Monday, March 27, 2017

Learning opportunities

Good Monday morning to you.

Perhaps I should state up front that it's a bit of a blue Monday here in the Big Blue Nation, as our beloved Kentucky Wildcats went down in defeat to the arch-rival North Carolina Tar Heels last night in a wild and highly competitive game.  Kentucky's team never really got going in the first half, owing to foul trouble for three starters, and that foul trouble and lack of rhythm carried over for the rest of the game.  Somewhat miraculous that Kentucky had the lead at a couple of points late, but Carolina's depth and experience won out.

Though my wife doesn't agree, that's pretty much the end of basketball for me this year.  I don't watch much other college basketball except to see who Kentucky might end up playing, so if they're done, I probably am, too.

My company is getting into a new aspect of business that you've probably seen and heard about, but because I don't talk in detail about work in this space, I won't elaborate, but to say that I'm pretty intrigued by some training I have coming up for my sales position.

Did you hear about the two young women who were prevented from boarding a United Airlines flight because they were wearing leggings?  You're reading that correctly, I did a double take when I first saw it.  There were three in a group traveling together, all on United passes that were given them by someone who works for the airline.  United claimed later that they have a "strict" dress code for those traveling on company passes and leggings are not allowed.  One of the women had a dress in her carry-on bag that she was able to put on over her outfit and was able to board.

Now, if you've been on a commercial airliner in the past five years, you've seen what I've seen.  People in sweatpants, yoga pants, leggings, pajamas, you name it.  Unless I am flying out and back in the same day I routinely wear shorts, unless it's a winter day.  I find it hard to believe that this was a rule that needed to be enforced.  Supposedly it was a gate agent who barred these women from boarding in their "objectionable" clothing.  Objectionable to whom? would be my question.

Saw something else that made me look twice.  The Atlanta Braves are opening a new ballpark next week, and they've announced some interesting menu items to be sold there, but at the same time also announced that they will not allow any outside food or drink into their new park.  As regular readers know, I'm an avid Cincinnati Reds fan, and have attended games in their last three venues, Crosley Field, Riverfront Stadium (later briefly known as Cinergy Field) and their current home, Great American Ball Park.  All have traditionally welcomed fans who choose to bring food and drink, within certain parameters (no glass containers, liquids must be in SEALED plastic bottles, etc.).  I can even remember walking into Yankee Stadium (the old one) several years ago with a bag of peanuts in open view of the tickettakers.  In NEW YORK.

The funny thing to me is that minor league parks stopped allowing outside food and drink years ago, but they charge a fraction of what the major league teams do for tickets. I always considered that the trade-off, that if you pay more to enter the game, they let you bring stuff to eat if you so choose.  This is a move that will further prevent many families from attending games.

Our former Vice-President has made a few public appearances recently and has said flatly that he now regrets his decision not to run for President in 2016, that he felt he was the best qualified and would have won the election.  No way to know any of that, nor can anyone who has never lost a child begin to comprehend the pain and grief Joe Biden and his family have experienced.  I've always liked Biden, despite his shortcomings he's a pretty down-to-earth and plainspoken man for a career politician.  I think he'll find his new place in private life and something to put his considerable energies into before too long.

My last comments are about the failure of the Republican leadership to pass their American Health Care Act from the House of Representatives, a body that their party controls.  Never mind the fact that there are three distinct factions within the Republican majority there, and that they also control the Senate and the White House.  This was their signature issue for seven years:  repeal and replace "Obamacare."  Ample time to craft a workable bill that would have fixed what they claimed was wrong with it.  But they couldn't.

Suppose they've learned anything yet?


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