Sunday, November 25, 2007
First, take the quiz.
Then read the insightful commentary.
Some of the questions are actually ok. However, some of the questions/Trump's recommended answers are so wrong that life wouldn't be worth living if I answered those questions the way he thinks is best. Here I refer especially to #3, #13, and #15
The funniest thing is that it doesn't take long to think of numerous cases of extremely wealthy individuals who don't follow these guidelines at all.
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Premise - if evolution is true (evolution that does not involve a designer, this argument doesn't really apply to intelligent design/theistic evolution), the state of things today is whatever is most advantageous in terms of natural selection. Fact - most of the world believes in some kind of god. Conclusion - religion is evolutionarily advantageous.
So here's where I'm headed with this thought experiment: if the evolutionary account of religious belief that many atheists are now promoting is correct, then atheists don't have much of a future. Their own arguments, plus some elementary demographic data, show that their position cannot become dominant. The only real chance that atheism has to flourish is if it's wrong. If the Christian anthropology, for instance, happens to be true, then we will expect people to rebel against God, to act in violation of his will. But we will also expect them not to want to admit that that's what they're doing. So they will try to argue that their actions, however sinful, however violent, intolerant, and cruel, are somehow in keeping with God's will. But eventually the cognitive dissonance of that position is likely to become too much for them, at which point they might find—like that one-time Russian Orthodox seminarian Josef Stalin—that the easier path is simply to deny the existence of the God who otherwise would be their Judge.
Sunday, October 07, 2007
This cereal was at Trader Joe's in California:
From an ad on the table at a little hole-in-the-wall restaurant we go to where you can get a whole meal for less than 4 bucks (I'm sure it's healthy too!):
What would Jesus do? He would buy this pool!!! And receive 50% off on cleaning with this coupon and a 1 year service agreement!
Our first activity at the Austin intensive for my MBA was to try to build as high a structure as possible with newspaper and a few other materials in a very limited amount of time. My team built a structure that reached the ceiling (it wasn't allowed to touch it) which would have left us tied with several teams, but one team surpassed us all by building theirs up into a light socket so they could go even higher. Here is the base of our ugly but effective contraption:
You can't really make anything out in the pic I tried to take of the whole thing, so I didn't post that one.
I try to take most of my pictures of Emily with our decent real camera, but here is one I took a while ago and it is now the background picture on my cell phone:
Monday, September 17, 2007
Look, we agree that severance packages can be obscene. But unfortunately, this problem is probably going to get worse. The reason: Sarbanes-Oxley has driven scores of boards into a state of frenzied micromanagement. Too many of them are now more concerned with accounting minutiae than with people development, including succession planning. What a shame. Boards have only one job more important than developing internal candidates: coaching and supporting the current CEO. Boards can't do the work of management. They can only make sure the right management is in place, now and in the future.
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
"We cannot be sure that this patient's exposure to butter flavored microwave popcorn from daily heavy preparation has caused his lung disease," cautioned Dr. Cecile Rose. "However, we have no other plausible explanation."Yet because I have longed maintained that the fake butter in microwave popcorn smells terrible and makes me sick just thinking about it, I completely believe this propaganda.
Monday, August 27, 2007
I spent the week in Austin going to school full-time. Loved it. I have three classes:
Financial accounting - I can see how incredibly useful this is, but it would be boring as a full career. I compared it to algebra. I definitely don't want a job that is all about algebra, but it sure is handy in a ton of other things I do like.
Statistics and Decision Analysis - seems like a good class. I like making charts and graphs.
Managing People and Organizations - favorite class so far, because so obviously applicable to my work life. We do a ton of interesting exercises that demonstrate what we're learning.
We also had one-shot seminars in some other things, including an intro to economics class that was supposed to give us the foundation we needed for the rest of this year, since we won't have our actual economics class until next year. I have to say the prof, Dr. Brandl, probably gave the most interesting lecture I've ever sat through. Which is really saying something when you think about how dry economics could be. Milk price controls, China, monetary policy - all fascinating. He went on for a while about some scary stuff regarding China's economic health, which prompted a student to ask how we would be affected if China had a big economic downturn. He answers something like this - "Not that much, our economy should stay fairly healthy for the next few years...if Hillary doesn't get elected. Then all bets are off." I already liked him even before that, but that pretty much cinched it.
We stayed at the Four Seasons in Austin the whole week. Very nice, but I can't see how I would ever justify paying that much (~$400/night) on my own for a room that all you really do is sleep in. The marginal benefit doesn't justify an extra marginal cost of $250+/night over Embassy Suites.
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
"How does Texas fare on the list?"
"Not good, Bob. Texas is third on the list of number of foreclosures, trailing only California and Florida."
AAUUUUGGGHHHHH! THOSE ARE THREE OF THE FOUR MOST POPULOUS STATES, SO THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT WE SHOULD EXPECT. Give me some kind of rate change or per-capita statistic. If anything Texas might be ahead of what we'd expect, since it is second most-populous but third in number of foreclosures. Ok, I just went online to find a link with the numbers that the radio folks were discussing. IT MAKES THE EXACT SAME IRRITATING KIND OF STATEMENTS. Look at the headline: Texas still struggling with foreclosure woes, study shows. But let's read what is revealed in the text.
For the first six months of 2007, the Lone Star State reported 69,471 foreclosure filings, according to Irvine, Calif.-based RealtyTrac. That amounts to an average of one filing for every 130 homes. The company will not release individual market data for another week.
There were two other states that had a higher number of foreclosure filings than Texas.
For the first six months of 2007, RealtyTrac reports that California led the nation in the number of foreclosures, with a total of 189,560 filings -- an average of one foreclosure filing for every 69 households. Florida took second place, with a total of 102,213 filings. That amounts to an average of one foreclosure for every 81 households.
The national picture isn't looking too rosy either. The latest RealtyTrac report shows that over the first six months of the year, the United States recorded a total of 925,986 foreclosure filings. That amounts to an average of one filing for every 134 households.
Hmmm, the national average is one filing for every 134 households and Texas has one for every 130 households. So as anyone with an IQ over 32 could tell, that pretty much equals AVERAGE, not OH NO THE SKY IS FALLING. I'd be a lot more worried about being in CA with 1 filing for every 69 households.
*Follow-up: For contrast: here's an article that discusses the same data in the correct manner. It calls out Florida as fifth in foreclosure rates. Nevada is actually in the worst shape based on that info, and wasn't even mentioned on the radio or in the previous article.
A routine traffic stop turned into a dangerous chase after the driver took off down residential streets and onto Central Expressway.
Authorities said after the man was arrested, he told police he was rushing his cat to a pet hospital.
The chase began in Garland and reached up to speeds as high as 90 mph. Once the man reached McKinney, he turned his vehicle back around and headed south until the chase ended in Richardson.
If 11 young men can instill national pride and a sense of unity by playing soccer, Iraqis are wondering why 275 politicians elected to steer Iraq to a brighter future cannot achieve the same result.Next this Einstein can spend time pondering why more Americans watch the Super Bowl than watch the presidential debates. Granted, I'm not saying it's a good thing long-term for our country or theirs, but perhaps sports are more fun than politics? Newsflash: most people prefer eating brownies to broccoli.
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Your Score: English Genius
You scored 100% Beginner, 100% Intermediate, 100% Advanced, and 93% Expert!
You did so extremely well, even I can't find a word to describe your excellence! You have the uncommon intelligence necessary to understand things that most people don't. You have an extensive vocabulary, and you're not afraid to use it properly! Way to go!
Thank you so much for taking my test. I hope you enjoyed it!
For the complete Answer Key, visit my blog: http://shortredhead78.blogspot.com/.
|Link: The Commonly Confused Words Test written by shortredhead78 on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the The Dating Persona Test|
I think the 93% on the Expert words means I missed just one, which from looking at the answers was probably a mistake on further/farther. I know I have trouble with that.
Saturday, July 07, 2007
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
First it wouldn't recognize my e-mail username/logon. So I figured if I reset my password it would start recognizing my username. That turned out to be true, but it sends the new password to your "secondary e-mail account", which I evidently didn't enter in when I signed up. How about sending the new password to MY FIRST E-MAIL ACCOUNT? HOW ABOUT NOT STOPPING RECOGNIZING MY USERNAME OUT OF NOWHERE? So I now I have to wait five days to be able to answer security questions to access my blog. Words fail me. There will be an angry rant on my blog in four days.Today I log on assuming I'll have to remember the answer to some questions I set up two years ago to be able to access my account. Instead, blogger logs me in without even asking for a password. I'm happy about that, but I honestly have no idea what my password should be now, since theoretically it has been reset. And what the heck happened to their server, where it stopped recognizing my user name for no reason? Who knows if I'll be able to access it tomorrow or not?
In-N-Out Burger has plans to open their first Utah location near St. George by early 2008.WHAT....UTAH?????
(looks at map, since I've never even heard of St. George)
Oh that's actually not that far from Vegas, where they already have a location. I guess they can use the same food sources/distribution network, so it makes some kind of sense.
Friday, June 01, 2007
1) I have a new cell phone
2) I turned 31.
3) My in-laws have been out to visit - twice, actually, thanks to my wife's surgery.
4) I bought an old-school manual mower, kind of like this one. I couldn't find the exact one I bought. Mine is also from Scotts, but has a different handle and a smaller cutting width, which makes for quite a workout doing the lawn.
5) I have vastly increased my network on LinkedIn. Shoot me an invite if you're on there and I'm not already linked to you.
6) I am considering building an ark, since it hasn't stopped raining here in Texas for the last two months, after raining maybe twice in the entire previous two years we were here.
7) I learned Mandarin. Ok, not really, but nothing else sounded very impressive in my list, so I thought I would make something up.
8) I went to a Rangers' game. My home team winning streak stayed alive and well in the MLB, quite a feat as the Rangers are not so good this year.
9) We bought plantation shutters for our family room. Yes, that's how boring things are. I had to mention that just to get to 9. I was hoping to come up with ten things.....
Some facts about Emily
1) She hardly ever cries. She is generally a very content little baby.
2) However, when she does cry, it's because we are trying to get her to take a nap. She HATES naps. Going to sleep at night is fine, however.
3) She can say "Dada". However, the charm of this is somewhat weakened by the fact that she says "da" and "da da da da da da" all the time and there is seemingly no connection to me whatsoever. Oh well. Soon.
4) Everyone says she looks just like me. I always say, "My genes are winning."
5) She's started eating rice cereal, so we are going down the path toward solid food. Quite a few pics of this in the May Snapfish album, so just ask me if you would like access to the mammoth number of pictures I take of her.
6) She held up very well through Mommy's recent traumatic surgery (see a later post where I give more details) and is quite content to be cared for by different people, especially if they are willing to hold her.
7) She loves her bumbo seat (which she is in in the picture above)
Thursday, April 05, 2007
Wednesday, February 28, 2007
This picture probably won't be funny to most of you, unless, like me, you work with a bunch of Linux snobs. They are probably the only thing worse than the Mac snobs. If you are unaware of the internet legend of the man on the right, see here and here for more info on Tron Guy. Also, am I the only one who finds the PC guy actually very likable in a sad way?
The sky here was BROWN on Saturday.
A couple of amusing flash games if you have a little time to kill. The irritating game - aptly named; this is very difficult to do for long. I can't remember my best time, as I haven't played it in a while, but I think it was somewhere over 30 seconds. The game whose name I don't know. Top score here is 185. I don't really play these a lot, but they are nice quick games if you just want to de-stress for about a minute.
For those of you wanting to know about my MBA situation, I am still waiting to hear back from schools. In the meantime, you can amuse yourself with this fascinating site. While this uses self-reported stats and is thus in no way a scientific sampling, it is still interesting to look at which people got accepted or rejected vs where they fell on the GMAT and GPA graph. I wish you could get this kind of data more officially. Of course that would be way too revealing, so the schools would never do it. Another interesting MBA-related link. An interesting article on b-school's potential effects on relationships.
Sunday, February 18, 2007
When we get to Costco, we decide that my wife will pick up a few items and I will keep Emily in the stroller with me while I eat a slice of pizza at the little Costco food stand, as I am getting ravenously hungry from working out earlier in the day. After I finish my pizza, Emily starts to get fussy, so I start pushing the stroller around the store. She loves being in motion of any kind, so this immediately quieted her down. However, I am now no longer in the place where my wife expects to meet up, so I figure I will just call her cell phone and we'll join up with her wherever she is. So I dial her phone, and I can hear it ringing. I think it must be coming from over by the couches, so I quickly push the stroller over there, but I don't spot her before the call goes to voice-mail. A little frustrated that I couldn't see her and that she didn't answer her phone, I dial her again. It seems I am practically right on top of where the ringing is coming from. It goes to voice-mail again! Why can't I see her? Suddenly the light dawns. Her phone is in the diaper bag, which is in the stroller, which I am pushing around...
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
The study also suggested that clothes often wear better than relationships.Let's talk about a few of the flaws underlying any conclusions that can be drawn from this statement.
The average woman between 18 and 54 years of age has hung on to her favorite article of clothing for 12 and a half years, a year longer than she's held on to her longest relationship.
1) A girl of 26 could conceivably still have clothes she bought when she was 16, since most women are done growing by then, but there is virtually no possibility she could have been in a relationship since then. They might as well have concluded that 17 year olds like their bed better than their car, since they have quite likely had the bed longer. Idiotic.
2) You can own clothes simultaneously, so you can accrue years with a favorite article of clothing while it is not actually your favorite. Example: A woman buys her favorite skirt at 20 and keeps it until age 32 when she throws it out. When she throws it away, her new favorite item is a shirt she bought when she was 23, meaning her new favorite item has been with her 9 years. Outside of Colorado City, a woman who divorces her husband will be restarting at zero, which really weighs down the averages.
There are other problems here, but I grow weary of this example. Let's move on to the cover article a couple of weeks ago in Parade magazine, entitled, "Is America still No. 1?"
We spend more money per person on health care a year ($5,700) than any country, and a greater percentage of our gross domestic product (more than 15%) goes to health care. But are we getting our money’s worth? Forty-three countries have more doctors per capita, including France, Switzerland, Mongolia and Lebanon.I hope that a reasonable person is immediately suspicious of any conclusions to be drawn from that statistic, since common sense should instantly ring alarm bells about any claim that implies Mongolia is ahead of us medically. Is having more doctors per person better? Perhaps we don't need as many doctors per person because our doctors are better trained and more efficient. Likewise, most Americans own a car, or live near public transportation, so it's not like we need to have one doctor within walking distance of every group of 100 people. At least that statistic used a per-capita comparison.
Similarly, the U. S. has a greater rate of incarceration (737 per 100,000 people—or 2.2. million) than any other nation, and we perform the fourth-highest number of executionsSo.....we're the third-largest nation in the world and we perform the fourth-highest number of executions? Hmmm. What I really hate is that that statistic is thrown out in the same sentence as the per-capita info on incarceration rates, so it's difficult to see how the "4th highest" number wasn't intentionally used to make things look bad. Hard to plead ignorant there.
Those probably aren't even the worst examples of what we regularly read or see on TV, they are just a couple I happened to have handy.
Thursday, February 01, 2007
Here is a picture of our newly-installed ceiling fan in the room I'm using as my office.
As you know from the last post, our toilet turned out to need some more work to make it stop intermittently running, so Dad and I eventually ended up replacing every part of the interior workings of the toilet. The good news is that that only cost about $20 total, and that it was easy enough that even DIY-challenged me could do it again in the future. The bad news was that the whole process included one trip to Wal-Mart and two to Home Depot, the last due to the fact that Home Depot had previously restocked the thing I bought and it had a missing part, so I had to go back and exchange. That earned an angry comment in the survey you can fill out after each visit. Dad also tackled the overhead fluorescent light in our walk-in closet, which has had one tube out and the other one working 80% of the time. He seems to have gotten us up to 100% on the working tube, but the other tube is still out. Still, we're better off than we were.
My wife also pointed out that her Dad had fixed a little problem with the crib we bought used off of Craigslist (of course that's where we got it!), and replaced a couple of doorstops for us. We had one that was not stopping the door in from our garage, so I was repeatedly slamming the knob into the wall when I would come home. Not good for the drywall. Those are fixed. We also had a fridge repairman out to work on the annoyingly loud noise that our fridge makes at random times. This is the second repairman we had out. This one did a ton of research and figured out that the problem could be with a fan connected to the ice maker. He ordered the part, and then installed it a couple of days later. That seemed to take care of the noise......at first. It reappeared in about three weeks. Very annoying!
I'm feeling pretty tired, so I'm sure this post is barely readable, but would make perfect sense to me even if I read through it 14 times. That's been my experience with tired-typing of late. I hate to think what I've been sending out in e-mails at work.
Thursday, January 25, 2007
First, our upstairs shower started not putting out hot water again, so we had to hire a plumber to come fix that for $220. After that, no more outside help.
My father-in-law re-grouted the bottom of our shower and fixed the piece of rubber under the door that had split and was hanging down. He also fixed our broken wall clock and hanged it for us. He then hanged multiple pictures that we had never gotten around to putting up. My mother-in-law helped my wife (finally) organize her side of our walk-in closet. They both did a ton of cleaning around the house, including even light fixtures. Our house has never looked better!
With the arrival of my Mom and Dad this week, it was time to tackle putting up a ceiling fan. We purchased two fans at Home Depot more than a year ago when they had a good sale and we had a 10% off coupon. A friend helped me put up one fan shortly thereafter, but the other one languished in its box until now. Dad and I put it up today, in what I must say was a herculean struggle. We got it wired and put together in what seemed like fairly quick fashion, only to find that it didn't work when we hit the switches. We tried several more iterations of switching which house wires connected to which fan wires, all to no avail. Holding a very heavy object over your head for an extended period of time while balancing on a ladder is a pretty good workout. Eventually we even took down the previously done ceiling fan to check out its wiring. It matched what we had done the first time, so why didn't that work? I had ruled out a blown fuse because my computer was in the same room and had stayed on the whole time. Nonetheless, after all the futility, I eventually ran down and checked the fusebox. Sure enough, it was blown. I guess the overhead light and an outlet in the same room are on different fuses. So, I reset the fuse, we re-wired back to the original way, and everything worked. Whew. Dad then took a look at our lawnmower that hasn't been working, but which I had not had the right tool to open. Dad had already gotten that, and quickly diagnosed what needed to be replaced. However that part requires going to Sears, which we don't have immediately nearby, so that project had to be postponed to another day. Next, we tackled a toilet that has been intermittently refilling. After a quick trip to Wal-Mart, Dad had the flapper (is that the technical term?) replaced in no time. Unfortunately, the problem hasn't been solved so we return to that project tomorrow as well. I also came home from the Wal-Mart trip with a can of WD-40 (I'm not sure what happened to the can I had), so I went around the downstairs spraying all the squeaky door hinges, which were many. It is so nice to have those quieted. Tomorrow, the upstairs' hinges!
Both sets of parents also did all of the meal preparations while they were here. We will sorely miss all their help!
Saturday, January 20, 2007
Her arrival coincided with a very busy period at work. Whereas I had been planning to take about a week off and then work some half days, I ended up only taking three days off and have been working extra hours since. I really hope things calm down soon. It has been nice having my wife's parents here to help out. They leave this Saturday and then my parents come in on Monday, so we won't have to be on our own for long!
Friend: You sound like a manager
Me: I am a manager.
Friend: Yes, but now you SOUND like one.
I don't think that's a compliment, but I think it means I should be making more money soon.
The largest representation of your personality type can be found in the these U.S. cities: Providence, Austin, Denver, Salt Lake City, Charlotte, San Antonio, Albuquerque/Santa Fe, Indianapolis, Phoenix, Portland/Salem, Nashville, Louisville and these international countries/regions Turkey, Croatia, Slovenia, Caribbean, Puerto Rico, Iceland, Norway, Ukraine, Sweden, Denmark, Spain, Netherlands, Russia, Japan, IndiaWhat Places In The World Match Your Personality?
City Reviews at CityCulture.org