The thoughts of a writer.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Fun with the New Car

I’m off from my tech job with the school (for most of the summer), but I still work part-time doing government television. Last night before the meeting I was televising started, I noticed a group of people in the parking lot, all wearing the same uniforms. They were clustered around my new Ford Fusion that I just got license plates for that same day! Furthermore, some of them were leaning against my new car!

I reached into my pocket and pulled out my key with the buttons on it and pointed it toward the glass door (I was inside city hall) and pushed the “panic button!” The car began honking its horn and the lights were flashing. The group of people (I found out they were ambulance drivers) began to walk away from my car, and I pushed the button again to stop the alarm. Man that was fun!

The Grim Reality

The United States of America has been poorly run for a very long time. The constitution, which protects our rights, is basically setup to protect the property of the rich, landed people. These same people are the only ones who can afford to run for “public” office. The grim reality of the situation is that these people are more interested in promoting their own self-interest and making money, than they are in the welfare of the country and its people.

The U.S.A. is currently in debt to the tune of something like nine trillion dollars. With a number that huge, I may have it wrong, but who cares right? It’s a butt-load of money! If any single person mismanaged money like that (especially in a business), said individual would be serving time in a federal prison. Yet, our leaders have done this virtually unchecked for decades. Combine this with the tendency to interfere with other nations in order to secure oil interests, etc., the U.S. has a very corrupt government.

It’s time to abandon the two-party system. Vote for Cutris. Cutris has no special interest in oil, other than to replace it with a more environmentally-friendly, less politically charged, and less expensive form of energy. Cutris pays his bills and doesn’t accumulate debt. The choice for the next president should be clear…

Thursday, June 26, 2008

United States Federal Government Job

This morning I attempted to apply for a United States Government job.

First, the online application demanded my Social Security number, which I will not give out in an initial application. In fact, you are not required to due to potential identity theft. Still, some companies as well as the federal government demand it upfront. I believe denying your application because of this constitutes a violation of personal rights.

Second, the online system added ( ) – to the phone number entry and simultaneously asked that I input numbers only. The numbers would not fit into the characters present, and they took up the spaces I needed to add my phone number.

Third, when I contacted the person via email listed for questions, I was refused an application by mail or my request to talk to the department head. Have my rights been violated by my own country?

Bottom-line, do it the way they want you to, not the legal, ethical way.
If you do not, you don’t get the job.
Could this be why the government is so poorly run?

Monday, June 23, 2008

Black Hills and More

Monday, June 16, 2008
We had to get an extended permit (no plates yet) for the new Ford Fusion from the dealer.
We drove to Murdo, South Dakota and stayed at the Sioux motel. We ate at the GTO café.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008
We drove to a scenic overlook and then to Wall Drug. We walked around Wall Drug and ate lunch there. Then we drove to Mount Rushmore and walked around there. We saw a Mountain Goat up close. Then we drove back to Keystone, SD, where we stayed at the Washington Inn. After walking the boardwalk (while it stormed outside), we ate at the Keystone House Family restaurant.









Wednesday, June 18, 2008
It stormed halfway through our Iron Mountain crossing through the narrow winding roads and single lane tunnels. We drove to Custer State park and drove the wildlife loop. We saw donkeys, bison, pronghorn antelope, deer and prairie dogs. After stopping at the Bluebell General Store, we went to the Sylvan Lake Lodge where we stayed. We hiked around beautiful Sylvan Lake, and rented a paddle boat. We had a great dinner (I had buffalo short-ribs) at the lodge restaurant.


















Thursday, June 19, 2008
As usual, a morning storm came through and then the day turned out nice. We drove on and stopped briefly at the Crazy Horse Monument. Then we drove to Custer, SD and took the short tour of the Jewel Cave (200’ down). We ate at the Cowboy Café and then drove to Wind Cave National Park where we saw a bison herd. We drove to Hot Springs, SD and visited the Mammoth Site. Then we drove through the Badlands and ended up in Kadoka, SD. We stayed at the H & H El Centro Motel (bad value, in bad repair) and ate at the H  H El Centro Restaurant (good).


































Friday, June 20, 2008
We ate breakfast at H & H El Centro Restaurant. Then we drove to Mitchell, SD and had lunch at Twin Dragon Chinese Restaurant. We Drove (all day) to Chamberlain, SD and saw the Lewis & Clark exhibit in the rest stop. Then we drove to Pipestone, MN and got a room at the Arrow Motel. We had dinner at the Villager Restaurant and shopped at Pamida!



Saturday, June 21, 2008
We went to the Pipestone National Monument and walked the trail. We also went to Fort Pipestone trading post. We drove on (most of the day) to Tracy, MN and ate at the Red Rooster Restaurant. We drove to New Ulm, which was disappointing. Many stores were closed or out of business. We arrived at the wrong time for either a (Schell) brewery tour or to see the glockenspiel. We drove home, and got back at about 6:30 PM. - 1,448.3 miles.



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Monday, June 09, 2008

Summertime

Summer has started and the pace has been busy. I'll hit some highlights.
Friday, I got tired of my GM (Pontiac) car problems. I've always driven GM, mostly Grand Am's, and they have stupid issues like the multi-function switch failing ($260) or the security system failing ($375). In the past I've also had head-gasket (total) and transmission (not good) problems. I've complained to GM (and Pontiac) but they don't seem to care about losing a lifetime customer. So, I bought a Ford Fusion. They're rated higher than Toyota Camry and Honda Accord.

My Hmong in-laws had a Saturday (triple) event, that included a shaman, whole cow, two whole pigs and several chickens. These animals are used in ceremony and then served for a feast. As I don't care too much for boiled meat, I spent a significant portion of the day grilling various cuts of beef and pork. I found the event both interesting and exhausting. It is a lot of work and very time consuming. Still, how many white guys get to stand on the edge of the modern and third worlds for a day? On that note, I was even symbolically in the "other world," as I crossed the butchered pig in the doorway. Fortunately, there was beer, that I used in both my grilling and to refresh the grill master!

I am working toward putting my condo up for sale and moving into my wife's house. Eventually we hope to sell her house too, and buy one halfway between the thirty mile distance between where we both live. We are also planning a honeymoon trip.

Regarding my wife, she tends to be more private than I am, so don't expect to see much of her in this blog. I have informed her that once I win the U.S. presidency, she will have to take on a more public role.

Friday, June 06, 2008

School's Out!

It's amazing to me that I work in a school. I went to school (including college) for a long time and really didn't enjoy it all that much. Now I work in one! I enjoy my job most of the time, as I work with technology. Still, I was so happy when I packed up and left yesterday! This break will give me a chance to accomplish some things that I need to do.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Does Your Vote Count?

With the electoral college, delegates and such, does your vote really count? Most recently, Hillary Clinton has won the popular vote, though she has lost in delegates to Barack Obama. Perhaps in the United States, we should consider using the popular vote so that the people really do have a say in who gets elected.

Remember, Cutris is still running for President in the most massive write-in campaign in history!

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Monday, June 02, 2008

Lifetime GM owner, leaving... do you care?‏

Troy Clarke,
President, General Motors

If I was the president of a company, I would want to know why a lifetime customer was leaving. It's simple, I am dissatisfied with the product and the service.

My last four cars were Pontiac Grand Am's. I've also owned a Chevrolet Monza and a 1972 LeManns. Now, my 2004 Grand Am is experiencing its second strange malfunction, I contacted Pontiac to ask for it to be made right.

It's all over the Internet, yet again. Since the 1990's people have had trouble with the "passlock" system. The service guy at the dealership said it would cost about $400. He knew what it was. The person from the India call center took my information and a guy called who didn't seem to have any idea what this might be. He told me to go to the dealer and MAYBE they could do something. I just got done paying $260 to replace the "multi-function" switch on this car. The car previous to this had transmission trouble and the one before a headgasket.

It seems that my trust in GM has been pushed too far. Had the latest $400 repair been taken care of, I may feel different.

Bottomline, nobody at GM cares. Does the president of the company care?
Keep an eye on my blog...

Sincerely,
Kevin J. Curtis