Archive for August, 2008

Solutions to America’s Energy Crisis

It is time for me to chime in on one of the big topics of the day; the energy crisis. Everyone has an opinion on this and everyone seems to have an answer as to what is the best course of action. However, I don’t believe that one person has offered the one and only answer to solving the energy crisis.

What I believe is that everyone who actually wants to find a solution to this problem has something to offer. It is my opinion that a collective effort by all of whom want to do what’s right for this country is truly the answer. T. Boone Pickens has great ideas to use wind power to generate up to 20% of the energy this country uses. Unfortunately, Mr. Pickens needs some engineering scientist to help find answers to storing the energy. John D. Hofmeister, the former CEO of Shell Oil Co. also has great ideas for trying to make energy more affordable. Those that advocate for greater exploration of natural gas also have great ideas.

To this point, I believe the answer to energy independence for the United States is very similar to the strategies used by investors–In one word “Diversification”. We cannot depend on one source of energy to curb our dependence on foreign oil. While I advocate drilling as much as possible in the United States, on and off-shore, I also believe in wind power, solar power, nuclear power, and the pursuit of more natural gas. Like investing in the market, we can’t put all our eggs in one basket.

None of us have to speculate as to why our government has not pursued all these options up until now. There are of course many political and financial causes for our current crisis. I do believe that we are past the point of no return on fixing the energy crisis. The issue is polling high among the American public and has become a part of the stump speeches of our current Presidential candidates. So there is no denying that implementing a solution sooner rather than later is on the agenda.

If we look at the energy crisis like it’s a national security issue which it is, then we will find that those able to implement change will then do so. Protecting our great nation from outside vulnerabilities has to be a priority for us. The time for apathy has passed and the need for real action has arrived. Diversification is the answer to the energy crisis, we just need to get the word out as Americans that we demand action now not later.

Wednesday, August 20th, 2008 Economics No Comments

The Magic of Food

Time to confess that one of my true passions in life is food, and I mean everything about it. Besides my love for eating delicious foods, there are so many other aspects that make this one of my favorite pastimes.

Food does so much for us, like bringing us together during the holiday’s and giving us the opportunity to spend a Sunday with our fellow church members. Taking a trip over to Grandma’s house usually means a enormous home cooked meal. When the in-laws extend an invite it most often entails a spread befitting a king. Trying to impress a new girlfriend, that usually involves a reservation at one of the finer dining establishments.

I could just go on and on about all the things in life that revolve around food and how it has been a part of just about every important milestone in my life. For example, the nice dinner cooked by my Mother after high school graduation or the amazing Italian restaurant I was treated to by my family and friends after completing my bachelor’s degree. Food often makes moments unforgettable and the conversations and laughs shared around a table can make an occasion that much more memorable.

While I was reminiscing the other day about my late grandfather, I couldn’t help but think of some of his favorite meals. I remembered us sharing them together and while not delicacies, it was what he liked. It was truly enjoying the moment together and knowing that the company along with the food made the moment complete. Too often we may think of great meals being those at 5 star restaurants or prepared by celebrity chefs, but I have another take on it. Some of the most important meals in my life have been those with friends and family that didn’t involve having to take out a second mortgage to pay for it.

As most of us get older I think we become a bit more nostalgic about life in general. Remembering all the special moments that lefts such a lasting impression on us over the years. Still to this day, my Mom can make the most simplest of dishes and it tastes like heaven. Those meals always bring me back to my childhood and what a better way to be brought back in time.

I’ve found that geography plays a big part in the meals most loved by people. For example, people in the northeast tend to be big fans of brown bread and sauerkraut. Folks from New York City really love homemade pasta and great pizza–having lived in New York City, I can attest that they know what they are doing in that department! If you head south, you’ll find that seafood is usually on the menu and most often it’s very, very fresh. Then if you head to the Midwest, steak and potato’s will be at the heart of everyone’s mind. Then there is the southwest, where I was raised and learned to appreciate some of the finest Mexican food around.

There is so much more about food that makes it wonderful, but I couldn’t include them all in one article. The true magic of food includes tradition, passion and love for family. It is an area one’s life that can always be improved. There is no one person that knows everything about food and that is what makes it magical. That is what makes food mysterious to so many and peaks our interests when we travel to far away places. So I hope that we all remember that the magic food brings in our lives means so much more than how good it tastes, but more of what experiences it allows us to experience in our lives.

Nathan Taylor

Sunday, August 17th, 2008 Hospitality No Comments
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