Monday, April 30, 2012
Sunday, April 29, 2012
Saturday, April 28, 2012
I had no idea what was going on in Rwanda, i.e. the genocide.
In fact I had really no idea about what happened until I stumbled upon the motion picture - Hotel Rwanda - recently.
My SIL actually went on a mission to Rwanda a year or so ago, to a village her church has sort of adopted.
She recommended that I read - Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust - the life story of a woman who survived the genocide by hiding in a tiny bathroom with 7 others for 3 months.
It's the sort of book that puts all of our trivial grievances (e.g. long lines at CVS, traffic,...) in the proper perspective.
I would say it falls into the *must read* category, for just about everyone.
Friday, April 27, 2012
Cool logo....except iMorons DON'T *think different* (or differently).
I've been bashing them for quite some time as pathetic subscribers to groupthink.
Read this Wall Street Journal article for corroboration.
The gist of it is that people who buy iPhones....predominantly talk to other iPhone owners!
Thursday, April 26, 2012
Ignore the Amazon stars...
The Innovator's DNA is not a book worth reading. It breaks no new ground and is stereotypical, *let's see if we can sell to academics and corporations* tripe.
As always, you can see my current reading list on the *Books Read* tab above, or by clicking here. I feel like I haven't been reading much lately but the tally shows I'm devouring books at my fastest pace yet.
Recall I paid-up for the Droid smartphone 2.41 years ago.
So when my phone, the display anyway, stopped working on Monday I was upset but relieved that my 2-year plan was up and I was due for an upgrade.
First I tried to have the guy at Verizon fix my phone....but that was to no avail.
Then I took a gander at the latest cordless cell phones - which spanned from $200 - $300 or so.
On these upgrades I always get at least $100 free towards a new phone.
BUT the dude told me that IS NO LONGER THE CASE - and hasn't been for about 2 years.
I was entitled to a mere $30 towards my new phone.
Furthermore, Verizon was actually assessing an *upgrade fee* of $30. Meaning that -$30 + $30 = a big fat ZERO DOLLARS toward my next phone.
The *good news* he mentioned, was that I was *grandfathered in on the unlimited data plan*. Of course I don't need that (2GB) as I only use 167 MB per month. I'm no Moronic teenager, sitting around watching Netflix on my phone!
All this bummed me out as I wasn't planning on spending $200+ for one of the latest phones.
BUT the salesman steered me toward the phone he was using personally - an LG Lucid 4G Android.
It was pretty awesome. Fast, sleek, and scratch-resistant which the guy demonstrated by rubbing his car keys on it.
The best part was that it was only $79!
As I was paying I got to talk some more with the salesman and one of his co-workers.
They said that the iPhone was dead right now because it wasn't on the faster 4G network. In general, he thought the iPhone was too expensive, too frail (shatter-prone screen), and too often a target of theft. He said that almost every day someone comes in having to buy a new phone because their iPhone was stolen.
They said that the Ice Cream Sandwich phones (new Android platform), the more expensive ones I was hoping to buy, were absolute battery-hogs. A salesgirl there said her phone needed to be plugged in all day long.
I don't follow this phone crap too closely....but I figured that my $79 phone was probably as good as the iPhone when it as going for $500+ a couple years ago.
The more knowledgeable Verizon salesman corrected me, "Your $79 phone is actually a lot more powerful than the iPhone..."
They did it again!
I got a phone call Saturday afternoon from my credit card company to confirm purchases made somewhere in New Jersey: $240 at Gap Kids, $200 at Champs, etc.
Of course I haven't spent that much money on clothes, collectively, in a couple years.
Obviously someone had my credit card, at least a facsimile thereof, and was on a shopping spree.
Note this is about the third time in the past couple years that we've had this type of fraud on our account. It's the third time we've had to cut up our credit card....and then go and change our account # on a bazillion recurring bills.
And recall there's that guy down in Orlando that tried to take out a mortgage or something in my name.
Champs, the sports store? Gap Kids??? Those aren't exactly places to buy things which can be re-sold for cash.
Draw your own conclusions...
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Alright I just posted my first *job* on some outsourcing website.
Candidates will help me make up some math worksheets, for starters. I listed the job at $3.50 per hour and got 9 applications right off the bat.
I haven't had a chance to see who responded yet but really, what is my risk to even hire all of them on a trial basis? A couple hundred bucks???
Of course Tim Ferriss and all the upstarts making coin on the web have been extolling *outsourcing* for a few years now.
I just did give it a whirl because recently I heard about guys paying $2-$3 an hour for *great workers* from the Philippines.
I'll let y'all know how it goes, of course. See also:
Website Building Chronicles 1 - For Morons
Website Building Chronicles 2 - Eben Pagan Selling Me On Change
Website Building Chronicles 3 - The Sales Letter
Website Building Chronicles 4 - Facebook
Website Building Chronicles - 5 - Wasting Time?
Monday, April 23, 2012
Had a funeral in Massachusetts to run up to...
My cordless cell phone died and I had to deal with that...
Oh, and I played Bethpage Black on Saturday! That always takes a couple of days to recover from...
Going to try to sleep now so I can get back on my *up at 4am* regimen.
Friday, April 20, 2012
First my wife got me to read - Hunger Games...
And then I just read - The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
It was actually pretty good!
Tim Ferriss swears by reading *fiction* at night - to put yourself to sleep. He was, like me, on a strict non-fiction diet before that.
In fact, he's got a list of suggested fiction titles on his site now that I may start to work my way through.
But in the meantime....it's back to reality.
I just started a book about the genocide in Rwanda.
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Monday, April 16, 2012
Apparently it's healthier to *squat* above a hole in the ground while you defecate...
Seems to be another one of these 4th World habits (like bare feet, raw food, etc.) that's making a comeback among the healthy set.
Apparently squatters even do their thing atop conventional toilets.
But it can be somewhat dangerous.
Now, I'm going to WARN y'all. The following link is one of the most graphic I've ever posted. If you've just eaten....wait a little bit at least.
SQUAT TOILET ACCIDENT
I believe she was squatting atop a porcelain toilet....but it toppled and shattered. There are worse pics of this injury if you want to Google.
Now go try it!
Thursday, April 12, 2012
Can't make this stuff up....all you can do is giggle:
Obama backers put this video out. Obviously the strategy is to rip Mitt Romney via self-comparison!
For more, see Reason.
Obama backers put this video out. Obviously the strategy is to rip Mitt Romney via self-comparison!
For more, see Reason.
No other state spends as much of its budget on health care as Massachusetts...
In 2009, for example, the state spent $61 billion on care. In 2012, more than 54 percent of the state government’s budget will be devoted to health care, the highest in the nation. The majority of that spending is on the expanded insurance coverage called for by RomneyCare. Other states have big Medicaid bills, but Massachusetts also pays for the same sort of middle-class insurance subsidies that ObamaCare is slated to begin offering nationally in 2014. The price of coverage paid by individuals is going up too. As Song and Landon note, “For individuals, monthly premiums for a minimal (“bronze”) plan purchased through the Commonwealth Choice connector (the state insurance exchange) increased from about $175 in 2007 to $275 in 2012 (a 57% increase), despite slowed growth in overall health care spending since the start of the recession in 2008.”
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Sorry about the low blog output recently, folks.
Been zipping all over the place with the kids and whatnot. Throw in a holiday; a couple HS alumni events; and the increased golf balls hit in warmer weather and it doesn't take much to sap my waking hours...
Last night I was at one of the *hottest* clubs/bars in NYC - Lavo - with the local alumni of my high school. One rich dude picked up the sizable tab. Thank God! A bottle of water there was $8. And a mixed drink was $17!!! Then there were carpaccio appetizers, kobe beef meatballs,....and a whopping turnout of 85 people.
Last Friday I got in line for golf at 4am....and I'll probably do the same tomorrow. I'm in full blown practice mode for my annual 4-5 day tournament in late May (Wildwood, NJ).
I've actually been hitting the ball pretty well - in fact the best I ever have, by far. Short game is coming around too, finally. Tired of bogeys...I'm chipping and pitching my brains out in the backyard EVERY SINGLE DAY.
The kids both got up on two-wheelers this spring. That was exciting. John is playing baseball again and fielding short-hop grounders just like I did at his age....with his chin!
He joined a homeschool archery league which has been pretty awesome. And he recently competed in a big scholastic chess tournament. Long Island, and New York City in general, is a pretty intense chess scene due to *internationalism*. At his first tournament in the fall he went 0-2-1. This time, in the same division, he went 2-2, losing to 8.5 year old and a 9 year old. (John is only 7.33) So all our hard work and DIY, online chess lessons are paying off. Again chess is a delicate game for young kids. So I try not to push it too hard and I think I've done well because John seems to enjoy the tournaments and his weekly chess league more than most others. He's just a very happy child in general.
Alright I'm going to catch 3 hours of sleep now before golf. Sorry again for the low output. I would hope that most of you by now subscribe to this blog on Google Reader so you don't have to keep coming back to the website to see if I've added anything new. Also, all y'all should LIKE my Facebook Fan Page for *bonus content*.
So I just came across an article that must have been hard for the NY Times to publish.
Apparently the government schools on military bases outperform the rest of the country.
Now I'm no fan of either Big Military or that horrible newspaper....but I've always enjoyed delicious irony!
And this news/study, I guess, is sort of a nice response to John Kerry's gaffe from not too long ago.
BTW, I just read that 32% of all homeschooled children are in military families. While I think that number is a little on the high side, it is true that many military families are even smarter than the ones whose kids are impressing the NY Times.
Sunday, April 08, 2012
From Natural News,
Between 1960 and 1980 - children were subjected to 24 and 25 doses of vaccines. As of 2010, infants and children are exposed to 70 vaccines in the same time period. To put this in perspective - a child born today will receive more vaccine doses by the time he is six months old than his mother did by the time she went to college. With the addition of vaccinations to the adult schedule; a person will receive close to 167 vaccine doses over their lifetime. It is interesting to note that Alzheimer's rates are also increasing as more vaccines are administered to senior citizens. Subsequently vaccine manufacturers are now wallowing in a 27 billion dollar a year industry.
So, what to do?
Well, wait until the kids are a little older, spread the immunizations out more, skip some of the more controversial ones,....or opt out altogether!
Wednesday, April 04, 2012
Tuesday, April 03, 2012
Nowadays it's trendy for Big Education fools to sing the praises of Finland's government school system.
I'd like y'all to check out this article - What Americans Keep Ignoring About Finland's School Success.
Now there's a lot that's *not covered* in all these studies that exalt Finland's schools. For example, how many kids grow up in broken homes? What percentage of kids are *daycared* rather than spend their formative years around complete-sentence-wielding parents? Not to mention the ranking process itself.
But I don't want to talk about that right here, right now.
Watch this interpretation of the article....then the title of this blog post will make sense:
Yeah, that guy is indeed a blithering idiot.
Though do you see what I mean? How the example of *Finland* is just a launch pad for planners and their agitprop?
Ironically, that fat tool is a graduate of UPenn's Wharton undergraduate program (4 years ahead of me at Penn)...
And Wharton undergrad is the most competitive (intro courses graded on a curve, 50% get C's!), most capitalistic school in America!
Monday, April 02, 2012
It's about time, really. After 30+ years of rooting for my beloved Boston Celtics....the green team finally has a young guard who plays defense like I did!
Avery Bradley = Yet another draft steal by mastermind Danny Ainge...
BTW, the kid (age 21) is only 6'2.
Sunday, April 01, 2012
I read The Hunger Games yesterday and I must say....it's pretty good!
Don't see the movie until you read the book, please. There just aren't that many good books out there (contemporary fiction anyway) and seeing the cheesy-looking motion picture would certainly ruin you for the book.
The Hunger Games is about a post-apocalyptic world where Big Government reigns and everyone is a starving slave. I would argue that difference between this fictional world and today's reality amounts to mere *subtlety*.
I read most of it while marooned at my son's chess tournament yesterday. I finally used the