Friday, January 23, 2015

Poem Series 1 of 5 over next 5 days

Remember My Friend

Remember why we are friends,
When we met we had nothing in common
Except the curiosity of what we might

Remember why we are friends,
As we coalesced around the politics we hate
That evolved to great dialogue we love

Remember why we are friends
As my disappointments turned to sorrow
Your support built the pillars our friendship is now built on

Remember why we are friends
Our differences withstood doubts
Our doubts evolved to better understanding
Our ignorance diminished
Our faith in our friendship grew

Remember why we are friends
Every storm became calm
Each day came with a sea of possibility
Joy became a normal way of life as your consult became my calm

We will always remain Friends

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Great Loser, Tragedy of Wall Street and Human Behavior

The Conundrum

Perhaps the most unfortunate behavior characterizing human (as a general blanket statement) is predictability.  Men often respond to high pressure decision-making with the same involuntary reaction they experience when getting an erection.  What is the president you may ask yourself?

Take one of the single greatest economic driving forces in the world; as a matter of fact you can drill down and look no further than the New York Stock Exchange.

Throughout the day tickets fly, monitors flash, people scream on the floor waving pieces of paper, pencil or pen in hand and the most up to date have a portfolio of electronic networks from personal smart devices or tablets.

As the bell tolls the adrenaline continues to flow becoming the venom of ones soul, the ticker board rolls as pennies, quarters, fractions and dollars, forcing individuals to react to strategic moves that will create the greatest advantage for their clients or themselves.

Holding an internal database of positions that need to be executed, lest they suffer, to perfection.  Scouring the floor, screens and monitors for immediate advantages.

The looser hold out for the deal they missed then in disbelief the wait and watch with piercing anticipation for the shoe to fall off the other foot; "but wait, that can't still be going up" they exclaim Shit!  They saw the numbers yesterday and recognized the pattern of consecutive escalation in price, the buy was still there if they would only have bought at opening bell.

Decidedly they wait...and "No not another climb!" yep, triple digit increase.  Their heart sinks as the number continue to go up on the buy-in, they missed out on.

Unable to bare the risk of a further missed opportunity and finally, after holding out nearly all day, just past lunch time and mid-day!  They buy.  Followed by a deep and nearly immediately plunge into the jackpot of failures abyss.  They not only missed the numbers, the bought at the wrong time.

The bell rings and for the clean-up, they purchase, using what remaining assets they have to mop up potential earnings for the next day.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Water Writes (Rights)

Yesterday I was listening to an old CSPAN podcast of a Supreme Court water rights argument in the
case of Kansas v. Nebraska and Colorado.  There are some interesting points that arise in the case as you listen to the SC Justices integrate the prosecution or petitioner and the defendants.

The Case
At issue is violation of both the Republican River Compact and known wrong doing, which seems to arise as a separate issue in my opinion.  Let me simplify this and get to the point because it is made out to be a typical overly complex litigation with meaning getting lost in the language.

These three states made a compact about use of the Republican River.  The violations go back over 10 years.  Nebraska had under estimated water use requirements and violated their use because they argue that the tools to estimate water needs was not accurate enough.  One of their models for the baseline analysis was the dust bowl era.  Seemingly that would be a valuable baseline for water minimums, and it is.  However as it turns out, that water minimum is not the lowest water levels that have been reached over the time since their compact.  Now you might be able to see where this is going.

Colorado is supporting Nebraska's argument, but Kansas is arguing that modifications in the compact are not allowable without acceptable revision (simplified here).  Further Kansas states that such revisions are a "threat" to their water rights; there is also no precedence for addressing disputes for violations of the Compact as can also be found in the Cornell review of that case.

Now there are other factors in the conversation but I am choosing not to go into those because I am not necessarily going in that direction.  As a last note Justices Ginsberg, Alito, Roberts and  Scalia-- as to my memory.

The bigger issue here is the value of water itself.  When considering the volume of water, it is one matter.  And clearly at risk is future violations and what exactly those violations mean going forward if there is not real consequence.  But also this should be an alarm for the real threat of water availability and scarcity.  As we encounter greater concerns over usable water an pollution of it from farms and other industrial requirements for water, how much influence do we as citizens have over this water.

As individuals we lack the power in most cases to even bring our arguments to the Supreme Court, yet our concerns are no less valuable.  Granted that we are getting use from the water that is stated in this case, but I am more concerned about the very nature of the argument that Kansas is making, which is how do we generate consequences for a dispute that satisfies an individual, let alone a state?

Oh!  I found it very interesting that one of the Justices (I believe it to be Justice Scalia) made a point of saying that if better ways of measuring water consumption from the River,  become available that doesn't necessarily meant that you are suppose to continually ask this court to make allowable revisions in the Compact.   Now it is my understanding that the whole point of law is to adapt when things are not accurately accounted for including human behavior relative to the greater good or violations of ideologies that were once though to be sufficient as in the case of civil rights arguments.

This is probably enough to marinate on but it does get you thinking about the importance of water and perhaps how we should elevate our awareness of what it actually means to and in our society.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Over Simplification

Today I had a task, seemed simple enough... WAIT!

It's rarely that simple.  Let's talk about the task first.  On the front of an off road vehicle or SUV as
some call it, there is a bull grill or a grill guard.  This device is used to add to the physical appeal of the vehicle or if you live in the high country can be used to fend off large animals that cross the road in the high country area (obviously this could be low lying country areas as well).

There are four bolts and nuts that hold on that grill.  As you might imagine these bolts and nuts are not the typical nuts and bolts you would simply use around the house.  They are stainless steel, with heavy duty threads.  They are designed to hold a heavy load and maintain their strength under more than typical stress.

I was suppose to remove these nuts and bolts as a courtesy to someone close to me.  "...just borrow the neighbors tools..."  First mistake, letting someone who knows nothing about automotive tasks offer directions to a task that will require some time and effort.  Correction some time and a great amount of effort.  But in an attempt to satisfy her request and frustration with my rejection of the task, I took it on.

Now my better senses would have simply said, there is a shop that can do this quicker and easier than the amount of energy I would have to put in; that would have been the smart thing to do, but I did not do that.  Mistake!

So what is the real problem here.  The highest concern is that I would injure myself carrying out this task without the proper tools that would make this task easier.  All the other party is concerned with is carrying out the task that meets their satisfaction, while I am considering all the other factors including injuring myself for one simple reason... sorry two reasons: 1) I know much more about what I am doing 2) I am concerned with more than just the task.  You see often other people are not concerned with the risk simply because, if they are not experienced in the matter, they can psychologically distance themselves from the risk since the risk is not their own; or to phrase it better, they have nothing to lose, including serious injury.

There is yet another issue.  The quality of the work being done.  A comprehensive knowledge also means your results will be much output if you are seriously concerned with your input.  Or let's put it another way, your output is determined by your input.

So in the future, one of the best conversations you can have with someone is to tell them to inquire as to the level of involvement with a task.  If they better understand what is involved, they are more likely to reconsider what they are asking of you.

Friday, December 12, 2014

The Greatest Love

Love is not  reserved for one person.

The greatest Love is all the Love I've ever known and all that sstill awaits.