The Rockwall

Posted October 24, 2013 at 11:10 am

OK, we know it is a strange weather year so it doesn’t have to keep proving it.

We’ve observed over the years that usually the peak of fall foliage color is Oct. 15 give or take a day or two.

Right now, we see the sugar maples turning which are normally a week or two ahead of the oaks. Can we expect the main color show in early November or not at all?

– An observant person wrote: I have worked in the government on and off for 40 years. During that time I became quite familiar with requisitions, bidding, awarding contracts etc. It is a time-consuming process with bean-counters and pencil-necked bureaucrats every step of the way. The simplest request takes months not days or hours.

In less than eight hours of the shutdown, miraculously, professionally printed 3X4 foot signs appeared all over the country in the tens of thousands saying-“This [park, facility, etc. with custom logos] closed due to government shutdown.” There has not been a government shutdown in 17 years. These signs were designed, specifications were determined, signs were then requisitioned, bids were posted and vetted and government contracts were awarded. The materials were then ordered and the signs manufactured then distributed by U.S. mail or by freight companies.

This shutdown was orchestrated and planned well in advance at least 6-8 months ago. Millions of tax dollars were appropriated and spent in this process. There is a paper trail a mile long leading directly to the White House.

– I got an e-mail about something that supposedly happened at a New York Airport. A crowded United Airlines flight was cancelled. A single agent was re-booking a long line of inconvenienced travelers.

Suddenly, an angry passenger pushed his way to the desk. He slapped his ticket on the counter and said, “I HAVE to be on this flight and it has to be FIRST CLASS.”

The agent replied, “I’m sorry, sir. I’ll be happy to try to help you, but I’ve got to help these folks first and then I’m sure we’ll be able to work something out.”

The passenger was unimpressed. He asked loudly, so that the passengers behind him could hear, “DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA WHO I AM?”

Without hesitating, the agent smiled and grabbed her public address microphone. “May I have your attention, please?”, she began, her voice heard clearly throughout the terminal. “We have a passenger here at Gate 14 who does not know who he is. If anyone can help him with his identity, please come to Gate 14.”

With the folks behind him in line laughing hysterically, the man glared at the United Airlines agent, gritted his teeth, and said, “(Blankedy Blank).”

Without flinching, she smiled and said, “I’m sorry, sir, you’ll have to get in line for that, too.”