Friday, December 29, 2006

Chad Pennington / Chris Burke (Corky) separated at birth?

Bill Simmons wrote the following after watching the Christmas night Jets - Dolphins game, which, if you didn't see it, was one of the most boring NFL games on record. Two of the announcers, Tony Kornheiser & Joe Theismann spent 80% of the game bashing the Jets QB.

On an unrelated note, if there's a hell -- and I'm pretty sure there is -- part of the eternal sentence of damnation should involve an ongoing conversation between Joe Theismann and Tony Kornheiser about Chad Pennington's arm strength. Good golly. The only person who enjoyed that Christmas night broadcast was Tiki Barber's TV agent.

Here is the thing about that commentary. It was incredibly annoying. It did drain enjoyment from what was an already mediocre football game. However, it was 90% accurate. The Jets would probably be finishing the season 12-4 if they had a quarterback with a cannon for an arm. Laveranues Coles and Jerricho Cotchery have evolved into an elite receiving tandem despite Pennington, not because of him. Not to mention Pennington routinely hangs his receivers out to dry. In a four play span during Monday night's game he got two of his receivers absolutely obliterated by Dolphins defenders by throwing little floater passes instead of rocketing the ball into his receiver's arms. At one point I remarked that Pennington was going to get someone killed. About 5 seconds later the phone rang. No Wife answered it and the first words out of No Brother's mouth were, "Pennington is going to get somebody killed." She made some comment about us sharing a brain, but if you watched that game you know the New York Jets are not going to win a super bowl with Chad Pennington at the quarterback position. The main point being, he had no choice but to throw the floater passes because the words "rocket arm" and Chad Pennington are mutually exclusive.

No 1 of Consequence

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Does homeowner's insurance cover this???

When searching for a house in Georgia we had a lot of fexibility. We had a small bi-level in NJ and because we lived in a fairly deisrable neighborhood with good schools, when we sold the house we received a significant premium over what we paid for it.

This allowed us to get a house that would probably be worth close to 800K+ if we had purchased it in NJ and if it was in a more desirable locale than Sussex County where we resided (Mendham, Livingston, etc) it would be worth well over a million dollars. However, since we are living in Georgia we payed a good deal less than we sold our little house in NJ for.

One of the reasons I loved our house in NJ is because there was an actual river running through our backyard and I really enjoyed looking out the kitchen window and seeing the river or spending time on the deck and enjoying the view and the sound of the gently rushing water.

Here in Georgia, everything is broken down by subdivision and since we have children, living on a lake was pretty much out of the question. However, the house we decided on has a koi pond. We found this pretty appealing. The pond is located right outside the kitchen windows and when they are open you can hear the little waterfall that splashes into the pond. Also, when you look out the window you have a great view of the fish swimming around and I found myself routinely looking out at the fish. The first summer we were here there were frogs that had taken up residence in the pond as well and this was amazing.

There were two frogs and they would sleep in the waterfall, apparently enjoying the water rushing over them constantly. On very sunny days they would sun themselves on the rocks that the pond was built out of and routinely dive into the pond for a swim. I remember one day sitting at the kitchen window for over 30 minutes, just enjoying the little frogs playing in the water as the koi swam around them. They didn't return this summer and I really missed them.

Yesterday was Christmas here in Georgia and the weather was miserable. It was cold and dank and fairly depressing. No Dog of Consequence was kept inside as the weather was not conducive to his usual days of lazing around the backyard and sunning himself on our deck. I only bring up No Dog, because if he had been outside yesterday, the tragedy I am about to describe might never have happened.

No Family of Consequence was hanging around the living room as presents were opened and holiday merriment was enjoyed. However, No Baby, butt wiggling. as he crawled made a beeline for the kitchen. He was quickly scooped up by Mommy who let out a loud, "Oh my G-d!" followed by an equally loud, "Holy Crap!" I quickly got up from the couch to see what was happening and as I did I noticed a very large bird flying away. Apparently I missed the carnage.

It was a gigantic heron and it ate all of our koi. All of them. Gone. The waterfall continues to gently splash into the now empty pond and I feel like I was a bystander to a bad Discovery Channel documentary.

Mature koi cost between $30 and $100 apiece. So yesterday's birdy buffet cost me between $500 and $1500 worth of fish. My question remains, can I put in a homeowner's claim?

No 1 of Consequence

Thursday, December 21, 2006

John Corzine, friend of gay Americans

Today the governor of the great state of NJ signed a bill that effectively allows gays to marry. I applaud New Jersey for its progressiveness and hope the rest of the United States will get its collective head out of its ass and stop one of the last forms of legal discrimination.

Read some of my thoughts about New Jersey and Jim McGreevey's homosexuality here.

Read some of my thoughts about homosexuality in general here.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

More baseball. Yes, I know it is December

I read this very sad article about Mark McGwire last week and wanted to wrtie about it, but I have been absolutely swamped at work. The article is long, but the general gist is that Mark McGwire has faded completely out of the lives of everyone he ever knew before the steroid scandal. He doesn't see his old friends from home anymore. He doesn't talk to his former teammates, agents, or coaches anymore. He lives in a gated community and plays golf and is trying to live as quiet an existence as possible.

This is only relevant because he recently became eligible for the baseball Hall of Fame. There has been great debate lately on blogs, on the radio, on ESPN etc as to whether McGwire should be elected to The Hall, whether he will be elected to The Hall and what is going on in the minds of the voters.

Most people I know don't think about this or care about this. I am not sure I particularly care either, I just hate hypocrisy when I see it. For all the talk about cheating and degrading the great game of baseball the facts seem to support that the press and MLB management knew about the steroid problem long before the ridiculous congressional hearings. They knew about it before BALCO. They knew about it before Barry Bonds passed Babe Ruth's home run total. They knew about it before McGwire was humiliated in front of the nation. The press and management knew and collectively did nothing.


The 1994 baseball strike crippled the business of baseball. It alienated the fans and tarnished the game for a LOT of people. The 1995 season saw significantly depressed attendance. merchandise sales were way down, television and radio ratings were off and ownership was in a panic. Things started to come back in 1996 and 1997. Then we reached the golden summer of 1998 when baseball recaptured America's sporting heart. Mark McGwire & Sammy Sosa's home run title chase became the only story of that summer. McGwire's fist pumps and Sosa's heart and finger kisses were on Sportscenter every night, in every magazine, on every newspaper. As McGwire got closer to 61 home runs the brought out Roger Maris' family to celebrate in pomp and circumstance of a sport reborn.

Sure, McGwire weighed about 65 pounds more than he did when he was a rookie and looked to be bursting out of his uniform. It was true Sammy Sosa looked like he had been inflated with an air pump. Yeah, Barry Bonds looked like a human bobble head doll. Who cared? Sportwriters wrote about the glorious romance of baseball's resurgence and the ownership breathed a collective sigh of relief as fans flooded back to the stadiums and people turned on ball games in record numbers.

Any baseball writer who wrote about the glory of the summer of 1998 who deson't vote for McGwire's candidacy is a hypocrite. Any baseball owner who talks about how steroids soiled the game are also hypocrites. That Mark McGwire has been humiliated to such a degree that he can't even talk about baseball with his neighbors is an absolute shame. It is a crime against baseball and baseball fans.

In the grand scheme of things is this important? Not remotely, but the article made me sad for the big guy.

No 1 of Consequence

Strawberry, the voice of reason.

You have truly reached a bizarro reality when Darryl Strawberry is a voice of reason. Essentially the linked article talks about how Derek Jeter needs to embrace Alex Rodriguez and make him feel welcome after his rough year last year. You can make a valid argument that A-Rod is making 25 million dollars and he should stop his girly crying and play up to his abilities. However, I tend to believe that we are all human beings and even those seemingly above it all can be affected by significant negativity in their surroundings.

I also heard an insider story that A-Rod showed up at Jeter's house and basically begged forgiveness for the 2001 article in Esquire that caused friction between them to begin with and was turned away.

A-Rod was quoted as saying: "Jeter's been blessed with great talent around him. He's never had to lead. He can just go and play and have fun. And he hits second -- that's totally different than third and fourth in a lineup. You go into New York, you wanna stop Bernie [Williams] and [Paul] O'Neill. You never say, 'Don't let Derek beat you.' He's never your concern."

Competitors like Derek Jeter have egos the size of small planets. They aren't going to take something like that lightly. Especially when the guy doing the talking has never won jack squat in a team environment. Rodriguez has been a significant individual achiever in his career, but his teams have done nothing in the playoffs. Hang on, I feel myself meandering off point here.

My point is this, Strawberry is correct, Jeter needs to let it go. He needs to publicly step to the microphone and say something to the effect of, "Alex Rodridguez is one of the greatest individual performers in baseball history. He has shown himself to be a great team mate and contributor to the New York Yankees. His selflessness in switching to 3rd base when he arrived in NY is evidence of his commitment to the continuing greatness of the Yankees franchise and to our incredible fans. I am proud to call him my teammate and proud to run out on to that field next to him every day. What's past is past, the only future that matters is bringing the 2007 World Series championship to New York and paying back our loyal fans for their tremendous support."

Then, he needs to act like he meant it. No one will boo A-Rod again. A-Rod will hit about 75 home runs and drive in 150 and the Yankees will win the World Series, which is all that matters. Leadership by work ethic and example are all well and good. Sometimes you need to lead with your words. This is definitely one of those times.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Unintentional Comedic Moments in Parenting

This is a story of a boy and a mask. I have been a dad for a long time now and if there is one thing that is absolutely awesome about being a parent aside from the unconditional acceptance and love, it is the kids will absolutely make you cry laughing at least once a week.

My middle son, six year old bundle of energy that he is, received this Darth Vader voice changing mask for Chanukah. Now while my six year old is a gigantic bundle of energy you have to understand he is not the largest of lads. He isn't very tall and he is super skinny.

Why is that particularly relevant?

It isn't, but when the kid wears his Darth Vader mask he looks like Rick Moranis from Spaceballs. This, if you are unaware, is high comedy all by itself.

The mask is far too big for the little guy's head. He looks like he could fall over at any moment when he is wearing it. Also, I am 99% certain he can't see a damned thing while he has it on his head.

Saturday morning he was bopping all over the house, making Darth Vader's breathing noise into the microphone that contains the voice synthesizer. I hear him bound up the stairs, thump down the hall, thump back down the hall, and start back down the stairs. Curiously the trip down the stairs is going a lot more slowly than the trip up. All of a sudden there is a great crash at the bottom of the stairs and I hear molded plastic hit hardwood.

Then, moments later, from down the hall, Darth Vader's deep childlike voice booms out:

"I'm OK!"

I am still laughing about it.

No 1 of Consequence

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The NFL, Tivo, and me.

After absolutely taking it to Green Bay on Dec 2. The Jets reverted to their regular pathetic under achievinig form this past Sunday. However, there was one ray of sunshine about this game. It is the first time I have ever watched a sporting event that was either completely or partially recorded with Tivo. I coach youth basketball on the weekends and this week's game fell during the Jets sad performance against the bills. I set my Tivo to record the game and went about my business.

You never realize how much wasted time there is during an NFL game. The walking around, the incessant commercial breaks, the unbelievable amount of time in between plays. Tivo gets rid of all of that. I walked in the door to my house about midway through the second quarter and by halftime I caught up with the live action. It was awesome.

I have so much I want write about and NO time right now. I promise more content soon.

No 1 of Consequence

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

J - E - T - S Jets Jets Jets?

The Jets won on Sunday, absolutely blasting the Green Bay Packers on the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field. The victory brought the Jets record on the season to a surreal 7 wins and 5 losses. ESPN's headline was The Jets improbable run continues. If you are a regular reader of this blog you know that my own prediction for the Jets success this year was that there would be none. In fact, after looking at the Jets schedule I predicted the Jets would be 4-12 at best. No Brother of Consequence had them at a pathetic 6-10 and No Dad of Consequence, who doesn't use the schedule to make his predictions picked them to go his usual 2-14.

There have been a couple of moments this season that have led me to believe that these might not be the "same old Jets." The fact that the Jets did not collapse against the Packers. Despite playing an appalling 3rd quarter which saw the Packers score 10 points and appear to regain momentum while the Jets fell over themselves, the Jets regained their footing in the 4th and really focused, putting the game away.

Against the Texans, Chad Pennington took a serious hit. It appeared that he landed on his surgically repaired shoulder in such a way that NoBro called me immediately and we were both of the opinion that he was done. He has had two surgeries on that shoulder and the blow looked really bad. To our surprise Pennington picked himself up off the turf and jogged over to the sidelines. He waved his arms in the air, pumping up the crowd which was invariably thinking the same things we were.

"At least he can raise his arm," said NoBro, who promptly hung up.

Both critical incidents that in other years would have spelled doom for the Jets season.
Another bright spot has been the fact that the Jets seem to have found a good running back combo with Cedric Houston carrying the load, Leon Washington as a change of pace back and Kevin Barlow carrying the ball in short yardage situations.

Some things to be worried about if you are a Jets fan:

- 0 pass rush. You can't win playoff games if you can't pressure the quarterback. It is a major problem that a defensive back leads the team in sacks.

- Ahman Green absolutely shredded us. If the Packers had gotten a lead and could have run the ball at all we would have been dead. Every time they gave him the ball he rushed for about 15 yards. 14 carries for 102 yards. Giving up 7.25+ yards a carry is not winning football.

- Pennington missed some wide open receivers. Justin Mchowever you spell his last name beat Charles Woodson badly and Pennington under threw the ball which allowed Woodson to catch up and make a good defensive play on it. All you heard Phil Simms talking about was that Woodson's speed has come back and he was able to close on McCairens when the video clearly showed that the ball was under thrown and McCairens had to slow way down and wait for the ball.

The good news is we don't play a team with a .500 record the rest of the season although a loss to the Dolphins on Christmas night is a mortal lock and it would be just like the Jets to blow the last game of the season against the hapless Raiders to miss the playoffs.

No 1 of Consequence

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

I hate methamphetamine

It's true. I hate methamphetamine, and not for the reasons you might think. (That it is a scourge on society and is destroying families in both America's heartland and cities) Nope, I hate meth because it ruined NyQuil. NyQuil, the greatest, most effective night time cold remedy there is. NyQuil, the drug that inspired one of the funniest stand up comedy bits of my generation. NyQuil, the ONLY F-ING THINGS THAT LETS ME SLEEP WHEN I AM SICK!!!

How did meth ruin NyQuil? Good question. NyQuil used to contain a decongestant. Apparently, the decongestant is the thing that would knock you out. Now, NyQuil has removed the decongestant in order to prevent freaking meth addicts from making meth out of the decongestant in NyQuil. If they left the decongestant in, NyQuil would have to be sold from behind the counter at the pharmacy and not out in the aisle with all the other ineffective night time cold remedies. People would have to specifically ask for it. Guess what jackasses at VICKS? I would ASK FOR IT BECAUSE IT IS THE ONLY F-ING THINGS THAT LETS ME SLEEP WHEN I AM SICK!!!

Instead of sleeping last night, what did I do? I am glad you asked. After flipping channels for about an hour finding nothing remotely entertaining to watch I settled on Bloodrayne. Bloodrayne is a vampire movie based on the video game of the same name. I have never played the video game, but I was willing to give it a shot because Michael Madsen and Sir Ben Kingsley were in it. I watched the whole thing because I couldn't sleep. It may have been one of the five worst movies I have ever seen. (Congo, Sphere, The Vanishing, and Last Man Standing being the other 4) The acting was horrifying. The combat was weakly choreographed and the plot resolution made no sense whatsoever. The only good thing about the movie was almost everyone in it died. I BLAME METH!!!! IF NOT FOR METH I WOULD HAVE BEEN SLEEPING LIKE A BABY!! A baby who snores, but a baby nonetheless.

So do me a favor, today on National Methamphetamine Awareness Day, punch a meth addict in the face and thank him for ruining NyQuil the last pure good in this world.

Yes, this is what happens when I don't sleep.

No 1 of Consequence

Monday, November 27, 2006

An issue I care about

This is a picture of Myanmarian children who were rescued from a child slavery ring in Asian. The kind of life these children were headed for is unknown to me. They could have been bound for a life of slave labor or unspeakable sexual exploitation. Either way, the innocence that they were graced with at birth was stripped from them.

These kind of surrealistics horrors take place every day in every country, including this one. This article is about a murdering scumbag who ignored the cries of the 19 people stuffed in his trailer as they suffocated and died while trying to reach the U.S.
This is a link to the yearly Trafficking in Persons Report that our government is legally bound to prepare every year since the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000 was passed. It is long, it is terrible, and for some reason I feel compelled to read it every year. I am not saying you should read it, I just wanted you to know that we live in a world where Human Trafficking is so prevalent that our government, and many others are statutorily obligated to track it.
No 1 of Consequence

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Woo hoo Showtime rules!!

Blog Icon

Showtime has given me my first blog notoriety. They linked to my website because of my post about Dexter. So because they gave me some respect I will once again talk about how unique and entertaining Dexter is. I recommend everyone give it a try. Episodes one and two of Dexter can be streamed for free from the Showtime website.

No 1 of Consequence

Thursday, November 16, 2006

The week to come

I am taking off from work starting tomorrow through the Thanksgiving holiday. I plan on writing, networking, and hopefully, sleeping. Check back, because I plan to change the blog a bit, as well as add some interesting content... you know, more than flash games about beating defenseless animals.

No 1 of Consequence

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Knucklehead Time Wasting Fun

I am a pretty hard working guy, but links like this one can cause me to lose hours of productive time at the office. You click your mouse and the little penguin jumps off the tree stump, as he gets close to the sasquatch you click the mouse again and the sasquatch hits the penguin with his club.

The penguin flies through the air and lands in the snow and the website gives you a distance of your hit. I have 488.1 feet on the fly and 533.4 feet on a skidder. Fun for the whole family. How far were your hits?

For you PETA folks no actual penguins or sasquatches are harmed during this game.

No 1 of Consequence

Friday, November 10, 2006

I just had to share this one

I don't have a huge amount of time because I am about to finish up the training I came to Switzerland for, but I saw this story on Drudge and I had to share it.

I don't even know what to say about it. You have to read it to believe it. Apparently the pair to the left may need to be called back into service, except in real life and in the UK. Those wacky Brits.


One other thing that I can seriously do without about Europe. Everyone smokes. I mean... everyone. Luckily the guy who is acting as my host does not, but a lot of people in the office do and it is still legal to light up in restaurants so when we go out together I end up smelling like crap afterwards.

Overall, everyone I have come in contact with in Switzerland is incredibly gracious and very pleasant and I have learned a ton on my trip. I am taking French lessons in the U.S. and I really need to ratchet up my studies. I have felt very much like the stereotypical American and I have really tried, in my life, to not be like that when I travel overseas.

No 1 of Consequence

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Live, from Geneva, it's No1 a go go

Yes, it's me, your favorite blogger away from my beloved country in Geneva, Switzerland. This is my first trip to western Europe. I have travelled in eastern Europe and the Middle East, so I am not culturally deficient, but this has been an experience.

Some quick reasons Switzerland is cool. The people are super friendly. Even though I am right near France I am not feeling any of the French, "we hate America" attitude you hear a lot about.

Every light has a motion sensor attached to it. You walk into a hallway, a light comes on, you walk into another part of the hallway, the first light goes off and others go on. It saves a tremendous amount of electricity. Also, in your hotel room, your hotel key activates the electricity in the room. So when you leave and take your key, everything automatically turns off.

Everything is beautifully clean. The countryside in Switzerland is gorgeous and the alps... Wow. You can see Mont Blanc right from the office where I am working this week and it is truly magnificent. Unless you live in Colorado you can't imagine. Waking up to such beauty every morning is both humbling and empowering.

Pay one price salad buffets. In the US, if you go to a salad bar (Sweet Tomatoes notwithstanding) you pay by the pound. Here you pay by plate. So you can get a nice hearty salad for lunch and not pay through the nose for it. Of course it is the only thing you don't pay through the nose for.

However, not place is perfect and there are some major downsides for an extra large American like myself. Everything is tiny, from the cars to the chairs to the hotel rooms. My ass has been in pain for about 72 hours straight.

Hotel rooms are ridiculously expensive as are most meals. They wanted 50 Euro in the hotel for breakfast. I actually laughed out loud before I walked out of the hotel restaurant. My gracious host paid about 25 dollars for me to eat a small plate of dark meat chicken & mushrooms and a roll last night with a small bottle of sparkling water. A meal like that goes for about 12 bucks in the U.S.

Swiss/French TV sucks. I tried to watch How I Met Your Mother online last night and the CBS site said the programming was not available for viewing outside the US. Same for the NBC and ABC sites. Yuck.

Being out of touch sucks. I am a husband and a dad. Not coming home at the end of the day is something I can seriously do without. Not much as lonely as arriving back in a hotel room at the end of a super long day and not being able to talk to anyone or get pounced upon by the little ones. Double Yuck.

Overall the trip is going very well, but I am really looking forward to coming home.

No 1 of Consequence

Friday, November 03, 2006

Have you ever experienced, deja vu...

Have you ever experienced, deja vu...

Have you ever experienced, deja vu...

Have you ever experienced, deja vu...

Guess what, election shenanigans have started early this year. Yup, that's right, in Tennessee, some cards that can be programmed to wreak havoc on electronic voting machines have been stolen.


This story is almost equally bizarre. It appears the government of Mexico has banned itself from doing business with FedEx for three months. You have to wonder about a government that acts without explanation in a way that could affect the livelihood of 275,000 of its citizens. That is pretty messed up. I wonder why they are doing it.

No 1 of Consequence

Fishy fishy in the sea, won't you come and play with me?

A study was published that says there will be a global seafood collapse by 2048.

I think this is going to be the one that actually comes true. The global fishing economy is too huge and impacts too many people for there to be a global consensus on fish conservation.

The article says:

"Joshua Reichert, head of the private Pew Charitable Trusts' environment program, pointed out that worldwide fishing provides $80 billion in revenue and 200 million people depend on it for their livelihoods. For more than 1 billion people, many of whom are poor, fish is their main source of protein, he said."

In a six billion person world that is about 16% of the globe that depends on fish for its main source of protein.

What are the repercussions of a global seafood collapse. Mass starvation in third world coastal communities? An explosion in thirdworld brith defects and still birth as protein deficient mothers are unable to produce healthy babies? I don't know if either one of those things are true, but they easily could be.

No 1 of Global Environmental and Socio-Economic Consequence

Friday, October 20, 2006

Some new stuff that I am watching and reading and listening to

What am I watching?

I am a TV guy. I enjoy shutting my brain down for a few hours a night after long days at work where I am forced to make about ten thousand decisions. Also, work has not been nearly as much fun as it was when I started with this company so TV in the evenings is my escape. There are three new shows I have been watching this year with great enjoyment and I wanted to share them with the three people who still read this blog regularly.

The first one is Dexter on Showtime. Michael C. Hall, plays a forensic blood spatter specialist who moonlights as a serial killer. He only kills evil people, which is explained through a series of flashbacks. It is well written and unique. The uniqueness of it is what I find really compelling. An original idea is SO rare these days, so when I find one I really treasure it. I want to really give Showtime some credit. It took them awhile to get their act together, but they have stepped it up. Sleeper Cell was amazing last year and they are bringing it back. Weeds makes me laugh out loud every week. Brotherhood, which I have not seen is on my must rent list as soon as it comes out on DVD. They have really tried to pick up the gauntlet that HBO has thrown down over the last few years.

Of course, being the Aaron Sorkin devotee you all know my to be, I am watching Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip diligently. The writing is as good as ever, but I find myself not embracing Studio 60 the way I loved Sportsnight or revered The West Wing. I think a lot of it has to do with something that the Annoyed guy and I discussed awhile back. He postulated that the show, unless it was a mega hit would not be around for long because the cost to produce would be absolutely staggering. I could find no fault with this argument and I think that has been nagging in the back of my mind through each episode and knowing I could lose the show at any moments has really prevented me from loving it.

Lastly and perhaps most guiltily Heroes has made it on to the MUST SEE agenda. I grew up a comic geek and this show is literally and figuratively a comic book come to life. It isn't star studded like Studio 60 and it isn't socially important like The Wire. However, it is as well written a show as I have seen in my lifetime. It is mysterious and thoughtful. It is as unique an idea as Dexter is in its own way and I am finding it absolutely enjoyable.

That's some of what I am watching. What are you watching?


What am I reading?

I just wanted to call out a couple of new blogs I have been reading religiously and share them with you.

1. Is everybody crazy, or is it just me? A thoughtfully written toe dip into the blogosphere by No Wife of Consequence. In her first three posts she has lamented about our adopted home state of Georgia and its marked lack of Italians, called me a retard because of my lack of musical knowledge, and bashed the US government for banning online poker. Stay tuned, it is only going to get better.

2. From the neck up - Another well written jump into the e-journaling medium by the better half of the esteemed author of People Places and Things that tend to Annoy me . She is honest and smart, two of the key ingredients of a good blog. Definitely check her out.

3. Why don't we get drunk and blog? The guy is funny. There is no getting around it. He also posts often, which more than I can say for myself these days. I have made him a twice daily check in because I usually laugh each time I pop on over there.

I terms of my literary pursuits, I don't usually have a lot of time to read. However, the last business book I read, Blue Ocean Strategy is the best thing I have read in a long time. It is uniquely presented with real world examples of marketing success. I am not in the marketing field, but anyone with even a passing interest in business will appreciate it's cerebral insights and case studies.

What are you reading?


What am I listening to aside from Sirius Satellite Radio?

I am not one to write much about music, save for how little I know about it or how I don't have as much an apreciation for it as a lot of people I know. However, after reading about this Israeli rapper named Subliminal, I asked NoWife to download a bunch of his stuff onto my MP3 player. My ability to speak Hebrew has atrophied to the point where I can barely understand a word here or there, but there is no mistaking the guy is talented. I have absolutely enjoyed listening to his stuff over the last couple of weeks. Check out his website. It is hip hop mixed with this middle eastern sitar flavor and I think it is awesome. The website has two tracks embedded in it. You can get a sample, just by navigating over there. There is some bad language in English, so I wouldn't do it at work or around children.

What are you listening to?

No 1 of Consequence

Monday, October 16, 2006

Democracy - Rest in Peace

I read this article today. If you don't have time to look at it, the short version is that despite a lot of raw polling data that says the republican party is in trouble come the mid term elections in a few weeks President George Bush and his minion Karl Rove are bopping around Washington inexplicably upbeat. They don't believe they will lose the house and although statistics indicate that as many as 25 house races are in jeopardy for the GOP the evil dynamic duo are laughing it up.


Good question. The answer could very well be that the races have been pre determined with the republican candidates coming up victorious.

I am not a conspiracy theorist. There is some hinky stuff going on with our electoral system lately and NO ONE is really talking about it.

No Wife of Consequence hates when I link to things in my blog but I emplore you to read this Rolling Stone article by Robert F Kennedy Jr. Your first question should be why are articles like this in Rolling Stone and not in, you know, Time, Newsweek, USA Today... mainstream press?

Our press has failed us in very much the same way our government has failed us. The sheer vastness of the failure is what makes it so daunting. The United States of America is as much an idea as it is anything else. A government, by of and for the people that was once within our reach is now a distant memory. The idea of this country has become a distorted mess cloaked in false patriotism, religious fundementalism, greed, and outright lunacy.

Why wouldn't the press of this country seize on the massive voter irregularities in Ohio in 2004 and if nothing else drive the government to investigate itself? Wait a minute, the government did investigate itself. This 107 page report from the GAO confirms massive voter fraud in 2004. Our own government's oversight office, stepping up and saying, "Hey, umm, the guy who is in the White House, technically, not the president."

In general the people who read this site are well informed and intelligent. How come nothing happened? Our country, for lack of a better term, suffered a coup d'etat and collectively the people and press shrugged their shoulders and said, "oh well."

Where is the action? Where is the outrage? Where is the press, defender of the people? These stories are relegated to "free press" internet sites and magazines few people read. One of the fundamental organizing principals of the United States is the right to vote. That right was usurped in Florida in 2000, it was usurped in Ohio in 2004 and now, when things are looking bleak for the GOP, Pinky and the Brain are skipping around like nothing is wrong.

Are they going to screw this country again? Are they going to disenfranchise legitimate voters and fraudulently shift election results? Based on what I have read and the overwhelming evidence in support of that hypothesis I say they are.

Will anyone stand up? Will our press or any of the men and women with the power to do so that have sworn an oath to The Constitution of this nation step forward and act to protect the people. Will they protect our right to vote, our quintessential freedom? I don't think they will.

Democracy, if not dead in the United States, withers before our eyes.

No 1 of Consequence

Sunday, October 08, 2006

SuperTeam, no more

For all of my lamenting as a sad sack Jets fan, I also have the pleasure of rooting for the New York Yankees in the baseball world. My Yankees fandom started early in the 70's. For some reason my father, a lifelong National League fan, began putting the games on for me on my transistor radio. Many nights of my youth were spent listening to Phil Rizzuto give the play by play as Willie Randolph, Graig Nettles, Mickey Rivers, Reggie Jackson etc, went to the World Series in 1977 and 1978. I was imprinted with the pinstripes at that time and my love of them has never waned.

There have been some lean times. 1982 to 1993 were awful. The Yankees were a pathetic mess. 1994 was ashame because they Yankees were awesome and were on a collision course with the juggernaut Indians in the playoffs. Also, the Montreal Expos had the best record in the National League before the strike and I was very excited for their long suffering fans. 1995 marked the Yankees return to the playoffs and I was lucky enough to witness one of the greatest playoff games of all time which included Don Mattingly's only postseason homerun and a game winning home run by Jim Leyritz in the bottom of the 15th inning. The Yankees ended up losing to the Mariners because Randy Johnson was an assasin and Edgar Martinez and Ken Griffey Junior were absolutely unstoppable, but there was no denying that Yankees were back. The return to glory was imminent.

Joe Torre took over the team in 1996 and the Yankees won the World Series. A fresh faced Derek Jeter was the rookie of the year and it was like Camelot for Yankee fans. 3 more World Series championships followed in 4 years and it was an embarrassment of riches. The New York Yankees were the kings of baseball and all was right with the world as far as me and baseball were concerned.

Yesterday the New York Yankees completed yet another series in which they choked very hard against an opponent they should have dispatched. I am not going in to a deep analysis of the series, but there is no way they should have lost to that Tigers team. The Yankee pitching imploded and their vaunted bats went silent. It has happened to them far too often in recent years at critical times. We have become the Atlanta Braves of the American League and the Yankees need to be fixed.

The Yankees manager in 1995 was Buck Showalter. In 1996 Joe Torre took over and the Yankees got over the hump to win the World Series. 10 years later, with a heavy heart, I think the Yankees have no choice but to part with Joe Torre. There are rumors Lou Pinella would replace Torre and while I don't think he is a great choice, there are worse ones. His personality is almost the diametric opposite of Torre's and I think the Yankees need a kick in the ass.

I am going to try and put together a "Fixing the Yankees" series of posts, but work is as insane as ever and I don't know how much time I am going to have to write.

No 1 of Consequence

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The unbearable lightness of being a Jets fan

The Jets lost to the Colts this week in a game that could only be described as exciting. After falling behind early the Jets charged back and tied the game and then held the lead multiple times in the second half before losing in the final moments because Peyton Manning is clutch during the NFL regular season and the Jets just aren't that good.

Here is what makes being a Jets fan so difficult. At no time during the game did anyone who truly understands the Jets think they were going to win. Yet, at various points during the game, glimmers of hope arose in even the most jaded and cynical Jets fans. (Me and my brother for those keeping score at home) In the end our hearts were broken, yet again.

There was a crucial situation. The Jets had the ball near the Colts goal line. They didn't get it in and soon it is 4th and goal. Eric Mangini, the Jets young head coach decides to go for it on fourth down instead of kicking a chip shot field goal to take the lead. They failed. At the time I thought it was a bad move, but as No Brother pointed out to me that wasn't the turning point of the game. The turning point took place late in the 4th quarter when the Jets defense failed to stop Manning and the Colts offense on two consecutive drives despite yeoman performances by the Jets offense and special teams to retake the lead in critical situations.

At one point in the second half when the Jets took the lead my phone rang. (My phone rings about 20 times a game and 18 of those times NoBrotherofConsequence is on the other end of the line. The other two times are usually telemarketers who get an earful. I have even considered learning Hindi so I can annoy these people in their native language, but that is a different post for a different day) My brother starts to say that if the Jets win this game they would be 3-1 and could really be considered a playoff contender. I stop him mid sentence because it is midway through the 3rd quarter and I can't even fathom such an event and even if it were true saying it outloud isn't something you want to do. Football karma can be a difficult thing to navigate.

When the Jets special teams ran a kick back late in the 4th my phone rang again. All I could say after looking at the clock was that there was too much time left and Manning would beat us. There was and he did. It is the lot of being a Jets fan. Not only do you have very little hope of victory you can almost script your own doom before it takes place.

I remember going to see the Jets play the Patriots with my father some years ago. The Jets jumped out to a huge lead, 21-0 in the first half.

At halftime I turned to my dad and said, "Can you believe this?"

He laughed and said, "They have us right where they want us."

Of course, they did, and the Jets blew the game.

J - E - T - S


No 1 of Consequence

Friday, September 29, 2006

American Airlines is anti-gay

Just read this. It is a story about how a flight attendant on an American Airlines flight instructed a gay couple that they were not allowed to kiss or touch each other on an airplane. The couple balked at the racist treatment. The crew threatened to divert the plane if they didn't stop complaining. That they threatened to divert the plane is total crap. Talk about a massive over reaction to what is a customer service problem. Racism disguised as security consciousness. I won't be flying American Airlines anytimes soon.

Have a pluralistic day,

No 1 of Consequence

Friday, September 22, 2006

I guess Bob's wife wasn't that happy.

I just read this story about the CEO of the company that makes Enzyte being indicted for fraud. here is a blurb from the article if you dont have time to read the whole thing.

A federal indictment names Berkeley Premium Nutraceuticals, its owner and president, Steven Warshak, and five other individuals, including Warshak's mother, on charges that include conspiracy, money laundering, and mail, wire and bank fraud.

Is anyone surprised? Look, I understand that the public at large is gullible and what guy doesn't want a bigger schvantz, but come on. A pill that you can buy by calling an 800 number and giving your credit card is not going to make you a better lover. As a matter of fact if you were a good lover the size of your penis would not be especially important.

We men are pathetic creatures, truly.

No 1 of Consequence

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

As a Jew, I would like to thank Pope Benedict

If you haven't seen this nonsense, recently the Pope, when quoting a 14th century text, offended the world's Islamic population.

Here is an excerpt from the article:

The Pope enraged Muslims in a speech a week ago in Germany quoting 14th century Byzantine Emperor Manuel II Palaeologus, who said everything the Prophet Mohammad brought was evil "such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached".

Whoa doggy, talk about grabbing the tiger by the tail.

Why am I thanking the Pope today, you ask?

A reasonable question. I am thanking the Pope because he made history. For the first time in a LONG time Muslims may actually hate Catholics more than they hate Jews.

Have a pluralistic day.

No 1 of Consequence

Friday, September 15, 2006

Jeter for MVP

I recently had this discussion and thought I would migrate it here to the blog because I have zero time to write at the moment and I didn't want the blog to die. For you Yankee haters out there, this ones for you.

Should Jeter win the MVP, I don't know. I think there is a strong argument that there is an east coast bias in the voting and that is why he will probably win. If the Red Sox hadn't complete imploded as the Yankees ass raped them for 5 consecutive games the argument would be moot because the loveable David Ortiz would win hands down.
I will make a couple of arguments on Jeter's behalf because hey, he's da captain and all, plus I have had him on my fantasy baseball keeper league team for ten years.

First thing, he hits in the two slot, while Morneau and Dye (other legitimate candidates for the MVP) hit in RBI slots and Jeter is probably going to drive in over 100 runs. The last player to drive in 100 runs from the 2 slot is Derek Jeter, but the last guy to do it before that was Mike Devereaux in 1992. I think that should get him some bonus points.

2nd, in an era of musclebound guys jack the ball over the wall he consistently hits for a high average and is incredibly productive. If you look at the runs created stat which is (runs+rbi)- home runs you find that Derek Jeter is actually a more productive player than both Morneau and Dye. Morneau has 175 runs created, Dye has 167, and Jeter leads them both with 183.
Jeter is batting .396 with runners in scoring position. Morneau is hitting .333 w/risp. Dye is hitting .356.

Jeter leads in almost every key production staistic. Then you get to the intangibles. They are truly hard to quantify but I will give you an anecdotal example of leadership on the field.

A couple of weeks ago the Yankees were playing a double header against the Tigers and were down by two runs late. They scratched out a couple of hits and with one out they had runners on second and third and Jeter came up to the plate. He scorched the first pitch down the line and drove in both runs to tie the game. Jeter ended up on second.

A-Rod came up and this was right in the middle of him forgetting he was A-Rod and having a period of time where he thought he was Alex Karras. Every time he came up to the plate he would be looking for Webster and totally forgot how to hit for about 6 weeks.

Jeter stole third on the first pitch of A-Rod's at bat, giving his struggling lover & team mate the opportunity to drive in the go ahead run while still being completely incompetent at the plate. Pudge Rodriguez was the catcher at the time, only the most dangerous defensive catcher in my lifetime. (By the way, Jeter has 30+ stolen bases and neither Morneau or Dye are a factor on the basepaths) The inevitable dribbler to short followed the stolen base and Jeter scored on the out.

I can't define intangibles or leadership if you ask me to, but I know them when I see them. I am not saying Morneau and Dye don't have those same qualities, but I am saying that Jeter deserves to be in the discussion whether he wins the MVP or not.

No 1 of Consequence

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Where have I been? Working my ass off motherf*****!

I have really wanted to post, but I have just been completely slammed at work. We are very close to a record month and it is incredibly busy. I was recently describing the upcoming situation to my staff and I said something to the effect of, "I am looking at the calendar here... and umm, yeah it is going to get busy next week and not slow down until June of 2007."

I absolutely have no time at all to post but then I saw this article. It is from the Shreveport Times. Apparently some black students were told to move to the back of their bus so some white students could sit up front. I read this. After I threw up I thought about it for a long time.

Racism is right there folks, bubbling under the surface in a lot of different places. Anti-Semitic, anti-black, anti-immigrant hatred is boiling again in a lot of different places. Pat Buchanan has the top selling book on Suddenly my gut is roiling again.

Real problems are not solved with reactionary responses and protectionist views. Our social problems and our economic problems will never get better unless we begin to look at them in a different way. One that isn't colored by hatred, ignorance, and petulance. We need a new social theory that is unifying, freeing, and collective.

I am going to paraphrase this quote because I can't seem to find it but Buckminster Fuller basically said this, "We are not going to be able to operate our Spaceship Earth much longer if we don't start to look at ourselves as one planet of people and our destiny as collective." Our ideology and strategy needs to be inclusive. It needs to be compassionate and it needs to start now.

No 1 of Consequence

Friday, August 11, 2006

Oh Canada

Victory.... ouch

Yesterday my company received the largest single project it has ever had to process. It is really more than we can handle, but my people are putting in a major effort to get it done. I am trying to help but upon my return from lunch yesterday I was afflicted with some of the worst lower back pain I have ever felt.

It has pretty much crippled me. Walking to the bathroom is an exercise in torture. I really need to spend a couple of days on my back resting, but I am so busy right now I can barely take a breath. I guess this is a good thing because breathing hurts.


No 1 of Consequence

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Guess what, the Jets suck

You have to read this article by Dave Hutchinson of the Newark Star Ledger. My best man sent it to me a couple of nights ago and I wrote a really long post about it which blogger promptly ate. Essentially the article talks about how Curtis Martin told the Jets they needed to look at drafting a running back because his knee was a mess and he didn't know if he was going to be able to play this season.

As my loyal readers know, back in May I absolutely lambasted the Jets for not drafting LenDale White with their second round pick. If you read the Hutchinson article three things will become very clear. First, Curtis Martin is a gentleman, the likes of which we don't see often enough in this world. Second, the Jets are searching for a trade opportunity that would land them a starting running back for the coming season. The price of this running back will be a second round draft pick most likely. The same scond round draft pick they could have used to draft LenDale White. One of the opportunities they are considering is Chris Brown who is no longer Tennessee's starting running back. The reason he is no longer Tennessee's starting running back is because LENDALE MOTHER F***ING WHITE is Tennessee's starting running back.

The last thing that is eminently clear from this article is that I wasted 200+ dollars on the NFL Sunday ticket, yet again.

No 1 of Consequence

Monday, August 07, 2006

So busy... and then, not so busy

Work has been kicking my ass the last couple of weeks as we are ramping up for the fall and what will basically be the coming out party of my company on the national stage. My job is as exciting as ever and even though it has been frustrating for me the last couple of months I can still say with much delight that I have never awakened since taking this job with the thought that I didn't want to go to work. In this day in age, that is saying something. So, of course, when I came in this morning everything was so crashed I am going to have about 3 hours to kill. Maybe I should go to the DMV and get my license changed over from NJ to Georgia. I mean, it has only been a year.

No 1 of Consequence

Thursday, July 27, 2006

New Link

If you look to the right, you will see I have a new link to a blog called, Someday we'll look back on this and it will all seem funny. It is just that, very funny and an absolutely enjoyable read. I totally recommend it.

Also, NoBrotherofConsequence, who is an extremely funny guy on his own, has been bandying about the idea of starting his own blog. I hope he does. He is a character and a half.

No 1 of Consequence

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

The Death of an American Hero

I have been super busy with work and haven't had the time to write, but Carl Brashear died and he is someone worthy of our respect. He was the first black U.S. Navy diver. He was a ground breaker. He had a will and drive to succeed that most men can not comprehend.

The guy was so cool they made a movie of his life, which is why you see Cuba Gooding pictured with him. Read his Wikipedia entry here.

No 1 of Consequence

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Chess, not checkers...

I absolutely do not have time to get involved in breaking down the terrorist/Israeli crisis that is currently taking place in northern Israel and Lebanon. However, I read something online today that caused me to respond with a comment, which I rarely do anymore. Then the author took the time to respond to me... and rather than keep the discussion going there, I am bringing the whole thing here and stealing it for a blog post. I posted the flag because I don't want there to be any mistake who I support. Feel free to check in on some of my past Arab/Israeli conflict writings here.

Here is what I read. Take some time to read it if you can. It is thoughtful and well written from an informed and educated person about the conflict.

This is what I wrote in response:

While your post is strongly written and certainly somewhat analagous to the situation, I think you are talking about checkers in a chess game.

You are clearly a well informed and insightful person, but take a gander at the whole board.

Isn't it convenient this whole thing started relative moments before the G8 summit? I think it is.

What has overtaken the entire G8 agenda? Israel-Hizbollah

What has been pushed to the backburner for the G8? Iran's impending nuclear capability and proliferation in the region.

What happens if Iran reaches nuclear capability?

Gd only knows, but you are 100% correct that if unconventional weapons are employed, Israel will have no choice but to respond with retaliatory strikes. Damascus and Tehran will in all likelihood be scorched with nuclear fire.

The Hizbollah are nothing but pawns of an Iranian insanity that could kill millions.
If that maniac gains the capability, I believe he will launch. Right now, he is just sacrificing pawns to Israel to buy himself enough time to make a run at check mate.
Maybe I am wrong, but the whole world seems to be falling for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's gambit of "hey look over there."

The author of the blog, responded:

No1ofconsequence... You may be right. What the heck, you are probably right. But that doesn't negate the fact that Israel has to respond to the source of the attacks. If We were to attack Syria or Iran right now and ignore Hezbollah, the world would (justifiably) condemn us for an unprovoked attack. Yes, this is likely a proxy war... but just because the G8 are preoccupied don't think for a minute that Israel has taken its eye of Syria or Iran.

Here is the problem with that response. Of course Israel has not taken its eye off of Syria and Iran. I am sure Israel is poised to deal brutal and crippling blows to Syria right now should they even blink in Israel's direction, however, Israel does not have ability to bring Iran's nuclear program to a halt. Only the G8 and the UN can do that.

Of course the questions remain, what should Israel do, or what should they have done? There is no easy answer. Israelis are prepared for dead soldiers. They are hardened by years of conflict. Israelis are not prepared for missing or kidnapped soldiers. The unresolved nature of a kidnapping gnaws at the collective soul of a people that have been fighting for survival since the 40's. They had no choice but to respond with overwhelming force, because not to, would have most likely brought down the Olmert government.

However, I believe that to continue to meet each poke with a sledgehammer blow is not prudent to the long term security of Israel when faced with the possibility of a nuclear Iran within 2 years. Doing everything possible to make sure the G8 doesn't lose focus on Iran is the key. Hizbollah could have kidnapped those soldiers at any time. Why do it on the eve of the G8?

To disconnect from the emotion of the loss of these brave young men is difficult, unbearable. However, wouldn't the chess move, the strategically victorious move be not to act. To say Kaddish (the prayer for the dead) for their souls and cry out to the UN, the G8 and anyone else who would listen and say, "We sacrifice for peace and choose restraint. We leave it up to the world community to disarm Iran and choke off their support of terror. Iran and Syria support Hizbollah. Iran and Syria acted against our sovreignty. Iran is building nuclear weapons as we speak. You must act against Iran, you must act against the threat of nuclear terror, because if you don't, we will. We don't have that many young men to sacrifice for the greater good. This act of restraint will be the last act of restraint."

How could the G8, which already had nuclear proliferation in western Asia and IRAN on the top of their agenda, fail to act in the face of Israel's sacrifice? Iran's misdirection play may have failed.

Maybe I am wrong. Maybe it wouldn't have worked and those brave boys would have been lost in vain. However, if I am right, I think there could have been major movement from the world community. Chess requires seeing the whole board and thinking 12 moves ahead. If Iran puts a nuclear warhead on a Shahab 3 missle Israel will only have one move and Gd help us all if they are forced to make it.


Monday, July 17, 2006

Happy National Ice Cream Month

In 1984, because he really had nothing better to do, Ronald Reagan declared July National Ice Cream Month. Yesterday, the third Sunday in July was declared National Ice Cream Day. In commemoration I enjoyed a scoop of chocolate oreo from my local Brusters.

Yes, while Reagan was dottering through his presidencies, selling guns to Saddam Hussein and arming the Taliban as well as fostering the cocaine economy in all of South America he took time out and said hey, "We need to recognize the creamy goodness that is ice cream."

Enjoy National Ice Cream Month... go out and support you local ice creamery today!!


No 1 of Consequence

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

The World Cup is annoying

I will admit to you, I watched the World Cup after the Ivory Coast was eliminated, but not until the semi finals. I enjoyed the games. I have come to appreciate the strategic nature of soccer and have always known that these guys are amazing athletes. Their conditioning is really unmatched. The NBA athlete is the only thing that comes close and even then basketball games are half as long.

I am not a fan of France under any circumstances, but I even found myself rooting for them against the Italian team. I found the Ribery/Zidan relationship touching, Ribery having idolized Zidan as a youth and then being able to play with him in his final World Cup.

Also, I am a fan of Thierry Henry, actually knowing who he was before the World Cup. He and many of the ethnic minority players that play in Europe are forced to deal with indescribable prejudice and horrifying treatment from the Neo-Nazi fan groups that permeate the circuit.

So all those little human interest stories actually had me rooting for France. What happens? Not only do they not convert in overtime after totally outplaying a tired Italian squad, Zidan turns out to be a jackass and Ribery and Henry are subbed out right before the penalty kick phase.

Zidan's headbutt has to be one of the worst things I have ever witnessed in sport. Blunt trauma to the sternum can result in a loss of heart function. What that means? Hitting an already exhausted guy in the chest like that is basically attempted murder.

The French lose on penalty kicks. Not because the Italian goalie made some spectacular save or anything, but because one of the French guys hit the crossbar. What an anti-climactic finish.

I said finishing the World Cup on penalty kicks was like the NBA finals being decided on a free throw shooting contest.

Annoyed said it was like deciding the Super Bowl on a football tire throwing contest.

Jon Stewart said it was like deciding the NBA finals on a game of horse. (Editor's Note: Sorry, it was Stephen Colbert who made the horse comment)

Include your own "deciding the world cup on penalty kicks is like," analogy in the comments. I will publish any and all of them later in the week and include a link to your website if you like.

No 1 of Consequence

Because if you can't make fun of C list celebrity suicide...

One of the actors from As the World Turns committed suicide. I don't watch As the World Turns and have never heard of this particular guy, but I have to relate a conversation that surrounded his untimely demise.

Me: Hey, did you see this actor from As the World Turns shot himself?

No Brother of Consequence (without missing a beat): He'll be back

That, my fine friends, is comedic timing.

No 1 of Consequence

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

NASA loves me too.

Back in space, as it should be.

Anyone who knows me, knows I love NASA. They are a bureaucratic mess, I know this, but they are incredibly important to our world standing and they are part of the vision for the future that we need for this country.

I watched NASA TV today as the Discovery went through its final paces before liftoff. I don't care if you are a fan of space travel or not, but listening to the mission control people go through all the departments and get a go or no go for launch you can't help but get excited. I found myself sitting forward on my couch watching the tail assembly of the shuttle as the steam and exhaust began to increase. My heartbeat quickened as I heard "we have main engine start" and the flames blasted out of boosters and main engines of the shuttle. I cheered as "we have liftoff" came into my living room and I held my breath because it is the first 10 minutes or so when everything can go wrong. The NASA pilot Mark Kelly (from West Orange, NJ, right next to my hometown) completed the roll maneuver that is required for the shuttle to reach orbit. I was yelling "Go baby go! GET UP THERE!" to the TV. Up there they went, into the wild blue yonder, returning the US to space on Independence Day. Very fitting.

Next stop Mars! For thos of you who say we shouldn't go there, I give you the words of the great Aaron Sorkin, through Sam Seaborn.

Sam Seaborn: There are lots of hungry people in the world, Mall, and none of them are hungry because we went to the moon. None of them are colder and certainly none of them are dumber because we went to the moon.
Mallory O'Brian: And we went to the moon. Do we really have to go to Mars?
Sam Seaborn: Yes.
Mallory O'Brian: Why?
Sam Seaborn: Because it's next. Because we came out of the cave, and we looked over the hill and we saw fire; and we crossed the ocean and we pioneered the west, and we took to the sky. The history of man is on a timeline of explorations and this is What's next.

Have a great day!!

No 1 of Consequence

Happy Birthday USA

Many of you have never read the Declaration of Independence. I thought you might enjoy it.

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

One blade, two blades, a red blade a blue blade

And now, something completely pointless

I hate shaving. I really hate it. It is one of the truly sucky things about being a guy. I don't want to hear a bunch of whining about how women have to go through incredible bouts of torture with tweezers and wax and the like to look pretty for us evil men, I concede the point. I am just saying, shaving sucks.

For years I suffered the indignity of dragging a blade across my face or suffering massive razor burn from a variety of different electric shaving products. At one point, my face would routinely be so irritated from shaving I would run ice over it to reduce the pain and swelling.

Also, the tools for shaving they had out there were terrible. I am very fair skinned, so I don't have to shave incredibly often, but when I do, I want the blade to work. I found the dual blade razors that were all the rage when I began shaving sucked, because the hair from my beard would get caught between the blades and if you didn't have a power washer in your bathroom it very difficult to clear the blades for the next pass of the razor. This annoyed me beyond belief. Then Gillette came out with the Mach3. I was still sore as anything when I was done shaving, but at least the blades were spaced out nicely so I could rinse the razor in between passes without having to get the damned garden hose.

Of course, after the Mach3 they came out with a 4 blade razor and then a 5 and now they even have a six with 5 on the front and one on the back for "trimming." These inferior products to the Mach3 have the same problem as the 2 blade razor, the blades are too close together and rinsing them take water pressure similar to that generated by the Grand Coulee Dam.

I have found a solution to the whole irritated face situation as well. I shave in the shower. All the steam and hot water opens up the pores on my face VERY nicely and when I am done shaving my face is soft and smooth.

What grooming rituals do you hate?

No 1 of Consequence

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Southern fried physician, stop cooking your customer base

One interesting phenomenon I have noticed about my new state is that there is a significant lack of urgency from people, who quite frankly, need to get their collective acts together. I am talking about the rarified medical profession. As someone who visits doctors on a fairly regular basis I am acutely tuned in to the office experience and how badly it seems to suck here in the heartland. I categorize this as a wholly southern problem because I rarely experienced this sort of crap in the great state of New Jersey, whereas the simplest appointment here in GA can take two hours or more.

Recently I arrived at my doctor's office for a 9:30 AM appointment that should have taken about 15-30 minutes to complete. I fully expected to be out of his office by 10 and in mine by 10:30. I reached my office just in time for lunch.

After having suffered through this same scenario at a number of different doctor's offices here in Dixie I have decided to open my own medical practice. True, I never went to medical school, but I figure I can hire doctors to work for me. All I would need to do is make sure there was adequate staffing and that things ran on time. This seems so simple it is almost laughable, but the inefficiencies I routinely witness here absolutely kill the customer experience.

What happens if you have a bad experience with your doctor? Invariably you will change doctors and a practice that could grow and flourish with great customer service stagnates and dwindles because people don't like to be kept waiting and/or treated like they don't matter.

My current GP is a super nice guy. I really like him as a person, but his staff and the inefficiency of his office are causing me and No Wife to really evaluate if we want to be his patients any more. When expressing this to some of our neighbors, we were informed that many of them had similarly poor customer experiences and had since moved on from this particular physician despite his personally likable nature.

Understanding the customer experience and making it something special is the only way to grow a business, any business. Not paying attention to it and making it hard for people to do business with you is the dumbest thing any business can do.

Any docs in the area of Atlanta that would like me to consult on their customer experience and show you ways to improve it and grow your practices should contact me at

No 1 of Consequence

MySpace, your space, your stuff please.

I love this story about two teenaged girls who set up some older guy to get robbed. It is a pleasant turnaround to all the teenagers who have been killed. MySpace is a social networking phenomenon and turned out to be a huge cash cow for the person who invented and now Rupert Murdoch and his band of reknown, but you can't argue with the severe drawbacks to a site like this. Check this site out to see what some of those drawbacks are. It chronicles the "Dead Kids of MySpace."

If you have kids, pay attention to what they are up to, please.

No 1 of Consequence

Saturday, June 24, 2006

The king of TV is dead.

Aaron Spelling has passed away. Read this article if you are interested in a synopsis of his many accomplishments and successes, building a television empire and becoming one of the richest men in America from scratch through hard work and creativity. The man contributed to society entertaining literally billions of people around the globe.

When I was in college Beverly Hills 90210 and later Melrose Place became event television. The campus was a ghost town for two hours every Wednesday night and 15,000+ televisions were tuned in to these shows in a 10 square block area in Philadelphia.

He produced over 200+ movies and shows for various networks & studios employing thousands of people and creating billions in revenue.

May he rest in peace.

No 1 of Consequence

Friday, June 23, 2006

Begrudging credit where it currently appears to be due.

Anyone who reads this space knows I am no fan of the current President of the United States and could never, under any circumstances, be considered a republican. However as an American I have an understanding of the organizing priciples of this country, one of which is land ownership. To that end, the latest trend of abuse of "eminent domain" has been especially apalling to me. The condemnation of land for uses other than the public good (public transportation, power generation, parks etc) is a sick abuse of power by corporate demagogues who have no interest in helping the public and significant interest in exploiting the public.

Today, President Bush issued an executive order that would effectively prohibiting the use of eminent domain for uses other than those described above. It is strongly worded and unabiguous as I understand it. As I describe myself as an open minded individual I must give credit to this administration for taking steps to protect the public.

Well done.

(I reserve the right to shift position on this if I find out it was total crap and there are secret loopholes that continue to let the American people get screwed)

***UPDATE*** Once again it is important to have readers who are smarter than you are. What No Best Man of Consequence pointed out in his comment is that this executive order does nothing to stop the proliferation of state and local governments stealing land from the general population. I hereby exercise my reserved right to shift my position and say this executive order, as well as this post, were nothing but a complete waste of time and energy. Apologies.

No 1 of Consequence