Wednesday, July 30, 2008

He Has His Reward

The Wall Street Journal's Best of the Web had an interesting post yesterday. Barak Obama went to the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem and inserted a prayer, as is tradition among Jews. He's not Jewish, so it's just a nice photo op and a chance to say "look, I love Israel too!" (I'm not criticizing him in this aspect - if you're a politician and you end up in Jerusalem, or even within 500 miles of Jerusalem, you get that photo op.) However, that's where it gets a little dicey. From Taranto:
This set off a bit of a kerfuffle, as the Israeli newspaper Maariv published the prayer, purportedly filched by a seminary student. has the text:
Protect my family and me.
Forgive me my sins, and help me guard against pride and despair.
Give me the wisdom to do what is right and just.
And make me an instrument of your will.
Haaretz reports that "Jerusalem lawyer Shahar Alon asked Attorney General Menachem Mazuz yesterday to order a police investigation into the removal and publication of Obama's note":
"By making the note public," Alon wrote to Mazuz, "Maariv violated the law protecting holy sites, several clauses in the penal code and also infringed upon the basic rights of a person's honor and freedom."
Alon also initiated a boycott of the newspaper. . . .
Maariv's response: "Obama's note was published in Maariv and other international publications following his authorization to make the content of the note public. Obama submitted a copy of the note to media outlets when he left his hotel in Jerusalem. Moreover, since he is not Jewish, there is no violation of privacy as there would be for a Jewish person who places a note in the wall."
Thus, as IsraelInsider puts it, "what initially seemed to be a journalistic scoop of dubious moral propriety now seems to be a case of an Israeli paper being played by the Barack Obama campaign." Obama's so-called prayer was at best an open letter to God--a sentiment intended for public, not divine, consumption.

Now, from Matthew 6: 5-6
5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

I think that about sums up my opinion as well.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Rocketeer

Man has always dreamed he could fly, and not just in an airplane. I can think of the possibilities, including, but not limited to, being able to go somewhere as the crow flies. You could also get some sweet pictures. Until Star Trek's teleportation technology gets here, this is about as close as we can hope to get. Of course, there are a lot of examples of really bad jetpacks out there, but here's one that shows some promise. Strap a V-4 and a couple of turbofans to your back, and you're in business!

Monday, July 28, 2008

The Internet Kills Brain Cells

The New York Times had an interesting article yesterday on how the internet is changing reading. Long story short, it seems to decrease attention spans and lead people to cut to the chase more. The picture at the top of the column is indicative of this; starting with books, moving to newspapers, and finally going to laptop computers.
I think that I have found this to be absolutely true. While I still love books, I think that I have gotten less patient for the hardy prose of yore and prefer a quicker, Dan Brownian style. It's not that I won't read the wordier books, but I don't jump at them like I used to. The area where I notice it even more though is when I am reading articles on the internet. I will start a column, then open up a new tab and get something else loading while I'm reading. I skip around a lot more than I used to in newspapers, shooting from column to column to the point where I'm actively trying to refocus my energies on a single thing at a time. Multitasking is great, and I think you can get a lot of information very quickly by scanning the internet, but you don't get the deep knowledge of a subject that you can from buckling down and focusing on a specific topic. As a result, you may not analyze what you need to, which could cause problems. Now I think there is a place for both styles of reading, even from the same person in the same position, but at different times. It's just a matter of working to use both styles to help get more rounded than you otherwise would. So far, I think it's worked pretty well for me, although I have a ways to go yet before I get back to where I don't jump around between a bunch of different tabs, even when I'm in the middle of writing a blog post or doing something where I need to keep on one train of thought for a while. Does anybody else have thoughts? Has the internet made you more scattered (or multitasky)? Is it a force for good or evil? Etc etc?

Friday, July 25, 2008

One More Sign I'm Still A Teenager At Heart

I was driving to Salt Lake yesterday on the freeway when I saw a truck pass me. When I saw what was on the side and back of the truck, I felt like I had no choice but to catch up and snap a picture. I find it hilarious, and I fully admit that there is still a part of me that's 15 years old. I took this picture going about 85 MPH because this guy was hauling butt.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Worthless Holiday

One of the things that makes absolutely no sense to me is why I am off today.  It's Pioneer Day, a strange local holiday that celebrates Brigham Young marking a stake in the desert and starting the state of Utah.  It's not that I'm opposed to days off, but when we don't have MLK day or President's Day off, why couldn't we move this day off to February?  We have a big stretch of work without any holidays - from Jan 2 through Memorial Day, and then suddenly we have a holiday at the end of May, beginning of July, end of July, and beginning of September.  A little more separation would be much appreciated.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Financial Idiocy

Here's a fantastic post over at Freakonomics.  The conclusion is absolutely astonishing.  The questions are so simple and so elementary that I can't believe people don't answer them correctly.  If people can't answer these simple questions easily, we clearly have something wrong.  Part of it is with our school system.  I know it's not reading, riting, or rithmatic, but every child should have at least a finance unit in one of their classes, if not a finance course in Jr High/High School that explains the basics: FICO credit score, compound interest, inflation/deflation, basic stock market fundamentals. 
I understand if people don't project ahead (for example, at my current projected savings rate, assuming the status quo with my earnings and spend - which is conservative, if you ask me - combined with a reasonable compound interest rate up to the highest realistic compound rate [approximately 2%-10% - again, pretty conservative], I will have millions of dollars for retirement.  I am not even in the same hemisphere as that in my 401(k), UVL, and savings accounts at the moment, but that's the magic of compound interest.), but please have a basic understanding.  Know that if you have 3 loans: a mortgage at 5%, a car at 6%, and a credit card at 18%, you should pay the credit card off first while maintaining your minimum payments elsewhere.  Use the power of the no-interest promotional loan.  Pay off everything but your house (your house gives you special tax advantages that make it adventageous to not pay it off immediately).  For the love of all that is holy, DO NOT GET AN INTEREST ONLY MORTGAGE and/or A VARIABLE RATE MORTGAGE - unless you're going to pay it off during the promotional period.  Those products kill more people than any other.  Work to have 20% down on your house.  This is difficult in a first home, but after your first home, you should always have 20% to put down to avoid a high rate home equity loan or mortgage insurance.  One interesting piece of advice I got was instead of paying off your house with extra income, put that money in an interest bearing account (or bonds would work too) and keep building it up.  When you're done, you'll have kept the tax advantages of a mortgage and built up enough to pay it off in one fell swoop.  Of course, you can go on forever on all the different tricks and this is just a step, but if we could get that initial step taken by a lot of people, we probably wouldn't be in the current mess we're in.

Monday, July 21, 2008

How to Lose A Customer, Then Almost Totally Redeem Yourself

So I was at Nobu in Las Vegas because they've been one of my big stops for ages.  They have incredible sushi and wonderfully imaginative dishes.  It's normally well worth my time.  However, after parking (I let my family out at the front because the Hard Rock Hotel was a madhouse that night due to a party for a local magazine), I went to the Nobu entrance and the maitre d' wouldn't let me in.  Why not?  It's not because I was wearing a golf shirt.  It's not because I was in shorts.  It was because I was wearing open-toed sandals.  Not flip-flops, but open-toed sandals.  This was posted at the front, but it wasn't ever mentioned to me when I made the reservation.  Not only that, but women could go in wearing anything short of a bathing suit.  That means that not only could a woman get in with more skin showing than some married couples see in their lifetimes, but also someone dressed like this could get in before me.
Not that I have any problem with the homeless, unless they can get in a restaurant and I can't. I called my wife and we hemmed and hawed and I was getting more and more annoyed with Nobu when suddenly they had an unpredictable change of heart. I could go in...I just had to put on socks. I went and bought a pair of socks at the Hard Rock sundries shop and looked like a goober the rest of the night, but I got my sushi.  My biggest complaint is the no-dress-code dress code.  If you're going to have one, that's fine.  I've eaten at places that still require a jacket and tie.  I don't care, but be consistent.  Don't outlaw something so foolish as sandals for men only.  Say that you require business casual or a jacket and tie or a black (white) tie. 
I felt better about things after they actually let me in and as we left the hotel I made an eco-promise on the eco-promise board.  To highlight the absurdity, I made a ridiculous promise:
My daughter loved the foam hands that 944 (the local mag having the party there) gave out.
The law in Nevada is no children within 15 feet of gambling areas.  I defy you to find 15 feet of walking corridors in most hotels on the Strip.  What a worthless law.  Why not make it 100 feet, or 1000?  While we're on the subject of ridiculous things, can we please stop calling strip clubs "Gentlemen's Clubs?"  There's not a single gentleman who walks in there, and I don't care how much money they have or how well mannered they are.  Call a spade a spade.  I would love to see the term "Horny House" or "Nekkid Dance Emporium" come into wide use.

Here's the convention center carpet at the Venetian, for Mickel:

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Mandalay Bay Conventions

I'm here at the Mandalay Bay attending a conference.  I think the carpet here is a cut above most convention centers, probably because it's attached to a casino.  It does look pretty much the same as everywhere else though. 
In non-carpet related news, we got our room at THEhotel for the same price as everyone else who got theirs at Mandalay Bay.  What's the difference?  THEhotel is a nicer, casino-free sub-hotel that is pretty sweet.  The upshot is that it's a 15 minute walk to my sessions though.

Know Your Vehicle's Height

Take a look at this video, it's absolutely crazy what happens to this bank drive-thru when somebody doesn't pay attention to what they're doing:

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

GW Hater

I don't have my carpet picture yet, but I am sitting next to a guy who is perturbed at the perception that George Washington was our first founding father.
A quote:
"...George Washington, our first founding father (sic - he meant President because he then talked about McCain/Obama as our soon-to-be latest President)"
"He wasn't our first!"

To which I say "who really cares?". He was one of the group of collective founding fathers. Doesn't that, combined with his being the first President of the US allow us a little latitude in talking about him?

Travelblog: Greece Cruise (Part 3 and final)

We're finishing this up today.  Since I am currently at Mandalay Bay for a conference, Mickel can expect a lovely picture of the convention center carpet very quickly. 
So we got back to Venice and I got a car.  The original plan was to head to Lake Como and see what all the fuss was about (it's the area that was seen several times in Casino Royale).  Because there were 9 of us, we were in a van that was so sparse that the people in the back were getting tossed all over the place thanks to the terrible suspension and the windy roads.  We got to Lugano, a city on the tip of Lake Como, and then decided that we probably shouldn't continue.  Because the lake is so long and it's shaped like a giant Y, it didn't seem like that would be the best use of our limited time.  Instead, we headed to Milan.  Milan was absolutely crazy.  Because of the seating configuration, my wife wasn't seated up front with me, so I didn't have my usual navigator.  Now I like to brag on my driving/navigating skills - and they are second to none, but because I end up in the driver's seat on these excursions, I can't really navigate.  However, my wife makes a pretty darn good replacement.  For all the concern we had last year, she never led us astray when we were traveling around Austria and Germany.  My navigator this time wasn't quite as good.  He just didn't have the ability to see things forward 3-4 streets and tell me where to go.  Instead it was more of a "here's where we are" situation, which led to us getting turned around to the point where I had no idea where we were and we somehow plopped out right at the castle on one end of the historical district.  Milan was much nicer than I had been led to believe.  I'd heard it was an industrial town that was of little redeeming worth.  Instead, it was actually quite charming.  We would love to spend some more time here on another trip.  Nevertheless, it was marred when we approached the city's Duomo (which was absolutely stunning architecturally) by the birdinistas.  These guys came up to you, put corn in your hand, and had you take pictures of all the flying rats that landed on you.  After you take the pictures, they ask for a little something something.  I dug around my cash pouch and pulled out a 1 euro coin.  Not bad for a nickel's worth of corn and 20 seconds of work, if you ask me.  After he got it, he dropped it on the ground and asked for 5 euros.  I told him he was crazy and it wasn't worth anything near that and left.  Another member of my group wasn't so lucky.  The birdinistas hounded him so relentlessly that he gave in and they got their 5 euros.  I'd love to see some of these cities put these burgeoning "entrepreneurs" out of business.  How does deportation sound, Pedro? 
At any rate, with the exception of that incident, what an amazing city.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Travelblog: Greece Cruise (Part 2)

On to the cruise!  We started out with what a lot of people consider to be the best sail away in the world.  Unlike most, where you pull out of the dock and then out of the harbor, leaving the sight of land within about 5 minutes, when you leave Venice, you do so by cruising right through town.  It really is incredible.  From the vantage point 11 decks above the water, you really can see the whole city and some of the areas you didn't end up going.  I marked my mental map for some interesting places the next time we go (which brings me to my rule of thumb: when I travel, I travel as though I'll never be back.  I want to cram in as much of wherever I am as I can because you never know if you'll get the chance again.  That being said, I've been to Italy enough times that I think I'll probably end up back here again), and then we went out into the Aegean Sea.  We did the lifejacket drill, making sure that if we end up sinking, you won't see my wife and I on the stern of the ship reenacting Titanic.  That being said, if I had been of the right mind on the boat, we would have reenacted Titanic on the bow of the ship. 
We went to Athens and found that it was much dirtier than we had been led to believe.  I really would consider it one of the dirtiest cities I've been in.  The Acropolis was amazing, as was the Petra, but by the time we went back to the boat, I felt like I'd been in Athens enough.  The food was fantastic, (I love me a good gyro) it was cheap (bottled watter was .50 Euros, which is cheaper than it is here), and there was an incredible amount of history in the center of town, but what people don't think about is that it was a relatively dusty outpost of the Ottoman Empire until after World War I.  After that, the Nazis did their business and they had a civil war in the 50s.  Most of the city consisted of what I like to call Eastern Bloc architecture - soulless apartment buildings in various stages of disrepair.  Delos/Mykonos was our next stop and it was worlds away from Athens.  Delos was a fascinating archeological site and the whitewashed adobe houses on Mykonos was different from anything I had ever seen.  I loved this area.  We then traveled to Katakolon and Olympia and saw where the ancient Olympics were held.  Very cool again, but I was good after that.
We went to Corfu and that was probably my favorite part of Greece.  There were some incredible views of the ocean from pretty much everywhere and Corfu town was quite a sight.  We went exploring down some little alleyways, going up and down the paths until we randomly arrived at the city's souk.  I say souk because that's what it reminded me of, not necessarily because of the Arab nature of the quarter (which is to say, there was no Arab character at all).  It was a ton of fun.  After we hit Corfu, we went to Split, Croatia.  I could have spent more time in Croatia.  It was an incredibly cool little area, complete with the city center built in the ruins of Diocletian's palace.  That was amazing.  There was a little town north of here called Trogir that looked as though it had been plucked out of northern France and sat down on the Mediterranean coast.  The people were friendly, things were inexpensive, and a good time was had by all.  Tomorrow, I'll conclude with Part 3, which very prominently mentions a group of people I like to call the Birdinistas. My picture upload wasn't working, so we'll try to get some more up here soon.

The Final Word on MBAs

While I don't necessarily think this is accurate, I do know that the MBA is not a cure-all to becoming a good leader.  I know 2 idiots who have their MBAs and 2 people who aren't idiots who have them.  The bottom line is that an MBA can be a very useful tool if you use it right.  It's not going to turn you from a moron into a genius, but if you're already smart and sharp, it could definitely do you some good.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Let's Rag on the French

I just saw a nice little article that warmed the cockles of my heart.  Americans are no longer the world's worst tourists!  In our place are the French.  I can see all of the reasons that both Americans and French are considered bad tourists - Americans because we tend to go abroad with an air of cultural superiority (heck, we go to other parts of the US with that air of cultural superiority), and the French because of the exact same thing.  Maybe we're more alike than we care to think.  Also, it looks like the language limited Americans are actually better than we think at attempting to speak the local dialect.  Take a look at the article, it's a nice little read.

Big Line

So I naiively thought that I'd be able to get in and get out and get my new gadget jones itched, but I went past the AT&T store this morning and saw that in the great Utah Valley tradition, the line was around 100 people long.  Seeing as how you have to activate the iPhone 3G in-store, I decided it wasn't worth it and headed to work. 

Thursday, July 10, 2008

No Line (Yet)

So I passed by the AT&T store at 1 pm today on the way back from a Costco trip and saw that there were precisely 0 people in line for the iPhone 3G.  That makes me very happy, because it means that I might be able to get one tomorrow morning.  As I am an Apple racist, as well as a realist (people love the black better), I anticipate getting a white one.

My second travelblog has been momentarily postponed, as I ran out of time.  Alas, I don't have Greek convention center carpet pictures, although the convention floor on the boat was lovely in the sense that it looked the same as everywhere else, only with lower ceilings.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Travelblog: Greece Cruise (Part 1)

I recently took a cruise around the Greek isles, and it was fantastic.  I'd never been on a cruise before, and I've got a history of seasickness (my wife has heard this story 1000 times, but I was crossing the English Channel in a Seacat in 20 foot swells and I very nearly stopped my no-vomit streak right then and there.  Fortunately, I willed it back and I also stood out on the deck the whole time.  It was the longest hour of my life and the site of a lifelong resolution: if I am going from France to England, I am taking the Chunnel or an aircraft.)  At any rate, I was loaded for bear - those little wrist bands that you put on your pressure points; dramamine, and Transderm Scop (the patch).  Fortunately, it didn't seem like I needed any of them, although I kept the wrist bands on out of fear more than anything else.  It was an incredible experience, even though we took along the kids AND had 2 of 3 sets of parents on board.  It really could have gone either way - fantastic or a bloodbath.  The kids were better than most adults the whole time and the parents were all having a great time too.  All said and done, I would never see Greece any other way, because there wasn't much that made me say "I wish I had more time in X."
We started in Venice and it was so much better than when I was there in 2004.  I think that Venice was my least favorite place in Italy when I went there last time (with Rome a close second).  However, when you take away the oppressive heat/humidity combination, both cities become much better.  It rained like a crazy the whole time we were there (until we got on the ship), but it was so nice. 
We ended up walking from St Mark's Square due west to hit the Grand Canal.  It was very quaint and charming.  What wasn't quaint or charming, however, were the prices.  Had we not used points for our hotel room, it would have cost 600 euros a night.  A cab cost 80 euros for a 5 minute ride.  Seriously, it was like being in Disneyland, only without rides and with lots of stairs that disabled people and those of us with double-wide strollers found a bit of an obstacle.
While we were in St. Mark's, we decided to let my daughter out so she could run around, as she would be cooped up in a stroller most of the time because we were going to avoid dilly-dallying as much as possible. 
She ended up going nuts on the flying rats in the square, as evidenced by  this picture (well, it doesn't show any pigeons, but it does show her running and being cute.  Afterward, she was introduced to gelato:
This experiment didn't go quite as well as we had planned, as she got chocolate all over and then proceeded to drop the ice cream on the ground when she ate the cone out from underneath it.  Not wanting to waste 2 euros and some tasty gelato, I grabbed it off the ground and applied the 3 second rule, hoping that 400 years of foot traffic observed that rule too.  All in all, it was awesome.  Here's a picture of me being captain of the boat (speaking of the captain, our captain was the best ever - he talked in a halting cadence and was super cheerful.  I could have listened to him explain how many knots, miles, and kilometers we had traveled all day).  Part 2, the actual Greek part, will be tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Free Money

One of the things that I like to do on the internet is shop.  I can get computer parts, books, movies, or whatever for a significant discount to what I get at a typical brick and mortar store.  Sure, I can't rifle through things as easily, but it's worth it for the value.  Really, I'm the ultimate Mom and Pop-hated customer.  They can't stand me because I'll step right past the rotting corpse of their store if Wal-Mart is a buck cheaper for a jar of pickles (unless Mom and Pop are incredible on the service end).  One of the added benefits of this is the referral bonus.  For a long time I just surfed straight to the sites that I was going to buy something at, but then I came across Ebates (click to explore/join).  For the extra effort of just a couple of clicks, you can get cash back for what you purchase.  It doesn't seem like it will add up, but it does very quickly.  For example, last November I got this in the mail
$242.50 for clicking through them!  That's an incredible little perk if you ask me.  I'm currently up at over $1100 in cash back from them, and while I do a lot of online purchasing (one of the aspects of running IT), I think that it's still worth it even when you're not a mega purchaser.  Instead, it's free money for slightly altering your patterns, and if that's not worth it, I don't know what is.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Marketing Democracy

I came across a very interesting book today called Greater Good.  The general idea behind it is that good marketing = good democracy.  I think that's incredibly intriguing, especially considering the amount of money that is spent on marketing here (and that doesn't even include the big push that the Pentagon has made into television stations and whatnot to try and win the hearts and minds of various peoples throughout the world).  Beyond that however, the authors take it up a notch and talk about how good marketing democratizes ideas and brings things to the masses that were heretofore unseen by most people.  A classic example that I am making up on the spot is where to travel.  Fifty years ago you'd go to England, Italy, France, or somewhere in the US.  Now there's an ever growing push to go to undiscovered areas - Croatia, Thailand, Turkey, or some really exotic locales like Albania, Kosovo, or Senegal.  This is done using marketing dollars to point people towards something unique.  It's the same with any number of inventions that we didn't know about until they were marketed properly - the PC in large part because of Apple's advertising the Mac and Intel advertising the microprocessor.  In turn, this has made the companies wealthy, which has helped the economy, which helps to shore up democracy with stability and prosperity.  Take a look at the Forbes excerpts for a lot more about it.  I never looked at marketing as something to expand democracy and make it better, but it seems like the more I think about it the more it makes sense.

Friday, July 04, 2008

My Fireworks Factory

Really quick here...we were doing the fireworks thing tonight and someone said one of the fireworks was called something like "There Will Be Blood," which gave me a great idea - fireworks named after movies. My list:

Apocalypse Now
Crimson Tide
There Will Be Blood
The Godfather
The Music Man
Independence Day
The Rock

EDIT: More from yesterday, as it was late (for me)

The Temple of Doom
Red Dawn
Electric Boogaloo
Napoleon Dynamite

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Troy's Tales from IT

Here's a post from Troy, one of my IT people who had an experience with a rather idiotic co-worker, and I will attest to that (the idiocy, that is):

I am simply amazed at how stupid some people can be. I was approached by a co-worker; we’ll call him Junior, concerning an IT issue that we were having at work. We had a server go down and people were, for the most part, unable to do any work. Junior came up and asked me what was going on with one of our major programs, which was down due to the server issue. I informed him that it would be down for the remainder of the day.  His response?  “It can’t be!” Well yeah, it is, deal with it. I told him that I was sorry and that we couldn’t really do much to get it running today because it was a fairly major problem that we were dealing with. Junior then wanted to know what the problem was - like he would understand anything that was said about the issue. So I told him what the issue was and he gave me that “deer in the headlights” stare. He asked when it would be fixed and I told him that I wasn’t sure on the exact date and time, but that it wouldn’t be today. Period. He then asked if we were fixing it. No, we figured that we would just let it have problems and see if maybe it just needed the 3-day weekend to fix itself. Are you kidding me?! I told him that it was being fixed. A few minutes later he approached our head IT guy, Craig, who is fixing the issue. Junior walks up and asks Craig “What’s going on with this program?” Wait a second! Didn’t I just tell you that? So he is told the same thing by Craig that I just told him and as Junior leaves Craig’s office he comments “I’m glad that you know what you’re doing.” Yeah, thanks, I hate you too.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Guns Don't Kill People, I Do

I haven't weighed in on the Supreme Court's landmark gun control case (DC v Heller) that definitively stated the right to bear arms was an individual right as opposed to a community or militia right.  First I would like to point you to the opinion of the court, as was almost certainly led by Justice Scalia.  Because this is the first Second Amendment case to come before the court, it's really a bellweather case, and whether you like him or not, it's one of the big reasons why President Bush was elected twice.  In this instance, he showed that he did what was expected.  If John Kerry was President, you can bet that it would have been 5-4 the other direction.  Nevertheless, Justice Scalia set up some very interesting rules with regard to it. 
First and foremost, based on the syntax of the amendment and what is already considered collective or individual in the Bill of Rights, it is established that the right to bear arms is an individual right, and not a collective militia right.  That is an important distinction and one that has been the foundation for Second Amendment arguments for decades.  It's pretty definitive here in my mind that that has been settled.
Second, arms includes firearms made in this day and age, not just muskets or swords or things that were around then.
This really is an incredibly interesting opinion and one that touches on everything people have argued back and forth over for a long time now.  Of course, there are those who believe that the Second Amendment is an outmoded and ridiculous amendment, and that may be.  Perhaps it is better suited to a frontier America or an America that wasn't the world's most stable democracy.  Nevertheless, it is as it is and the only way to change it is an amendment that repeals it.  Is that a good idea?  I would say no, but by all means if you think it is, let me know why.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Quantum of Solace Trailer

There are a few movies that I go to the theater for anymore. With kids, you just can't make it as often as you used to. Indiana Jones was one, Hancock is another, and The Dark Knight is a third. That's this summer. This fall is my one must see: Quantum of Solace.  Take a look at the trailer and see.  The more I see of Daniel Craig as Bond, the better he is.  Will he end up ahead of Connery in the Bond Pantheon?  He's got a legitimate shot in my opinion.

Diablo Loosed

I know that as I near 30 I shouldn't be excited for video games anymore, but I am hyped about Diablo III.  I remember running through the first 2 games and loving every minute of them.  Now with #3 a reality, I hope it takes it up a notch just like Warcraft III did to the Warcraft series.  Take a gander at some of this video.  It's 20 minutes, but you can get a feel for the gameplay straightway.  This will be the game to have when it's released (perhaps) next year...unless Spore is finally released.

Tales of Idiocy

It seems like every time that our meetings get good, A-Rod comes around to muck things up.  First of all, after not showing up for our meetings for the past month, he comes in here at 9:55 and says "Let's get started!" as though he's Mr. Timely.  We've been getting along without you better than fine, thank you very much.  I think part of the reason why he's so "I'm in charge" today is because we have 3 people from the next level down with us today, which means that he must seem like he does stuff.  So he gets in here and wants to look all important, and we've spent an hour discussing something that should have taken 20 minutes in part because he wants to "lead the discussion" and also because we have to explain how the business works to him as well. 
While I'm sitting in this interminable meeting (which had been getting much better since Forro and I took them over), I'm going to tell you another tale.  He held a meeting yesterday on one of his other ventures that I'm helping with mainly because I want to get him out of here.  So I've given him some ideas and gotten the things taken care of that he asked me to, but nothing much has come of it, primarily because he's an idiot.  At any rate, he brought in a guy to tell him what to do and the guy told him the same things Forro and I had - retail's for suckers, downloads, etc, etc.  He didn't listen when we told him that, but when this guy did he was all ears.  Heaven forbid he listens and gets some good ideas from us!