Live from the Gulf Coast of Florida: It's Friday Night

I have been neglecting my blogging for the past ... basically 3 months because I moved states and got a new job. Forgive me for totally forgetting all about this blog, but moving has to be one of the most stressful experiences. You have to find a place to live in the new area, schedule the movers, cancel your current services and start up new ones (which I still haven't done yet really i.e. I have no cable still) pack all of your belongings and haul everything to where you are going. It's exhausting.

Then there's that little problem of being in a new area. I moved to sunny Florida, which I can't complain about. I mean, a Midwesterner always appreciates the ocean. We are the farthest from the coasts, so I feel like the ocean will always be a big deal to us. It is to me and I live abut 12 minutes from it right now. The area is pretty, there's usually some sort of festivities going on, and let's be real, there's always the beach. It's the meeting new people and fitting in thing that's the problem.

I had never had a problem before. While living in Alabama I made a nice group of friends, granted our work schedules were so weird we could barely hang out, but that's not the point. Maybe the South and Midwest have similar values of making people feel welcome, and since I'm in lower Florida they just don't have the same mentality. Whatever the case is, the culture here has been a little more difficult to grasp than I first imagined.

So, after trying to get the hang of the coastal lifestyle, I'm going to continue with my blog in the same manner as before. But now I have Florida adventures that I can share. For example, there's an alligator that lives in the retention pond at my apartment complex. People tell me this is normal. I don't feel like it is, but I can't argue with native Floridians.

Oh yea, and did I mention it's Friday night and I'm home alone blogging? You can just tell me how cool I am, I can take it. I actually just finished watch an old movie, His Girl Friday, and had some banana pudding flavored ice cream from Publix, so maybe it wasn't such a bad night overall.

I feel like this was a journal entry. Should I have started it with "Dear Diary?"


Happy Fourth of July

It’s Fourth of July week, and I think it’s time to start thinking about our great nation. Summer is typically decked out in red, white and blue banners, patriotic parades, “Old Glory” waving proudly all over town and the All-American backyard barbeque.

Personally, I even have a tank top to wear for this Fourth that reads “Running the world since 1776.” (The back says “Merica” in case you were wondering.)

June and July celebrate Memorial Day and Independence Day respectfully, but have you asked yourself recently if we show any resemblance to the country we once were?

I still love this country, hence the tank top, but, let’s put it this way, I know we can be better.

When you think American Dream do you think people from all backgrounds and upbringings making a new and better life for themselves? Because that’s what it’s supposed to be. Hard work and sweat and tears to improve your life and your family's.

The International Finance Corporation and the World Bank ranked 183 countries in 11 areas.  The U.S. ranked 4th in ease of doing business, 4th in getting credit, 5th in protecting investors and 7th in enforcing contracts. Those were our highest rankings, too. Our lowest ranking was 72nd in paying taxes.

Being 4th doesn’t sound terrible, but we are supposed to be No. 1. We can be No. 1, therefore we should strive for that again.

According to an article in a CNN series on American Exceptionalism the U.S. could try to emulate Germany in attempts to improve our standing.
The article talks about how German business students will graduate knowing multiple languages, having traveled to different countries, knowing more about global business than many of our business students.

The writer of the editorial, Todd Leopold, has a point here. We can learn from other countries, and we should. Others learn from us, try to emulate what we do right, and they succeed because of it. We are still great, but we might need some inspiration on how to get through this current slump.

I love wearing red, white and blue, and I love carrying our flag in parades, I also have more respect for the military than the typical person probably does. But, if we can do better, then we best get at it, because the American Dream is how we succeeded. And if all it takes is for everyone collectively to work harder and to change the course we’re headed down, then we need to start down that new path now before we are passed by more countries.
For the Fourth, just remember the principles America was founded on and what generations before went through to get what we have today, and think about if we are working anywhere near that hard. I bet you’ll find most of us aren’t.

Happy Fourth of July and God bless America.