Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Interesting interview

You may or may not recall that awhile back a student at the University of Florida was hit with a taser and arrested after asking Senator John Kerry some hard questions during an open mic. Andrew Meyer has dropped of the radar since then, but he gave an interview to The Today Show website and will be appearing on the show Thursday morning. The interview is very interesting and despite his youth he seems fairly grounded. It is an interesting read.

No 1 of Consequence

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Jack Sparrow? Not so much

Being in the international trade game, I tend to look at international stories and politics in a different light than most people. Political unrest and conflict in various areas around the globe cause something called supply risk. I saw a story this morning about pirates off the coast of Somalia seizing a North Korean cargo vessel.

At first blush you can smile and laugh and think to yourself that anything the kicks Kim Jong Il in the teeth a little bit is good for the rest of the world. However if we take a moment and think what might be in that cargo ship and what could be falling into the hands of Islamic fundamentalist pirates we may begin to worry.

Piracy in the waters off Somalia and traveling through the waterways that surround the islands of Indonesia is rampant. Ships and good are routinely seized and held for ransom. My question is, what happens if the wrong ship falls into those hands? Not a pleasant thought.

****UPDATE: The North Korean crew retook their boat when the U.S. Navy showed up.

No 1 of Consequence

Sunday, October 28, 2007

41 years

My parents have been married for 41 years. In years 40 and 41 their jackass of a son (that would be me) has been too wrapped up in the insanity of his own life to remember their anniversary. So, to honor their commitment, I am mentioning the anniversary on my blog.

41 years is a LONG time. 14,965 days. 359,160 hours. 21,549,600 minutes. 1,292,976,000 seconds.

Their marriage, like any marriage, has had its ups and down, but despite any troubles they have remained steadfast.

41 years is a testament to love and commitment. It is also a testament to endurance. In an age where marriage and divorce happen on demand and vows are taken with a very large grain of salt. It is nice to slow down for a moment and look to a marriage that has stood the test of time.

I'm very proud of my parents for being able to achieve such a milestone. I look forward to actually remembering to honor their love and commitment to each other next year.

Mazel Tov guys! I love you.

No 1 of Consequence

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Pragmatic Environmentalism: Part II

I just saw this great article on CNN and was very pleased to see that my family already does a lot of the things on this list. I will be putting out a battery recycling bucket this weekend because as anyone with children knows, the kiddies go through batteries like water. Here is another phenomenal way to save money on batteries.

****UPDATE - Reason #468 why it is important to have readers smarter than you. The battery thing was bogus.

No 1 of Consequence

Monday, October 22, 2007

You know you've been a parent a long time when...

Your baby pukes in the night and you have his clothes changed and him back to sleep in less than three minutes.

*In the interest of full disclosure this was minor pukage and not full on projectile vomiting over sheets and blankets. Had that taken place the pit stop would have taken 6-8 minutes depending on whether there was mattress involvement. Damned post nasal drip and the latest revelations that decongestants and babies don't mix.

***UPDATE: Second puking episode, this time requiring a tub dunk executed to perfection by mommy, jammie change, sheet changes and some snuggling. I was back in front of the computer in 12 minutes after putting in a stinky load of laundry. BOO YA!

***** UPDATE 2: 4 puking episodes, multiple jammie and bedding changes, and although it was relatively short during each one I didn't end up getting to bed until 2:30. I am retracting my earlier BOO YA!

No 1 of Consequence

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

A little moralized... hmm

I know, I know, moralized isn't really a word, give me a grammatical break. I am usually very good to you people. :-)

As I have mentioned in the past, I lived in Israel. Well today I created a social network on Ning for all the alumni of the Otzma fellowship. It was kind of tedious inviting all 240+ members that I have e-mail addresses for, but I think it will end up being worth it.

No 1 of Consequence

Monday, October 15, 2007

A little demoralized

In the first incarnation of this blog I used to get the occasional drive by comment. Someone who happened by and graced me with some words of their wisdom. I even used to have a contentious republican who would rant and call me a liberal nut. He would still read me ever day even though he hated me. I also had a regular Canadian reader named Grace who would happen by from time to time and give me some comment love. Now... I get nothing. It is kind of disappointing and makes me think my blog sucks. What a way to end an otherwise crappy Monday.

No 1 of Consequence

And now for something completely different

The Freakonomics guys wrote about something recently that intrigued me. While I am not an anarchist or anti capitalist at all I find something very intriguing about anyone who is trying to do it (life) differently. Because I appreciate different points of view I have created a new link list and added a link to Liz Seymour - Anarchist Mom. Her point of view is so reasoned it makes dumpster diving seem almost palatable. I am planning on making her blog a regular read, because I like alternative points of view.

Here are a couple of other alternative point of view sites for a different way of looking at finance.

Prosper is a community based lending site

Kiva is a community lending non profit for micro finance in the third world.

Both sites are very cool and are helping people.

No 1 of Consequence

Friday, October 12, 2007

Twitter 2

I wasn't sure about the whole Twitter thing at first. I am not usually an early adopter of technology, so it was kind of strange for me to be using something that is basically cutting edge. However, someone saw yesterday's Twitter message and hit me on the IM to express concern about my general well being. (I'm fine by the way) Why is the IM follow up relevant? It immediately demnonstrates the possibilities.

Imagine you are waiting for some very important news and by proxy your entire support structure both on and offline are waiting. The news arrives, positive or negative, and you tweet it out to everyone who follows you. (presumably the aforementioned human support structure) All around the world, people's mobile phones, e-mails, and or personal Twitter feeds go off letting them know that everything is ok... or not. It is a powerful communication tool that is just scratching the surface of its capabilities.

No 1 of Consequence

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Pragmatic environmentalism

I don't drive a hybrid, but I am interested in the environment. Lately my attention has turned to solar power and its potential for reducing the carbon footprint (excuse my use of trendy lexicon) of the U.S. and the world in general. This is a VERY interesting story about solar power and a new technology that makes solar cells signifcantly more effective. It isn't technical at all and is quite compelling. I recommend it.

No 1 of Consequence

Tuesday, October 09, 2007


If you look to your right you will see I have added a Twitter widget to my blog. It is a neat little thing that allows me to pop in short updates anytime I feel like throwing a sentence or two on the blog. Also, if any of my loyal few subscribe to Twitter you can "track" me. You can get an update anytime I tweet. If you really want to stalk me you can register your cell phone with Twitter and receive a text message anytime I tweet. Kind of an odd phenomenon indeed, but kind of cool as well.

No 1 of Consequence

Sunday, October 07, 2007

J - E - T - S Just End the Season

Bill Simmons of ESPN recently wrote a column about the different levels of losing in sports. It is an intricately detailed sonnet about futility. He gives personal anectdotes of how each different kind of loss affected him. It is amusing, it is tragic, and after pondering my life as a Jets fan, it is woefully incomplete.

Level F for Futility - When you know before the season ever starts that your team has absolutely zero chance of doing anything worth cheering for because they can't stop the run, can't run the ball, and their QB is so incompetent every fan KNOWS that at a crucial moment he will kill your team's chances with a life sucking interception.

Example: The 2007 New York Jets.

I spent a lot of time on the phone with Annoyed today. We are both Jets and Yankee fans which if is kind of an anomaly if you are from the NYC area. Most Giants fans are Yankee fans and the Jets and the Mets fans seem to match up despite the oddly annoying rhyme scheme that creates. (For an odd twist the Nets are moving right into the hotbed of Jets, Mets fandom in Brooklyn with the hopes of creating an annoying fandom rhyme scheme trifecta.)

After the Jets flukishly jumped out to a small lead Annoyed and I sat on the phone with each other shamelessly predicting when the downfall would occur. Chad Pennington obliged as he always does. One interception demonstrated Pennington's incompetence to such a glaring degree that Randy Cross, who was announcing the game, called it, "truly terrible." When the Jets got the ball back for a final chance to tie the game, Chad predictably threw a soul sucking interception.

To be fair, this particular incarnation of Jets incompetence was not limited to the offensive side of the ball. The defense was equally offensive. The defense's inability to stop the run or tackle was just as incompetent as the offense's inability to run the ball or convert a crucial 3rd down play.

In other news the Dolphins lost again and currently leading the charge for the #1 overall pick in the 2008 draft.

The Patriots may go undefeated.

Joe Torre staved off firing for a day because the Yankees managed to win a game against Cleveland.

No 1 of Consequence

Friday, October 05, 2007

Debbie Cole rocks!!

When I am feeling especially cynical about the world stories like this make me feel better.

A garbage collector in Florida found a bag of money and returned it to the owner. The bag contained $65,000. A huge amount of money? Not especially. However, for a garbage collector in Florida it is life changing. It would have been two years salary according to the news story. Debbie is a public employee so she can't be rewarded by her boss, but if Loomis security (the people who were responsible for the money being on the side of the road) is smart they will give her a nice reward. I am seriously thinking about sending her a gift card to a chain restaurant and writing her a note about how much I appreciate her showing responsibility and honesty where most others would not have.

No 1 of Consequence

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Some thoughts on a Tuesday afternoon...

I just wanted to point out in the new layout there is a second set of links. The business links are business blogs that I read every day written by very smart people. What you have to take into account when you read the works of smart people, whether it be the Freakonomics guys or anyone who knows what they are talking about is they occasionally fall in love with their own ideas. I do it. I think everyone does to a certain extent.

At one point I thought it would be a great idea to own a retail video store. I thought it would be a great business that could pay the bills while I wrote the great American novel. Looking back now I was clearly an idiot. I bought into a dying industry at the end of its run without knowing a whole lot about retail, market conditions, budgeting or forecasting, or generally anything about business. It cost me on every level, but was also probably one of the better learning experiences of my adult life. Was it worth the lesson? The jury is still out on that one. Failing big is a hard teacher.

I guess the most interesting thing I learned from that failure is that I am not afraid to fail. Perhaps a better way of saying it is fear of failure will never stop me from putting it out there. The true enemy of all success, in my opinion, is fear. Whether it be fear of the unknown, fear of the consequences, fear of being wrong, or fear of life, the biggest factor in anyone's personal failure is being so afraid of the outcome it prevents you from trying.

The business blogs are writte by people that had the big idea or funded the big idea and helped that big idea turn into massive success. Marc Andreessen's blog is especially interesting. As big time minds go, his is among the biggest.

I hope you enjoy the new links as much as I do.

No 1 of Consequence

Monday, October 01, 2007

This is a story about a man named Chad...

He is a quarterback and he's awfully bad!!

When Jets fans watch him he makes them sad!!

He makes me sick and he makes me mad!!

It's time to say goodbye to the man named Chad!!

On a Monday morning that is what passes for poetry coming from me.

Watching the Jets yesterday was a further exercise in futility. They lost 17-14 to a Buffalo Bills team that was just north of ugly. The defense was pathetic. The Bills only punted three times the whole day. However look at the line for Mr. Pennington (the man named Chad for those uninitiated to the NFL) 32-39 for 290 yards 1 touchdown and two interceptions. First glance at that stat line and you say to yourself, "Chad Pennington is a good quarterback." But you don't watch the Jets... you don't know the tragedy that is his right arm.

I want to like Chad, I do. He is a smart player. He understands the game. However, watching his throws flutter through the air as his receivers wait and wait is physically painful. He lofted a ball in the air yesterday that almost got Jerricho Cotchery killed. Chad Pennington just doesn't have the physical tools to be a winning QB in the NFL. I think he will be a great head coach one day.

Solomon Wilcox, one of the CBS announcers that handles Jets games described Pennington's passes as wounded ducks. They flutter and linger in the air while defensive player have a chance to catch up to the Jets receivers and destroy them with vicious hits. The last play of the Bills game was a Pennington wounded duck interception. The pass floated through the air while one of the Jets receivers waited and waited for it. The ball never got to him and another Jets season went down the drain.

No 1 of Consequence