Friday, October 14, 2011

Let’s Talk Some More…

Want to shoot a machine gun, like an AK-47 or a squad light machine gun? No problem. Head over to Las Vegas and visit The Gun Store. They will be glad to help you. It has a 15 lane shooting range were you can fire just about anything from a Colt .45 to a belt fed light machine gun (which will cost about $60 for 40 rounds). They have instructors that stay with you and walk you through how to handle the firearms. The owners say a very large portion of their business is foreign visitors who come from countries which severely restrict gun ownership. –No, I have no plans on going there right away. I am a really bad gambler and need to avoid Las Vegas for my own good –but if I ever do go (to enjoy the shows, of course), this is be a “Must” on my list of things to do…

It kills me to have to report this but it seems China is having money problems. They have been stimulating their economy with massive building projects (including bridges, roads, housing projects and even railway stations). Apparently, about the same time the U.S. tried the first stimulus package in 2008 and the Chinese were vocally criticizing us -they were doing almost the same thing. Now the projects are nearly complete and the companies and municipalities are beginning to default on the massive loans required for the projects. 

No worries though, they fully expect to be bailed out by the government which directed them to take on the project and helped arrange the loans (sound familiar?). The problem, of course, is that the government may have trouble raising ready cash for another round of bailouts and China's GDP (which needs to be over 8% to sustain growth) may fall dangerously low. 

Property values in China have been at record highs, but now it looks as though it will take 7 to 10 years to sell properties already developed and there are 10’s of thousands still being built. China’s financial institutions have started “bundling” debt packages to include the bad or high risk debt with the sounder ones (again, sound familiar?). This may dramatically lower property values and hit China’s economy hard. 

One municipality which was required to build a massive bridge (to nowhere) has come up with an innovative plan to raise funds to help meet the cost of building the bridge. They simply mandated that all residents who have a car MUST travel the bridge and pay the tolls at least 15 times per month (now I'll just bet that is real popular with the residents). Well, I guess that expedited military spending and expansion program China started may have to slow down a bit….gee, that’s a shame.

How about replacing your wallet with your Smartphone? That’s the future and it is already starting. Google has come out with a phone that contains a chip which can communicate with devices at the store. When you go to check out, you simply pull out your phone, pull up the appropriate app, punch in your PIN number and viola, you’ve paid the bill. They are working on apps that will include replacing your house keys, hotel keys, and car keys. They are even starting development of apps that will replace things like your drivers license. Some people already have apps on their phones which can connect with cameras in your house so you can check on the kids while watching a movie at the local theater. Alarm companies have apps that will alert you to break ins and fire alarms in your home while you are on vacation. Some of this technology is years away from wide spread availability and reliability –but it is coming, bet on it. The days of the leather wallet are numbered.

Weird Laws

Our country is now over 200 years old and over the course of time the Federal Government, State Governments and local communities have passed thousands of laws. Many of those laws were just plain dumb when they were written. Many more became obsolete, out dated and stupid as time passed. Unfortunately, many of those laws, though not enforced, still remain on the books. I have decided to put some of those in my little blog just to share a good laugh, or a good cry –or even an occasional scream- with you. Here is today’s entry or entries:

In Louisiana it is illegal to rob a bank -then shot at the teller with a water pistol.

In Louisiana it is illegal to steal a single crawfish (the law does not mention the married ones).

In Maine it is illegal for men to tickle women with a feather duster....

Live Long and Prosper....

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