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Too Much Money. March 30, 2011

Posted by gregquill in Uncategorized.

Tiger Woods puts $25m super yacht Privacy up for sale after Elin Nordegren rejects it


Tiger Woods is reported to have put his giant yacht Privacy up for sale. The shamed golf star is said to be looking for a broker to sell the $25m yacht which was a wedding present to his wife.

Reports in the U.S. said the 34 year-old star had offered the 155ft yacht to his ex-wife Elin Nordegren as part of their $100m divorce.

But the Swedish born Nordegren rejected the yacht as it was ‘incredibly expensive’ to maintain with running cost of $2m a year. ‘She didn’t want it because the upkeep is incredibly expensive,’ a source told the Palm Beach Post newspaper.

Woods is said to have already replaced Privacy with a 62-foot diving boat, Solitude, for $3.1 million which he plans to use for trips with his children. Woods bought the yacht in 2004 as a lavish wedding present for his wife paying more than $20m for the vessel which boasts five bedroom and a fitness room.

At the time Woods’s personal life was very secret and he chose the name Privacy to reflect on how he wanted it to stay.

But following a late night crash outside his home in Isleworth, Florida, in November 2009 his secret life as a serial adulterer was revealed and he was forced to seek treatment for sex addiction.

With a permanent crew of 13 Woods and Nordegren spent many weeks on the yacht until his marriage went into meltdown after his multiple affairs were exposed.

Woods and Nordegren divorced last summer after the golfer was found to have had as many as 14 mistresses, including porn stars and nightclub hostesses. Since the split Privacy has been moored in its home port of Old Port Cove in North Palm Beach. But the yacht has recently been in dry dock where the hull was repainted and the deck re-surfaced ahead of is sale. Local mega-yacht builder John Staluppi believes Woods’ asking price of $25m is too high.

Nordegren has recently bought a $12.2m estate near her husband’s $50m home in Jupiter Island, Florida.



I Take It Back; At Least the Title March 30, 2011

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A friend of mine told me about a trip he and his wife are planning, to see her family in Lincoln, NE. In fact, they have a condo there to make these trips more convenient, as well as a home in Florida where they live.

Some time ago, I wrote an article with the title, “At Least the Wooly Mammoth Liked Nebraska.” It now strikes me as too disparaging. A LOT of folks like Nebraska, including the wooly mammoth. Maybe that would have been a better title.

My friend brought back some great memories when he spoke about Lincoln, NE. I worked there doing pharmaceutical consulting with a big name international drug maker for almost a year. Great company, and really great, down-to-earth people.

We (the doggie Lacy and I) stayed at Campaway RV Resort, 1st Street and Superior. It’s at the intersection of I-80 and I-180. The campground is very well equipped, and really nice people run it. It’s close to everything. That’s west of Lincoln, and my client is on the northeast side, so I had a 20 minute commute.

I went to church at North American Martyrs Catholic Church, 1000 Isaac Drive. In Lent and in Advent they sponsored continual adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, and the pastor gave me the combination to the door lock so I could get in at 3:00 am. It was great! The Lincoln diocese is very active in Pro-Life and Anti-Abortion stuff, so I fit right in.

I had notes to get tickets for a musical and other events at Lied Performing Arts and the Pinewood Bowl, but I got waylaid on other things and didn’t get to either place.

The validation group manager had a Christmas buffet at his house for eight of us, and it was nice to be included. He lives in Lincoln in a house built in the 1940’s. In fact, it could have been built on Chicago’s north side and trucked on down to Lincoln. Later, I hosted the group at a great restaurant (I ate there once to check it out, and then I got three couples there as my guests). It’s LJK’s in the Haymarket train station, and I will go there again!

So, Lincoln is one of my favorite places, and I discovered it by taking a consulting contract there. I hope to go back someday. Some summer day.


Why Even Bother? March 30, 2011

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This brings up again the old question: Why do we even bother paying for, staffing and tolerating a U.S. Department of Education? Maybe it’s just another Jimmy Carter mistake.

“Virginia Tech will be fined $55,000 for waiting too long to provide timely warnings about a shooter on the loose during a 2007 rampage in which 32 people died, the U.S. Department of Education said Tuesday.”

Kids from around the world fight to get into a U.S. college not because the Department of Education has made our colleges great, but despite the Department. Here is Wikipedia’s summary of ED’s history:

“A previous Department of Education was created in 1867 but soon was demoted to an Office in 1868. As an agency not represented in the president’s cabinet, it quickly became a relatively minor bureau in the Department of the Interior. In 1939, the bureau was transferred to the Federal Security Agency, where it was renamed the Office of Education. In 1953, the Federal Security Agency was upgraded to cabinet-level status as the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare.

“Upgrading Education to cabinet level status a century later in 1979 was controversial and opposed by many in the Republican Party, who saw the department as unconstitutional, arguing that the Constitution doesn’t mention education, and deemed it an unnecessary and illegal federal bureaucratic intrusion into local affairs. However many liberals and Democrats see the department as constitutional under the Commerce Clause, and that the funding role of the Department is constitutional under the Taxing and Spending Clause.”


OK, Scratch This WalMart Off My List March 30, 2011

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ELYRIA, Ohio – From the Sandusky Register
“Police said a pregnant woman and her mother were arrested after the older woman choked a 71-year-old Walmart greeter while leaving the store.

“Elyria police said Toni Duncan, 49, of Elyria was asked to show a receipt Saturday and responded by pushing a cart into the greeter, grabbing his throat and choking him. She was charged with assault.

“Her daughter, Ashley Jackson, 21, of Elyria was charged with aggravated menacing and inducing panic. The (Lorain) Morning Journal reported she is accused of saying she would blow up the store and that the greeter would be dead when her boyfriend learned of the incident.

“Both face a court appearance Wednesday. No attorney for either was listed in court records, and no working phone number was found for either.”


“Say It Ain’t So, Joe” March 29, 2011

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A young boy grabbed Shoeless Joe Jackson’s sleeve as he left court following the Black Sox baseball fixing scandal of the 1919 World Series. He asked his hero to deny doing wrong, and Joe told him he couldn’t deny it.

This time, injustices are just waiting to take the stage, and I’d like someone to say they just ain’t so:

The Navy board has recommended that Captain Holly Graf, today’s Captain Bligh, be separated under a General Discharge (which I agree with) and retired at a Captain’s pay (which I strongly disagree with). She spat at her subordinates, and threw coffee cups at them because she was a tyrant – and a poor excuse for one to boot.

Libya’s Qaddafi may escape any punishment if he just walks away. I guess it’s good that we have all of those bombs, planes and ammunition over there. Now, all we need is an itchy trigger finger…

Next they’ll probably rehire Gilbert Gottfried as the Aflack duck…


Milking It March 25, 2011

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U.S. Africa Command’s General Carter Ham said he’s confident the command of the Libyan war can be handed over “relatively quickly” but “there are frankly some mechanical and procedural pieces — particularly with regard to the air operations — which are very, very complex” that may take a longer while to transition.

This is called “milking it” – extending a new mission for no good reason other than to look like a hero when you beat the longer schedule early. The General thinks it helps cover the fact that the General just doesn’t understand, in this case, what “air operations” are all about.

There is a way to expedite the turnover. Instead of a bunch of video conferences, flash radio traffic and shuttling generals out and back, just conduct one or two unscheduled, expedited retirement ceremonies. That way, people believe it when we say “Quickly, gents.” It’s not all that complex, and the transition to a new commander is remarkably efficient and fast.


Inner Peace March 23, 2011

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Inner Peace:
If you can start the day without caffeine,
If you can always be cheerful, ignoring aches and pains,
If you can resist complaining and boring people with your troubles,
If you can eat plain food every day and be grateful for it,
If you can understand when your loved ones are too busy to give you any time,
If you can take criticism and blame without resentment,
If you can conquer tension without medical help,
If you can relax without liquor,
If you can sleep without the aid of drugs,

…Then You Are Probably The Family Dog!

Thanks to Margaret!


Helping the Pilots March 23, 2011

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One day at a busy airport, the passengers on a commercial airliner are seated, waiting for the cockpit crew to show up so they can get under way. The pilot and co-pilot finally appear in the rear of the plane, and begin walking up to the cockpit through the center aisle. Both appear to be blind.

The pilot is using a white cane, bumping into passengers right and left as he stumbles down the aisle, and the co-pilot is using a guide dog. Both have their eyes covered with huge sunglasses. At first the passengers don’t react, thinking that it must be some sort of practical joke. However, after a few minutes the engines start revving and the airplane starts moving.

The passengers look at each other with some uneasiness, whispering among themselves and looking desperately to the stewardesses for reassurance.

Then the airplane starts accelerating rapidly down the runway and people begin panicking. Some passengers are praying, and as the plane gets closer and closer to the end of the runway, the voices are becoming more and more hysterical.

Finally, when the airplane has less than 20 feet of runway left, there is a sudden change in the pitch of the shouts as everyone screams at once, and at the very last moment the airplane lifts off and is airborne.

Up in the cockpit, the co-pilot breathes a sigh of relief and turns to the pilot: “You know, one of these days the passengers aren’t going to scream, and we’re gonna get killed!”


The Difference Between Men and Women March 15, 2011

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Thanks to crosswalk.com

Let’s say a guy named Fred is attracted to a woman named Martha. He asks her out to a movie; she accepts; they have a pretty good time. A few nights later he asks her out to dinner, and again they enjoy themselves. They continue to see each other regularly, and after a while neither one of them is seeing anybody else.

And then, one evening when they’re driving home, a thought occurs to Martha, and, without really thinking, she says it aloud: “Do you realize that, as of tonight, we’ve been seeing each other for exactly six months?”

And then, there is silence in the car.

To Martha, it seems like a very loud silence. She thinks to herself: I wonder if it bothers him that I said that. Maybe he’s been feeling confined by our relationship; maybe he thinks I’m trying to push him into some kind of obligation that he doesn’t want, or isn’t sure of.

And Fred is thinking: Gosh. Six months.

And Martha is thinking: But, hey, I’m not so sure I want this kind of relationship either. Sometimes I wish I had a little more space, so I’d have time to think about whether I really want us to keep going the way we are, moving steadily towards something. I mean, where are we going? Are we just going to keep seeing each other at this level of intimacy? Are we heading toward marriage? Toward children? Toward a lifetime together? Am I ready for that level of commitment? Do I really even know this person?

And Fred is thinking: …so that means it was…let’s see…February when we started going out, which was right after I had the car at the dealer’s, which means…lemme check the odometer…Whoa! I am way overdue for an oil change here.

And Martha is thinking: He’s upset. I can see it on his face. Maybe I’m reading this completely wrong. Maybe he wants more from our relationship, more intimacy, more commitment; maybe he has sensed – even before I sensed it – that I was feeling some reservations. Yes, I bet that’s it. That’s why he’s so reluctant to say anything about his own feelings. He’s afraid of being rejected.

And Fred is thinking: And I’m gonna have them look at the transmission again. I don’t care what those morons say, it’s still not shifting right. And they better not try to blame it on the cold weather this time. What cold weather? It’s 87 degrees out, and this thing is shifting like a garbage truck, and I paid those incompetent thieves $600.

And Martha is thinking: He’s angry. And I don’t blame him. I’d be angry, too. I feel so guilty, putting him through this, but I can’t help the way I feel. I’m just not sure.

And Fred is thinking: They’ll probably say it’s only a 90-day warranty.

And Martha is thinking: Maybe I’m just too idealistic, waiting for a knight to come riding up on his white horse, when I’m sitting right next to a perfectly good person, a person I enjoy being with, a person I truly do care about, a person who seems to truly care about me. A person who is in pain because of my self-centered, schoolgirl romantic fantasy.

And Fred is thinking: Warranty? They want a warranty? I’ll give them a warranty. I’ll take their warranty and stick it right up their…

“Fred,” Martha says aloud.

“What?” says Fred, startled.

“Please don’t torture yourself like this,” she says, her eyes beginning to brim with tears. “Maybe I should never have…oh dear, I feel so…”(She breaks down, sobbing.)

“What?” says Fred.

“I’m such a fool,” Martha sobs. “I mean, I know there’s no knight. I really know that. It’s silly. There’s no knight, and there’s no horse.”

“There’s no horse?” says Fred.

“You think I’m a fool, don’t you?” Martha says.

“No!” says Fred, glad to finally know the correct answer.

“It’s just that…it’s that I…I need some time,” Martha says.

(There is a 15-second pause while Fred, thinking as fast as he can, tries to come up with a safe response. Finally he comes up with one that he thinks might work.)

“Yes,” he says. (Martha, deeply moved, touches his hand.)

“Oh, Fred, do you really feel that way?” she says.

“What way?” says Fred.

“That way about time,” says Martha.

“Oh,” says Fred. “Yes.” (Martha turns to face him and gazes deeply into his eyes, causing him to become very nervous about what she might say next, especially if it involves a horse. At last she speaks.)

“Thank you, Fred,” she says.

“Thank you,” says Fred.

Then he takes her home, and she lies on her bed, a conflicted, tortured soul, and weeps until dawn, whereas when Fred gets back to his place, he opens a bag of Doritos, turns on the TV, and immediately becomes deeply involved in a rerun of a college basketball game between two South Dakota junior colleges that he has never heard of. A tiny voice in the far recesses of his mind tells him that something major was going on back there in the car, but he is pretty sure there is no way he would ever understand what, and so he figures it’s better if he doesn’t think about it.

The next day Martha will call her closest friend, or perhaps two of them, and they will talk about this situation for six straight hours. In painstaking detail, they will analyze everything she said and everything he said, going over it time and time again, exploring every word, expression, and inflection for nuances of meaning, considering every possible ramification. They will continue to discuss this subject, off and on, for weeks, maybe months, never reaching any definite conclusions, but never getting bored with it either.

Meanwhile, Fred, while playing racquetball one day with a mutual friend of his and Martha’s, will pause just before serving, frown, and say: “Norm, did Martha ever own a horse?”

And that’s the difference between men and women.

*Thanks to Pastor Tim for this joke!*


Our Afghani Losses vs. Charlie Sheen March 10, 2011

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If you want to spend a few excellent minutes, look what one blog has done on the story of Charlie Sheen vs. four soldiers who died last week in Afghanistan.

Not only has it gone viral, the father of one of the fallen joined in the discussion, and he got 925 very good, very nice responses from Americans (and Canadians and an Afghani) which made me very, very proud. Except for the ones by Salerno, who I suspect is really Charlie Sheen.

It’s here.