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Showing posts from September, 2008

Armchair Sociology

While musing on the inevitable decay of our debt-ridden society, Chuck and I happened upon an hypothesis today: Entrepreneurs aren't first-born children.

Think about it...first-born kids in families are dedicated, responsible, typically over-parented. They live quite well within rules. They're not interested in rebellion or "changing the game". Instability scares them.

Yes, those are broad generalizations based upon no hard data. But, if you'll let me assume these as true, the consequence is:

First-borns like stability and rules so much that they're happy to remain in a mediocre (yet stable) job while other opportunities are out there, especially those that involve "being your own boss". Kids that were scheduled, coached, and parented their entire waking childhood have NO IDEA how to operate in a vacuum.

(Note, I'm not saying I do, either. I'm an only child. That means I have a first-born's need for stability and boundaries crossed …

Quote of the day

I still love you man!!! In a non-Clay Aiken way of course.

Depressing article on the Depression

....or "This is what Susan's Been Saying since High school"

Nice personal interest piece in the Herald-Leader about what an economic depression might be like.

Point taken--in our relativistic society, if people get down on their luck, they're not going to just sit and starve to death. They're going to start stealing and causing anarchy to survive.

That's the joy of living in a "globalized" economy--global points of failure. We don't MAKE ANYTHING in this country anymore. Ugh.

Review: Grey's Anatomy "Dream a Little Dream"

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To paraphrase a wise imaginary character:


Last night's "Grey's Anatomy" was, without a doubt, the worst episode ever! Rest assured I was on the internet within minutes voicing my disgust throughout the world.




Yeah, yeah...Comic Book Guy FTW.

* * *

Well, that was special. Two hours of shoddy camera work, confusing storylines and bad acting later, I yearn for season two and three. As this episode opens, we find our favorite band of 237 interns gathered around Miranda Bailey, awaiting their new rankings as a teaching hospital. Apparently, their ratings have fallen significantly since their glory days...

..hmm...just like Grey's Anatomy: Once proud ratings leader, now in decline...

So the remainder of the episode is about recapturing former glory, staunching the slide into mediocrity.

Like most GA episodes that are > 1 hour, this turd was boring, overlong, and uneven. Certain scenes were brilliant. Yet, whole subplots dragged on.

Quote of the Day

"Hello, my name is David Hay, and I'm from Eastern Kentucky."

Quote of the day

GO SARCAMS!!

(sic)

I believe she meant "sarcasm"

My baby's up for sale...

Taking a leap out there today.

Listing for the BMW

I don't need to carry 3 cars through the winter, particularly since I have my eye on getting a 5-series come Spring.

Pray for me guys...this is really hard for me, but it's what needs to happen.

Amen, brother....

Jeff's Post

Seven-hundred billion dollars.

Seven hundred thousand million. (edit: math > me)

Give or take, that's $2333 for every man, woman, and child in America.

* * *

Per my understanding, absent this package, we'd be heading for breadlines, soup kitchens, and anarchy. Viewed through that lens, it's a bargain at any price. However, it sets a dangerous precedent for the silent majority who go to work and actually pay their mortgage they signed-up for.

Responsibility? We've now moved irresponsibility from a societal disease to a national mandate. The government will save me; I'm too big to fail.

Funny after-the-fact...

Q: How do you know you're nuts?

A: When your insurance broker drags his feet getting a quote for you on motorcycle insurance, hoping you'll come to your senses.

To Maria: A Father's Prayer

Beneath the walnut trees
I sit amid the grass.
I stare aloft, and gape
At those confined in glass.

The hum refused to cease.
The din goes on each morn.
Oh whom shall break away?
That bairn might now be born.

To find a place of peace,
Reprieve from cage and mark.
Discover life's true course!
Ignite her Holy spark.

Maria, art thou mine?
I know thy path is wide.
God, grant me skill to give
You compass deep inside.

How to predict a massive market decline...

How can you predict a massive market decline?

A: It will occur 1 day after I rebalance my 401(k).

Ouch.

What happens when you get what you want...

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...or "Whitney gets car fever"



So Saturday, before Ike started tearing through our area, our intrepid family went a-Cincinatti'ing. Yep, swimming pools, movie stars, and the best MINI dealership in the world.

I hadn't been to Cincy MINI since last August, when a mishap with my radiator drain plug had me driving 120 miles roundtrip for a $2 part. Whitney hadn't been there since spring of 05, when we had the Pup in for its last dealer service.

Turns-out, Whitney missed the place. Before my first test drive, she proclaimed that Maria, Joey, and herself were remaining in the Odyssey.

"Okay, I'll be back," I replied. I dragged the family this far. Might as well get on with it, as the British would say.

The dealership hasn't changed at all...same friendly folks (though new faces), same user-friendly attitude towards test drives: "Which one do you want to start with," Motoring Advisor Emily asked.

"Oh, something with a 5-speed"

&quo…

Quote of the Day

...A well-managed organization in a "dull" organization. The "dramatic" things in such an organization are basic decisions that make the future, rather than heroics in mopping-up yesterday.


Drucker, Peter. The Effective Executive, p. 42

I couldn't agree more.

Movie Night...the REAL Italian Job

Now this is a movie.

It's 1968; hipster counter-culture is ablaze in Europe. Somewhere, Austin Powers is out there in his Shag-u-ar telling the birds, "Oh Behave." And, as our story opens, Charlie Croker (Michael Caine), the world's best thief, has just been let of of prison....

Actually, as our story opens, a Lamborghini Miura is tearing up the Alps out of Turin on its way to Switzerland, driving up roads that look 2 feet wide at something like 120 mph. I got car-sick just watching it.

* * *

As I told Whitney last night, this film was beautiful, intelligent, and exciting. It provided a perfect snapshot of the times, much as Grand Prix did for the Formula 1 circuits at the time. And, it's just FUN. Seeing those guys block-up the streets of Turin, Italy then escape in Mini Coopers...awesome.

I really liked the modern version, but really, for scope, beauty, and intelligence, the original 1969 work is the masterpiece. Grab the special edition DVD, and enjoy it!

Take that, Yegge!!

From here: Stevey's Blog Rants

Just took a typing test 106 wpm, 99% accuracy.

w000t!!!

Quote of the day

Dan: "I'll be transitioning off the project at some point"

Bruce: "Do you still have a job?"

Dan: "I check every-other Thursday."

Well, on the bright side...

On the bright side, after nearly 7 months and 8.5 gallons of stain, I finally completed staining the last section of our fence yesterday, while waiting for the tow truck to arrive and cart off Beamer.

sunday, Sunday, SUNDAY

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Come on down to the Combs household, folks, where you can witness (very) amateur mechanic Harold working on the old iron, attempting an amazing feat--an OIL CHANGE. That's right...for the first few minutes, we'll warm-up with the draining of the oil. Then we get to the feature presentation--the Two hour slog of...TRYING TO REMOVE THE OIL FILTER HE OVERTIGHTENED IN March!. You'll gasp as you see him try the end-cap socket, followed by the Strapwrench. You'll cry as you see him pound a screwdriver through the filter six separate times praying he'll get it to loosen. You'll sigh in relief as he the filter finally comes of, and swim in nausea to witness its mangled carcase.

For the first 200 ticket-holders, we have the special behind the scenes extra after the feature where you can witness Harold snap his oil drain plug in two trying to tighten it. The final act includes a call to Triple-A for the ignominious tow to Paul's Foreign Auto, the engine having…

Quickies: The weekend that was...

Quite a busy weekend...I'm expecting to crash sometime today around 10am, actually.

High & Lowlights:

Friday, Whitney tore a ligament in her right arm. Best quote from that belongs to her doctor: "I can either tell you you've got a torn ligament, or I can take X-Rays and tell you you've got a torn ligament." So, she's on restricted duty for a couple of weeks.
Praise report: Mom's CT scan came back clean...the doctor said she was doing fine and had no indications of cancer almost a year after her surgery. Woohoo!!
Saturday, I took Maria up to Louisville to spend the night with Cathy. On the way back, I noticed that Bessie had lots of wheel shake at 75mph. After a quick trip to the new NTB location in Georgetown, they diagnosed two unbalanced front tires.
Saturday evening, while the rest of Kentucky was at the Norfolk State thrashing, Bella and I went to Portofino's, Serge's favorite place to eat in Lexington. I enjoyed the whitefish risotto, a…

And Charlie said...

"You need a hobby...that you can WALK to."

Yep.

Anatomy of my week

These days, my weeks look like this:

Monday: No meetings...WHEE!!!
Tuesdays: One meeting at 3pm. Impending sense of doom for Wednesday approaches.
Wednesdays: Meetings all day. Meetings to discuss the outcome of other meetings.
Thursdays: Meetings to discuss the outcome of those other meetings from Wednesday. Find project-killing roadblock. Sit and ponder roadblock. Send email to vendor asking why roadblock exists in the first place.
Friday: Managers nowhere to be found. PM takes half-day. WHEE!!!

Labor Day from Hell

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Hoo boy, September is off to a great start.

Miserable, utterly miserable.

The "Net-net" (that execrable phrase our PM's and managers use at work):

When I'm tired, hungry, and fed-up, I need to SHUT THE FUCK UP (STFU).



I didn't do that. I didn't do that TIMES 10. I "tore my ass" (lovely phrase my Mom taught me) 3 times for no good reason. I didn't sleep well. I relaxed nary a moment, twisted up in knots for 15 separate reasons.

To A Microwave

Once there was a microwave
Who served his family well.
Three long years he toiled
Forgotten, giving, serving

He showed some cracks along the way;
They patched him best they could.
But then one day, he broke.
They knew that he was done.

To fix it? Five hundred.
To buy anew? The same.
The decision was made right then:
It was time for him to go.

Now unplugged, now unlatched,
Daddy lowered him to the floor.
How grimy, greasy the underside!
How dusty the parts behind!

Removed now from his rightful place,
Carted to the outside,
The greasy, dusty hulk
Awaited his destiny, silent.

The family gazed at the vulgar hole
where once he'd been:
"Meh, we always have a stove, right?"