Thursday, September 30, 2010

Inception at Work

I managed to use Inception at work today. We were discussing a special process and had two workflow charts. The second workflow only happens if within the first process a special option is selected. The second workflow was what I called the inception dream within a dream. I got to say "You should look at these flow charts as 3 dimensional in the dream within a dream idea, where we only get to the bill back chart if match + bill back is selected".

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Rough Month for Comedy

Two comics I enjoy died this past month. Robert Schimmel died in a car crash. Greg Giraldo died of an accidental OD. Schimmel never changed his explicit ways despite being a dad and even facing cancer/heart disease. Similar to Carlin, yet not nearly as good, he was just as filthy as an old, sick guy as he was when he was young. Giraldo was a great Gen X comic. He was great on Friars' and comedy central roasts. He had fantastic observational based jokes laced with big picture social commentary. When he appeared on the failed Lewis Black show, Root of all Evil, I always thought he was too smart for the audience.

Who will be the third comic to die as they come in 3s?
Please be Carrot Top.

Gulf Oil Spill

The best blog coverage of the BP Oil Spill is at "Washington's Blog". He has collected sources from all walks and shines a spotlight on the ongoing issues and cover up. He had a recent post on the oil sinking to the sea floor, killing sea life whether fish, fowl or crustacean. I tip my hat to this guy's enthusiasm for covering the spill and making BP and their cover up buddies face some music, even if it is a small monkey cranking tunes on the Internet sidewalk.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Leonardo Da Vinci: Mad Genius

Leonardo Da Vinci is one of the greatest all around humans to have ever existed (hyperbole much?). He was far ahead of his time. One thing people like to say against him is that anyone can dream up an idea that can't be built in their time like "I will draw a robot/flying car/self drying jacket and watch 50 years form now I'll be trumpeted like Da Vinci". I say pshaw. He dreamed and designed inventions that worked, but were hampered by his time and his contemporaries. Cracked, the humor site, has done a nice job of expanding the Da Vinci reputation to the commoners.

I don't know what is my favorite idea of his. He has so many. The tank with one slight design 'problem' that when altered does work. The fricking robot. The helicopter. If forced to choose, I'd argue for the wooden car... that they put together recently that worked. I wish we had a reputable contemporary biographer of Da Vinci. What I take from him is that he had 24 hours in a day and one lifetime. It was a lifetime far shorter than many modern people, but far more packed with energy.

You have 24 hours every single day. You have a lifetime. Go live.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Why the Tea Party is not Left/Right

Here is a nice blog post from a well respected econ blogger of what is going on with politics and what we, the people, are up against. I hope the Obamabots realize that since their guy continued the bank bailouts, wrote a stimulus that went to special interest groups (ones Dems like), gave big breaks to Big Pharma and even more tax breaks to big banks, that even as left as he is, he is in the clutches of the corporations. We have a ruling class that answers to the corporations and is not held accountable except when we vote. it is our time to start caring about exactly who we vote into office. A purging is a good thing: ask the GOP at the turn of the century, the Dems of the late 80s-early 90s and the GOP right now.

This is why the Tea Party movement is not a left/right thing. It is a people pissed off about trillions in bailouts and pet project spending thing. The Tea Party movement started with the big bank bailout phone in that made Congress pull back Paulson's original plan. When I noticed the Tea Party and got on board, it was in the spring of '09 when the FED monetizes US treasury debt, the stimulus pork crap passed, the bailout of indebted home "owners" was a way to channel money to big banks again, and then Obama did not drop the hammer on AIG or Citigroup, instead bailing them out further (then faking outrage when they paid bonuses that he already knew of). Rick Santelli's rants on CNBC about destroying the dollar was what worried me the most. We need a safe and solvent country. Deficits of $1.5 trillion a year are insane. Deficits of that magnitude can crumble the faith behind your dollar, the dollar you base every transaction on, in a short order. Ask Germany. Ask Argentina. It can happen here too.

I was drawn to it for the fiscal conservative reasons, and for the 'get government out of my life' message. The Tea party movement to me screams Reagan Democrats 2.0 to me. There are a lot of socially liberal people who are fiscally conservative, and got turned off by the hard turn the GOP made in the late '90s to constantly be the party of Jesus. Reagan believed in the big tent. Reagan believed in letting in all comers as long as they held basic principles of the conservative movement. The Tea Party movement has limited beliefs, but here's the main idea: spend less money, balance the budget, stop bailouts. As both parties now are captives of their corporate cronies, it is up to us the voters to take care of them at primary and general election level.

Disney Princesses

Whomever put this together totally nailed the Pocahontas and Sleeping Beauty look. The Jasmine hair is hysterical. Glad others have twisted views of the cartoons thye grew up with.

Can't wait for Al Gore to Give back his Nobel and Oscar

The White House has moved away from saying global warming and is now saying global climate disruption. Global warming has taken a huge hit with the revelation of twisted data, bad work in studies, pushback from Brazil, India and the 3rd world, and body shots from China & Russia claiming GW scientists don't accept their data. China and Russia are kind of big countries. Odd that this British newspaper is now discussing 'Global Cooling'. The British have subjected their people to far more restrictions than other countries, but that is just par for the course with the British elites being completely out of whack with Mum and John Bull.

I bring up Al Gore because he received the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts with global warming awareness. You can check nominees here for that year. I don't see raising global warming awareness as a peace endeavour. Ask the 3rd world, India and China if they like the developed world telling them to cut back on carbon, treating it like a wretched pollutant (it isn't). i think this causes more friction than peace. I also think this, as well as Jimmy Carter getting the award in 2002, was just a protest vote against the W administration. I won't touch the 2009 award/joke, but if I were Bill Clinton, I'd be ticked off. Bill Clinton has done more for peace wordlwide than any of thsoe 3 recipients. Bill, see me at the Hooters in Indy on 82nd st, and I'll pick up the tab for your efforts with Israel-the PLO, ending genocide in the Balkans, and strengthening world trade.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Two Saves at Frat Houses

Fraternities are great examples of male social groups. Fraternities can be wonderful experiences of brotherhood, friendship and community. Sometimes they are just drinking clubs. Sometimes they have bizarre initiation rituals & stupid rules. Sometimes they have closet case homosexuals who use the fraternity as a way to score other closet cases. Sometimes they have budding rapists. This is a post on those fellows.

My frosh year of college, I remember wanting to join a frat. The plan: my fall would be spent scoping out the frats, and then in January I would rush and then accept a bid. Fall season was full of open parties, crush parties by invitation, and closing with semi-formals and Winter formals for the members. if you got an invite to a crush party as a frosh, it was a sign they liked you. A crush party was an invite your crush party but really a 'rush' party for prospective pledges to get around the rule of one week for rushing in January. The open parties were the initial hurdle.

Open party season started right in August. Each weekend, the emails would go out and flyers would be passed out. You'd get a crew of people together and make the rounds. Maybe a west campus swing or a north campus swing. One night a pack of 6 of us (4 guys and 2 girls) went on a north campus swing. Halfway through the night, we went to a frat with T & E in their letters. I was handshaking the soph members, and we all grabbed beers. About 20 mins later, my friend Jon grabbed my arm and dragged me to a corner. I saw a female friend incoherently babbling on a couch. We asked her how much she had to drink, One, and if she saw them pour the drink herself, No. We were 18, but knew what was up. We told her we'd walk her back to the dorms. We asked her to stand. No luck. We hooked her arms around our shoulders and walked her out. Douchebag frat boy said she could always stay there if she couldnt make it back, and we gave him the dagger look. On the walk back, what struck me as odd was how sweaty she was. She stopped and puked at one point, and we walked her back to her dorm. Her nerd roommate acted pissed about us barging in, and then we said "get her clothes off and get her to bed, she's sick". All 6 of us met for brunch on Sunday, recapped what had happened, and crossed that frat off the list for rushing.

The second incident was in the second semester in the middle of a classic cold Ithaca winter. I had a few friends who were pledging a house Sigma is in their name, and they invited me, my girlfriend (GF) and whatever girls she could round up to their house for a Friday unadvertised party. This was basically the upperclassmen using the frosh to bring in tons of frosh girls for easy prey. Alcohol + Nerd 18 yo girls = Easy Prey. I figured it out after seeing the girl-guy ratio at the party which was the best I'd seen all frosh year. The party was winding down and the clock showed close to 2am. I was playing darts and noticed my girlfriend's best friend being circled by sober looking upperclassmen. I pulled my ears away from the dart trash talk, and listened for anything. I heard certain sex act talk from two of the guys, and then asked my friends about those upperclassmen circling Thalia. She was enjoying being the center of attention with bad pool playing in super tight clothes. One of my friends got the point, and then he and I had to figure out how to extract her from the pool table area (in the basement of course) and out the house.

Side note: Thalia was an annoying spoiled brat. She thought she was an 8 when she was a 5. She was self centered & self absorbed beyond anything I had seen. She was also a dance and theater kid. I'd outscore her on Spanish exams by 15-20 points and she'd cry since she'd study for hours (I didn't study at all), and would try to tear me down by saying "But I speak it so much better than you, I dont get your why you score high". There was no talking her out of anywhere when she was the center of attention. She also broke a buddy's heart and was a bitch to him. I can't believe she is a PhD who does child issues research.

We figured a plan. I'd start to be affectionate with my GF and hint that I had talked the girls into a 3some, and my friend would help support the lie. Appeal to the frat pervs brains with a sex thing. Before we started the ruse, I got one drink with my GF and explained the plan. I recall saying, "Just shut up and go along with this so your friend gets out safe". She agreed, and we put on our ruse. Of course, the spoiled brat bitched about leaving and fought pretty hard, until my GF gave her whatever girl code they had, and then she went along with it and we got out of their fast. The douchebags wished me luck with the endeavour. I recall a drunken temper tantrum on the cold walk home. Once again, the crew went to bed, reconvened at brunch, and set stories straight. My friends pledging the frat felt weird and ashamed by their brothers' acts (no fault of theirs). It is a creep-predator image that is hard to shake once seen. No thank you came in public from Thalia. We heard "I'm an adult, it's my body and I can handle myself". I also heard later that night, "Thanks, GF explained blah blah. I can't trust blah blah, I shouldn't drink so much, Thanks," and got an awkward hug. Here's a video about her research (dismissive wank motion).

Thalia Goldstein:Developing Empathy Through Theatre from Andrew Swaine on Vimeo.

After rush period, I received two bids. I didn't want to join one as they said no to my best friend. The other was the All American boy frat and had a beautiful house. The juniors loved my game at parties. The seniors loved me for my Goldeneye skills. The sophomores were rich kid jerks, and the other frosh given bids were the annoying kids desperate to use the line "I'm in a frat". After seeing their house a couple years later, my mom asked, confused, why I said no to Alpha Delt a Phi. It didn't feel right. I would later bartend a lot of those frat/sorority parties, and even worked formals for the frats I passed on. I regret nothing.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Two Rap/Hip-Hop Song Ideas

1. "Fat Bottom Girls" Remake - Change it to "Fat Bottom Girlz" and have it centered on a rapper's memories of fat bottom ladies at home and on the road touring. They make the rappin' world go round. This is a definite #1 hit.

2. Remake the theme song to "Dukes of Hazzard" - Call it "Thugs of Hazzard" and tweak the lyrics from good ol' boys to ghetto boys. When the "making their way..." part starts up, that would be when the Gospel choir would be singing back up. Crank the bass on this one, and it would be a big hit in the clubs.

HIV and Gay Men

Sure homosexual men engage in risky behavior, but shouldn't the infection rates and no knowledge of being infected bother the gay community (table breakdown here)? I thought the decades of red ribbon wearing and HIV/AIDS awareness classes got the message out, but apparently not. I recall infection graphs that showed a sharp exponential growth and then it slowed in dramatic fashion with awareness initiatives. Something feels odd that a community as small and tightly knit as the gay male crowd would let this slip.

Maybe people view HIV differently now? Big Pharma has given us cocktails of meds that make the disease easier to manage. People at risk might look at the disease as a problem they'll always have rather than a death sentence. A slight sense of complacency might be why infection rates seem so high despite the almost 'common knowledge' of how a person gets infected. Hell, gay men were the first infected group. One would think institutional memory within the community would push for protected sex norms.

Now that I look at it, the infection rate for gay men is 19% and is skewed slightly by black gay men having a 29% infection rate (all others are in mid teens). This is not too surprising as blacks make up over half the total HIV infections in America, which means maybe the targeted 'education' programs (education = the cure for all ills) lefties would suggest should focus on them. On that same stat page it said 17K deaths were AIDS related, which out of 1 mil infected, is not bad. Far lower death rate than cancer. Let's hope these numbers drop. Let's hope that Rock Hudson, Freddie Mercury, and Liberace did not die in vain.

(World HIV/AIDS infection rates, note US # overstated)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

My Favorite Politician: Chris Christie

If you do not know about Chris Christie, read up on him. He's common sense, he's a facts and results guy, and he's blunt. He doesn't yell but he doesn't let anyone yell at him. He's taking on the public unions. He has my support. Here's some video smackdowns.

First, some nice guy talk sitting on a stool.

N.J. Gov. Christie: You may hate me now, but ten years from now you'll be sending me a thank you note

Now for a quick beatdown where he overrides the California candidate who was handling a heckler to get the heckler to shut up, start nodding and then back down.

Now the main course. This verbal smackdown is awesome. As he points out, the thing to save teachers' jobs was a 1.5% contribution to their medical/dental insurance and the union said NO.

I'd rather see him run in 2016, but I feel he's going to be pushed to run in 2012 for POTUS. I'd rather see him run in 2016. 2012 feels like it will be a weird weird election year.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Honesty and Transparency

Penelope Trunk lays it all out in this post. It takes strength to be so open about such painful things. For anyone abused as a child, it is an interesting post. The idea of 'the secret' is very true.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

An Unemployment Idea I Like

A wicked smart economist puts out an idea similar to my "what do we do about the unemployment extensions" post.

"Require all unemployed drawing benefits to sign up for unpaid work at a non-profit, church, temple, city agencies desperate for volunteers, etc."

I agree. If the government is going to extend benefits out to 99 or more weeks, might as well get some return on it.

More Obesity Correlation/Causation Mix-ups

Seriously, this must be my week for this. This writer takes down the recent media hype of a report that a cold can make kids fat. He writes eloquently on the casting of blame elsewhere rather than a person's own choices and actions. Jeez, I swear I read that recently.

This is via my friend's blog on many issues but mostly eating well for a good life. Check it out. You will laugh and learn.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Logic Fail: Being Poor Causes Obesity

Sorry, a fat rant. I found out a fat person I know is missing work because of their obesity. That is their disability now. Maybe they will come back with crutches or a scooter.

Repeat after me: correlation does not mean causation. A writer does not get it in this article. The title is classic PC victimization speak: "Low-income Californians especially vulnerable to obesity epidemic". This implies obesity is a disease, something you catch. Turning something that you bring on yourself with your actions and decisions into a disease you can catch makes it more an unfortunate event than a deliberate process. The word vulnerable actually means exposed or open to be attacked or harmed. Using it here, it paints obesity as this stalking predator, and the poor people as little kittens shivering in the cold. This removes responsibility from the low-income individuals. They are victims to big business in the writer's eyes devoid of all responsibility. I could not find the source article in the Fresno Bee, but a synopsis does mention that a person is more likely to be obese if poor. It is not the root cause. This is another ploy to bring up socioeconomic inequality, when the control of obesity is in the hands of the person standing in the mirror. This is more infantilization and victimization of regular, American adults.
This is a cop out. We live in such a rich nation that we have fat poor people. Europe is catching up to us in fattitude, but we lead the way. It is not due to poverty. It's too little self control and too much sitting on your ass. The author has the cop out that poor people don't have the time to cook a meal. Correct me if I am wrong but a box of Kroger pasta and a jar of Kroger sauce costs less than $2 and can feed a family of four in 20 minutes. You mean to tell me it is quicker to load up the car, drive to Mickey D's and cheaper for a family of 4 to eat there? BS. Look at the average number of household workers by income quintile (here). Richer households are more likely to have two workers; poor households more likely to have one. One worker and poor households don't have the time to cook a meal? Come on! My parents both worked and somehow found time to cook. They must have been miracle workers. Oh wait, the poor people don't have time to cook since like good average Americans they spend 4.7 hours watching TV (source).
A two pound container of Quaker Oats costs less than cereal. Yeah, it ain't Cap'n Crunch, but you're poor. You don't eat Cap'n Crunch, and that denial of Cap'n Crunch makes you want to not be poor so you can afford it's sweet, cut your mouth goodness. Wow, 40 packets of instant oatmeal costs $11. Add tap water and that deal is 40 breakfasts for $11. Oh, the horrible oppression of big business! I could panhandle in Boston one day and make $11. We have to stop making excuses. You're fat because you take in more calories than you burn, and you've done so over a long period of time. Choice is all around us. We make little decisions every, single day. Some of us take the path of least resistance. Others get their ass off the couch and away from the Tv long enough to make a meal. Others take 5 minutes out of their day to prep for tomorrow's life. It is their choice to be fat. They should not be excused nor treated like children.

Ray Bradbury (read Farenheit 451 & look around), Orwell and Huxley (Brave New World and Farenheit 451 jockey for most accurate) were all right in certain ways about the future, but all three had a blind spot. They never predicted a future where over 1/4 of adults would allow themselves to be obese.

Here's some obesity stats broken out by race and trends in general.

I had to wake up and be in for a 7am meeting. I am fired up.

Inception Explains Life

Inception is a tremendous film. I will probably see it one more time while it is in the theaters. It is meant to be watched on the big screen. The film explains so much of life. At the least, it reveals things that will make you think. A more light hearted thing is this photo from the L.A. premiere.

Marion Cotillard is the pretty French girl you were lucky to ever find. Ariadne is the woman who will guide you later in your adult life. Leo is the man they both wish you looked like.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


I welcome the addition to the Mad Men universe of Mini-Betty. Sally Draper has unleashed upon the Mad Men world her Betty Draper impersonation. Kiernan Shipka is closing in on that Dakota Fanning level for me for acting.

Maine Logging and Paper

Logging. Maine had a great tradition of logging and paper production. In my hometown, there was a diner called "Lucky Loggers". The northern woods were mostly owned by paper companies and wered logged in multiple ways. Individual saw logging and later mechanized clear cutting were used to supply the paper mills. Maine's pine forests were a great source for the paper companies. That is not the case anymore and those lands are owned by private individuals in greater numbers.

Things changed with the growth of the environmental movement and more regulation. To be fair, paper mills belch out plenty of disgusting gas and soot as well as byproduct that needs to be disposed. Clearcutting also leaves tracts of land empty. The clean air acts did hurt paper companies. What also hurt the logging and paper companies of Maine were the regulations and rules put in place in the 80s-90s. Votes came up about outlawing clear cutting. International paper even had an ad campaign saying they would plant 1 million trees in Maine to help their image. There has been amazing growth in using recycled paper, but there still needs to be wood pulp source involved.

All that happened was IP and other paper companies looked around and moved where they cut down trees. Logging in Maine took a nose dive. Logging in Maine, per Maine forest service stats, went from 100K acres clear cut in '88 and '89 to 12K in 2007 (source). The firms did not want to fuss with the regulations and the threat of more strict rules, and moved operations overseas. Why do you think logging has been such a growth industry in Brazil? We've exported forest management problems. We've exported deforestation to those Amazon rain forests that teachers told me in the 80s/90s we 'had' to protect. The irony being that enviros placed such a burden on American loggers that they moved logging into a wildly unregulated area (80% of Brazilian logging is illegal), and are destroying a precious resource (Amazon biodiversity).

Back to Maine, as more northern woods land that used to be owned by paper companies is sold to private individuals, problems have risen. Maine papers have written how 'outsiders' from away buy tracts of land, build a camp on the plot and then demand fire, police, and public services. Sorry, you bought a remote property and wanted seclusion, protect yourself. The state government in an idiot move spent $31.8 mil to buy land to never be developed. Seriously, it is on that land sale list. What a waste of money!!! Roxanne Quimby is a name that pops up often and she is one of the founders of Burt's Bees. She wants to preserve the landscape forever, and perhaps start a private fiefdom in the forests "Quimbyland". These lands might sit undisturbed, owned by the beneficent wealthy so they can pat themselves on the back while the commoners of northern and eastern Maine sit at home, collecting welfare and getting fatter.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Industrial Policy Stimulus - Mining REOs

Rare earth oxides are minerals rarely discused, but we use them everyday. Our modern techno-gizmos contain REOs. Ipads, cell phones, and modern military gizmos all contain REOs. China produces almost all of the REOs worldwide (97%), and has a corner on a vast majority of the REO export market. They recently announced they would reduce their exports of REOs. Wired was writing of this curb as a potential geopolitical bargaining chip a year ago. Brilliant call by them. This is a sensitive issue as their production supplies our military, which the media doesn't report on much anymore, that still has 150K soldiers in Iraq/Afganistan.

Fear not. The USA has plenty of REO resources, and an American mining firm is re-opening an old mine. The last REO mine in the US was shut down 14 years ago due to enviro standards. America is one of the most blessed countries in natural resources, fresh water and arable land, we just don't use them. Instead we protect our environment, and force other countries to do the dirty work of mining, oil extraction, etc. Like anything in life, there are trade offs, and we will have to absorb some dirty side effects if we want our REOs.

A nice stimulus program would be this: all income generated by a mining operation for REOs is not subject to corporate taxes. Yes, this is corporate welfare and yes, this will hurt our environment, but consider the incentives and positive outcomes:

1. These economic activites do not exist right now, so we currently collect no taxes on them. Forgiving taxes on them now, is no 'loss' to us for tax revenue.
2. Firms now have a built in boost to the cost-benefit analysis of opening REO mines. Large operations would see huge boosts as the elimination of tax rates would give them a greater cushion for planning a mine. Mines close when they are not profitable. This would make marginal mines and unprofitable mines suddenly look better.
3. This creates a domestic supply of REOs, which we could buy some output from like we do with the strategic oil reserve.
4. This would employ many Americans at all skill levels. You would have the direct employment of mining operations, and the ancillary industries associated with waste disposal, machinery supply, chemical supply, and our railroads with shipping.
5. National security is strengthened as we become less reliant on an unfriendly supply of REOs (China).
6. If China does reduce production by 72%, this leaves a huge gap in supply that American producers would have a market for selling. Hello, finding market demand is a problem everywhere now (except food and gas).
7. One sight I saw said there was an issue of disposing radioactive Thorium byproduct. Thorium nuclear reactors are a hot topic in nuclear power discussions. Nuclear is the best baseload power generation to replace coal that would reduce our CO2 output which make enviros upset.

This would never happen with our current POTUS as it makes too much sense from an economics sense, and it is a positive for a business out of favor with Obama (dirty mining). This mining problem goes to the heart of our current problems. We want Ipads and cell phones, but we don't want to mine for the materials for them. We want to drive our cars non-stop, but we fight oil drilling on land despite our billions in reserves. We want so much, but do not want to put in the effort for it. We can outsource the hard work, outsource the drilling, outsource the logging, and when we see employment fall or decent paying jobs with basic education requirements disappear we scratch our heads and ask why.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Love vs. Lust

While chatting with a young family member, I was looking back on the number of times I had actually fallen in love. These instances did not end well except for that woman who eventually became my wife. The emotion of love, in all its forms, is powerful. While the love a person can feel for their child or parent can be a one of a kind bond, to truly love an outsider and spend a life with them is even odder and more amazing. You have no reason to feel those feelings towards someone whom you have no connection except for contact begun well after personalities develop and with far less history than a steady acquaintance.

Now I am not talking about lust. Lust is that whirlwind feeling of wanting to be with someone. It's that adrenaline rush of seeing them enter a room. It's far more sexual. It's much more like possession. As cheeseball as it sounds, I consider sex one of the greatest gifts to humanity as it allows us to break that old physicist's saying that two bodies cannot occupy the same space in time. Lust is why I think so many of those relationships that form between a married person and the interloper fail is that they are built on lust and the rush to possess the other. Lust is powerful in its own right, but far more ephemeral. Marriages built on lust, or the silly notion of being 'in love'*, often fail.

Love really is what you have that lust just amps up, as in lustful moments in a loving relationship. Lust is that question of 'what would it be like with her' while love is like 'what would life be like without her'. Lust always feels like the dark side of the force to me whereas love is the patient, right way. Love is a bit about submitting your will to the idea of a shared will. It is giving up control. Yes, pain, a ripped out heart and hurt feelings are possible side effects, but with every reward comes risk. You don't consider the person a player in your life, you are embedded in their life and they in yours.

*'in love' is such a fricking scam. it's lust, and if someone isn't in love with you anymore it's that the chase is gone and thye don't love you. when they say i love you but i'm not in love with you that means 'i fucked you, it was fun, but i never really loved you but we've been together long enough that i have to say love in this break up convo so you don't feel used'.

Breathe and Enjoy Life

Huskies hate to sleep alone.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

More Mad Men Season 4 Thoughts

I've learned a lesson from "LOST": enjoy every single episode of your favorite shows because there will come a time when they are no longer on air. Some people were critical of last night's episode, and I am not one of them. Not every episode can be the Don/Peggy tornado of awesome acting that was last week's episode. That is an Emmy winning performance by both of them. This season has been fantastic, and might be the best yet.

This is a '60s show, and we now get some rocking music. I found the use of the Stones' "Satisfaction" as a nice contrast with Don. Don is a man of the Korean War, '50s era that is becoming that stuffed shirt, older man. He hates Ali, dislikes Namath, and his ideas work better in print (notice Peggy's questions about his suitcase idea). Great use of the anti-advertising verse from "Satisfaction". Tonight's episode used a camera device created in Hitchock's Vertigo with the zoom in-dolly out shot. They did this during Don's drinking at work scene. A bit artsy, and I was happy with it.

The two leads are Don for the boys and Peggy for the girls. Don is going through that be the superman, get knocked down, crash and hit rock bottom, then rebound and have the big comeback. It is the story of every "Behind the Music", some politician bios, and feel good Disney sports movies. Don is struggling, and you root for him to get back to being "Don Draper". I hope this season he finds center, and a season or two from now we see another pitch like the "Carousel" pitch. Peggy is fulfilling that arc I hoped she would of the woman who breaks glass ceilings, but can't have it all. This episode shows Peggy firing someone. She, a young woman, fires a man. It means something. It also reveals how she will now be considered a humorless bitch. She can't have it all. She can't 'save the day' for Joan and still be beloved, spunky Peggy to the others. It is beautiful, and I hope women who blazed the trails in the working world in the '60s and '70s watch this.

This episode unfortunately had Betty "Albatross" Draper in it. At this point, Sally Draper is more interesting and 3 dimensional. I would welcome father-daughter moments more than Don-Betty scenes. Another downside is any scene with Joan's dumbass husband. The guy is the ultimate fraud. Plays doctor but he was cut from the surgeon squad and then joined the Army because they'd let him be a surgeon. He is clueless with Joan*. He tells dumb stories, exudes creepiness, and raped Joan at work. Let's not forget that. He also has this stupid look on his face in between lines. His mouth opens slightly like he has a hot bit of food in it and needs to breathe over it to cool it down. Who cast this Princeton grad with a degree in biology?????

Keep it up Mad Men. I love you.

*I've already written myself in as a love interest for Joan like I used to with "Days of Our Lives", and I combined it with being Roger Sterling's bastard son that he employs at the firm where the two men never formally recognize each other until Roger dies. They should have given Joan a comparable age fling along with Roger who stays with the firm/show forever as she stays with Dr. Douche.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Now You're a Man

Men are known for risky behavior.

Goodbye Suits

Roughly a decade ago, I prepared for my senior year in college. I had a terribly intense, short relationship. I had come back from England with a new appreciation for America. I had high hopes to get a job on Wall St. What I didn't have was a suit. If I was going to work on Wall St., I would need at least two suits. You alternate which day you wear them, use a different shirt for contrast, and wear a different outfit on casual Friday. Sounds great in theory, but in reality I would have had ot buy multiple suits to make up for laziness with getting them cleaned.

I went for fittings and searched for a good look. I wanted a black suit for certain, and was open to any other color for suit number two. I had liked how the Euros had 4, 5, or 6 button suits. I managed to buy a black, 4 button suit and a silver, 3 button suit. I turned these into Gambino crime family suits (my roommate's words) by wearing a gold shirt & gold tie under my black suit, and a silver tie always with the silver suit. I'll admit I looked Mobbed up at times. I'd rather have a bit of flash with my suits than look like another stiff douche in a suit. I did not get the Wall St. job, but the suits served me well with my interviews my senior year.

As men do when they do not change shape or size, I never threw the suits out. I have kept them all of these years, and still wear them. I was looking at them the other day and realized I need to donate them to Goodwill (or family). They have served me well at weddings, interviews for multiple jobs, and business trips. They are a marker for a decade of my life. I'm going to be a bit sad giving them away.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

When it Hits

You feel that tingly rush. The blood coarses through your neck and back as if you could feel individual red blood cells moving. Every sensor on your body is lit up, and you can feel the energy around your body. Time moves in an odd combination of super slow-mo and energized. Items can take on immense weight while others feel weightless, including your own body. Things feel right. Things feel centered. Things feel together and things feel decentralized. You can focus on any idea for as long as you want. Time and thought are yours to enjoy. Whatever it feels like, it has a feeling. You are not numb. You are present. You are in time and you do exist.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

9/11 - 9 Years

Don't ever forget and keep thanking those that keep the terrorists at bay.

So thankful that other shoe hasn't dropped.

Twilight Thoughts

After a visit from my young cousin, I did some research on the Twilight readers at work. Sure one was in their 20s, but the rest were 30 and up, with the most hardcore of the readers being 40+. I asked them if they were bothered by the pedo love story, the destructive behavior of characters over 'love', the weird imprinting pedo part near the end, and the weird reinforcement that young girls should be in relationships with inherently men who have the urge to kill them. (I know these details because of my 13 yr old niece.) The common defense, "but it's a love story and they love each other". Yes, folks, love does conquer all, at least all logic. To each their own, and I am glad to see so many people reading as it is better than just vegging out in front of the tube or CPU. Just why is Ms. Meyer so successful? I think it's that her Venn Diagram for potential readers is so large.

1. Love story - Women of all ages love to read love stories with handsome men.
2. Bland lead - She is pretty darn bland yet this immortal falls in love with her and wants to make her immortal with him. That is an unbelievable gift, immortality. She is so bland every woman can project themselves into her.
3. Paranormal Romance - This genre is between romance and erotic lit at your bookstore. It's freaky romance stories with ghosts, werewolves and vampires. It is really just more of "women falls for men she can't have".
4. Abstinence Tale - While Christians will dislike the supernatural features, it teaches the young girls to wait to have sex and is constantly talking about not doing the deed (sex or turning vampire). Just substitute sex for vampie turning, and this book is a Victorian Era morality story.
5. Young Protagonist Discovering Herself - Many people want to go back to their 17 year old self and relive those days. This book allows that for so many of these women.
6. Amazing Male Love Interest - This guy is an immortal but falls in love with the bland new girl in school. Look at many adult America men. Over 70% are overweight and 1/3 are obese (source). These women want to dream that the guy they are stuck with was a fit, immortal, beautiful, song & poetry writing, forever young man.

A Venn Diagram would have several circles: wholesome virgins, paranormal romance readers, teens, romantics, middle aged women married to schleps, overweight females, people who will read it to mock others. That is a big mess of circles.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Friday Night Music - Georgy Girl

Great song for making up your own lyrics. My mom used to sing this one. This is super 60s. It should show up on Mad Men in 2 seasons. This is an upbeat song that was the title track to a movie that has an incredibly depressing synopsis on wikipedia.

Thursday, September 09, 2010


One of the early masters of sci fi crossed with a Valley Girl's coke induced speech. Brilliant.

Pay attention to the labels for places on the globe and map shots.

Stop Being a Dickless Boyfriend

This was originally going to be an email, but I don't have his email, so I'll leave it open for maybe some other young man to also use for guidance.

Stop Being the Dickless Boyfriend - A Guide

Have a female friend who looks pretty fine and you're vibing her but she is dating some other douchebag? Does she use you for everything a girl would use a boyfriend except for the sex part? Worried you are in the friendzone and have no way out? Here's a plan.

Female friends are useful and a refreshing change from guy friends. Women think differently from men, so sharing problems with them can yield solutions or a point of view you never considered. Females that you find attractive but treat you just as a friend are a waste of your time and effort. Use them to meet new girls to date as women are the best pimp you could ever have. If interested in her, just stop and move on. Stop letting them use you for all of the wonderful things you do and provide for them. At the end of the day, they are not sleeping with you. You can play the best bud who helps her with all your problems, but that is not closing the deal. Cutting her off cold turkey might jumpstart something, but more than likely, she is attractive enough to find another sucker to play dickless boyfriend. If she had no one to play dickless boyfriend for her, she'd realize how empty her current relationship with the loser older guy is.

Step 1 - Pay attention to listen to the 'friend' name a girl she thinks is pretty that you know.
Step 2 - If she's playing the game of stopping by every night to watch a movie or 'hang out', keep that schedule going to lull her into security.
Step 3 - Invite the girl she thinks is pretty over (decoy) for a movie night the same night the 'friend' normally comes over.
Step 4 - Treat your 'friend' like she is a one of the guys, even go so far as ignore comments, selectively not respond to her, all the while lavish attention on the decoy in front of 'friend'.
Step 5 - After movie or whatever event, send 'friend' home and keep decoy there for maybe an extra 10 mins. Heck, if things go well, hook up.
Step 6 - Never tell 'friend' what happened with decoy after the friend left.

She'll either get jealous and see you in a different way (desirable man), and maybe reconsider why she spends so much time with you, confront you about why yo invited decoy over when you knew she was coming as usual, or she'll encourage you with decoy and the gambit failed. My bet is she either reconsiders her feelings for you and the game is afoot or she will confront you. When she confronts you, don't actually answer her questions.

Step 1- Tell her it's none of her business. "you're not my mom/sister."
Step 2 - Ask why she gives a shit. "What are you jealous?"
Step 3 - Tell her if she can't handle it, you've got limited time to spend and will spend it as you please.

This will probably create enough of a tense moment that you could make a move and pounce. If you just force her out of the apartment, she'll prob spend the whole night thinking of you. When she shows up next time, make your move.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Online Run In with Oswald Bates

An blogger wrote a little post as a thought experiment on talking about the black middle class without discussing ghetto things. It sounded like an interesting idea, and I noticed he had many comments (mostly his oddball responses to others). I have seen this author comment on another blog, and he doesn't argue well. It's like he doesnt read anyone's response, ignores facts that contradict his claims and uses big words incorrectly. I ended up somehow sparking an argument from him that had nothing to do with my comments. It got to the point where I had to strip my comments down to the most basic:

"No I said the exact opposite...I don't see what you are reading that makes you type the questions you are typing now."

Forget explaining myself, just say he's not reading my comments. He finally stopped with the silly insults to my intelligence, which he does with others I noticed, read my comments and then sounded like ab eager beaver to discuss with me the topic. I didn't respond because I figured out he was not worth the time for good conversation. I had to think hard about it, but I figured out who he reminded me of.

SARMs are Coming

HGH and anabolic steroids get a lot of attention right now, but wait a few years for when SARMs hit the market. If testing does prove it has none of the weird hormonal side effects and other bad side effects of anabolic steroids, SARMs will be an in demand drug for baby boomers fighting to look 20 forever as they hit 70+, modern men who are too lazy to work out for gains, and even women to fight off that underside arm flap thing.

I view SARMs as a good drug for cancer patients and the elderly. Simple falls and broken bones were the start of the death spirals of more than one of my great grandparents. Muscle and bone mass and strength would go a long way with helping the elderly live productive and healthy years prior to the ravages of Parkinsons and Alzheimers. If this is used by other adults for aesthetic reasons, so be it.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Get Off Your Cellphone

Sorry this is another rant.

Retail stores should have the right to tell their employees to turn off their non-work phones. If your job requires customer service of the direct face to face kind, you should not be able to use your cell phone. At the least, it should be off when a customer is in the store. This should be an offense that merits firing. I am tired of hearing the cackling of women, the mumbling of men setting up a drinking session or skeezing on ladies, and the chitter chatter of teens who are suppose to answer my questions and provide friendly service. What exactly do you think you are being paid for?

From friends who have worked retail, it sounds like bad retail can be soul sucking work. It's still work. It's still time you are paid for, and yes it might be boring, but it is a job. If you despise it, find something else. If it's boring, find something exciting like fire jumper. People might ask you questions, and might consider you, the employee, as an expert on the very products for sale. Keep talking on the phone and adding nothing to the shopping experience, and you will be replaced by a robot. I love to go to a GNC 7 miles out of my way because of the staff. The GNCs closer are staffed by asshats that cannot stop talking on their cell phones. Good customer service gets my money.

This does not just apply to the teens and early 20-somethings working retail, as even older adults have this problem. You are at work. You are paid. Your employer and customers rely on you. Show some effort. Put the GD phone down.

Rhett Butler Awesome Male Character

They do not write leading men like Rhett Butler anymore. He insults, teases, taunts, mocks, controls and ultimately resists the beautiful Scarlett O'Hara in this scene. I love how she plays tigress and then throws her head back. It's all a game. Scarlett's vocabulary is great "you're a conceited black hearted varmint". Fiddle dee dee.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Child Support

While walking to lunch one afternoon with one of my closest coworkers, we were talking about divorce and custody battles and she let one comment slip I found interesting: "Child Support is white women welfare". I asked her about that as I had never heard child support described that way. She said child support with men who have a lower unemployment rate (stats) and work steady jobs is easier to collect. Without the child support, the women would be left to fend for themselves, which might lead to them slipping into government programs. The child support is a form of welfare that prevents them from having to say they do collect welfare. As she said, white politicians would reconsider welfare cutbacks if the recipients looked more like them.*

I was happy to hear this as it really made me think, and few people do this at work. It also made me think about child support in general. This has to be one of the biggest financial screw jobs in the family court framework. First, it gets set and does not change even if the provider has a huge income increase unless the recipient goes back to court to change it. If the court thinks support should go from one parent to the other for the better of the child, why not give the child to the parent that the court will confiscate wealth from? It does away with the need to transfer funds. Why doesn't the state formulate what a child 'needs' to function with proper caloric intake & healthcare and set that for all kids statewide? This would be fair right, as poor kids get screwed by divorce more than rich kids. Set the level the same for all. If college is negotiated in, then set up a separate account for that money to be set aside. I don't get why living standards had the parents been still married is a factor. This makes for 'no consequence' divorce. If a spouse is not found at fault, why should they be paying to cover for the former partner's ill choice of marriage in the first place? There should be a consequence for exiting a relationship with a certain standard of living (when no fault to the partner). Someone should not receive benefits by substituting money for love, and then divorcing, keeping the money and now searching for real love. Without a bailout from the legal system, maybe people would think a lot more before unprotected sex, marriage partners, divorcing over small conflict, etc. God forbid people be responsible for their actions. Life is a series of trade offs.

*Female coworker was black and maybe didn't think white people were on welfare. She's obviously never been to northern and eastern Maine.

Friday, September 03, 2010

New Phase in Work

As I have spent more time in corporate America, my role has changed. I was the learning apprentice that morphed into a high productivity, maverick worker at my first company. I left there to tackle larger and sometimes more complex cases as another high productivity worker for another firm. After learning more than I thought possible in 2 years, I left there for my role of once again high productivity worker. I was wrong when I said last fall that I thought I did 65% more 'widgets' than my peers. I did double. At my recent review, I asked about this. Eye-opening answers.

The goal is not to get people up to my level of output, but to siphon off some of my work and have me do less. I could be freed up for projects elsewhere and developing new hires. Yeah, that kind of shocks me. I knew from my first firm that working on smaller cases was something I could do quicker and in a more efficient manner than most of my peers. I had no clue that my current company wouldn't wan to 'unlock the secret' and push others. I actually can't believe that we're not going to push others more. Oh well. Secretly, I reached my large output numbers in a 40 hour workweek, and I would expect people to get to 75% of my numbers in a 40 hour week. Weird.

Now I get to work a slightly lower workload, developing new hires, working on a project or two, and cultivating the other folks assigned to me to be better and better. I really enjoy what I do, and do not want to get bogged down in projects. I understand the positives working on projects can add to a resume, but that gets into the political side of the work world. As a lover of rewarding people on merit, I dislike that realm of corporate america. I want to stay far from it for a few more years. It just breeds making the wrong ally. I once asked a VP why he didn't make a move for the next level up and he said it was too political and that one false move with the next in line for CEO/Exec VP, and its sayonara. The next phase is starting, and I'm a little wary of it.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Discovery Channel Terrorist

A Mr. James Lee took hostages and had to be shot in the Discovery Channel building. His manifesto is hysterical ("and, of course, the squirrels"). Even thought by all accounts he sounds like a normal libtard that really believes Al Gore cares about the environment and not money & attention, I bet they try to tie him to the Tea Party. Definitely the activist fringe of the enviro lobby, and I have to wonder how he got to the building. Did he walk? Did he bike? If he drove, he's a bit of a hypocrite. I've got far more respect for enviro-moralists that go off the grid rather than live in the suburbs and flaunt supposed environmental consciousness over others. Living the belief is powerful. It's like being an enviro-monk.

Environmentalism and religion are pretty good substitutes. Keep in mind that these are the same people (enviro-moralists) that will take offense at any other person using say a morality based on Judeo-Christian values to pass judgement on others. They love to look down their noses at others who do not recycle or eat only locally grown foods. As someone once countered to my original thought that eating locally was better for the environment: "A supermarket has a few giant trucks to unload massive amounts of food for sale until expiration, while a farmers market has god knows how many vehicles bring a pick up truck load of food each to sell on one folding table for one morning". You do the gas guzzling math. I'm all for protecting the environment, biodiversity, clean water and forests. You just won't find me tsk tsking people for not recycling.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Inbreds in England

There are multiple things wrong with this situation. It is horrible that there are forced marriages in a modern western democracy where the creators of said marriages use bounty hunters to track down young women seeking a way out. It is also horrible that 55% of Pakistani Brits are married to their first cousins. That's wrong whenever anyone does it, and it's a side effect of a bigger prblem when 55% of a group engages in it. I am sure the enlightened British elites will find a way to avoid this issue as it runs counter to their multiculturalism message. British feminists will find a way to avoid this issue as it involves fighting another race of women's patriarchy. Dealing with this si beneath both of those groups.

Forget Flying Cars... Bring on Flying Motorcycles

As a child reared on sci-fi, I was raised expecting the invention of flying cars around the year 2000. Even Back to the Future 2 had flying cars in 2015 that looked realistic. Personal jetpacks are available now for a steep price. I would love this as a commuter vehicle. Just make it look like a custom motorcycle with the 300mm rear wheel and front wheel way out there. Of course, wheels are net required, but it would look more stylish. Have it so the person sits atop the motorcycle with the jet propulsion under the motorcycle frame. Since most motorcycle accidents are caused by other drivers or road surface slips, they could potentially be safer than ground based motorcycles.

Picture that flying at 80 mph. Go get your WW1 goggles.