get him in to see a doctor twice. Both times he was diagnosed with tonsillitis. He prescribed some meds and sent him home both times.

The worst part was that the symptoms always got worse at night. If getting into see a doctor was difficult during the day, it was ten times worse at night. Actually, to some degree that is true with civilian doctors too. There seems to be an unwritten law somewhere that if you’re going to get sick, do it between 8 am and 5 pm, Mon through Fri. Fridays are frowned on too.

It was only after taking my son to a private doctor I found out that he nearly died from lack of air. He removed the tonsils and he hardly had another sick day in his life. Bear in mind that I was a Sgt at the time (E5). I cannot imagine what privates and PFCs go through. They can’t afford to go to a private doctor. On the other hand, I cannot imagine a general ever having to wait a minute for a doctor. Indeed, sometimes, I suspect the doctor goes to him.

It is sort of the way it is with social medicine. Most cannot go to private doctors. There are none. Under socialism, the state pays for the doctors. If you want to see a private doctor, you would have to go to another country. It is exactly what the Canadians have been doing for years. When their socialistic system is inadequate, they just visited doctors in the US. Going to a private doctor in Canada is not allowed.

However, if you happen to be one of the members of the Canadian government, your chances of having to wait for bypass surgery are inversely proportional to your position.

I am not saying that private medicine is perfect. It is far from it. But it is better than free medical. Take it from one who has seen it first hand. By the way, when we went on Obama care, it was far worse than private medical for me. I was paying a grand a year for my wife for five years and she only used it once. That is even worse than what I had in the Marines. It was not only bad medical but I had to pay for it too.

By the way, they only thing they can do to make Obama care worse is to put Fauci in charge of it.

Feeding the Bird

One afternoon, I was mowing my yard. I had an electric mower and a 50 foot extension chord. It wasn’t my standard way of mowing my yard, but I was going forward then backing up over the same swatch. I found it a convenient way of managing my power chord.

After I had gone about a fourth of the way, I noticed a bird taking advantage of my pattern. Every time I backed up, the robin red breast went where I just mowed and reaped the benefits. As I approached the bird, he filtered a short distance away and waited until I gain retreated.

I don’t know if I was the first one to feed him that way, but he seemed quite at home about it. He hardly seemed afraid of me or the mower, other than to get out of the way as I approached him. He likely didn’t mind having to go on the run for the short time. Somehow he figured out that every time I went back, there would be food just waiting there for his taking.

I wanted to get a video of it. I knew I would have been able to make a fortune from it. Alas, I could think of no way to get my wife to come out and get the pictures. Had I yelled, it might scare him away. If I left, I suspect he would too.

So, until my yard was done, he enjoyed the meal and I enjoyed the show. It kind of made the work a little lighter.

Besides, I do enjoy feeding birds, even if it was a little unconventional, even if I never had the chance to record it.

A Rash Decision

Nothing political or religious this time. Indeed, most folks have no interest in this. Just kind of a personal note for the right people.

My wife fought a skin rash for over six months. We went through two doctors of internal medicine and three skin doctors. They tried this and that and the other thing but nothing seemed to help

Some of the doctors thought it was something she ate. One doctor thought it might be a medicine she was taking and she suggested discontinuing meds for a while. That did not sit will with my wife. She has high blood pressure and diabetes. Not a good idea to discontinue any of her meds. It would send her blood pressure sky high and/or her blood sugar.

None the less, as I said, she and the doctors piddled around with all sorts of things.

Then, I made a rash decision. We changed laundry detergent. We switched from Tide to another. Within two weeks, the rash went away.

Don’t get the wrong idea. I am not a doctor. If you have a rash, I likely can’t treat it. In order to confirm it was the detergent, I would need to go back to Tide for a little while. I didn’t much care for that. Once the rash was gone, I was thrilled regardless the reason.

I will say this, however. It has been years and the rash has not returned. Moreover, I noticed that Tide has come out with a new milder version. I’m glad for them. It is sort of admission of guilt. However, if they think we are going to return to mild Tide, they can forget it.

I do have a word in favor of tide. Their detergent was effective and none of the rest of us had any problems with it. To me, it would appear that not many have any problems with it.

However, if you or anyone you know is having a stubborn rash problem, you just might try making a rash decision and change laundry detergent. Or, if you are reluctant to do that, you might add another rinse cycle or two. Just a guess.

Trains, Cars and Planes

I have always had a fascination with trains, especially the steam locomotives. When I was seven, I had an electric train set, though it modeled a diesel. Don’t get me wrong. I love that train. My friends and I had a lot of fun with that train. In fact, from time to time we would combine train sets into a much larger set. The problem was that every time I was done with it, I had to put it up. It meant the next time I wanted to play trains, I had to put it all together.

A neighbor down the way had a train set in his garage. The table it was on could be raised and lowered. It made it far more convenient. More than that, his train only had two rails like the real ones. Mine had three. Besides, his had switch tracks. It didn’t have to go over the same tracks time and again.

Thinking back over it, I sometimes think I should have made my living with trains. I know it is hard work but you know, if it is what you like, it isn’t work.

When I was six, I rode on a train, from Ft Smith to Kansas City to Los Angeles. Then, after a few hours in Los Angeles, we went up to San Francisco. A person can’t do that anymore. Ft. Smith Arkansas no longer has passenger service. However, they do have an airport. From that little airport a person can go most anywhere in the world. Interstate 40 goes just north of Ft Smith. For those with automobiles, a person can go all over the US on the best interstate system in the world.

I guess, if a person from Ft. Smith wants to go on a train, he would likely have to go to Memphis or maybe Oklahoma. I went to a ten week school in Philadelphia and I dove my car. My wife got a friend to watch the kids a few days and we figured she could come up a few days before the school was over and drive back with me.

My first thought was that she could catch a train and save a dollar or two. So I checked. It was about 200 dollars more by train than my plane. So she went by plane. I looked at going on the train to St. Louis for a Cardinal game. Was that An eye opener. We drove.

It used to be that when you couldn’t afford to fly, you took took a train. It would appear now the plane is less, or the car.

I was over in Japan back in 1975 and they had a good inexpensive train system. I rode on them a number of times. I understand the passenger trains are having problems there now.

I absolutely love trains, but it would appear they are a vanishing breed. People keep trying to bring them back. They talk about high speed trains. They talk about light rail. No matter how you look at it they are far more expensive than any other form of transportation and I hate that.

When the railroads first started, they had an enormous advantage. The government provided huge rights-of-way and all sorts of government assistance. It appears their golden age was from about 1850 to 1960 was. However, with the assistance of the California government, they tried a simple high speed train, which was to go more or less from the southern part of the state to the northern part. It failed miserably before the first train ran down the track. Actually, they never finished the track and likely never will. They spent more for the rail than for the entire Transcontinental Railroad. All that tax money and now there is nothing. It is time to give it up. Those of us who hardly ride on a train should not have to pay for those that do.

Nowadays, the trains simply cannot support themselves. Year after year, the tax dollars are poured into the trains systems and they always come up with losses at the end of the year. Amtrak is more of a failure than the post office and I hate that.

If it is the desire of some private firm wants to build a train, fine. I have no problem with it. As I said, I like trains. However, if they plan on doing it, please don’t use the taxpayer to fund another grand failure.

As a side note, I would suspect that the train in California would have come closer to succeeding if they did not waste so much money. It is the problem when the government gets involved in things. For sure some of that money that went toward that train likely ended up in the pockets of some politicians. Government is a beast and it is the nature of the beast.

I like to watch trains and I like to ride on trains. It seems to be such a wonderful efficient means of transportation. Experience proves it wrong. Cars are about the same speed as trains are far less expensive. Worse, the only way you can change the route of the train is to change the tracks. That is very expensive.

I suppose there are some places the trains are holding on. Many people still ride them on the east coast. There is still the famous City of New Orleans that goes between the city of its name and Chicago. I don’t live far from the tracks uses. I have had to stop to let it go by. But considering the price of a ticket, I would suspect it won’t be running much longer.

Indeed, the day is quickly approaching when the only trains you will see are freight trains and the type we put on the floor and play with.

Experts

On my first day of college, I learned something we should all learn in junior high, the true meaning of the word expert:

An expert is a person who knows a whole lot about very little.

Throughout my life, I have been reminded of that. Let’s take Dr. Fauci. To be sure, he is very knowledgeable, but I don’t think I would let him treat me for a bad cold. He is an expert. He knows a whole lot about very little. Even so, even within his field of expertise, he keeps getting it wrong.

  • He said we shouldn’t stop people from coming in from China. President Trump did; and he was clearly right. Even Fauci himself said so, after he got wrong.
  • He said that the China virus has little for us to fear. Over a half million in this country alone have died from it. It had destroyed the economy. It was almost as if China intended it that way. Maybe they did. No one can prove they didn’t,
  • He said we should not wear masks. Then in less than month, he said we should. Eventually, he said we should wear double masks. At the end of the day, the masks apparently had little or no effect. Even now he says we should continue to wear them.
  • He said it would take 4 to 5 years to develop a vaccine. It took about 10 months. Close anyway. Sometimes, experts get it wrong; but really?

It has reached a point that whatever the man says, we should do the opposite. I simply put no faith in the man. For that matter I put no faith in the CDC. They also have been getting it wrong regularly, almost 100% of the time. Moreover, it would appear that they are now being run by the teachers’ unions. Really, do the unions know more about the virus than the CDC? Of course at this point, I’m inclined to agree. Then again, what do the teacher unions know?

If it were up to me and I would be able to do anything about the CDC, the first thing I would do would be to cut their budget and payroll to about a tenth of what it is now. Then I’d be sure to move them to smaller digs. It might do them some good to suffer a blow to their ego.

By the way, Fauci and his cronies have had all kinds of help from the press and big tech. Every time someone said anything about a real possible cure, they got shut down. It is quite possible that thousands died because of that. It is also quite possible that the press will never answer for it.

It is exactly what Coolidge meant when speaking of people who make decisions and are responsible to know one. When they make a mistake, who gets fired. Who gets thrown into the lockup when people die as a result of their carelessness. When people ask who was responsible, all the experts that work there say, “Not me!”

Cooking With Gas or Electric?

Just saw an article on cooking with gas, and its downsides. The author, very likely a person with a college or two, tried to convince me that it is better to cook with electricity. He had a reason or four. On the other hand, I have cooked with electric and I have cooked with gas and, though I have no college I would much rather cook with gas.

  1. It cost less
  2. It is faster
  3. It is instant. Electric may need a few adjustments to decide on a correct setting being as heating elements take time to heat or cool.
  4. It is more environmentally friendly. While electric does not generate exhausts, generating the electricity does.
  5. It is more reliable. I have lived in my current residence for about 40 years. I have never lost my gas supply. In general, I have lost electric at least once a year. In two instances I lost it for 3 days or more. While it may not get as cold as it does up north, it does get below freezing, as it is now.
  6. While the newer electric stoves do have a few nice features, I prefer to have something that will work when I turn it on. I guess people that have more money than me prefer the induction ranges, mine works. I haven’t replaced it for about 30 years.

So as for me, you can take your electric stoves and stuff them. And, by the way, I have also replaced my electric hot water heater and clothes dryer with gas. Both work better and drastically decreased my over all utility prices.

As a side note, our electric grid is always on the brink of being overloaded. It is the nature of the beast. Their logic is simple. Never build any more than needed. You save money that way.