Friday, March 31, 2006

Working From Home

Good things:

1. You can avoid a shower and stay in your boxers half the day.

2. After every 15 minutes of working, you can take a 45 minute ESPN break.

3. You can cut your toenails without fear.

4. You can look at questionable material without fear.

5. You can wash clothes (which is included in the 15 minutes of working.)

6. You control the temperature.

7. The toilet paper is much nicer.

Bad things:

1. After every 15 minutes of working, you can take a 45 minute ESPN break.

2. You hear this young guy and his girlfriend training their dog. You do not know who to feel more sorry for the dog or yourself.

3. You notice your toenails are ugly, and you have more hair where you do not want it than where you want it.

4. The 45 minute ESPN break must involve a snack.

5. You see how much of a slob you are. You clean up for your 15 minutes of work then make a mess with your 45 minute break. You give up on cleaning.

6. You realize you hate working. It does not matter where. At least at the office there are more women.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

"That Would Not Be Kind"*

The most important thing I learned from my marketing class was people buy on emotion not thought. Funny commercials sell bad products. A personable candidate defeats a droll one. You catch more flies with honey. The squeaky wheel gets grease. Intelligence does not always rule the day.

You can see it with blogs. There are some intellectual blogs, but most are like this one; some kid dealing with life. Funny posts get more attention than serious ones. People want to feel not think.

I have no idea what the above means. I guess it is me justifying my laziness. It is me telling me its okay not to think. It is me.

I read over my last posts. I have no direction. I do not know what I want, and I do not care what I want. I am just faking life. I have become what I hate.

But at least I am not calling in any "10 o'clock tuck-ins." The marks are key. You are either selling them something or you are one of them.

*Gordon Lightfoot's "Rainy Day People" A great song. Read the lyrics.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Its Better To Be Pissed Off Then Pissed On

My father has a Mr. Natural cartoon where a man asks Mr. Natural "What does it all mean?" Mr. Natural responds "Don't mean sheeit..."

Mr. Natural is right.

But it is hard to keep life's events in perspective. I have fell into the overachieving high school girl trap. I have a long but meaningless resume. I do nothing well. When something important comes around, I do not treat it with the reverence it deserves. I have to make decisions and face their consequences.

ML called me sexist again. I am not going to rehash this debate, but I am tired of her defamation. She wants men to wear veils. She wants slaves that only feel when she wants them to. She wants eunuchs. She is sexist.

She also called me an asshole but I cannot argue with that assertion.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Pink Thongs, Miles, And 3 x 5 at 275

A Chinese female classmate had a heavily exposed pink thong on today. Very few things get the juices flowing like heavily exposed pink thongs. I am convinced women have no idea how they affect men. I would have been better off sleeping through those two classes.

I am listening to a shuffle of Miles (the Man), Bruce (the Boss), and Gordon Lightfoot. They remind me of how little I have done, but how much I can do.

I told this undergraduate girl that grades do not matter. She got a 90 and was worried about getting an A- instead of an A. Anyone who knew me in my previous life would laugh at my hypocrisy. (It was always more about learning the material for me though. I used to want to know. It was the knowledge not the grades.)

I bench pressed 275 pounds three sets of five. I have not been able to do that in a long time. (My shoulders and elbows are getting old.)

But I am much more impressed by this. I have always wanted to be able to sustain my heart rate above 180 for an extended period. I had teacher in high school who used to brag about how he could get his heart rate over 200 even though he was 50 and had a heart defect.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

I Went To Church Tonight

The sermon was "Would Jesus Vote Republican?" It was well done.

The preacher emphasized judging people the same way you judge yourself. You cannot expect more out of someone then you expect out of yourself.

He also emphasized reflection. Rand put it best: " order to be heard, one must have something to say. To have that, one must know one's case. One must know it fully, logically, consistently, all the way down to the philosophical fundamentals."

He said what my father has told me for years, "only an idiot always votes along party lines." We have to think about our political decisions.

(The preacher should reflect more on his views on debt forgiveness and poverty, but it was thought provoking discussion.)

The music sucked. Jesus, God, and other unnecessary words were forced into lyrics. The music captured no emotions. It was horrible. As Hank Hill said about Christian rock, 'It is not making Christianity any better and making rock worse.'

The service started six minutes late. People walked in late. There is no religion in tardiness.

But the sermon was good.

"But who in your measly little world are you trying to prove that you're made out of gold and can't be sold" ~Jimi Hendrix's "Are You Experienced?"


Saturday, March 25, 2006

200th Post Or All Posts Are The Same

I apologize to loyal readers who have previously read this discussion.

Rand distinguished between want and need.

I need to eat. I need to sleep. I need protection from the cold. Need is primitive.

I want a car. I want a simpler life. I want nice things. I want love. I want success. Want is secondary.

Americans want. They do not need.

Sam sent me this article by Malcolm Gladwell. It is another cry for universal health care. Gladwell argues well. But he is wrong.

Gladwell and universal health care supporters fail to recognize the difference between want and need.

I broke my wrist in a football game. It was the fourth quarter with thirty seconds to play. I did not want to come out of the game. The bone was protruding, and the official made me leave the field. I was (am) a stupid young kid.

Besides a broken leg, it was my most expensive injury. But I wanted to play football. I wanted my wrist fixed correctly. There is no justice in making the cheerleaders' parents pay for my wants. It was my decision to break my wrist and my family internalized those costs.

I have no sympathy for the people discussed by Gladwell. They decided teeth and health were not important. They wanted something else. Do they regret those decisions? Yes. But why should a person who made different decisions pay for those regrets?

Gladwell fails to see it is not about moral hazards or externalities but about right and wrong. It is wrong to force people to pay for my stupidity. It is wrong to steal from a healthy person to give to a sick person. It is right for me to pay for my football injuries.

(An entrepreneur will create a new financial instrument in the next ten years that will revolutionize health care, if the government stays out of their way.)

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Missed Opportunities

I work in an office
It is really a cell
I work on the fourth floor
It is really hell

And there is always someone
Knocking at the door

I am tired of wanting
I am tired of hunting

There is no 'man' my friend
If there was,
You would be him

Life looks grim
When you are on the fourth floor
In an office that is really a cell
And you are the devil
Keeping you in hell

And there is always someone
Knocking at the door
But you will not let them in

Another Experiment

I come into Microeconomics class today. The following was on the board:

"US Rich and Poor
Top 1% owns 38%
Bottom 40% owns 1%
Top 3 million own same as bottom 113 million

I respond on the board:

"So What?

The bottom 113 million are still better off than the majority of the world.

Thought Experiment
What would happen if we took everything away from the top 3 million and gave it to the bottom 113 million?

Who is John Galt?"

The professor gave a positive argument that in capitalist countries inequality is expected. The rich accumulate. The poor do not. He did not have the courage to make any normative claims about income equality. He did not discuss how graduate students or hippies sacrifice wealth for (perceived) happiness. He did not discuss anything of importance. He did not discuss how the top 1% got their wealth.

And the students (including myself) passively accepted his response. It made me angry but I sat there like the Chinese Communist I have become.

Mean Things I Have Done

There is a bus sitting at my stop. I ask a frumpy girl if the sitting bus is in service. She replies no.

The bus comes. I get on with the frumpy girl. She sits down near me. I do not say a word.

A beautiful ebony (club) volleyball player gets on and sits across from me. I ask her about volleyball. She goes into a speech about how the national tournament moved from Las Vegas to Salt Lake City. She talked five minutes about herself. The frumpy girl entered the conversation but it was all about volleyball.

I am an asshole.

An unworthy woman will only talk about herself. Worthy women have the courtesy to ask something about you even if they do not care.


Partly due to me, the Krugman reader in the gym gave up on Krugman. He said Krugman's style was too pompous.

I feel bad. I have decided to suggest or let him borrow another economics book. My first thought was Heilbroner's The Worldly Philosophers. My second thought was Callahan's Economics For Real People.

Since the readership of the blog has increased, I expect suggestions.

I do not think he will read any economics book especially one I have written all over, but its a good experiment. Economists have to teach better.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

An Experiment

"Learned more from a three minute record
Than I ever did in school...
No retreat, no surrender"
~the greatest American economist
The Boss, Bruce Springsteen

I wrote this on the board before Macroeconomics. I wished I had a camera to see the reactions from my classmates and the professor.

Except one colleague, no one had ever really listened to Springsteen. It made them pause and think especially the Chinese (half of the class).

It really blew their mind when I asked them to name a better American economist. There gave no satisfactory answers.

I am playing with a different deck. Playing with different decks gets you killed for cheating. Or, you never get in the game.

The proper quote:
"...Learned more from a three minute record, baby
Than we ever learned in school"

An Email Debate

The following is an Email thread Jobless, Jobless' friend and I had. I have deleted names but not poor grammar. It is nothing profound, but it made me wonder about where the world is going and what I am doing about it.

The following article is what I was trying to describe to you, in reference to subsidies. I attached the pdf with the full article. It starts on page 25 of the pdf. The second is something I thought you would enjoy.

Street Journal 3/14) A movement to uproot crop subsidies, which have been worth nearly $600 million to U.S. farmers over the decades, is gaining ground in some unlikely places – including down on the farm. In Iowa, one of the most heavily subsidized states, a Republican running to be state agriculture secretary is telling big farmers they should get smaller checks. Mark Leonard, who collects subsidies himself, told a room full of farmers recently that federal payments spur overproduction, which depresses prices for poor growers overseas. There is a long history of mostly failed attempts to pare farm payments. But the current anti- subsidy sentiment, rising over the last year in the U.S., is stirring attention because it is unusually broad. “There is a growing number of people who want to weigh in on farm policy,” said Rep. Jerry Moran of Kansas, who sits on the House Agriculture Committee. Grass-roots groups are riding the momentum that began with the push to forgive the debt of poor countries in the late 1990s. Another spur to the anti-subsidy movement comes from the World Trade Organization, where the U.S. is coming under increasing pressure to
rein in farm spending.


Great seeing you at the wedding and I enjoyed debating with you. Its been a long time since we have had the opportunity to harass each other. Now that I have your email address I will start sending you tons of democratic propaganda, Hillary 2008. Thanks for the information but the pdf did not come through, so please send it again. What you did send me still does not convince me that there is a huge movement by farmers to cut or even reduce the programs. THE ARTICLE DOES NOT QUOTE ONE US FARMER OR ONE US FARM ORGANIZATION WHO IS AGAINST FARM SUBSIDIES. The article states one Republican politician, who collects subsidies himself (he could just be some landlord who is working the system not a FARMER) is in favor of reducing payments and the Canadian farms do not want the US to have subsidies. The groups who oppose farm subsidies are the WTO and Grass-roots hippies who think by keeping food prices cheap we are destroying the world. We'll see how much the world is in favor of subsidies when they have to pay twenty dollars per lb for hamburger and ten dollars for a gallon of milk.

In regards to the Canadian article, I don't have a problem with them placing tariffs on US corn, but it is only fair we place a tariff on any product that is feed with Canadian corn. This includes beef, pork, poultry, cars, truck, and tires (the Canadians indirectly eat the corn (WB: I could not let this go) so anything they manufacture is produced by corn). Plus we need to sue the government because they are violating NAFTA by imposing duties.

I am only in favor of reducing subsidies if I can set my own price, not some moron at the CBOT who sets the price based on REPORTS from the federal government (side note - I really don't like the USDA crop reports because I feel they "play with the numbers"). Lets see, soybeans $10.00 /bu, corn $3.90 /bu, wheat $4.50 /bu, beef $3.00 hanging wts.

Well I'm done ranting.

PS - A strong country depends on three key items, Agriculture, Industry, and Technology. We have already lost Industry to China and we are starting to loose Technology to India. Lets find a way not to loose Agriculture.

Jobless's friend (an engineer and a farmer)

What was the first thing Hitler did? Close Germany's borders.

Economists have failed to teach anything. Its fine your friend is protecting his own ass, but he should admit it. He does not care about national interest. All he cares about is his own interest.

Economists have to teach better. We cannot even teach smart people. How are we ever going to teach dumb people?

I am too angry to write anymore.


Populist Colleagues And Wal-Mart

My populist colleague who worked for my populist representative Virgil Goode sent me this link. It was his response to this article.

He thinks Wal-Mart is evil. I think Wal-Mart should have the opportunity to use its property as it deems fit.

Conservative Professor Bainbridge says Wal-Mart is bad because the data is inconclusive on its effects on jobs and wages.

I am not fond of econometric (statistical)studies. They often confuse the issue. This is one of those situations. Number of jobs and average or median wages does not say anything. We want to know how well-off, how happy, the community is before and after Wal-Mart. We use real income (what can be bought) as a proxy for these measures. (Admittedly, it is a poor measure.) I do not know the aggregate income data. If Wal-Mart caused a community to become poorer, then how could it stay in business? How can Wal-Mart decrease a community's wealth? Decreasing the community's wealth would decrease its profits.

But Bainbridge changes his argument midstride. It is not about dollars, it is about aesthetics. Wal-Mart destroys beautiful small businesses. Wal-Mart has never destroyed another business. Customers not purchasing from the beautiful small business but from Wal-Mart destroyed them. Bainbridge is blaming the wrong people. He should say "stupid customers who do not know the beauty of small business are destroying small business."

He is also irked by Wal-Mart's ugly buildings. Architecture is a matter of taste. I like Wal-Mart's look. I think County Office buildings and churches are ugly. But I am not proposing to eliminate local government and religion.

His idea that Wal-Mart kills entrepreneurship is stupid. My father's video store buys DVDs, drinks, and candy from Wal-Mart and Sam's Club. I know guys who buy produce from Wal-Mart and sell it at the local fruit stand. Entrepreneurship is about recognizing customer wants and meeting these wants. Wal-Mart meets some wants, but it also creates wants. I talk to people who hate Wal-Mart's crowds. Small stores can compete because they do not have crowds.

Bainbridge's argument about the trade deficit is bogus. He should read Cafe Hayek. Trade is mutually beneficial. Dependency theory does not make sense. China runs a trade surplus with the United States by investing in the US. If the Chinese think we are a good investment, then we are probably a good investment.

If Wal-Mart gets tax breaks, it the community's fault not Wal-Mart's. No tax breaks should be given. They are unconstitutional and wrong. Taxes and tax breaks are coercion. But you cannot blame Wal-Mart. You have to blame populist local politicians.

Bainbridge and anti-Wal-Marters are blaming Wal-Mart because things are not going their way. They want a horse and buggy economy. They want the past. Fortunately, most Americans want progress.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Beautiful Things And The Truth

Sometimes you have to step back to see how beautiful something really is. You have to take a deep breath and just observe. You have to see things for what they really are. Beautiful things should be studied.

A colleague started a blog. I could not give him this address. I will have to wait a couple of weeks. It made me think about what I am posting. Maybe I will start another blog for professional issues.

Life is easier when you can tell the truth.

Sunday, March 19, 2006


I wanted to write this post yesterday. Sunday night stress is starting to creep in but...

For the first time in a long time, I feel satisfied.

I learned how to read again. Reading calms me. It slows me down. It helps me breath.

I have entered a different post-infatuation stage. The self-doubt and longing is still there, but I am more confident in my ability to control the situation. Instead of looking for flaws to eliminate the infatuation, I am trying to justify it. I am not ignoring flaws, but I am not concentrating on them either.

I am taking a chance.

A reader was nice enough to compliment me. I am honest enough with myself to know that I am not a good writer. But I am improving.

All (good) writing is personal. But by writing in public, the author accepts a social responsibility. As McCloskey says in The Writing of Economics, "the reader is sovereign."

My goal is to make the reader think. I want to relay my thoughts and feelings, but I want readers to look inside themselves. I want them to agree, disagree, and ask why. I want them to feel.

Chekhov said it best, "My goal paint life in its true aspects, and to show how far this life falls short of the ideal life."

I am no Chekhov. But this weekend I feel satisfied and that is good enough.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

To Camus Or What Matters

When he was young
Many things mattered:


Then one morning
His head throbbed
He looked in the mirror
There was nothing there

You have to push the rock
But it does not fall all the way down
You stumble
You recover

Things do not matter
But he would never be young again

"Let Your Mistakes Be Your Own; Let Your Sins Be Your Own"*

What a day:

I got so angry this morning at a class and the changes in the gym that I could have killed.

I floated through the afternoon. I did absolutely nothing. And for some reason, I can still look myself in the mirror. The devil did not take my soul. I did not die.

I went to my final class for the week. I laughed. I saw the world's absurdity and laughed like I had only one laugh left.

After class, I had three excellent conversations. None of them mattered, none dealt with anything of importance. I enjoyed all three.

I smelled a Rio Star Texas Grapefruit. There is no better scent. I almost do not want to eat it. It smells so good.

I read over this post. I laughed again.

An Addendum:

I saw the girl from the gym who does not wipe down machines for the first time in three weeks. She was stunning, absolutely stunning.

I had another conversation. Again nothing of real importance, but I almost got my mind blown. She was beautiful also. I cannot stop thinking about her.

*"I ain't going to fuck it up this time." from
Bruce Springsteen's "Long Time Comin"

Bird Of Prey

Atop his perch he studied the young woman. He had been fascinated by her for two weeks. He could not figure out why he thought she was beautiful. His friend did not see it making her more beautiful.

She had a wonderful smile, a smile that pacified his mind. A smile that made him forget the cosmetic nature of the world he had chosen to live in, a smile that illuminated the darkness in his soul. He thought about how he valued that smile. He thought about what he would give to see it often. He thought about how much he would enjoy telling her about her wonderful smile.

But what if she already knew of her beautiful smile? She would not care about this ugly owl stalking her from his perch. She would laugh at the owl and send him away. Beautiful people care about beauty. This ugly owl was not beautiful.

But what if she didn’t think her smile was beautiful? The owl did not like playing therapist. Women without confidence served no purpose. They were just lungs breathing, nothing more, nothing less. And, once the owl convinced her of her beauty, she would certainly see him for what he truly was, an ugly owl.

And, this neuroticism was his life. He wasn’t a damn owl. He was a scared boy who couldn’t find the courage to talk to an average looking girl. He was an idiot who thought things through. Some would say too thoroughly, but he knew that ‘too thoroughly’ made no sense; he had thought that out too. He knew his observations held future relevancy. He did not know exactly what they were going to be used for, but they were something, something relevant. Relevant was the correct word. He pondered the meaning of relevancy. All he ever did was ponder his thoughts.

He got off his perch. He passed the beauty. He wondered what the future held for him.

The beauty wondered the same thing.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006


I am a rational guy. I think everything through to the nth degree. There are no miracles. I separate reality from fantasy.

But sometimes (especially with women) I expect magic. I sit around and wait for something to magically happen. I wait for a miracle.

There are no miracles. I make things happen. I cannot expect anything to happen while sitting on my ass. "Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life." Ass sitting leads to hemorrhoids.

(I wonder how long this attitude will last. I am betting a day and a half.)

Proof that there are valleys in Missouri from Random Ramblings:

"... enjoying the AMAZING weather we had over the weekend...I remember one time when I was like a 6th grader or something. I had a paper to write, 2 homeworks and like a test to study for..."

Like I know it isn't cool to like make fun of someone's blog on like another blog, but like I had to do it like the rest of the post and comments were like TOUCHING or something!!!

(This last part sounded better in my head then it turned out written.)

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Breadth Versus Depth

I have been debating the following ideas for a year. I have neither the time nor the energy nor mental capacity to make this a readable post. But I want to say something today, in case I go crazy and am sent to an asylum tonight.

ML and the Filipina tell me life is about breadth of experience. You have a gut-level reaction you like someone; you ask her out or start playing the game with her. You talk to the girl on the bike. Thinking gets you in trouble. Life is making the most out of random occurences.

"I took the money. I spiked your drink. You miss too much these days if you stop to think... You know I love the element of suprise." U2's Tryin' To Throw Your Arms Around The World

I care much about the depth of an experience. I study the gut-level reaction. I throughly examine if there is more than just a gut-feeling. The introspection is the important part of the experience. Knowing why I was attracted, why I reacted the way I did matters. You do not talk to the girl on the bike because there is nothing to say. Life is explaining randomness. Life is what you learn through experiences.

A blogger in ML's blogosphere said "everything is better in person." You have to see it to believe it, to feel it.

I disagree. I get more out of a football game on TV than 90% of the fans in Lane Stadium. I see the two coordinator's chess game. I see athletes versus football players. I see discpline versus reckless abandon. I see hours of practice and preparation that went into the game. I see the humility it takes to play football. To me, the game itself and what the game teaches is important. "Enter Sandman" and getting drunk with friends does not teach anything. It is a wasted experience. It is experience for experience's sake. (I prefer Rattle and Hum to a live U2 concert. It is a deeper experience. "Fuck the revolution" taught me more than the drunks at RFK .)

"I don't care where you've been. I want to know where you are going."

But I am changing. I think ML, the Filipina, and the blogger have a valid point. You have to do things just to do them. Life gets boring watching TV. Life gets boring sitting in the classroom. You can only study for so long before applying what you have learned.

Of course, there should be a balance, but I have never been able to balance anything in my life. (I almost crushed my testicles on the balance beam in elementary school.)

Friday, March 10, 2006

Ugly Conversations In The Gym

I lifted alone today. I had one and half conversations while I was at the gym. I will repress those one and half conversations for the rest of my life.

I will start with the worst. There were three people lifting. One happened to be a bi-sexual. I know this because I overheard him revealing this to someone. I stay away from him. He is not a bad guy, but I would rather not talk to him. He likes to talk.

Well, I avoid him in the weightroom. But he catches me in the shower. He caught me bad.

A quick digression is necessary. My generation prefers not to look at naked men in the lockeroom. We wrap a towel to and from the shower. We dress quickly. The older generation does not care. They walk around with their towel over their shoulder. They will sit and talk on the bench wearing nothing. It is disgusting. They need to split the young men and the old men into two lockerooms. (Maybe, they can put young men with young women. Now, there is an idea.)

The first rule of my generation is, "never talk to anyone in the shower." Well, the bi-sexual guy comes into the shower and burps. I quickly rinse the shampoo out of my hair. (I do not know why I bother with shampoo; habit I guess.)

As I am walking out, "Its nice not to have the undergraduates around."

"Yeah," I answer quickly grabbing for my towel.

"I think the internet gives these guys bad impressions about their bodies. They think they have to look like the guys on TV to get layed. They work-out instead of studying."

An interesting thesis but we are both completely naked. Like an idiot I continue, "Unrealistic expectations, none of them can sustain a regimen."

"I am happy with who I am." The guy points to his penis. "I tell these guys its not the pencil but the pad." I have no idea what this means. He points to his penis again and then to his stomach. "Eventually, there will be male anorexia." I am sure he pointed to his penis twenty five more times, but I am repressing.

"Yeah." I do not know why I did not get the hell out of there. We continued talking for a few minutes before I went to my locker and wondered how this conversation was going to scar me.

The sad thing is he had a point. It would have been a fine conversation if we were wearing clothes. Men do have image problems. This story and what I am repressing says something about my image problems.

Still, naked men should not talk to each other.

Before my shower from hell, I am riding the bike to cool down. This girl is riding beside me who used to work at the gym. She is attractive enough. I ask her what she is reading, she says and shows me, "People." I say something inconsequential. She says, "nothing good, just trash."

She said it with a big smile. I could tell she wanted to talk. She probably missed out on a fun Spring Break for some horrible reason. She probably had not really talked to anyone for a week.

But dumbass me, I did not continue the conversation. All she wanted was someone to talk to. I could have rode the bike a few extra minutes and missed the bi-sexual guy. It was a mean thing for me to do. I hate when people treat me that way.

I will continue this in my next blog topic about breadth versus depth. Now I need to go home and watch a lot of lesbian porn.

A Chinese office-mate knocks on my door and asks, "Do you use LaTeX?"

How do you answer that one while keeping a straight face?

Thursday, March 09, 2006

American Apathy Or My Political Ambition

You sit there
You try not to stare
But you are aware

The world is burning down
All you do is frown

A man in a slick suit
Is talking to you
You know you are one of the lucky few
But the way that suit
The way that suit makes him look like he has a clue

I care
Do not feed me that shit

You want them to see the world just like you

I want to see myself
In the sunlight
In the moonlight

Today I was too weak to fight
But tomorrow you had better watch out
Be prepared for a heavyweight bout

I know,
15 rounds and a draw

You just sit there
You try not to stare
But you are aware

I Am A Pathetic Wimp

A Filipina colleague called me a pathetic wimp today. Actually she used a Tagalog word that meant pathetic wimp, but I cannot spell or pronounce it.

If it was anyone but a Filipino, I would have gotten mad.

She basically said I was sitting around waiting for something to happen instead of making something happen. It was a slap in the face, but she has a point.

There is no doubt I am pathetic, but I am still debating the wimp part. (She also said I think too much.)

ML proposed that life is about compromising. She is probably right. But I hope not. When I am the optimist, the world does not look good.

Sometimes compromise turns out to be ideal. My Dad once told me, "Son, I had dreams. Many did not come true, but I wouldn't trade any of those dreams for your mother, sister or you. " Being the dumb kid I am, I did not believe or listen to him. But my Dad does not lie about anything important.

This Dubai ports deal is pure racism. The United Arab Emirates and Dubai are more American than half of America. Congress has set progress back by fifty years. Trade is never bad. I am not very political, but I will never vote for any Congressman who voted to stop this deal. I saw John Warner was in favor, but I will find out about Allen and Goode. Congress has no right screwing with private business. There are no public goods.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

"Baby, Don't You Know You Got It Going On?"*

A commenter called me "real and honest." I have to add that to my 'compliments I care about' list. I thank you commenter. (I am not convinced 'commenter' is or should be a word, but I am sticking with it.)

I crapped out benching today. I was doing threes sets of ten at 235, and I got nine on the last set but I racked the weight and did not even try the tenth rep. I have not done that in a while. It is disappointing, but I will get over it.

The USA layed an egg in the World Baseball Classic. Losing to Canada is like losing to the junior varsity team. I know it is irrational, but I do not like Canada. It is there nationalized health care system.

I have nothing to say, absolutely nothing.

*Joss Stone's "Jet Lag"

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Once You Start The Game, You Have Already Lost

My definition of a successful relationship is two people who are better together than apart, two complements. This does not say much. It is centered around my favorite economic concept, mutual benefit of exchange. Two people expanding their production possibilities frontiers by being together.

But ML simplified the definition. She said a successful relationship is two people who make each other feel better. Two people who boosts each other's self-image. ML's definition is cleaner because the individuals within the relationship define success. My definition can be misinterpreted to allow for a mythical social force that defines "better together than apart."

These definitions apply to many types of relationships. They are not limited to romantic ones.

As I have gotten older I have come to appreciate "role players" in my life. People who do not fit into my grand scheme but make me feel better for a period of time. I really do not have any long-term relationships except with my mother, father, and sister. Other people helped me get through moments in my life, but I do not talk to any classmates from elementary or high school or college. Sometimes I think I have made a mistake, but clean breaks are the best way for me. It keeps me focused on the future and helps me forget the past.

When you find someone you love, someone you want to wake up next to forever, someone who is not just a "role player," it must be a great feeling.

But you cannot fake love. You cannot lie to yourself. Life is about recognizing "role players." It is about being honest. Its about saying "thanks for making me feel better, but you are just subbing the star for a few minutes." It is a tough but necessary realization.

It is also mutual. A "role player" cannot be a star to one person in the relationship. One sided love cannot last.

My conclusion is that we have to examine our relationships. We have to recognize them for what they truly do: make us happier.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Why I Am Not A Democrat

The following commentary is written by Robert Tracinski:

"Over the past 40 years, the left, which still wraps itself in populist rhetoric, has been withdrawing more and more into an insular, college-educated, upper-middle-class elite, who live in their own enclaves, from which they look down on the benighted boobs in the rest of the country who don't know enough to vote for John Kerry or to enjoy enlightened films about gay cowboys."
"The deepest philosophical case for laissez-faire--that is, for a totally unregulated economy--is Ayn Rand's profound identification of the fact that force and the mind are opposites. To the extent that government exercises the coercive power of regulation, it diminishes the ability of individuals to engage in the rational thinking necessary for their survival."

I finished Heinlein's Tunnel In The Sky. Its a story about survival. Its about creating a society. You cannot plan a society. You have to let individuals adapt. You have to let individuals die.

The Democrats and the Republicans do not understand people are important. They want to take my humanity and make my decisions for me. I cannot let them.

"Is That What It Is?"*

I walked around the duck pond looking for inspiration. The ducks were beautiful. A flowing stream relaxes my mind. But inspiration did not come.

As I was leaving, I thought about the bad things I have done. Most of them are not evil. I have good intentions. I blame my mind and my angry heart. I think too much. I either act too fast or too slow. I see too much. All I could think about the duck pond was taxpayer dollars paid for its upkeep. It is nice but could it be nicer? Thinking is part of my problem.

Being a man means deciding between what is important and not important. If something is important then I have to follow through with it. If it is not then I have to leave it alone. The duck pond is maintained by public funds; a fact that is inconsequential to my happiness. Sometimes you have to stop caring about inconsequential details. You have to wear blinders. You have to get tunnel vision. You have to ignore your normative side and become a positivist.

*U2's "Stay (Faraway, So Close)"

Better Late Than Never

I do not understand tagging. But I think it has something to do with blogs and forms like the one below. I will not tag anyone, because I know no one.

Four Jobs I've Had:

1. Research Assistant
2. Video Store Assistant Manager
3. Grocery Store Employee
4. Maintenance Man Assistant

Four Movies I can Watch Over and Over:

1. Metropolitan
2. Dr. Strangelove
3. American Beauty
4. Rattle and Hum "Fuck the Revolution"

Four Places I've Lived:

1. Crozet, VA
2. Bridgewater, VA
3. Blacksburg, VA
4. Stretching it but Munoz, Nueva Ecija, Philippines

Four TV Shows I Love:

1. The Andy Griffith Show
2. Sanford and Son
3. Everybody Loves Raymond
4. Seinfeld

Four Places I've Vacationed:

1. Myrtle Beach, SC
2. Nags Head, NC
3. Orlando, FL
4. Wherever Dollywood is in Tennessee

Four Of My Favorite Dishes:

1. Eggplant alla Parmagiana
2. Good North Carolina Pork Barbecue
3. My Grandfather's macaroni and Cheese
4. My Mother's Corned Beef Casserole

Four Sites I Visit Daily:

2. and
3. Daily News Record (
4. Cafe Hayek and Marginal Revolution

Four Places I'd Rather Be Right Now:

1. Crozet, VA
2. Self-confident
3. Satisfied
4. Motivated
(Better than anywhere but here)

Sunday, March 05, 2006

I Get Angry

GE has been screwing me for a month. They only have appointments on Tuesday and Thursday. You can only make appointments on the phone. They send a part instead of establishing an appointment. It irritates the hell out of me. I am going to spend money instead of using the warranty. Its exactly what GE wanted me to do.

I listen to Miles' "Blue In Green," and I calm down.

The Eagles asked "did she get tired or did she just get lazy?" I cannot tell if I am tired or lazy. Part of me says you cannot be tired at twenty four. Another part of me says its been an intense twenty four years and a tough year; all I need is to catch my breath.

The one thing I have learned about life is there are highs and lows. You got to get through both. Getting through is life. (I also learned you do not argue abortion. It never turns out well.)

Saturday, March 04, 2006

How I Spent My Afternoon

I spent four hours writing two Emails. One consisted of two lines. I make ant hills mountains. It is who I am.

I am listening to the Jimi Hendrix tribute. Its a great collection. It captures Hendrix's blues roots while pumping rock and roll through every song.

I watched the autistic basketball player's video again. I got choked up, but I do not know what to think about it. There is a lot of stories on the end of the bench that never get a shot. You have to keep sports competitive. Sports cannot become professional wrestling.

The Braves pitching staff does not seem to be sharp yet. Maybe Mazzone was magic. We will see.

I am going to buy boxers, so I do not have to wash clothes. Its nice to not have to worry about money. My lack of worry will bite me in the ass in a few months, but I will have twenty pair of boxers.

Friday, March 03, 2006

The Outlaw's "Green Grass And High Tides"

"In a place you only dream of
Where your soul is always free
Silver stages, golden curtains
Filled my head, plain as can be
As a rainbow grew round the sun
All the stars I've love who died
Came from somewhere beyond the scene you see
These lovely people played just for me
Now if I let you see this place
Where stories all ring true
Will you let me past your face
To see what's really you
It's not for me I ask these questions
As though I were a king
For you have to love, believe and feel
Before the burst of tamborines take you there

Green grass and high tides forever
Castles of stone souls and glory
Lost faces say we adore you
As kings and queens bow and play for you

Those who don't believe me
Find your souls and set them free
Those who do, believe and love
As time will be your key
Time and time again I've thanked them
For a piece of mind
They helped me find myself
Amongst the music and the rhyme
That enchants you there

(repeat chorus)"

This is by far the greatest song these guys ever wrote. We all have one great work of art in us. We really do.

I Am Bald And Other Truths

I am bald and will be for the rest of my life.

I envy others' success.

I am fat and will be for the rest of my life.

I eat compulsively.

I love women but hate the them at the same time.

I am compulsive.

I am intelligent but not intellectual.

I question societal norms without attempting to understand them.

I am lazy, but I care.

I like the idea of drinking wine much more than the taste.

I believe sex should be sacred, but I would doom myself to hell's eternity to sleep with a beautiful woman (well, any woman).

I think too highly of myself.

I worry that I will not be able to please a woman.

I worry that I am a sick pervert.

I am a sick pervert.

I worry about ending up alone.

I worry about ending up alone and not enjoying the company.

I worry about looking in the mirror and hating what I see.

Worrying is alright if you live.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

How Did You Sleep?

I took the night off to clean my apartment. I fell asleep watching the original Dukes of Hazzard and cleaned very little. It will get done, and if it does not, its not the end of the world.

Today I discovered how little I understand about life. I said that in my last post too. I do not know.

I am going to bed. I will sleep wonderfully.

From U2's "God Part II"

"I don't believe that rock'n'roll
Can really change the world
As it spins in revolution
Spirals and turns"

Maybe Bono is an Austrian economist. No.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

So Much To Learn

I told ML that I could never love a woman whose first language was not English. She gave me one of those "you have so much to learn" smiles and let me keep talking.

As I got on the bus, I remembered the smile. I was going to Email her about it. Could I not get an American, English, Irish, or Australian girl? Was I so socially inept that my best hope was a mail order bride? Was I repugnant?

Then an Asian woman got on the bus. She was sitting there thousands of miles away from her friends and family. She had to be lonely. She was struggling to deal with herself. She was just like me.

A countrywoman of her's got on the bus. And they talked and laughed. I wish I could capture the happiness in their smiles. It was such a release for them. They probably had not really conversed with anyone all day. I did not understand a word they said, but I knew how they felt. It had nothing to do with words. It was about two people being there for one another.

ML is right once again. I have so much to learn.