The Big Red Rabbit at Sac Airport

Airport art can be massive.  The red rabbit is massive.

Airport art can be striking.  The red rabbit is striking.

Airport art is often symbolic or reminiscent of the locale.  The red rabbit . . . not so much.

Sure we have rabbits here, but rabbits are everywhere, and they’re not usually red.  So there was some degree of controversy surrounding the installation of “Leap,” the big red rabbit created by Denver artist, Lawrence Argent, now on display in the new terminal of the Sacramento International Airport.  But we’ll get used to it . . . once people (myself included) stop trying to find hidden meanings.  Besides, who says art can’t just be fun?

Other possible interpretations:

1. Red Rabbit (nutritional food for children)

2. Red Rabbit (novel by Tom Clancy)

3. Red Rabbits (song by The Shins)

My favorite interpretation: it’s a bold anti-drug statement (i.e., the opposite of a white rabbit).

Florida’s New Anti-Saggy-Pants Law

Florida has a new law that prohibits wearing saggy pants at school.  The bill’s primary proponent, Senator Gary Siplin, handed out belts to students today as a reminder to keep their pants cinched up.  Arkansas has similar legislation.  See full story on Reuters.  Siplin wants to encourage students to dress more professionally so they are on the right track come time for interviews following graduation.  In related news, Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong was recently kicked off a Southwest Airlines flight for sagging.

State Bar Publication for Teenagers

The California State Bar recently updated its publication entitled When You Turn 18: A Survival Guide for Teenagers.  It’s a 16-page publication covering a wide range of legal topics pertinent to teenagers and those who are moving beyond the age of minority.  The last time the guide was updated was in 2008.  The new version covers some timely topics such as underage drinking, illegal computer downloads, identity theft, sexting, and employer monitoring of emails.

The State Bar plans to release the guide in mid September.  If you think your teenager would benefit from a careful study of this guide, simply send an email to and specify how many copies you want and where you want them sent.  The guides and the shipping are free.  What’s not free is being a good parent; the cost is your time, dedication, and love.  So work through the guide together, asking and answering questions as you go.

Gibson Guitar on the Gov’t Chopping Block

Three Gibson guitar factories in Tennessee were raided last week by armed federal marshals. The Justice Department ordered the raid as part of its investigation into the company’s alleged purchase of illegal wood from Madagascar and India. According to Gibson CEO Henry Juszkiewicz, the company has not been charged with anything yet, so they have no legal recourse for the millions of dollars that have already been lost while the government shut down their facilities during the raid. The wood in question is said to have come from trees that are protected under the Lacey Act. Gibson Guitar denies any allegations that the wood was purchased illegally. See full story on NPR.

I don’t like what the government is doing here. I hate to see trees chopped down as much as anyone, much less rare hardwood such as that protected by the Lacey Act. However, what better usage of wood than to make a beautiful instrument that will last for generations and that has the potential to inspire and console. Plus, they’re guitars, not houses. How much wood could it possibly take to build a guitar! It is a simplistic view, I know. But if its true that Gibson is importing illegal wood in violation of the Lacey Act, it’s too bad the government couldn’t just avert their eyes and let this one go.

Trebek’s Coolness not in Jeopardy

Alex Trebek is the coolest guy ever. He always seems to have an independent knowledge of the questions he asks on his show (even though he may be peeking at an index card with the answer on it). He never, ever, ever lets an answer slip by that is not in the form of a question. And back in the day, when he was at his prime, he had a mustache that could rival that of Tom Selleck.

Now, at the age of 71, Trebek is fighting crime. He recently injured his Achilles tendon while chasing a burglar he caught going through his stuff in a San Francisco hotel room. See the full AP news story here.

Chuck Norris and Dos Equis guy should probably watch their backs.

New “Death Planning” Venture

Jess Bloomgarden, a Harvard Business School student started AfterSteps to “bring organization, completeness, and knowledge to the end-of-life planning process.” People are often challenged by trying to tie up loose ends after the death of a loved one. The process may involve working with multiple service providers and trying to ascertain the wishes of the decedent. Bloomgarden’s business is unique in that it brings all these things together for the user into a “complete end-of-life plan.” AfterSteps securely stores the plan and related documents, then transfers them to the designated family members after the plan’s owner passes away. The cost of this service is $4.00 per month. Bloomgarden believes that her new venture will simplify the end-of-life process and provide piece of mind to the user and their family members. Too bad she can’t offer a premium plan that would simplify the estate tax!

Free Slurpee Day

Free is magic. If you offer something for free, people will gladly spend money to get it.
– Barry Schwartz, professor of psychology at Swarthmore College

Go to your nearest 7-11 convenience store. Walk in a straight line to the Slurpee dispenser. Do not glance to your right, and do not glance to your left. Get your 100% free 7-ounce Slurpee, turn, walk past the beef jerky rack, and leave the store. Oh, and make sure you have plenty of gas in your car before you head out so you don’t have the urge to fill up at 7-11.

If you spend any money while at 7-11 today then you will be contributing to the success of the company’s yearly gimmick! On 7/11/2010 the company handed out 4.5 million free Slurpees and they saw a 38% spike in Slurpee sales that same day. Actually, you know what goes good with Slurpees? Funyuns.

2018 Winter Olympics

I know of few events so grandious that preparations must begin 7 years in advance.  But the Olympics is one of them.  The International Olympic Committee today announced that the location of the 2018 Winter Olympics will be Pyeongchang, South Korea.  Pyeongchang will be the first Asian city besides Japan to host the Winter Olympics.

In case you’re keeping track, or planning to attend, here are all the scheduled locations:

  • 2012 (summer) – London, England
  • 2014 (winter) – Sochi, Russia
  • 2016 (summer) – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • 2018 (winter) – Pyeongchang, South Korea

SSN Randomization

Your social security number (SSN) is actually made up of three different numbers: the 3-digit area number, 2-digit group number, and 4-digit serial number. This is the way its been done since social security numbers first started being assigned back in 1936. But later this month the Social Security Administration (SSA) is going to begin assigning numbers randomly. This will make additional numbers available that are currently restricted due to the area number. Basically, it will take longer for the SSA to run out of numbers. Also, the randomization method of SSN assignment is supposed to better protect the integrity of the numbers. Bad guys won’t be able to figure out the first 3 digits based on state. Even after this change, the SSA will still not be using 000, 666, or 900-999.