Friday, February 27, 2009

I take no pleasure in this...

When I was at Citigroup (I left in 2003), we lamented the fact we could not get our stock price over $50 no matter what we did. In those days, the place was absolutely printing money, and Sandy Weill looked like the smartest man in the history of money.

Six years later, we get this (click the image if your eyes are as bad as mine)...

The Citi Never Sleeps, says the slogan. I bet they're losing some sleep these days.

How is this even possible? I am an optimist, but something like this shakes you to the core.

Funniest FailBlog post in a while

I love FailBlog. You do too. You just don't know it yet.

fail owned pwned pictures
see more pwn and owned pictures

Daily YouTube: U2

Where the Streets Have No Name. Turn it up!

You are not a "cool dad"

Dudes who want to be "pals" with their kids, this one is for you. Yes, you with the pony-tail, the earring, and the Hawaiian shirt: Your kids think you are a dork.

According to the Daily Mail, Bono's daughters are mortified by him. If Bono (Bono, for God's sake!) can't pull it off, neither can you.

Uncle Bob turns 85, throws a big ol' bash

Comrade Bob Mugabe is throwing a quarter-million-dollar party in honor of his own 85th birthday.

While his population starves, dies of cholera (over 3,000 at last count), and struggles with billion-percent inflation, Big Bob decides it's time to par-tay!

And why wouldn't he? After all, he freed Zimbabwe from the evils of minority rule, didn't he?

Forget that was 30 years ago. Forget that he started whacking his opposition and their families about 90 seconds after the transfer of power was complete. Forget that he has dismantled an agriculture system that once fed sub-Saharan Africa to the point where it's own population is dying in droves. Forget that he has presided over the decimation of what had been the best and brightest education, health care, and economic system in the region.

Forget all that heinous crap, because, you know, it's been fabricated by the Western media anyway. If Zimbabwe has any problems (not that it does, mind you), they are the results of Britain's attempts to recolonize.

Gee, I hope this doesn't sound too bitter...

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Ministry of Silly Names

The phrase "What an unfortunate name" has been a running joke around the CIT Compound for years. Now, thanks to be Beeb, we have the authoritative list of truly unfortunate names.

How would you like to go thru life with a name like Bill Board? Annette Curtain? Stan Still? Would you go to a dentist named Les Plack?

I get all giggly just thinking about it!

Long overdue Mavericks rant

I have held my ire with the little Mavericks all season. I figured they just weren't worth the effort, and I still feel that way. However, last night's 93-76 debacle in San Antonio was so bad, so disheartening, so indicative of what this team has become, that I just can't help myself.

The Spurs were without Ginobilli and, at the last minute, Duncan. So, if you're the opposition, you look at the Spurs without two of their Big Three and you ask yourself, "Who do we have to stop?"

Need a minute to answer that one? Of course you don't! And neither does Rick Carlisle or anyone in a Maverick uni. You clamp down on Tony Parker and dare the spares to beat you. Elementary, right?

Except Parker goes off for 37. He could have had 50 with no problem except he started passing before shooting and got the spares some buckets.

If you're going to make any sort of run in the West, you HAVE to POUNCE on teams like the Spurs when they are depleted. You cannot get whacked by 17.

The window is closed. Everything the organization has done since Don Nelson left is open to second-guessing. It was a heck of a run, but the errors have all come home to roost. The Mavs had the championship won in Miami, then let it slip away. The emergency alarm rang the next year, when the Mavs had a super-human regular season then got swept by Golden State - that's when major changes should have been made. Nothing was done, and the fun has been pretty much over since then.

So, now what? I don't know. The options all stink, as this team doesn't have a draft pick worth a damn for the next few years. Free agency, esp the vaunted class of 2010? I suppose something can be done there, but what big-time free agent has signed here? I mean, I thought Cuban's largess with the players was supposed to have everyone lining up to be a Maverick. Sure doesn't seem like it's worked out that way, does it?

I am disappointed, disheartened, and disillusioned. I'm a Dallas sports fan, so I'm getting used to it.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Good economic news, I think

President Obama, today, outlined his plan to deal with the mortgage mess and the housing crisis.

The good news - he thinks he's found a solution. The bad news - it involves arson.

- Jay Leno

Monday, February 23, 2009

And while we're on the subject of bits...

Nuclear-grade duct tape. Not kidding.

PS Read the product reviews. They are a double giggle.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The greatest Web site in the history of ever

If you have not checked out Pandora Radio, you need to.

A streaming music site which puts to work the findings of The Music Genome Project, Pandora takes music you like and extrapolates it into more music it thinks you'll like. Whatever taxonomy they came up with, it frickin' works. I am amazed at the songs this thing dredges up - old favorites I haven't heard in years, new stuff I haven't heard before but like immediately, and the Petey All-Time Top 100 in a commercial-free endless stream.

You can read more about the artist, album, or song; find similar artists or songs; continue to refine your "station"; create new stations; or just sit back and let the sheer awesomeness of it wash over you for hours on end.

Best part? The free app for Super-Phone, which works equally well on Wi-Fi or the cell network.

THIS is technology you can use! Check it out!

Daily YouTube: Is this a bit?

I think Joaquin Phoenix is pulling an elaborate, Sascha Baron Cohen-style prank on all of us.

Regardless, whether Phoenix is legitimately this whacked or not, last night's VERY uncomfortable interview shows David Letterman in all his late night genius.

Good, awkward fun!

Israeli elections: And you think OUR system is screwed up?

Tuesday's general election in Israel has resulted in the biggest political mess in the country's turbulent political history.

The short version is: Kadima (center) won 28 Knesset seats, Likud (right) won 27, upstart Yisrael Beiteinu (waaaayyyyyy right) won 15, and venerable old Labor (left) has 13.

A party has to have 61 seats to form its own government.

Obviously, we are in for a right-leaning coalition of some variety. Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni (Kadima) may be able to pull a workable coalition out of her hat, but the smart money says she will be stonewalled by Avigdor Lieberman (head of Yisrael Beiteinu), and it will fall to Benjamin Netanyahu of Likud to rally the righties and take over the Prime Minister's office.

This ain't good news, folks.

Netanyahu is a blowhard. He's a snakeoil salesman who will escalate the confrontation with the Palestinians, probably piss off Obama, and won't get us one step closer to a solution. He's going to be beholden to Shas, the ultra-Orthodox, ultra-right party, as well as to former protege Lieberman, who's fascisti are more secular but no less fanatical. Abbas is now a lame duck, as the Palestinian populace will likely react to Netanyahu's confrontationalism by swinging more towards Hamas. Just as Iran was able to make W. look like an idiot (not that hard to do, I'll admit), they will run circles around Netanyahu, as his ideology leaves him with few options.

Oh Ariel, how we miss you! Now the Olmert chickens have come home to roost. Even successful prosecution of the recent adventure in Gaza cannot erase the dissatisfaction of the 2006 Lebanon/Hezbollah fiasco.

All this doom and gloom is predicated on Netanyahu being able to form a government. He may not. Israeli politics are so splintered, so muddy, and so crowded with parties, it's become almost unworkable. Livni was given the opportunity to form a government back in the summer and was unable to do so. Power is so fragmented that no one is able to effectively marshal a majority. There have been five general elections in the past 10 years, and no one has the moral or political clout to move their agenda forward in any meaningful way.

What's the answer here? I mean, short of Ariel Sharon rising miraculously from his vegetative state and retaking the reins? Hell, I have no idea. The Israelis have to sort this for themselves. But sort it they must. This is no time for political chaos, and yet that's exactly what we have.


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Daily YouTube: The most out-of-control car chase ever filmed

From To Live and Die in LA, before William Petersen grew that friggin' beard. Hang on to your keisters, boys and girls!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Think before you speak...

A man staggers into an emergency room with two black eyes and a five iron wrapped tightly around his throat.

The doctor exclaims, "What happened to you?!"

"I was having a quiet round of golf with my wife," the man tells the doctor, "when she sliced her ball into a pasture of cows. We went to look for it, and I noticed one of the cows had something white in its rear end. I walked over and lifted up the tail, and sure enough, there was my wife's golf ball stuck right in the cow's butt. That's when I made my mistake."

"What did you do?" asks the doctor.

"Well, as I was standing there holding up the tail, I yelled to my wife, 'Hey, this looks like yours!'"

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Gay-Rod did 'roids with the Rangers?

I am shocked, shocked!, to hear Alex "Gay-Rod" Rodriguez apparently tested positive for steroid use back in 2003 when he was with the Rangers.

It sounds like the late 90's/early 00's Ranger clubhouse was the world's busiest pharmacy. Palmeiro, Ivan Rodriguez, Juan Gonzalez, and, of course, Canseco, and God-knows who else, were all apparently juicing like crazy, so it's not exactly the biggest surprise ever that Gay-Rod was following suit.

There's no way we're ever going to get a clear understanding of who was juicing and who wasn't in those days. It's sad to say, but every record and statistic for the ten-year period 1995-2005 needs to be questioned. And yet the American fan (and I include myself in this category) looks forward to spring training with optimism and enthusiasm.

It's enough to turn one into a cynic.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Art is where you find it

Something you don't see every day: Watermelon carvings.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Labor unrest in China

Interesting (VERY interesting) piece in the Sunday Times (the Times of London, that is) regarding labor unrest in China.

For some time, my impression of China has been that of a huge, and rapidly expanding, middle class, a country on the upswing, a super-hot economy propelled, in large part, by a ridiculously undervalued currency, and a government set to do whatever it needed to maintain a huge trade surplus.

All these things may be true. But they don’t tell the whole story.

According to the Times, the low wages you would expect in China are a LOT lower than we thought, the dreadful working conditions are a LOT more dreadful, and the “worker’s paradise” is far more oppressive and far less secure than the central government would like for you to believe. And, with the slowdown in the world economy, even these awful measures are not enough to prevent huge job losses. The Chinese equivalent of our Holiday Season is just now wrapping up, and a significant number of migrant laborers are going to return to their workplaces to find they no longer have jobs.

This is leading to a great deal of worker unrest, and a great deal of unionization activity. The Chinese central government is no fan of labor unions – it’s the Worker’s Paradise, for God’s sake, why would anyone need a labor union? – and is clamping down on this activity. Hard.

No one is saying its civil war, or that civil war is looming. And no one is saying China is on the road to ruin. It’s just interesting, to me at least, that the Chinese are not immune to this stuff anymore than the West was a hundred years ago. This may very well be the Chinese century, but they are not omnipotent either.