Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Final Sprint

So I realize I have been remiss in my political commentary. As more events happen the more there is to comment about and it just piles up. I'll come right out and say it. Barack Obama will win the presidency. I will be shocked if McCain can pull this one out. Obviously the economy ruins the chances of any Republicans, but in addition to that I really think McCain has run a poor campaign which is shocking considering how he turned it around for the Republican primaries. About the only thing that could save McCain is if our economy suddenly turns around in the next two weeks -- but by then it still might be too late with the droves of people doing early voting.

Campaign Strategy
Piss poor. McCain's campaign managers should be ashamed. Maybe it is McCain's directions, but I doubt that given his Republican primary campaign. Maybe its also a fault of the media since the early part of the campaign was run in McCain's traditional way but got zero media coverage because of the fawning over Obama. But really, once the campaign started focusing more on issues, getting back to basics would have done wonders. How hard is it to say, "You talk the big talk, but have you done anything to back it up? I've been talking the talk and backing it up for the past 20 years!" What happened to his change argument that flowed through his RNC speech? You know, the message that gave him the huge bounce in the first place? Change we can trust? Ring a bell? Instead of focusing so much on Obama and trying to prove he was the wrong person, McCain should have focused on why he was the right person to lead. If he had wanted to focus on a character flaw, he shoudl have kept pressing the celebrity attack. That was the only attack that seemed to actually get under Obama's skin, as well as resonate with the populace. Or if you wanted to talk about character, what about the whole saying one thing to one voter, and something different to another? And why not play up the fact that you co-sponsored the bill to increase regulation of Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac? That to me would have been huge about judgement, considering how much Obama was making that an issue. Continue to bring up your judgement about Iraq and the surge, and what is needed to be finished in Afghanistan. And about the economy your supposed weakness -- acknowledging it would have been better than trying to show you were an expert. You don't have to be the expert. If you could have brought in experts that you would have made part of your cabinet and inner circle, and talk about their ideas and proposals, it would have made a tremendous difference. You do have some people who have been quite successful in business campaigning for you in the past (Romney, Whitman, Fiorina), having them take more of a forefront would have benefitted you greatly. And of course, making it a point to ask where the money would come from for Obama's proposals with the current economic crisis. And finally, make it a big issue about campaign finance reform. The very fact that Obama has ludicrous amounts to spend does make it into a major campaign problem. Sure the public finance system needs to be reformed. But completely opting out and raising funds in the manner Obama has done leads down a slippery slope. I have heard some mention of this, but the sheer magnitude of this should be brought up as an issue. A promise reneged, increased possibilities of becoming beholden to special interests, and of course the funny business of small donors with nonexistent names would have resonated with the voters.

Face to Face Presidential Debate
Finally McCain comes out with a good performance. Too bad Obama's was still better. Split screen does neither of them any favors, although Obama was better if only because he did the same thing each time which was chuckle/snicker. Both did some question dogding, with Obama's most egregious being about the tone of the campaign. Seriously McCain, nobody cares about Ayers and bringing it up out of the blue does nothing for your credibility.

Town Hall Presidential Debate
A very poor performance in his preferred medium. Shocking really, but I guess when the audience is only 1/3rd your supporters it is hard to make jokes and feel at ease.

Sarah Palin effect
I wrote about the Palin effect last time and wondering if it would last. Quite
obviously, it didn't. Whatever sort of advantage there was to her being on the ticket has been completely mitigated. She just isn't capable yet of being able to handle questions on the fly, save for Iraq/Afghanistan. And I wonder how much fault the McCain campaign has in this, because it seems like they are trying to protect her while showing her off. That just can't work. Palin needed more time to bone up on all the major issues instead of hitting the campaign trail so furiously. Her SNL appearance was great, but it only goes to reinforce that she is a likeable person but does nothing for her policy making abilities.

Vice Presidential Debate
Regarding the VP debate, I think Biden won that but it wasn't a beatdown. And really, what Biden did was genious by making everybody talk about McCain. Palin did do some blatent question dodging although to be fair, on at least one of those she dodged the question because she was directly refuting Biden. Which brings me to an infuriating point that I did not seem to see anyone mention -- Biden would have dodged a couple questions in the same manner except he didn't even allow the moderator to ask the question. Palin would finish a response, which then should have gone to the moderator to ask a new question. Instead, Biden jumped in immediately by stating, "Can I make a response to this statement" then pause a half second before getting into his response. Another point that I want to make is that while Palin stuck to her talking points, there was one rebuttal that was notable. Biden had just talked about how the Afghanistan commander had said the troop surge would not work. Palin laid the smackdown on Biden forcing him to retract the statement. If you listen to Palin's rebuttal, there was no talking point, no trepidation, just an immediate well nuanced answer. I would imagine she is well read on Iraq/Afghanistan because her son is going to Iraq, which is probably why she was able to answer in that way. Nobody knows if she could be like that on other topics, but at least based on her Iraq/Afghanistan answers I have some hope.

Best of luck to whomever ends up winning. If history repeats itself from the S&L crisis, we are in for a 3-4 year recovery. If either candidate was really smart, they would concede the race now ;)

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Monday, September 22, 2008

700 billion -- are you f-ing kidding me??

If you ask me, this whole thing is ridiculous. Wall Street greed...yet again. How many times has this happened in the past? And like usual, the people who play by the rules get hurt. I really think that they should sack the upper management/directors of each of these companies that need a loan. Why should you keep the bad eggs? Granted that not all of them might be the problem, but you have to send a message. Unfortunately there was no criminal implication, or else we could have Kenneth Lay'ed the leaders of Bear Stearns, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Lehman Brothers. To mess with people's money and our economy like they have was criminal in spirit, even if it was following the law.

As for the bailout plan, we are guaranteed a recession regardless of whether it is approved or not. It will just be a degree of how bad the recession will be. Should be similar to the S&L crisis back in the 80s...ironically enough which also happened during a Bush presidency (the worst of the S&L collapse that is since it started during Carter's administration). And similarly, Bush will be blamed for the crisis even though it was collective problem of Congress, White House, and Wall Street (primarily Wall Street). And of course, the succeeding president will be able to claim the subsequent recovery on their administration. Clinton does deserve credit, especially when it came to balancing the budget, but he did continue several of Bush's policy decisions.

As for specifics of the bailout, I agree with Congress that loans need oversight. I agree with pay limits, but I would go even further -- any golden parachutes shoudl go directly toward repaying the federal loans. Since there is no interest in sacking the management, there should be some sort of restitution for the mess they have created. One thing I do not agree with is allowing the rewriting of mortgages. Those people signed those contracts. Those people have to abide by those contracts. Just because they didn't read them close enough, or didn't have the fiscal discipline to make things work, doesn't mean the government should bail them out. The entire country has problems with fiscal discipline. Now is as good a time as any to make people learn. You know, its kinda hard to afford a $50k Escalade and a house and a family on an average salary. And this doesn't address the problem of housing inflation -- maybe mass foreclosures is the cure to the ridiculousness of current house values. A very stark future indeed.

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Saturday, September 20, 2008

Unscripted moments in gaming

So recently I started to play video games on the PC again. I got a new work laptop with a discrete video card, so now could actually use it to play some of the more graphically intensive games. When you are out on the road as much as I am, it is something to do back in the hotel. I decided to start playing some older games that have been around for a while that I never got around to playing. One of those is the Halo series.

The last FPS that I played a lot was Battlefield 1942 and also Medal of Honor. A little before then also Half-Life, although I never played the single player campaign. Back then, the technology involved with team based combat and opponent AI was not as well developed as it is now. I was floored while playing Halo and now Halo 2. To put it in perspective, everytime you play through the game, it is a different experience. The reason is, that the opponents will have different tactics and your teammates will as well. What is even better, is that there is audio involved, and they always say something different. Supposedly Bungie (the developer) recorded like 5000 soundbites for the original Halo, so the chances of hearing each one of them is very minimal. One of my favorites was when one of my teammate marines killed one of the enemies and exclaimed, "Did anybody see me? I kicked his ass!" Another one that really brought me into the experience was after seeing another of my marine teammates kill one of the enemies, then run up to the corpse on the ground and kept shooting at it while yelling, "That was for my brother!" Completely unscripted. But that wasn't even the best one. This one was one that was completely unexpected and prompted me to write this entry. So in Halo 2, a civil war actually breaks out with the antagonists. There is an enemy type known as Grunts which are the smallest and weakest (basically peons), and they sided with the Elites (which I was playing as in the campaign mode). Grunts make all sorts of funny sounds and visuals, they have a tendency of running away unless one of their generals is around, they also have a tendency of sleeping on the job. Well, in this particular level I walked in to see one cowering in the corner of a platform. Below, were several Brutes (basically giant gorillas). They saw me and we started fighting. It was a tough one that I ended up dying several times. One time, the grunt jumped into the fray and quickly got killed. Another time, it ran away. Most of the time it stayed cowered. So what was unexpected, was one of the times that the Brutes decided to rush me and came up to the platform. I was able to kill all but one, at which point the Grunt jumped up, and threw a grenade that landed on the last Brute. Boom they all go flying everywhere. The Grunt jumps to the front of the platform, slams both his hands on the ground while screaming "BIG AND UGLY!! BIG AND UGLY!!" I unfortunately died again later, and no matter how hard I tried I was never able to get the Grunt to repeat his actions. Simply unbelieveable.

Now I can't wait for Halo 3 to come out on PC, and also to play some of the other newer unscripted games that are on my list. I am hoping for more great surprises.


Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Sarah Palin home run

Now that it has been a week since the RNC, I think it is safe to really begin commenting on the Sarah Palin effect. I think McCain hit a home run on this one. Time will tell whether it will be enough, or even that Palin will make a difference either way. Suffice it to say in the short term though, Palin has completely changed the entire landscape.

1. Energizing the base. Palin's selection energized the Republican base that was previously lukewarm to McCain. Her staunchly conservative outlook solidified McCain's outreach to the conservative constituency.
2. Women's vote. Palin's selection will get more women to vote for McCain. Yes it is true that her views do not mesh with the modern feminist, but there will be some women who will vote for the ticket just because she is a woman. Similar to how some black people will vote for Obama simply because he is black even if they don't agree with his policies. McCain is now truly progressive for bringing in a woman as his running mate. I had thought he might do this with Carly Fiorina or Meg Whitman, but they didn't have any political experience.
3. Palin is the new media darling. Great way to use the media to your advantage. I personally hate the way the media has been acting (especially since they seem to realize what they are doing) with this election, with the fawning coverage of Obama as compared to Clinton, Edwards, McCain, and even Bush. But now with the selection of Palin she is the new celebrity and gets McCain onto the news whereas before he could barely get any face time. And a bonus, the ridiculous coverage of Palin's pregnant daughter has now made her a sympathetic figure in light of the media witchhunt.
4. Palin's story mirrors Obama's. Which takes away a lot of his advantages. She is newer, fresh faced, with executive experience. And, she is in the VP slot where the lack of experience is not seen as much of a weakness. No matter what anyone says, being a mayor and then a governor is no small task. It is telling that Obama and the Democrats have abandoned that line of attack.
5. Making history. Palin as a VP will make history, just as Obama as President would make history. So either way, it will be a historic election. People previously uncomfortable with the idea of voting against making history now get a choice in how they want to participate in history. This is a great way to court Independents.
6. Palin's history of fighting her own party. As the recasting of the McCain campaign continues from experience to reformer, Palin is perfect for the role with her history of bringing down prominent Republicans in her own state. Do you want change proven in words, or change proven in action?
7. Palin vs Biden. I really think Obama did himself a disservice by selecting Biden. How can he continue to be the change candidate by adding as his VP someone who has been in Washington even longer than McCain? It only adds to the arguments against Obama that he does things that are politically expedient, not for what he believes. Now it will be very interesting to see how the VP debate stacks up given Biden's reputation for being long winded and condescending. He could very easily be viewed as being sexist and elitist compared to Palin. Sexism is already injected into the campaign with the also idiotic reference (initiated by Democrats) that Palin should not have accepted because how would she take care of the children while being a VP.
8. Palin as subterfuge. Despite making the statement earlier that he would not attack Palin, Obama has come out swinging this week. Which is great because now he is focusing on the VP candidate, instead of McCain. Obama needs to stop attacking her because very quickly he will exhaust any good will from the women supporters, not to mention independents. Wasn't he the one claiming that we needed to focus on the policies and not the people? The lack of focus by Obama can only be a good thing for McCain.
9. Neutralization of Clinton on the campaign trail. Hillary has come out on record saying she would not attack Sarah Palin. Do you think that would have happened if McCain had picked Romney or Ridge or Pawlenty? She can't pick a fight against Palin because she would lose in a popularity battle, and the Democrats would lose too. Clinton wouldn't do it anyways because it would destroy her own place in history as a trailblazing woman. She will speak to women's groups (along with other prominent Democrat women), but I personally think those groups will see through it and wonder why Obama is not there himself. Hillary being limited to only talking about McCain really neuters her effectiveness because its akin to Biden talking about McCain. She is too alike to be able to make compelling points.

It remains to be seen how Palin will hold up once she starts becoming unscripted. Will she be able to come across as sincere and not make mistakes? Will her past transgressions (if any) catch up to her? Should be interesting. So much for an Obama landslide.


Sunday, August 24, 2008

Concerts in the Bay Area

What is it about the Bay Area that it is so easy to find last minute below cost tickets to hot concerts? Or is it just a sign of the times and technology? Having just come from Toad the Wet Sprocket where I picked up $60 tickets for $30, and earlier Coldplay $112 for $75 I am floored by the cost and availability. Makes me wonder whether the Projekt Revolution tickets that I actually bought during the presale were worth it. Of the last five concerts I have been to, four I picked up tickets from Craigslist below cost within the week before the concert.


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Social networking

So I finally caved. I gave in to the dark side. And sad as it to say, I actually like it. The Facebook interface is pretty slick, and its easy to add "bling" in the form of applications. I can see why people get addicted to it. So there were several reasons I finally gave in. This past week and weekend I was working odd hours for the client and there were points where I got very bored. Then, I found out that there were a few people on there who would be among the last people I would ever think would use FB. And to top it off, I had received a few invitations recently from people I couldn't recall who they were, but you can't find out until you sign up! So the end result is that I now suffer the ignomy of jumping on the bandwagon...and liking it.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

It's a small world

This past weekend in Texas was one of those "you can't make this stuff up". So I ended up in Texas this weekend because of a wedding. The wedding was on Sunday in Houston, so I decided to fly in to Austin on Friday and drive down to Houston on Saturday. Friday evening ended up at the Belmont for a friend of a friend's graduation party. As it turned out, some people who had just spent two weeks together in Italy showed up without realizing each other would be there. Later on, someone I know who lives in San Jose who also happened to be in town for a different wedding showed up because of a friend of a friend. Now that was trippy because what are the chances of all the bars/clubs in Austin?

Now in Houston, as it turned out someone else I knew was a bridesmaid at this wedding, which was a total surprise for me and her since the connection was between Judy and the bride. What are the chances of that?

It truly is a small world after all.

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Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Local living

Talking with people the past couple of months, I've come to realize that because of all the traveling I do, and the way I am about directions/maps/etc, I am basically a local in several cities where I never have formally lived in. Here in LA, I have been approached three times now while at a stop light and people asking for directions. Two of the three times, I actually knew where they needed to go. In LA, I have been here twice, once in 2003 for about eight months, and now in 2007-2008 for about a year. Condensing it down, it really means I have been living here for around a full year. Compared to most other LA locals, I know a lot more about their own city than they do. Of course, it helps when my projects are in completely different areas of LA (Burbank/Pasadena and El Segundo/Long Beach), but even beyond that I am familiar with Orange County, Santa Monica, Hollywood, Monterey Park, and other areas.

Its kinda amazing, and a little sad too that I can still remember how to navigate in most of the cities that I have had projects in. Or even cities that I have visited but not worked in, like NYC.

Officially I have lived in these cities:
Salt Lake City, UT 1978-1980
Dallas, TX 1980-1982
Phoenix, AZ 1982-1984
Austin, TX 1984-2000
Dallas, TX 2001-2003
Austin, TX 2003-2004
Dallas, TX 2004-2005
Bay Area, CA 2005-present

I have worked in these cities:
Cincinnati, OH 1998
Colorado Springs, CO 1999
Austin, TX 1999
Chicago, IL 2000
Tampa, FL 2000
Dallas, TX 2001
Nashville, TN 2002
Detroit, MI 2003
Los Angeles, CA 2003
Minneapolis, MN 2004
Philadelphia, PA 2004
Denver, CO 2004
Baltimore, MD 2004
Palisades, NY 2004
Tucson, AZ 2005
Phoenix, AZ 2005
Olympia, WA 2005
Los Angeles, CA 2006
Dallas, TX 2006
Forest, MS 2007
Los Angeles, CA 2007

I have visited these cities:
Taiwan 1985, 1988, 1991, 1994, 2000
Shanghai, Suzhou, Wuxi, Hangzhou, Beijing 2000
Cayman Islands 2004
Paris 2004
Anguilla 2004
Venice, Milan, Florence, Rome 2005
Anguilla 2005
Singapore 2005
Taiwan 2005
Shanghai, Hangzhou, Xi An, Beijing 2006
Los Cabos 2007
Whistler 2007
Tokyo, Hakone, Kyoto 2007
Taiwan 2007
Hong Kong 2008
Boston 2000 - 2002
NYC 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Training leads to career crossroads -- who knew?

Last week I went to a training class designed for Senior Consultants. Its the first training course of that type since I first started working back in 2000 with PwC and ASCENT. It was actually a lot of fun and pretty intense too. Needing to be in anywhere from 7a-8a EST and finishing up around 7p each night followed by evening events till 10p and then on some nights later evening outtings further out. Not to mention logging in every other night to keep abreast of real work which meant that on average I went to bed around 1230a-1a. It was also an incredible investment by Deloitte, because from the numbers I heard there were 26 partners and a bit more senior managers at the event pulled from their projects to serve as coachs and mentors - who would still log in every night after all the events to do client work.

The training class began with the Myers-Briggs assessment and emotional intelligence. Supposedly my type (INTJ) is predisposed towards CXO positions, whatever that means. Following that, we jumped right into building a proposal all the way up to the oral presentations. What I found is that I liked it. It has been a while since I've been doing that sort of thing (especially my rusty presentation skills). Whats more, is that I am good at this sort of thing. It is intuitive for me. Therein lies the problem.

I thought I had already made my peace with not making/trying for partner. I thought that I knew for sure I would stop traveling in 2-5 years. Maybe it is just a high from the training (I'll revisit how I feel in a week), but now I feel like I should reconsider....

But will it be worth it? Will I be willing to give up the work/life balance that I have always been striving to get? I don't know the answer to that. I will readily admit that the feeling is not as strong as it was immediately after getting home (15 hour travel time from Orlando with weather delays and idiotic United gate agents!! But thats another story). Something about having to deal with nitty gritty of real work life, which plays into the fact that I have always been more of the visionary type and not the down to earth type.

And to think that I thought I was done with the life-defining decisions, or at least career-defining decisions. To be continued....


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Myers-Briggs Trait Inventory Assessment

Jung Typology Test

I took the CenterMark test today in preparation for a training class next week. As I was taking it, I noticed that many of my answers were very different from the last time I took the test. I ended up with INTJ, which is probably the same as before. What I noticed is that I was much more solidly in the I range than before and I think also more solidly in the J range. Was barely a N, and very very much a T. According to CenterMark, my tagline description is: Masterminds, Designers, Strategists, Pragmatists.

More result reports here. I grabbed these reports from my assessment.


Monday, September 24, 2007

More music, Bay Area style

In a happy coincidence moment, it turned out that two bands I missed at ACL were going to be playing at the Shoreline Amphitheatre on Friday 9/21. Thus I was able to actually get up close and watch from reserved seats LCD Soundsystem and Arcade Fire. There were tons of tickets available on Craigslist...snagged a couple in center section 102 row I (really about row 15) for below face, not too shabby. Both were very good live, in fact the show was probably better than ACL simply because they weren't on as large of a stage.

On Sunday 9/23 went to Alice 97.3 Now and Zen Fest. Also picked up tickets for under face off of Craigslist. This one day outdoor affair at Sharon Meadow Golden Gate Park reminded me somewhat of ACL. It had Peter Bjorn, Gin Blossoms, Joss Stone, and James Blunt. Skipped James Blunt, and got there halfway through Peter Bjorn's show. It apparently was my lucky day since at a couple of booths I ended up winning the first prizes. I picked up a Cuervo beanie for dropping a disc pachinko style into the center, then picked up $5 gift card for Pomodoro for spinning a roulette wheel.

One thing interesting about both is the concession costs, especially in comparison to ACL. ACL, while expensive, is pretty reasonable pricing. Beer at least is $4 at ACL. At Shoreline, it was $7 for domestic and $10 for premium and import. Now and Zen was $7 for beer, and even more for mixed drinks. Food at both were also astronomical. So in the end, cost is relative :)

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

ACL Festival 2007

After a three year absence, I went back to ACL Fest this year. Primarily wanted to see White Stripes, but unfortunately they backed out a couple days before the concert.

Got to ACL in time to catch Blonde Redhead. They were ok, the lead singer girl was very spastic to the point that it was distracting. Actually, prior to that I grabbed a chopped beef sandwich from Stubbs. Then headed over to catch Joss Stone. I had wanted to see Crowded House too, but they were on opposite stages and well, I can only really remember two songs from them. Glad I made the choice -- Joss Stone is an amazing stage presence. Many girls voices wilt on such a large stage, but white girl got soul and put on a great show. One of the highlights of the festival. Decided to get some food then instead of heading to LCD Soundsystem as originally planned. Heard they put on a great show too...oh well needed food. Got a beef pie from Boomerang. It was pretty good. Got to listen to a little bit of Andy Palacio while eating on the bleachers, and also some of MIA since they were so loud. Made my way to Queens of the Stone Age instead of Spoon (who I have not seen yet even though they play in Austin so frequently). Disappointing, should've gone to Spoon. Got up close after that for Killers since they were on the same stage. Given the great show that the Kaiser Chiefs apparently put on, that may not have been the best move. Also missed Gotan Project. Got a free beer while waiting for Killers, but thats another story. Killers put on a pretty good show too, actually a little better than I expected since I saw them on SNL. After they finished, made way to Bjork and caught her encore. Hmm. Thats really all I have to say for her. Oh, and sweat is salty.

Got to ACL in time for Augustana. Left early to make our way to Cold War Kids. Not sure what all the hype was for them, the performance was ok at best. My allergies started to kick in around this time, I guess when I left Austin I lost all my immunities. It was really bad to the point where I really didn't feel like doing anything so ended up just sitting around most of the afternoon. Caught Blue October, wasn't really close enough or paying attention long enough to make a judgement either way. Also left to get some food, got an italian sausage with saurkraut from Best Wurst. Caught Andrew Bird, was very impressed. Kinda reminded me of Howie Day. Anyone who can incorporate a violin or piano as a primary instrument gets major props from me. Caught Artic Monkeys, who literally sounded like a bunch of monkeys banging on drums. Left to get up close for Muse, skipping Arcade Fire entirely. Got pretty close, within 20 people of the stage. Muse put on a great show, not quite as good as the one I saw in SF, but still a great one.

Got to ACL really late today, courtesy of dim sum. Yeah I know, coming from SF but going to dim sum in Austin? The place we went to (Shanghai), I think compares favorably with some of the ones in the Bay Area. It just remains to be seen if it will stay that way. Got back and checked out some of National streamed live. The parts that I caught were pretty good. Then actually went to ACL in time to catch Bloc Party. Not really my thing, went to get some food. Got a chicken cone from Hudson's Bend. Caught Regina Spektor (skipping Amos Lee), she reminds me of Tori Amos. It was cute, she was so overwhelmed by the crowd and would talk to everybody. A good show. Caught a little bit of Wilco (skipping My Morning Jacket), then went to get some more food. This time got another chicken cone, and a venison sausage wrap from Hudson's Bend. Caught a little bit of Ziggy Marley, then came back for Ghostland Observatory (skipping Decemberists). New rule of thumb for large festivals like this -- see the bands that are high energy. Wow what an awesome show. They got the crowd hopping. Then headed over to Bob Dylan and couldn't understand a word that he was saying. If you remember the movie Waterboy, the character that was a farmer that talked gibberish that no one could understand, well thats what Dylan sounded like.

Oh forgot to mention, tons of Sweet Leaf tea throughout all three days :)

Unfortunately, did not get any pics of the land yacht that I happened to rent. When I showed up to Avis there was a Lincoln Town Car sitting in my spot. They were sold out for the night, so it was mine for the weekend.

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Thursday, August 16, 2007

Can you recognize greatness?

Interesting article that Judy found in teh Washington Post, actually posted back in April.

Pearls Before Breakfast

I do tend to agree with the later experiences -- I feel you have to have played the violin to truly understand what is great and what isn't. Also if you don't have a musical sense, then it just all sounds like noise.

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Monday, August 06, 2007

Dateline NBC PWNED

It's been written multiple times all over the web, so all I'll say is that the media can be a bunch of dumbasses sometimes. I took a class in college about the power of the media in politics, and what happened here also shows the power of media on everyday people if Dateline has "exposed" Defcon to the "people in Kansas". What I think is great is that it appears that it was a fed that tipped off the Defcon organizers! :)

DailyTech article

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Monday, July 30, 2007


As it has been named, is starting to have DVDs sold off from the collection. Well, consider it the third purge, and the most significant. At least I am getting decent value from fleabay.


Thursday, July 26, 2007

Windows Vista sucks

Got a new Lenovo Thinkpad T61 14" widescreen recently. Unfortunately, while I was patiently waiting for a standard 14" screen that never came (not sold to consumers anymore) they removed the XP Home option. Plus it ended up being more expensive...oops.

Anyways. Vista is a horrible resource hog that makes an older laptop at least three generations behind (T40) with XP seem faster. I can't believe how bad it is considering all the hype beforehand. I would even say it is worse than Windows ME. That service pack can't come soon enough. In the interim, will be looking into dual booting with an XP partition.


Monday, June 18, 2007

Science and Islam; Gamer Generation

A couple of things of interest I found this weekend:
1. If you get a chance to get to a newstand, I highly recommend reading the article Science and Islam in Discover magazine. If you wait a month, you can find it here: http://discovermagazine.com/2007/jul/science-and-islam. Its a very interesting article, and a little bit scary.
2. If you have Discovery (and even better Discovery HD), take some time to watch/record Gamer Generation, a two part documentary. I actually still need to finish the second half, but its also pretty interesting. Of note is that there is also an Islamic/Arabic section in the documentary.

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Saturday, June 16, 2007

I need my GRILLZ

Sweet. I've been waiting all my life for these:


Saturday, June 02, 2007

Napa daytrip

One of the good things about the Bay Area is how close we are to Napa. Just took a day trip today, ate some food, drank some wine. Plus convertible top down through wine country :)

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Thursday, May 10, 2007

Happy Birthday Judy

Happy Birthday Judy!

You're catching up on me....oh wait...hmmm...