just procrastinating

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Study: Cool Kids Act Cool
The Commonwealth of Virginia continues to use our tax dollars wisely. Here is a necessary study done here at U VA to tell us something that we already knew:
Popular teenagers are much more likely to drink, smoke marijuana, shoplift and vandalize property than their less-popular peers, according to a new University of Virginia study.

Researchers said results of their study contradict traditional views about the benefits of being one of the "cool kids" in school.

"We tend to think if kids are well-liked by their peers, that provides a safety net for them," said psychology professor Joseph Allen, the lead investigator of the study. "Popular adolescents do have many advantages, but we find they are at greater risk for drug use and petty criminal behavior."
Wow, the cool kids. Who would have guessed?

Wow, is Paris Hilton really ready to settle down? My guess is that she won't take her fiancee's last name. That could get really confusing:
LOS ANGELES - Hotel heiress and "The Simple Life" reality TV star Paris Hilton is engaged to her boyfriend, Greek shipping heir Paris Latsis, her spokesman said.

"They are happy and excited," Hilton spokesman Rob Shuter said Monday, confirming the story first reported on People magazine's Web site.

Latsis, 27, proposed to Hilton, 24, on Wednesday after she returned from a three-week publicity tour in Europe to promote her horror flick "House of Wax" and her new fragrance.
What are the odds; they are both named Paris.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

These Kids Today
This article in CSM about modest teens having trouble finding clothes that cover their assets, and the discussion of it here got me thinking: The guys in college today have it incredibly good.

There wasn't a lot of skin tight stuff back when I was in college. If I think about it, it seems like most of the girls I knew were wearing some version of party favor sweatshirt or T-shirt that was likely an L or an XL. At the gym, at best, the girls were wearing spandex biking shorts covered by a large T-shirt of some kind. There just wasn't a lot of skin back then.

Now there is plenty of skin, but in many cases it is better left covered. I go to the gym here on campus at U Va. and I see plenty of girls who I would describe as "flanky", you know the girls that have a lot of back and side fat and aren't too shy to let it hang. I don't know if that is a good or a bad thing; I suppose it's healthy to have a positive body image that would allow you to do that, but it's not really aethetically pleasing--to me anyway.

I've read articles that this trend has peaked and clothes are reverting back to more modest styles, so maybe we will be seeing less of this.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

The guy who did Tony the Tiger's voice, "They're Great!" died today.
Thurl Ravenscroft of Fullerton, Calif., whose voice was known worldwide through his work in movies and television and at Disneyland, died Sunday of prostate cancer. He was 91.
He also did the voice that sings "You're a mean one, Mr. Grinch" in the classic Dr. Suess cartoon. Yep, that's him.

I wonder how you end up getting the Tony the Tiger gig? Some marketing guy in Battle Creek, Michigan, gets up and does a pitch.
"OK, so we got a large, friendly tiger who wears a bandana and hangs out with the kids at their homes and extolls the virtues of a what is basically a frosted corn flake. You got a voice for that?"
Speaking of that, I'm not sure how Tony got the Frosted Flakes part in the first place. I could see Toucan Sam doing well with the Froot Loops; he's a tropical bird that probably eats fruit and he has a colorful beak; and Snap, Crackle and Pop were born to play their parts. But Tony, how'd that come about? It's probably not healthy for a large tiger to be eating all that sweetened cereal.

And just to ramble a little more, I've been eating a lot of that newTiger Power cereal. I wonder if it is good for you? It tastes like it just might be.

Monday, May 23, 2005

America (Fuck Yeah)
We rented Team America: World Police this weekend. I was expecting to really like it based on some earlier reviews that I had read and wasn't disappointed. Surprisingly, my wife, who usually doesn't like that South Park-type humor really liked it too. Funniest part for me, which had me laughing literally to tears: The song America, Fuck Yeah. The song was progressing in such a way that I wasn't quite expecting this lyric:
"America, FUCK YEAH!
So lick my butt, and suck on my balls"
Anyway, my sense of humor hasn't changed much since I was 12, so that's probably why I laughed so much at that.

There is something in that movie for everyone, liberals and conservatives alike. I personally liked the portrayal of the Hollywood liberals in the Film Actors Guild (FAG) and the general feel of the film. I can see how someone more liberal might point out that it is a satire on the action genre and the arrogance of America, blah, blah, blah, whatever dude. It rocked.

Friday, May 20, 2005

This site makes for some interesting reading. Some of these are a little too artistically done that I wonder if they might be fictitious, and this one that says "Everyone who knew me before 9/11 believes that I am dead" is a little hard to believe. Via Marginal Revolution.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Is this ever true:
First, due to the giant strides made in modern communication technology, it is impossible to tell crazy people who hear voices apart from people with a hidden earpiece and microphone talking to their broker. This is a bad thing. It used to be you knew whom to avoid or not stare at, but now, everyone’s running around talking to the air, and you just never know.
I wonder if younger kids will lose sensitivity to this. If you grew up in a city or visited one enough, it doesn't take too long to realize that the person standing alone having a conversation with no one was probably someone to be avoided. Now you always have to double check for an earpiece.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Another Review
Here is another review of the upcoming Star Wars movie. Anthony Lane doesn't quite provide a ringing endorsement, but it's good for a laugh or two. Sample:
"...I still fail to understand why I should have been expected to waste twenty-five years of my life following the progress of a beeping trash can and a gay, gold-plated Jeeves."

Monday, May 16, 2005

Work-Life Balance
I've been reading Jack Welch's book Winning. All throughout business school they pounded this crap in our heads about how great Jack is and how we should all emulate him, etc., but I've never been a big fan of Neutron Jack. Something about the guy has always rubbed me the wrong way. But, he comes across well in the book and his advice is practical, clear and smart.

That is until he gets to the chapter on work-life balance. There, you find out that Jack doesn't give a fuck about anyone but himself and his company's bottom line. Here is an excerpt here from his chapter on Work-Life balance and it's a sad commentary on his life. For a book about winning, it's clear that he's an unapologetic loser here. His focus is and always will be on the bottom line. Well, bottom line, Jack's still a douche:
If there was ever a case of "Do as I say, not as I did,'' this is it. No one, myself included, would ever call me an authority on work-life balance. For 41 years, my operating principle was work hard, play hard and spend some time as a father.

It's clear that the balance I chose had consequences for the people around me at home and at the office. For instance, my kids were raised, largely alone, by their mother, Carolyn. And from my earliest days at GE, I used to show up at the office on Saturday mornings. Not coincidentally, my direct reports showed up too. Personally, I thought these weekend hours were a blast. We would mop up the workweek in a more relaxed way and shoot the breeze about sports. I never once asked anyone, "Is there someplace you would rather be—or need to be—for your family or favorite hobby or whatever?'' The idea just didn't dawn on me that anyone would want to be anywhere but at work.

My defense, if there is one, is that those were the times. In the 1960s and '70s, all my direct reports were men. Many of those men were fathers, and fathers were different then. They did not, by and large, attend ballet recitals on Thursday afternoons or turn down job transfers because they didn't want to disrupt their kids' sports "careers." Most of their wives did not have jobs with their own competing demands. All that changed, of course.
You can tell that by tone and the emphasis on sports "careers" that Jack kinda longs for the good old days when he could hang out at the office with the boys. He goes on from there to say how things changed because women started entering the workplace and that 2 career families forced changes in the work-life balance.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Getting Older
Sign that I'm aging: I found and plucked a half inch gray hair today.

Sign that I'm not aging gracefully: It was a nose hair.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

It's All Good
Here's quiz via Marginal Revolution that says I have no morals. Well, not really, but you know: different strokes/different folks. If you want to make passionate love to a frozen chicken, best of luck. Just don't invite me for dinner.

Taboo - The Results

Your Moralising Quotient is: 0.20.

Your Interference Factor is: 0.00.

Your Universalising Factor is: 0.00.

Kinda fun quiz. The results could be a little more fun though.

The Stones?
Charlottevsille, VA is a nice little town of 40,000 or so with a good university, and not really known as place to get big shows. So why in the name of God are the Rolling Stones coming here to play their demon music in October?
Halfway down the Rolling Stones’ "On Stage" 2005 tour itinerary, between Washington and Philadelphia, is a stop likely to surprise some music fans: Charlottesville.

The date was confirmed Tuesday at a news conference at the University of Virginia’s Scott Stadium, the venue for the upcoming concert.
Scott Stadium is beautiful in the fall, so I'll shell out the 100 clams for tickets. You got to hand it to those old geezers that they are still able to get up there and play after all these years.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

One reason why I don't miss Chicago:
Drivers in the Chicago area are spending more time behind the wheel during an ever-expanding rush hour, according to a study released Monday that bumped the region into the No. 2 spot for roadway congestion nationwide.

The Chicago area had been ranked the third most traffic-clogged since 2000 but passed the San Francisco area for the first time.
I believe it. My reverse commute from Lincoln Park to Northbrook took 45 minutes in the morning if I left before 6:30 and an hour on the way back, all for a 19 mile 1-way trip. And that's taking the Edens. Throw a little weather in the mix and it got out of hand quickly. On Wednesdays I would think, I am half done with commuting this week. I've gotten spoiled here with my 3 minute commute, so I don't think I could ever go back to that.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Lucas Redeemed
Oh good. It sounds like the final installment will be pretty good. From Todd McCarthy's review:
Entertaining from start to finish and even enthralling at times, "Sith" has some acting worth writing home about, specifically McDiarmid's dominant turn as the mastermind of the evil empire. McGregor remains a steady presence, and both Portman and Christensen have loosened up since "Clones" to acceptable, if hardly inspired, levels. Expressiveness of the digitally animated Yoda, voiced as always by Frank Oz, is amazing.

The technical achievement here is on such a high level that one is lulled into taking it for granted. Neither of the digitally shot recent episodes has looked consistently great, but this one does.
Something to look forward to....

Barry Ritholtz links to this WSJ piece about people yelling "Freebird" at shows. We were doing that in college and I haven't the faintest idea why, but it was just kinda funny.

One of these days I have to just suck it up and get a subscription to the WSJ online.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Book Reading
I'm not a big book reader. Don't get me wrong, I read all day--blogs, magazine and newspaper articles, etc.--but I'm not real patient with books. If you want to tell me a story, do it with pictures (preferably with some gratuitous nudity).

Still, the other day someone linked to this obituary written by Hunter S. Thompson of Richard Nixon and I laughed so much during it that I thought I'd better follow that up by reading this: Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail. The book follows the 1972 Presidential race and it is interesting in that you could change the names of the candidates, and it probably wouldn't be much different than the 2004 campaign. Politics is still politics.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Runaway Bride
Take one look at that runaway bride, Jennifer Wilbanks and you can tell by those spaced-out eyes that she is clearly not attached to reality. That being said, I do kinda feel sorry for her. It's embarrasing enough that you get caught making up a ridiculous story about being abducted my a hispanic man and white woman, but to have to whole country know that you just got cold feet and couldn't deal is more than enough punishment.

I saw the DA from Duluth, GA, this morning on the Today show and he is mulling over whether she should be charged with something. He seemed decent enough, but why does someone always have to be charged with something? Jees, isn't it punishment enough to have a country full of bloggers making fun of you and your googly eyes? The police are always charging people with something. Like for example (that deer in the headlights look of Jennifer Wilbanks got me thinking of this): Say you're out driving and you see a deer and swerve to miss it, and end up losing control of your car, flipping it and landing in some cornfield on the other side of the road? The police will charge you with illegal lane change, trespassing and give you a parking ticket. Talk about kicking someone while they are down.

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