back to normal

That's right folks, it's 10:13 pm, I am watching the Daily Show, and eating pizza rolls. Tonight, though, it's not my fault. We had a surprise deadline come up at work and I didn't get home until after 9. Sorry Deana and Amy, I really was at work tonight :)

It's on a night like tonight that sleep is really appealing, particularly when my alarm wakes me tomorrow morning. Apparently blogthing thinks I take it too far.

Your New Years Resolution Should Be: Wake up before noon
You've been accused of sleeping your life away
And it's a little bit true - you are really into your pillow
In fact, it may be years since you've seen a sunrise at the *start* of your day
Sleep a little less. Some sunshine would do you good.


i ate dinner at the dinner table

Yes, that is indeed noteworthy. Here's why.

1) I ate dinner, as in a meal somewhere between 5 ish and 8 ish. Not the usual hurried time between the end of the baseball game and the Daily Show.

2) I ate a meal, as in cooking with multiple pots and veggies and different colored foods and courses and all. I try to make at least one out of every hundred eating sessions one of these.

3) I ate at the dinner table, as in a real wooden table and matching chairs courtesy of stops at Weekends Only and Pottery Barn and whatnot.

4) There was space available to set the plate on the table, and not on four layers of mail and movies and keys and phones and all that collects in our dining room. Don't underestimate this accomplishment.

5) I withstood the inherent pressure to join my roommates watching a movie in the living room where food gets eaten the other 99 times.

What did you do today?

If nothing else, you read quiz 19. There seem to be a disproportionate number of these quizzes related to relationships/love/etc. What a shock.

Your Love Style is Agape

You are a caring, kind, and selfless partner.

Unsurprisingly, your love style is the most rare.

You are willing to sacrfice your world for your sweetie.

Except it doesn't really feel like sacrifice to you.

For you, nothing feels better than giving to the one you


summer heat and icky water

It's a shame that some things so beautiful from afar are actually rather nasty up close. As the only thing my body lacks more than sunshine right now is exercise, I took a book and walked to the park today. I really like the landscaping they've done around the fountains under art hill and the suspension bridge on the trail over the stream to the east. I curled up on a bench and sort of read, sort of watched the fountains and people in the boats. It was quite warm this afternoon, so before taking off, I of course dipped my feet in the pond. When you get that close, though, you see the water is a tad disgusting. Alas, the things you do when it's hot.

This story is pretty much exactly what I did this afternoon, although according to this next quiz I exaggerate from time to time.

You Are Somewhat Honest
You do tend to tell the truth a lot. But you also stretch the truth on occasion. You figure a little lie isn't a big deal as long as it doesn't hurt anyone too much!


big-government supremes

Well, the era of the free market is over. No kidding; the Supreme Court declared it.

(P) There are lots of fun assumptions that economists have cobbled together to create a perfectly functioning market economy. Capitalism, as we like to call it. Personally, I think the cases when those assumptions fail are much more interesting than the times when they hold true, although if you think that the markets for pencils or chewing gum or wheat are exciting, more power to ya. For example, economic theory assumes there is perfect information. In other words, pharmaceutical companies shouldn’t withhold studies saying their drugs are dangerous, while used car salesmen should disclose all the bad stuff about the lemon they’re trying to push on you. Yeah, like that’s gonna happen. Costless bargaining is another good one. A group of citizens breathing dirty air should be able to reach an amicable agreement with the local coal power plant to reduce emissions. Trouble is, that takes a great deal of time for a large group of people to coordinate their efforts (like the problem of “collective bargaining”, if you prefer political science jargon). And then of course there’s the court system; let’s just say that things like lawyers and permits aren’t exactly free. Since the real world often crushes the premises of the theoretical one, government sometimes (and I emphasize sometimes) must get involved. By the way, don’t let anyone tell you Adam Smith was a laissez-faire anarchist; he specifically wrote about the role that government should play. In fact, he quite likely would have looked upon the modern corporate conglomerate with a disdain similar to that he applied to the woes of an excessive state, but that’s for another post.

The assumption I discuss today is that of clearly defined property rights. Ownership is a good thing; it’s a way we determine who can use a resource, whether it be a couch or a banana or even our own bodies (very fascinating, by the way—rape, abortion, fertilization clinics, prostitution, drug use, even patenting individual genes). We even use it metaphorically, as in, “taking ownership” of a project and doing it very well. The whole point of private property is that the owner can do whatever she wants with it. Ownership, by definition, is the freedom to make a bad choice. After all, if it’s a good choice, the owner doesn’t need protection from society to carry out her wishes.

This week, five of the Justices of the United States Supreme Court made a rather straightforward pronouncement about the 5th Amendment. Local governments may confiscate private property—as long as they pay fair market value—for private property, so long as it is still for the public good. Significantly, the local government gets to determine whether it benefits the public. This is a huge change from how the process of eminent domain has traditionally worked. Before, in order to be for the public good, it had to be, you know, public. Schools and interstate highway systems are critical to the economic success of the country; naturally, some private property may have to be taken to make the system as a whole function properly. But with the Supreme Court ruling, cities can declare private projects by private developers to be for the public good. The actual case, from Connecticut residents, dealt with something so profound as a hotel, health club, and office space. In other words, the Supreme Court has declared that government (which is disproportionately influenced by wealthy developers on these issues) can take your stuff and give it to somebody else.

This matters for two main reasons. First, it means you could literally be kicked out of your house so that a billionaire can build a Motel 6 on your land. But more than that, it sets a really interesting precedent. Government may supercede your property rights, so long as it can find a way to say that the confiscation is being done for the public good. You think that’s very hard to do?

To say it differently, owning something is your signal of value. If your preference is removed from the equation, all of a sudden society will see telling you to do all sorts of things as for the public good. Exercise is an obvious one; in terms of health care costs and absenteeism at work and school, it is clearly in the interests of the public good to have exercise police come forcibly remove you from your home and do 20 minutes of cardio every day. Motorcycles are another good example. As is alcohol. A case could easily be made for things like TV, as well. But it’s not just lifestyle choices. Imagine the owner of a hotel convincing the city it should take a piece of artwork that’s been in your family for generations because it should be displayed in the hotel’s lobby. Or maybe a sporting goods store promises to move in to a new shopping mall—if the city rounds up a bunch of autographed memorabilia signed by local athletes. The danger isn’t commodity goods like pencils or wheat. It’s in unique or specialized property, such as the real estate that’s involved in the case from Connecticut. If an owner can no longer have a reasonable expectation of defending her property rights, that pretty much destroys the whole free market thingy.

It’s interesting, as well, the Justices who favored the ruling and those who dissented. You’ve got liberals deciding for wealthy real estate developers while conservatives are scared of the precedent it sets. (Remember, those are the same states’ rights conservatives who decided a presidential election by overruling a state’s supreme court while making the absurd claim that their ruling didn’t set any precedent and thus couldn’t be used in other matters).

To put it another way, when Savantelle and I agree on a Supreme Court ruling, something fishy’s going on.


a useful clock

As if we needed more numbers to show how awful the drug war is, here's a neat counter. There's a link at the bottom that says click to add it your website, but then it doesn't take you to a place where you can get the code or link or whatever you need to do that. Alas. It's so ridiculous that we waste billions of dollars arbitrarily imprisoning users of some chemical substances who just so happen to be largely poor and minority, but such is the inertia of fear and familiarity. It's like when you were first trying to get your grandparents to use a DVD player or a computer. They put up a valiantly stubborn effort, but eventually caved in and got one. And then they realized that this unfamiliar world was a whole lot better than before. And of course you knew it would be better, but it took years to convince 'em.

I'm not sure I've ever even met somebody from Sweden. Maybe I should go visit.

Your Inner European is Swedish!

Relaxed and peaceful.
You like to kick back and enjoy life.


i feel dirty after touching all of them

Don't worry, it's not an inappropriate Michael Jackson joke. I spent the evening administering way too many old Windows machines. The brain can only handle so much before being totally disgusted. At least I had my iPod to keep me sane.

When you work late, you don't exactly have much of a social life. But if I did, here's what blogthing's computer thinks of my seduction style.

Your Seduction Style: The Coquette
You are a pro at playing the age old game of hard to get. Your flirting style runs hot and cold, giving just enough to keep them chasing you. Independent and self-sufficient, you don't need any one person to make you complete. And that independence is exactly what makes people pursue you.


nothin to say

That's not entirely true, I just don't feel like ranting about our landlords not having a buzzer system yet for our front door or writing on organized post on how dumb it is that the Bush people claim not to want to use the powers of the Patriot Act against ordinary Americans yet refuse to disclose when they use it against said ordinary Americans. Also the fact that they are withholding important information from, among others, the Senate, for goodness sakes. And a bunch of other stuff, too.

There, that's long enough now to be a rant.

If you're looking for more to read, here's my famous blogger friend:

Your Famous Blogger Twin is Wil Wheaton
You're a friendly, funny guy (or girl) next door
With more than a touch of geekiness


happy father's day

And happy birthday to Eric and Sarah, too.

I apparently have good company. HRH bought a silver mini too! Actually, she didn't buy it, she sent out somebody to do her shopping for her, but the point is she has it. That's what makes me cool.

(R) This is the kind of thing that is far worse to society than drug users and prostitutes. But instead of executing them, our government pays them! It's absolutely absurd. Last year, the Missouri Department of Revenue sent me a threatening letter because I didn't file a tax return three years ago (I had less than $500 in MO state income, and the form clearly said it was not mandatory to file if you had less than $500 MO state income, but that's irrelevant to this story). Yet each year, many wealthy individuals and corporations who owe taxes are purposefully not audited, essentially tacit approval to cheat the rest of us. If the DEA and DOJ have the money to send SWAT teams to break into old people's homes to imprison them for using a medical drug prescribed by their doctor, there's plenty of money and manpower to go after every single man, woman, and legal person committing tax fraud. Unlike prisons and wars, enforcing tax codes that the rest of us follow also has the added benefit of adding to the resources available for popular priorities like education, medical care, and roads instead of draining public coffers. Of course, if you think this actually makes sense because wealth from tax cheats trickles down to the rest of us, I'd love to hear from you.

My music knowledge is so poor I don't really even understand what the results of this quiz mean. Maybe you can decipher quiz 14 for me.

Your Taste in Music:

80's Alternative: High Influence
90's Alternative: High Influence
90's Pop: High Influence
90's Rock: High Influence
Adult Alternative: High Influence
Alternative Rock: Medium Influence
Ska: Medium Influence
80's Pop: Low Influence
90's Hip Hop: Low Influence
Classic Rock: Low Influence
Country: Low Influence
Old School Hip Hop: Low Influence


weekends are great

A little pool at Dave and Buster's, some baseball in Forest Park, making spaghetti, heading over to Eric's for his birthday.

I spent the afternoon checking out A/V equipment in the church. There's actually quite a bit of stuff there. We're doing a contemporary service tomorrow at 5:00. You should come check it out. It's a very old, impressive stone building by the Fox Theater in Grand Center. We're in the basement which has a big room with a stage and projector and that kind of stuff.

Lucky 13 came out pretty flattering. I wonder if they have answers that make fun of your kissing style?

Part Expert Kisser

You're a kissing pro, but it's all about quality and not quantity. You've perfected your kissing technique and can knock anyone's socks off. And you're adaptable, giving each partner what they crave. When it comes down to it, your kisses are truly unforgettable

Part Playful Kisser

Kissing is a huge game for you, a way to flirt and play. You're the first one to suggest playing spin the bottle at a party. Or you'll go for the wild kiss during a game of truth or dare. And you're up for kissing any sexy stranger if the mood is right!


goodbye stuart

Tonight we wished Deen Greenbaum a happy farewell as he steps down after serving for ten years as Dean of the John M. Olin School of Business at Washington University in St. Louis. By the way, if I ever work at a place with a name that long, just shoot me.

At the risk of sounding a wee bit caught up in the evening's festivities, the leadership and vision he proferred was one of the primary reasons I chose Wash U. Of course, he doesn't name scholarships very creatively (like no other school has a 'Dean's' Scholarship), but I guess that's forgivable. I really liked where he was taking the school, and it's much better for his tenure. So let me be the 3,854th person to say thank you! The dinner was formal at the Chase, very nice and exactly how the B-School does things.

By the way, I'm already addicted to my iPod. It's really sad.

So is this: When I took the quiz for how old I act, it overguessed by a tad.

You Are 31 Years Old


Under 12: You are a kid at heart. You still have an optimistic life view - and you look at the world with awe.

13-19: You are a teenager at heart. You question authority and are still trying to find your place in this world.

20-29: You are a twentysomething at heart. You feel excited about what's to come... love, work, and new experiences.

30-39: You are a thirtysomething at heart. You've had a taste of success and true love, but you want more!

40+: You are a mature adult. You've been through most of the ups and downs of life already. Now you get to sit back and relax.


it's here!

My silver mini took forever to leave China. But then all of a sudden it got from Anchorage to my apartment in like four hours! As happenstance would have it, I had to come back home for lunch today and there it was, the little package, waiting for me. So of course I hooked it up and set it to download all my music while I was gone. It only made me a little late getting back to work.

This news seems like an appropriate reason to make my 11th blogthing quiz about my soul.

You Are a Prophet Soul
You are a gentle soul, with good intentions toward everyone. Selfless and kind, you have great faith in people. Sometimes this faith can lead to disappointment in the long run. No matter what, you deal with everything in a calm and balanced way.

You are a good interpreter, very sensitive, intuitive, caring, and gentle. Concerned about the world, you are good at predicting people's feelings. A seeker of wisdom, you are a life long learner looking for purpose and meaning. You are a great thinker and communicator, but not necessarily a doer.

Souls you are most compatible with: Bright Star Soul and Dreaming Soul


this just might be for real

(P) [For those of you that didn't read my 6/10 post, that means this is going to have more to do with a policy issue than how sore my arm is after playing baseball this evening]

Enough people might actually be starting to care about the antics of the current Administration that there is a movement to do something. Websites like afterdowningstreet.org and all the usual liberal blogger suspects have been openly discussing this issue for a while now. But it's as the "i" word starts reappearing in the daily conversations of people who don't devote their entire blog to how dumb (Republicans/Bush/War/Corporations/etc) are that things get really dangerous for Administration officials. Check this out: DVD talk forum has a general discussion area with a sub-sub-folder for political talk in which somebody posted about whether or not Kerry would support the impeachment movement and has gotten a ton of responses. And don't forget that over Memorial Day weekend, many newspaper editorial boards thousands of miles away from those hotbeds of conservatism Orange County and Wall Street started finding their independent voices, questioning Administration policies in light of the cost of American lives (among other reasons).

Presidents Nixon and Clinton each had something going for them that the Bush Administration lacks. With Nixon, the public didn't have a lot of information by which to judge the unfolding drama. In retrospect, that's what makes "I am not a crook" so rivetting; it's reality TV at its best. With Clinton, it didn't matter if he actually did it. Practically the only people in the country who cared were the President's family and close friends and the Republican leadership (this adulterer, in fact, is the Republican who introduced House Resolution 581, while this Speaker-elect of the House never bothered to inform the public he was an adulterer until, of course, that information became public). Heck, President Clinton didn't even lie to the grand jury. He never had sexual relations, because he never had sexual intercourse, with either Ms. Jones or Ms. Lewinsky. This and this make good background reading. In short, the American citizenry were smart enough to recognize the whole affair as nothing more than a man's private demons being forced into the public sphere.

These two factors are what make me wonder if the impeachment movement might really be picking up an unstoppable speed. First, we know virtually all the facts, and anyone who cares to stay informed has known them for some time. It's beyond the scope of my point to even detail the "misleading", as many have come to call it, because, as even a Presidential aide has acknowledged, the Bush Administration does not live in the reality-based world. It's not about facts; it's about the sales pitch. Anyone who has ever walked onto a car dealership's lot or spoken with a corporate PR employee can easily relate to this. You could present a Coke spokesperson with uncontrovertable proof that Coke causes cancer and Pepsi cures diabetes and she would deny it vehemently (and persuasively). Second, it does matter whether or not President Bush and his appointees are responsible for the things they've done. The scale of the deeds is truly daunting. It's difficult even to imagine the dollars wasted and lives lost and rights diminished and so on over the last several years.

This probably will never happen, but I think it's reached the point that it's not simply Bush-haters actively promoting this. There's a legitimate bet to be made that this sucker could get started and, if so, I'd say odds are it goes the distance. It will be really interesting watching the Administration respond to the increasing pressure over the summer.

On that note, it's part 10, my supposed liberal/conservative breakdown. The best part about this is that each section is based on all of four questions to get a 0%-100% figure. Quite thorough and nuanced.

Your Political Profile

Overall: 20% Conservative, 80% Liberal
Social Issues: 0% Conservative, 100% Liberal
Personal Responsibility: 25% Conservative, 75% Liberal
Fiscal Issues: 50% Conservative, 50% Liberal
Ethics: 25% Conservative, 75% Liberal
Defense and Crime: 0% Conservative, 100% Liberal


it worked

A couple weeks ago, I was at the Galleria and stopped by the Apple store. I'd been looking at getting an iPod, and I picked up one of the booklets they have to get more information. They're really not that informative, kind of a waste of that glossy paper, actually. Except that what happens is it sits there on your coffee table, and you see it. Every day. "EncycliPodia" just stares at you. And eventually you break down and buy a silver iPod Mini. Before you know it it's leaving Shanghai and taking forever to get across that little American lake otherwise known as the Pacific Ocean.

I leave you with an age quiz I thought was pretty funny. They were trying to congratulate me on living a healthy life. But they obviously don't know my family. This is dying young!

You Will Die at Age 82


Congratulations! You take good care of yourself. You're poised to live a long, healthy life.


letting the fans down

Yes, I know, how could I do this to you? Both of you, in fact? I was heading out the door to dinner Friday and simply didn't have time to add a quiz. And that's after I told you I would include one in my posts this month. It's good to see you have survived.

So to place the emphasis where it should be (namely, on things having to do with me) this post will include a computer program's thoughts on the keys to my heart and nothing else.

The Keys to Your Heart

You are attracted to those who are unbridled, untrammeled, and free.
In love, you feel the most alive when things are straight-forward, and you're told that you're loved.
You'd like your lover to think you are stylish and alluring.
You would be forced to break up with someone who was emotional, moody, and difficult to please.
Your ideal relationship is lasting. You want a relationship that looks to the future... one you can grow with.
Your risk of cheating is zero. You care about society and morality. You would never break a commitment.
You think of marriage as something precious. You'll treasure marriage and treat it as sacred.
In this moment, you think of love as something you thirst for. You'll do anything for love, but you won't fall for it easily.


an easy way to help somebody

I've decided to give a little notice in my posts if they are going to be more than just my thoughts from the day. From now on, when you see a post preceded by a (P) it means it will have a public policy focus and when you see an (R) it means I'm rambling. If you see (PR), be forewarned; I'm particularly verbose when rambling about policy.

(P) Our myriad of drug laws are fascinating and complex. But a very simple thing you can do that will help real people is to write your members of congress telling them to support the amendment to stop funding raids by the DEA and DOJ on people who are abiding by local and state laws governing marijuana growth, possession, and use. Contrary to popular belief, the Supreme Court didn't rule about medical marijuana. They ruled about federalism. In short, they said that local and state laws are superceded by federal drug law. In other words, the Federal government needs to allow cities and states to make and enforce their own laws. If you don't know what to say, go to the Drug Policy Alliance website. Whether you're against federal control over individuals or support medical marijuana or think the government should spend less money, this issue is very straightforward. Let individual states make and enforce their own laws.


is it just me?

Have you seen the TV commercial giving away music from Sony Connect? I swear that one of the shots clearly shows someone listening to her iPod. The white wires to the ears are a dead giveaway. I think someone at the ad agency has a slight iTunes bias :)

My 7th blogthing quiz, of course, has to be the one about the 7 deadly sins.

Your Deadly Sins

Gluttony: 60%
Sloth: 60%
Greed: 40%
Envy: 20%
Lust: 20%
Pride: 20%
Wrath: 20%
Chance You'll Go to Hell: 34%
You'll die choking on a cookie in bed.


family discount

I was browsing articles about Intel chips because I really don't know much about the specifics of their product offerings. So imagine my reaction to find that the new Xeon chips are named Dempsey. I think I'll write Intel and ask for a discount or a marketing tie-in or something fun like that. Check it out!

Continuing on with my quiz postings, number 6 is about my name.

N is for Normal
A is for Ambitious
T is for Twisted
H is for Honest
A is for Ambitious
N is for Nervy
I is for Irresistible
E is for Enthusiastic
L is for Likeable
D is for Dreamy
E is for Exquisite
M is for Marvelous
P is for Peachy
S is for Spontaneous
E is for Elitist
Y is for Young


nerddom trinity

Sorry, no Matrix stuff here. Although, now that I think about it, if you were thinking that from the title, then this is really a quadruple episode for you. Aren't you special? At any rate, I have something embarrassing, something sad, and something fun.

1) In my office, it's quite common for us to be carrying around lots of items like excel printouts and binder clips and pens and all sorts of office type stuff. Since we're paid to deal with money and all its associated tasks, we're really not nerds--we're professionals. Trouble is, when you leave our little corner of the building, that excuse doesn't exactly follow you wherever you go, especially if you go outside. Today I went downtown to deliver something important. Let's refer to it as the package. It was a nice day, although it's getting a little warm, so I didn't mind having to park about a block and a half away and walking. I go inside and drop off the package exactly as planned. I walk back outside and enjoy the sunshine once again (please keep in mind, I am usually inside several layers of doors all day) as I head back to my car. Things get even better as I'm driving back and graciously wait for a couple of obviously very intelligent girls with great personalities to cross the street in front of me even though I technically have the green light. Then as I'm turning at the next stoplight, I glance down and realize I have been walking around downtown in my styling khakis and classy dress shirt with a pen in my pocket. Not a full pocket protector, mind you, but embarrassing nonetheless. Show me a cool guy with a pen in his shirt pocket and I'll show you a very confused man.

2) I have always had a computer. I think it's very exciting to be from the very beginning of the generation that has no memory of not having a computer. When I was a wee lad it was an Apple IIe. Or is it Apple //e? It never seems to be spelled in print the way it's written on the computer itself. (sidenote: If this is something that has ever bothered you, then I congratulate you on joining the computer revolution before all the cool kids had one. This is about the only thing we can claim we did first, though, so enjoy it.) My family bought a few Macs with Motorola 68K chips, and a few more with Moto/IBM PowerPC chips. So it's really kind of irrational to be sad about another hardware transition, because after all, that's what progress is all about. But it is still huge news that all the rumors over the years about Apple porting OS X to Intel chips is true. Hatred is so much easier than acceptance! But I'm exaggerating; after all, IBM is the real enemy from way back in the day, remember? And we got them completely out of the PC hardware business! With all the cool stuff Microsoft is doing on the video game/hardware side, maybe it's just a matter of time until we get them out of the PC OS business...

OK, fat chance there, but in a more limited sense that's been the case since Windows 95. Everybody save the real nerds essentially runs a Mac these days. The people I feel sorry for are the ones frustrated by their computing experience but unwilling to try something different (whether or not that alternative is an Apple product). Computers aren't tools whose flaws we grudgingly tolerate; they are incredible partners who make every facet of our life more productive and worthwhile. Seriously, if you're not that passionate about your computer, you should take a chance and explore a different computing platform.

So just keep saying it...OS X on Intel...OS X on Intel. Eventually you'll get through it without crying. (Of course, are those tears of joy or tears of sadness? Crying really gets the shaft in our society.)

3) There is an awesome song (pop? alternative? I don't really know my music genres very well) by American Hi-Fi called The Geeks Get the Girls. I thought this was really ubiquitous, but one of my more geeky friends hadn't heard it, so apparently I assumed wrong. So, go buy it. Or at least ask a friend to listen to their copy. It's catchy and true.

In this spirit, my 5th quiz is about my personal geekiness. I actually turned out pretty normal, all categories considered. Maybe I should go back and retake the test.

Your Geek Profile:

Internet Geekiness: High
Music Geekiness: High
Academic Geekiness: Moderate
Fashion Geekiness: Low
Gamer Geekiness: Low
Geekiness in Love: Low
General Geekiness: Low
SciFi Geekiness: Low
Movie Geekiness: None


word fun

Two of my favorite words are authenticity and love. And guess what? The last few weeks at DR we've had talks about both of them. Woohoo!

Ok, thanks for sharing in my excitement.

Now, I'll share something with you. It's part 4 of my blogthing quizzes. Tonight's episode is about words. What's more exciting than that? Well, unless you're my college roommate or my mother, a lot, actually. Apparently I am twice as much Southern boy as I am New Englandy goodness.

Your Linguistic Profile:

70% General American English
10% Dixie
10% Upper Midwestern
5% Midwestern
5% Yankee


save the date

A few weeks ago somebody told me to save today for something. So I did just that. Trouble is, I can't remember who or what for. Oops! Oh well, Doug and I have decided to have a Lord of the Rings marathon. Come join us! We'll probably still be watching by the time you read this.

I want to say congratulations to Clayton high school's debate and forensics kids on a great year. This was the first group of kids that I've gotten to work with for all four years. Have a great summer!

While they scatter across the country, I'm definitely a Missouri boy at heart. I've heard most of these before, and while I take issue with a couple, the list as a whole is really quite funny and true. You know you're from Missouri...

You Know You're From Missouri When...

Everyone in your family has been on a "Float trip."

"Vacation" means driving to Silver Dollar City, Worlds of Fun or Six Flags.

Down south to you means Arkansas.

The phrase, "I'm going to the Lake this weekend," can mean only one thing.

You know what "Party Cove" is. (If you know where, you are a boating party animal)

You think Missouri is pronounced with an "ah" at the end.

You know in your heart that Mizzou can beat Nebraska in football.

You think I-44 is spelled "foarty-foar." (St. Louis Only)

You'll pay for your kids to go to college unless they want to go to KU.

You know that Concordia is halfway between Kansas City and Columbia, and Columbia is halfway between St. Louis and Kansas City, and Warrenton outlet mall is halfway between Columbia and St. Louis.

You can't think of anything better than sitting on the porch in the middle of the summer during a thunderstorm.

You know that Harry S. Truman, Walt Disney and Mark Twain are all from Missouri.

You know what "cow tipping" or "Possum Kicking" is.

You think "frog gigging" should be an Olympic sport.

You think Imo's is larger than Pizza Hut.

You can tell the difference between a horse and a cow from a distance.

You don't put too much effort into hairstyles due to wind and weather.

There's a tornado warning and the whole town is outside watching for it.

The local gas station sells live bait.

Little smokies are something you serve on special occasions.

All your radio preset buttons are country.

You know enough to get your driving done early on Sundays before the Sunday drivers come out.

You actually get these jokes and pass them on to other friends from Missouri.



like none of my other posts do that. I'm driving home from work and stopping at the last stop sign before my street. This car is pulling out of a drive, and the driver (a woman) gives me this look and points to the stop sign mouthing something to the effect of 'you have a stop sign'. Really? Is that why I'm sitting there waiting for her slow ass to pull out of the way? Seriously, was she secretly hoping that I would get mad and hit her so she could collect insurance money or something? Does she think I would hit her even if I didn't see the stop sign? It's not like I'm driving the 'ole 1988 Cavalier I had forever anymore. She's lucky I had more important things to do with my evening than tail her around. Like fry some sausage (buy one, get one free!), play nintendo, and congratulate my roommate on a cool promotion at work.

Charter is an insane company. For those of you who don't know, they are a cable company that serves St. Louis among other markets. My roommate's brother in law works there, and we've been pretty happy with them. And they won big points with me when they fought government attempts to force them to reveal personal data about internet consumers. I think some of the litigation is still ongoing, but my brief google didn't unearth it. But alas, all for naught. You see, they want to charge us about $90 a month for basic cable and high speed internet. SBC will sell me a local phone, DSL, a satellite connection, and my cingular service for about $100 a month. Hmm, which one will I do? I have talked with three different people at Charter, and it's like they have a gun to their head because I get the same scripted "there's nothing I can do for you, this is the regular price" spiel.

Now, Charter is a private company, and they essentially can charge whatever they want. Their two risks are 1) doing enough crappy things to cause people to complain to the city and hence lose their license here, or 2) drive away customers on an individual basis. My apartment is wired for cable, I have a cable modem, and I am currently paying for services. Why on Earth would a company with virtually no marginal cost to providing service to me want me to leave? When SBC makes a story on BusinessWeek's website for their pricing moves ($14.95 for DSL Express) does Charter really think people will pay $39.99 a month just so they don't have to go to the effort of calling SBC to sign up? (And don't quote me their promo rate of $26.99--I'm not eligible for "90 days" as I was told repeatedly). And our basic cable package is almost $50 a month. I still don't understand why no cable company has caved in to consumer demand and offered per channel pricing. I would think there would be a huge first mover advantage in terms of market share and loyalty. But it's a good example of how monopoly power trumps even obvious consumer demands. Cable companies know that if you could stop paying for the crap you don't watch, you would stop paying for the crap you don't watch. Not exactly rocket science. And I'm happy that SBC uses Dish Network rather than DirecTV (owned by News Corp), although Fox News Channel does make good late night TV. I will almost miss it.

So all this means that I will soon be leaving my charter email account. <ndempsey@wustl.edu> will always forward to whatever account I use, and my gmail account is <nsdempsey@gmail.com>.

That's about all I have for now. Enjoy my personality. I think I'm the most INFP, but I've never taken any of the more involved tests to figure that out. What do you think? This is how personalitypage.com describes INFPs in relationships. That sounds pretty much like me. At least as much as any of the other categories that have made those Myer's Briggs dudes famous. Jung kinda got the shaft there. Maybe he's famous overseas. Or was it a she? I don't even know; I'm so uncultured.

Your #1 Match: INFJ

The Protector

You live your life with integrity, originality, vision, and creativity.
Independent and stubborn, you rarely stray from your vision - no matter what it is.
You are an excellent listener, with almost infinite patience.
You have complex, deep feelings, and you take great care to express them.

You would make a great photographer, alternative medicine guru, or teacher.

Your #2 Match: INFP

The Idealist

You are creative with a great imagination, living in your own inner world.
Open minded and accepting, you strive for harmony in your important relationships.
It takes a long time for people to get to know you. You are hesitant to let people get close.
But once you care for someone, you do everything you can to help them grow and develop.

You would make an excellent writer, psychologist, or artist.

Your #3 Match: INTJ

The Scientist

You have a head for ideas - and you are good at improving systems.
Logical and strategic, you prefer for everything in your life to be organized.
You tend to be a bit skeptical. You're both critical of yourself and of others.
Independent and stubborn, you tend to only befriend those who are a lot like you.

You would make an excellent scientist, engineer, or programmer.