Famille Du Pentium

Another Day, Another Llama Video

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Hotel Review – Sheraton Suites Weehawken

First order of business: 100th POST!

I stayed three days at the Sheraton Suites Weehawken at 500 Harbor Blvd.  Having heard from co-workers that I should set my expectations of my room rather low, I was somewhat surprised.  The room was clean, roomy and had a good view of the New York Harbor.  

There were a few things I noticed however:

  • They only offer wireless internet access, no wired.  But my WiFi adapter couldn’t pick up their signal until I got one of their WiFi bridges from the front desk.  Also, you can’t charge the WiFi to your room, you have to use a credit card.
  • They seem to have a governor in their water spigot in the baths, limiting how hot you can turn the knob.  So I wasn’t happy about the water tempurature in the bath/shower.
  • Room service was inconsistent.  Day one I ordered chicken sausage (among other things) and got three links.  Next day, same order, and I got two.  Monday I ordered decaff with cream and sugar and got only sugar, Tuesday I ordered decaff with cream and sugar and got only cream.  Tuesday they forgot to deliver my orange juice.
  • The front desk / check-in process wasn’t smooth.  When I arrived, nobody was at the front desk at all.  It took a little while for someone to realize I was waiting to check in.  Later, a hoard of airline crew arrived, and there was only one person at the front desk to deal with them, leaving everyone standing around in the already cramped lobby, blocking most of the access between the elevators and the front doors.

These were all minor annoyances.  The room was big and comfortable, which was my main interest since I was working the whole time I was in town. 

Also I’ve heard that the hotel restaurant was at one time under construction and thus their menu was limited.  That wasn’t the case when I was there, apparently the construction was over.  Still, they’re expensive and there’s a Houlihans and a deli down the street from the hotel.   

posted by Michael Humphries-Dolnick at 5:50 pm  

Monday, November 20, 2006

RIP Milton Friedman

I intended to write about this some time ago, when we heard that Milton Friedman died. I’m belated because I found myself actually sad that Milton Friedman is dead, which would be odd on the surface, because his area of education and teaching wasn’t exactly "every man" land.  I studied Milton Friedman as a fresh, gullible Economics student in college, and he had quite an impact on my then as now.  He was an economist, a very good one.  I needed to figure out how to put my impressions of this man into blog form.  After my remarks here, below you can follow a link to information about Dr. Friedman.

I guess what makes Milton Friedman special, as economists go, is his work in "laissez-faire capitalism."  This theory of economics insisted on limited government intervention in free markets, and proposed that all bad things would be made good again by shear market force.  Essentially, in a pure market-driven capitalist economy, everyone will – over time – do as well in the economy as they can possibly do.  We’re not talking about unavoidable destiny here, we’re talking about toughing it out, being the best you can be, and the market (employer, business, whatever) will treat you the best it can in return.  In an odd way, it’s fairness taken to a higher level.

In a sense, I guess that’s the "every man" angle I was looking for, and a theory that has driven my personal ambitions throughout my life.  I came from a somewhat humble economic environment in my childhood, and I have always worked hard to make things better for myself and my kids.  In the Milton Friedman world, by being smart and working hard, my lot in life over time was destined to improve.  And it did. 

The lesson we learned from Milton Friedman is, things will always balance out to the best possible condition that they can be.  Dr. Friedman was mostly concerned with economics, but we can apply this to almost anything, can’t we?  We don’t need someone else to have to make things better for us.  In fact, if we control our destiny, things will probably get better despite external interference, it just might take a little longer.

Here’s more information about Milton Friedman: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milton_friedman

posted by Michael Humphries-Dolnick at 5:34 pm  

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Upcoming Blog Entries

Hannukah is coming up, and I’ll be posting my daily play-by-play here each night of Hannukah, along with pictures, like last year.  If you want to keep an eye on the family related stuff (e.g. you want to ignore Mike’s political rantings and ravings) just go here… http://famille.org/blog/kids_family/


Bookmark that page for easy access 🙂 

posted by Michael Humphries-Dolnick at 7:42 pm  

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Ethan’s Skating Lessons

So we figured we probably should get Ethan started with some activities now, and Soccer doesn’t start ’till next year for him.  The Skokie Park District offered a special, pre-season skating lesson – three 1/2 hour sessions for 10 bucks.  It’s really a teaser for their 20-week full program, but it’s a nice way to find out if your kid is a prodigy or an ice buffer for less than the usual 60 bucks. 

Initially, Ethan did great on the ice… so great, in fact, that he got himself going too fast and fell directly on his head straitaway.  Since then, he’s been afraid to move around very much on the ice.  

Still we’re going to go ahead and give the full lessons a try.  Marla is going to re-learn to skate with adult lessons at the same time as Ethans, so they can learn together.  

Here’s pictures of his first three lessons: http://gallery.famille.org/main.php?g2_view=core.ShowItem&g2_itemId=903&g2_fromNavId=x5abdf8b8 

posted by Michael Humphries-Dolnick at 7:34 pm  

Wednesday, November 8, 2006

2006 Midterm Recap

So did you vote?  I did.  Here’s a recap of what happened in my district.

U.S. Congress: Jan Schakowski vs. Michael Shannon, 9th Congressional District
I’m no big fan of Jan Schakowski.  She’s a fairly typical liberal tax-and-spend Democrat, and this is her perfect congressional district.  I was researching her opponent, because I hadn’t seen one sign or seen any ads or heard anything about this race.  Michael Shannon starts out strong – opposes Bush’s heavy-handed diplomatic policy, wants to at least re-think Iraq if not take a step back, feels we should engage Socialist / Communist regimes in Latin America, yadda yadda yadda.  Then I clicked on a link on his website – “Ideas”.  Boy does he have them.  Too bad he’s nuts.  Turns out he doesn’t like the electoral system, and wants to amend it thusly:

  • Remap every congressional district after each election, so that it’s exactly 50% Democrat and 50% Republican.
  • Give parents votes on behalf of their children
  • Require any person who enters politics whose parent is also a politician to run under a different last name

These are Mr. Shannon’s REAL positions on the electorate system, as found at: http://www.shannonforcongress.com/ideas.html.  These may seem like great ideas on the surface, but once you put the beer down, they are just plain nutty.  So as difficult as it was for me to vote for a tax-and-spend Democrat, even that is better than a nut.  Outcome: Jan Schakowski won the race, 75% to 25%.

Cook County Board President:  When longtime board president John Stroger suffered a stroke just after the primaries, the Democratic Machine in Cook County had a tough choice to make.  No, I guess they didn’t, because they’re a machine, so they chose John Stroger’s son, Todd, to run in his place.  Forget about the other primary candidates like Forest Claypool, who ran a close second to John Stroger.  No.  He won’t do.  Instead, in the finest of Cook County Politics, the Cook County Democratic Organization appointed Todd Stroger to run in the General Election against Tony Peraica.  To Todd’s credit, at least he’s a politician.  To Todd’s detriment, he’s a Chicago Alderman.  Peraica ran a tough race and almost pulled off the impossible – a Republican Cook County Board President – for the first time ever.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be.  Result: Todd Stroger wins by roughly 55% to 45%.

In other races, the sole Republican (center leaning) State Congressman, Elizabeth Coulson, of my district, won easily again against the Democratic challenger, whats-her-name.

The Democratic sweep of the house gives us two opportunities: for those of us who are Goldwater conservatives and Reagan Republicans, it’s a perfect opportunity for our out-of-touch Republican leaders to get back to their constituents (us) and figure out what they are doing wrong.  For Democrats, it’s time to put their money where their mouths are, and fix things like Social Security, Homeland Security, Taxes, and Foreign Policy.

I wish them both luck.

posted by Michael Humphries-Dolnick at 6:48 pm  

Monday, November 6, 2006

Vote! 2006

You’ve read my blogs, ranting about the failures of both Democrats and Republicans.  I’ve probably confused you more than anything else.  My political views are hard to nail down.  But here is one very clear opinion tatement I will make now, and stand behind later:


If you believe that the government is wrong, that the president is wrong, that the war is wrong, or that it’s all just right, go out and cast your vote.  Because if things get worse and you didn’t vote, it’s your fault. That’s right, yours.  And if you do vote, and things get worse, you can always put up a blog, like me!  🙂

I’ll see you at the polls, fellow citizen and patriot.

posted by Michael Humphries-Dolnick at 9:23 pm  

Powered by WordPress