scharrison's blog

On Manufacturing Job Losses and Outsourced Representation

I usually don't talk too much here about my real job, because it's seldom relevant to our discussions and it's not very "sexy", either. I've been in manufacturing for over 18 years, basically working my way up from driving a forklift to being a division head with 4-7 departments under my "banner", depending on the needs of our management structure.

In Defense Of Mike

I have very recently felt compelled to throw water on the raging fire of criticism that has been directed at our Governor over at The Dome, as it seems that virtually any story about him lately inspires a feeding frenzy of contempt and vitriol.

Tarheel Founding Fathers

What better way to start off a vacation than a...boring history lesson? I must have gotten my wires crossed somewhere. I was really excited about this a few minutes ago...oh well, I've started this thing, so I have to finish it, or I'll toss and turn all night.

Liddy's Money Part One: Foreclosed

There is a catastrophe taking place in North Carolina right now. It's not as visible or frightening as a tornado or a flood, but the end result of this catastrophe will be very similar: thousands of our fellow North Carolinians steeped in despair and struggling to find a place for their families to live.

Small Dairy Sustainability

North Carolina has a rich heritage when it comes to agriculture. My ancestors settled for a while in Orange County, just a few miles from what is now downtown Chapel Hill. And, like so many of their neighbors, they declared to the census-takers that their main occupation was farming. It didn't take much to be a farmer back then—a little plot of land to grow some vegetables, a few cows to milk, and bingo. You're a farmer.

Rendezvous in New Bern

Thanks to a totally unexpected but much appreciated invitation from former Senatorial candidate Jim Neal, I made my way to New Bern Saturday morning to attend the Sanford-Hunt Dinner later that evening.

I had originally planned to drive all the way to the Atlantic Beach area and spend the afternoon body-surfing, girl-watching and sun-worshiping (this is the "research" I had mentioned before), but the overcast and sprinkly weather led me to believe those unhealthy/inappropriate activities were not going to be available, so I headed into downtown New Bern to see what those Democrats were up to.

My Washington "Rhod" Trip

My wayward camera finally found its way home today, so I thought I would use up my monthly allotment of bandwidth showing off a few pictures. Oh well, you know what they say: you can't take it with you when you go! :) I know, that's almost as corny as the title to the diary. But I have to say, the overriding theme of this vacation was the rhododendrons. Although not native to the region, it became the state flower, and they were showing themselves off all over the place.

This was taken at the Arboretum, not far from downtown Seattle:

Off-Shore Drilling and the Environment: Irreconcilable Differences

As if we needed another facet to the global climate change and energy demand debates, we can now add the following: evidence is mounting that our insatiable consumption of petroleum has finally (and inevitably) brought us to the cusp of Peak Oil. More hard decisions are going to be required in the near future, and it is critical that we avoid succumbing to our natural inclination towards easy fixes.

Public Transit: Not Just For City Folk

As some of you are aware, I am currently on the other side of the continent, enjoying some relatively good weather (fingers crossed) in the Puget Sound area. One of the things I always try to do when traveling is to ride around on whatever public transportation is available. Part of the reason is so I can better envision what might work in North Carolina, but another reason is because you get to interact with locals on an equal basis. You're not just a tourist asking stupid questions, you're a fellow passenger, so you can be trusted with all sorts of local gossip. :)

Frontpaged by James

Nuclear Waste Solved: or, To Russia, With Love

One of the key issues surrounding the nuclear energy debate is the proper disposition of spent fuel rods. There are numerous concerns that encompass this issue, from radioactive contamination to nuclear proliferation fears, and about the only consensus that experts can agree on is the sheer complexity of the problem.

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