Friday, June 22, 2007

More problems with TV in the UK

I know I have complained a bit about TV in the UK. I promise this will be the last time. (Probably lying right there, but we can always hope) I am watching Aaron Sorkin's brilliant movie, A Few Good Men currently which is a welcome respite from the dreck they have shown the rest of the time I have been here. However, the editing is so awful it is really shocking. In the US, movies on regular TV are edited with at least a modicum of respect for pacing. They try and insert station/commercial breaks at natural pauses in the story. Here in jolly old England, they are completely clueless. They inset breaks mid conversation. Anyone who is a devotee of Aaron Sorkin knows his dialogue has a certain pace and cadence to it and to chop it up like celery is a crime. I really want to go home.

No 1 of Consequence

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Live from the United Kingdom, China's got problems

In the business I am in, I often hear people in the US raging against China. They worry that China is stealing their jobs, their money and their future. They worry about the power of the Chinese economy and how much of our foreign debt the Chinese government holds. I hear the voices of fear and in many ways those fears are founded. However China's internal struggles are enormous, and could be potentially crippling. From the oddities of having a massive migrant population to the atrocities that people seeking freedom have to endure China is poised for major change in the next quarter century and all the changes it will see won't be positive ones.

Read this article about the Great Firewall of China and you will get an understanding that the information revolution in China could be the first tumbling stone in the avalanche of actual revolution and I don't mean the perpetual revolution Mao Tze Tung was talking about when he wrote the Little Red Book.


As a general side note, TV in the UK absolutely sucks. Thanksfully I brought the first two seasons of Rescue Me on DVD with me. I watched a few episodes last night and they were as enjoyable as my brother and the annoyed guy promised.

No 1 of Consequence

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Everything that has a beginning, must have an end.

No, I am not talking about the Sopranos. I will save that discussion for another post (maybe today) when I have a few minutes to really delve into it. No this is to chronicle the demise of the regular, fairly large poker tournament that I created a few years back.

The first tournament was held at my parent's house in South Orange, NJ. It had about 50-60 people and we used awful plastic chips. My father's best friend was the champion and pocketed a couple of hundred dollars. Great fun was had by all.

A few months later my buddy and I secured a larger venue at a local synagogue and we had another tournament. It had about 70 people and was a fairly rousing success.

Eventually my work situation changed and my buddy and I were unable to run the tourneys anymore. However, one of the players picked up the mantle and continued what we had created. For the next few years she ran the tournaments and while I have been living out of the state for the last 2 years I even managed to make the last one, because I was in town visiting friends.

I found out this morning, that the last tournament, was most likely the end to that particular series of poker tourneys. It makes me sad to know something I helped create will be no more.

No 1 of Consequence

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Look out time management

One challenge I face being an abnormally inquisitive person about the world at large is that I will occasionally suffer a massive time drain to something I find compelling. This puts me behind at work and that causes me serious problems. This doesn't happen often, but it does happen. I am in terrible danger of it happening today. The guy's who wrote Freakonomics have a blog. I did not know this before today. I am in danger of losing the whole day reading it. I must be discliplined. I must be disciplined.

No 1 of Consequence

Friday, June 08, 2007


I just read this article by Joe Klein. It interestingly details how he was slightly misled by a politician only to be completely lambasted by left wing bloggers. The politician called to tell him the misleading statement was unintentional and apologized. He printed the apology and got crushed again by the writers carrying the banners of the left.

I am absolutely a left leaning guy. Some would say I lean so far left I am actually laying down. They might be right. :-) My point in this little foray back into the political is that the inability to argue points with civility is what prevents progress. If someone is hateful, spiteful and vindictive is drags down their entire cause.

I fall into it sometimes, as do most people. I freely admit that the mention of Ann Coulter causes me to lose all ability to reason. Overall though, I try and keep an open mind.

Raising the level of debate in this nation is important. We have to ask more of ourselves and our countrymen. We have to focus our eyes on what is important and definitely learn to separate the things that aren't from the national stage. Publicly eviscerating people for making minor errors doesn't help anything or anyone.


Some notes from the UK

- TV here sucks. It just out and out blows. I was stuck watching reruns of Bones last night and felt like it was almost a good show because I was that bored.

- I don't sleep well here. It is hard to be super productive when I am dog tired a lot of the time.

- My brother calls my international cell phone to talk about fantasy baseball. I love that.

- I found out that significant time in Geneva is going to be in my future. I am note sure how I feel about this. Of course it means I will probably hit platinum medallion status on Delta.

- I really like the guys I am working with here. This consulting bunch is fantastic. They are a LOT of fun to work with and while I don't enjoy being away from my family that much, it could be a whole lot worse than it is.

- The UK is so damned expensive I can't even begin to tell you. The US needs to get the dollar back under control and they need to do it very badly.

- I found yesterday I have a new boss... sort of, maybe two new bosses, it still hasn't fleshed out and I am not really thrilled about it.

- There is a 99% chance that I am going to start doing podcasts. I just need to figure out if I can record using my Skype headset and Polycom Communicator.

No 1 of Consequence