11/30/2005

apparently my high schoolers can read

That's very good news! Some of them even read my blog.

Yes, you know who you are.

11/26/2005

zio's, come to st louis

I can now go back with my fill of the plaza, wandering around and seeing the shops and the people and the lights. The best view this year was from the top of the parking garage by the Cheesecake Factory looking back west. One of the hotels had lights up the side and around the top to make it look like a construction crane from a distance, and right next to it is an actual crane! Very cool.

Sarah and I grabbed dinner at Zio's, which for all the Italian restaurants in the Hill south of where I live, is still sorely missed on the other side of the state. Then back to Andy and Carrie's to wish them and their parents a happy Thanksgiving. All in all, a wonderful relaxing holiday.

Now it's time for some more good food...çiao.

11/25/2005

my family's awesome

And by that I mean weird, dorky, silly, crazy, ridiculous, and a bunch of other things.

In other words, awesome.

11/23/2005

my hood is gone

Man, after driving that Charger for a week, my little Escort is tiny; I can hardly even see the hood sticking out when I'm behind the wheel.

Yay!

But it will be missed; that was one of the few rentals (of the many I have driven) that I actually was more interested in buying after having driven it than before. No offense to that mainstay of Enterprise rentals for the trial team, the Chevy Impala, but the more we got those, the less I wanted one.

On a totally unrelated note, thanks to the Jew in the apt, we have Christmas lights!

11/22/2005

i survived hogwords

Yes, that's Hogwords, not Hogwarts. This past weekend was the time for the debate and forensics kids I work with at Clayton to host their annual tournament, and between them being high school kids and the movie opening that weekend, there was really no talking them out of the Harry Potter theme. The kids pulled off a great weekend, by the way, and I even judged a very fun final round. Also, I should apologize to a certain blonde I thought was 15. Happy 18th birthday! It's also good to see SDI still churns out good card players. You know who you are.

11/21/2005

look at #2

There are lots of good things about working in a diverse environment. Here are a couple:

1) You get to see different cultural perspectives.

2) You get loads of fried chicken for lunch!

11/20/2005

duh

"With some exceptions, the wrong people are running U.S. companies...members of the boards are cronies appointed by the very CEOs they're supposed to be watching...They run companies the way totalitarian regimes run their governments. They use the corporate treasury funds to keep themselves in power in the rare instances that they are challenged in a proxy fight."

Don't worry, it's not some crazy hippy whose ideas should automatically be dismissed because he has wierd hair. It's an interview with a rich guy from Wall Street, so you know it's true.

11/17/2005

i'm lovin' it

For my sesquicentennial post, I share my car fun.

For about a week I have a new Dodge Charger.

It's red, and it accelerates quickly.

This is very dangerous.

11/15/2005

about time

Man, it was like Congress would never get around to completing investigations. At least they've followed through on reassuring kids that drugs aren't cool.

Any bets on who the first player to get kicked out of baseball will be?

Actually, we probably shouldn't bet on that particular game. We wouldn't want the love of the game destroyed by money and greed.

11/14/2005

this is so cool

I could watch the National Geographic Channel talk about space all night long!

ooh, back to the show

11/13/2005

the cincy post said it best

"It's not easy to make an interesting movie about men who are bored"

We went to see Jarhead, and it was a yawner. At least, for 20% of the party. The other 80% enjoyed it, so it's quite possible it actually is a good movie and just didn't work for me.

But my goodness, the journey was boring and there wasn't a destination. A documentary on me fixing breakfast tomorrow morning would be more entertaining.

It's a shame, because somebody told me the book was good. The movie came off as the clichéd stories about what you have to do to get people psyched up for killing while time goes by in the real world. Yes, I get that the movie is psychological; that's probably why it was so boring. It was like reading stereo instructions for the whole break 'em down/train 'em/pump 'em up/send 'em off to war process. It wasn't an enjoyable remake of a classic, and it didn't add anything new to the genre or have any points to make. Of course, it did happen to be a movie commercially released just before Veteran's Day. Hmmm...

...or maybe the couches at the Moolah Temple are just too comfy and most people will enjoy it.

11/11/2005

what have you done for veterans today?

I slept in!

But seriously, unlike my work, most people's day job doesn't directly affect veterans. So today is a good day to think about how we honor them, both remembering those who have passed and serving those still alive. It is really disturbing the myriad of ways our government turns its back on the personnel who defend our country once they're discharged.

It's also the perfect time to remember that supporting the people who comprise the armed forces and opposing pursuits of civilian leaders to enter into unnecessary military conflicts are not mutually exclusive. Rather, the former requires the latter.

11/08/2005

an ode to global warming

and middle school poetry

Lo, November comes
and yet, too hot remain my
dear pajama pants

11/06/2005

don't be under the influence

This irony was too great not to mention. I'm watching TV and see an ad telling young people they have two choices: to be under the influence, or to be above the influence.

In other words, be your own person; don't follow others.

Now then, follow what we say.

----

There's nothing like mass consumer advertising to influence kids to uninfluence themselves. Of course, it's not to create an absence of influence, merely to replace one influence with another.

When did we get to be such sissies? Maybe I'm just a superhuman warrior or something, but why don't we just teach kids to grow some...spine? All this psychobabble about peer pressure and nobody being perfect and all, it misses the whole point. If you don't want to do drugs, Nancy Reagan was right; just freakin' say no. People don't hassle you about it, they don't cause you trouble, and it's the best way to tell your friends where you stand. That's how you develop the confidence to live your life rather than the life of your friends, family, classmates, or anybody else.

Of course, the ads aren't really aimed at kids; they're aimed at parents worried about kids. It's based on fearmongering, this attempt to make drug users this "other" group of quasi-human, no good evildoers. And that's the inherent failure of the ridiculous "just say no" campaign and its various descendants. The vast majority of drug users don't use drugs against their will; they choose to do so. Ad campaigns like this seem to confuse human relations (which almost always involve some level of attempt to influence others) with more specific problems of coercion and the protection of miners. My goodness, if the problem really is being "under the influence" of others, imagine the destruction that must be wrought by such despicable events as asking a girl (or guy) to a school dance. We must ban them at once!

For the children.

11/05/2005

i could have bought another iPod

Instead, I decided to make up for the fact I haven't bought any clothes in like three years. To my utter horror, the Gap totally let me down today. I'm not sure I've ever walked out of there not really wanting anything. But no matter, Aeropostale and Famous Barr made up for it, so all tis right again.

(P) Speaking of things being right, if you know anything at all about me you could have guessed I loved this article about the catastrophic effects of our ruling Republicans on the state of American capitalism. If anything, the President and Congress have made liberal ideas more ingrained in the American consciousness, not less (do we need to rehash the Social Security debacle, for example, or the fact that almost all of the millions of responses the FCC got to loosening the media consolidation rules opposed the rule changes?). Or how about the outcry over torture practices in the prison system, the widespread support for raising the minimum wage, or the huge disconnect between how the average American would spend the federal budget and how Congress actually spends the federal budget? I didn't think so.

No, the real casualty of being ruled by the party of Big Business® and the MBA president has been moderate conservative perspectives on things like the benefits of free markets (not to mention non-economic positions like the positive role of spirituality for individuals and communities). A functioning market economy requires healthy competition and easy access to information, not the corrupt, no-bid, secretive, corporate welfare approach loved by so many Republicans (not to mention quite a few Democrats) in Washington and state capitals. It's almost like they're trying to prove the anti-globalization movement correct that the whole system is broken and needs to be replaced. Of course, given the pathetic business record of Bush and Cheney when they were in the private sector, it's no wonder they're so bad at promoting policies that help American business now that they're in the White House.

Dictionary.com defines fascism as "government marked by centralization of authority under a dictator, stringent socioeconomic controls, suppression of the opposition through terror and censorship, and typically a policy of belligerent nationalism and racism." Now, we're obviously not there, but it's somewhat amazing how close we are and how much the Bush Administration fights to get there. What's really amazing is that they do it in the name of democracy and free markets.

kid in a candy store

A rather lovable violent store! Doom was everything I hoped it would be and more.

God bless irrational attachments to happy childhood memories.

11/03/2005

yeah bluejays

I love iTunes :) No Chiefs game, but I could get live coverage of my high school tonight.

Not that I listened to it; I was off at my St Louis high school, but it was fun to come back and hear that they won.

As if I needed anything else to remind me how old I am.

11/01/2005

tax time's half-way

I guess you have to be hardcore to get excited about a major revamp of the Internal Revenue Code...yippee :)

Currently, it's littered with inefficient handouts to special interests. Why do we have so many real estate agents in this country? Oh yeah, because the products they sell for shelter happen to be tax deductable. Red cars would become a lot more popular if the color red was tax deductable.

Of course, it seems pretty clear the ultimate goal of the Bush team is to transfer the tax burden even more from large companies and high net worth individuals to middle and lower class families, but at least it will be another exciting thing to talk about over the coming years (as if there weren't enough already!).