Friday, October 31, 2008

"Hey Diddle Diddle We're Running Up The Middle" Ready, Break

J.S. played guard. Well he started out as a tackle, but he ended up as a guard who played a little center. He wasn't very good. But he beat me out for playing time. In a mixed-up sort of way, he impeded my career as a freshman and as a senior.

J.S. was a rah-rah guy. Nobody on the team necessarily liked him. Nobody really respected him. But he talked a good game. He was always first in line for drills. He was always quick with a "Come on, guys," when practice wasn't going well. He would always volunteer to play another position if someone was hurt. The coaches liked him. By his senior year, even the coaches' affection had waned. But he was a rah-rah guy who always took advantage of any opportunity that arose.

During an off-week, he went camping. He came back with poison ivy all over his ass, legs, and stomach. He had poison ivy in places where no man should have poison ivy. He blamed it on an unwashed cabin mattress or bed spread. Then we found out that one of the female trainers had a severe case of poison ivy too. The story finally came out that he and the trainer had "explored nature" and were now paying for it.

I will always remember this story. But I will also remember that J.S. always found a way to get on the field.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Short Games

I don't think much of Bud Selig. I think Major League Baseball has problems. These playoffs and this series should be interesting, but they are not. Some of this is FOX and Joe Buck and Tim McCarver. Some of this is baseball should not be played in late October when it is thirty degrees.

But I like this three and half inning game tonight. I might just watch the whole game and get to bed at a reasonable time.

(I predict that Lidge blows his first save tonight. The game goes to extra innings, and I go to bed.)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Coversations Overheard While Waiting For The Bus

"Once you accept and admit you're flawed, pardon my language, but you once admit you're fucked-up, life changes. I wouldn't say life becomes easier. But things changes."

I think the context was Christianity.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Walter Williams Does It Again

Walter Williams' experiment from this post at Cafe Hayek:

"Today on my way to lunch I passed a homeless guy with a sign that read 'Vote Obama, I need the money.' I laughed. Once in the restaurant my server had on a 'Obama 08' tie, again I laughed as he had given away his political preference -- just imagine the coincidence. When the bill came I decided not to tip the server and explained to him that I was exploring the Obama redistribution of wealth concept. He stood there in disbelief while I told him that I was going to redistribute his tip to someone who I deemed more in need -- the homeless guy outside. The server angrily stormed from my sight. I went outside, gave the homeless guy $10 and told him to thank the server inside as I've decided he could use the money more. The homeless guy was grateful. At the end of my rather unscientific redistribution experiment I realized the homeless guy was grateful for the money he did not earn, but the waiter was pretty angry that I gave away the money he did earn even though the actual recipient needed money more. I guess redistribution of wealth is an easier thing to swallow in concept than in practical application."

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Einstein Quote Of The Day

"If I would be a young man again and had to decide how to make my living, I would not try to become a scientist or scholar or teacher. I would rather choose to be a plumber or a peddler in the hope to find that modest degree of independence still available under present circumstances."

Yeah I went home this weekend.

Friday, October 24, 2008

I Cannot Believe These Three Guys Could Get Together


I am not going to comment on their point. I am still in shock from seeing those three names together.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Conversations On The Bus, "Yeah, That's Awesome," And My First Economics Related Idea

"Yeah, I got really drunk. I had to call a cab. My brother had given me all of these cab cards. I call one. He comes. He says, "Baby, you got some junk in your trunk." I am so drunk I play along, shake my ass, and ride in the cab.

Yeah, that's awesome."

My college roommate liked to order pizza but always forgot to buy drinks. I always had drinks in the fridge but was too cheap to order pizza. My roommate always had extra pizza. I always had extra drinks. We could have easily contracted and both been better off, but we never did.

In a way it was a prisoners' dilemma. But I always chalked it up to "communication costs." It cost both of us something substantial to admit to one another that we wanted something that only the other guy could provide. Now game theorists and economists have thoroughly dealt with this problem, but it is really a psychological problem. The real issue is decreasing the psychic cost of communication.

This has very little to do with anything except to say that there are some things in the world that don't make sense. And that is okay.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Acting In Aiports

I am sitting in an international airport. The wireless signal does not reach my gate. (I think this is the city that wanted to give free wireless access to all its citizens.) The only outlets are located in modified 2’ X 2’ phone booths. I decide I am going to write a blog post. No I decide I want to write a blog post.

I have been thinking about this post for a few days. But I think it is clearer now.

I could go to an airport bar. Most of them are crowded, but I could start a conversation with someone. Something worthwhile could happen. I could go to McDonald’s and eat some more. I have already had two peanut butter sandwiches and some peanut M and M’s. But I want to appear busy.

I don’t want to be busy. I don’t want to work on my dissertation or something to advance my career. I don’t want to review tomorrow’s presentation or tomorrow’s workshop papers. But I want to feel busy.

I want to be important. I want to look like I have to make phone calls and work 14 hours a day. Some of it is me worrying too much about other people. Some of it is a screwed up ethic that graduate school, my Dad, and my “world” have instilled in me (both in the case of work and looking like I am working).

But it is also an astute recognition of self. Because I do like it. I like the life where you are sitting in airport phone booths bitching about wireless connections. I like the possibility of meeting somebody really important. I enjoy the feeling of doing something even if it is just acting.

When I threw shot-put I always thought it was more important what you did when the coaches weren’t looking. I used to practice after all of the others left. I used to practice in the rain and snow. I wasn’t getting (and didn’t get) any better. Smart practice is the key to success, not just practice.

But I sit here writing blog posts, thinking of stories about average to below-average looking stewardess, dress salesmen, and businessmen acting busy. I could go to a bar. I could sit down with some old British people. But I like where I am sitting.

Maybe I have done something to advance my career.

(ML pointed out to me this morning that most work is acting. As attractive as digging ditches seems at times, ditch diggers must feel some emptiness in their work. The Myth of Sisyphus comes to mind.)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

I Didn't Watch The Second Half

Of this game.

My uncle and sister went to JMU. For some reason, I feel some connection to the purple Dukes.

Some times it is better to run around and try to run out the clock than punt. Before long there will be clock management coaches on the side line.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Being The Subject

A few months ago I participated in an engineering experiment. I found out I was partially color blind. I had to change into spandex so my movements could be monitored. I was getting paid $20 an hour.

The experiment was being conducted by fellow graduate students. They made me feel like shit. They talked around me instead of to me. One rather feminine fellow kept telling me "You're doing a good job," like I was three years old. I wasn't a colleague. I wasn't a student. I wasn't anything to them.

It was the worse ostracized feeling I have felt in a long time. I wanted to be friends with them. I wanted to talk politics. I wanted to participate in their intellectual banter. I wanted to discuss experimental protocol with them. I usually do not give a damn about most people. But these people, because they were acting like I was some stupid subject only to be observed, intrigued me.

Maybe it was because they were engineering people. Maybe it was me. I don't know.

But when they finally paid me, which took three extra days, I felt a whole lot better.

From The June 2008 Issue Of The Journal Of Economic Literature

From The Economic Consequences of Legal Origins by Rafael La Porta, Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes, and Andrei Shleifer*:

"...The world economy in the last quarter century has been surprisingly calm, and has moved sharply toward capitalism and markets. In that environment, our framework suggests that the common law approach to social control of economic life performs better than the civil law approach. When markets do or can work well, it is better to support than to replace them. As long as the world economy remains free of war, major financial crises, or order extraordinary disturbances, the competitive pressures for market-supporting regulation will remain strong and we are likely to see continued liberalization. Of course, underlying this prediction is a hopeful assumption that nothing like World War II or the Great Depression will repeat itself. If it does, countries are likely to embrace civil law solutions, just as they did back then."

Friday, October 10, 2008

Baseball Starts In An Hour

1. I just saw a woman breastfeeding. This is not as cool as I once thought it would be.

2. This morning Saved By The Bell: The College Years was on channel 27. Sportscenter was on channel 28. Mike and Mike was on 29. Bob Golic wasn't bad as the resident advisor. This is a horrible time of year for Sportscenter. Mike Golic carries Mike and Mike when he tells his locker room stories, but most of Mike and Mike is unwatchable.

3. Baseball starts in an hour.

4. ACC football is very mediocre. With this being said, Wake Forest should never beat Clemson. Especially 12 to 7. Tommy Bowden better be looking for a job.

5. Baseball starts in an hour.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Some Things

1. It took me a gallon of bleach, a bottle of CLR, a new curtain, and a new mat, but my shower is clean. The sad thing is it still isn't really clean.

2. I don't wash off fruits or vegetables. I just eat them. I haven't got sick yet. My grandfather never did either. He lived to 84.

3. I wash my hands 5 out of every 6 times I piss.