March 13, 2003

Southwest Airlines Stock Surges

Posted by Scott at 10:05 PM

Tonight I just purchased the airplane tickets for this year's summer vacation. Southwest was having one of their "internet specials" where one way tickets to/from Chicago and Manchester were $69. I effectively bought seven round trip tickets. Ouch! Even at discount, that's not chump change.

The flights are staggered a bit. Claire will fly out to Chicago first ahead of the rest of us, not unlike last summer. A week later mom will fly here for several days. Then she, Michelle, Abby and the three boys will fly to Chicago. A week later I will fly to Chicago to join them. A week after that Michelle, the kids, and I will fly back to Manchester. It's just shy of four weeks of jet hopping.

There's a silly internet survey/quiz going around that helps you find what political stereotype you are. I found their standard political categories way too confining. The category that best describes me (not shown in the survey) is a term I recently stumbled across: "Crunchy Conservative". I think the term started with this article in National Review. It was further developed in this more recent article:

'Crunchy cons definitely don't want to be called liberals. They don't like how liberals dismiss the lessons of the past, put down religion, fail to take seriously the reality of evil and "abandon their children to the culture."
The touchstones for crunchy cons, Dreher says, are religion, the natural world, beauty and family. "For many crunchy cons, religion is the starting point from which beliefs about everything else follow," he says, noting many are converts to traditional Catholicism or Eastern Orthodoxy. "What they have in common is a craving for an older, more demanding kind of religion, a faith with backbone that stands against the softness of bourgeois Christianity."
Crunchy cons worry that the Republican and Alliance parties elevate profit over the common good and may be too eager for war, including against Iraq, Dart says. Yet they don't like liberals' individualism, private spirituality and anything-goes attitude. Classical Tories, Dart says, stress family, community, the environment and organized religion.'

Even the excerpts tend to be over generalizing. Read the latter article for a few case studies. After reading the articles I must admit that I don't volunteer at the local organic food co-op, at least not yet. It's also amazing that I never picked up my dad's green thumb nor had the desire to. Another disqualifier might be my weakness for hot raspberry white mocha lattes. *grin* Nevertheless I think that a lot of my political positions do flow from my traditional Catholic beliefs. It's interesting to study the social teachings. It never advocates a type of government but certainly gives metrics and goals by which we can benchmark the quality of government towards it's people. In that manner the teachings can be critical of socialism/communism as well as rabid capitalism or libertarianism.

A design that we worked on at ARC/VAutomation made some news at Slashdot today. OEM'd by Lantronix it's a tiny device capable of making a lot of devices have embedded web server capabilities. It's so small that it fits on the back portion of the network connector. At it's heart is our Turbo186 microprocessor core and our VMAC ethernet core for network connectivity. I worked on the Turbo development for the first few months when I started at VAuto. To this day I still spend a lot of time supporting customers on this core. A co-worker helped Synergetics (now Lantronix) do the chip integration. Last year I helped with some tech support as Lantronix prepared for another silicon spin. The amazing part of the story is how so called "system on chip" integration allowed them to put so many things on one silicon chip. That's how they put so much functionality in such a little space.

Well, the fire in the fireplace has finally sputtered out. I think it's safe to go to bed now.