Thursday, July 31, 2008

Obama's Summer Vacation

We have all seen the clips over and over again of Obama's recent trip to the Middle East and Europe. The media picks 5 videos and replays them again and again. As a change, I have briefly highlighted some of the lesser known, but equally important moments of the Obama vacation:

Feeling left out, Fox News correspondents sneak aboard Obama's plane in the baggage compartment.

Jesse Jackson, disgusied as an Iraqi foreign minister, makes a lunge for Obama's nuts.

After 160 failed attempts, Lucas Film's CGI department steps in to help Obama hit a 3.

Obama fist pumps an Iraqi civilian, who is immediately arrested and taken to Guantanamo Bay.

McCain sees Bigfoot, but has no camera around to record the sighting.

Obama introduces Prime Minister Maliki as 'King of Arabia', makes a Hitler joke in his Berlin speech, and forgets to wear pants when visiting the Wailing Wall, confirming many pundit's fears that he is too inexperienced to be president.

In a last ditch effort, McCain challenges Obama to visit Paraguay before making comments on their new estate tax.

To no one's surprise, Obama rides home on a rainbow, showering Europe with gold as he flies away.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Determination is a Counting Clock

Procrastination is an unavoidable human trait. We like to think of procrastination primarily as applying to school, but its effects span much further.

PC entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates could see the computer revolution coming with or without them, and knew their time was short. The ambitious young stock broker can feel his youth slipping away, so he yells "SELL, SELL" a little louder while jumping higher and waving his papers more frantically (imagery based on Trading Places). Old people who had no sense of urgency before will suddenly realize they are almost out of time and try to quickly glue something together. It almost never works and will inevitably fall apart.

If scientists could isolate and alter the 'sense of urgency' gene, we would all be working 13 hour days.

Clocks only have one job in life, so when one slaps me and says I'm running out of time, I listen.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Stupid Mayans...

The earth feels like a powder keg right now, and dozens of different individuals are holding matches. It's not just people either. I can just sense a rogue asteroid on it's way to destroy us. Too bad Bruce Willis isn't around to stop it again. Then there's the black holes, the super volcanoes, and the tiny evil viruses set free by mad scientists.

Maybe I'm paranoid, or maybe I'm just super paranoid, but I feel like things are getting really bad.

I wonder if it's in human nature to believe we are getting close to the end. We can see evidence that civilizations throughout the ages have believed they would see the end of days. There have been false accusations of the Antichrist cast at Bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, Ronald Regan, every single pope, Dan Marino, and each leader since the word was created.

I accept no blame for my paranoia. I am a product of the news, amature websites, and thousands of years of human nature. I think I need a lot more life insurance.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Fact: Koolaid Causes Anxiety

Few things bother me as much as the media. I rarely make it through the day without slamming my head on the desk. Sometimes I feel like I'm the crazy one. Like I'm at a rally yelling, "can none of you see through his lies!", while the crowd stares at me in an uncomfortable silence.

One of the tricks reporters use is to skew the facts and statistics to unfairly support their story. Sure, most school shooters may play violent video games, but you can't stop at that fact. Frogger is long gone. A teenage boy is either playing GTA or Jigglypuff's Flowerland Adventure, and you would rather they own the former.

That kind of thing always annoyed me in school. I had consistently been told that it's a statistical fact that students who sit up front get better grades:
Sit In Back --> Bad Grades

There is a much easier reality to the statistics that doesn't require any kind of complicated theory:
Sit In Back <-- Don't Care --> Bad Grades

I'm not sure if reporting has ever been honest. There is always a romanticized notion that everything was better in the past. News has changed drastically though. The local newspaper or nightly news is no longer the only source of information. With so many reports bombarding us through cable news and the internet, it's hard to tell who's lying anymore.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Non Jackass Syndrome

I'm not a daredevil. A side of danger is nowhere in my personality. It's not that I'm scared of danger, it's that I'm an unfamiliar face to danger. As you learn in business, the new employees are always the first to go.

It is never the 20 year veteran sky diver who falls to his death. It's always the fearful first timer who was convinced to participate by his friends. I don't know whether its luck, or experience, but "It was such a freak accident, they swapped the parachute with a hello kitty backup," is more likely than, "he parachuted over a thousand times, it was inevitable."

Johnny Knoxville flips a flaming car into a pond of angry alligators and swims out with a bruised toe. A teen rides a skateboard into a lake and breaks his arm. Pain does not scare me into being plain. "Blogger dies in freak tricycle accident" does.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Flashbrella

The intelligence of our society is consistently challenged by the continued existence of infomercials. The fact that the inventors of infomercial products become millionaires is simply mind boggling.

I have never bought anything off the television, but from time to time the commercials catch me in their tractor beam. I have to grip onto the sofa before I'm sucked towards the phone. Someone tapes two bike wheels to a slinky and rolls around awkwardly on the floor as they claim that they can already feel their abs popping out.

I know the product doesn't work, and even if it did, I have no use for it, but the time in the corner is counting down. What if I change my mind and miss the opportunity? It really is a deal, they said I'll be saving $456. Tractor beam initiated.

As we speak, an inventor is soldering a flashlight to an umbrella, days away from taking a dive into money.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Boycotting Logic

If a chef notices a cockroach on the floor of his restaurant, the last thing he should do is run around yelling to his customers to ignore the roach.

Its amazing to me the degree to which some people do not understand how the world works. The media absolutely loves protesting. Holding a protest against a product is much better than organizing a rally for it. We have seen this time and time again with radical books, risque music, and bloody video games.

I don't know what some people hope to accomplish by canceling an appearance from an outspoken guest. You have just successfully done the equivalent of coating the book in gold and crack.

I guess its just overwhelming anger that causes this reaction. If there were any logic involved, the participants would take a look into the past and say, "hey, has this ever worked?" The answer is yes, it is a wonderful promotion. Congratulations, you have turned an unknown author into a New York Times bestseller.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

San Diego Magic

Children's shows have always been filled with life lessons, positive stories, and underlying messages. There are explosions and insults, but the overall theme is good for kids. The message still exists today, with many of the same stories I grew up with remade, the same way they had been remade for me.

I have observed, however, things I see as problems in our society leaking into the programming. For every lesson of patients or sharing, there is a message of how important new phones are, or how glamorous popular airhead girls live their life.

Kid's channels compete for ratings the sames as news channels. If Nickelodeon has success with a program about an elephant performing magic tricks, Disney channel will put on a live action show with an entire zoo filled with wizards.

As our society becomes better consumers, we transfer the values to our children. A new generation of spoiled brats.

I understand the absurdity of thinking an entire generation will be tainted by TV shows. I grew up bombarded by food and toy commercials and I turned out well rounded. More on that after I throw away my old iPhone and take a trip to Best Buy.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Olympic Flames

Every four years I go out and buy a mini American flag, cook up some popcorn, and plant myself in front of the television. Sports on 8 different channels played by people from all around the world, its truly a modern day miracle.

The buildup to the Olympics has started. An inspirational credit card commercial here, a heart-wrenching sports drink commercial there. By the time the first fireworks go off in the opening ceremony I'm salivating so hard that I have to put a bucket at my feet. Then it all starts and I remembered why every 4 years I ask the question, "Is that Olympic stuff still going on?"

I do enjoy many moments of the Olympics. Every once in a while I will catch an exciting basketball game, or a cool looking soccer goal. The other 95% of the time, I watch runners slowly trudge along on mile 125 of their 420 mile journey. As I observe nothing happening, I hear the same story over and over again about how the athlete overcame growing up in a wheel chair and eating rats to become their nation's greatest hero. Its a great story, it really is, but I can only watch it for so long before I start feeling bad about myself for wasting all the opportunities I have been giving by watching others succeed on TV while eating popcorn.

A few javelin throws and spinning dives later and I'm wondering where all the cool sports went. Why are those events I've never seen before only shown on 10 second replays aired at 3 AM? After an hour of a man lining up his crossbow I switch the channel.

Three years later, I forget everything, and get prepared for the Olympics once again.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Black and White Fight

Whenever I see old propaganda films, I can't help but think how ridiculous some ideas were and how oblivious the population could be. Then I remember how propaganda is as strong as ever and I begin to band my head against the wall.

I'm not striving to view the world through some Nihilistic lens, where there is no good or evil. There are bad people out there. I just think we get brainwashed a little.

Years ago, after hearing the same words over and over again on the news shows, radio programs, and hidden in Dennis Miller rants, I began to believe that Muslim extremists drank blood, flew with bat wings, and had uranium in their veins

To say that "Muslim fighters in Iraq have no goals, but to create chaos, kill innocents, and destroy democracy," is propaganda. It dehumanizes our human enemies, and turns a very colorful world black and white.

You can be pro war or anti war, but always remember that it is a strength to see the world through an opponent's eyes and a weakness to simply believe what you are told.

I apologize for such a serious topic that I found impossible to inject humor into, so I decided to include a joke. Two Muslims walk into a bar, then are imprisoned under Shria law for drinking alcohol. See, not funny.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Beware the Maroon Kryptonite

Competition is the driving force of our lives, especially in our capitalist society. Everyone loves money; at least to a small degree, but what happens when money is not a big enough incentive? You end up eating a box of Cheez-Its on the couch and watching Judge Judy. I believe that revenge is a much stronger motivation than acceptance.

The greatness of a super hero is directly proportional to the power of the super-villains he battles. If Lex Luther had become a mortgage broker, Clarke Kent would have been a mediocre reporter with a bizarre fear of colored rocks.

This is why I am starting a business where people can rent out a nemesis. It would be no different than the idea of hiring a maid or a personal trainer. This nemesis-for-hire will play off a customer's frustrations and jealousies.

When the customer gets an email with the subject, "At least one of us can afford a vacation", with attached pictures of a trip to the Bahamas, he will finish his project and ask for a promotion, in hopes of someday sending the reply, "At least one of us can afford to live in Beverly Hills". A change of incentives is all some people need.

The idea would definitely work, but I don't think it's going to catch on. Most people wouldn't be able to afford a full time enemy, especially considering the crack down on illegal immigration.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Day Tripper

Are peace and love for me? Would I have enjoyed being part of the hippy movement? I love the idea of the 60's. A cultural awakening, mass protests, and extraordinary music all peak my interest. It seems like it would have been fun to live in that time, but if I examine it closely, its not for me.

The pinnacle of that era would have to be Woodstock. I think every music lover would give anything to have been there, but once I sold my soul to hear Hendrix, would I be happy? Judging from my experience with music festivals, my anxiety when trapped between thousands of people, and my love of fresh water, food, and accessible restrooms, I would say no.

The LSD is always more colorful on the other side, as they say. I would say I'm satisfied with the time I'm in. It might be more fun to play the Playstation 5, but that would also involve wearing an air conditioned suit, and possibly battling renegade robots. I am happy with 2008.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Impedeial Intelligence

The theory of multiple intelligences has been around for a few decades now. It started with body, verbal, logical, natural, spatial, inter and intrapersonal, and musical. Many psychologists have included other intelligences. I am here to propose an additional one.

Impedeial Intelligence - The understanding of where you are in accordance to others, and the recognition of the difficulty for individuals to continue towards their current destination while avoiding collision with you.

Under this expanded theory, people who stop their car in the middle of a neighborhood street to wait for a friend while traffic piles up behind them have very low impedeial intelligence. Those who can sense a giant tray of h'ordeurves approaching from the back and duck behind a plant to make way have very high impedeial intelligence.

I am aware that there could be multiple problems with my theory. It may fall into the category of interpersonal, meaning that they know what they are doing, but don't have much compassion for others. It may also fall under a mixture of bodily-kinesthetic, logical, and spatial intelligences, but that's just too complicated.

My theory is dependent on the idea that some people who are kind and intelligent in other respects, have no idea they are blocking the way for others. So thank you ladies chatting in front of the elevator, forcing me to walk ten feet around you, you have just affected the field of psychology.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Avoid the Small Stuff

One thing I've learned from my life is that people who work especially hard to shield themselves from a certain problem usually have to confront it in the future to a greater degree.

I understand that sanitation is very important in our society and is directly related to a longer lifespan. Hospital workers should wash their hands and chefs should fully cook their meat. My only concern is what seems like the growing number of people who apply hand sanitizer every time before eating, after touching a door knob, and before watching TV. The growing number of people drinking only soy milk and avoiding any tomatoes not grown in the backyard.

If there is an outbreak of Ebola, you have my full support to bathe in distilled mineral water and eat nothing but tofu and cauliflower, but otherwise I think it is a waste of time and can actually be adverse to health.

This is just a small gripe within the larger problem of trying to seek protection from every single one of life's problems. While trying to shield ourselves and our kids, we are overstressing and destroying many of the great aspects of life.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Ghosts of the Past

The belief that a change in views signals that the leader is either weak or has bad judgment is a huge mistake in our electoral process. Nowhere else is this true but in politics.

In a static world, sure, leaders could stick to one case without any problem. In the real world, however, a politician may support children eating asparagus one week, and then find out asparagus causes brain tumors the next.

If the public was rational, they could explain, "I had no idea that asparagus was dangerous. Before last week, there were only benefits", and they would understand. This is not the case, so politicians are forced to say things like, "As far as I can see, there is unsubstantial evidence in this asparagus controversy. I stand by my remarks and urge kids to eat more."

Could you imagine the types of problems this would bring up in normal life?

"You said you were going to take that art class. You must be a horrible person for deciding otherwise."

Despite the implications it may have for my political future by displaying my poor judgment, I rebuke my statement from years ago that Chumbawamba is "super awesome".

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

How to be Hated

Sometimes you may get tired of the "nice guy" routine. You may really want to have at least one person who just despises you. Here is a beginners guide to making enemies.

Be Obnoxious - Note actions that really get on people's nerves and continuously repeat them. Maybe you want to bring up things that happened only minutes earlier. Perhaps you know all the lines from a great movie? Use that to your advantage and keep others from enjoying the classics.

Have Opposite Viewpoints - If your associate loves the Yankees, proclaim your devotion to the Red Sox. If they support Obama, tell them you think that he's really a Muslim.

Come Off as Arrogant - Even if you have nothing to be particularly proud of, find something in your life to talk about for a long period of time. Try to always come off as working to impress others.

Have Horrible Taste - Tell everyone your favorite movie is Transporter 2 and you think Air Supply is possibly the greatest band in history.

Lie - Attempt to make up stories that are obviously untrue. Work on things that can be proven untrue, or are so unbelievable that after several different lies people think you are either a mix between Richard Branson and Batman, or are completely full of it.

Have "That Look" - Some people are just born with it, but others have to work at it. Gel back your hair and wear white sunglasses. Perhaps grow a pony-tail, or constantly go out shirtless.

Be Yourself - Even if you are the nicest person in the world, someone will find a reason to hate you.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Operation Ceasar Salad

Shopping for me is like a military operation. Get in, grab the peanut butter, and get out before anyone knows what hit them. I always write out everything I need, number it by location, and rewrite it for maximum speed shopping. If I have time, I write out a map and use GPS to insure I'm meeting my objectives.

It's stereotypical to say, "Guys hate shopping". I don't hate shopping. I usually approach the situation optimistically, but after searching through racks of clothes for my size, I begin to develop a twitch. If a fitting room is involved, that twitch will develop into anxiety, dizziness, and, if it's shoe shopping, blackouts.

I don't know what it is about shopping that makes me queasy. It might be the florescent lights burning through my skin, or the strange smell coming from that one isle no one ever goes down. Until a doctor checks this problem out, I better take good care of my wardrobe.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Liar Liar Turban on Fire

We hear the same thing everyday on the news. Idealistic promises from the candidates and changes in rhetoric based on location and current events. There are many things to look out for when a candidate is not telling the truth.

Ending Taxes - Pretending the government doesn't need money. Would be an effective promise if not for the wars, social programs, infrastructure improvements, and millions of other ways the bureaucracy knows how to use up money. Hell, they need all the money they can get right now. Anyone have any loose change?
Phrases to look for: "This year's on us."

Fighting Poverty - Really needs to be done with an improved economy, but allowable in a kung fu context.
Phrases to look for: "When elected, I will implement an empty cans for gold program."

Total Peace in Iraq - They can't even stop drug wars two blocks from their offices. Iraqis have guns, and many times they will shoot anything in sight that's not holding a Quran.
Phrases to look for: "I swear, they're almost out of bullets."

Better Education - Good luck competing against youTube. A snowboarding squirrel beats a well paid teacher every time.
Phrases to look for: "Kids want to study, but their algebra books are a little wrinkled."

Experience to be President - An effective argument for Jimmy Carter or George H.W. Bush. Voting on bills doesn't count as training to command the most powerful military.
Phrases to look for: "I took a tour of the Oval Office, it doesn't look too hard to manage."

As a matter of fact, pretty much everything they say is a lie. They will really only sign a few "give children a better future" bills into law, and answer a lot of question about why so many people hate them.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Lazy Sunday

Laziness is almost like an illness. It prevents you from enjoying your day, can spread to others, and is a weak excuse for not helping a friend move.

If you don't get out of bed within the first hour of waking up, consider your day over. A relaxing weekend can easily turn into a food and boredom marathon. You'll roll over at 1 AM with a giant belly and Cheetos stains, and wonder where the day went. It can take an hour and a half just to work up the energy to get the mail.

There is a fine line between relaxation and laziness. I want to retire as early as possible, best case, tomorrow morning, but I know how easy it is to fall into a lifestyle of boredom. I will always try to make sure I have an active life. I will know I've hit rock bottom when it's struggle to brush my teeth.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

The Ancient Art of Geopolitics

If China is planning world domination, they are on the right track. In this new age of globalization, nations have begun to entirely rely on imports for some crucial products. China is on the leading edge of exporting, and as their cheap products come in, our homemade expensive products wave goodbye.

If China gets enough influence eventually, other countries will be powerless. "Really, you don't want us to invade Taiwan? Let me ask you this, do you enjoy bread?"

I'm not an opponent of globalization, but I am a little weary. When you control a country's Pop Tarts, do you not in turn control that country.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Department of Defense

I've wanted so much to hate Wal-Mart. It must be the small rebel side in me that desires to be anti-establishment. In the end though, I walk into another grocery store, see Easy Mac for $1.50, and scream, "you can go to hell with those prices!". It's 33¢ for generic Easy Mac at Wal-Mart.

You have to cut down trees to make cardboard, print labels onto the box, create noodles, create cheese-like powder, package everything, ship it in a giant Wal-Mart barge, and still have a profit margin when selling it for 33¢. That's not just good business. There's a wizard involved in the process somewhere.

I've seen documentaries on how evil Wal-Mart is. Low wages in China? If it's not forced labor, then obviously the workers are making more than other available jobs. Bad on the environment? How about the fact that the lumber I need is in the same place as new tennis shoes, ice cream sandwiches, and pool toys. No need to waste gas traveling between stores. That is, if I don't eat at the McDonald's by the front entrance first and use a motorized cart to get around.

The world has fought countless wars over resources. If I can feed myself for a month with $20 and Wal-Mart does not have to invade a country, I consider it a victory for everyone.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Kung Fu Panda

I forgot my cellphone at home today, and prayed that my car would make it to work and back. Years ago, I would have been fine. I knew phone numbers by heart, and I could either walk to a pay phone or someone would stop and help. These days, I would watch helplessly as cars zoomed by, probably splashing mud in my face for dramatic effect.

The sense of community has almost completely broken down. The average American assumes that someone in need already has help arriving from elsewhere, and does not need to intervene. This is a result of technology, government intervention, and frankly, pure laziness. There is a name for this "someone else probably called the cops already" kind of mob mentality, but I can't remember it.

I was pumping gas the other day, and realized that someone in a panda costume could mug me with a sword at that moment, in broad daylight with people all around, and nobody would make eye contact. This may or may not be true, but either way I would not be shocked, and it would be a great story.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Casper Quest

My eyes stayed transfixed on the television as the camera slowly looked around. The thermal infrared camera picked up varying patches of heat around the room! A sure sign of ghosts! Then the hunters played back audio from a cassette they had left on the bed. Someone definitely said "Get out now". That or "My name is Emily", or maybe it was a cough. All in all, the proof of paranormal was overwhelming.

I am a true believer in ghosts. I have even taken pictures that contain ghost orbs. Sure, some people may say its just the camera's flash bouncing off dust, but aren't ghost orbs a much more believable explanation than that crackpot science.

Electronic voice phenomenon is just more proof. It may sound like static and be interpreted a million ways, but I'm pretty sure the one that fits the storyline is the right analysis.

Luckily the ghost hunters have an amazing ability to scare away ghosts when they turn the camera on, never to be seen on film. I respect the ghost hunters for the great service they are doing for our planet. Without them, spirits would be roaming the streets.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Election Fatigue

I don't know whether it's because it is a dull point in the election season, or because I have just burnt myself out, but I'm not very interested in politics at the moment.

In the heat of the primary campaigns I was glued to 24 hour news networks. I constantly checked various internet news sites for any updates. "Oh my goodness, Obama just ate an english muffin, I better check and see what everyone has to say about it."

Now I hear about someone promising to bomb somewhere or using a bunch of money on something and instead of reading about it, I go and check how much money Hancock made over the weekend.

Maybe one of the candidates could promise to invade Finland. I'd watch a news story about that. Hopefully the conventions and debates renew the excitement in me. I enjoy politics, but apparently I'm a fairweather fan.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Diamond-Encrusted Coffee Straw

Does money corrupt, or do corrupt people have the easiest time making money? I've never understood the amount of excess in the country. It may be naive of me to say, but I will never need a gold toilet.

There is a cap on the amount of money I want to have. This amount is enough for me to live a middle-class life off of the interest, spending the free time from work to do whatever I want. The problem with millionaires and billionaires might be that they have no preexisting goal. They just live aimlessly, pursuing their ambition of having more money.

The problem is also from the people they surround themselves with. Competition can drive consumerism. If someone buys a giant flat-screen TV, their neighbor wants a giant flat-screen HDTV. In that same scenario with someone who has money to blow, they would buy an HDTV that possibly goes around and devours all lesser TVs. Technology like that is not even out of Japan yet. It would cost thousands to bring to America.

So the trick for staying down to earth is to set goals, have poor friends, and defending your television from Japanese robots.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Gladiator For Sale: Great Condition

The lifecycle of any fad is:
Underground -> Trendy -> Excessive Media Coverage On the Trendiness -> Assault by Greedy Entrepreneurs -> Withering Away

Back in the 60's, the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco was the Mecca of grooviness. Hippies developed a new culture there that was unlike anything before. The media discovered this strange place, and in the great tradition of parading abnormality, extensively covered the city. Drug dealers and con-men soon moved in and ruined the area.

This formula applies to websites. If you really try to think back, Myspace wasn't always a cesspool of advertising, viruses, and frustration. Before CNN stumbled across it while looking for pictures of OJ it was new and interesting. Before I knew it, my inbox was full of friend requests from girls like "Joy" and "Alexis" who wanted to show me pictures of themselves. I went through 4 computers until I figured out I wasn't as popular as I had thought.

If you even look far back in history you can see this trend. Rome started out as a new, hip city with a lot going for it. As word spread (mostly through sharp or fiery means), barbarians saw a chance to make really fast money. As people entered the city with job opportunities ranging from looter to violent looter, interest in the city quickly fell through.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

The Passion of the Chrysler

There are certain things that people are extremely passionate about that I have never gotten into myself. Whenever someone approaches me about them, I always have to pretend like I am really interested, while hiding that I know nothing about the topic.

One of these passions is cars. I have never caught the automobile bug. I don't want my car to look like a coal plant from the 1920's, rusted out and spewing smoke, but I don't care if it sounds like a lion or not when I turn it on.

Another one is fireworks. Watching firework displays is great. I've seen some fantastic shows. Buying fireworks is not so great. If I'm going to spend a few thousand dollars on something that only has a lifespan of seconds, I would much rather buy a used car and smash it with a hammer.

Some people go all out with fireworks. I thank them for the entertainment, but it was free for me and very costly for them. I would not give up new laptop kind of money so that I could be the one who holds the lighter.

I'm sure there are a lot of passions I have that others do not, but at least mine don't cost me countless paychecks. They just prevent me from having time to sleep.

Friday, July 4, 2008

America's Dominion Day

Today is Independence Day for all us Americans. A day when we celebrate how we outlasted a group of soldiers in bright red coats who traveled thousands of miles in a rickety boat to stand in a straight line during battles.

I will be using my 4th of July to reflect on all the wonderful hot dogs and hamburgers this country has given me. Also, potato salad as long as there is no celery.

We may not be perfect, we have started a few wars, thrown people off their land, and every once in a while poured water on a few prisoners, but we stopped Hitler and Stalin, invented the car, light bulb, and internet, created Baywatch, and could probably beat any other country in a tug-of-war. That includes you Albania.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Information Implosion

The internet can be extremely frustrating. I am at a point where I expect all information in the universe to be at my fingertips, and when something is unavailable I feel scared and vulnerable.

I don't personally ever do things for the greater online good like update Wikipedia, but I commend those who do. It's great to think, "what's that one guy from the band...the guy who sang that one song about mountains...", and end up with the right name. It's like playing word association with Ken Jennings. (I couldn't remember his name. I had to type in "Jeopardy Winner"). The internet makes anyone a master of references.

I always forget about limitations of the internet, however. Searches like, "that kid from my third grade class with the red hair", rarely result in correct information. I'm still waiting for all information to be available. Don't get me wrong, I believe in privacy, just not when it affects things I want to know.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Debate Crashers

One of the worst things someone could ever do to you is take your side in an argument when they are completely uniformed. I would rather the person insult me and kick my chair over. At least that way I'm not prescribed Prozac when I tackle them to the ground.

"The new highway plan is a horrible idea."
"Yeah, it's all just so the government can make more money. The more homes the governor destroys with this highway, the more millions of dollars he makes. I know he's tied in with the oil companies."
"Okay...well I really just meant the noise would be a bother."

With little effort, that person took my credibility from Brian Williams to Geraldo Rivera in under 20 seconds. Argument over, the insane side loses. Usually anything over a 1 on 1 argument is bad news. There is no consistency in the argument, just multiple confusing views. I'm sure commentators on TV feel the same way.

I think a more effective argument style is just to take sides with the opposing view, tie in a few 9/11 conspiracy theories, and feel proud that I ruined the day of someone I don't like.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Motivation is a Warm Cup

I am not lazy, but my motivation does come at inopportune times. I feel like running a triathlon when I have a broken leg, or I want to write music when a marathon of The Office is on television.

I'd assume that most of my motivation is natural and would be a consistent trait if television didn't pound it into submission every night. A chart of television affordability vs. American innovation would probably be inversely proportional. Its hard to invent an amazing product when American Idol is on.

It is no coincidence that some of the richest people started out dirt poor. Cable is expensive. A screw driver and a Diet Coke are cheap.

The most obvious problem with motivation is the tiredness factor. After a full day of work which involved a 3:00 skittles and coffee binge, I turn from a coked up stock broker to a Buddhist monk.

"I'm tired, so why concern myself with becoming successful? What is important is my happiness NOW. Also, Mad Max just came on."