Words to Ponder

I find this to be magical

Rain! by way of Independence Day

I just got back from Biloxi (no pictures this time) on Thursday evening. I had driven through the rain in town but once I got to Frayser it was pretty well over. There was major flooding on the Madison Ave ramp that merges onto N240 which I guess by the new signs is actually I40. I saw lots of cars stopped debating whether they were going to attempt to cruise through the water or off road and find another route.

I would have chosen the other route personally. That water was pretty well coming up the sides of the truck I saw going through it. Not worth the gamble in my book. As I said though once I made it through Frayser that put me in the all clear.

I was sitting at home watching some nightly politics on television when I got a text message from a friend that lives in downtown Memphis. He was saying something about a cloud formation and needing a camera. He happened to know about my new camera and how good of a picture that it can take. I went to the window to see if I could see the same cloud formation since I am 19 miles north of him.

What I saw was eerie at the worst. The color of the sunlight at that moment was making the outdoors look like an overexposed picture. It reminded me of the part in Independence Day where WIll Smith is outside getting the paper and all of the neighbors are out watching the alien spaceship coming out of the sky. The sky I was seeing was very similar to that scene.

I really should have grabbed my camera but the clouds moved on pretty quickly and I would have missed it if I had gone back inside. It was weird. Hopefully anyone in the Memphis area that night got to see it.

Free software anyone?

As opposed to all of my years of piracy while learning Microsoft products; I’ve recently decided that I want to play with some versions of Linux and find the one for me. I’m not really sure what I want it to do but most of the versions of Linux that I heard about while in networking school back in 97′ have pretty much fallen by the wayside.

Slackware was one that a very knowledgeable friend up in Nashville always recommended and used. (he makes a ton of money working for the state treasury from being so knowledgeable of it) I don’t see a lot of hype about it these days but it’s 5 versions later than the old days (which was about 7 years ago). There seems to be quite a few other flavors now that are built from Slackware. That’s the only thing that I ever remember reading about Slackware was that it was one of the most stable distro’s out.

I’ve been sitting at home this evening reading up on different distributions of Linux and other things involving the GNU projects. I would like to get L.A.M.P. up and running so I can learn the OS and the two major apps Apache and MySQL. I’m not so interested in PHP but it evidently makes the other two more robust so I guess I’ll add it into the mix.

GNU project by the way, not loving on the new iPhone. I didn’t realize all the controls that Apple has built into it. Seems kind of ironic to me considering OS X was one of the greatest advances to that company in my eyes. iTunes seems to completely do away with all that progress.

I can’t get away from the fact that I love podcasts though so I’ll keep using it. In that area they have kept things progressing forward so I can forgive Apple for their normal proprietary-nism due to the creation of a new type of creative outlet for people. Everyone wanted their own radio station as a kid so here is a way to get with that. Pirate radio! or maybe not…

Biloxi/Gulfport, MS

I spent a day in Biloxi, Mississippi for work a few weeks back. I shot a couple of pictures at Palace Casino which is where I always stay when I am in town there. It’s gotten a lot better there than things have been in the past but there’s still hurricane damage everywhere you look.

You can see the new Highway 90 bridge which was just recently finished within the last 6 months or so. It was definitely not there the last time I was there. Quite impressive and the skyline coming from that direction is really cool.

Here is my favorite place to stay while I am there and the empty space where it’s casino sat before Katrina.

I have to go back down there next week and I feel like I just left yesterday. I guess I will see if I can get more pictures of the carnage that is Biloxi.

About Letter from the CEO’s

I think it is pretty ironic that the CEO’s see this as a problem with oil speculation and not a general energy problem. I can’t disagree with the message that the letter delivers. I honestly have no clue as to whether what they state is true or not. I know I keep hearing about oil speculation in the news everyday so I have to assume it must be on point.

I am actually interested to see what this whole pickensplan.com is all about when he goes public with his ideas shortly. I see the commercial on CNN all the time. I guess I need to take a few minutes to read up on his ideas.

Have these CEO’s taken a pay cut by the way? Has any CEO in the US taken a pay cut this year when every business is in a down turning economy? I’ve seen plenty of my friends recently loose their jobs yet hear nothing of a decrease in salary for any of these people. People follow leaders not egos. Maybe this could have been prevented had real leaders emerged.

On a Memphis note, if you check out my flickr link to the left you will find many pictures that I shot the last night Muvico Theater was open at Peabody Place. Another thing to list on the Lost Memphis website I guess…

Letter from the CEO’s

Here is a copy of an email I received from every air carrier that I use. I found it interesting and guess I should share it since it does pertain to the locals here in Memphis being that NWA is hubbed here.

Dear Mitchell Brewer,

An Open letter to All Airline Customers:

Our country is facing a possible sharp economic downturn because of skyrocketing oil and fuel prices, but by pulling together, we can all do something to help now. Visit www.StopOilSpeculationNow.com.

For airlines, ultra-expensive fuel means thousands of lost jobs and severe reductions in air service to both large and small communities. To the broader economy, oil prices mean slower activity and widespread economic pain. This pain can be alleviated, and that is why we are taking the extraordinary step of writing this joint letter to our customers.

Since high oil prices are partly a response to normal market forces, the nation needs to focus on increased energy supplies and conservation. However, there is another side to this story because normal market forces are being dangerously amplified by poorly regulated market speculation.

Twenty years ago, 21 percent of oil contracts were purchased by speculators who trade oil on paper with no intention of ever taking delivery. Today, oil speculators purchase 66 percent of all oil futures contracts, and that reflects just the transactions that are known. Speculators buy up large amounts of oil and then sell it to each other again and again. A barrel of oil may trade 20-plus times before it is delivered and used; the price goes up with each trade and consumers pick up the final tab. Some market experts estimate that current prices reflect as much as $30 to $60 per barrel in unnecessary speculative costs.

Over seventy years ago, Congress established regulations to control excessive, largely unchecked market speculation and manipulation. However, over the past two decades, these regulatory limits have been weakened or removed. We believe that restoring and enforcing these limits, along with several other modest measures, will provide more disclosure, transparency and sound market oversight. Together, these reforms will help cool the over-heated oil market and permit the economy to prosper.

The nation needs to pull together to reform the oil markets and solve this growing problem. We need your help. Get more information and contact Congress by visiting www.StopOilSpeculationNow.com.

Robert Fornaro
Chairman, President and CEO
AirTran Airways

Bill Ayer
Chairman, President and CEO
Alaska Airlines, Inc.

Gerard J. Arpey
Chairman, President and CEO
American Airlines, Inc.

Lawrence W. Kellner
Chairman and CEO
Continental Airlines, Inc.

Richard Anderson
CEO
Delta Air Lines, Inc.

Mark B. Dunkerley
President and CEO
Hawaiian Airlines, Inc.

Dave Barger
CEO
JetBlue Airways Corporation

Timothy E. Hoeksema
Chairman, President and CEO
Midwest Airlines

Douglas M. Steenland
President and CEO
Northwest Airlines, Inc.

Gary Kelly
Chairman and CEO
Southwest Airlines Co.

Glenn F. Tilton
Chairman, President and CEO
United Airlines, Inc.

Douglas Parker
Chairman and CEO
US Airways Group, Inc.

New Blog

This is the place where my new blog is going to reside for a bit or maybe indefinitely. I have been having issues with interfaces and not using the current ones because of it. So, I’ll try out this one to see if I like it any better. The old one can still be found at bluescityref.blogspot.com .

I was thinking about importing the old posts but I believe I will leave that alone and use the clean slate I have here.

Stay tuned, more to come.