Just a quick note before the actual blog: I’m at AERO in Friedrichshafen right now! I’ll be there until Saturday. Come see me! (Foyer Ost). Yes, I know I’m repeating myself.
On to today’s subject: Have you ever hear of Amilcare Puviani? He was an Italian economist, is regarded as an early representative of the public-choice-theory, and focused on public finances in his work. His most popular work “Teoria della illusione finanziaria” is basically a guide or manual for the state, how to squeeze out as much money out of a population without them noticing or getting aggravated about it. A key item on his list is to make the whole system as convoluted and intransparent as possible, so that nobody knows how much taxes he or she actually pays and so that the whole system becomes an unseizable, intangible, amorphous money sucking blob that is impossible to fight. (That wording is mine, not his, to be fair).
When I look at my tax forms, I have no doubt that this book is recommended reading for every public officer who reaches a certain level in every treasury department around the world.
And when I think about the accumulated time spent on accounting and tax stuff by millions upon millions of people, it makes me weep for the lost time, joy, productivity and potential of mankind. And the next time you tear your hairs out doing your taxes, remember: It’s not *just* the natural evolution of big institutions at play here. It most probably is all done on purpose.
Anyway, since I’m away from my office right now, I can’t reply to comments, but just preemptively: Yes, I like roads and schools, that’s not the point.
Who knew Chuck was trying to get as many girls’ phone numbers as possible? Well, I guess we all did, probably. Looking at that stack I am thinking there will be more material about Chuck dating in the near future. I am actually surprised a little that Sally isn’t mad at him. I’d be a little miffed if I had to sift through all those business cards.
Here is a good question: What if there is a chick out there for Chuck? One that puts up with his crazy ideas and his passion? After all, I was able to find one eventually and if I can do it …
So I have to publicly admit here that I am just like Chuck when it comes to business cards. Every year I went to the HAI Helicopter Convention I ended up with a huge stash of business cards. And every year I had the best intentions to categorize them in a certain order for future reference. Yet every year they ended up in a big pile since I never had Sally to help me out. At least that is what I tell myself. It’s only the lack of a Sally-type help. I can still mostly find what I need in that pile but we are far from categorized or alphabetized. Unfortunately I did the same at Oshkosh and ComiCon. Maybe we even missed out on that once-in-a-lifetime Chicken Wings movie deal because my business cards weren’t organized correctly?
Also, are any of you in here still using a Rolodex? Of course Hans wouldn’t go splurge on a fancy online system just yet. My own business card collection has actually become more of a sentimental thing rather than an actual tool for keeping in touch. Almost everything is online these days …
I like how Hans continuously tries to come up with clever ways to keep his employees motivated. I guess if you are cheap, you need to try to be clever. I am not all that sure he is succeeding this time. Of course none of us in the real aviation world have ever dealt with operators that are cheap (*cough cough*) and know that this strip is completely invented.
But let’s do something new here! Post your favorite “motivational” quotes underneath the strip! Let’s see what motivates you!
Not a bad idea, you have to admit. Although pizza tastes good in most conditions, except maybe frozen, I also prefer it to be at least slightly warm.
Thinking about it, somebody should take this idea and create heated mugs. I don’t know how prevalent Christmas markets are in the States. But around here, we have them everywhere. The traditional drink sold at these markets is hot wine punch, based on mostly red wine and spices. I only partake in it occasionally, but it always bothers me that, when you get the mug, the wine is so hot, you can barely drink it andthe mug burns your fingers. Then there’s a brief period when the wine has just the right temperature, not too hot and not too cold. To me, that period usually last for about two small sips. After that, the wine is so cold that it doesn’t taste good anymore. I wonder why there aren’t thermos mugs or something out there. I pay deposit for those cups anyway.
And the “Rat Saga” goes on. Looking at all your posts from earlier this week it seems to me that snakes are almost a bigger problem than rats. EEEK! I have never had one in the hangar or inside an aircraft but I did almost get bit by a rattler in Nevada when I was reaching underneath the helicopter to unhook the Bambi bucket. It had curled up on the control head of the bucket in the shade underneath the aircraft and was only inches away from my hand. Never rattled actually, just lunged. It did occur to me that I wasn’t sure who would fly ME out of the desert if I was bitten. We were in the middle of nowhere. Believe me, I was way more vigilant for the remainder of the season. After all that is yet another thing they don’t teach you in flight school …
I am actually not sure we have had Chuck and Julio encounter snakes yet. But it does seem like there might be some potential for a comical situation if they do. Any ideas?
Those of you who are old enough will probably remember a time before Google, when there was a plethora of competing search engines such as Yahoo, AltaVista, Infoseek, Netscape search etc. One of those search engines was called “Ask Jeeves”. It was the first time I came across the name of Jeeves, and I thought it was a really stupid name for a search engine. It was many years later that I stumbled across the writings of P.G. Wodehouse and his stories about Bernie Wooster and his butler Jeeves, and I enjoyed them so much, that I think I read about every Wodehouse book multiple times. Next to Terry Pratchett, he’s my favorite humorous author!
The only drawback for a non-native speaker is that I tend to unconsciously incorporate the language that I consume into my personal repertoire. When you use a phrase an early-20th century butler would use in normal conversation, it does not always help the conversation.
By the way! I hope nobody will take offense in the word “poppycock”. It is a perfectly acceptable English word, which (according to Merriam-Webster) apparently derived from the Dutch dialect word “pappekak”, which means “soft dung”. So it’s rather close to the American “BS”. I only mention this, because one of our (probably former) readers once got upset with us for using the word “dumbass” and accused us of using foul language. Even though the word refers to the donkey, not the body part, and is probably acceptable in children books and movies.
That’s a whole new tangent I could go off on. You wouldn’t believe some of the critical feedback we (fortunately only) occasionally get. One day we’ll compile a list and make an extra page about it, we promise!
It’s always fun, with the benefit of hindsight, to analyze predictions from the past about today. And it looks like the prediction of the “paperless office” was about as wrong as you can get. But, on the other hand, maybe the content of that prediction is not wrong, but only the timing! I’m sure we will reach that stage at some point, but it just will take its time. Technology can advance in leaps, but societal, cultural and economical change needs time to run its course.
I still do almost all of my accounting in paper format. But I’m getting more and more digital receipts etc. that I’m sure I’ll get to the point of not even bothering to print them anymore. Coincidentally, exactly while doing my accounting, I came across the line “think about the environment before you print” that gave me the idea for today’s strip …
The first couple of sentences in this blog are just to avoid using the words that would give away the punchline. If you have already read the strip, you can continue reading… So, overworked and underpaid. Aren’t we all? I’m sure there are a few people with cushy jobs and even some who are happy with their salary, but I don’t really know that many. Or maybe it’s because nobody likes to admit when they’re not working hard. At least I can’t complain about being fed cheap coffee. Not that it wouldn’t be on the cheap side, but as I said before, I’m a bit of a philistine in that regard.
So, anybody in here who’s NOT overworked and/or who feels paid well? Wait, that’s not the right way to get a discussion going. I can already hear the crickets and see the tumbleweeds!
Hans is continuing his thorough investigation into Chuck’s drug habits. I wonder what dark secrets he will bring to light in the end! And although in this context it isn’t meant in that way, I’m sure “going down in flames” is code for something to do with drugs. I don’t even know half the language for that stuff in my mother tongue. But I can vividly remember the day when I was offered “a slow one” and “a fast one” on the same day in a, back then notorious, subway station in Vienna. I still don’t know what they were trying to sell me.