Sunday, November 10, 2013

There are times when being "a bit unusual" is not a obstacle to success

Today's blog is about a web site called It was lucky that I was able to find something more intriguingly useless than ranting about politics to amuse myself.
Most hobbies are useless. As the child of hippy parents, I spent a lot of time with them making candles, macramé and selling ceramic pot scrubber frogs at craft fairs and other suspect venues, I speak of obsessive hobbies with some authority.
 My own obsession with politics has, like most hobbies, no economic value or long term benefit. I learned as a kid that there are only so many macramé swinging glass top tables that can be hung form the ceiling before someone actually spills a highball or some toddler gets smacked in the head (sorry Greg).
My favorite were the ceramic frogs to put your pots scrubber in my Mom made. To this day, I look for a ceramic frog pot scrubber holder in peoples homes. But the greatest most useless hobby of all has to be Michael Carmichael's worlds largest ball of paint.
Since the late 1960's Michael has faithfully painted a baseball that now has over 20,000 coats of paint and weights almost 900 pounds. His wife, who must be a remarkably tolerant woman is in many of the pictures with that "and by now you could have had the rumpus room paneled" look in her eyes.
I love it because it is useless, senseless and impossible to ignore; much like politics.
Michael has been painting this baseball for at least as long as the PC's have been in power in Alberta. He has reinvented his baseball by simply painting over the  previous improvements, yet his baseball remains unchanged, if hard to find, buried under, and presumably never to come out of, 20,000 coats of paint.
There are days when Michael will add 10 coats of paint and others when he doesn't add any. 
There are days in politics when the government will add the equivalent of 10 coats of paint to itself and other times when they add none, this has more to do with election cycles than some obsession with color but the underlying motivation is the same.
Of course, Mr. Carmichael does not spend any tax dollars to repaint his baseball and the government has a hard time doing anything so delightfully irrelevant, so really any comparison is only a mind set on my part.
But still the idea that someone has been painting a baseball since the PC's were first elected in Alberta is an interesting thing to ponder.
Did I mention the baseball is now so fat and bloated, it weights 900 pounds and has it's own shed.

Monday, November 4, 2013

The old excuse: It's a different budget

Raj Sherman stuck gold and doesn't even know it, in his queries about Thomas Lukaszuk and his $11,000 spend to renovate his office space.

I don't know if Lukaszuk needed new décor or not, but the real issue here is not the spend it is the means I have mentioned many times: There is only one budget, one tax payer and whether or not an $11,000.00 renovation is necessary or not the fact it was undertaken in the midst of a significant curtailment of post secondary funding tell me simply, The Deputy Premier does not get it.
He does not understand the difference between entitlement and necessity, his expenditures might have been necessary but to publicly suggest they were a "different budget" clearly paints him with the brush of entitlement.
I'm happy his mantle matches the table, I know how incongruous it is to work in a place where they don't. It is disruptive of the staff morale and causes people who first enter his office to wonder "my god how does he work in such a place? That mantle does not match that table.":
Entitlement all the way. Nothing but, no restraint, no regard for modeling the behavior expected of the leaders of this economy, nope, just a regard for self and servants at the expense of all others.
This is why I left;  40+ years of PC mismanagement, including things like renovating offices that don't need to be renovated is not a question of resource allocation, it's a question of entitlement.
It is living above and beyond the optics of decisions. Oh I know it's only $11,000.00 and that is not enough to fund much of anything, yet to suggest that because it is a different budget is absurd, juvenile and, much more importantly an optical illusion.
Thomas's strategy, if he had one was to assume this will blow over and it likely will but it and 10,000 other good examples will tell us why, in no uncertain terms, this government has lived beyond it's mandate. The Mandarin class do not like to share in the suffering they impose on the masses and this is yet another example of why they don't have to.
There is only one taxpayer and it is me. I have no objection to government have decent working conditions but I do object to that being a priority when, obviously, cash is tight.
Try this stuff in the private sector and your office renovation would be your last, but in government this kind of stuff goes on all the time.
Thanks Thomas, you set one hell of an example.