Thursday, September 23, 2010

Huber Brother Football Round Robin

This weekend is the second of two clashes between Huber brother college football teams. Ohio State played Ohio University (where my younger brother, Ken, matriculated) last weekend. Where, if you missed it, the highlight was the Ohio University Bobcat mascot trying to lay a beatdown on Brutus Buckeye. Fortunately, Brutus was too smart for those sha-nay-nays.


This weekend, the Eastern Michigan Eagles arrive at Ohio Stadium. My older brother, Greg, is a proud EMU alum. Let's hope the mascots play nicely.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Mike Nugent - Former Buckeye

I am proud of Mike Nugent, the Centerville, Ohio native and former stand out for the Ohio State Buckeyes. Today he had five field goals (the sum total of all of the Cincinnati Bengals' points) in their win over the Baltimore Ravens.

After being drafted in 2005 by the New York Jets, he struggled to regain his starting job after getting injured. He bounced around to a couple of teams, eventually being waived by them all.

I hope he has found a home in Cincinnati.

Mason's First Buckeye Game

Mason went to his first Buckeye game this past Saturday. We arrived at around 10am with Noel slowing down to about 5 miles per hour as we jumped out of the car. Maybe hyperbole, but we got out in traffic so that Noel and Mallory could make a quick getaway from the crazy traffic.

We walked north past Morrill and Lincoln towers, making our way to Converse Hall. The Army RTOC Alumni Society (of which I am the proud webmaster) was having a function. I got to see some folks that I hadn't seen in close to 15 years, so it was good to catch up.

Mason experienced TBDBITL, stadium popcorn, and after about 20 minutes, the novelty of the game wore off on him. He hadn't quite figured out how to watch a game live, incorporating the scoreboard, etc. into understanding the game. But, it was great to watch him make the O-H-I-O with his arms and clap along with the band.

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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Monday, September 6, 2010

Obama Knows Transportation

In a Labor Day speech today in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, President Obama called upon Congress to dump $50 billion (yes, again with a 'B') into transportation. There are two issues that I must point out.

The first is the Keynesian business that government spending spurs the economy. If that were the case, then why stop at $50 billion? Obama's plan includes rebuilding 150,000 miles of roadway and 4,000 miles of rail. The rail, he says, will be 'paid for' and will not add to the deficit. I am here to tell you, that if the government knows anything, it is the transportation business.

Which brings me to my second point. The U.S. Government look no further than Amtrak, Uncle Sam's very own passenger rail company. If we take a quick glance at the Amtrak consolidated financial statements from 2008 and 2009 we will see just how good at business it really is. In 2008, Amtrak posted a net loss of $1.13 billion dollars. Not to be outdone, Amtrak lost $1.264 billion in 2009. According to SubsidyScope, Amtrak loss money on 41 of its 44 routes in 2008; ranging anywhere from $5 to $462 per passenger.

But, Doug, you say, surely this is a sign of the times. Amtrak is suffering from the economy like every other business. That may be true, but according to the summary of a Department of Transportation Inspector General's report from 2001:
1) Amtrak’s financial performance has not met expectations and its ability to meet its self-sufficiency mandate is in serious jeopardy; 2) Amtrak’s efforts to achieve self sufficiency will fail if additional capital is not forthcoming; 3) Amtrak will require substantial Federal appropriations, even after it achieves self-sufficiency
So, for at least the last 10 years, our beloved government has know that Amtrak is a money pit. But, to keep the locomotives running, the U.S. engineers keep shoveling good money into the furnace to make those locomotive engines run.

It looks like a transportation stimulus might not be the best elixir for the economy after all.