Saturday, November 24, 2007

Another Combo Platter

November 23, 2007
It’s The Day After Thanksgiving. Hooray.
If nobody in my company gives a crap, then why should I? Seriously. The Day After Thanksgiving is not a holiday. Never has been, never will be. Yet I can’t reach anybody, and questions go unanswered, and nobody gives a crap. So I’m just going to stop trying. The hell with it.

My company, obviously concerned with having handed out perfectly good bonus money that they could have kept, has apparently realized that it’s much easier to simply raise the targets, thus making sure no one can collect the bonus. Way to motivate the team, guys.

One of the things that people don’t seem to get, in sports and in life, is that insisting isn’t enough. The manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates can insist that his team play winning baseball, but if they keep writing out a AAA lineup, they’re not going to win consistently. You have to motivate AND provide the tools for success in order to cause success.

But what the hell do I know?

I still hold on to this attitude, admittedly a selfish one, that if I’m working, everyone should be. I get bitterly resentful when I hear people saying, “Oh, I didn’t think you’d be open because of the holiday.” It’s not a holiday.

I’m such a crank.

LHP Joe Kennedy has died, my phone just told me. He’s a guy who was with the A’s, but never seemed to catch on anywhere. He’s one of those baseball guys that kind of disappears from view, never fulfilling his potential, turning up here and there when you watch a game. I usually have the reaction, “oh, THAT’s where he is now.”

Of course, you can also argue maybe he didn’t GET enough of a chance. And sometimes, with lefties, the light just goes on later, for whatever reason.

But now he’s gone. RIP.

I know I’m not playing up to my potential, exactly, either.

I have never been to a high school or college reunion. And I really don’t see the point. Never have. I didn’t like being there when I was there, and I don’t see how I would like going back. I do almost everything in my life because I have to, so I don’t see any point in doing anything voluntary that I won’t enjoy.

Then again, it’s hard to imagine anything that I can do voluntarily that I would enjoy. Other than being stranded on a deserted island, maybe.

I’m a cheerful bastard, eh?

November 24, 2007

Doug Stanhope was on TV last night. He’s pretty graphic, but very insightful at times. His most recent special is pretty reflective, the most Bill Hicks-ish stuff I have ever heard him do. I identify powerfully with his apology for thinking-constantly thinking about God, nature, society, mankind instead of thinking about real estate values and reality television is extremely draining and very distracting. But, like he says, it’s hard to turn off the carnival in your head.
It hurts. It hurts to think about art, and war, and sex, and health, and politics, and love, and baseball, and economics and physics and technology and God and the future. It hurts to try to contain all these thoughts and still do what needs to be done. I get depressed, and eat, and spend too much money, and continuously ruin my life.

It is becoming obvious that I hate my job beyond my ability to properly describe it. It is also becoming obvious that the economy is going to hell, and so I must hang on to it like a barnacle on a rowboat.

It’s great, though, life. It’s really super. I recommend it to everybody.

If I ever get old and retarded and helpless and out of control of my own affairs, please just shoot me in the head.


Thursday, November 22, 2007

Bush Pardons Turkeys

I guess there were no Cabinet posts open.


Fox made their stupid robot on their football broadcast a stupid robot TURKEY.

Doesn't make it any less stupid.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


November 21, 2007
It’s Thanksgiving tomorrow. Wahoo.

Interesting piece on “Marketplace” about what companies who advertise on sports programming think of their customers by Will Leitch, a well known sports blogger. Suffice it to say, he described how little they think of us. The easy stereotyping of guys really bothers me. He cited one of my least favorite, the Coors Light commercial involving the misunderstanding between the man and woman about her pregnancy test turning blue and his beer bottle turning blue.

That commercial has always bugged me, primarily because I want to defend the guy. It’s a misunderstanding, brought on by the fact that they are in two different rooms, talking about two different things. And he ends the commercial in trouble, and it isn’t really his fault.
Or am I reading too much into this?

There was something on VH1 Classic last night about the “10 Greatest Bands”. It was some kind of a marketing tie in with the video game “Rock Band”, one of the many “Guitar Hero” clones out there. It’s kind of fun to pop in to the middle of those (I was waiting for “Nirvana Unplugged” to come on at the end, which I haven’t watched since it aired.)and see how long it takes for you to guess a)what the category is and b) who’s next on the list. It was #7, IIRC, and it was The Clash.

Number SEVEN? AHEAD of U2?

I can think of probably 50 bands better than the Clash, and probably 100 that I like better. I could buy the Clash as one of the top ten punk bands, or one of the top ten British bands, even, but top ten of all TIME? Come on.

Now, these lists are subjective, I get that, but SEVEN?


Monday, November 19, 2007

12 Word Novel

My entry in "On The Media"'s 12 Word Novel Contest, available at

Ball four.

Free pass.

"Nothing's free," he thought.

He left the mound.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Bill Clinton is going to save the world

Just finished the cover story of the October 2007 Atlantic Monthly magazine. (Yeah, I'm a little bit behind.)

It describes the Clinton Foundation, and specifically the work they did getting AIDS drugs into the third world. What they did was, essentially, work with the manufacturers to ensure a steady demand, then use the power of this demand to lower the price. Now this is a brilliant idea, and more specifically an example of why the free market will never solve our problems.

Clinton didn't demand they give the drugs away, nor did he browbeat the countries into buying expired drugs or anything like that. He simply used the power of the market to serve a public good.

There was a disconnect between the high price of the drugs and the low cost to manufacture them-the price was extremely high, but they were only being sold to the West, so the profits were low. The foundation could show them that there is a demand out there and a way to sell many, many more units at a reduced price. Patients get drugs, drug companies make profits.

What makes me crazy about politics today is that so many people will immediately dismiss this idea because Clinton's name is attached to it. It is exactly this kind of creative energy that is so desperately needed right now, and so utterly absent from the current President.

Your Name Here

Here's a neat little toy. Put in your last name, and you can see how often it comes up per 100,000 Americans, according to the 2000 Census.

Mine is 137th, with 61 people per 100,000. That seems too high, but then again, I have met strangers who do share my name.

Plus we're all God's children.