Thursday, December 20, 2012

Odds without Ends

"IT is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife." - Jane Austin, Pride and Prejudice

On this date in 1820 - The state of Missouri enacted legislation to tax bachelors between the ages of 21-50 for being unmarried. The tax was $1 a year. Not unusually, the tax continues to this day, but now it includes women as well and is likely greater than one dollar.  Today they call it "checking the single" box on your tax return.

II.  Perhaps you recall the Christmas eve tradition of the US Air Force's  NORAD (North American Aerospace Command) tracking Santa's journey around the world.  Begun by accident, when a department store printed NORAD's telephone number in a Christmas ad, suggesting you could call to track Santa's progress.  The one child who called was greeted by an airman who played along.  Today, some 1250 Canadian and US volunteers man the phones at 877-HI-NORAD.  

Since 2007 NORAD has partnered with Google Earth to post Santa's movements on-line.  All was well and good until Google decided to go their own way.  Google will now track Santa at Santatracker.  NORAD has now moved to Bing.  You can find Santa via the US Air Force here.

III.  Sometimes a news story leaves me scratching my head.  Yesterday, The St. Louis Post Dispatch reported that a University of  Missouri freshman football player was arrested on suspicion of possessing fewer than 35 grams of marijuana, and subsequently was resigned from the team, perhaps to play in Colorado.  According to the Post he was arrested in November for the same offense and fined $200.

A university police spokesman said "the department received a report of a marijuana odor coming from the suspect's room. The suspect told officers he did not have marijuana and would not allow them to search his room.  After obtaining a search warrant, officers returned and arrested the suspect."  (I've replaced the perp's name with "suspect")

Did the suspect truly believe that telling the cops that he was fresh out of smoke and not receiving visitors at that time would end the matter? Why didn't he move his stash elsewhere while waiting for the cops anticipated return? What I find most troubling is did someone in the athletes dorm rat him out?  Matters like this are generally dealt with amicably in-house.

IV. As you are well aware I am not a sports fan, but I find watching the suicide of the National Hockey league compelling.  League management early in the fall touted how last year the league's teams earned US $3.3 billion.  Left unsaid was that 85% of that went to 3 teams, NHL hockey is unlikely this season.

Canadian Broadcasting reported yesterday that surveys in Canada showed that 1/3 of those questioned were still passionate about hockey, 1/3 indifferent and 1/3 have lost interest entirely. I believe that the maximum total US interest lies in 8,000 people in each city with a team.

V. Finally and apropos to nothing, I'm really PO'ed at Lowes.  Thanksgiving weekend I bought a Christmas present from Lowes which they promised to ship the following week, getting to it's intended destination well before Christmas.  Three times they have called me to tell me it's ready for pick up.  Each call was a lie.

The product won't reach the store until mid February.  And I thought I was ahead of the game.



fahim ahmed said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
fahim ahmed said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.