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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Supreme Decisions and an Observation

The Supreme Court of the United States made its ruling on the Affordable Healthcare Act, aka Obamacare this morning.  While I have not read the decision yet, it appears that the court has upheld the law as constitutional and with a 5-4 ruling, Obamacare and its individual mandate requiring individuals to purchase health insurance will become law. 

Chief Justice Roberts was the key swing vote joining the courts liberal members as he wrote the majority opinion, The court ruled that the federal government does have the power to require all Americans to acquire insurance if the "fine" imposed on those who don't is considered a tax.

This decision will, no doubt, become a key topic during this fall's presidential campaign and the Republican members of Congress will look to repeal the law.  

My take is that this law will be put in effect in 2014.  Despite its noble promise, to provide healthcare to all American, healthcare costs will continue to rise and the hardworking taxpayer will see his private healthcare costs soar.


I have been off this week and enjoying some quiet time at home and catching up on some household chores.  I have one observation being at home:

People are lazy.

Over the last few days I have counted at least 10 landscaping trucks providing landscaping services to my surrounding neighbors.  Each truck carries a trailer hitch and is staffed by at least 4 to 5 employees.  They come at all times and their machines make a lot of noise.  Are people that lazy that they can't mow a small strip of front and back lawn?  I actually like the exercise benefit I get from mowing my grass.  I remember in 1986, when I was 15, I worked one spring and summer with a neighbor who had his own landscaping business.  This was a good job for a high school kid who wanted to make a few extra bucks.  Now these "professional landscaping services" are all over the place and I don't see one high school kid working with them. 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Sunday Arts

I just received a few pictures from a friend who painted 3 - 18"x24" oil pastel and paint on paper what he refers to as his "Basquiat" studies.  If anyone is interested in these pictures for purchase please let me know.  My email is or reach me via Twitter @SteveKeegan10

Jean-Michel Basquiat (December 22, 1960 – August 12, 1988) was an American artist.  He began as a graffiti artist in New York City in the late 1970s and evolved into a Neo-expressionist painter during the 1980s.

Basquiat's career began in the late 1970's and emerged fully in the 1980's.  Andy Warhol gave his career a boost through collaboration on several projects.  He battled substance abuse and died in 1988 at the age of 27.

A movie based on his life was released in 1996, seven years after his death titled Basquiat it was directed by Julian Schnabel, with actor Jeffrey Wright playing Basquiat. David Bowie played the part of Andy Warhol.

Looks like a good flick, I gotta check it out.

Till next time...

Happy Father's Day

Hello and welcome to another edition of my blog.  I am so amazed at the continued response to my Baseball Card Table Post.  I put the project up on IKEA Hackers Blog and many of the views of the blog have come from the IKEA Hackers site.  It's great to see all the places around the world these readers are from, truely a global brand that IKEA.

Anyway, today June 17 is Father's Day in the United States of America.  I wanted to give my Dad thanks for all he has done for all of my brother's and sisters.  He and Mom raised the 12 of us teaching us the most important lessons at home by example and gentle encouragement.  I have often said that now as a father of 3 myself, just a fraction of the children he had, I am so amazed that he and Mom had all of their children.

Sure, there were less distractions 50 and 40 years ago and one wage earner could support a household.  Today, it seems the consumer culture has won with marketers targeting babies practically from the crib and at times it seems that the speed of today's society has changed the dynamics of families, one could argue not for the better. 

My Father is a man of faith and he knows that it's foundation is in the home.  Like a patient gardener, which he actually is, my Dad has tended his garden which has now rewarded him with 30 grandchildren and at times a very busy house.

I had the pleasure to travel with him and Mom to Paris, France in March of 1999.  It was my first trip to Europe and his first to Paris.  At the time, I worked for Marriott and  we stayed at a nice Courtyard property in Neuilly, a suburb just outside the city.  Dad rented a car for excursions to Versailles, Aimens, and Chartres.  It was an experience I will always treasure since it was just the 3 of us and two years later we returned to France.  In 2001, we were joined by my wife, sister and Aunt and Uncle.  We visited the Normandy D-day sites and Mt. St. Michel.

Good Times, Great Man.
Thanks Dad

We love you.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Watching History

My post today comes from the historic accomplishment made by the New York Mets pitcher Johan Santana last night.  Santana's achievement was that he threw the first no-hitter in the 50 year history of the team.  For readers of this blog who live overseas, in baseball a pitcher throws to a batter who then takes a swing and attempts to put the ball into play and reach first base.  Last night, Santana allowed 0 hits.

What's remarkable to me is that Santana didn't pitch all of last season as he was recovering from shoulder surgery.  He has made an amazing recovery and is the ace of the rotation.  Last night also was a shared experience with Met fans from all over through the use of social media.  I was with my family and as it usually happens my children were watching some tv before they went to bed.  I was checking the Mets score on their website and on Twitter.  From the Mets site, there were automatic updates to the game from the 6th inning onwards.  As my kids went to sleep, I switched channels to watch the later innings and saw Mike Baxter, #theprideofwhitestone make an incredible catch to preserve the no-hit bid.  He left the game as he hit the outfield wall pretty hard, hopefully he isn't hurt too bad.

Once Santana recorded his last out, the tweets from Met fan twitteratti exploded, including several celebratory tweets from yours truely.  When you think of the 50 year history of the team and the great pitchers who have played for the team: Seaver, Kooseman, Ryan, Gooden, Cone etc none ever pitched a no-hitter.  Last nights events have solidified Santana's place in Mets history and now, after a few years in their new stadium, Citi Field can be called home.

Congratulations, Johan Santana.  Thanks for making Hi57ory and thank you Mets for your team like approach and early season success so far.

Let's Go Mets.