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I have been trying to finalize plans for a four day trip to Boston sometime in March. I really want to see the northeast part of the country and this would be the perfect opportunity.

Airline prices are not too shabby and according to FareCast now is the best time to buy.

I am going to keep planning the trip, hopeful that I’ll be able to go.

I am at a point now where the politics of this country have become so skewed and unrecognizable that I am ready to give up on the system. On one side we have the political left, the democrats, who have made every attempt to take any issue and make it a political stance. On the other side we have the political right, the neo-con, a term I hate. They have a habit of not living up to their word or fully educating themselves about the issues.

The problem that I see now though, is that it is just a back and forth between both parties to try and smear the other one. There is no honor in any of this and the people who fully support either side are ignorant to the simple truths of this mud-slinging that is doing nothing for our country. I can say that I am disappointed with the way the Republican party has handled certain issues but I am more disappointed in the fact that both sides just point fingers instead of trying to actually work through the issues.

What is the most disturbing thing is the audacity of posters on the internet who so adamantly attack the president without knowing all of the facts, or knowing them and simply ignoring them. Let’s get one thing straight, Congress voted to go to war in Iraq based on the same information that President Bush was using to make a decision to go to war. It wasn’t President Bush taking the information he was giving and massaging it to get Congress to vote his way. There were emotions running high in Congress and the vote reflected those emotions.

My plea now is for former President Clinton and his wife to keep their mouths quiet unless what they say is actually constructive for this country.

So for now, I’ll continue to be a moderate.

I was looking at flights this evening and a flight that departs at 7:25am and then returns the next day at 5:55am is $176. Another flight that departs the same day at 3:25pm and returns the next day at 5:55am (same flight as before) is $476. How can this be? Is it just because they are desperate to get rid of tickets for that specific earlier flight?

Just seemed strange.

Google’s release of Documents software came as no real surprise, so as I played with it this morning I was not prepared to be impressed.

I fired up my browser and went to the Google Docs website. I was asked if I would like to import my documents from Writely.com, the original Google Docs. Not having any documents stored there, I proceeded with out importing. I started a new document and tried out the different fonts, export options, printing, etc. Nothing new really, just put on the web. Wrong. Collaboration is where it is at.

I uploaded a document that a friend and I had been working on through email and invited him to be a collaborator for the document. Within minutes we were both editing the document and keeping track of our revisions in a central area. My friend and I talked and decided that we did not want to become dependent on Google for our documents but that we would definitely use them as a repository for our documents, especially if they release an API in the near future. Then, he and I can build a tool for our local collaboration that will upload a copy to the Google Docs area and keep it there for storage.

When I think Leonardo DiCaprio, I think of movies like What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, Romeo + Juliet, and Titanic. The last thought that crosses my mind is Leo as a south Boston mobster, but in this film he’s proven himself as an actor, at least in my opinion.

I cannot go into details about the plot of the movie without giving away a lot of the story line and possibly ruining the movie, but I can say that this one of the best mobster films I have seen in a long time. The basic premise of the movie is Jack Nicholson playing a mob boss in Boston and have a strong concern about someone in his crew ratting him out to the police. Nicholson as a mob boss is amazing. I was terrified of him and thought he might have me whacked for laughing at some of his off color humor.

There are a ton of twists and turns in this movie and just when you think you have everything figured out, a change of events takes place that completely wrecks you theory. There is also a good amount of comedy in the film, a lot of it off color and directed at Italians and other stereotypes. The use of the “F” word is fairly rampant and the amount of bloodshed reminded me of a Tarantino film. If you like mobster movies this one is for you. With a great plot, great cast, and tons of twists and turns, The Departed is a must see.

Recently a friend of mine resigned from his job. When asked by his employer what he was moving on to, he responded “Independent contractor work”. To this he received a reply of, “Well, I do not think you are going to be happy doing that. Maybe we just should not hire the best people, they keep leaving”. What?!

It is not about not hiring the best people, it is about giving the best people jobs that will keep them engaged and wanting to perform at their best. Giving the best people or very smart people menial work is something that does more harm than good. Challenging smart people is what they want. They want to have to work and giving them busy work does nothing to accomplish this.

From what I have found, smart people also have an entrepreneurial spirit, depending on their personality and want to manage projects as well as work on them. They love solving problems, both big and small, and really enjoy finding that little piece of code that makes the project that much better.

So a word to employers, if you want to keep your best people, your money makers, keep them happy. Keeping them happy involves more than a foosball table and free soda, it involves challenging work and encouragement to create innovative solutions.

Over the past four years there has been a lot of talk about mobile applications and their use in businesses and everyday life. Most of this talk has been quietly pushed aside with only a few people questioning why this “write-off” of mobile applications is occurring.

The main argument I hear for putting mobile apps in the world is “allowing people to work away from their desk”, which, loosely translated means “making people work when they aren’t being paid for it”. The last thing people need or want in this country is more worked. We are already overworked and overstressed with menial issues, why would we want to be overstressed or overworked when we leave work?

Now, I can understand if you travel a lot and need to be connected to the world, but using mobile apps to allow the bosses noose to extend to your home is just stupid. Yeah, mobile applications are cool but it just is not practical. If I am going to write a word document, I am going to sit down in front of a full screen and a full keyboard to do so. If I am away from my desk I am not going to try and write the document on a little Windows Mobile device, I would rather use a pencil and paper.

I think the whole mobility thing needs to be rethought.

There are great benefits to a centrally located airport, namely, easy access for the surrounding areas. There are downsides as well, with number one being noise. Airports are loud.

I live about four miles northeast of DFW and about seven miles north/northwest of Love Field. The kicker is that when the pattern is north-south at Love, my apartement sits directly under the 45′ entry point and/or final approach. What does this mean? Low flying jets (no more than 1,000 ft.) directly over where I live.

But wait, there’s more. I also live under the downwind leg of DFW. This means at any given time there are 3-4 jets within a mile or so of my apartment complex. The jets coming into DFW that fly the wide pattern are usually large body, long range airplanes, such as 747s, 777s, and 757s.

It is a good thing I love airplanes and can sit out on my porch all day long and watch them come and go or I would be very frustrated by the noise.