Thursday, January 31, 2008

Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics

I'm sitting here in the hospital and the nurse is prepping my wife to give birth to our second baby and this hospital has the greatest thing ever: free Wi-Fi. Seriously, can you ask for more than that? We may not have a 42" plasma screen or a Barcalounger, but we can check/send our e-mail, look on the internet, and enjoy the wonders of YouTube. While checking today's newspapers I came across this headline and statement in the Deseret Morning News:

90% of Provo Rapes Not Reported to Police

"More than 90 percent of rapes in the city go unreported, according to the lead rape investigator for the BYU Police Department.
BYU officer Arnie Lemmon said only 43 rapes were reported last year in Provo, leaving the actual number of rapes estimated at more than 400 during 2002."

90%? 90%? How in the world did they arrive at that number? Did he poll people and when they said they were raped, follow up by asking if they talked with police? I really want to know where this came from, because it is a ridiculous number. Some of the points he makes are good, but he ventures too far into Lionel Hutz territory (heresay and conjecture) and thereby diminishes the impact of the good things he does have to say.
Really, he should have said "a lot" or "a majority" because it looks like one of those third world dictator election numbers. You know that it's a sham, but you do wonder where he got to that conclusion.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

My Voice

Just so you know, I'm a west man. Apparently my voice isn't. All I know is that I don't say "crick" (creek) or "ruff" (roof).

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Midland

"You have a Midland accent" is just another way of saying "you don't have an accent." You probably are from the Midland (Pennsylvania, southern Ohio, southern Indiana, southern Illinois, and Missouri) but then for all we know you could be from Florida or Charleston or one of those big southern cities like Atlanta or Dallas. You have a good voice for TV and radio.

The West
North Central
The Northeast
The Inland North
The South
What American accent do you have?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

The Florida Primaries

What can I say, I loved last night's results. The biggest question that it leaves us is "will Hillary Clinton tear apart the Democratic party?" For today's primary entry, we've got winners/losers/odds up ahead, and I have an idea that I quite like. I'm thinking of using a software called CoverItLive to do a live blog as results roll in throughout the night. Think of it as a test for election night, because I really want to live blog that night as well. Let me know if you're up for it...heck, with this software not only will my comments come across real-time, but it's interactive. If you want to pipe in, you can (of course, I will be moderating). I'd love some feedback on that idea...the live blogging would probably be between about 6-10 pm MST to hit all the contests that I'll be following. With that said, on to my analysis.
John McCain. This could give him the momentum to win on Super Tuesday. I think he'll still have to campaign past that point because there are a lot of Super Tuesday states that will swing Romney's direction and perhaps even some Huckabee states. Nevertheless, McCain is taking on the air both of inevitability and invincibility because he has actually strengthened, he's going to be getting the support of both Giuliani and the giant fork that's sticking out of Giuliani's back which should swing some more states his direction. This despite Florida being a closed primary, which was supposed to be his achilles heel.
Everyone else. Nobody moreso than Rudy Giuliani, who decided that a reprise of his standing on the national stage was appropriate for Florida, dropping like a stone into a weak third place.

John McCain - 2:1. I won't go so far as to say that he's the candidate, but it would take divine intervention for anybody to catch him at this point. It's not because of delegate count, it's because he's quickly becoming invincible seeming. Once it looks like someone has momentum on their side, it hurts everybody else because it's more just an impression that is then repeated so often in the echo chambers of our interconnected media that it becomes fact. Fact: McCain will be the nominee. There, I've just called it and I'm not even Wolf Blitzer.
Mitt Romney - 30:1. He needs a minor miracle at this point to jump back up. He hasn't won an important state important I mean a state that people point to as a bellweather (Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Florida). He may have been the delegate leader before last night, but that's a moot point and always has been.
Mike Huckabee - 400:1. He gave up on Florida a while ago as evidenced by his concession speech in Missouri. He will serve to strip votes from Mitt and collect some delegates and maybe win some states, but as a serious candidate, he's done. His fourth place finish in Florida might as well be his deathknell.
Rudy Giuliani - 10,000:1. Welcome to Florida's Fred Thompson. Giuliani kept saying he had a great strategy, and it was indeed a strategy. I just don't think it should be considered great. I don't think he thought it was either, but his collapse in the early voting states made it necessary. As a result America's Mayor will not become America's President. He had some good ideas, and I think he changed the opinions of some of the candidates on some issues, but the best he can hope for is perhaps an AG post with the GOP candidate or a return to minting money on the speaking circuit.
Ron Paul - 10,000:1. Still possible, but I don't know why they invite him to the debates anymore. He's a protest candidate, no more, no less.

When Idiots Attack

I got this as a newspaper scan in my inbox yesterday. It's unbelievably funny:

Off the Clock
Rebecca Dudley
Brush News-Tribune
My ex-husband had this annoying habit of bringing greasy old carburetors and things into the house to work on. So, last week, when my friend called to tell me this story, my first response was, "Where did this guy live?"

Now reassured that I was never related to him by marriage, this really is too hilarious not to share.

The way my friend told it, this guy pushed his motorcycle from the patio into his living room, where he began to clean the engine with some rags and a bowl of gasoline. When he finished, he sat on the motorcycle and decided to start it to make sure everything was still OK. Unfortunately, the bike started in gear, and crashed through the glass patio door with him still clinging to the handlebars.

His wife had been working in the kitchen. She came running at the noise, and found him crumpled on the patio, badly cut from the shards of broken glass. She called 911, and the paramedics transported the guy to the emergency room.

So far, the story is humorous - in a "that is what you get for being a big enough lout to bring your motorcycle into the house" kind of way.

But here is where I really split a gut.

Later that afternoon, after many stitches had pulled her husband back together, the wife brought him home and put him to bed. She cleaned up the mess in the living room, and dumped the bowl of gasoline in the toilet.

Shortly thereafter, her husband woke up, lit a cigarette, and went into the bathroom. He sat down and tossed the cigarette into the toilet, which promptly exploded because the wife had not flushed the gasoline away. The explosion blew the man through the bathroom door.

The wife heard the explosion and her husband's screams. She ran into the hall and found him lying on the floor with his trousers blown away and burns on his buttocks. The wife again ran to the phone and called for an ambulance.

The same two paramedics were dispatched to the scene. They loaded the husband on the stretcher and began carrying him to the street. One of them asked the wife how the injury had occurred. When she told them, they began laughing so hard that they dropped the stretcher, and broke they guy's collarbone.

Talk about instant karma

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

New Look

Apparently Imageshack blew up my template today, so I've moved to a new's a work in progress, but we'll see if it stays or if it goes!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Don't Say Anything

As everybody who's read the paper knows, the TSA is an inefficient, at best, bureaucracy that can't really protect us from someone smart who is trying to hijack an airplane. As this story shows, they can barely protect us from people who forgot they were packing heat. The worst part of this is that after saying he forgot about the gun he had and going back to let them know they screwed up, he got fined. He should have followed one of my travel rules: if you brought something into the secure area that you shouldn't have because you forgot, just keep going. That's happened to me several times with a little keychain Swiss Army Knife I have. I'm not going to let them know, I'll just keep going and take care of it later because I don't want it to end up thrown away or getting me fined. It certainly doesn't make me feel safer when the honest people end up getting punished while the people who are actually trying to harm us can still do so.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Meeting Blog 1/25

Here we are for the first super meeting in a long time. We’ve got a full crew here – A-Rod, Cano, Giambi, Posada, Jeter, Forro, I, and even Matsui and Melky Cabrera. We currently don’t have anyone in right field, but we have a guy who’s in here for just a bit who we’ll call Abrera.
10:15 AM – A-Rod gets us started. The only person currently missing is Jeter, our team captain. But that’s the status quo.
10:20 AM – A-Rod suggests the office stenographer as the stenographer for our meetings. That’s idiotic as she’s the last person on the planet I want in here due to her penchant for gossip and the fact that it’s one more excuse for her to be slow.
11:05 AM – I’m done with budgets. One thing that I have noticed though, both during Abrera’s presentation and during mine is that Matsui is indeed in left field. He loves to pipe in at random times with things that really don’t work. Oh, also sometime between this and my last entry Jeter arrived.
11:07 AM – Posada is saying things that totally back up how we’re doing things, even though Jeter doesn’t like it. I think that this might reach a tipping point where Jeter finally decides that what we’re doing with our electronic system is actually helpful.
11:20 AM – Posada puts a plug in randomly for another employee even though he doesn’t need one. For some reason or another, he feels like more employees = more power
11:30 AM – Sorry about the pathetic recap so far. I’ve been busy trying to get Forro’s computer taken care of because of some network issues he’s having. One thing I will say is that no matter who is talking, Matsui will not just shut up and listen. He feels like he’s got to be right in the thick of things.
11:40 AM – I don’t understand why people are so antsy about W-4s. We’re legally bound to get them out by the end of January, but I’ve gotten probably 10 people asking about it regularly. Now it was just mentioned by Giambi that people are asking him. Seriously, chill out. January 31st – count on it!
11:45 AM – Here’s an interesting thing: Giambi knows more about Matsui’s branch than Matsui does. I think that this shows right there why we’ve got problems there.
11:55 AM – Cano is talking and Matsui’s jumping right over him. It’s crazy. Matsui really is the most mental person in this meeting, he can’t shut his yap for even a second.
12:05 PM – A-Rod says his presentation will be only 15 minutes. I believe him about as much as I believe Ron Paul will be President. He has NEVER and I mean never been able to shut himself up before the 15 minute mark. 15 hours yes, but not 15 minutes. Let me also take this moment in time to highly recommend Cloverfield. It was great, even though the Handicam footage on a big screen made me motion sick. I think I should move from the 150 foot screen to the 13-60 inch range on my next viewing. Nevertheless, you should see it.
12:16 PM – We’re a scant 4 minutes from the deadline. Just thought I’d let you know. One interesting thing is that A-Rod is a consultant by trade. Usually when you have one of those guys parachute in to a company, you have some interaction. Here though because he didn’t jump in and then back out so nobody really listens to him anymore. We just sit here and stare and stay silent. I think it’s because the action he proposes has never been followed up with actual action
12:25 PM – Yeah, we passed the time. On the other hand, A-Rod is trying to move towards changing our culture. If he pulls this off, he’s totally almost maybe redeemed himself. He’s dancing around some things because he’s waiting for round 2. Yes, we will be here forever. I really should have brought in some water.
12:27 PM – Here’s a direct quote “I took Johnson and Johnson, a great company already, and the CEO loved what I did.” Not to brag or anything.
12:40 PM – I’m back. For some reason my computer freaked out. Annoying. Anyway, A-Rod’s doing a pretty good job right now even though we’re up over 30 mins.
1:00 PM – We’re in theory close to being done, but we’re going on the merry-go-round again over pretty ridiculous stuff.
1:05 PM – Cano and A-Rod talk and Matsui can’t help but just run them over, even though they aren’t stopping. The last 5 minutes she continually talks right over the top of them, despite the fact that they aren’t stopping
1:11 PM – We’re trying to schedule a meeting for the whole company and it is literally impossible.
1:17 PM – Round 1 is done. Now we’re on to Round 2. Say goodbye to Matsui and Cabrera, they’re both on their way to greener pastures.
2:00 PM – Well it hasn’t started yet
2:10 PM – A-Rod is dinking around with marketing stuff instead of buckling down and having this meeting. I do have a job to do!
2:11 PM – Forro’s gotten up to start this thing since everyone’s finished eating, except A-Rod who for some unknown reason disappeared and then reappeared after everybody ate. Now he’s eating and delaying us
2:30 PM – After asking around about growth goals, A-Rod tosses out a bogus number (10x the companies we’re competing against, which is completely, utterly wrong) to say how hard things are.
2:35 PM – We’re discussing goals, and Jeter’s not here. Unfortunately, it’s kind of important to have Jeter on board with this as he is the team captain. It’s like all the people at Intel sitting down and making a goal without Paul Otellini in the room.
2:37 PM – Posada is talking, but I really don’t know why he’s saying what he’s saying. I think he decided to take the role of Matsui.
2:52 PM – It’s actually pretty good so far, so nothing much to report other than we’re never leaving.
3:00 PM – More random “I’m so cool” comments from Posada. He’s making comments about our goals, but generally in a “man, I’m great” kind of way.
3:15 PM – I wish I had some snide comments, but even though this has gone on for ages, it’s been good and therefore less interesting.
3:22 PM – So let it be written from the mouth of A-Rod “In the area of performance management, I have done a poor job.”
3:49 PM – Giambi just mentioned that some people expect someone to be here 40-50 hours a day. Wow, that’s terrible, just terrible. I’d never want to be in that position (where I have to work 40-50 hours a day because there's only 24).
3:59 PM – We’re done. This was an epic length, but despite that it wasn’t nearly as bloggable as I had hoped, mainly because it wasn’t bad. That’s good for me, but not as good for you.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Suicide Bombers

Just thought I'd pass along a quick link to a story that can make you think. CBS Sportsline did an article on a JC coach who was going through a bitter divorce with his wife and she decided to make him pay by killing his son and rubbing it in his face. I really don't care about her mental state...after you've read the story, I think you'd agree with my sentiment that it's as cold blooded as any first degree murder charge.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Who Benefits?

One of the things that is interesting about the timing of the recent market issues is that they have a real chance to impact who the parties choose for President.  I think the candidate who might benefit the most is Mitt Romney.  The main reason is because he is seen as someone who could solve these issues, primarily because of his background with Bain Capital and his MBA.  Granted, our first MBA President hasn't turned out like everybody thought he would, but I don't think anyone considers Bush an MBA President even though he holds the degree.  Because of Mitt's background, I think he stands to benefit the most, followed by McCain (due to his history of fighting pork), Giuliani (fixing New York's deficit), and Huckabee (no real experience).  I could see John Edwards making a bit of a resurgance on the Democrat side because of his brand of populism.  The poor are probably already feeling like things are shaky and the additional push of the stock market might turn him into a kingmaker of sorts - he won't beat Obama or Clinton, but a deal where he becomes VP or something like that might get him to swing the ticket one way or another.  Either way Democrats benefit because a slowdown on Bush's watch will hit Republicans more than the Democrats.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Say Hello to the 1970s

I was hoping that Ben Bernanke would be a good Fed chief, but the longer he's in the more I'm convinced he's a disaster. He came in with some good ideas, having a target inflation range and being more transparent than the Greenspan Fed, but he's worked on propping up the stock market instead of keeping inflation in check. See if you can follow the dominoes here. The dollar has been weak against the Euro and Pound in large part not because of market fundamentals but because of the perception that interest rates in the US were not high enough to protect against inflation. That in turn has increased oil prices. That in turn has increased inflation. It's a vicious cycle that won't stop until the dollar gets some confidence behind it. As long as we keep interest rates low though it won't help with that. Instead, he should cowboy up, take the hit, and move on. Of course, looking at his academic history, we shouldn't be surprised. He believes that the recessions are due to high oil prices + high interest rates. The conundrum that he currently has is lowering interest rates could increase oil prices, creating more pressure on him to lower rates, creating a weaker dollar, increasing oil prices, and so on. The problem we have is that because of the weak dollar commodity prices are extraordinarily high...$900/oz for gold, $90-$100/barrel for oil, and so on. On top of this we have Washington compounding the problem with their jones for ethanol that is raising feed prices for animals and impacting consumer prices for everything we get from corn (gas [the ethanol] to soda [high fructose corn syrup], shampoo [the bottles use corn in them], all animal products, and the list goes on). So we have higher prices across the board and wages aren't going to keep up with them. As a result, we get to see stagflation up close for the first time since Paul Volcker banished it in the early 80s. If we want to avoid an encore, the proper prescription is higher interest rates despite the recession and attendant unemployment we will see. The housing crisis will get worse, but right now we're just postponing the inevitable. Let's get the pain over with now to avoid more in the future.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Sorro's Financial Manifesto 1.0

One interesting thing that has happened as a result of the recent hammering of the stock market is a good part of my financial strategy. After we got another talking to in church, combined with the anemic savings rate in the US (the median net worth for those under 30 is just a shade under $8,000) I thought I ought to share my strategy here. Keep in mind that, as with all disclaimers, I am not a financial adviser. I'm just a guy who is doing quite well for himself and would like to see others do that as well. With that in mind, I give you my Financial Manifesto.

1. Credit is king.
What do I mean here? I certainly don't mean go out and max yourself into oblivion or use credit unwisely. I mean that the single most important thing you can have from a financial perspective is good credit. While a lot of people talk about having a good cash position, and that is very important, having a good credit position helps out that cash situation. With good credit you can get lower rates on everything from a mortgage to credit cards to installment loans. This means that you can keep more of that cash in your pocket. Here's the best ways that I have found to obtain and grow that credit.
A. Credit cards. I know a lot of people are very against credit cards and think they are the Devil's tool. Those people are one of two things: misinformed or unable to control themselves. If you can control your spending, a credit card is one of the best things you can have. There are a ton of free ones out there that give you rewards for spending what you otherwise would. Which card you choose depends on what rewards you want, anything from cash back to airline miles to points good for gift certificates at your favorite store. Some of the best free ones are the Costco American Express card or the Nordstrom Visa card. If you want airline miles, usually you have to pay for them. Companies/cards to avoid include American Express charge cards and CapitalOne cards. The reason for this is because they report a $0 line of credit to credit agencies. If you have a balance of any kind on them, it can hurt your credit in that all-important credit available:credit used ratio.
B. Installment loans. These can include things like cars or pianos or any good where you don't have access to a revolving line of credit. A lot of times you can get these as a promo deal where it's 0% interest and or no interest/no payments for x length of time. These are great tools to get a bigger ticket item. If it's 0% interest, it's a no brainer to apply for the credit and use it in whatever way you need to in order to get it paid off without penalty. You don't pay any extra and you get the credit history. If you're paying some interest, try to get this paid off early. That looks great to creditors, even if it costs you a little interest.
C. Mortgages. These are the big kahunas and the last step towards establishing good credit. You won't get a good mortgage rate, especially right now, unless you are a prime lendee. This means low risk to the lender and they define that as having a good credit score (from building up your credit earlier with other loans), not borrowing too much (ideally no more than 80%) and using a reasonable product like a 15 or 30 year fixed rate (try that with a Jumbo loan - around $500,000+ or with an unconventional product like an ARM or interest only mortgage and you could be in trouble).

2. Live within your means.
This should be easy, but clearly it's not. I know a lot of people who get themselves into serious debt trouble because they can't do it. For some people it's toys. Toys are great and a lot of fun. I have my fair share, but the key is to get them after everything else is taken care of. If I'm borrowing on my credit card and can't get that paid off, I shouldn't go buy a nice car or a big screen TV. One thing that my generation is particularly bad at is waiting for fulfillment. We leave our parents' houses and expect to have everything we had there. So we go buy a house, fill it with nice stuff, and don't worry about the bills. What we should do instead is (usually) get an apartment, get secondhand appliances, and slowly replace them and/or move into a purchased house as our salaries get bigger.

3. Don't risk what you can't lose.
I got a house call the other day from a rep from World Financial Group. Now I think they are appropriate in some situations, but invariably they want you to refinance your house into an interest only loan for a much larger amount to then turn around and invest in an actively managed fund through them. Active funds are great, but to cash out my debt in the one asset that I want to keep no matter what happens is foolish. Come to find out that the stock market commenced its nose dive a scant 2 weeks after that meeting and I'm looking like a regular savant. I don't mind putting cash into the market, indeed, I have a lot of money in mutual funds, index funds, and stocks. At the same time, if it all drops to zero it won't destroy me.

4. Teach your children well
Part of the reason we can't save and budget is our parents didn't do a great job teaching us. Schools haven't either. They taught us that you can buy things and that things make you happy, but they didn't really teach that bankruptcy kills your credit for 7 years, that compound interest is the single most important formula to learn for financial success, tools for success in the stock market (including that incredible and relatively safe way to leverage your buying power, options), or that even with credit you shouldn't spend more than you make. These are things that everybody should know, but not many people do. With this knowledge, you can rest assured that you and your children will go out into the world ahead of the vast majority of other people out there.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Nevada Caucuses and South Carolina Primary

I was very happy with yesterday's primary and caucus results in general. Let's go through it race by race and party by party.
The Democrats, Nevada Caucus
This was a mixed bag and it's tough to say how it will go. While Obama got more delegates, the headlines will typically read that Hillary won the state. She did, but it's more nuanced than that. I don't know what will happen with this race still. I think that Obama and Hillary will continue to split races, especially once John Edwards leaves because it will come down to two camps of people: those who like Hillary and those who don't. Because of that and because of the lack of momentum either candidate has got, it might come down to super delegates to see who will win the race.
The Republicans, Nevada Caucus
Romney beat the pants off of everybody else in this contest and if he didn't, he'd be in deep trouble. The combination of everyone else writing this off for South Carolina and the natural constituency he has in Nevada mean that this was expected, just like Wyoming. He has the most delegates and that's important, but with the results of the South Carolina primary, his job just got harder because he may not be able to drag things out until the convention.
The Republicans, South Carolina PrimaryThis was great! McCain beat Huckabee in South Carolina, a state that I would consider the core of Huckabee's support. If he can't win here, he can't win elsewhere. The caveat is that Fred Thompson likely took a lot of Huckabee's support. If Thompson drops out, his voters could easily go to Huckabee, at least in the South. If that happens, we get our toss-up heading into convention again.
Sorro's Candidate Odds
Mitt Romney - 5:1. I still have him here because while he's shown he's competitive in the West and Rust Belt, he hasn't proven anything else. He had a 4th place finish in South Carolina despite a lot of advertising and I think a lot of that is because of religion. Even without the religion issue, he has good nights campaigning and bad nights and it seems like he's had the plasticky, bad nights a lot more than his good ones.
John McCain - 2:1. McCain's moved up a bit because I think South Carolina could become a tipping point for him. He may not win a lot of Romney states, but I think he could pick up Florida and New York if Giuliani slips just a bit. If those states fall to him, the South could as well. If that happens, he's got it in the bag, even if Romney continues on. Even though McCain has some big liabilities (the most notable is his opinion on immigration), he's clearly the candidate who would do the best against a Democratic candidate, beating Hillary Clinton in hypothetical contests and doing very well with independents and moderates in the primaries. I think that at the end of the day Republicans want to stay in charge and McCain gives them the best chance of doing that.
Mike Huckabee - 15:1. Huckabee still has a chance, no question about it. Things are unsettled enough that a misstep by another candidate could bring him back to the fore. His positions on things like religion, while playing to his base (the very religious), unnerve everyone else and ultimately hurt him. I consider myself quite religious but i bristle at the thought of Huckabee and his preacher's mind being in charge of the country. He is the one legitimate nominee who would get me to strongly consider voting for a Democrat
Ron Paul - 100,000:1. I am surprised that Paul blew it in South Carolina. He consistently got 10% of the vote in other contests, but his tanking in South Carolina turned his long shot candidacy into a very long shot candidacy. He was never going to win anyway, this just means it's far less likely.
Rudy Giuliani - 1,500:1. His odds have gone down because of his even worse than expected showing in South Carolina. He's banking everything on Florida, and a win there could rejuvinate his campaign, but I'm not seeing that happen one way or another. The unsettled field still plays to his advantage, but by pinning all his hopes on Florida he's putting himself at the mercy of a group who is not his natural constituency. He used to be one of the serious candidates and it's surprising how far he fell from where he used to be.
Fred Thompson - 25,000:1. He needed to win South Carolina to have a serious chance here, but he didn't. He came in a respectable third place, but that doesn't win a candidacy. I'd love to see Thompson stick around longer because he and Huckabee go after the same voters and the more he can pull away from Huckabee the better it is. If I was Thompson, I'd be looking for a Veep slot right now. McCain/Thompson could be a compelling ticket with some great synergies. McCain's strength among moderates and Thompson's among conservatives combined with their different geographical strengths (the West v. the South) could keep the Republicans in charge for another four years.
Here's the latest GOP Primary projections as I see them:

Thursday, January 17, 2008

KISS the Apprentice

I was a little wary of this season's version of The Apprentice, but after the first episode, I was hooked. Really, the single biggest reason for the awesomeness that is this season is one man: Gene Simmons. He is an incredibly arrogant, smart, womanizing, chauvanist, arrogant (yes, that's two arrogants) person, but he is incredibly entertaining. When he leaves the program, it will be a big blow to it because I absolutely love seeing him on the show. You've never had anyone who does so much wrong but is so incredibly right at the same time. He doesn't follow the rules of business but he's incredibly lucky and good at what he does, even though he's far too idiotic for his own good. His arrogance and ego get in the way of everything he could be, and he could be so much more. That's why he's so great and why I never want to see him leave. Unfortunately, he's an idiot and he's fired. If he wasn't so pig-headed, Trump would have kept him. He was begging Gene to pick someone he could fire so he could stick around, but he essentially fell on his Sword of Arrogance. I really wonder how much of this is an act and how much is really him. Could one person really be like this? Take a look at NBC's website if you haven't been able to see these shows, it's well worth it! The Apprentice on NBC

In Search of Courage

I was going through some old magazines, ripping out articles that I felt I should keep and tossing the rest of the magazine and came across this article in Fast Company by John McCain. He really is an outstanding person, even if you don't agree with his opinions. I feel the same about Romney but he's just too calculating. McCain will do what he feels is right even if it costs him. Besides, at the end of the day wouldn't it be great to have somebody who would rather have spent 5 years in a Vietnamese prison instead of betray his country in the Oval Office? Here's an excerpt below if you don't want to click through:

Over the past 30 years, American culture has defined courage down. We have attributed courage to all manner of actions that may indeed be admirable but hardly compare to the conscious self-sacrifice on behalf of something greater than one's own self-interest. Today, in our excessively psychoanalyzed society, sharing one's secret fears with others takes courage. So does escaping a failing marriage. These are absurd examples of our profligate misidentification of the virtue of courage. There are many other closer calls. Is the athlete's prowess and guts on the playing field an example of courage? Is suffering illness or injury without complaint courageous? Not always. They may be everyday behavior typical of courageous people. They may be evidence of virtuousness. But of themselves, these acts, admirable though they are, are not sufficient proof of courage.

Courage is like a muscle. The more we exercise it, the stronger it gets. I sometimes worry that our collective courage is growing weaker from disuse. We don't demand it from our leaders, and our leaders don't demand it from us. The courage deficit is both our problem and our fault. As a result, too many leaders in the public and private sectors lack the courage necessary to honor their obligations to others and to uphold the essential values of leadership. Often, they display a startling lack of accountability for their mistakes and a desire to put their own self-interest above the common good.

That means trouble for us all, because courage is the enforcing virtue, the one that makes possible all the other virtues common to exceptional leaders: honesty, integrity, confidence, compassion, and humility. In short, leaders who lack courage aren't leaders.

Lack of courage is not the exclusive failing of political leaders, but our failings as well as our virtues set a national example. We may have learned important lessons from the intelligence failures that preceded the terrorist attacks of September 11 and the fruitless search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. But I'm not sure we set a reassuring example to the rest of the country by declining to punish anyone involved in those failures. Not one person was fired or was moved by his or her conscience to resign. Similarly, the prisoner abuse scandal at Abu Ghraib has occasioned much soul-searching but little in the way of personal accountability. The enlisted people responsible for the abuses are facing courts-martial, as they should. But others higher in the chain of command have yet to face serious disciplinary action or offer their resignations. No one has had the courage to stand up and say, "It's my fault, I'm going to resign."

When no one takes responsibility for failure, or when responsibility is so broadly shared that individual accountability is ignored, then failure in public office becomes acceptable. It's hard to see how that serves the country.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Foltune Cookie

That wasn't a typo in the title, it's how the Japanese would Englishize "fortune cookie," speaking of which, The New York Times discovered that they invented them. That destroys our current paradigm of the Chinese fortune cookie and could hurt PF Chang's (well...not really). The more disturbing trend rather than the misattribution of who made the cookie is the ridiculously lame "fortunes." Seriously, are they even trying anymore? Who cares if it's wrong or not, I would like to see a real fortune on there.

Huckabee's King James Constitution

I would love to have a video link right here and perhaps when it gets up on YouTube I will be able to, but this is disturbing on so many levels. I think Joe Scarborough and almost everyone on MSNBC (the perpetual 3rd wheel among all-news channels) are windbags, but I totally agree with him on this: "Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's and unto God that which is God's." Huckabee doesn't, as evidenced by this story. The prose itself isn't fantastic, but the video at the bottom of the page is where the real money is. It's Huckabee himself saying that "we need to change the Constitution so it fits God's standards." Those who have been afraid of Romney kowtowing to the LDS line in Salt Lake should get real close to their TVs and listen to that because Huckabee has gone out and said that he wants to amend the Constitution to fit God's standards (implicit in that comment is the idea that it will be the Southern Baptist version of God's standards). That's a scary thing there. One of the great things about the nation has always been its moral foundation without State sponsorship of a religion. This turns that on its head where he would have the Constitution not only be based on Judeo-Christian principles, but be based on his interpretation of them via his experience as a Southern Baptist minister. I don't care who you are, that's frightening right there.

Michigan Primaries

That was interesting. It's clear from the contests thus far this year that nobody knows who the Republican candidate will be. Nobody's got any momentum and I think that this really plays into Rudy Giuliani's strategy to hit Florida hard and then use a big win there to catapult him into the nomination on Super Tuesday. Of course, I think he's gotten to that point because he won't be the nominee...he shouldn't need to campaign in every state as hard as the other candidates to at least make a respectable showing, but he's been stuck in the ~3% range in every contest. I know that he hasn't done much, but you're no longer a top-tier candidate when you have that poor of a showing anywhere. This is good news for everybody not named John McCain because if he carried the state, he'd be the unequivocal leader of the pack and could have steamrolled to the nomination. As things stand right now, it's almost anybody's ballgame. Let's go to the good/bad (GOP only as the Democrats boycotted the state) and then play Vegas oddsmaker for the candidates as well as soothsayer.
Good: Another third place finish for Huckabee. I saw him give his concession speech on Fox News and I was happy that it was that time again, but I actually like him a bit more as a result of it. Not to change my position or anything, but he's less unpalatable than he once was.
Bad: McCain's second place finish puts everything back up for grabs. That means that almost anyone could get the nomination. Right now everything is so unsettled that even after Super Tuesday we may not have a clear winner.

Sorro's Candidate Odds
Mitt Romney: 5:1. Even though he leads in the delegate count, I can't give him better odds than this. He'll clean up in the Mountain states (in every Utah poll he's got at least 60% of the vote from likely primary voters), the problem with that is we don't have much pull. He'll cover a lot of ground, but not have many delegates to show for it. I don't know if the Michigan win was a case of home court advantage or a sign of strength in the Rust Belt. I would lean towards the former because it makes more sense, but if he could string together some wins in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, it makes it distinctly possible that he could be the nominee.
John McCain: 3:1. McCain's been strong in every place he's run, with the exception of Iowa. He was even pretty respectable there given that it was a caucus state and he didn't have anybody on the ground to get out the vote. Likewise, he's currently leading Huckabee in South Carolina and if he wins in this state, it will probably be a Romney/McCain battle for the rest of the nation. In that scenario, McCain would play better in the South because of the fear of Romney among evangelicals and he could very well do better in blue states - especially the Northeast and California. I see him as the candidate with the best chance to win, but it's still a toss-up right now.
Mike Huckabee: 7:1. This number could change with a win in South Carolina, while it will drop precipitously with a loss. If he can't win in South Carolina, his natural Southern constituency (which might be pulled somewhat by Thompson) will end up not being a support to him and he won't get the nod. Really, the next contest is do-or-die for him. A win would keep things unsettled, but a loss would most likely see the rest of the states coalesce around McCain and Romney the rest of the way in.
Ron Paul: 10,000:1. Paul has run an admirable campaign and consistently gathered around 10% of votes, more than either Giuliani or Thompson. At the end of the day though he's still a fringe candidate who really doesn't stand a chance of winning.
Rudy Giuliani: 999:1. Rudy's the least long of the long shots because he actually does lead a state (Florida, within the margin of error) and because he has long been part of the front-running pack. At the same time, he's run a terrible campaign that might have worked in New York City (part of the problem he had was relying on his NYC contingent instead of getting some national advisers) but doesn't resonate elsewhere. He could play well in Florida and New York state and maybe win both primaries, but I don't know that he'll do much more than that. It's always possible that the uncertainty at the top could catapult him ahead, but it's doubtful.
Fred Thompson: 10,000:1. Poor Fred Thompson. Everybody loved him when he was the DA on Law & Order, but now that he's tossed his hat in the ring he gets no respect. Part of that is because of a lackluster campaign that didn't capitalize on his Reaganesque life and career (really, he is a commanding presence on the screen) but instead flittered away his benefits and made him look like he should have stayed back with Sam Waterston.
Duncan Hunter: 1,000,000:1. The fact that he's still in speaks volumes about him. Not only does he believe what he does despite the odds, he's also a glutton for punishment.

If I were to say how things would go right now, I would say that the Republican nomination won't be decided until the convention. We have a group of candidates that aren't galvanizing enough for people to jump behind from the get-go, and there are so many that it is tough to gain a majority. As I see things right now, I'm assuming a Huckabee win in South Carolina that may or may not happen and basing the following map that shows nobody knows really who they want to support for President. Of course this could change somewhat, but here's the way it looks today:

Monday, January 14, 2008

Know Your Airline Ports of Call

Lufthansa, in a nice little piece of viral marketing, has released a site where you can try and top other peoples' scores in a round of geography and "where does Lufthansa fly?" I did pretty well, but man alive, who's heard of Izmir, Turkey before?

Friday, January 11, 2008

Running Meeting Diary 1/11/08 – The Return

10:15 AM - I know it’s been ages since my last running diary, but I thought I’d break it out today as I expect it to be a gem as it’s already shaping up that way and it’s not even started yet. We’ve got Forro, Posada, and Cano on the field with Giambi in the building. Jeter’s not going to be here as he’s playing an exhibition game on the other side of the world and A-Rod is hosing everybody by being his usual late self. If Giambi was here, I’d push ahead for the start. Heck, I still might do it because I hate waiting.

10:35 AM – Cano has agreed with me on the starting of the meeting, Giambi is here, and A-Rod can suck it. We’re finally rolling!

10:45 AM – What I said about the meeting starting? Uh, yeah…it kind of didn’t. We were interrupted by someone and then half the group left. I said that this was bull and started my financial presentation anyway and if they don’t like it, they should have stayed.

11:00 AM – I show my financials and then A-Rod, who showed up mid presentation, hems and haws about how we need more revenue. Forro presses him on trending on patient numbers and he doesn’t have anything, but he passes some bucks, says that it fluctuates. No duh. What’s the trending, give me some data!

11:02 AM – I’m hearing a lot of defense and not much offence from A-Rod. I think he might be pulling random data out of his rear based on things that he has no idea about. That’s usually how it works with him though, no question about it.

11:07 AM – We’re having a discussion with A-Rod where he’s talking about stuff but not backing it up with anything. To quote Lionel Hutz, “We've plenty of hearsay and conjecture. Those are kinds of evidence.” He’s talking about how these chintzy little pieces of junk helped out with doctors and I honestly feel that the numbers don’t back that up one iota. Yet he continues to dance around the issue and blame other people for his issues he’s having. To toss in and modify another quote from Bill Simmons, “Yup, these are our managers.”

11:20 AM – We’re talking about how we suck on the customer service end and there’s a lot of back and forth, but not really anything is being resolved. It’s pretty much the status quo. There’s a lot of concern, but not a lot of action.

11:35 AM – Here we are, two separate discussions. I honestly don’t think that much will come of this, mainly because at the end of the day the person(s) in charge of this just slap stuff on a wall and hope it sticks.

11:36 AM – Forro just got blamed for something by A-Rod for no reason at all. What a meatball.

11:39 AM – This is the reason why it’s been so long since we’ve done one of these. The meetings have been very effective up until this day. I can say that I haven’t been in such a lousy meeting in well over a month.

11:51 AM – We’ll see if this pans out, as is not likely based on the history and the fact that we have a bloviating numbskull in charge of our marketing plan, but we do have a good marketing plan. It took some hammer dunking, and

12:00 PM – We’re currently discussing orientation and Forro is getting caught between a rock and a hard place because people want something and others want something else.

12:07 PM – We’re still on the same discussion about orientation and it comes down to discipline and holding people to the line. We never do it, nor will we ever do it, because we refuse to hold people accountable. Accountability, for all our talk about it, is as good as dead here, from the top down. We have had the problem for years and it starts with the fact that we have an exec (A-Rod) who might as well be Charles Bronson in Death Wish. Well, Charles Bronson if he didn’t go out and whack people but instead sat around and talked. Actually scratch that, he’s Chief Wiggum. Wiggum doesn’t do anything, but he’s still the police chief in Springfield. That’s A-Rod.

12:34 PM – I’m nearly finished with Simmons’ Divisional Series picks column and I think we finally finished the conversation. Honestly, I stopped paying attention about 20 minutes ago.

12:39 PM – A-Rod is hereby prophesying that we will be having a natural disaster here in our area relatively quickly. Or a biological attack. Either way, it will be happening. He’s also saying that in a pandemic, you use yourselves some M-94 masks (not a real mask BTW) and then everyone hunkers down in their basements for 2 weeks. I think he might be a secret member of some Shadow Department of Homeland Security. I also just heard a mention of H5N1 (bird flu), and he’s seriously about 2 steps away from getting a bunch of guns and hunkering down in the mountains waiting for the world to end. While we’re on this topic, Forro talked with him earlier this week and so I do know a little behind-the-scenes information. He has a strong belief that we will be subject to either an earthquake or biological attack (yes, a bio attack here in Utah) in the next 6 months. Honestly, is it just me and the people I know, or is millennialism at an all-time high?

12:45 PM – Done with that discussion…I think.

12:46 PM – One thing that bugs me about ESPN’s web site is that they keep moving things around. They’re the Costco of websites. Every day you come in and you’re looking for Simmons’ columns or the Hollinger/Stein team rankings and you never know where you’ll find them. They may even be on a different website. Of course not to knock either, I’m a firm fan of both.

12:50 PM – “Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in!”

12:53 PM – I have just been told that the impossible is possible. An employee has told A-Rod, and because he’s an idiot he believed it, that they are being charged long distance on a local call to our office. Our local office. It gets routed to 2 offices from that line and she believes she’s getting charged for the long distance call to our main office. As someone who knows a thing or two about reality, that’s not possible.

1:08 PM – While A-Rod is wasting our time with his family call, Cano and Giambi are chatting. A Classic Canoism is the ability to just take crucial pieces of a puzzle and force them in somewhere else. They may not fit and they may leave a gap elsewhere, but it’s what he does best (or worst as it were)

1:12 PM – I think we might be done. Smokehouse, here I come!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

New Hampshire Primaries

It has been a few days since the New Hampshire Primaries, and in the spirit of not knocking Wyoming, let's recognize Romney's 67% to the rest of the field's 34% vote get in the caucuses there. It ultimately doesn't matter because nobody knew about it, but he did slaughter everyone in the first contest out west. I still have some thoughts on what took place in New Hampshire, so as in my post on the Iowa caucuses, let's break it down by parties:
The good: Hmm...this is tough. I guess that Obama was close and Bill Richardson dropped out and John Edwards was a very, very distant third. There's not a lot here that I like, except for the Edwards bit. That's actually a big deal as he's the biggest populist of the bunch and he's not someone I'd like the Democrats to have for their candidate. Really, I'm playing a game of "which Democrat do I want for president" because the fact of the matter is that the Republicans are going to have a tough go of it this fall no matter who the nominee is (except perhaps Ronald Reagan's corpse. If they wheeled him out, I think he could run the table) and so I want the most palatable Democratic candidate. As such, I love Edwards' loss and I don't like the return of Hillary.
The bad: Obama lost. It seemed like such a forgone conclusion that he would run the table after his surprise win in Iowa. One thing to remember is that there are a lot of states left and still a long run ahead, but this could swing Big Mo back in Hillary's favor. We'll see what Michigan and South Carolina bring.
The Republicans
The good and the bad: McCain won! That's my guy! I would love to see him take the crown, but the GOP field is completely up in the air. You've got 3 winners, none with a ton of momentum (seriously, Huckabee can spin 3rd place in a lot of ways, but it's not a win) and it's not going to be decided for a while. I could see Romney move to drop out if McCain wins Michigan, but I think Huckabee has the edge in South Carolina. Bush beat McCain there and then ran the table in 2000, and the same thing could happen again. It really depends on if McCain's rise from a blown up campaign after Romney took his nose dive is enough to overcome the home field advantage that a Southern preacher/Governor like Huckabee has. Mark my words, if McCain can pull out Michigan and South Carolina, he'll be the nominee. If he wins South Carolina only, I still give him the edge. If it's Romney/Huckabee as the two winners, who knows what will happen. If Romney comes back from the edge, he might be able to run the table too. The one thing I know won't happen is a Huckabee win in Michigan. You can take that prediction to the bank.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Signs of the Apocalypse

Some recent news stories that are absolutely insane and a bit sad in general. I swear, if you scanned CNN's main page constantly, you'd assume that the world is at an end.

Here's a man who did apparently think that and who is also loco: Link

Sad stories that make you wonder why people are evil: Here, Here, and Here

A story that makes you wonder just how much suffering this man has gone through to request this kind of money. It must be something that makes even George Costanza's travails pale in comparison: Link

And finally, the winner of the "Why Are You Mad Because You Shouldn't Have Been There Either" Award: Link

The Look and Barge

One of the most time honored traditions here at our company is what I dub the look and barge. In it, the person who thinks they are the center of the universe looks through the window of your office then walks in. It doesn't matter if you're in a meeting, on a conference call, or performing open heart surgery. They're more important than whatever it is that you're dealing with and it has to be now, now, now! So A-Rod, the most self-important person here, wanted to know if he could order pens and so he looked and barged into a beast of a conference call with a hospital on a payment issue. Then while we were busy talking, he launched into his own questions, not really caring what we were doing, that he was interrupting, or that it was distracting those on the other end of the call. He needed those pens!

Contingency Planning

Here at my company we don't like to "plan for the future." By that I mean to tomorrow. The property manager here took off to Australia for 2 weeks on one of those vacations of a lifetime things and he didn't bother to secure anyone to take care of our building in the event of snow. Fortunately it's snowed on weekends so far, but today was a doozy. We're up to 6 inches or so of heavy, wet snow. If it was our typical powder it wouldn't even be a huge deal, but this was the back-breaking stuff of legend. As the official contingency plan for when it snows and he's not here you had somebody making a lot more than it would have cost to actually just hire a company out there using a ghetto shovel (because he was a tightwad on that too) to clear enough sidewalk to choke a camel, not to mention the missing plowman in the parking lot (not that he's ever had one of those anyway) and the soon to be inevitable accident we will see there. I just hope it's not into my car.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

The World's Coolest LAN Party

Now I don't know about you, but I wasn't prepared for the sheer volume of coolness that would exude from the packaging of the new Logitech gaming headset I just got. My neighbor's created a NGVPN (Neighborhood Gaming Virtual Private Network) located on his servers for a bunch of us to play on and I've not had the requisite hardware to actually talk to people. Well, I picked one up off of Newegg (the best place to get anything related to a computer that I've ever seen) and it came today. I knew it would make me cooler, but I didn't realize it would be quite as game changing as it is.Here we see that this headset will attract hot women to LAN parties. While I don't doubt that some women like them, I will say that the hot woman that I know will go to bed before she'll come play games with me in the study. Don't get me wrong, my wife likes the Wii and all it's Wii glory, but computer games are the province of nerds. I also like the fact that the dude thinks he's using a Wiimote instead of an actual keyboard. Farbeit for me to say that this isn't the way someone would play a game, but I'm pretty sure that I'm right here.I think this is even better because it's abundantly clear that I'm not gaming the way I should. The girl from the other picture is holding on to her keyboard like it's a steering wheel and I know that you can't game like that. The guy is apparently dodging something because he's trying to get his keyboard out of the way. Either he spilled something (and judging by the expression of the other girl in the picture, it's not pleasant) and they are trying to protect their keyboards or someone just shot a missile at him and as is done with console controllers, he's trying to get out of the way of it, only he is one of those strange people who holds a keyboard like a controller.

Shelf Unreliable

One of the more ridiculous customer service snafus (a small tangent here - why is it that when somebody messes up it's a snafu, meaning the situation is normal from the US Army acronym SNAFU instead of a tarfu from the Army acronym TARFU - Things are really [fouled] up? Of course FUBAR has found its way here too for those situations like CompUSA.) that I have come across lately is thanks to local company Shelf Reliance. They make these can rotation products for food storage so you can rotate your cans and store them more effectively. It's a cool concept, and they charge a premium for it (north of 400 bucks for a modified Costco Gorilla rack). You'd think with that premium price, you'd get premium service, but that's not the case. One thing I will say about them is that they are very amenable and nice when I have talked with them, however apparently when I originally ordered one back on December 19th the delivery driver went and dropped one off at the wrong house (yup, no delivery confirmation for something of that price and size. I hope whoever got that enjoys their new Shelf Reliance!). My wife and I didn't know why it was taking so long to get to us when they are a scant 5 miles from our house, but figured they took the holidays off. I called them yesterday and they had their delivery guy come by our house that very day, which was great. The problem is that they gave us the wrong product! The actual frame was the wrong size, but the can guide inserts were the proper size. I'm seriously tempted to ask for free shelves or a discount on them or something like that for all the pain in the butt this has been. I fired off an email to the person I had been talking to last night when we got the delivery but haven't heard back yet. I will keep you informed on what happens.

Monday, January 07, 2008


Apparently a good part of the population can't read my blog, as the readability test I just took courtesy of Scott Roche over at Spiritual Tramp, told me that you need to be a college undergrad to read this. It makes sense in some regard as I have indeed gone to college and I love a good old fashioned archaic word, but it's clearly a niche group I must be subconsciously targeting here.
cash advance

Fast Payday Loans

Friday, January 04, 2008

For Sale: One Slightly Abandoned Car

We have someone working up in our other office who is down here far more often than they should be, but that doesn't stop them from coming down. About 3 weeks ago their car broke down and it has been sitting here, locked, not touched, and poorly parked in a handicap space since then. Let me know what we should do with it in the comments. Options include setting it on fire, breaking and entering and pushing it to the nether regions of the the parking lot, or nothing at all.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Iowa Caucuses

Tonight's caucuses are a good news/bad news situation. The best news, of course, is that we finally are about done with primary season. Seriously, I think the candidates started declaring right around the time President Bush got elected and finally those four years of campaigning that turned off almost everyone in the nation (while I'm not one for laws, for the good of the nation perhaps we should enact one that allows the Supreme Court to disqualify anybody who runs for President more than about a year before election day) are about to pay off in the form of candidates. Since I've tried to tune out the election until just recently, I haven't had as much election related stuff, however, I still have plenty of "expert" analysis to share.
The Democrats: I think the results here are great. While I think John Edwards is probably a worse candidate than Hillary Clinton just because of his policies ("get the troops out of Iraq ASAP" is the worst policy I can think of. Since things are getting better on the ground, eliminating all those gains is certainly something we can put in the old win column.), he's not nearly as strong. I saw quite a bit of spin from the Edwards camp on his second place finish, and rest assured he has come on of late. At the same time this is less a win for him than a huge loss for Hillary. A third place finish for the consensus inevitable candidate is a terrible thing for her. Obama's win conversely is huge for him. As Juan Williams said on Fox, he's a black man and he just cleaned up in a white state. He might be more liberal than the other Democratic candidates, but I love that he is a genuinely nice person. He's going to be tougher for the Republicans to beat if he moves on to the general election, but at the same time I really don't care. I'd prefer to have two solid candidates and have mine lose but be able to live with the other candidate. I can definitely live with Obama and may even vote for him if the Republican candidate was tonight's winner.
The Republicans: Huckabee is the clear winner here. Romney's the loser, McCain pulled out a slight win and Thompson a small loss. That might not matter in the grand scheme of things because Huckabee has shown over the past few days that he's not just a Chuck Norris loving good old boy, he's a snake. First there was the "I'm not going to attack Romney, oh by the way, here's my attack that I was going to do" press conference, then there was the appearance on Leno where he mentioned that he didn't know he was breaking WGA picket lines to appear. Then after that there was the overheard conversation of his national campaign manager saying that they were going to go hard after Romney, especially in South Carolina. Then when Chris Wallace pressed him on it, he hemmed and hawed and went back and forth on how it wasn't as it seemed and how dare people listen to his conversations anyway. First off, I don't care if you broke WGA lines or not, it doesn't matter to me. Just admit you did it. It's the domestic equivalent of Bush's not knowing the then-new leader of Pakistan, Musharraf. That didn't stop him, and I don't expect it to stop Huckabee either, but it seems to be part of a pattern. Not of being a little uninterested in things, but being devious. He's portraying himself as this upright minister of the nation when he's really lying through his teeth about how he is just like every other politician. Id really be disappointed if he ends up as the Republican nominee and would prefer anyone win the nomination to him, including surprise 10% vote getter Ron Paul.
Of course, the Iowa caucuses are more favorable than a primary to fringe candidates so it might be one and done for both Huckabee and Paul. We'll see in a few days though.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

IT Pet Peeve of the Day 3

Another in my ongoing series of annoyances as the head of our IT department. This time the person who didn't know their login a month ago came back to me again because I had to log on to her computer to do an update (Forro and I call her Kodos for no real reason I guess. She really doesn't do much that the alien in The Simpsons does)...and she didn't know her login information again! From my transcript:
Kodos: I've come in to do some work and my password doesn't work.
Sorro: What's in your user name field?
K: Where's that?
S: It's the area above the area where you put in your password
K: says "Administrator"
S: Okay, you have to put in your user name for your password to work.
K: What's my user name?
S: (At this point annoyed because this is unfortunately not the first time she's done this. You'd think she'd remember her user name by now). Your user name is probably [your first name].[your last name]
K: Are you sure?
S: {ugh}
It worked and I was just mildly annoyed by the whole process because, as I have mentioned before, this is one of my pet peeves.

If that was the end I wouldn't have thought to post again. After all, this happened on Saturday morning and it's now Wednesday. However, she called me on my office phone about an hour ago and we had the following conversation.
K:"Are you here?"
S: {um, did dial my extension and it's not on Mars.} Yes.
K: My desktop isn't the same and I can't access any of my network drives.
S: What did you use as your login information?
K: I used [my first name].[my last name]
So I checked our domain server to see what exactly the deal was if perhaps she had 2 login names or something like that. She didn't, so I checked the different desktops on her computer to see what was happening. They were all the same, so I didn't know what was going on. She then said that it had nothing to do with the desktop. I told her to restart her computer with an ethernet cable plugged in the back. She looked at me incredulously and so I repeated what I said, pointing at the hole on the back of her computer for emphasis and clarity.
K: Well I did that already today and it didn't work.
S: (Knowing full well that she must not have done what I asked her to do otherwise it would have worked) Well, do it again and it will work.
K: I just wish there was a way for this to work like it is supposed to!
S: {The way it would work the way it's supposed to is for you to remember all those little tidbits I tell you instead of thinking you don't need to bother with them.}