just procrastinating

Friday, October 29, 2004

Steve Stone
Via my brother Jeff's new blog According to Me, I see that Steve Stone has decided to move on. I agree with Jeff:
So long to the best baseball analyst in the business today. Steve Stone has decided to move on and I could not agree with his decision more. This is just further proof that the Cubs organization is completely out of whack and some serious changes need to be made. I have said it before, Stone is not the problem, Dusty Baker is. I can't believe that a team picked to win the world series by Sports Illustrated actually pinned their failure on Steve Stone and Chip Carey. What a bunch of losers.
Stoney's a great guy and it's a shame that it had to come to this.

I Guess He Ain't Dead
I coulda swore the guy was dead. Not sure how this affects things, but my guess is that he is a Kerry supporter.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Red Sox
Well that was quick. Congrats to all Red Sox fans. As I have suspected for some time, there is only one team that is truly cursed.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Since my old friend Scott at Blind Camel is still undecided. Just to see if I was making the right choice, I took the following quiz. The results came up about how I expected:
Your Results:

1. Your ideal theoretical candidate. (100%)
2. Badnarik, Michael - Libertarian (60%)
3. Bush, President George W. - Republican (55%)
4. Kerry, Senator John, MA - Democrat (51%)
5. Cobb, David - Green Party (37%)
6. Nader, Ralph - Independent (37%)
7. Peroutka, Michael - Constitution Party (36%)
8. Brown, Walt - Socialist Party (29%)
Since my ideal candidate doesn't exist and Badnarik is a little bit kooky, I guess I'll stick with W.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Google Searches
Via Newmark's Door, here is an article that talks about employers googling potential employees when making hiring decisions:
But such searches can be a land mine for job-seekers. There's a bevy of information on the Internet, including things you may not realize are out there. Searches can turn up everything from personal Web sites and blogs to old company newsletters to articles you wrote for your college newspaper. "It's almost like a shadow résumé you haven't exactly made but it's following you around," says Pam Dixon, director of the World Privacy Forum, which studies workplace privacy issues. She says some of the worst problems for job-hunters arise when people fire off angry or vulgar e-mails that find their way onto the Internet. "Most Google damage is self-inflicted," Ms. Dixon says.
I've known about this for awhile and made this blog semi-anonymous for that reason, mostly because I have a name that is relatively unique, shared by one other person who must be in Wisconsin. I did originally hide my name inside this blog so that if anyone googled me I would know by the referrer logs, but I decided to get rid of that when I was interviewed for my current position.

There are still a bunch of articles that I wrote for my business school newspaper several years back that are easily obtained by a quick google of my name, but there's nothing really interesting there.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Further Prep
If this election was tomorrow, I think Bush would win. Another week of bad news like we've had last week: stock market, oil prices, Iraqi's getting ambushed by the dozens, and this could change. I remember Haley Barbour once said that in politics "a week was a light year", which was kinda odd, because one is a measure of time and the other distance, but I understood his point.

Bush is taking some flack for his most recent mis-statement about it being "up in the air" as to whether we will ever be truly safe. But this is just stating the obvious. We will never be truly safe from every threat and anyone who tells you differently is a douchebag who is lying to you. The kind of world that would be required to be safe from every threat is one that we would not enjoy and could not afford.

Anyway, I'm voting for Bush, but if Kerry wins, it won't be the end of the world. There are some things that Kerry might do that would be worthwhile, like de-emphasizing the war on drugs and, um, well, that's all I can think of. But there would be other good things that would come out of having divided government, and it's always fun to watch a President struggle to get things done.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Preparing for Kerry
I've been preparing myself for a Kerry victory so that if Bush does end up winning, I will be pleasantly surprised. I think this a coping mechanism that I have: expect the worst, then if things turn out OK, it's pretty exciting. I probably get this because I am a Cub fan. Anyway, one of the things for me to look forward to the most in a Kerry presidency is his charming wife Teresa. Nick Gillespie at Reason explains:
The Best Reason To Elect John Kerry...
...is Teresa Heinz Kerry, of course. Via Drudge comes her latest bon mot, served up in an interview with USA Today, where she disses Laura Bush thus:

"She seems to be calm, and she has a sparkle in her eye, which is good. But I don't know that she's ever had a real job--I mean, since she's been grown up."
Sure, Laura Bush has killed a man (which may explain why Dubya is so jumpy and especially why he walks like he's just heard an angry car door slam behind him). But THK promises to bring an Eva Gabor level of laffs cum hijinks to the White House. Is there any way she can become First Lady even if Frankenstein Jr. goes down the crapper, as the polls are currently predicting?
We'll see about those polls. The national polls are pointing in the right direction, but the electoral college is going to be a tough nut to crack. I don't know how the Ohio, Florida, Pennslyvania thing is going to happen for Bush. But we'll see. Crazier things have happened this year.

Red Sox
Wow! They came back after being down 0-3? I usually stop paying attention to baseball once the Cubs are out, but I hope these guys win the World Series. If they can do it then maybe, someday, the Cubs can too.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Cable Guy
I was out on the truck doing installs, upgrades and disconnects today. Since I am new to the industry, I wanted to go out and get a little more acquainted with the products and terminology, so I went out with the field techs today. It was pretty fun. I got to wear a hard hat and hold a ladder. One thing you notice is that the only personal customer contact is during the installation, and the techs realize this. So I was actually pretty impressed with how professional they are: very unlike the stereotype.

Monday, October 18, 2004

The Day After Tomorrow
I was looking forward to renting The Day After Tomorrow since it came out on Tuesday, and finally got around to it last night. The special effects were sweet. The story was ridiculous. James Lileks saw it last weekend and had some notes to the director. This one I was thinking of as well:
8. Also, when the script calls for something as remarkable as the President of the United States perishing in a horrible snow storm, you might consider, oh, showing it. Having a character walk in and say “The president didn’t make it” is rather like doing a film about the Apollo space program and casually alluding to the collapse of a Saturn V gantry.
This movie was silly, but it was fun to watch. It's a feel good movie for anyone who believes that American hubris will lead to our own destruction.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Ebert on Team America
I suppose it doesn't surprise me that Ebert doesn't like the new Team America. I like Ebert, but he is so liberal that he can't comprehend a movie which offends so equally:
I wasn't offended by the movie's content so much as by its nihilism. At a time when the world is in crisis and the country faces an important election, the response of Parker, Stone and company is to sneer at both sides -- indeed, at anyone who takes the current world situation seriously. They may be right that some of us are puppets, but they're wrong that all of us are fools, and dead wrong that it doesn't matter.
Of course, I haven't seen the movie yet, but I like movies like this.

But this gets to something that I have to question. Why is this an important election? I mean any more so than others? Ultimately, I could live with Kerry, since, if he is to be believed, his position on Iraq and the war on terror is essentially the same as Bush's. On domestic issues, there are some differences, but anything Kerry can do that is bad (tax increase, socialized medicine, etc.) will be toned down or halted by a Republican congress, so it probably won't be that big of a deal if we have to live with him for 4 years.

I think that for liberals like Ebert, this is an important election, "The most important election in a generation", because if they don't win this one, they're done. Game over. Back to the drawing board. They are desperate for a win here.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

I'll give this one to Bush as well, but only because I just heard John Kerry say the word "idear" and I despise that word. So I think Bush was better. Kerry actually seemed a little tired in this one and Bush was on his game, which is almost the opposite of the first debate.

FU Money
Here is an interesting article in Slate that talks about the difference in support for presidential candidates between the rich and the super rich, and helps to explain why folks like George Soros and Warren Buffet support John Kerry. Excerpt here:
The rich folk favored Bush by a 58-42 margin. Not too surprising. But when you break out the numbers, they tell a different story. The petit bourgeoisie millionaires were passionately for Bush: Those worth between $1 million and $10 million favored Bush by a 63-37 margin. But the haute millionaires, those worth more than $10 million, favored Kerry 59-41.
Why is this?
But at some point, millionaires get so rich that they don't really have to worry about how to pay the mortgage, or for that new Bentley. And if you can live off the tax-free interest of your municipal bonds, it really doesn't matter whether the top marginal income tax rate is 33 percent or 39 percent.

On Wall Street, veterans speak of "f***-you money": the nice round figure a guy needs to set himself up for life, buy (and decorate) multiple residences, create trust funds for kids, and still have enough cash to buy expensive toys and pursue new business ventures. At a certain point—somewhere north of $10 million—wealth may become "f*** you and f*** you, Republicans" money. This is the kind of cash that George Soros, Warren Buffett, Peter Lewis, and the 200 business leaders who endorsed Kerry possess. People with such sums don't need to worry about how income or capital gains taxes affect their daily lives. Raise 'em, lower 'em, who cares? They're still going to be disgustingly rich. And so they are free to devote their attention—and resources—to other areas: the environment, education, foreign policy, the Supreme Court, social issues, stem-cell research, the war on drugs, whatever. And it seems that for many of the truly wealthy, focusing on those other issues leads them to favor Kerry over Bush.
Kinda interesting.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Give The Candidates What They Deserve
Frustrated with the Presidential candidates? Take it out on them here.

Monday, October 11, 2004

Diary of a Political Tourist
I watched Diary of a Political Tourist tonight, Alexandra Pelosi's documentary of the Democratic Presidential candidates. She did a similar thing four years ago with Journeys with George. This one didn't work quite as well, mostly because the subjects of her movie aren't quite as engaging as George W. was in the first, and her whole schtick quickly got a little old.

Anyway, but it did give me a little more insight into John Kerry. I suppose he isn't that bad of a guy. While originally I though Kerry to be elitist and aloof, he is aloofness is actually more of a social awkwardness, something which I can understand. By the way, who in God's name would ever want to put themselves through that kind of crap to be President. No thanks.

A funny moment in this is watching Tersea Heinz Ketchup at some of these small events trying to eat a hotdog, or scoop up some potato salad. She has difficulty hiding her disdain for this process. If Kerry wins, she will be a fun first lady to watch.

Christopher Reeve
I was sad to hear about Christopher Reeve's death this morning. He got dealt a tough hand and he did the best he could with it, and I admire him for that. I suppose in a way the world has been mourning him ever since his accident, because the former Chris Reeves essentially died 9 years ago, so this kinda just completes the process. Some day people with spinal cord injuries will be cured, and much of that will be because of the work he did.

I suppose it is inappropriate to mention this at this time, but has anyone noticed that Superman started looking a lot like his nemesis Lex Luthor in the final year of life? See here for an example. Kinda ironic (I think it's irony, but I tend to use that word incorrectly).

Friday, October 08, 2004

Bush Wins!
Well this one went Bush's way. After the first few minutes you could tell that this was a completely different Bush. He was much more comfortable with the format, was clear and quick with his answers, and left out all of the odd facial expressions from last time. Tonight we saw the guy I like. If we saw this Bush at the last debate, this thing would be over.

But, then again, who is watching this on a Friday night? The media spin will dictate how this one plays. But in the end, I think Bush gets this one. Honestly, if Bush sucked in this one, he deserved to lose. The guy in the first debate didn't really deserve my vote. We'll have to see if this round affects the polls.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Fall Sunsets
Cool sunset on the way home from work tonight. These are the best days of the year: wake up and it's 45, come home and it's 75.

Go Blue!
Looks the my old B-school decided to change their name to the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan after Mr. Ross floated them a cool $100 Million. Sounds like a pretty fair deal. Not only that, but the Wall Street Journal just ranked them number one in a recent survey. Not that this makes any difference or changes the amount of my student loans, but always a nice thing.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

VP Debate
Well not that it will matter that much, but this one goes to Cheney. Edwards looks and sounds a little green, while Cheney looks and acts a little bit old and tired, but I think he came across better.

Edwards has the same problem that I have right after a new haircut: he looks like he is about 12. When you have straight hair like that, you need to let your haircut age about a week and a half before it is ready for prime time.

Cheney gets a bad rap for seeming like the evil puppeteer behind the ticket, but he really is a pretty laid back guy. I mean, he is from Wyoming.

I think it is pretty amazing that even after all of the experience that a guy like Cheney has -- Defense Secretary, Haliburton CEO, Vice-President, etc. -- he still seem a little bit nervous. I guess you never get used to some things.

Sort of Busy
I've been sort of busy at my new job and have been ignoring this blog. There is always a learning curve on any new gig and this learning curve is occuring during the budget season, so it's kept me busy. My hope was that I could be back at this thing once I started working, but it might take a few weeks for me to get in the groove at work and have a little more free time.

Rodney Dangerfield lived a lot longer than I thought he would, dying today at 82. He never struck me as particuarly healthly-looking even at a relatively young age. But if you can make it to 82, you done good. He did great work in Caddyshack and Back to School, so he'll always have my respect.

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