Thursday, December 25, 2008

Saturday, December 20, 2008

This Sounds About Right


NerdTests.com says I'm an Uber Cool History / Lit Geek.  What are you?  Click here!


H/T to Clevergael, who reigns supreme as a Uber Cool Nerd Goddess.

Friday, December 19, 2008

My Holiday Gift To You

No, I am not ending the blog.

What I am doing is posting a pic of myself in my new hat. (Yes, I am that much of a dork.)

This, of course, begs the eternal question: Am I wearing pants?

C'mon, admit it. You know you wanted it.

The 12 Days Of Global Warming

This is just thing to warm me up as I'm waiting for the NEXT autumnal snow-storm to hit.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Word Request

I just experienced something, and I want to know if there is a word in English for the phenomenon. Is there a word for doubting the veracity of your spell check program when it checks your document and doesn't find an error?

Why Isn't Chris Von Sneidern Famous?

If that isn't a question you have ever asked yourself, don't worry, you are not alone. But for those of us "in the know," it is a bit of a puzzle. Luckily, there is a new documentary aimed at solving the conundrum.



All I can say is, if there ever came a time that someone wanted to question my life and ask what it has all added up to, it would be damn nice to have someone like Wes Stace saying nice things about me.

Friday, December 12, 2008

I'm Officially Old Now

When I was a younger man and I would feel the pull of certain adult fashion symbols, I would push them out of my mind with the phrase, "I don't want to be some hipster doofus. I'll do that sort of thing when I'm old...you know, like 40."

Well, I turned 40 this year, and the first of these fashion impulses has successfully avoided all the warnings of my younger days and has landed squarely upon my head. Yes, I bought my first fedora.

Meet the Jaxon Iconoclast (Wool):



As far as hat purchases go, this one was not a matter of high finance. It set me back a grand total of $45 including shipping.

I must say....I like it....a lot. It is damn cold around here, and I'm not blessed with a full head of hair, so a hat is a necessity. Up until now I've only ever worn ballcaps or ski caps. I just didn't want to become "the old guy who wears nothing but ballcaps."

Still, this could be the start of something weird. I've already caught myself looking online at panamas, because, hey!, the Iconoclast is my fall/winter hat. I'll need something else to protect my poor bald head from the big bad sun too. That only makes sense, right?

Down this path lies madness...and quite possibly my taking up pipe smoking as well.

Hmmmm....pipe smoking....sounds good.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I Said It

But I didn't say it here. Go over to Blue Crab for the latest: Warning! Global Warming(tm) Will Cause The Same Weather!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Shocking!? Uh...Not Really

News flash! Corrupt Illinois machine politician corrupt. Blagojevich, chief of staff arrested and taken into custody

Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich was arrested Tuesday on charges of conspiring to get financial benefits through his authority to appoint a U.S. senator to fill the vacancy left by Barack Obama's election as president.

According to a federal criminal complaint, Blagojevich also was charged with illegally threatening to withhold state assistance to Tribune Co., the owner of the Chicago Tribune, in the sale of Wrigley Field. In return for state assistance, Blagojevich allegedly wanted members of the paper's editorial board who had been critical of him fired.

Blagojevich also was charged with using his authority as governor in an attempt to squeeze out campaign contributions.

Blagojevich's chief of staff, John Harris, also was arrested.

This all begs the question, is it even possible to be Governor of Illinois and not be arrested? Current trends indicate otherwise.

I wrote this back in February:

The sad thing is you could see this coming from day one. Oh, the particulars of how it would go down were unknown, but the politics of Illinois, and especially the Chicago Democratic party, are so inherently corrupt it was only a matter of time. It is a shame for the voters of Illinois who went from a corruption plagued Republican Governor, in George Ryan, to the Democratic equivalent in Blagojevich, but they always knew it was coming.

The crazy thing is that was all predicated upon Blagojevich being up to his eyeballs in Tony Rezko illegalities. Since that time Rod has felt comfortable enough to engage in a whole host of new illegalities, which has led to this arrest.

Amazing.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

New York Times Doesn't Want To Hear From Great Unwashed

How quickly they forget that Nazis too were elitists: Typing Without a Clue

The unlicensed pipe fitter known as Joe the Plumber is out with a book this month, just as the last seconds on his 15 minutes are slipping away. I have a question for Joe: Do you want me to fix your leaky toilet?

I didn’t think so. And I don’t want you writing books.

Well, excuse Joe for living you vacuous piece of shit. When did God come down and appoint you as being worthwhile of being published?

No wonder the Times is losing money hand over fist.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

What The Hell Is Wrong With People?

This kind of thing is simply retarded:

A hearing has been set for next week to decide whether Delmar Boulevard in St. Louis also will be known as "Barack Obama Boulevard."

Alderman Kacie Starr Triplett, an early Obama supporter whose ward includes a portion of Delmar, is leading a push to dedicate the street in honor of the president-elect.

I don't mind ceremonial dedications for Presidents who, you know, actually accomplish something. Getting elected to the freakin' office isn't enough.

If it is, I'd like to re-name part of Olive the "Via Richard Nixon."

People Who Spout "Anti-Zionism" = People Who Are Anti-Semitic

Yep, every time. Here is (yet) another case in point:


The University of Ottawa "social justice agency" refused to fund a speech sponsored by the campus Hillel Society on grounds that Hillel has a "relationship to apartheid Israel." The agency, the University of Ottawa Public Research Interest Group, added that "Zionist ideology does not fit within OPIRG's mandate of human rights, social justice." The speech had nothing to do with Israel. It was given by Israel Sariri, head of a Ugandan group working on sustainable development projects. He talked about schools that feed and educate 500 Jewish, Muslim and Christian children in Africa.


Notice, Hillel is a recognized campus society but they are being singled out for discrimination because they are now somehow beyond the pale.

No word if the University of Ottawa is planning on having Jewish student wear indentifying Stars of David to make dastardly supporters of Israel easier to spot.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Boneheaded Nonsense

Sometimes you read an aside that just infuriates you. Take this from First Things:

While we’re contemplating life in the doghouse, treat yourself to Hank William’s classic, “Move It On Over” or try the blues-rock cover by the indefatigable George Thorogood and the Destroyers, justifiably called “the greatest bar band in the world.”

No disrespect inten...scratch that....with heaps of disrespect intended...that is the kind of stupid, insipid, East Coast elitist garbage those of us in "flyover country" have to deal with all the time.

Anyone with a finger on the actual musical pulse of the country knows The Bottle Rockets are the best bar band in the world. Easy.

Hell, for my money, I'd say Webb Wilder runs a respectable second in that contest.

Sometimes people forget the country doesn't end at the Delaware river.

{/tongue in cheek}

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Please Stop The Stupidity

I'm sick and tired of reading stuff like this:

Polls show that Americans overwhelmingly approve of Sen. Hillary Clinton as secretary of state, but will the founding fathers veto this popular addition to Barack Obama's "team of rivals"?

What "rivals"? Hillary Clinton?? Really?? So Reagan had a "team of rivals" because he had George H.W. Bush as his Veep?

There is a word for such a notion, and the word is "stupidity."

All this journalistic penchant for invoking the term "team of rivals" proves is that journalists only read popular history. Why do we all have to suffer because they read so shallowly?

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

I'll See Your "3 Dangerous Myths" And Raise You One Dumb Idea

I saw this "advice" to small businesses courtesy of US News:

Sales forecasting: It's hard enough to get it right without all the ways we get it wrong. It was on my mind over the long holiday weekend, and in this case, it wasn't a particularly cheery back-of-the-mind thought. My company's recent sales reflect the economic downturn.

Not cheery, perhaps, but now more than ever, managing your sales forecast is really important and very much misunderstood. Most people fear forecasting. They think some expert should do it. Visions of econometric models and weighted moving averages dance, devilishly, in their heads.

So why do people hate forecasting? It's mostly because of myths and misunderstandings. Such as, among others, these three:

Myth 1: It's About Accurate Forecasting

Not really. We're all just human, so we don't predict the future all that well....

Myth 2: It's for Experts

Again, not really. In the real world, forecasting is a matter of good educated guessing in rows and columns on a spreadsheet. Real people, the ones who run the business, think about what they can realistically expect....

Myth 3: You Can Manage Without it

Managing a company without sales forecasting—the forecast, the actual results, and the management that follows—is about as smart as driving a car without a steering wheel, or maybe I should say with your windshield covered in black paint.

This prompted a response by yours truly:

Speaking as someone who ran a small business for a number of years, a lot of this strikes me as nonsense. I mean, I'm sure this is the way folks who teach business in universities want the world to work, but it is as far from the real world as I can imagine.

1. You admit up front that the "forecasts" have little to do with what actually happens. This is not a "so what" moment. Producing these "forecasts" take time and energy away from other things one could be doing. In any small business there are never enough hours in the day to do what needs to be done. Even the most cursory of a cost/benefit analysis would tell you to dump the attempts at "forecasting" as being, at best, non-productive, and, at worst, counter-productive.

2. I agree with the previous commentator; flexibility is the key. Forecasts can have the unintended effect of narrowing our options based upon what we believed would happen, as opposed to what actually happens. Yes, the author says you have to keep evaluating your situation, but how does a "forecast" help you do that? One could just as easily (or more easily) rely upon sales history (for example) to give one a comparison with present numbers.

3. It is a good rule of thumb to always be wary of what my father used to call "Onageristic Estimates." (An onager is the name of a wild ass....so an Onageristic Estimate is a "wild ass guess.") Such guesses were only employed when other methods/answers were, A) unavailable, or B) too costly (in one way or another.) You believed in an Onageristic Estimate at your own peril. The thought of an inventory manager basing her buying upon such a number should send shivers of horror through the mind of any small business owner.

That just about covers it.