Thursday, May 27, 2010

More Thoughts

1.  I've been working on the ol' resume this morning.  It is funny how much crap you can put on a page.

2.  I wrote down that I had an idea for a post on the NBA, but I can't remember what it is.  I am sure it had something to do with the fact that the Lakers are going to play the Celtics, and this is what the NBA wants.  I need to read Donaghy's Personal Foul: A First-Person Account of the Scandal that Rocked the NBA. (Except it didn't rock the NBA.)  Maybe I could make some money.

3.  Professional sports' officials are out of control.  But the NBA has a real problem when it has to rescind a call, so a player isn't suspended.  Why do you have a rule that if you get seven technicals in the playoffs, you are suspended for a game?  Just say that after seven technicals, you get a mandatory disciplinary review or something equally meaningless.  You can't suspend people in the playoffs for anything except punches.  This rescinding a technical is stupid.    

4.  I don't really think the NBA is fixed.  I just think it is nudged and predictably inconsistent.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Some Thoughts

1.  Tell me if this chain of reasoning is normal:  Somebody mentions the book of Isaiah.  I think Isaiah Rider who also went by J.R. Rider.  Who shot J.R.?  What does Isaiah say about modern TV?...  I am a product of the internet/ADHD/Headline News/Jeopardy/Sportscenter age, but I have to quiet my thought process and make it more linear.

2.  I keep coming back to Joe Posnanski writing that his father never got factory block.  We all have to spend our life doing/on something.  Who knows about the enjoyment of that activity?

3.  I watched a little soccer on Saturday.  It is hard to watch a game when you don't the two teams playing.  I am not a big fan of putting sponsors on jerseys instead of team names.  It was just the red versus the blue team.  Also, I know it was an important game.  The Champions League Final or something.  It doesn't help that I have no idea what that means.  This is partly FOX's fault too.  World Cup soccer will be interesting, but this club stuff just doesn't make sense to me.  

Friday, May 21, 2010

Some Thoughts

1.  I don't care about cycling.  I don't follow it.  I think what Lance Armstrong accomplished was great, but I don't follow it well enough to know how great.  I was interested in the Landis Tour de France case because I thought it was interesting from a legal-normative perspective.  How did he only fail one test on one day?  Wouldn't you expect the steroids-testosterone levels to be out of line in every test during the Tour?  In sports, should you be assumed guilty and have to prove your innocence.  When should we take away titles and wins?  I don't know.  (I might have missed something about the case.  And it has been a long time ago.)  What I am trying to say is that I believed Landis then.  And I believe him now also.  And I don't care.  I think cycling should just admit that it cannot police the sport and say if we can't test for it, then it is fine to do until we do have a test for it.  I guess this is my feeling about baseball too.  Let's let the past go.  

2.  I walk into a posh bathroom.  It reeks.  Somebody has blown it up.  Completely destroyed it.  I want to turn around.  All I can think about is why hasn't there been an invention to relieve this problem.  I guess you could do it with perfumes, but I think there has to be some type of fan to suck the gas out of the air.  Again I don't know.  But there is no worse feeling than walking into a first-class bathroom at a nice place and being hit with a wave of stink.        

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A Very Good YouTube Video That Seems To Cut Out At The End But It Is Still Good

900th Post

My dad was telling me the other night that the recession was (partly) caused by credit cards.  His big complaint was interchange fees.  He quoted some number ($400 Billion?) of how much money Visa/Mastercard/American Express/Discover make purely on transaction fees.  He said these fees were outrageous.  That these companies were making money for doing nothing.  He recognized some of the advantages of a "cashless" society, but he said you can't have companies making money for doing very little.  His basic point was that you can't have a society/economy built on debt, but he was also questioning the value of transaction fees.

There is definitely a negative behavioral issue concerning credit and debt that contributed to where we are today.  My generation views debt differently than my dad's generation and whole a lot different than my grandfather's generation.  I view debt and the use of credit cards much different than my dad.  Some of this has to do with financial education and where I am in my life cycle.  But I sympathize (and even listen to Dave Ramsey).  I also think that these issues are behavioral in nature and therefore correctable with training and will power.

But his transaction fee theory is more interesting.  Economics should teach that there are transaction/opportunity costs for everything.  I think that credit cards and "cashless" transactions reduce the costs of purchasing something.  My dad disagrees.  He thinks they increase costs.  He has worked in retail is whole life and he throughly understands transaction fees.  I am much more of a consumer/purchaser.

The point here is that the value of credit cards (and transaction fees) is purely subjective.  Their value aren't empirical questions.  Deciding whether to use or accept credit cards is an individual/company question/decision.  Average or statistical answers have absolutely no meaning.  None whatsoever.      

Life is about facing the consequences of individual decisions.  Problems occur when decisions and consequences are separated.

Digging deeper into this decision-consequence dynamic is complex and uncomfortable.  This is what politics and the general business of bullshit involves.  But I have come to believe that the best strategy is to ignore this general business and face life with the view that: "I, me, myself do control my decisions, and I will face the consequences of these decisions."  Yes, there are times when the connections seem suspect, but you have to forget about those times and move forward.         

Friday, May 14, 2010

Thursday Night TV

I've mentioned before that I think sit-coms are this great format for our attention deficit times.  This means I enjoy NBC's Thursday night programming.  But I think Parks and Rec and The Office are messing with the format and making me think too much.

They both have these complicated love stories going on that they are teasing for an end-of-season push.  But they are making them more complicated than they need to be.  Michael Scott is screwing a married woman.  This is funny for an episode, maybe two.  But meeting the husband and letting the story carry over into a fourth episode is too much.  Way too heavy for The OfficeParks and Rec has been developing this relationship between April (the young cute slacker) and the shoe-shine guy (the older [my age] dumb slacker).  Last night was time for the relationship to really begin, but they pushed it back an episode or two.  The episode itself was a cliff-hanger.

These shows don't need cliff-hangers.  Each episode is a 22 minute self-contained laugh-fest.  You can only make adultery funny for an 22-44 minutes.  After that, it looks way too much like the real world that everyone is trying to avoid by watching these shows.  Maybe this is why I enjoy watching re-runs more than day and date shows.

I will say that Community still rocks.   

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Blog Post

My dad used to say, "I don't care if you're a janitor as long as you're the best damn janitor you can be."  (I think some times the end turned into the best damn janitor in the world or some similar hyperbole.)

This morning a janitor polished the floors.  He did the most immaculate job I've ever seen.  The floors are shining like never before.  It took him hours, but you can see your reflection in the floor.  He used the mop and the dry mop (the secret to cleaning any high-traffic floor).  He is the best floor polisher I've ever seen.

And my dad has a point.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Questions For The NBA

1.  How did the Atlanta Hawks advance beyond the first round of the playoffs when the Mavericks, Thunder, Trailblazers, and Nuggets did not?

2.  When Orlando comes out of the East, will anyone watch the Finals?

3.  How can this Cleveland team win the most games during the regular season?

4.  Does the answer to 3 show that the NBA should reduce/adjust their regular season?

5.  If Lebron truly wants win a championship, how does he go back to Cleveland or to New York?

6.  Isn't their a way to organize the playoffs and draft so there would be no tanking and no "saving it for the playoffs?"

7.  Why can't the NBA be the first league to go radically different with their playoff structure?


Friday, May 07, 2010

Jason Whitlock's "Why I Write?"


I'm attracted 2 original ideas. I want 2 read & say, "damn, I never thought of that or didn't know that." Just me. Others want somthing else

Thursday, May 06, 2010

My San Antonio Spurs

I have never lived in a professional sports city.  I guess my closest hometown team is the Redskins.

But now that I am a part-time resident of San Antonio, I like saying "my San Antonio Spurs."

And right as I arrive, they have a just over-the-hill team that plays in the wrong conference.

But I still like saying "my San Antonio Spurs."


Tuesday, May 04, 2010

For The Record

1.  Saturday, I predicted the Celtics would beat the Cavaliers.  I stand by this prediction.  It is still Lebron versus the world.

2.  The local radio guy was crapping on the NBA playoffs because NBA basketball has turned into an individual sport.  Kobe versus Lebron.  He blamed Nike and the NBA for deifying Jordan and marketing players instead of teams.  I see his point, but I think the great thing about basketball is that it is the most individualistic of the team sports.  Lebron can will his team into the 2007 Finals.  But Lebron can't win a championship with a non-existent supporting cast.  The problem with the NBA playoffs is it is too long.  The West Coast games are way too late.

3.  Bureaucracies have a hard time with "giving a lot of what costs a little."  This is one of their greatest problems.  Their rules and procedures get in the way of low-cost things that could improve their constituencys' welfare.  Their decisions are consistently based on sustaining the bureaucracy and not low-cost solutions to the problems they face.     

Monday, May 03, 2010

Three Things

1.  Here is a good article on the subjective theory of value.

2.  One secret of success in life is "giving a lot of what costs a little."  Being nice to people can get you places.  From a business/product perspective, this thought translates into customer service and understanding sunk costs.  From a personal perspective, this thought translates into understanding yourself, your shortcomings, and your desires.  Many businesses fail because they overprice products and services that cost them nothing or very little.  Many people fail because they won't be themselves.  They overprice the ideas and qualities that come naturally to them.

3.  If I could capture the feeling that a large cup of coffee after 5-6 hour night of sleep can give a person, then I could put the antidepressant industry out of business.