Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Sunday, December 20, 2009
One time in high school we were going through our mid-season "hell week." We were 0-4, and the coach thought we needed to beat the shit out of one another to get better. We were doing this drill where one guy plays the fullback and one guy plays an unblocked defensive end. The full back gets a 5-7 yard running start and tries to knock the defensive end (who gets a couple of yards) off his feet. I went through the first time and knocked the defensive end down. I was woozy, and the second time I think the defensive end got me. I probably did the drill another four or five times. I was woozy throughout, but I certainly couldn't say anything. I would have probably been chastised for not having enough air in my helmet, and told to "suck it up."
During my first practice in college, we were doing a chute drill, I had almost no air in my helmet because we're in shorts, and a senior intentionally missed the bag and put his face-mask right into my face-mask and knocked me silly. I wasn't right for three or four days. This was my first college practice, and I certainly couldn't have said anything.
The point of these stories is that concussions and football have gone together for a long time and occur at all levels. New helmets will help, but football players and coaches have to change their behavior if anything is really going to change.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
- It is hell getting old. My hamstring and back are tight. I can't lift anything over 20 pounds anymore without getting sore. I am becoming my dad.
- I rode on a plane with a blind guy and his seeing-eyed dog, a bullshitter who said he played for the Patriots, and two non-nice stewardresses. The blind guy was fine and courageous, but he did require an amount of special treatment. It was just an interesting experience. The bullshitter said he played for the Patriots during their 18 and 1 season. He said they had lost focus at the end of the season. He couldn't remember who they played in the last game of the regular season. He told a guy his name. He said he was going to sign with the Cowboys next week after a week of rehab. He had just had knee surgery at Johns Hopkins (I think he just said Baltimore), but he did not walk with any limp and had no brace. He was shorter than me. He might have been a good small college player, but he did not play in the NFL. The flight attendants weren't ugly, ugly acting, or abusive. They just weren't nice. That really decreases the enjoyment of a flight.
- I saw REO Speedwagon play on Saturday night at a private party. They were old. I still can't figure out if there were any original members left. But they rocked. If I have half their passion at their age, then I will be a happy man. I am not a big believer in "callings" or the idea that we all have to do something we love. But we have to keep on searching and struggling. It is better to be passionate about bullshit than apathetic about bullshit. The secret is seeing that most everything has a probability of being fake and ultimately fruitless, but that doesn't give one permission to mail it in. REO Speedwagon should have mailed it in, but they didn't. There is a lesson to be learned from this.
Saturday, December 12, 2009
I thought the strategy was foolish. I thought it was fake. Grocery stores by there very nature cannot be local businesses. They do not make fruit loops or grow bananas in Virginia. It is impossible. If you want to be a grocery store, you have to be a global business. Of course most customers don't see it this way. Some people think that buying from a local "mom and pop's" is somehow better than buying from Harris Teeter.
Now, the strategy also fails on practical grounds. The majority owner does not live in town. One of the old guys has never lived in town. My dad has lived in town his whole life but works too much to really be involved in town politics or even the volunteer fire department. He also believes that business success ultimately depends on providing value to customers. In other words "being local" is not a reason in itself to shop at the grocery store. Business is about reducing transportation and transaction costs (having locational monopoly power) and providing better and/or cheaper products.
I guess it gets back to doing what you think is right, and going with it. But I still worry about the store, and I don't like the fakeness of their marketing campaign. I would prefer them to concentrate on providing value to customers.
Friday, December 11, 2009
I never really thought that there was a big problem with this way of doing things, but it finally hit me this morning. By jumping right in, I have no idea when I am finished. I have no idea what kind of progress I made this morning. I can't say what I need to finish before I leave tomorrow. I get no sense of accomplishment, and now I am in the office, and I feel like the morning was wasted. I have probably increased my stress-load.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Wednesday, December 09, 2009
Monday, December 07, 2009
Sunday, December 06, 2009
Saturday, December 05, 2009
Wednesday, December 02, 2009
Tuesday, December 01, 2009
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Jason Whitlock has a couple of commentaries on Mangino. This morning's article basically asks "How important is winning?" This is also the underlying question of the France-Ireland handball. At what lengths should coaches, organizations, teams, and player go to win? I played enough athletics to know that most coaches, organizations, and players would answer "anything within limits" to win. The limits differ, but the objective of sports is to win.
The things that bothers me about Mangino are the personal nature of his attacks, and his commitment to the idea that he is helping his players succeed in life. He probably has helped a lot of players do better than they would have if they didn't have a college scholarship. His "tough love" has probably helped a lot of players get past bad habits and lack of discipline. But what for? Winning college football games? I guess the question becomes is winning football games closely correlated with winning in life? I know they are somewhat correlated, but how closely?
It is the same thing with the France-Ireland thing. I know if I was Irish I would be pissed. I know the French feel that the win was tainted, but what is the right thing to do? And a bigger question, does the outcome of the game really matter in the grand scheme?
My philosophy has developed to the point where I believe the games don't matter as much as the seasons, and the seasons don't matter as much as the decades, and so forth.
The real thing that amazes me is that we are wealthy enough to care. Bill Simmons is paid millions of dollars to write about games. He gets to write a long column on one decision in one game that will in all likelihood not make a difference. And I get to read it even though I haven't slept in the same bed in consecutive nights this week.
Is the "win-at-all-costs" attitude what has gotten us to this place? Is the commitment to the attitude the difference between Bill Simmons success and writing a blog that no one reads? Is it the difference between six and five figures? Is it the difference between finishing and not finishing?
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Monday, November 16, 2009
Bill Belichick demonstrated what I was trying to say in this post. I just listened to Bill Simmons and Cousin Sal say Belichick went against the odds. Joe Posnanski links to a guy who says he played the odds perfectly. Neither link matters. They didn't get the first down. The Patriots lost.
The probabilities don't matter. The outcome does. Bill Belichick will only have once chance to make that call. He made it. Now the game is over. And he has to start preparing for the Jets. And I bet that is what he is doing.
- The question is not Manning or Brady? It is Jason Campbell or Kyle Orton?
- Besides Wayne, Manning's best receivers are a former walk-on at Iowa and a Division III player (even though Mount Union is as close as Division III comes to big-time college football).
- A Division III player was getting a pretty big push on Football Night In America.
- Besides Moss, Brady's receivers aren't much better than Manning's.
- Again the question is not Manning or Brady, it is Campbell or Orton? And the answer goes something like if you put the right guys around a mediocre NFL quarterback, you might win one championship but you're not getting a hundred wins in a decade.
- I would be satisfied with one championship.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
2. I go into a bathroom at a fairly large airport. There is a man, an attendant, sitting there. I have to drop a sizable load. He sees me go in. Ten minutes later, he sees me go out. I know he understands, but like the shirt, it is just an uncomfortable situation.
3. I also don't know what to do with the attendant. He doesn't have an official tip jar. There are some mints and Listerine with a money jar, but that looks like it goes to a charity. Again, I don't know what to do.
4. I shotgun 40 ounces of Diet Coke. The caffeine and and liquid causes bladder spasms. I have to piss 4 times in the next two hours. This situation amplifies the uncomfortableness of 2 and 3.
5. Since I left this morning, I missed the opportunity to see Kevin Durant, the emerging Thunder, and maybe this year's champs, Spurs.
Just an unfortunate day.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Thursday, November 05, 2009
Wednesday, November 04, 2009
Monday, November 02, 2009
2. Vista sucks. The Mac commercial makes sense. Microsoft has been selling empty promises since I have started using computers. Windows will work most of the time, but when it doesn't, it will make your life miserable.
3. Wireless mouses were a great invention.
4. I bought a cord to hook up my laptops to my TV. I have no idea what I am going to do with it, but I am really glad I have it.
Sunday, November 01, 2009
My wife and I watched the first game of the World Series. She has no idea about baseball. No idea whatsoever. But she and I enjoyed the game. The Phillies won.
I hate the Yankees. I have never liked them. It really started when they came back against the Braves in '96. I never thought they could get four wins in six games against the Braves' starters. But even before then, my grandfather told me to not like teams from New York, especially one named the Yankees.
I am not a big fan of the Phillies or Philadelphia either. I grew up watching the Redskins. Washington fans have very little respect for the other NFC east cities. Philadelphia, New York, and Dallas don't get "my team isn't playing" fandom.
But I enjoyed game one, prefer the National League to the American League, Charlie Manuel is from Virginia, and I started rooting for the Phillies. I couldn't watch Game 2, and they lost. I stopped wanting to watch the games. I couldn't handle it. I couldn't handle watching a baseball game, caring about the outcome, but knowing that my desired outcome probably won't happen kills me.
I don't want to watch anything sports related especially with the Redskins the laughingstock of the NFL and the Hokies choking away another season. And here I was enjoying the beautiful game of baseball in HD, and I don't even hate this Yankees team as much as usual (except Joe Girardi), but once I have a rooting interest, I can't watch the damn game without increases in blood pressure and yelling. I find the whole thing sad.
Then I am watching Mad Men, and President Kennedy gets assassinated. I remember September 11th and April 16th. I remember that baseball and sports and most everything else is a distraction from the only important thing:
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Friday, October 16, 2009
My example is not a very good one, and I will work on a better one. But there are two ideas here. First of all, risk has no meaning unless you're dealing with a repeatable and replicated event. I would argue we haven't had enough service economy recessions to understand the risks associated with our economy. I would argue we don't know the risks involved with a public health care system in the U.S. Second, "risky" thinking is dangerous when one explicitly considers uncertainty. People who try and predict recessions will mislead people, because they are thinking about the problem in a fundamentally wrong way. People who discuss a public health care program in terms of outcomes and events will mislead people, because there is a fundamental error in there thinking. We don't know will happen, and we can't argue in probability terms.
I am not saying what I want to say, but my final point is that assuming and proclaiming that you know the distribution of outcomes when you really have no idea is (might be) dangerous and wrongheaded. We (some times) need to admit when we're guessing.
Poker isn't the best Risk, the idea that events can be broken up into chance
My last two flights were full. You decide what that really means.
On a different note, I am sitting in a surgery waiting room. I can assure you the surgery business is brisk also. Thinking of surgery as business is strange, but I think that is the proper way to think about it. There is too much money involved for it to be thought of any other way.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
2. I also get a thrill out of racing through a major airport to catch a plane. I have a feeling as I get older this thrill will pass.
3. I don't care much for choppy air.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
2. I have known that I don't drink enough water for a long time. Once in the 11th grade, my body cramped up so bad because of dehydration that I stayed on my den floor for two hours.
3. There is nothing sadder than continually doing a stupid thing over and over again.
4. I can't watch TV and do work. But I watch TV and act like I am working. Another sad situation.
5. The lesson here is to drink water and turn the TV off when you want to work. It is like my old coach said, "Push away from the table you fat-ass., push away from the table!" "Let your mistakes by your own."
James Buchanan is still my favorite, but I did enjoy Elinor Ostrom. I would have never thought she would have won a Nobel Prize in economics, but she did. And the profession is better for it.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
- All balls and strikes determined by K-Zone or a similar computer system. If it is in the box, it is a strike. If it isn't, it is a ball. The home plate umpire would only help determine swings and plays at the plate. Notice, I said I would like to see it tried not that I think it should be implemented. I think balls and strikes have always been very arbitrary, and I don't have the counterfactual to know if this is better than the alternative.
- All major sports have a "the umpire or referee completely screwed up and we have to do something about it" replay system. I imagine this looking somewhat like college football's every play Is reviewed system, but I would like for it to include other blatant bad calls like pass interference penalties. This system would have to be somewhat arbitrary. The idea would be that the call was so blatant that it only takes a single review and everyone knows the referee screwed up, then the call would corrected. I am ignoring the counterfactual problem here, but I think it can be overcome. The system would depend on mutual agreeability between teams. Like with Mauer's fair ball the other night, you give him a double and move forward. I don't think that ex ante (right after it happened) the Yankees would have disagreed with that, especially if they knew the same would be done for them. Again, I just want to see this and admit it might not (probably won't) work.
- I would like to see a college football playoff system, but I think it is like the above things. It might work, but I don't think it is guaranteed. (Listen to this possibility, Virginia Tech versus Miami in the BCS championship game. I don't think Florida or Alabama is going to lose twice. Texas didn't impress me last night. I know Virginia Tech will screw up. But imagine the possibilities. This is why I am unsure about the playoff system.)
Friday, October 09, 2009
I guess it started last night. My wife and I argued about how much TV we watch. She is happy with her work ethic. She is happy with the amount of time she spends in front of the TV. I am not happy with my work ethic. I think the TV sucks my energy and work ethic out of me. We disagree. We argue which really sucks the energy out of both of us. She says, "Whatever," which I interpret as "This is life."
I wake up late this morning. But this isn't too bad, because I have to pick up something for breakfast and lunch. I also have to pay my HOA dues. I leave the apartment, and I even remember my parking pass and pack a bag with a couple of drinks and granola bars. I don't put the bag in my computer bag.
I pay my HOA dues. I go to the grocery store. I buy one of those microwaveable semi-prepared sandwiches for breakfast. This is of course a mistake. I should know better.
I parked. I am three steps from the office when I realize that I did not put my parking pass on my rear-view mirror. I walk back and put the tag up.
I make breakfast. Semi-prepared food sucks. It always does. It always will. It is passable, but it sucks. And it makes a mess.
I remember that my bag of drinks and granola bars are still in the truck. I go down and buy a drink from the machine.
I am in the office with one other person. She is coughing and sneezing. She seems to be deathly ill to me. She assures a professor that she was sick but is now recovering. This scares the hell out of me.
Wednesday, October 07, 2009
This is the debate of our times, and I think both columnists reach the correct conclusion. As my political activist colleague says, "Something always beats nothing."
Marx had some valid observations. There will always be classes, but I don't think there is a real class struggle. The "doers, the Jims, the Humes," don't have time to bother with the "non-doers, the Mr. Hoovers, the Benthams."
Monday, October 05, 2009
- I thought about the title quote this afternoon. I've never thought that passion and "being paid" were mutually exclusive. But I have always thought that it was hard to do both at the same time, and only a select number of people get to be passionate about what they get paid for. Part of me thinks my outlook is wrong. I should do everything in my power to make my passion fruitful. Another part of me understands that passion is usually a fleeting thing. What I am passionate about today won't mean a thing to me tomorrow. This is life.
- How in the world is Tech a 12-14 point favorite over Boston College? Has anyone watched the last few seasons in the ACC? Do people from Boston College just not bet? Did anyone watch Tech against Duke, another well-coached disciplined team? I wish I had the courage to gamble.
Sunday, October 04, 2009
Thursday night I saw U2. I know opinions on U2 vary. But they absolutely rocked. I saw them (and Chelsea Clinton) in RFK on the PopMart tour. This show was ten times better. They're at a point where they still have the physical skills to put on a show and the experience to know how to put on a show.
Friday night I saw my high school team. They ran the most efficient spread offense I've ever seen in high school. They are 5 and 0 (almost twice as many wins as we had total in my junior and senior years). They need to find a package that will help them run out the clock without exposing their quarterback to injury and infuriating the opposing team. But I was thoroughly impressed.
Saturday, I didn't do much. I did mow my parent's grass in record time. It wasn't perfect, but it is done. Now we have to hope for an early October freeze.
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
My family and I know that the video business isn't going to make it in the long or medium term. In the short-run, we have a locational monopoly. Right now, the business is a cash cow. Everything is paid for. The rent is cheap. We don't have to pay a lot in labor. Business is definitely slowing. And we have no delusions about our long-term future. But the question becomes what can we do right now to make a few more dollars?
We're thinking about adding a subscription plan. Obviously, we're late on this one. It would cost us a $1000-$2000 to upgrade our software and computer equipment, but it would require us to get credit card capabilities which should increase our revenues and help us eventually liquidate our inventory.
I've also thought about increasing our internet presence with a Twitter, Facebook, and Blog Accounts. All of these only cost time, but they could definitely help us market the business. (There is part of me who thinks this is part of the future for local business. A local business creates a "following". When people check their Facebook Account, they see what DVDs are being released Tuesday. They can debate other "friends" and customers about what movies are good. The local storefront and the fact that customers see and know other customers add a little humanity that "big" business cannot. I also like the idea of "Twitter Specials" like all followers get a free bag of microwave popcorn. From a marketing perspective, this kind of advertising is so much accountable than advertising in the high school yearbook or local newspaper. I can easily count how many followers took advantage of the Twitter Special.) This internet presence should also help us eventually liquidate our inventory.
With all of this being said, I know it is only a matter of time before the video store goes the way of the record store, but I want to squeeze every last dollar out of it that I can.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
As I was jogging yesterday I decided that my definition of a basically healthy person was someone who could safely and efficiently exit a building if there was an emergency. If the person had children, he or she should also be able to help those children to safely and efficiently exit a building during an emergency.
Then my mom was telling me (complaining) about her new aerobics/strength training class. I wasn't listening. She called me on it. And I went into my health manifesto to prove that I was actually kind-of listening:
First, nutrition is the key to being healthy. If you eat crap, you will not be more than basically healthy. Proper nutrition is a constant struggle for the vast majority of Americans. It isn't society's fault. It isn't a cultural problem. Society and culture contributes, but it is about making difficult choices. Food that tastes good is usually not good for you. A person who eats food that tastes good (especially in my family) usually eats too much. One has to make a habit out of eating low calorie-low fat-low sugar food (most of the time). One has to make it a habit to watch his portions (most of the time). But remember my definition of basically healthy, it is better to eat crap and be heavy than be an alcoholic who is too drunk (or not there to) to get his kids out of his burning house.
Second, exercise is about activity habits. My mom can go to aerobics/strength training once a week, but if she wants to progress, especially during the aerobics portion, she has to increase her activity levels throughout the week. A power lifter has to lift heavy weight. A runner has to run. If my mom wants to keep up with her aerobics instructor, she has to do aerobics. You have to establish habits, because the exercise itself doesn't burn that many calories. It is the gradual boost in metabolism that really leads to weight loss. It is that confidence and bad-ass feeling that comes from pushing yourself past your pre-conceived limits that allows one to do more. But again, exercise has very little to do with achieving my definition of healthy. If you're on crutches because of a torn ACL or a knee replacement, you aren't making it out of the building.
The word that keeps being repeated is habits. If you want to move past basic healthiness, you have to develop nutritional and activity habits. But the thing to remember is that all habits generate opportunity costs and tradeoffs. In other words, being healthy isn't simple, and I can understand when people decide that it isn't worth it.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Saturday, September 26, 2009
- I wouldn't be upset if the Redskins traded for Braylon Edwards or Brandon Marshall. The fact that I wouldn't be upset worries me. I think it shows that I am becoming really indifferent to the Redskins' future.
- I could see Virginia Tech playing Alabama again in the BCS National Championship Game. By 6:00PM, I have a feeling this vision will be destroyed.
- I am watching Rachel Ray. I have no idea what this says about me. But I don't think it is good. She is baking bacon. This fascinates me.
- I should do a good amount of cleaning today. This doesn't fit into by badass persona. But I am so badass, I am going to do it anyway.
- It is raining in Blacksburg. This has to play in favor of Virginia Tech, right? Maybe it will be 6:30PM or 7:00PM before my vision in 2 will be crushed.
Friday, September 25, 2009
I must think of myself as a badass. I still think I could get in a three point stance and block guys. I still think I can take a few months to get back in shape and be able to play "ball." I think I can do it. But I don't do it, because I don't want to. I am so badass, I do what I want to.
I have to think this way, because when I don't, I am not worth a shit. This proof of this statement is evident (at least in my mind). When I don't have this "lethal ape" feeling, I don't get things done. I am tentative. I am bored. I am not much good. As Ol' Willis Bond used to say, "I ain't worth a shit."
I am not violent. I recognize that it is just a feeling. I know that I couldn't block my sixteen year old 150 pound cousin. I can't even get in three point stance without mildly injuring myself. I recognize that all I really need is confidence in my ability to push through the difficulties that life throws in front of me.
But there is no better way to instill that confidence than to convince yourself that you are a Grade A, Mr. T-like badass.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
My office floor had an inch of dust and grime on it. It hadn't been cleaned in eighteen months. There were pistachio and peanut shells under the desk. It was disgusting. For the last six months, I have thought about how I should clean it up.
But I still got a little upset when the custodians made me leave the office for two and a half minutes, so they could clean my office floor.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
I plug my netbook in at airports, coffee shops, in my office, and at home. I pay the electricity bill at home, but I can't discern any marginal increases when I charge my netbook. I have started turning off my desktop when not in use, but I haven't been able to tell much difference in my bill because of that either. I've read where these electric cars (specifically the Chevy Volt) won't be as cheap as people think because of the increases in electric bills due to charging them. I've heard the cost of electricity will increase in the near future. I know that my electricity bill was high in the winter when my heater had to run all day and night.
The point here is that uncertainty about technology, regulations, government, fossil fuel supplies, etc. abounds. No one knows what is going to happen. But the world keeps spinning. And that is the only energy that matters.
Monday, September 21, 2009
- There will be a rule where quarterbacks are only live when they're outside the pocket. Referees will have to make the decision whether the quarterback "could have been" sacked or not. I don't think this rule is that far away.
- The League will have its own medical-training staff that evaluates all player injuries. Teams will have very little influence on medical-training decisions. Independent (League-paid) doctors will determine who plays and who doesn't play. This change will be due to finances, retired NFL player complaints and medical problems, gambling, and Bill Belichick and his coaching tree.
- An 8-8 team will eventually win the Super Bowl.
- The Redskins will finish 8-8 this year. They will not win the Super Bowl.
Friday, September 18, 2009
- I don't know what to think about small unprofitable airports. I do prefer them to large airports, but I don't see much (any) public good value in them.
- I did drink most of the coffee from yesterday. It did clean out my system.
- I've never bought a newspaper. I don't think I ever will. I always thought that paper vending machines were an interesting test of honesty, but I've never bought one.
- The ads on the blog are just an experiment. I am not delusional enough to think I will make any money. Personally, I read everything off of Google Reader anyway.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
"Measured objectively, what a man can wrest from Truth by passionate striving is utterly infinitesimal. But the striving frees us from the bonds of the self and makes us comrades of those who are the best and the greatest."
For some reason, this quote gives me comfort.
I didn't get my normal eight hours last night. I needed a pick me up. I made some coffee in my office. It isn't very good.
The coffee was old. The coffeemaker needed a good cleaning. The finished product just sucks.
I shouldn't drink it, but I will. At least it will suppress my appetite.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Last week some guy who irritated me and basically questioned my work ethic/manhood asked me what my future goals were. Anyone who has read more than five posts on this blog knows I have no goals. I am a confused guy struggling to find my way in the world. I am confident I will get there, but honestly, I am not the kind of guy who is ever going to verbalize future goals. I am superstitious enough to believe that verbalization will guarantee my failure. I am also realistic enough to think that future goals change daily and are dependent on an amount of luck. My only real goal is to live, and I think that is everyone's real goal.
I gave some quick and unthoughtful answer. But here are some possible professional goals that I might pursue in the future.
- I want to convince and cajole other similar professionals that every problem is not empirical. I want them to see that many problems cannot be simplified into observable data. I want them realize how foolish some of their answers are.
- I want to be a professional who contributes to solutions. I don't care how small or temporary the problems are, but I want to be part of recognizable and implementable, not optimal, solutions.
- I want to describe problems in the truest light I can. I don't want to ignore attributes without admitting that I am ignoring them. I don't believe in objectivity, but I want really "call things like I see them."
Monday, September 14, 2009
I have been in six different emergency rooms. Three were in predominantly rural areas. Two were in suburban-urban areas. One was in an urban area. One of the hospitals in the suburban area was a private hospital, and one was a public hospital (that I think was just discussed in a USA Today cover story). Of course they were all different experiences. But it made me think about the spatial-transportation-Poisson problems involved in healthcare. The rural hospitals were underutilized in many respects. (I will say that most of my experience with them had to do with broken limbs. The orthopedists took an hour to get there in each case, but I was given a room/tent by myself to wait.) The capacity and service of the suburban hospitals depended on what time of day I was there. The urban hospital was an experience in itself. I also fully admit that I went to the emergency room a few times for non-emergency reasons but Mom reasons. Today I would have sucked it up or have gone to an urgent care facility.
This post really has no point, and I have no answers. But it shows how complicated of a problem healthcare really is and shows how bad of an idea it might be to push something through Congress to create the illusion that you are "doing something."
(This post made me think about some of these issues.)
Saturday, September 12, 2009
2. My college coach said that Bear Bryant said that "Out-of-conference, you schedule one team you're better than, one team you that is better than you, and one team you're even with." (This was before teams played what seems to be an endless out-of-conference schedule.) I think Tech has scheduled that way this year. So next week, the team that they are even with, is the real test.
3. I still say that the problem with Division I football is there are too many fringe teams. Marshall and Tech should never play one another. Texas should never play Wyoming. TCU should never play Virginia. Florida should never be playing the two teams they have played. They need to cut it back to about fifty teams and make those fifty teams only play one another (or at least for ten games). I think it would help out the BCS situation by making teams more comparable. It is pretty clear to me that Notre Dame and Tech are not in the same league as Florida. But the problem is where does Fresno State and Boise State fit into the equation.
4. It looks like Michigan is starting to take it to Notre Dame. Notre Dame seems to be weaker and slower. Charlie Weiss will be coaching quarterbacks in the NFL in a couple of years.
2. I got up this morning and went to Hardees. A Hardees breakfast is a Hardees breakfast. It isn't healthy, but there is something very comforting about it.
3. It will be an interesting NFL season. The Patriots will win a lot of games. The NFC East will beat each other up. The Steelers and Ravens will play great defense and be around at the end. It will be interesting. I am afraid that there where will be one big blown call this year that will outrage most NFL fans. (I know these are all no-shit predictions.)
4. I wonder what will Favre say in his Hall of Fame speech.
5. This should be the most hyped "must-see-TV" weekend in NASCAR. And I don't care. NASCAR has some real problems. I think the winner of the last race before the Chase should automatically be in the Chase. I say this even though I am not a big proponent of the Chase.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
There is this girl graduate student. She has been here almost as long as I have.
There is this guy graduate student. He has only been here a year. He is younger than the girl graduate student.
There is certainly something going on between them. She is always in his office except when he is in her office. It is kind of sweet, more weird. Two kids who aren't kids feeling each other out, trying to hide something that everyone else sees. I don't know.
The sociology of the thing enthralls me.
(It reminds me of a situation from my first year here. Unfortunately, I don't know if any of my readers have been around long enough to remember.)
Wednesday, September 09, 2009
Monday, September 07, 2009
Saturday, September 05, 2009
Tuesday, September 01, 2009
- First-class on short flights is for suckers, I think. I am sitting in coach with just as much room for half the price. I don't know. I have always heard once you go first-class, you don't go back. But I just don't see it on short flights when the plane isn't full.
- My wife made me get a massage yesterday. I enjoyed it.
- There is a real value to routine. Getting up earlier than you usually do can mess with you. Getting stuck in a bad routine can be destructive, but a good routine can be very comfortable.
- Comfort is probably what I look for most. That is the thing about the massage. I didn't want to do it because it made me uncomfortable ex ante. Ex post I was fine. Once I got in the room I was fine. It is just getting over that initial fear. That feeling of uncomfortable that makes me want to stay in certain routine. That makes me want to stick to the ways "I have always done things."
- Older members of my family also have this anxiety of anything different. It causes problems in later life. It keeps them stuck in destructive routines.
- Now I am going to start working on that presentation.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
- I woke up this morning in Blacksburg, Virginia at 5:00AM(EST). By 1:30PM(EST), I will be in San Antonio, Texas.
- I am typing this post on the flight.
- I could upload this post for $9.95.
- Since 5:00AM, I have checked my Email four times, once at my apartment, once on the bus to the Roanoke airport, once at the Roanoke airport, and once again at the Atlanta airport.
- I talked to both my dad and my wife while in Atlanta. My dad was in Crozet, Virginia. My wife was in San Antonio. The marginal cost of these calls was $0.
- I just typed "The marginal cost of these were $0." The computer corrected me.
- I am now publishing this post from our apartment in San Antonio. (By the way, I am in the shitter.)
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
2. I keep hearing commercials telling people not to say "this is so gay." I don't know what to think about this. Part of me thinks it is the evolution of language. Gay for me has come to mean feminine or girlish. I don't think it is as insulting as the commercials make it out to be, but other derogatory words have evolved out of the language. So maybe I'm wrong, and these commercials are part of our societal progression.
3. I have a lot of baseball cards at home. I have no idea what to do with them. Part of me wants to liquidate them. Another part of me wants to keep them. They will probably stay at my parents' house for another five or ten years until my mom makes me take them.
4. I just listened to Dan Patrick interview Peyton Manning. All I can say is "smooth." I have always liked "edge," but "edge" quickly turns into a disaster. "Edge" usually leads to inconsistency.
5. Anxiety, fear, excitement, worry are all complex emotions.
6. I don't like chicken. It used to be my favorite meat as a kid. (I think I used to like the skin more than anything else.) I fried some skinless chicken in olive oil, seasoned the hell out of it, mixed it with lima beans (which I thoroughly enjoy), and made a decent honey and Dijon mustard sauce. It wasn't bad, but I would rather have a dry hamburger.
Friday, August 21, 2009
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Monday, August 10, 2009
Saturday, August 08, 2009
Friday, August 07, 2009
Tuesday, August 04, 2009
Sunday, August 02, 2009
Stimulus and government programs are always selective. Some people get selected. Some people don't.