Sunday, May 31, 2009

Nazi Zombie Movie

Kenny, we have to see this movie.

Interesting Links

Futurepundit is a site I check daily as he collects a good variety of scientific articles that I incorporate into my diet, lifestyle, and health centric choices. Plus, reading about robots is awesome. His latest link is on text messaging. Teens text on average 80 times a day. I don't blame the kids, I blame the parents. I do blame the kids for wanting to control the means that they interact with someone to the point where they will devolve into a modern telegraph form of communication rather than actual voice communication. If your thumbs hurt, it's your fault.

One of the sister sites that he runs had a link where a study showed that women are generally less happy now than in the 1970s, and less happy relative to men than they were in the 70s. This entire link and supporting research is in my strike zone for thoughts on modern American society (countries like France, England & Germany are much further down this path than the USA). It's as if currency devaluation since the '70s & feminism combined to give women career opportunities but also the expectation of 'earning income' in a household, but did not shed the burdens of being the primary nurturer. Women have it tough. No wonder they are more unhappy now than in the 1970s.

Men on the other hand have plenty of young women who act on their accepted level sexually, internet porn, women don't care if they are not around to raise a kid, want to marry at a later age, do not require them to be the breadwinner, never lose the ability to have kids, have the double standard benefit of staying attractive to the opposite gender as they age, have a pill to fix sex problems, and still do not have that expectation to stay at home with the kids and give up their career (temp or permanently). The stigma for bad behavior is gone or not nearly as lasting as in olden days. No wonder men are happier.

Internet as a form of Self Pleasure

No this is not about porn. This is about the Internet 2.0 or the Me Internet generation. Andy Warhol once said that in the future everyone will be world famous for 15 minutes. That's an applicable statement to the current Internet society we have and are continuing to create and refine. I have commented on this before, but as I read more social networking face pages, blogs, twitter feeds, the feeling grows stronger. I will say my 7 readers don't do this shit. The Internet has become a big "hey look at me aren't I great" medium. The photos posted are almost always carefully chosen to portray and image, lifestyle, etc. to get praise. Some blogs, which used correctly can give great analysis, insight, etc., just are mediums for someone to pat themselves on the back. These sites have become huge mechanisms for people to get approval from strangers, family and friends in a sanitized, non-personal way to gratify their need for acceptance or acceptance that is lacking elsehwere from natural channels of communication. To friends and family, I have said that some blogs or social networking pages read like a 2d version of someone masturbating to a picture of themself in front of a mirror (sorry I love that idea too much to not use it often). Almost every post or status update is about their awesomeness, something awesome they did/said/thought, or the awesome people they know or meet. You usually get the bad things in life when the originator of the bad thing is someone else. Rarely does someone own up to screwing up (this applies to any form of communication but none better than the Internet since some people go back & delete old bad posts). It's like they are the government of Oceania in 1984, where everything is carefully controlled to create the image of "I'm great" with the belief that "he who controls the present controls the future, and he who controls the past controls the present".

Part of this stems from my ability to see that I have warts, problems, flaws and bad characteristics. It's OK, that's life. The greatest Englishman of all time, Winston Churchill, had plenty of faults. I do not know if this is "snowflake generation" behavior seeping into mainstream society at all ages, but I reject it. Show your warts people, it is OK. Part of the reason this has been on my mind has been in the constant media coverage of what is going on economically without the acceptance that, no things are not going to return to normal anytime soon, and the normal of previous years really should not be considered normal. In the 5 stages of dealing with trauma I still feel we're in the denial stage. A big part of it is this "i'm not going to share my flaws" thought that has seeped into society. Once again, bad things do get shared, but when you can turn yourself into a victim. Let's rip the band aid off & stop whacking off in front of the mirror.

I had some caffeine today.

Man, am I phucked up.

Patience

Sit still, erect, listen
Close your eyes, release tension
Wait for perfection
I just read that Kanye West came out with a book of poetry or insights that makes Jewel's book of poetry look like a masterpiece. Supposedly, he had a coauthor, so he could only crank out the witty one liners of pop-pscyhology & philosophy with the help of someone else. Gives me hope that my collection of haikus will see the market one day.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

A Good Remake of a Remake

The Shiny Toy Guns version of Major Tom (Coming Home). I always considered the original Space Oddity one of the rare moments when popular music can transcend the genre. The Major Tom recreation of the 1980s was a synth ditty that I would expect to hear at college dorm parties at Amherst. It's a time capsule for the synth Brit sound of the early 80s that gave us other one hit wonders like "melt with you (stop the world)" and "cars". The new version, which is featured in some car ad, is an improvement on the 80s version.

I used to find the bad in everything in life and let it affect me, but I just can't anymore. Life's just to precious to dwell on the negatives.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Great Idea

Smart.

creepy coworker

Yeah, I'm officially creeped out now. HR here I come!

After dissing on Twitter, I realized I have tremendous upside potential as a twitter account. Jesus christ.

Dr. Hook

Driving up to Lake Michigan, I heard a Dr. Hook song, Sharing the Night Together. They were a fun, cheesey, and easy listening rock act. All growing up, I thought the lead singer was black. I was a bit surprised to see a rerun of their American Bandstand appearance to promote "when you're in love with a beautiful woman". Seriously, listen to "Sexy Eyes" and describe the lead singer in your mind's eye. They had some ballads and the comical "Cover of the Rolling Stone", but they hit their groove with those 3 minute radio friendly songs with a good beat you could move to. Look it up, Sexy Eyes, Sharing the Night, and Beautiful Woman are all 2:57-2:59 in length. They found their formula and rode it to radio success. I need their greatest hits on album for when I get into my 70s moods.

Dakota, the Summer and the Ocean

When I first heard the song "Dakota", I immediately considered it a great driving song. It's that rhythm as if you're driving over bad pavement on a windy road. I am glad that their video for the song has driving as the focal stage for action. I wish this song had come out in summer of 1996 as I would have blasted it out of my car instead of the "Oasis" songs I blasted as I cruised down to the ocean (I nearly blew my speakers out on Oasis). I can almost smell the wind coming off of Bayview. I would have rocked out with the shades on, even at the water park where I worked my crappy summer job. I was a reckless asshole and would stick my head up through the moon roof while I drove just to smell the saltwater.

It's so lame to say it, but the beach was a place where I could discuss anything and do most things. Drink, smoke, sex, ramble on about the "army of me", all options were on the table at the beach. It was where I drove down to talk about a friend's decision to drop out of college. Another time, in the dead of winter, a friend and I drove to Bayview to discuss how his ex-gf came out as a lesbian. I've seen 6 people cry at the beach. I've seen friends at their worst, friends at their best, and others in between. My first date with my wife was at that beach. My dorm room always had a postcard displaying "my beach". All of this happened on a strip of beach maybe 50 yards wide and maybe 1/2 a mile long. When I die, I want my ashes scattered there.


Theme Song for Twilight....

...could be "Into the Night". Once again, it is about an adult man in love with a 16 year old. There was one friend I used to sing this song to because I always joked how it sounded like the guy ripped off a testicle as he sang. He really gets up there in the pained lover vibe. That's what you get for breaking the law. I'm bringing this up because 1. the ladies at work are already talking about the 2nd Twilight film and 2. if this dude had said "she's just 18 years old", his song would get even more play on adult FM.

Speaking of creepy, a work contact I have had through 3 different jobs & companies showed up today for a business relationship building trip. This guy just oozes creepy. Part of it is his demeanor and his stare. He stares a lot. Part of it is that he slept with one of my coworkers at my last company who was a easy, annoying, confused, gross and desperate 22 year old. Literally he showed up at a happy hour, told her his hotel, and left, waiting for his hook up. Even weirder, she slept with another business contact earlier that week.... and the 2nd guy knew. Standards, keep your standards up.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Monday, May 25, 2009

Lake Michigan - Indiana Dunes

The Indiana Dunes State Park on the souther shore of Lake Michigan is a nice day trip. One could make a 2 day hiking adventure out of it, but after walking the trails, you are going to get tired. I will explain why later. Lake Michigan is the first Great Lake I explored outside of the Niagra Falls setting. It really does feel like an ocean shoreline. The waves are piddly, but the size, scope and horizon shout "ocean". The beach lacked seashells and seaweed, but the constant waves could fool you if you closed your eyes.

The trails are all nature preserve trails which means no "wood boards" to make walking through sand easier and no benches occasionally or cleared out areas to chill. You hike the trail for its entire length through soft sand. I am OK with that, but I also go to the gym often. Walking through soft sand is hard work. There's a rap song that says "trained to run 20 miles through soft sand" like soft sand makes running tougher. These hiking trails are miles long and are through soft sand. The average American, especially if from one of the surrounding states or Indiana itself, is probably overweight and out of shape. They will need a bench or rest area. After multiple trails and lots of walking on soft sand, I needed a bench.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Hee Haw - Conway Twitty

I never understood "Hee Haw" growing up. Was it like the Lawrence Welk show for rednecks and hicks? Were they really singing live or was it like American bandstand? I know it might sound boring that there were only 4 chanels are not much on after Johnny Carson, but something seems cool about pre-cable television. I did love this performance by Conway Twitty that Family Guy used in an episode this season so they would not have to come up with 3 minutes of dialogue.

Check out Twitty's hair. It's like a cross between Mel Kiper Jr.'s and Dracula. The giant lapels are great, and the all blue suits are really crisp looking. Maybe this is what modern country is missing: a male singer who isn't ruggedly handsome and does NOT wear a frickin' cowboy hat. Fantastic.

For the record, I don't like modern country music.


The Obama Cheney War on Terror Debate in 30 seconds

Obama is the preppy guy in 80s teen flicks that has his minions beat, kick & maim nerds or outsiders, while he stands with that smug smirk on his face, but then turns to his 80s teen movie girlfriend & acts sweet.

Cheney is the C. Thomas Howell character from Red Dawn who loses his identity protecting America by pushing the edges of what is right, and relishes the role in a weird, twisted way.

The only thing that has changed about our war on terror is Obama apologizes to foreign countries completely unrelated to our military campaigns and pretends to be morally against things that he signs off on.

70s One Hit Wonder

I know Vh1 would never do it because it is too old to be nostalgic for their target demographics, but I love one hit wonders of the 70s. The disco one hit wonders are OK, but the pop rock one hit wonders are amazing. I heard one today and thought, phuck it, I'll post the lyrics. Yup, the guy could only write two verses, so he copied the 2nd verse again so he could get to the magic 3:30 mark for AM radio. If I can find the promotional video he shot for the song, I will post as well...

"Cruel to be Kind"

Oh, I can't take another heartache,
Though you say you're my friend, I'm at my wits' end!
You say you're love is bona fide,
But that don't coincide with the things that you do
And when I ask you to be nice, you say
You've gotta be
Cruel to be kind in the right measure,
Cruel to be kind it's a very good sign,
Cruel to be kind means that I love you,
Baby, you've gotta be cruel to be kind.

Well I do my best to understand dear,
But you still mystify, and I want to know why.
I pick myself up off the ground
To have you knock me back down again and again!
And when I ask you to explain, you say
You've gotta be
Cruel to be kind in the right measure,
Cruel to be kind it's a very good sign,
Cruel to be kind means that I love you,
Baby, you've gotta be cruel to be kind.

Well I do my best to understand dear,
But you still mystify, and I want to know why.
I pick myself up off the ground
To have you knock me back down again and again!
And when I ask you to explain, you say
You've gotta be
Cruel to be kind in the right measure,
Cruel to be kind it's a very good sign,
Cruel to be kind means that I love you,
Baby, you've gotta be cruel to be kind...

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Will I eventually collect all of these in one book?

From a bad insight
Question all that surrounds you
End up self loathing
Did anyone else ever see or read that terrible book of poetry by Jewel? It was incredibly interesting to view as a piece of agent-PR person genius. It got her good money with what 1 album under her belt, a built in audience helped the publisher, and people got to read gems like "junkie" or "crackhead". I can't remember the exact title but the poem was the title and then "momma always said i'd grow up to be one". that's it. That's the poem. Brilliant. That's the entire page. It's a couple hundred pages in length but the poems stacked back to back probably add up to 40 pages. She was no W.H. Auden, but hey, she still pulled a book of poetry together for us to enjoy.

Inflation Hedge

For over a year, we've been putting a small monthly dollar amount in physical gold and silver. Yeah, it's a bit gold buggy, but it's one of the few investments that has held up since January of 2008. Sure it does not pay a dividend, has not appreciated in a year, but find me an investment that has not lost money since Jan 2008. I'm willing to store some of my earned income in the barbarous relic. The Greeks valued it. They didn't value Microsoft stock.

I know the devoted St. barry followers don't understand economics. It's OK most politicians and people don't, but you don't borrow trillions to get out of a problem caused by excessive borrowing. The reason the dollar is worth 33% less internationally now than in 2001 is because of government deficits and super aggressive FED policy earlier in the decade. The great inflation will come, and St. Barry and our other politicians won't be able to stop it.

Monday, May 18, 2009

2am Thoughts

What was keeping me up at 2am? I'm not a college kid anymore, so it wasn't discussing how to fix the world, playing the drinking game "Kings", working the magic in an attempt to get action, playing NHL 94, or listening to moody music and discussing life in hazy smoke. I just couldn't stop thinking random sh*t. I repeated this Saturday night, too. Here's the random shit that flowed from going to bed until I passed out...

- Can I design a household robot that can be wired with a washer-dryer duo that can do your laundry for you by loading/unloading laundry and then folding it? Could I pair up with Maytag? What would I name it? The QT (short for quick & tidy). Would I then design it to have a small vacuum cleaner inside of it that would stretch down like a third middle leg area. It could empty full bags itself into a trash can. Could I then sell an attachment that would be a paint spray machine like the ones people buy now for home improvements? Who wouldn't buy the QT?

- Why do people think the thought "I wish I had met so and so XX years earlier" like their current situation prevents them from having this awesome, magical relationship? It's the 2000s, go for it, just plan your custody battle. Don't even bother having that thought because then you're putting yourself in a position that you probably don't want to admit to your partner that you are in. I totally understand why people have this thought. I totally recognize it in rom-coms and trashy paperback novels. It's the classic impossible love story. Still, don't bother saying it or revealing it to anyone.

- How does a dude who delays moving in with someone because he is very Christian then turn around and cheat on his woman? Total Rev. Baker syndrome. This just happened to a friend. Seriously, be an honest jerk, not a self righteous one. Don't do it when your partner has an older sibling who might be crazy enough to kill you. They weren't even engaged yet, so just end the shit now and move to new lady. Come on. There's no messy divorce or custody battle. Stupid.

- I often hear my atheist friends joke "Do you think believers ever wake up and go 'oh gosh what if there is no god and what I am doing is for nothing'". They slide right into another joke and forget to comment on the reverse: "do they wake up in the middle of the night and think 'what if there is a god and i'm truly damned to hell if i don't believe''. They wonder if others question their belif system, but fail to do it themselves.

- Saturday Night Live managed to accomplish a first: for the first time ever they went an entire season without making fun of the president elect/president. Congrats Barry Obama, you made it through a year without a single joke at your expense. I wonder if Bill Clinton is somewhere with a couple middle aged ladies next to him thinking "Why the phuck didn't they protect me like this?" In SNL's defense Bill, they only made fun of you being overweight or a philanderer.

- I'm kind of saddened by The Family Guy as well on that front, but that show misses on 3/4 of their jokes now. It's like Seth McFarlane had 25 great shows planned and just got bored since then. The Family Guy special is when they rip on a group of people like Southerners, Texans, red staters, Evangelical Christians, the GOP, macho guys, etc. for being homophobes, but then they turn around and get a laugh at the expense of gays non-phucking-stop. Family Guy has not met a gay joke they have not beaten into the ground. Sometimes Family Guy tries to teach a lesson on tolerance and acceptance and then they have the worst stereotypes of gays imagineable for a few cheap laughs on right after it. Has Family Guy ever met an Asian or Jewish stereotype they did not drag around for laughs? No. They do miss soem groups. I'm all for making fun of everyone, just uhhh, make put some effort into it to raise it above the lowest common form of humor, "oh my god a flamer let's all laugh". South Park's destruction of that show's comedic approach worked on me.

- "come on and holllld me, just like you tolllld me, then shooooow me, what I wannnnnt to know, why don't we steal away, baown bam bum baown bam bum baown baown, why don't we steal aaaaa-way into the night, i know it ain't right"

- Why are gay people upset with Ms. California being against gay marriage when they president, VP, sec of state and plenty of other Americans (not me) are against it as well? We got bigger issues gay folks. Also, people are entitled to their opinions and you're entitled to disagree. Watch with the witchunt, as you guys used to complain about that a lot (still do). I really don't care and want gays to be allowed to have recognized civil unions to have access to many benefits married straights have, so that they then understand the joys of alimony & child support, and even further, so Mormons-Muslims can get to marry multiple partners. Everyone wins. I really don't care what you do with your life, it's yours to live.

- Why do some people get nostalgic for the 60s, waxing poetically about "all coming together man to make a difference"? Every book I read about the 60s paints a horrible picture unless you were well off enough to go to college, get deferments from the draft to then go to school and do drugs and have pre-HIV, no condom Pill sex. Poor kids were pretty screwed. Black folks were pretty phucked over in the 60s as Civil Rights backlash came into play. We were fighting a war with death tolls in the thousands per month, if not week in 67-68, and ghetto riots were common. My generation had the LA riots. One city, a couple riots in the early '90s vs. Many cities, many riots, many more dead in the 60s.

- Is California ever going to cut its budget down to size or are we going to have to bail them out so that union state ees keep getting 3% raises? Will California ever cut services to people? Will California ever develop the unexplored oil-nat gas potential off their shores? California is so amazingly beautiful, fertile and blessed. I just wish the voters would wake up, and the politicians grew spines.

- "I caught you glancin' my wa-aaaaay and i know what you're after, no sec-ond chan-ces to-nighhhhhht, whhhhhhy donnnnnnn't we steal away"

- Can you make decision on love because of money? Yes. Can you live life forever regretting your decisions? Yes. Should you do either, it's your life, but don't cry to me. Live life with few to no regrets. I know we've got a lot of complaining whiners in our society, but whine about something else. I'm cutting off some of the whiners at work, and not settling for listening to this shit.

- "baby see, what a foolish heart has done for meeeeee, darlin why, yeah, would you break my heart and make me cryyyyyy, you cant go back and change the way things are, and all this foolish talk will take us very far, and so i hope you're listenin cause i'm tellin you, about the way i'm feelin and what i'm going through... because you and i've been in love too long to worry about tomorrow, here's a place where we both belong, i know you're the only woman i've been dreaming of"

- I'm going to bring up the Nintendo Wii fit, and it's yoga stuff, if the yoga teacher asks me if I've done yoga before. "Not in class, but I have a Wii Fit and I rock that". Yeah that's much better than saying "to complete my sexiness". (I did the Wii Fit answer the next day, but seriously, my hips are amazingly flexible and have a great range of motion for a dude)

- I might go as Ash from Army of Darkness to work next Halloween. I got the jaw and the hair. It's just a matter of getting the chainsaw, toy shotgun, and clothes. It's that or eurotrash disco guy with a mohawk. Will they give me shit for not wearing a collar? Fuck them, make them send me home. I don't care. Most of the women at work will like it; I bet I get 10 extra cubicle visits out of it. I'll get away with it. I am an ENTJ.

- "when the pain of love surrounds you, and the world may be unkind. i'll put my lovin' arms around you, take you far from this place in time"

- What the heck am I going to fill my nights with next fall? No volunteering. I don't need to get into college anymore. I got the wii, but that's only so much. Should I buy rosetta stone Portuguese edition? Should I take judo, jiu jitsu, or something? Looking for suggestions. Self improvement is just masturbation. I'm a douche. I got to do this before I have kids, and work to earn those "World's Greatest Dad" ties.

Cipro Causes Insomnia

Cipro has a side effect of insomnia. This explains my last week. Racing thoughts and after 2am knockouts.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

2am

I did not fall alseep until well after 2am last night. My mind was racing. The thunderstorms did not help, but were an ancillary factor. I felt like I was 16 again. Not a good thing.

I try yoga today at 3pm.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Stupid at Work

There's a coworker who always says "Oh Jeez, you always dress in black". After like the 5th time he mentioned this, I made a point to not wear black for a month. The very moment I wore black again, "oh jeez, always in black is you". Yeah, I work with Yoda. I let it slide (he is a nice guy) because I discovered a pattern with him. When he sees something or hears something twice, he thinks it is a trend or habit. This is actually dangerous results wise with my job. We are hired to look for patterns and make pricing decisions based on them. Two does not make a pattern. He did it today with a woman's gait in the hall "yer always stomping", and I was like wait, "no way does Mrs. Derp stomp". It just happened to be a day where she wore chunky heels. It was just stupid, and I have to vent here and get it out of my system because.....

people at work found on Facebook, I stupidly accepted them as friends and now I have to work edit my Facebook. I don't edit anything else. If those people wanted to have contact with me somehow, someway outside of work, they will get me in all my borderline sociopath glory. If I write about backne, dysentery, or being awesome, they will know about it. It's like having your ex-wife on Facebook and shared custody of the kids is the case. You can't vent about her slacking on it since she can read it. It's bad enough that dumb dumb the 5 year old flirty girl friended me on Valentine's day, which if I denied would only lead to dumber emails the next week. Now I have 2 people on there that cause me to have slight headaches because of how they are at work. They are in my field office. They can be a pain, but I'm easygoing. Now I know that they update Facebook while working. Makes me upset for a second, and then it passes.
What makes matters worse are the people at work who are friends on Facebook with the people I am friends with, but they aren't friends with me. There's a whole network of that. I am a pretty easy going person who rolls with life's punches, but I dislike the gossip mill. I disliked it when I was the subject of gossip at my first job that was totally untrue, and I try to respect people's privacy. It's like a never ending surveillance by these folks. There should be time to leave the work behind, as I dislike having to be on my best schoolboy choir behavior at work for 8 hours a day. A fellow at work got lunch several times with another woman, and rumors started spreading about them. None were true. Really really lame. This is why I get lunch in groups if I leave the building. Let's think this through though, if they were having a secret affair, why were they getting lunch together in plain sight? Stupid. I always thought when you grew up, people stopped the playground behavior. I was wrong.
Fuck it. I'm going to type a status update once on Facebook "wanted to punch someone at work in the face. Luckily, I controlled myself".

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Katy Perry - Stop, Just Stop

Watching tonight's results Idol show with the wifey, Katy Perry jumped onstage and performed some awful song. Not that perfect pop candy piece from last year. All Katy Perry appearances can be broken down into....

1. Dress like a jackass

2. Dress like an old timey glamour movie star


Number 1 is just the Cyndi lauper routine, but Cyndi sold it far better. I prefer number 2, as her build harkens back to a day when only Audrey Hepburn was anorexic, and Judy Garland & America could take pep pills (meth), and it was "good" for us. Smoke Chesterfields! I'm kind of bummed out she's a 2 hit wonder, which means no appearances on one hit wonder lists. I secretly think she's a lab creation in the entertainment industry's attempt to clone Zooey Deschanel for use in more blah movies. Katy tries hard, but it's just lame.
Her marketing is more a byproduct of the current entertainment industry. I sometimes wonder why all high school movies and tv shows now have a high dork-nerd quotient. It's been great for Michael Cera's career, as that is the only role he can play, but I get tired of the same teen movie about some dork who finds love or comes up in the clutch. Where are my 80s teen movies that had dorks as sidekicks or ancillary plotlines. Ferris Bueller's Day Off comes to mind. Cool son of a bitch with a hot girlfriend & dorky, likeable friend. It is like Katy Perry's manager and agent have read the mind of this dork movement. Even when she does something 'sexy', she is campy, kitschy, dorky, or horribly over the top and annoying.
Katy Perry usually makes me nostalgic for the '80s. Sometimes I lament the downfall of MTV, and other times I laugh at how ridiculous it has become and enjoy its downward spiral. Some artists would be helped by MTV, and some artists could give us something memorable witht he music video medium. Most videos were trash, but I can still recall the buzz about MTV not playing Madonna's Justify My Love, which looks OK compared to modern cable TV. I remember staying up to watch premiere's of videos with my dad. Katy Perry's team of handlers could really stretch her as an artist, maybe by producing a syrupy, sexy track for her to sing. A video to promote it, paying homage to sexy entertainment of yore, would maybe give her or it some staying power. Instead of generic, teenage girl dance song after teenage generic dance song, she could mayeb give us one decent ballad. "Crazy for You" still gets airplay, "Borderline" and "Lucky Star" not so much. Even though I know it has been a game all along, the big label marketing and promotion is so slick today with a product that feels like the Diet Coke version of what we once listened to.
I need Pink Floyd's opinion on this immediately.
Today was a caffeine day.

Cut Grass

In a long life, few
The fear is to forget it
Just stare long enough

There is a lot to love in our stupid little lives, and the smell of cut grass is one of them. Now if the clouds can go away maybe people will be able to mow their lawns and commence with the real Spring.

A Lucid Dream

I had a detailed lucid dream....
So I'm walking behind a series of large CNC machines, cleaning and painting, much like my summer job with UTC in college. Suddenly, a bunch of old guys start clearing out, and I hear gunshots. The Terminator (T-1000 version) has entered the building, looking for me. I end up flying above the room and enter the ceiling to watch him. Eventually he catches on, so I drop down from the ceiling and slam him in the back. I then take off through the air, and while flying I think "Ah yes I am dreaming, this is gonna be awesome". My mind then destroys the T-1000 chase dream sequence and I start to fly through walls. Not like vapor mist through the walls, fly through them and reduce them to rubble. I then pick up my speed and start to aim for different materials to have some fun.


This gets boring but then I hear lutes, horns and weird drums in the distance. I then fly to this sound and find this brunette (hair kind of crazy-wavy, down to her waist), medium height, and giant, blue eyes dressed in this weird Stevie Nicks in 1979 looking outfit. It's green & white with lots of frill & lace; she is barefoot and does not blink. Behind her, there is a painting of wings and ribbons. The wings looked like stylized wings you'd rip off an angel with blood and ligaments sticking out. So at this point I'm like "I dont want to do it with this chick in front of this creepy painting". Totally dropping that, this woman starts to explain bad shit coming my way. I stop her and say "wait, i control this dream, and you're a buzz kill". I then get scolded for this and am told "this is a precognitive dream and instead of seeing it you're hearing it, don't forget my words".
I am well aware that I am crazy, but to recap weird, precog sorceress lady...
America has a currency crisis, my wife dies in a car accident, I nearly die from dysentery, and in the end, I devote my life to helping those less fortunate at some ranch. (I remember this because I have a finely tuned audiographic memory.)
There is a lot of mystery in life and the 3 lb universe known as the human brain. There is a part of me that believes in precognitive dreams, because I don't get deja vu as much as I get "oh yeah i remember doing this" because life plays out just like a dream from 6-9 months earlier. When surrounded by people I do not know & in great clothes in a dream, I wake up & think "i'll be changing jobs soon" or "I'm going to a wedding". Mark my words, I will not end up on a ranch devoting my life to those less fortunate unless a gigantic, worldwide calamity occurs.
Off to the gym to channel aggressive energy and mitigate my insanity.

Twilight in a Nutshell

Twilight is a story about an old pedophile who falls for a bland 16 year old girl, but everyone looks the other way when they read it because they project their souls into said bland 16 year old girl.

Mormon woman cackles as she counts the money from her Victorian Era abstinence story sprinkled with vampires.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

City of Men



City of Men is an interesting foreign film. As a love affair has developed between me and the country of Brazil, I have learned of the favelas. Through business development books and discussions of the emerging BRIC economy world, I read how the extremely rich of major Brazilian cities travel through and around their cities in helicopters, not just because they can afford it, but to avoid the gangsters that are favela based who could take them hostage for a few thousand or just rob & murder them. It's an odd country where the income inequality makes America look socialist in comparison. There is much talk about the globalization movement making the rest of the world's stands of living rise, but if you look a little closer, are they really?

City of Men felt a bit like a growin' up in the hood movie, but is miles better than any of them. There are wonderful storylines wrapped in the big story arc of two young men turning 18 amongst a power struggle in the neighborhood that is all they have ever known. I really want to see City of God now. Here's something the screenplay did that some movies forget: create likeable protagonists. There are small moments of friendship and love that get you invested in their well being. The gangs are not glamourized nor glorified, and guns are shown as not the way to show you're a man. It was dubbed in English, and I prefer subtitles for movies, but it made a first viewing easier.

I think the film's cinematographer or director purposefully shot the film to look sunburnt. Light floods many scenes, and I found it a great contrast to the darkly lit, street fighting gang scenes. There is no Scarface moment of invincibility for the gangster at the end, just a grim reality in a dark alley. The camera work with the favela landscape was handled well and really conveyed a sense of confinement and enclosure. Things were tight in many shots. Maybe that was the point. Life is lived at extremes in that neighborhood.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mood Music

I need some friends between ages 52-62 that are not related to me or a coworker so I can ask them what the non-R&B mood music for hooking up to was in the '70s. Do any of my 7 readers know? I suspect a lot of Joni Mitchell and James Taylor, as Dave Matthews stole JT's method of operating and has printed money using it for the last 15 years. Even on my college mood music playlist, Joni Mitchell made an appearance with "Help Me". What an oustanding album cover for Blue!



Sadly, this song encapsulated every serious college relationship I had. Yes, yes if you heard this song, you're in trouble because I'm a rambler and a gambler and a sweet talkin' ladies man, and you knew that I love my luving, but wait, not like I love my freedom. In the end, we'll end break up yet still be flirting around, flirting flirting, not going anywhere deeper emotionally or reuniting but hurting, too.
While at work today, I was discussing with a coworker I'd consider a friend the concept of how females will mislead friends about potential mates to play matchmaker. They do it to one another, to guy friends, to random people they want to help, and even to themselves as they describe their spouse or kid. I also call this the ugly baby problem. Someone tells you they have such a cute kid and then you see the kid and you can't just say "damn that's one ugly kid". Why were they trumping this kid up? They do it with their hubbies, too. After the 5th or 6th time someone calls their husband really handsome and you get annoyed because you disagree, what can you do? Eyerolling is effective. My cowowrker was saying how she glosses over mental/emotional things more than physical things unless she thought she had to sell a guy-girl hard to a friend. As she said, you figure out code words to hide truths. That made us both laugh, but I would want full mental disclosure. This is where I miss my Navy friends as they were the most honest group of guys I ever knew as a crew. With dance club lighting and smoky bars, they knew when to protect a friend, and no man was ever left behind.

Moment of Zen



Watch after a long, tough day and then go to sleep.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

One Day in Cincy with a Sinus Infection

In early March, I looked at a baseball schedule, circled a game, and called up a college friend. Two months later, we made good on our connection and spent a day together at his house in Cincy. The night before, I went to bed struggling with a sinus infection. I doped up on Benadryl and Mucinex to hopefully still make it. I woke up OK enough for beer, baseball and talk. Two hours after kissing my wife goodbye, I was walking through my friend's house. Sometimes a single day is enough with a friend (yes, this is a Mitch Albom type post).

My friend Pat and I spent about 10 hours straight talking and catching up. It's great to also now have us both have money in our pockets and not be small budget college kids. I have told him every beer I bought him was an advanced retainer payment for future legal services. Who knows when I will need them? He very obviously is living a bachelor's life with a folding card table as his dining room table and lots of sports decorations up. In about 10 hours, we went through pretty much a year's worth of life, discussing our respective near futures, and questions over what the hell happened to some of our classmates.

Pat finally has a steady relationship with a seemingly nice girl. Pat was a genius History major who got his heart broke by a tramp and then decided to become a 'monk' at school. He concentrated solely on getting to Harvard Law School, drank in moderation and avoided entangling relationships. He got to Harvard Law but spent the last two years at Cornell alone. I met Pat through weekend football; he was a 6 foot 3 tennis team captain, which translated to security blanket for passing plays. I called him "my Jay Novacek". I met him during his big break up, and befriended him through our final two years. At graduation, I would not consider him one of my closest 3 friends. He was one of the few who kept in good touch, and with a few more years behind us, he's one of the nicest, and most honest friends I have. Maybe he's just a good Midwestern kid. I laugh at Internet forums and comment boards that talk about Ivy League schools that churn out vipers who prey on society. Yeah, I knew maybe 20 people like that out of several thousand. Pat fits the profile as a legacy, tennis playing, straight, white male, but the phrase I'd use to describe him is "sometimes too nice for his own good".

Another thing that is odd, is that as he kept in touch with me, he's been one of the two college friends who has known my wife. I remember thinking if I had a big wedding, I'd have two college friends in the wedding. The two who have met her were not either of those two. When I brought my then fiancee down to a freezing cold Boston, so someone could vouch for her true existence, he told me about how he wasn't going to work for a big NYC law firm but chose to go back home to Ohio to work for XYZ firm. I got up, walked over, and shook his hand because I knew the firm as they were a prospective customer of my company and I knew of their standing in Ohio. He had this look of surprise and a big smile as finally someone knew the presitge of the firm and respected his choice to be close to home. "Yer wicked smart, and ya goin' home". He made the choice of going back home for less bank over making a quick $1 mil in a few years, yet people looked at him funny for that.

We spent 3 hours at a game, spotting "Cincinnati hot" ladies and talking. Cincy has a beautiful park, and for 3 hours I did not hear anyone say anything about the great recession. Pure escape. Many times he'd get me laughing, which hurt as each guffaw made my sinus cavity ache. We calculated how much money the entire row spent on food & beer, estimated the size of a child's bladder (4 bathroom trips-one soda), and set the odds on an arrest in the bachelor party behind us. A huge difference between Pat now and Pat then is sense of place. Pat was so driven in college for a goal, that when he reached it, he had to start over. When he was an undergrad, he was so focused that he was more just "wicked smart guy" than a rounded out personality. I am a character that has toned down a wee bit, while he is the block of steel gradually being carved into a sphere. I kind of feel cheated that he put the admission to Harvard ahead of being as much of a degenerate as my other friends. Maybe that's the reason he's the one who still emails.

Young Men, Problem with Cameras

My wife has 10,000 photos of her college days. I have maybe 10. Yound men do not take photos. My addition to that theory... I packed a camera for a day trip to Cincinnati and a day with some fam in Ohio, and I never took it out.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Why I am excited for the future

....if we can have head implants and upgrades for mental capabilities, will they be allowed by law or kept off the market because they would give people who could afford them an unfair intelligence advantage?

...will mental-brain upgrades be looked down upon by society?

...how fast before household robots are mass marketed?

...robots are already used in war zones and manufacturing, what industry could use robots and free up a lot of human time?

...what do we do with all of the newly unemployed people because of robot use?

...how many marriages break up because one partner's sex robot looks too much one of their friends (or an ex)?

...will robots ever become sentient? if so, then how fast do hippies move to protect them?

...can an affordable flying car be mass produced?

...will we ever get cold fusion? will we ever need it?

...can we create safe, useful energy storage systems to make better use of intermittent sources like wind and solar?

...will we try space based solar power?

...will we move into space more freely?

...will it be overpopulation or depopulation?

...will the world turn into one giant retirement home?

...will human life expectancy continue to lengthen? if so, do we redefine institutions like marriage, parenting, carrer, education? How fast do those institutions adapt?

...does the singularity happen?

I'm looking forward to these questions and more being answered in the next 70 years.

Smut is Bad, M'Kay

Since I can get this book for $3.50, I am going to buy it on a whim. Probably this one, too. Part of my drive is from hearing that "porn" was looking for a bailout, that the modern industry is being crushed by the flood of free smut on the Internet, and the damaging new option of purchasing '70s and early '80s porn on DVD hurts current studios. There is a time and a place for smut, just watch how it influences mainstream culture. My other motivation is the multitude of discussions about and mainstreaming of lower level super grooming by both men & women. I know how too many people keep things downstairs. It makes it awkward for me because my brain is a runaway train, so when I start talking to someone, and they have previously told me how they groom, I end up visualizing it and kind of X-ray visioning it. It's like when someone says they have an awful zit, scar, or bruise, you instinctively look at it. I'm sick in the head, what can I say?

I am a sexist at heart, but raised in a house where the woman was the breadwinner. I look forward to the day when true gender equality is reached, no more engagement rings. As I house hunted this past weekend, I stumbled through the 3rd all pink girl's bedroom that day and said "Feminisim lost didn't it?" My 62 year old female realtor simply said "Yes, but I won't get on my soapbox right now".

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Long Term Stability Observations

People often say they seek a partner who is smart. I typed before that this is a fraud. That's another post. Intelligence is also overrated for its benefits to a long term relationship. It is also horribly subjective as the person who observes the potential partner is the gauge for measuring "smart". Smart has become what the word pretty is on TV; it's everywhere. As it has become ubiquitous and used to describe almost everyone & everything, it has lost its significance and meaning. I hear it used to described things and people who are not smart at all; they are just displaying competence. What type of smart is useful? Booksmart, street smart, spatial relationships smart or intuitive smarts... it's a grab bag of different types of intelligence.




Another observation is that people say they want a partner who is a good conversationalist, but they rarely follow through with this desire. How a person defines a good conversationalist varies from person to person, and I have noticed many times that it involves a person who will shut up and just listen to one side yap away about his or her life. A good conversationalist is also often a person who serves up never ending cliche compliments to the original object. A good conversationalist is a plus for an entertaining life together, melding with groups, socializing and making friends in new situations. If a good conversationalist is also a good communicator of true emotions, feelings, problems, issues, this can help work through problems. If not, this person will talk to you for hours about reality TV and music but, never about how you work on a child's behavioral problem, a financial hardship, facing your own mortality, or another meaningful obstacle. The revelation will be that the good conversationalist will have just been a good bullshit artist. I think many women have been seduced by the ephemeral power of a good bullshit artist.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

The Original Ipod

Reverse Time Travel is a concept I do not believe in and never will. If it were ever possible, we would have had a visitor from the future by now. I did read this article though and I contemplated the idea that this guy was the classic young man sent back in time who tries to "invent" something from his time in that past so he can make big bucks. Go read it; it will take 3-5 mins.

Is that not mind blowing? I like it for another reason: it shows the Apple people not as genius inventors but as smart applicators of current technology to a smart older idea. This guy was extremely forward thinking with the infrastructure he created in place to help this idea move along and spread. It is comical how he focused attention on how songs could not be pirated with his system. Since he did not forsee households having CPUs or Internet capabilities, it is a noble attempt to bring music into a new era. Sadly, there was the Walkman/CD era to come before his digital dispersal revolution.

Underneath this article lies that sad truth that the music industry has always fought the new and been hesitant to change. This applies to many businesses in smaller degrees, but few as vividly as the recording industry. Rather than grasp and play with a new technology, they fight it tooth and nail, hurting their business. They fought tape players that could record the radio or an album. They repeated that same argument to fight song sharing on the Internet. They destroyed Napster and sued Grammas over filesharing rather than buying file sharing systems like Napster and utilizing them. Few people accept change, but fostering a new idea (like the 1979 Ipod) can keep a business operating and generating new income streams. The rate of technological change is high enough now that the recording industry has probably lost the war because of previous battles it won. Its name is too dirty now. Fighting change and your customers will just lead a business to the graveyard... just ask newspapers.

Interesting Report and Ramblings

Interesting report on demographics of our volunteer military members. I had read an article from 2004, which discussed our military and why going to a draft was a bad idea and a scare tactic by the Dems to win in 2004. I support our fighting men and women, and I am glad to see this report dispell some myths that constantly get perpetuated by the mainstream media. I do think it is interesting the way enlistment changed after 9-11. Kind of cool to see it in hard facts, not just opinion disguised as a fact in a news report.

This came to my attention as I had an online comment argument with an anti-semite bigot. I just couldn't help myself since I was sick and had the time to go back and forth this week. The anti-semite bigot mentioned how Jews in the US make up less than 0.25% of the military, but are "all over the government, pulling strings man". I noted that Jews only make up 1% of the population, so what if they are underrepresented by a smidge in the military? It means nothing. This lead to a comment alluding to a banker conspiracy to control the government. I replied that sure the bankers do have their puppet master hands up Obama's ass already but a lot of bankers & bank bondholders are not Jews.

It never ceases to amaze me how people cling to dumb ass theories of Jewish world domination in 2009. If Jews control money and stocks, don't you think they've been royally fucked this past year? If they are all rich, wouldn't they be worried about Obama's redistribution plans? If Jews controlled the world, don't you think they would make the world like them more? This does not make sense. I feel like a broken fucking record, but the anonymous bigotry is a bad downside to the Internet.

This actually fits into a frustration I have had recently with all sorts of people and their conspiracy theories. Usually, I enjoy them and view them as entertaining. Sometimes a well laid out conspiracy theory sounds reasonable. Here's my gripe: when you dress up conspiracy theories as a way to demonize people or a person, and the opposite is correct or turns out to be the case, you need to own up to it. Remember all of the crazy (and not so crazy) people that said Bush would cancel the 2004 election to ensure he'd stay in power? Yeah didn't happen. Remember when they said he'd do it again in 2008 to stay in power? Didn't happen. Power transitioned peacefully as it has each presidential election. Where are the crazies saying "I was wrong, turns out he's not as evil as I thought"? Nowhere. They are off creating new conspiracy theories to demonize new targets. (Cornell alum Keith Olberman, who has a poorly watched show on MSNBC, is just a hair away from these people.)

This is part of the reason I look forward to robots. When we have robots around, we can create new conspiracy theories devoted to robots, not people. If they remain non-sentient, they won't have feelings and it will be easy to demonize them because they will be like a suped up version of your home PC, printer at work, or cell phone. Who has not cursed out one of those items? It doesn't stop the demonization train, but it at least shifts it away from living people and onto hunks of machinery.

Reality TV Shows about Homes

Being sick and home from work forced me to watch daytime TV. Rather than poison my brain with Tyra or Maury episodes, I read a lot and watched some home shows since we're house hunting now. A&E, TLC, and HGTV really went overboard at the peak of the housing bubble with glamourizing the idea of flipping by producing multiple shows focused around selling and buying homes. Some focused on just selling a house. Some focused on purchasing a property. Some focused on random, inexperienced retards trying to buy a home, fix it up and flip it for a huge profit. Not a 10% or so return, which would still be a victory, but a 50-100% profit. As the bubble burst, the"Flip This House" idea focused on 'companies' and experienced flippers to show you that you need to be a professional to do this. All the while, they split the random flippers into a new show called "Property Ladder". The only real change was in creating a new show to suck you in and somehow create a group called professionals. Most of the time, these professionals have only been flipping during the bubble run up. What type of pro are they when they only worked in an amazing bubble environment? There are a few types of people that fit into these shows like those childhood round block in round hole, triangle block in triangle hole toys. The shows either set a narrative for you to cheer for or root against the 'star' of the show.

For sellers....

1. The out of touch - These folks have lived in a home for years and not done anything to it. These folks might be completely averse to anything stylish. These people think their home is worth 100K more than it is. This type is entertaining and not bad to watch.

2. The life event "forced" us to sell people - Something happens to this family or person and they now must sell. I'd even go further and drill down to "guy gets married and his wife hates the house". There are dozens of episodes of the selling focused homes that show these couples. These men are spineless and walk away from good equity and a home that fits their needs to then leverage up with a new bigger home. This happens when families have their first baby too. They have 1 child and then have to leave their 3 bedroom home for a 4 bedroom home. Ridiculous. In these examples, you just want to tell them "Remodel". Start saving for the kid's college fees rather than get that 1 extra bedroom.


For buyers...

1. The first time buyer with unrealistic expectations - These property virgins (a show title) want a 5 br, 3 bath huge dream home for 100K less than list price. They hate every single thing that is slightly off from their desires. Usually, they have no down payment yet act like total dicks to everyone. They are stone walls when suggestions are offered.

2. The greedy reachers - These buyers are approved for a 300K mortgage and they use the full amount or finagle financing to go beyond it. These people stretch their budget beyond limits just for an extra 150 sq ft. These people go beyond their budget if there is a seperate unit that they could potentially rent out for income. When you see that separate unit, you don't know who the heck would ever rent it. They have nothing to put down, and probably use NINJA loans.

3. The couple that needs space - This couple is either living with their parents, have a down payment saved, or works with the realtor on finding a good fit. This is usually a newlywed couple or a family with a 2nd ro 3rd child. A life event has forced them to move, and once you see their current residence, you totally understand. The newlyweds living with their parents after the wedding are a common type for the buyer focused shows.
4. The idiots who can't imagine the home without the current furniture - You don't get the tacky furniture included. Why do these people fail to use their imaginations? Why do they need staging to persuade them into a home?
For the flippers....

1. Real estate developers with a long track record - The original season of Flip This House. The Charleston team. They quickly left the scene and were replaced by losers. The founder grew up in poverity and slowly built his company. They ended up filing a lawsuit versus A&E and won $4 mil. A savvy thing they did was pick up properties that amateurs had tried to make work but wanted out. On other shows, you see the random pro who has been in the RE game for years who does a side project from their main real estate job. They are smooth, use other professionals for design and remodeling input, and stick tight to budgets. A good thing about their shows is that they show you the need for a plan, a need for using established contractors, and a need for realistic expectations. They show how expensive fixing up a house can be.

2a. Amateur Fliptards - These are the cousins of day traders during the stock bubble. These are the losers who tried to make a quick buck in a bubble market. These people work day jobs and think all it takes is a bank loan and some work to pull in a 50% profit in 6 weeks. They have unrealistic expectations, have no clue about the market they are in, have no clue about the business, and are greedy SOBs. They view this as a get rich quick scam, and are part of the reason we're fucked now financially. They don't listen to advice. They 'oversee' a lot of work. They go for the homerun with each swing. You want to see them fail.

2b. Amateur Fliptards with Peronsalities - A friendly and funny version of 2a. Another difference is they usually listen to advice or others input. They still are part of the reason we're screwed. I do cheer for these people, but only to make small profits or break even so they learn a lesson and never try it again.

3. Fraudsters that get A&E in Trouble - Seriously. Once again, when reality isn't reality. The Atlanta stuff was horrible as it was outright fiction created to make the impression the guy made money flippin' homes. The San Antonio team is another staged looking reality team that has a bad history with lawsuits, scroll through here for details. Montelongo's story is he had no money, credit, experience, yet in 5 years built a flipping empire. Wait: he only made a flipping empire when he borrowed money during the credit deluge that was the last 5 years and flipped homes in the greatest American housing bubble? Yet, he still filed for bankruptcy and is now selling ebooks and online seminars for home flipping and gaming the foreclosure process. In effect, he uses the show to sell himself (the Donald Trump-Robert Kiyosaki model). His empire sounds hollow. This reviewer looks at his ebook and finds it stinky (but he does give thumbs up to the book from Kirsten of Property Ladder). I dislike this guy, I dislike his attitude towards everyone, I dislike the Atlanta team, and I dislike the New Haven team. No, this is not American ingenuity and can do spirit. These are make a quick buck schemers and parasites.

These shows did feed into the psychology of "everyone must buy a home". Dr Housing bubble once had a blog post on this idea, but I cannot find it since he upgraded to his new and improved site. I cannot find his old-old stuff. It was priceless. I give Property Ladder credit for showing the failures as well as success stories. It would have been great to show those as well during the bubble. Instead, we saw every idiotic gamble taken by an amateur rewarded with a profit. Real Estate investment is a valid sector. Sadly, the housing bubble made a lot of amateurs run into this field and screw a lot of people with a structure that should not have become a frou frou commodity or asset. I caution people from going into this business because the landscape is an absolute wasteland right now with a lot of uncertainty, and secondly, the worst case scenario is you become these people....

Friday, May 01, 2009

Possibly the Greatest "Opposite Day" Monologue Ever



Very rarely can someone be 100% wrong. My only response is stolen from the movie Billy Madison...

"what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul."