Thursday, April 30, 2009

If You Are Alone

And would like to feel emotional.

It's all about the reaction shots.

Another Decent Email Quote

"You always have to start your day with some degree of bullshit."
Garden Party Chic

I'm going to a wedding this weekend with the instructions to dress "Garden Party Chic."

Starting yesterday, I find myself stressing. I don't know what it means and I whatever it means, I don't think I have it. Linen pants? Searsucker suit? Polo and Khakis? A blue suit? Regular suit, no tie? Sportcoat and slacks?

Very confusing instructions. My favorite suit is a nice black with charcoal pinstripes. This is the suit that fits me best and the one I'd prefer to wear. But it is a bit fancy. So do I go for it without a tie? Or do I wear a dark blue suit - a lighter, summer suit I got in Korea? Or go for the gray suit? Or do I go slacks with shirt, more casual, etc. I just don't know.

Side note - a nice suit wearing article/guide found on the internet.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Zodiac Killer Identified?

DNA tests might be able to confirm.

This doesn't match up with the Fincher thesis.
Great Idea!

I wish all the annoying dorky people in high school hired strippers to replace themselves at the reunion. That would certainly spice it up.
Boston-Chicago Series

I think Boston will win the next game. What an awesome series thus far. 3 overtime games! Paul Pierce is the truth, baby! Last night was unreal.

As to the issue of Rondo's foul on Brad Miller and whether it was flagrant. Watching it at game speed - almost definitely not. Plus, what ref is going to call a flagrant foul at the end of a close game? And let's be honest - Rondo wasn't trying to hurt Miller or go for his head. He was trying to make a hard foul. They made the right call. The only reasonable argument is the one offered by Barkley in the post-game analysis: if Miller had fouled Rondo like that on the other end of the floor - hit his head and bloodied him - it probably would have been a flagrant. Maybe. When they played the slo mo replay over and over, sure, Rondo smacked him across the face - but at game speed - he was trying to foul, not to hurt. They made the right call.

ESPN analysis. What a sissy. Is a purposeful foul flagrant? In any sport, there are smart fouls and hard fouls. Imagine the criticism of Rondo if he does a soft foul and Miller makes the lay up and a plus one. Hack-a-Shaq are purposeful fouls. America - grow a pair.
Nations React to Swine Flu

Egypt decides to slaughter all the pigs in their country - despite no reported cases of swine flu.

Russia decides to ban all imports of pork products from North America.

Cost Rica suggests citizens should not kiss-hello (Their health minister is Jerry Seinfeld).

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Happy Hour Scouting Report - Westwood

Palomino - set of cheap drinks available all night - Coors Light, bad Mojitos, a couple cheap white wines all $4. Before 7, half off appetizers and $5 pizzas - a very good deal.

Napa Valley Grille - cheap appetizers and $1 off drinks before 7pm. I suspect the food is quite good...for a happy hour site.

Acapulcos - $1 tacos are worth the price. $3 Margaritas and beer until 7pm.
Swine Flu Reaches Marin County

Uh oh.

Here are some tips for if you have the swine flu. What an awful name. I swear this is why people are freaking out.
Hilarious Review

The new Jarmusch - The Limits of Control.

There are limits to artistic self-indulgence, limits to how long a filmmaker can keep spinning his creative wheels before his work approaches self-parody, and limits to the tolerance of even a devoted specialized audience for artistic vacuity, and they are all well exceeded by "The Limits of Control."

Worst of all, it just feels tired and recycled -- the referencing of Rimbaud and Blake, the flagrant hipsterism that here falsifies rather than refreshes, the self-conscious plunking down of all manner of foreign actors in unlikely contexts, the above-it-all attitude toward connecting on a human level. And then there's the music, mostly by a Japanese electronic noise outfit called Boris, that drones on ultimately to congeal into a state of undead rigor mortis.

I'll still see it.
Don't Mess With Mom

Arlen Spector Now A Dem

The man says he found himself "at odds with the Republican philosophy."

Come on, bro. You're trying to keep your job! Why don't you buy a Lakers jacket while you're at it.
Bottom of Email Quotes

I'm not generally a fan. But I got a good one today:

"The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter." Winston Churchill

Not A Big Deal

Coke thinks it has a secret formula?

We can deconstruct the human genome and Coke thinks scientists can't figure out their secret formula. Gimme a break.
Top 10 Things From Your 20s You'll Regret in Your 40s

I wouldn't know, but I suspect this is right.

On a side note: "Lemon, I'm 50. In female terms, that's like being 32."
Chinese Auto Show

Listening to NPR this morning, the correspondent was mocking China's auto industry, describing most of the cars as design rip offs of Toyota's, etc.

What I find ironic, however, is that most auto designs are rip off of other cars. Lexus ripped off the Subaru Impreza re-design and Ford is ripping off the Mini Cooper design. I suppose it's all in the details - McDowell's the Big Mac vs. the Big Mic...

Monday, April 27, 2009


Indian Business students are reading Mein Kampf for management advise.

It seems to me there is probably other equally good literature out there.

The big news around town is the WMA-Endeavor merger - or more accurately - the Ari Gold-tries-to-take-over-Hollywood story.

Does any of this matter? I don't know. I know Endeavor needs money to fuel their rapid growth and attempt to "take over." Although, it isn't clear to me why Endeavor wants to "take over" or what "taking over" even means. William Morris is rich and old and presumably a bit lazy. They need Endeavor's energy to grow - or risk dying off - I guess.

It seems to me the merger will likely lead to both companies shedding dead wood. I don't know what either agency wants to contribute to the movie/entertainment biz. Agencies, to me, are simply about serving their clients - finding them jobs, the best deals, and good working fits. They are basically a buffer between talent and the studios. Oh, and yes, they want to make money.

I suppose agencies, like everyone else, are worried about future revenue streams in this new world order without television and dvd revenue. Now, we've got two huge agencies, and two medium sized agencies, and a spate of small agencies. How does this affect movies and television content - I have no idea.
Gays Gone Wild

Why are gay activists attacking attacking all the low hanging fruit?

On display at the Miss USA event was the activist left's pageant of selective bullying, a concerted strategy to go after low-hanging fruit like Mormons. But the left leaves off its hit list members in good standing of its normal coalition - its "rainbow" coalition. In California, one of the gayest places on the map, blacks and Hispanics - who disproportionately disapprove of same-sex marriage - get a stunning pass from outraged proponents of gay marriage.

Since 9/11, the highly organized gay left has also been deafeningly silent on Islam's anti-modern approach to homosexuality - let alone same-sex unions. The mullahs in Iran somehow get a major pass while the director of the California Musical Theatre in Sacramento is targeted for ruin. This contradiction is not subtle. Indeed, it's obvious and pathetic.

In fact, in the beauty contest that was the 2008 presidential race, Barack Obama - the left's hand-tailored candidate and an icon of "hope" in the gay community - like his vice president, Joseph R. Biden Jr., shares Miss California's stance on gay marriage.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Exciting News

Per Melissa, I must report a giddy reaction to the 49ers picking up Michael Crabtree. Long hyped as the best receiver in college football last year, for some reason, he fell all the way to 10th and the Niners were able to pick him up. With Issac Bruce returning and signs of life from the young receivers on the 49ers at the end of last year, all of this is an encouraging development. Too bad we are unclear on the QB situation. I wonder if Alex Smith has one last effort in him to prove himself as an NFL QB. And how will this receiver core work with Singletary's offense, which will primarily be running the football?

Friday, April 24, 2009

Are Women Crazy?

Evidence in the affirmative.
Duh - They All Game the Rankings

US News and World Report suspect some law schools of providing incorrect data and gaming the rankings.

Well, they all do this. Some are clumsier than others.
Oh Man

Taliban are pushing deep into Pakistan.
Kobe Lovers

I implore you to remember last night.

Had Kobe made the long three, the sports punditry would be claiming "greatest ever" status for Kobe. Why is it not acknowledged this guy takes ill advised shots all the time? He is the best "bad shot" maker I've ever seen. But still - shots like he took at the end of the game are 25% shots and Kobe makes maybe 35% of them. Yet, everyone cites these ill advised shots for giving Kobe the ball at the end of the game. If the Lakers wanted to win, they'd give it to Gasol who makes 60% of his shots down low. They should run their offense through him and get Kobe to take fewer contested shots and more open shots.

When was the last time Kobe was exceptional in a close playoff game?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

I Sympathize

Larry Summers falls asleep at work.
Facebook Additions?

Is this a real problem?

I wouldn't know. (meant in a glib tone)
Math Skillz

A couple weeks ago at a garage sale I was negotiating for records and a mirror. The offer on the table:

Beethoven's Symphonies for $5 and a long mirror for $5.

I told the guy, "Look, I'll give you $4 each for the Beethoven and the mirror."

"No, no, no," he said, "I already came down on the Beethoven. That costs $5. But I'll tell you what - I'll give you the mirror for $3. How about that?"

"Okay." I said.
Real Hate vs. Sports Hate

Good identification.

There's hate and there's sports hate. Real hate is not OK. Sports hate is OK. We are fans. We are allowed to "love" certain athletes and "hate" others. It doesn't mean we actually love them or hate them. So under that umbrella, I present you with the following statement: I hate Joakim Noah. I hate looking at him. I hate his hair. I hate how he dunks. I hate the way he high-fives. I hate every reaction he has. I hate his game. I hate the way announcers pronounce his name. I hate the story that I've heard a million times about his tennis-playing father.


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

An Accounting

What did tax payers get for 13.4 bil paid to GM?

I'd like to see, especially since they're defaulting now. Whether they deserved the money or not wasn't and isn't the question. It's whether bailing them out will benefit anyone in the long run.

Consumers say they'd pay more for a Green product.

I'll see what they do not what they say...

Also - do used products count as green products, since they don't cost anything to reproduce?
My Counter Proposal

Jackie Chan should control all the Chinese people.

Look at that fucking hipster dot com.

Hat tip, Andy.
Halfway Through

I'm posting this article on Lenny Dykstra so I can remember to read the second half. Very fascinating.

Dykstra was portrayed in Moneyball as a delusional genius - someone who could literally step up to the plate every time and think he was going to get a base hit - whether he was hot, in a slump, or had never gotten a hit off the pitcher in his life.

Reading this, it sounds like his delusional genius has transferred to the real world with mixed results.
True Dat

Interesting CNN article about Miss California "keeping it real?"

The author points out -

A lot of folks are always saying they like to keep it real, that they want authenticity and straight talk. Yet when someone actually does it, there is hell to pay.

People - in general - don't want straight talk. They want validation. Which is also why public figures, in general, are so disappointing.
Gotta Love the Japanese

Odd idea for lowering the unemployment rate.

Helen Mirren or Kirstin Dunst?

Hat tip, Phil.
Put on The Hurt

The Lakers are good. And I say this as an anti-Laker fan. They are a better team than last year despite what no one wants to say - Kobe has lost a step. But he plays smarter now - conserves energy, tries to get teammates involved early, etc. Gasol is better, Ariza is a very solid addition, they got Bynum back, and their chemistry is solid. They play better team D than last year (because of Ariza and Bynum)

But they are a beatable team. Very beatable. You can scare the Lakers. The only guys with any real toughness are Kobe and Fisher. And Kobe will get frustrated and start acting weird (as you saw glimpse last night with the technical in the final 2 minutes). All a team needs to do is put on the hurt. When they drive to the lane - put them on their ass. They'll question whether to drive the lane the next time. And for chrissake, you gotta get Gasol off his offensive game. If you let the guy put moves on you all day and get open looks, he will score 20-25 easy on any big guy in the league. But employ some thuggery on the guy and see how he responds. You can't let him get in rhythm.

Traditionally, the Jazz would be a tough match up for the Lakers. But hard as it is to believe, the Jazz are not a tough team this year. They are a finesse team. It took me awhile to realize it. Carlos Boozer looks like a thug from Training Day, but the fact is, the guy is a finesse player with good shooting touch and slashing moves for a big guy. John Stockton had more thug in him than this entire team. Can you name one guy on the team you'd be scared to see in an alley on a weekend night? That's what you need to beat the Lakers. You need to get offensive rebounds and punish them physically on defense so the offense can't get in sync.

Still, Utah had chances to win last night. But they were tired at the end. That'll happen when you need to come back from 20 down. A finesse team could beat the Lakers, but they'd need legs and Utah suffered too many injuries and I don't think are in tip top shape. They got within 3, the Lakers kept giving them chances, but they were having trouble converting and getting big baskets.

Either the Rockets or Portland will give the Lakers a tougher series - although these two teams might beat up on each other and be worn down. Rockets have the thuggery. Artest will get under the Lakers skin in a long series. But the Rockets don't have a big scoring threat or a closer. If McGrady were playing, this would be a really interesting series. Portland, on the other hand, has the legs and energy to give the Lakers a run.

We shall see.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Monday, April 20, 2009

More On Healthcare

Feedback and thoughts from Virginia Postrel and readers.

Like any patient, I have many complaints about the current system. I, too, have wasted time convincing my insurer to pay bills for procedures obviously covered under my plan. I, too, have been bewildered trying to reconcile the strangely different ways in which medical center billing departments and the insurer classify exactly the same expenditures. And, of course, as a patient with a pre-existing condition who has in the past been happily self-employed, I am acutely conscious that my own options are now more limited than they once were.

Before my personal experience as a patient, I objected to the delivery of health insurance through employers, as many economists and policy analysts do. Employer-based health insurance unduly limits the flexibility of Americans to change jobs, work part time, or start businesses and amplifies the negative repercussions of an economic downturn like the one we’re now experiencing. I also know that the current system of reimbursement, led by Medicare, has taken a terrible toll on primary-care physicians in particular, driving many out of medicine and requiring others to skimp on care (spending little time with patients) or develop cosmetic side-specialties (Botox, anyone?) to subsidize their practices.

But acknowledging that the current system has problems and might be improved is a long way from believing that those problems can be solved simply—or that Americans can have, as many readers seem to believe, health care that is simultaneously cheaper, less likely to escalate in cost, more widely available, technologically innovative, and fully responsive to the desires of patients and physicians.
Natural Selection At Work

Advice from the blogosphere - don't own pets that can eat you.
Oh...Is It Hot Today?

I wouldn't know in our new air conditioned offices. Boo ya, IHop Monkeys.
Green Jobs

The next subprime?

Yeah - if someone can explain what makes a job green - I'll buy the next round of echinacea shots.
Biting the Hand That Feeds Me

First off, google mail and groups are acting shitty recently. What if one day they just decide to charge for email and other such stuff. Yucky thought.

But on the topic of food, here are some simple lemon pasta recipes that sound good.
Crisis of Manhood

Chicks are better at school and frankly, at most jobs. Men are bearing the brunt of unemployment.

MEN BEAR THE BRUNT OF US JOBS LOST: The US recession has opened up the biggest gap between male and female unemployment rates since records began in 1948, as men bear the brunt of the economys contraction. Men have lost almost 80 per cent of the 5.1m jobs that have gone in the US since the recession started, pushing the male unemployment rate to 8.8 per cent. The female jobless rate has hit 7 per cent.

Soon there will be affirmative action for men.
Very Interesting

Heathcare costs so much because we're afraid to make decisions.

This logic certainly holds true on film shoots. Once you get thinking in terms of I need vs. I can afford, suddenly you are spending gobs more money than you should - or need to. I can see how with respect to healthcare, it becomes more difficult to make choices than between a 2K and a 4K, since heath is so precious...but still...we can't afford the soup and sandwich every day.

Friday, April 17, 2009


Giggle-giggle-hardy-har-har. Liberal snarks, Rachel Maddow and Keith Olbermann found what they seem to think is the funniest thing since Rosie O'Donnell: teabagging. I guess they think by mis-quoting and using the terms the tea-bag protesters call themselves (I've yet to hear tea-bagging mistakenly used by those actually protesting) and by repeating it over and over again ad nauseum to their wink-wink, I-feel-like-a-hipster-insider-even-tho-teabagging-as-a-term-was-funnier-three-years-ago-and-like-cougar-and-judd-apatow-movies-is-way-played-out-now-even-before-we-decided-this-was-so-funny.

I don't like these people. They aren't funny and they aren't serious. So why am I watching?
Let's Play!

On the benefits play.

Apparently it can prevent murderers...
Twitter and Poverty

I never thought of it this way.

“Connectivity is poverty” was how a friend of mine summarized Sterling’s bold theme. Only the poor — defined broadly as those without better options — are obsessed with their connections. Anyone with a strong soul or a fat wallet turns his ringer off for good and cultivates private gardens that keep the hectic Web far away. The man of leisure, Sterling suggested, savors solitude, or intimacy with friends, presumably surrounded by books and film and paintings and wine and vinyl — original things that stay where they are and cannot be copied and corrupted and shot around the globe with a few clicks of a keyboard.

Hat tip, Robyn.

But PS - I don't buy any of this nonsense - just because I don't twitter doesn't make me rich or soulful...since I know thyself and have evidence to the contrary.
90+ Point Wine for Under $20


Thursday, April 16, 2009

Bill Simmons on a Tear

A really great on KG.

There's a hidden sub-story lurking here: It involves the fall of newspapers, lack of access and the future of reporting, not just with sports but with everything. I grew up reading Bob Ryan, who covered the Celtics for the Boston Globe and remains the best basketball writer alive to this day. Back in the 1970s and early '80s, he was overqualified to cover the team. In 1980, he would have sniffed out the B.S. signs of this KG story, kept pursuing it, kept writing about it, kept working connections and eventually broken it. True, today's reporters don't get the same access Ryan had, but let's face it: If 1980 Bob Ryan was covering the Celtics right now, ESPN or someone else would lure him away. And that goes for the editors, too. The last two sports editors during the glory years of the Globe's sports section were Vince Doria and Don Skwar ... both of whom currently work for ESPN.

For the past few years, as newspapers got slowly crushed by myriad factors, a phalanx of top writers and editors fled for the greener pastures of the Internet. The quality of nearly every paper suffered, as did morale. Just two weeks ago, reports surfaced that the New York Times Company (which owns the Globe) was demanding $20 million in union concessions or it'd shut down the Globe completely. I grew up dreaming of writing a sports column for the Globe; now the paper might be gone before I turn 40. It's inconceivable. But this Garnett story, and how it was (and wasn't) covered, reminds me of "The Wire," which laid out a blueprint in Season 5 for the death of newspapers without us fully realizing it. The season revolved around the Baltimore Sun and its inability (because of budget cuts and an inexperienced staff) to cover the city's decaying infrastructure. The lesson was inherent: We need to start caring about the decline of newspapers, because, really, all hell is going to break loose if we don't have reporters breaking stories, sniffing out corruption, seeing through smoke and mirrors and everything else. That was how Season 5 played out, and that's why "Wire" creator David Simon is a genius. He saw everything coming before anyone else did.

Ultimately, Garnett's injury doesn't REALLY matter. It's just sports. But I find it a little chilling that the best player on the defending NBA champion could be sidelined for two solid months, with something obviously wrong, and nobody came close to unraveling the real story. We still don't know what's wrong with his knee. We just know it's screwed up. And, yeah, you could say that Garnett has always been guarded -- with just a few people in his circle of trust -- and yeah, you could say that only a few members of the Celtics organization know the truth (maybe coach Doc Rivers, GM Danny Ainge, majority owner Wyc Grousbeck, the trainers and that's it). But this was a massive local sports story. Its coverage is not a good sign for the future of sports journalism or newspapers in general.

Part of me is totally worried about this and a host of other things with our just feels lately like no one is steering the ship. That somehow, something broke, and it's gonna be tremendously difficult to fix. But then another part of me doesn't remember having better access to information - the quality of stuff I read today is a lot better than 10 or 20 years ago. But that might be me. I just don't know.

Anyhow, another Simmons gem is here about getting married.

Q: You talked about the flaws in "Heat" and "Castaway", but the most overlooked movie flaw in history goes to "Titanic." Remember when the old lady dies in her sleep and sees Jack Dawson, decked out in a three-piece suite, awaiting her arrival? Let's not forget the same lady was married and spawned numerous children and grandchildren throughout her long life. Yet despite over 50 years of marriage, she decides that when she goes to heaven she wants to be with some dude she had a fling with on a boat almost 80 years ago? Isn't that like John Smoltz wanting to enter Cooperstown as a Red Sox?
-- Robert C., Toronto

SG: See, I like that twist. It will teach my little boy not to trust women. It's important. Crucial, even. That reminds me ...

Q: Why can't Hollywood make a movie about a guy who doesn't get married, keeps his friends, loves life, dates hot girls up until they get crazy. But also show his old college roommate married with kids, a nagging wife, a crap job he can't quit because of the kids and mortgage. This should be made and mandatory viewing for any single male by the time he hits 18. At least he would have a fighting chance. If you have a great marriage awesome. But I would tell you that nine of 10 married guys I know are in the old college roommate state of life right now. Good luck all you engaged men. (Suckers.)
-- Gabe B., Waterloo, Iowa

SG: And that wraps up this month's installment for "Fellas, Don't Get Married!" By the way, I'd like to give a special shout-out to my buddy Sully, who's already trained his two young sons to answer the questions "How old will you be before you can think about getting married?" and "Where are you going to college?" with the answers "35" and "South or West." Now that's great parenting.
The Most Interesting Man in the World on Rollerblading

D'Ya Think?

MSNBC touts GE stock. Do ya think?

No conflict of interest here - GE owns MSNBC. Jezus.
Scary Article

What is a regular investor to do? Money bits:

“You think a brokerage should be a place you go to pay commissions for fair and unbiased advice, right?” he asked.

“Yes,” I said.

“It’s not. It never has been.” He then cited another saying of Buffett’s: “‘Wall Street is a place where whatever can be sold will be sold.’ You are the consumer of their dreck. What they can sell to you, they will sell to you.”

“But they told us—”

“They lied.”

He went on: “You should be disheartened and disappointed. But don’t kid yourself. You’re a naive capitalist. They were never your advisers. Do not for a moment think that a brokerage firm is your friend.”

“So who’s my friend?”

“You don’t have one. This is the market.”

“Okay, that’s Merrill Lynch. What about the others?”

“They’re not your friends,” Soros said patiently.

“What about Chuck Schwab?”

“All brokers move products based on volume and commission,” he said.

Reading's so obviously right...and worrisome. Another, more heartening bit (at least for myself because I feel this way):

“Here’s how to know if you have the makeup to be an investor. How would you handle the following situation? Let’s say you own a Procter & Gamble in your portfolio and the stock price goes down by half. Do you like it better? If it falls in half, do you reinvest dividends? Do you take cash out of savings to buy more? If you have the confidence to do that, then you’re an investor. If you don’t, you’re not an investor, you’re a speculator, and you shouldn’t be in the stock market in the first place.”

It seems like no one talks about the obvious - if you are a "buy and hold" or value investor - you need a long enough time line for success. But young people with a long time line tend to be broke and stupid. Whereas, if you are older and wiser and when you actually have money to invest, the time line no longer exists. Is this only an obvious problem to me.
I'd Like One

Tuk Tuk coming to US!

It comes with the girl, right?
Serious Problem

I'm glad CNN is reporting on banks automated phone systems causing problems for folks facing foreclosure.

I am positive banks and other institutions purposefully design automated phone systems to be obstructive and burdensome to limit the call volume - and hence, the service provided. I'm sure there is a worthy class action lawsuit in there somewhere.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Christian Bale Is My Favorite Actor This Year

Song of the Year

Book Review

On Alec Baldwin's book on divorce law. I suspect the review is better than the book.

Alec Baldwin’s A Promise to Ourselves proceeds from a double-pronged thesis: that American divorce laws are deeply flawed, and that Kim Basinger is a crazy bitch.

A cool thing about the article - you can listen to his rant and see his accompanying apology of The View. I only watched the former and was pretty underwhelmed. It seemed like par-for-the-course fatherly outrage given the context - a bitter divorce; celebrity parents living on opposite coasts. I've heard worse.

The last two pages of the review lose the humor and get "all weird" for lack of a better way to describe the analysis.

Domino's employees messing with people's food.

In addition to being fired, these people also deserved to get their asses kicked.
Good Idea

Making cheese in a depressed area.
Way Too Big of A Deal

The press and the governments of the world are making way to big of a deal about piracy.

Already, 33% of the pirate attacks are unsuccessful. They seem easy enough to repel - ships simply need to use a combination of tactics to repel or delay the pirates until the Navy can bring in helicopters. I swear, one bazooka could seriously deter a small ship trying to roll up on a big vessel. You must be able to tell, certainly before they are boarded, that the small ships with bad intent. If you're in dangerous waters, light up the bow with a bazooka or some big ass .50 cal gun. Call for help. If they keep coming and can overwhelm the ship by force, hide out in the ship until the cavalry arrives.

I don't think invading Somalia and looking for pirate lairs is a good use of the US military.
Brando Was A Homo

Jeez, one blow job photo and everyone wants to label you gay.
Shout Out to Taco Trucks

I ate at one this morning.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Old and Crotchety and Cynical

I'm becoming. Why do first time authors write tombs of 400-500 pages? Come on people - the 20th century greats were writing novellas as their first books. Why does everyone nowadays think they need to be Dave Eggers or David Foster Wallace. What a shitty generation of artists.
Don't Get Cocky

Robert Reich - we're not at the beginning of the end, or even, the end of the beginning. Money quotes:

All of these pieces of upbeat news are connected by one fact: the flood of money the Fed has been releasing into the economy. Of course mortgage rates are declining, mortgage orginations are surging, and people and companies are borrowing more. So much money is sloshing around the economy that its price is bound to drop. And cheap money is bound to induce some borrowing. The real question is whether this means an economic turnaround. The answer is it doesn't.

And here:

I admire cockeyed optimism, and I understand why Wall Street and its spokespeople want to see a return of the bull market. Hell, everyone with a stock portfolio wants to see it grow again. But wishing for something is different from getting it. And cockeyed optimism can wreak enormous damage on an economy. Haven't we already learned this?

I love American optimism. Which is why it offends me so much when these credit pushers manipulate it for short term gain and long term poverty. We'll get out of this recession by making shit people need rather than trying to game popular psychology into the "perception" we're out of recession/debt.
Pretty Cool

PG&E is going to buy some power generated from solar panels in space.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Well, It's A Movie

USC Prof Makes A Movie


Out of Faith is an intimate and emotional portrait of three generations of a family being pulled apart by conflicts over interfaith marriage. Like many young Americans whose families come from other cultures, Cheryl Welbel feels pressure to choose between marrying for love vs marrying someone of her own faith, in order to "perpetuate her people". Cheryl feels exceptional pressure from her grandparents -- both survived almost three years in Auschwitz, and feel that if Cheryl marries someone "not Jewish" she will be "helping to finish the job that Hitler started."

As Out of Faith begins, Leah, the family matriarch, has not spoken to Danny, her first grandchild to "marry out," for six years. Leah tries a different approach with Cheryl, showering her with love and attention, hoping that by keeping the lines of communication open she will be able to convince Matt to convert to Judaism. Cheryl resists. The film follows the Welbel family over three years as they try to resolve these issues. Just as Leah's first great-grandchild is born, an unexpected event occurs that will either reconcile three generations, or render them torn for good.

The film is a Jewish prism of the classic American story - immigration, assimilation, and ensuing angst. The film challenges audiences to consider how we can honor & preserve our faith and culture while assimilating into our diverse mainstream society. Over a year of screenings at festivals, theaters, and community centers, the film has generated intensely emotional discussions about assimilation, conflicting loyalties, cultural continuity, and the wrenching consequences of family estrangement.

In English. Running time: 82 minutes.

An hour-long version will air on KCET on Sunday, May 10th at 4:00PM.

I got through one and a half sentences of the description before yawning and clicking on something else.

A familiar story re: the life of an actor.

Although it's tempting to either look down upon or pity the lifestyle choices of actors - I'm glad as hell some risk-taking folks make the choice.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

A Testament To The Lameness of Facebook

In thinking about my identity theft last year...when a traitor made a fake facebook page of occurred to me there is something deeply wrong with a site whereby people are ready to accept the false me as real. What does it say about a technology that can trick a group of my online "friends" into thinking a fake me is real? Especially a technology designed to be personal, trustworthy, and solely about "online identity?"

For example - email - a simple communication technology - is rarely the victim of stolen identity or other forms of fraud. Remember prank calling? Remember how difficult it was to effectively prank call someone? Or have you ever tried disguising yourself as someone else like in Mission Impossible? Very difficult. Yet with Facebook, this dumb, needy, narcissistic site, my identity was stolen and validated by those who knew me.
The Whole Article

Do You Own Facebook? Or Does Facebook Own You?

I don't trust this company at all. From the article:

Then again, these are smart guys who have thought deeply about the ways their little planet can perish. They’re not wicked corporate invaders; they’re behaviorists and lawyers, psychology majors and big thinkers. There’s a moral undercurrent to their pronouncements—this is what they’re selling, of course—and they talk the talk so well, it’s hard to imagine they’re not walking the walk, too. “I don’t think of our users as customers,” says Cox. “That reminds me of someone coming into a store and buying a sandwich. We’re all Facebook users here, and our parents, friends, colleagues, and loved ones are Facebook users. This is a much more intimate relationship, frankly. We take it very personally.”

I'll take a good sandwich shop over Facebook any day...ya' condescending prick.

In the article, it lightly discusses the value of Facebook. Of course, Facebook is "worth" a ton of money, yet it has no idea how to make a profit. It's a ponzi scheme. The article suggests if Facebook were to charge users $1 a month and lost half of it's customers, it could reel in 100 mil per month. The obvious question - Why doesn't it? Because I doubt half of the customers would pay. Therein you find the value of Facebook - nada.
You're Next, Facebook

On why myspace declined.

In business terms, the "fundamentals" of online social networking are bad. It keeps you in touch with all the people you politely don't want to keep in touch with. Boring people peruse facebook trying to rope less boring people in.

I can't decide what I'd like to see fail more - Kobe Bryant or Facebook.
A Bad Idea

A writer decides to go a month without drinking and discovers (this is me paraphrasing) - drinking is good.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Why Women Stay

Fairly interesting post on why women stay with men after being victims of physical or emotional abuse.

One thought on physical abuse - and forgive me if I'm being a total idiot - but in terms of trying to explain why someone would stay in such an obviously dumb situation...

I think people who have experience with violence have a much different attitude towards it than folks who don't. To those who don't - myself included - violence seems to be the worst thing that can possibly happen. We think of a woman being beaten as the end-all worst case scenario for a relationship. A fight is the absolute last resort behavior to protect ourselves, etc.

But to those who fight or where violence has been a somewhat regular part of their lives, I imagine see it as being less of big deal. In that respect, it isn't much different from most things...people who speak in public for a living probably don't find it terrifying at all...yet many list this as their number one fear.
Small Steps

Ayatollah says nail polish is okay.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Fear of Email?


Hat tip, Brooke.
Economic War Games

Pentagon looks into scenarios. Hat tip, Naveen.

What constitutes an act of economic war? And if accurately defined why do military measures still not act as a deterrent?

I suppose I have some libertarian instincts...but don't we all?

A good point - “From a libertarian perspective, your generosity is reflected in what you do with your own money, not in what you do with other people’s money.”
How Can Anyone Seriously Root For This Guy?

Kobe Bryant's website costs a mere $50 to subscribe.

I'm not one of those dudes who begrudges athletes for being overpaid. They provide a valuable entertainment to lots of people and earn their dough. But seriously - charging $50 to view a personal website? Porn stars can't even pull that off.

Kobe sucks.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Good Luck

US is going to talk with Iran about nukes.

Nice interview with Mottola on Adventureland. Hat tip, Phil.
Time for A Change

FIDEL CASTRO TO CONGRESSIONAL BLACK CAUCUS MEMBERS: 'HOW CAN WE HELP PRESIDENT OBAMA?': How's this for hope and change: U.S. officials flying to Cuba, not to interrogate prisoners at Guantanamo Bay but to meet with the Castro brothers in order to ease the 50-year tensions between the two nations. The aging, ailing, cigar-smoking icon Fidel Castro had three members of Congress visit with him today in Havana, which resulted in the bearded one asking, "How can we help President Obama?" In an effort to improve the relationship between Cuba and the U.S., Reps. Barbara Lee (D-Oakland), Bobby L. Rush (D-Ill.) and Emanuel Cleaver II (D-Mo.) were the first U.S. officials to meet with the 82-year-old former dictator since his intestinal surgery in July 2006.

I'm not going to try and romanticize or justify Castro's Cuba. But honestly - who gives a shit anymore? Castro's hostility is so...passe. We've got bigger fish to fry.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Who Isn't Suffering During the Recession

I got pizza for lunch today and spent $10. Two slices, a salad, and a drink. I get two slices because one isn't enough from these fancy thin slice type of places. In fact, some of these type of places - my favorite, by the way - I could eat three slices if I'm really hungry. Something changed - pizza used to be a cheap lunch. No longer. These type of places, the cheese slices are minimally $3. I suppose two slices of cheese and you're only spending $6, but still. I notice myself spending upwards of $8-$10 at a pizza places these days. Granted, the quality is high, but the the idea behind pizza was something cheap to do with day old bread. You know?

On a similar note, since we moved office and our coffee machine isn't fully operational, I've spent roughly $10 in two days on coffee. I blame Profetta, this fancy style coffee shop that doesn't even serve regular coffee. That's right. Americano is the closest you can get. But they're good and I'm a yuppie douche bag, so...

They're talking about selling the Chevy Volt at a loss. Looking at this car design - it's just ripped from the Prius and Acura's newest Integra (or whatever it's called now).

I don't see how this company is going to sustain itself.
Giambi and the A's

Good article. Per Johnny Damon, the 2001 A's were "So good, it was scary."

Yup. But three game playoff series are easy to lose. Especially to those Damn Yankees when Jeter made the luckiest defensive play in history to swing the momentum of the series.

Also - remember - this was Ichiro's first year in the league and the Mariner's went berserk, winning 117 games...
A's Line Up

Does not look bad. No runs last night, but that will change.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Holy Shit

Did baseball just start?
Wow. New offices. Baseball. Nice weather. I almost forget there's a recession and an existential war going on...
Things To Buy

Good things to buy during the recession.

It's obviously a good time to buy a home. Although, in general, I still think it's only good to buy if you were planning on it already. That is to say, if you were on buying a place, or a car, or a tv, yes, now is a good time to pull the trigger. I don't think it's really a good idea to go out and rush to buy things simply because it's a good time to buy.

High dividend stocks, however, are good investments now, especially since you'll begin to immediately see cash returned. Of course, you need the cash flow to get started.
Lisa P Is Back!

Do you like Cameron Crowe and John Hughes? If the answer is 'yes' you've merely proven yourself a human being with a heart and I suspect you will like Adventureland.

The mystery I would like to solve - how does Ryan Reynolds get such good roles and hot chicks? I don't "get" him.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Not The Issue

It concerns me that Obama and the top bankers are meeting and discussing salaries. I don't know about you, but I don't care how much these guys get paid so much as they get the system to work. If people earn money, they should keep it. If they're scamming money, like with the credit swaps and toxic mortgages, they shouldn't get anything. But discussing the numbers seems totally pointless.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Moving Offices

Killing my blog output. Will be back.