Thursday, August 30, 2007

Information Authority

Doctors and mechanics examine our bodies and cars, use their acquired knowledge, and make diagnoses. They make diagnoses and offer solutions that we could not determine on our own. This relationship depends on the integrity of the doctor or mechanic. It depends on our faith in doctors and mechanics to accurately diagnose.

I have lost faith in doctors and mechanics.

This is a scary thing.

I really think doctors are worse than lawyers. There is no integrity left in a medical degree. We need a portfolio of doctor jokes.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Some Things

1. I looked at some economists' blogs today other than MarginalRevolution and CafeHayek. There is no reason that myself and my readership could not start a blog devoted to economics or the stupidity of economists and gain a following. It would be a worthless thing, but we could do it.

2. By definition, a worthless thing is not worth doing. But that rarely stops me.

3. I complained to my nurse Mom that my foot hurt after long trips or time sitting down. My Mom gave me sympathy. My Dad said: "You are 26 years old, aches and pains will be the rest of your life. Get used to it." My Dad knew exactly what I needed.

4. I got the doctor's bill. He charged $250 take a month to look at $500 worth of blood tests and to tell me I am fat. He also told me if I continue to be fat, I will die. The bluntness and "no shitness" of his message combined with the callousness of his bill pains me. I am 26 years old, aches and pains will be the rest of my life. I better get used to it.

5. I have lost 30 pounds on this South Beach diet. The doctor says I need to lose more. I have determined that simple carbohydrates are my drug. They are my crack. This means I will fuck up soon. Because no man can stay away from his crack.

6. I am going to stay away from doctors as much as I can.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

A Decision That Will Probably Reverse

I care too much about the Redskins and Braves.

So I am going to stop watching them. I am going to stop checking their scores and websites. If the 'Skins make the Super Bowl, I might watch. I doubt if the Braves will make the playoffs, but they will lose in the end anyway. It is over with. This goes for NASCAR too. Dale Jr. is a lame duck. I doubt if he will ever win a championship. I doubt if he will 10 more races in his career. There is too much talent in NASCAR.

The Vick thing bothers me. The Wickman thing bothers me. Neither are worth discussing.

I could never understand someone ex ante telling you to win at all costs, then ex post telling you that there is more to the game than winning. You cannot have it both ways.

Friday, August 24, 2007

The French Pronounce It That Way, But I Am Not French

I have been trying something new this week. I write down my core achievements that I want to accomplish in a journal, and I try to achieve them. It has not been a success. But it has not been a failure either.

As usual I have a difficult time expressing my core achievements. Writing is difficult. Saying I want to finish a draft of the introduction has no meaning. I worked on the introduction, but what does a draft really represent?

But the thing that worries me is that I do not have any goals. I do not know what I want. People tell me that "everyone knows what they want." But I do not. I have no clue. I have tried to find that light at the end of the tunnel. I have tried to answer "where do I want to be in five years?" But I cannot. I have general inclinations, but nothing definite enough to be a goal.

To achieve any kind of success, a person has to have goal. Success is achieving goals. "Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life." "A limousine without a place to go is no better than a bike with flat tires."

I cannot concentrate enough to finish this post. This lack of concentration is my problem.

People get to this point, where all the stupid shit that drives adolescence, that keeps people without goals getting out of bed in the morning, all of this shit that pulls us in a million different directions, becomes transparent, where life becomes clear. Everyone does not get to this point, but damn it, I will get there.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Time, Sleep, And The Other Things I Do Not Understand

I know this is irrational, but time moves at varying speeds. This is a psychological thing. But artificial product differentiation is product differentiation. There has to be a way to capitalize on this and make money.

I have not been sleeping well. I have been trying to allot myself nine hours to sleep, but sometimes it is not enough. Other times seven hours is plenty.

This post is stupid as shit. I am blogging just to be doing something.

I am sitting around waiting for things to happen again.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Too Many Women Blues

I got one on the right
One on the left
One in the shed
And two in the bed
I got the
I got the too many women blues

Who could have ever thought
This happening to an ugly guy like me
But man I didn't know
How good it felt to be free

I got the
I got the too many women blues

Most of you
Know this is not true
But how good it feels to be free

They say the past can ruin the future
But you gotta let it
And I tell you
The past don't mean shit
When you got the
(Too many women) blues

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Mary Chapin Carpenter's "Quittin' Time"

"Hey baby tell me what we're gonna do
It's getting crazy and I need some help from you
We were so connected that you were a part of me
Now I feel an emptiness right to the heart of me

But you pretend and I pretend
That everything is fine
And though we should be at an end
It's so hard admittin'
When it's quittin' time

Hey baby I'm running out of things to say
Please don't hate me this feeling just won't go away
Now we're spending all our time caught in a fantasy
Just trying to keep in mind the way it used to be

But you pretend and I pretend
That everything is fine
And though we should be at an end
It's so hard admittin'
When it's quittin' time

But you pretend and I pretend
That everything is fine
And though we should be at an end
It's so hard admittin'
When it's quittin' time"

500th Post

The last post was the 500th one on this blog. I think that means I have written 497 posts. In a sad way that is pretty cool.

It has been five years since my last football training camp. I certainly do not miss the overall experience of sweat, sleeplessness, and soreness, but I would love to hit some bags or some defensive lineman (not a sled) a couple more times.

I hated football camp. No that is not true. I liked that football camp made me tired. I liked that football camp pushed my body past preconceived limits. I liked that football camp required discipline. I liked that football camp brought 150 boys and made them go through things they hated but liked and wanted at the same time.

I was going to say something like I have been going through a football camp for the past two years Or life is like football camp. But that would be bullshit.

Football camp was a change for me. I worked with my Dad during the summer, and it was nice to be able to do something different no matter how physically and mentally demanding it was.

You go through periods and you get bored or attached to something. Then something changes. Or you change. You get depressed about the boredom or the loss. But dealing with changes and knowing when to change are both the hard the fun parts of life.

I have been through enough football camps to know that when camp is finished it is finished. It might not have been worth it, but it is over and done with until the next one comes around. And that is the first step in dealing with change.

It is also the first step to being happy.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Better Them Than Us

I think about the savanna
I think about the forests
I think about you and me
How far we have come
I hope you don't blame me
Sometimes I blame myself
My ancestors voluntarily submitted
Yours were forced
Mine ignored their chains
Thinking "better them than us"
Now I ignore the present
In favor of history
Together we ignore our chains
Thinking "better them than us"

Live Life Like You Are Getting Ready To Shit On Yourself

My indecisiveness disappeared. My vision showed clear. The light at the end of the tunnel shined. And once I sat down, I rediscovered happiness.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Things I Have Come To Learn

1. Ask the nurse or lab or someone how much a blood test is going to cost before getting it done. I just had a $400 blood test that my family doctor back home calls a "worthless catch-all test that says nothing." Maybe insurance will pay some of it, but I will not know for a couple of weeks, so I had to pay it now or face a $50 late charge.

2. I came to graduate school thinking I could fix U.S. health care. Graduate school has taught me graduate students, professors, and administrators cannot fix anything. It takes pissed off individuals. I must not be pissed off enough.

3. The apple does not fall far from the tree. The things I dislike about my Dad are the same things I dislike about myself. The same things that will lead him to an early grave will lead me. Some of it is genetics, some of it is experience, but most of it is stupidity.

Einstein Quote Of The Day

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius - and a lot of courage - to move in the opposite direction. "

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Woody Allen On Ingmar Bergman

"I learned from his example to try to turn out the best work I’m capable of at that given moment, never giving in to the foolish world of hits and flops or succumbing to playing the glitzy role of the film director, but making a movie and moving on to the next one. Bergman made about 60 films in his lifetime, I have made 38. At least if I can’t rise to his quality maybe I can approach his quantity."

Woody keeps coming back to this hard work theme in his interviews and essays. (I do not think it always come through in his movies, but that is the topic for a different post.)

I think he is right. You have to work. You have to do the best you can. You cannot sit around and worry about what others think.

Give me the strength to do what is right, and the confidence to know it is right.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Things I Can Do Without

A few weeks ago I was playing basketball with my cousins' cousin's husband. He a was 25 year old American wearing a soccer jersey. Naturally he was rich prick.

He was a good athlete. But I told my other cousin "If we knock him down, he will quit." I will always be a prole.

I was right. He drove to the basket. I got in front of him, and he went to the ground hard. I gave him the foul, but I still think it was a charge if it was anything. He did not drive to the basket again.

Now I did this too late in the game, and we lost. This was mostly due to the fact I was playing with 13 and 14 year olds who had no concept of defense at all. (I have been meaning to write a post about the sad state of basketball for weeks.)

But my thrill of the weekend, the month, maybe the year was knocking the shit out of that guy. It was the greatest thing I had done since beating all of those rich preppies on the AP US History exam.

I will always be a prole. I used to think that my prole's anger is what separated me from my colleagues. I hate authority. I hate the status quo. Hatred can provide energy. Hatred leads to caring. Anyone who cares can be dangerous and cause change.

But over the last few weeks, I have decided I have to let some things go. I cannot let the thrill of knocking some rich prick down be the highlight of my life. And I need to avoid situations like that. I should only play basketball occasionally with friends who I will have to see again. Competition can be good. But at my age the first and foremost competition has to be with myself. I cannot keep defining success as how many people I knock the shit out of and are "better than" (whatever the hell that means).

I did not win the game. My prole's anger took my eye away from the goal. If I want to be truly dangerous, I have to win.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Communication Costs

There are some people I do not like. I assume the feeling is mutual, so I remain cordial.

But there are some people I would really like to tell what I think of them, just tell them how idiotic they are, just call them the liars that they are. I assume they would like to do the same to me.

So maybe there would be a Pareto improvement if we just tell each other how we feel.

The Joy Of Swimming

I am fat. I have infinitely more hair on my chest and back than I do on my head. But I would strip naked in front of the most beautiful women in the world to jump into a pool right now.