Have any of you ever gone to Battlefield Vegas?

gun control ends well for those controlling gunsWe’re contemplating a trip to Las Vegas.  Since we neither drink nor gamble (and the kids can’t join in those activities in any event) we’re looking for other fun things to do while we’re there.  One of the top-rated activities is Battlefield Vegas.  As best as I can tell, you pay a fixed fee for shooting instruction, and then have the opportunity to fire real guns associated with famous battles or computer games.  It looks like incredible fun (the kids lost interest in any other activities after having heard about this one), but it’s also quite pricey — understandably so, if it’s everything that’s promised.  I’d love to hear from someone who’s actually been to Battlefield Vegas to make sure that it is indeed everything that’s promised.  For a large-ish family, the cost adds up quickly so, while there are no guarantees in life, knowing that it’s more likely than not to be fun would be helpful.

It’s late, I’m working, and I have a minor grumble

Kilroy was hereI just want to say that it always irritates me when people with whom I work professionally, upon reviewing my writing, feel the irresistible urge to mark it, much as dogs mark telephone poles, just to prove they’ve been there. It’s certainly true that some people’s edits make my work better and for that I am grateful. Other people, though, just shuffle things around, often with grammatically disastrous consequences.

Ultimately, as long as these people — whom I call “existential editors” because they seem to edit only to show that they exist — pay my bills, I really shouldn’t care what they do. But as someone who, in her professional life, crafts her sentences with some care, I hate to see these existential editors fold, spindle, and mutilate that work.

It’s a lovely day in the neighborhood

I’m jamming away on legal briefs, which precludes blogging now.  Meanwhile, here’s a nice picture I took while walking my dogs this morning.  I like it because, to the extent the rains have once again stopped, bringing back the grim specter of drought, it’s nice to be reminded that the  hills are still green:

View when I walk my dogs

An informal survey about people’s political and career trajectories

Opportunity is disguised as hard workI’m curious as to whether there’s a connection between people’s career trajectories and their political views when they’re older. I have noticed in my own life that a lot of my conservative friends have bounced around a bit from one career to another in their younger days, while a lot of my Progressive friends have stayed with their original career. I sort of straddle the line, because I stayed within the legal profession, but molded my work to confirm to my personal work preferences, rather than the other way. I also added in writing and being a Mom along the way.  I also changed my politics along the way.

What about you? Without violating your privacy, can you sketch briefly what your political leanings are, whether they’ve stayed the same throughout your adult life, and whether you’ve had the same career forever, stayed in the same career but changed the way you do your work, or if you’ve had big changes in your work over your lifetime. If the last mentioned is true, how many changes have you had? Has your been a picaresque career, or was there just one seismic shift?  If this were a poll, I’d set it up this way:

1.  How would you define yourself politically today?

2.  Have you always held the same political views?

3.  If not, did you shift from more individualist views to more statist views, or vice versa?

4.  Are you still in the same career you were when you started working as a young person?

5.  If yes, you are in the same career, are you in the exact same line of work or have you significantly changed your work within the same field?  For example, have you shifted from being an employee to being a manager or even being self-employed?

6.  If no, you’re not in the same career, what kind of career change did you have?

7.  Also, if no, you’re not in the same career, how many career changes have you had?

I doubt I’ll have the discipline to take any information I get from this post and turn it into a more formalized observation about lifestyles and politics.  Mostly, I’m just curious about what might just be a coincidence amongst my acquaintances, and I figured that, if we’re all curious together, we can enjoy a little bit of crowd sourcing right here.

I’ll say right off the mark that my suspicion now, with minimal data, is that conservatives have had more practical experience in life than liberals.  Even if we emerge from the Ivy Tower covered with the dewy glow of the Democrat party, dealing with real life — especially multiple variations of real life, such as being in the military, then being an employee, then working for oneself, etc. — we’ve come to realize that the real world operates by certain immutable cause and effect rules.  For this reason, we’re eventually drawn to conservativism, which deals with the world as it is, unlike statism, which tries to force the world into conforming to academic theories about what a perfectly managed world could and should be.

Apropos fact and theory, on Facebook I very politely, respectfully, and with genuine curiosity asked a hard-core Leftist to explain to me how we could use peaceful solutions to deal with ISIS, Boko Haram, al Qaeda, etc.  It’s been three days and he hasn’t responded.  I suspect he never will.

If you’re donating to a charity this Christmas….

DonationOne of my friends sent me an email pointing out that a lot of major charities give their chief executives huge compensation packages, even as they inefficiently manage the money that actually goes to a given charity’s beneficiaries. I checked the email out on Snopes, and discovered that it’s an old one and, therefore, out of date. However, what I did get from Snopes is a link to a website that provides useful information about charities. It’s called Charity Navigator, and it allows you to search out things such as executive compensation and charity efficiency.

My grinch about some modern Christmas carols

Christmas carolersPart of why I didn’t get as much blogging done today as I would have liked is the fact that I was at a Christmas concert. It was, in many ways, a very nice Christmas concert. Although the singing was only so-so (something understandable in the case of the younger singers), the concert was extremely well-produced. Even better, it actually had Christmas songs, ranging from classics (such as Silent Night, O Holy Night, and The Holly and the Ivy) to moderns (such as White Christmas, Sleigh Ride, and Walking in a Winter Wonderland). There was no pretense that this was anything but a Christmas concert.

[Read more...]