What do O.J. Simpson, working from home and those ungrateful Alaskans all have in common? Those are my fascinating topics this issue.
First, where were you when you heard the O.J. Simpson verdict?
That was 21 years ago – can you believe it? We’d just arrived to Lake Houston. I was at a Lake Houston Chamber meeting when somebody said the jury was back. We were mesmerized until the verdict was read.
O.J. isn’t someone I think about, but leave it to the New York Times to bring him back. The Times, a couple days ago, spotlighted a new book by Alan Dershowitz, one of O.J.’s defense lawyers. It’s packed with all kinds of tasty tidbits:
Just before the verdict was revealed, America stopped. More than 100 million people were glued to their televisions (Only 84 million watched Clinton and Trump debate.). Trading volume on the New York Stock Exchange dropped 40 percent.
The jury may have found O.J. not guilty that day but, 14 years later, he went to prison for another altercation. Guess what? O.J. is eligible for parole next year.
Next, working from home.
You don’t get anything done at work because of all the interruptions? Wrong, wrong, wrong. All those dull, dumb meetings you have to go to, the miles you have to drive and the interruptions you get from the idiot down the hall pale in comparison to what the guy/gal working at home has to go through.
The dog wants in. The cat wants to be fed. The wash has to be put in the dryer. The bug guy is here for his twice-a-year inspection. The dog wants out. The cat wants to be fed. The dryer is done. See what happens? No time to work.
I’d looked forward to retirement because I thought this would be the opportunity to really sit down and write profound articles for Cynthia Calvert and start that mystery novel I’ve had in my head since I was 30. Too many interruptions. I may have to go back to a real job.
Finally, those ungrateful Alaskans.
First, some much-needed background thanks to an Associated Press article. Since 1976, everybody who has lived in Alaska for a year gets free money. It’s called the Alaska Permanent Fund. The cash comes from the money Alaska makes off their oil and how much each Alaskan gets is based on a five-year average of the state’s multi-billion-dollar fund.
A couple years ago, the checks were a paltry $900 because of the recession. Things improved, though, because last year, if you lived in Alaska, the state would have put a record $2,072 in your bank account. Based on the formula, Alaskans were expecting $2,100 this year – but the Governor said NO! Instead, Alaskans will get ONLY $1,022. Those low oil prices have wrecked the Alaska economy and the state is facing a mult-billion-dollar deficit. Budget problems don’t bother some Alaskans. They’re complaining – loudly. They don't want only $1,022.
I offer no sympathy. Texas has four billion more barrels of oil reserves than Alaska (USA Today told me that) and I’m certainly not expecting a check from Texas.