just procrastinating

Thursday, September 30, 2004

Presidential Debates
Well, since I had low expectations for Kerry (below), I guess I got give this one to him. Bush looked more like he did in his Tim Russert interview and less like he did in his Bill O'Reilly interview, which is too bad. Kerry was pretty solid and his lack of personality really didn't matter because he put Bush on the defensive and Bush looked a little frazzled, but just a little. I'd score it 52 to 48 for Kerry. However, I'll add that it was so boring that I bet most people changed the channel after a half hour or so. I sort of stopped watching and was reading some of the people who were live blogging during it.

This was a more serious debate, and I think that is why Kerry did better than expected, since if he is anything he is a serious person. It is difficult for Bush to show his better personality when discussing serious issues like this. When you are discussing domestic issues, which in the vast scheme of things aren't that serious: like should the top tax rate be 35% or 39%, or should the minimum wage be $4.75 or $5.75, it's a little easier to smile and joke your way through it, which is where Bush shines. So we'll see how it goes, but I think the race is back on.

Personality Contest
Why the election really is a personality contest--people certainly aren't all that well informed on the issues:
"Polling conducted from September 21 through 26 among 1,189 adults showed 64 percent of respondents were able to correctly identify George W. Bush, rather than John Kerry, as favoring laws making it more difficult for a woman to get an abortion. Sixty percent recognized that Bush, not Kerry, favors making the recent tax cuts permanent. But only 33 percent knew that Bush (and not Kerry) favors eliminating the estate tax; 23 percent of respondents incorrectly said that it was Kerry who favors eliminating the estate tax. When asked to name which presidential candidates favor a given policy position, respondents named the correct candidate a little more than half of the time."
This is why Kerry is at such a huge disadvantage. He has a lifetime of experience being who he is, and all the preparation in the world isn't going to make him any more likeable.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Sprint's Customer Service Blows
I'm trying to set up phone service (local and long distance) here in Charlottesville, and the local carrier is Sprint. I've had a couple run-ins with these clowns in the past, and they act like I don't have an alternative. On their website, it states that you have to wait 5 business days to get your service activated, which is ridiculous. Not only that, but they can't even guarantee it. Here is what they just emailed me:
Due to scheduling conflicts, we were unable to connect your service on your requested date. Instead we have scheduled your installation for 10/07/2004. If this date is not acceptable, please reply to this email or contact our customer service center at 800-672-6242 or 800-535-0189.
Here was my reply:
Here's an idea: Set it up tomorrow. I suppose if I have to use my cell phone exclusively for a week and a half, I'll probably get used to it. Or, I could probably just wait a couple of months until Adelphia offers voice over IP in this area.

Monday, September 27, 2004

Back to the Grind
Since I'm just starting a new job, here is a pretty funny article about my last job:
The news that Commerce One (Nasdaq: CMRC) is gasping for breath shocked me a bit. No, not that the company is failing and anticipates a wind down of operations and a potential Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing -- frankly I never understood its business, nor really cared to. What shocked me about Commerce One is that I realized that I had completely forgotten that it existed.

This is a company that in 1999 had a market capitalization approaching $20 billion. Its success, and that of its industry, seemed assured. The biggest question on people's minds was whether it would dominate business-to-business e-commerce (B2B) or whether rival Ariba (Nasdaq: ARBA) would gain that distinction. B2B was happening, it was coming, it was real. It was going to be a $1 trillion business by 2005!!! The hype was total. Business 2.0 had a cover story on the competition, calling it a "no-holds-barred death match" between the two companies. Well, we have the answer as to which one would survive the battle: Commerce One lost. Trouble is, Ariba didn't win. It's sort of like the old discussions of which Hollywood hunk was America's next big star: Erik Estrada or Adrian Zmed. Zmed may have had more staying power, but he could still probably eat completely unmolested by fans in your average Olive Garden.
It's fitting that this is winding down now. It's kind of a nice bookend.

Friday, September 24, 2004

Moving Again, Possible Hiatus
I'm moving (again) this weekend, back to Charlottesville, where I will be living in these apartments that we lived in four years ago when we first moved there. It'll just be for a few months until we find another house. My wife and dog will be joining me in a few weeks, so all I'm bringing is what I can fit into my car: a futon mattress, TV, VCR, laptop, some dishes, clothes (oh, yeah and an iron). Just enough stuff that I will need to make it through.

Since I'm not sure when I will have my internet access, and don't yet know if I'll be able to blog at work, I think this blog will be on a temporary hiatus for a week or so.

John Kerry Making Sense
This is great. Here's Kerry back in 1997:
"We know we can't count on the French. We know we can't count on the Russians," said Mr. Kerry. "We know that Iraq is a danger to the United States, and we reserve the right to take pre-emptive action whenever we feel it's in our national interest."
It kinda feels like Bush is pulling away with this, for reasons such as this, and since every time Kerry speaks, he or his wife seem to say something ridiculous or contradictory. I suppose there is still a ways to go on this, and I am looking forward to the debates to see if Kerry can outdo Al Gore. Via Hit and Run.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Getting Slower
Here is an internal dialog I had today that shows how mentally slow I have gotten from four months of unemployment. I had just seen bumper sticker that said:

What? Your boss is a Jewish carpenter? Why would you have a bumper sticker that says that? What, do Jewish carpenters do something different from ordinary carpenters? Maybe the woodwork is different, but that seems odd to me, you would think I would have heard of that by now.

And that's a pretty nice car for someone who must be a carpenter's apprentice. I could see if you were the contractor and owned the business, but that's a nice car for someone who must make like ten bucks an hour. His wife must work, and she probably makes enough money to afford a car like that. Didn't I just see something on Oprah about white collar wives and blue collar husbands? It's probably one of those deals.


Oh, I get it, a Jewish carpenter.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Star Wars DVD
The Star Wars DVD release just made me about how old we have all gotten.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

The Big Bounce
You might be tempted to rent The Big Bounce at some point, and who wouldn't? Just look at the very colorful box cover: It's got Owen Wilson, Charlie Sheen, Gary Sinse, Morgan Freeman, Willie Nelson and a pretty hot chick in it.

But think about it. With a cast like that, you would have heard something about this movie when it was in theaters, right? How did it manage to slip by? Yes, because it sucks that bad.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Back to Work
Good news on the job front. Looks like I will be leaving my life of "leisure" and going back to the sad existence of working for the man. I'm pretty happy about it. I will be working in Finance for a cable TV company and I start a week from Monday, so that means I'll be saying adios to Knoxville a few weeks earlier than my wife and dog will be. Here's the line that I said in my interviews that I think got me the job. When asked why I was interested in working in the industry, I said:
"Cable TV has given me more than I can ever hope to repay, but I would like the opportunity to try."
Of course they thought I was joking, but I really wasn't.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Evil Democrats
Democrats like to make kids cry.

Actually, for some reason this story is made a little more odd (and gets a little less sympathy from me) by this: "Sophia is the youngest of 10 children in a proudly patriotic family." But anyway, you're still not supposed to make kids cry by ripping up their signs.

Update: Like the CBS memos, this story could be bogus.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Ding Dong
My dog and I have come to the conclusion that just about every third or fourth commercial has a doorbell in it. And my dog falls for it every time. She'll bark and go over by the door, especially for the Domino's commercials, which have 2 doorbells, one at the start and one at the end. I need one of those TVs that automatically turns the volume down when a commercial comes on.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Special News Report
Was it really necessary to cut into Ellen this morning with a "Special News Report" on NBC to tell us that Martha Stewart wants to go to jail now?

I'm still a little skittish whenever they cut into my regularly scheduled programming with a "Special News Report". Twenty years ago, whenever that happened, I would get a sinking feeling because I was sure that it meant the nukes were on the way. Now, of course, it means more terrorism, or worse. I doubt that I am the only one who envisions the worse case scenario when these come on.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Back Here
We got back tonight from a house hunting trip. Looking at houses is great fun, unless you are actually looking for a house to buy, and then it is a roller coaster ride through hell. I had a few interviews back in Charlottesville and am waiting to hear if I will get an offer or not. I think things went well, but there are internal candidates for the position, and that's always a tough thing to break through. So we'll see....

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Real Estate
I'm off to Charlottesville on Sunday to go house hunting and may even have *gasp* an interview on Monday or Tuesday. Since my wife starts her job on November 1, it would be nice to have a house by then, but I think we are cutting it close at this point. We are stuck with this apartment in Knoxville until early January so we may end up doing the corporate housing deal for a month or two. When we left Charlottesville in July, the real estate market was kinda thin, which worked to our benefit, but it's still that way so we aren't too thrilled with what's out there now. Anyway, so no updates here until Wednesday or so.

Friday, September 10, 2004

Must See TV
Well, Must See TV on NBC is pretty much through with Friends being gone. I have to admit that I am rooting for Joey to do well, mostly because of all of the "Friends" Matt LeBlanc seems to be the, um, friendliest? I dunno, he seems like a nice guy, and I always like to see the nice guys win. The pilot episode had some funny moments, but the jury is still out on Joey.

I caught The Apprentice as well last night. Last season I was doing a show by show review in a shameless example of google whoring, which I don't think I'll be doing this season. But at least for this time, I'll add that in this episode Rob came across pretty badly with his "I wasn't delegated enough" excuse and pretty much deserved to get fired for that comment alone. Also the prematurely aging Pamela may need to learn some people skills.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Executive Perks
Yahoo had this little Finance quiz today that was kinda interesting. Basically, companies that allow the CEO to use the corporate airplane for personal use have underperformed the market by 4%. Here is the speculation as to why:
One possibility proposed by the study to explain the negative effect is the idea that, “CEOs who consume excessive perks may be less likely to work hard, less protective of the company’s assets, or more likely to tolerate bloated or inefficient cost structures”
I'd say that corporate governance is to probably to blame here. I would bet that in most of these cases the board is pretty weak and the CEO is overpaid.

Dogs Are Smart
Don't try to shoot them:
PENSACOLA, Fla. - A man who tried to shoot seven puppies was shot himself when one of the dogs put its paw on the revolver's trigger.

Jerry Allen Bradford, 37, was charged with felony animal cruelty, the Escambia County Sheriff's Office said Wednesday. He was being treated at a hospital for a gunshot wound to his wrist.

Bradford said he decided to shoot the 3-month-old shepherd-mix dogs in the head because he couldn't find them a home, according to the sheriff's office.

On Monday, Bradford was holding two puppies — one in his arms and another in his left hand — when the dog in his hand wiggled and put its paw on the trigger of the .38-caliber revolver. The gun then discharged, the sheriff's report said.

Bush's Speech
Wait, what?
He told a crowd, "Too many good docs are getting out of business. Too many O-B-G-Y-N's aren't able to practice their, their love with women all across this country."
I guess I know he meant to say, but that's an interesting way of putting it.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Since the remnants of Frances are in the skies here today, this article by James Wolcott in which he roots for hurricanes is mildly infuriating, because, after all, as he puts it:
"Considering the havoc mankind has wreaked upon nature with deforesting, stripmining, and the destruction of animal habitat, it only seems fair that nature get some of its own back and teach us that there are forces greater than our own."
Tim Blair links back to a comment from someone called "goldsmith" who does a great takedown of the "left". Here is an excerpt:
It's amazing to me that the "left" (how outmoded and meaningless these distinctions are) have evolved into the most uptight, anti-rational, superstitious and piously moralistic bunch since the Puritans walked the wild forests of America (though I hesitate to make the comparison, since the Puritans accomplished great things). The "left" may joke and titter and wheeze about "fundy Christian wingnuts" but find someone lecturing you about your immorality, your materialism, your sinful pride, your lack of spiritual value and, most likely, they will be driving an old Volvo with the radio tuned to "Pacifica" and a GEORGE BUSH IS A LIAR bumper-sticker on the fender. Your average lefty is quicker to take offense than a blue-haired old presbyterian; they are constantly monitoring everyone for signs of racism, sexism, colonialism, anti-animal hate speech. They will criticize your car, your house, your synthetic fiber sweater, your swear words, your cigarettes, your sandwich, your choice of grocery bag, your skin color (if it is in the dusky pink range). Life to them is a laundry list of strictures, taboos and lamentations. They hate science, they fear Christianity, they think heterosexual porn is rape, they believe in magic, aromatherapy, tribalism; they scream about Bush killing children but fail to bat an eyelash at the consequences of "pro-choice". They cringe in disgust and embarrassment at the "black and white" moral distinctions of Bush (and Reagan in his time) when he speaks of the "axis of evil", yet no one uses the word evil more than leftists when describing the Bush Administration, capitalism, America, Israel. They mock and scoff at the president's religiosity, yet speak in reverential tones of Gaia, Buddha, Wicca, Yoga. And on and on.
Well said! (Via Instapundit.)

Monday, September 06, 2004

One Born Every Minute
I'm a sucker for infomercials. If I happen to land on a channel and Ron Ponpeil is making beef jerky with his food dehydrator, or painting his head with the GLH formula number 9 system, I'm can't bring myself to change the channel.

Anyway, I'd been meaning to pick up the As Seen on TV Micro Touch men's personal groomer for some time now, and I happened upon it today at Walgreens for the can't pass up price of 10 bucks. Because it has an attachment, it is ideal for those unruly eyebrows. BTW, what the hell happened to my eyebrows? Over the past 8 years or so my formerly thick, silky eyebrows have grown fewer, coarser and many of them would grow indefinitely long now if I didn't catch them in time. But, anyway, great for that, no so great for nose hair, mostly because it's hard to maneuver in there. I'd be surprised if my friend Geof doesn't already have this.

Back to Charlottesville
So the Chicago thing didn't really pan out for my wife, so barring some last minute call from Goldman Sachs or Northern Trust begging me to join them, it looks like we are headed back to Charlottesville. My wife got a formal offer from U Va last week to start on Nov. 1, so one way or another, we will be moving sometime next month back to Charlottesville. I can't say I'm too thrilled will the idea of packing up and moving again, but it'll have to happen.

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Back Home
I made it back here to Knoxville earlier today. I say back home, in that this place never really felt like home, only in the sense of it is where my bed and other stuff are. I guess "Home is where my stuff is" doesn't really have a warm ring to it.

It must be kind of sad for parents, because at some point after the kids have moved out and they are visiting for the summer or for holidays, maybe it's in college or at some point thereafter, their kids will say to them, "Alright, I gotta get home." And they mean someplace else.

Knoxville 530.5
I just completed the first (and last) Homewood to Knoxville 530.5. My wife and I had both driven to Chicago last week, and to make things interesting, I thought a race back to Knoxville would make the trip both fun, and exciting.

Well as it turns out, I was the only one who was actually racing, but I still won big!

Results: We both left at 10:30 EDT. I arrive at 6:14 EDT, so that's 7 hours and 44 minutes. Average speed = 68.57 mph. Not too bad considering I stopped at a rest area for about 4 minutes outside Indianapolis, and had to stop for gas a few miles short of Lexington, KY, where there was only one filthy bathroom which I had to wait about 3 minutes for. That cost me about 10 minutes.

Anyway, my wife rolled in at around 7:04 and didn't seem too impressed with my amazing, possibly world record time. But they have a word for people like that.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

New Demographic
Well that's the end of me being in the highly coveted 18-34 demographic. Oh well, it was a good run anyway.

Weblog Commenting and Trackback by HaloScan.com