just procrastinating

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Canadian Clubs
I've been getting more Conservative over the years, which is natural I suppose. But I haven't fully switched to the dark side, since I feel pretty bad for those poor little seals. How can you look at that sweet little face and then club it to death? Only in Canada I guess.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Rest in Peach, Johnnie Cochran. He certainly was good at his job. Here is what OJ had to say, which strikes me as being a little odd:
Simpson paid tribute to Cochran. "I've got to say, I don't think I'd be home today without Johnnie," Simpson said. "Without Johnnie running the ball, I don't think there's a lawyer in the world that could have run that ball. I was innocent, but he believed it," he said.
Wouldn't it make more sense to say, I was innocent and he believed it? It sounds like he was confusing two opposing thoughts.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Fox, Guys?
This Cathy Young post over at Reason’s Hit and Run is worth reading if you are you getting upset by the right-wing response to Terri Schiavo. I agree completely with this:
"I have to say that when I first started paying attention to this case I thought, like many other people, that there was something shady about Michael Schiavo and that, if nothing else, the guy was a creep. The more I've learned about the details, the more I've been sympathetic to this man."
This whole Terri Schiavo case is turning me off to my favorite right-wing fanatics. I used to like listening to Rush and Laura Ingram, but now since they are all Schiavo, all the time, and their arguments have degraded into ad hominem attacks on Michael Schiavo, I’m starting to wonder if maybe they are just idiots with an agenda. Well, I suppose that I knew that, but they were my idiots and with my agenda. Let’s get back to the good old days and talk tax cuts and make fun of east-coast liberals!

Monday, March 28, 2005

Here’s an article that says that maybe we aren’t in housing bubble after all. The article has some confusing graphs that plausibly suggest that everything is copacetic. Of course, back in the late 90s there were probably some articles that said "Everything's fine, just keep investing".

If we are in a bubble, hopefully it lasts a few more years since we are moving to our fancy new digs this weekend. Via Newmark's Door.

Friday, March 25, 2005

I kinda wanted to like this new NBC show The Office but after seeing the pilot, my guess is that it won't last. I like that Steve Carell but I don't think he does a good job with his character. Bummer. I really want to like something on Thursday nights. My relationship with TV is at an all time low and I need something to get me out of this funk. Maybe the new DVR/HDTV combo box that I ordered will spice things up a little bit.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Spot on post here by Director Mitch on navigating your way through the corporate bureaucracy. Here he discusses Finance vs. Marketing, something that I am focused on daily:
Finance - Money is Power - Well, they actually have a point there. This is probably one organization whose rules Marketing routinely follows just because there are purse strings attached. But we get around them in other ways: pie-in-the-sky forecasts, inflated revenue projections, underestimating costs. I've seen NPV and IRR numbers fudged beyond belief. In short we'll do just about do anything to get that capital budget, do that acquisition, or anything else that requires large sums of money.
Our Marketing folks are the same way, always submitting vastly overstated revenue forecasts that never materialize. It's hilarious. But we are on to them.

Monday, March 21, 2005

I'm not sure what the real story is about this Terri Schiavo case. The husband seems like he might be a creep, but that family is pretty out there too. I'm inclined to believe that she would have wanted that feeding tube removed, especially since the whole reason she's in this mess is because didn't want to keep down the food she was eating in the first place. (Her bulimia is what caused the heart attack.) I can't think of anyone who would like to be kept alive in a permanent vegetative state. I sure wouldn't.

None of this matters though, because Satan is communicating via a turtle.

Friday, March 18, 2005

I want to believe Sammy, but when he came back for spring training after the 1998 slug-fest with Mark McGuire, he was about 20 pounds heavier. This seems more likely:
That Sosa statement was a 99.9 percent total denial of any use of steroids. However, cynics may parse his words in search of legal loopholes.

"To be clear, I have never taken illegal performance-enhancing drugs. I have never injected myself or had anyone inject me with anything. I've not broken the laws of the Unites States or the laws of the Dominican Republic," Sosa's statement read. "I have been tested as recently as 2004 and I am clean."

It is an awful world we live in. Within minutes of the statement's dissemination a veteran baseball writer said, "So, I guess that doesn't quite cover taking steroids orally if they were prescribed legally by a Dominican doctor."
I think that's more likely.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Has anyone seen that new Burger King commercial with the singing cowboy? Hootie, is that you? Who feels kinda bad for Darius Rucker? He looks kinda like a sad (and gay) singing cowboy in that commercial. I know, I know, as all the "cool" folks say, Hootie and Blowfish suck, but I sorta liked them back then and I still sorta like them now. Ten years ago the guy is in one of the most popular new bands, and now he's trying to sell me a chicken sangy. It's kinda sad.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Don't Mess With a Chimp
I’m still trying to get my head around this upsetting chimp story from last week. It looks like the poor bloke is going to survive, minus his nose, lips, and eye, all of his fingers, and as if it could be any worse, the family jewels. I thought chimps were these friendly, lovable little idiots, not savage insanely strong beasts. I can't believe that a 120 lbs. chimp is 5-10 times stronger than an average man.

Well, here is a Straight Dope column from 30 years ago that provides some evidence that's it's true:
It's a lot easier to get a chimp in roller skates than it is to get him to pump iron--hence, most of the data on chimp strength is anecdotal and decidedly unscientific. In tests at the Bronx Zoo in 1924, a dynamometer--a scale that measures the mechanical force of a pull on a spring--was erected in the monkey house. A 165-pound male chimpanzee named "Boma" registered a pull of 847 pounds, using only his right hand (although he did have his feet braced against the wall, being somewhat hip, in his simian way, to the principles of leverage). A 165-pound man, by comparison, could manage a one-handed pull of about 210 pounds. Even more frightening, a female chimp, weighing a mere 135 pounds and going by the name of Suzette, checked in with a one-handed pull of 1,260 pounds. (She was in a fit of passion at the time; one shudders to think what her boyfriend must have looked like next morning.) In dead lifts, chimps have been known to manage weights of 600 pounds without even breaking into a sweat. A male gorilla could probably heft an 1,800-pound weight and not think twice about it.
That's pretty crazy. I don't understand why we would be so different from the standpoint of physical strength. But, I suppose we got 'em on looks and brains, so they need something.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Steriod Committee
There was a lot of talk on the Sunday news shows about this House Steriod Committee. George Will had a nice article this weekend that pretty much covers whatever feelings I have about it. I'm hoping that we get to Thursday and no one shows up for this farce, but I wouldn't be surprised if baseball caves, for the children:
Philip Schiliro, chief of staff for the committee's Democrats, says: "If Sammy Sosa hit 60 home runs three times without being on steroids, kids should know that. That's a great message for kids." Sentimentality trumps legality, and doing this or that for "kids" is the first and usually the final rhetorical refuge when government wants to wander where neither the Constitution nor common sense says it should.
Steriods are bad, but I'd rather see a bunch of meatheads hitting homers than one government committee claiming that it has an unlimited jurisdiction.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Plain Jane
I see they finally pulled Jane Pauley's show. I'm actually pretty impressed that it lasted as long as it did. Just from watching the previews to her show, I could tell that it wasn't going to make it. I'm sure Jane is a nice enough person, but I can't think of a more boring person to be a talk show host. Ellen and Oprah? Great. Jane Pauley? No.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Jackson Trial
I haven't really been following the Michael Jackson trial but it's hard to avoid it. I'm starting to feel kind of bad for the guy, since it's clear that his grip on reality is quite shaky. I was thinking yesterday that if I were betting in a death pool, well, the odds are moving in that direction. Then this morning I saw this:
Insiders Fear Jackson Will Commit Suicide

Michael Jackson 's close friends now really fear that he will commit suicide. I am not kidding.

The scene yesterday morning at the courthouse in Santa Maria has convinced people who ordinarily do not say these things that Jackson is in serious mental trouble.

One thing is for sure: The combined pressures of his financial peril and seeing his accuser on the stand have undone Jackson.
Guilty or not, this whole thing is a bit sad to watch.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Cats Blow
Cats are very agile, so no doubt this was on purpose:
BATES TOWNSHIP, Mich. - A man cooking in his kitchen was shot after one of his cats knocked his 9mm handgun onto the floor, discharging the weapon, Michigan State Police said.

Joseph Stanton, 29, of Bates Township in Iron County, was shot in his lower torso around 6 p.m. Tuesday, the state police post in Iron River reported. He was transported to Iron County Community Hospital.
A dog would never do that.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

There was a hand written sign at Starbucks this morning with the following blurb about the Coffee of the Week, Ethiopian Sidamo:
"Fleeting and gentle floral scents waft from this sparkling coffee. Its acidity is crisp with a lemon-like tartness and a complex fruitiness."
And here was their recommended food pairing:
The key flavor to set off Ethiopia Sidamo's charm is lemon - lemon poppyseed muffins, lemon blueberry biscotti and lemon bars.
Come on, it's coffee, not wine. On a good day, maybe it tastes better than the swill you get at the office, but "fleeting and complex" it is not.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Keanu Sighting
My brother saw Keanu Reeves at Niketown in Chicago yesterday, and stood in line with him and chatted for a few minutes. I guess he is in Chicago for a new movie and forgot his shoes. Jeff (my brother) swears that Keanu is bearly 5'10" (not 6'1" as listed on IMDB), very thin (like 160 lbs.) and is actually a real cool dude. Whoa!

Friday, March 04, 2005

Prison Bitch
I see that Martha Stewart is out of prison. I've never been a big fan of Martha because, as Henry Blogett puts it in Slate, "her one truly unattractive personality trait: a penchant for treating the help and the little people like dirt." But, I've found myself rooting for anyway, since it seems that she was unfairly singled out because of her fame, and I always like when someone sticks it to the "man". Maybe prison taught he to be nice to everybody, not just the people who can help you. We'll see.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

This piece of advice gets to the nut of the issue:
"Any party that tries to take away the titty-channels from a red-blooded American man is a party that's looking to go the way of the Whigs."
Ultimately, it isn't really clear what Sen. Stevens is hoping to accomplish with this little stunt. But I've already emailed the Senator and encouraged him to resign for even thinking about this. Perhaps that is a bit premature.

The best argument I've read for why cable differs from broadcast is that the broadcast airwaves are public and therefore the government can regulate them. The cable lines are private, and that's why HBO and the Spice channel exist. (Via Instapundit)

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Bad Idea
Some chump, Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Ted Stevens, seems to think it will be a good idea to expand the broadcast decency standards to Cable and satellite TV and radio:
"Cable is a much greater violator in the indecency area," the Alaska Republican told the National Association of Broadcasters, which represents most local television affiliates. "I think we have the same power to deal with cable as over-the-air" broadcasters.
What a douche. I don't think he is right, but I might have to rethink my vote if the Republican party is looking to make cable as boring as broadcast. Not that it will matter anyway. Basic cable is basically boring. The future is all Video on Demand, and I don't think they can control that anyway.

Update: The Window Manager picks up on this post's lack of argument here. Is there any argument for more goverment control?

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Still a Bachelorette
Jen Schefft redeemed herself in my eyes by not choosing either of the final bachelors. I always liked that Jen Schefft. Some have said that's she's a little too quick to jump in the hot tub and start making out with strange men, but if she is a "whore" it is only of the attention variety.

So in the end she was left with choosing between the younger, wet noodle of a man and papally named John Paul, and the devilshly handsome, but likely unemployed Jerry. You could tell there were sparks between Jerry and Jen, but I bet that once she had some time to think about him, she realized he was a loser and decided to go the "just friends" route. Good for her, no reason to break another engagement. Jen makes bad decisions and will ultimately will get what she deserves. She let a lot of better guys go earlier in the show.

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