Monday, May 31, 2010

What's on your list?

As I type, my wife and daughter are on a little cruise in Miami. Before leaving, my daughter commented that swimming with dolphins (a plan on the trip) is something on her bucket list. Cool - she'll cross that off.

Now, there are the standard items that people put on their lists, from vacations to certain locales, owning this or this, meeting so-and-so.... tons of items on thousands of lists. Allow me to suggest a couple that may seem out of the normal, but something everyone should experience.

1) The National Anthem at a Chicago Backhawks game. If you are watching any of the Cup playoffs this year, you are seeing Frank Pellico and Jim Cornelison performing the National Anthem prior to the puck drop. And to put it simply....the crowd goes crazy. Trust me - what you see on the small screen in NOTHING compared to being there and experiencing it from a seat in the UC. YouTube has plenty of user uploads of the anthem. It a tradition for greater than 25 years. And if you are not pumped for hockey at the end, you must be dead.

2) The organ before a flick at the Tivoli. I remember finding the Tivoli years ago. When I took my wife and kids to a show there, I can still recall the looks on their faces when they walked in to a theater unlike anything they build nowadays. And if the theater isn't enough of a reason to catch a movie at the Tivoli, we happened to go on a night with the organ playing. You really should make sure you arrive 30 minutes or so prior to a show on any Friday or Saturday night and listen to the music while watching the standard pre-movie slide show. The organ is played with the fine musical stylings of a member of the CATOE. It's always a pleasure to hear some older songs in an area with nice acoustics. The movie previews always begin with with a rousing version of a fine patriot song, and the crowd shows their appreciation of the organist. While no United Center, it's always a great time.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

WTFriday: special environmental edition

So just how bad can it get for the Gulf (and the world as a whole). Well, as expected, the vultures have come out of the woodwork concerning the disaster off the Louisiana coast. I have seen a fair share of spam telling me how I can get my share of financial relief from the damages. Cuz Chicago is right on the coast, of course. Then there are the door to door scams selling "miracle chemicals" to protect the beaches.

Now, a UK betting site allows you to bet on what will be the first species wiped off the earth because of the oil damage. No - seriously. Look here.

Have we become so callous about life, whether human or other, that the most important thing is to make some cash in every possible situation, positive or negative? It seems the Kemp's Ridley turtle is the favorite. Let's hope this is not the only way we get to see them in the near future:

Monday, May 24, 2010

New on the side bar ---->

Just added the PBS widget showing both the BP live video feed of their continued destruction of the planet, as well as the best guesstimate of the amount of that destruction. Horrible to watch, but we all need to know.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Jumping on the response bandwagon

If you have been under a rock, this email has started circulating around Wall Street a couple weeks back, purportedly written by some trader. Some responses have been written, and dangit if I don't want to get in on the smackdown:


Dear Mr. Wall Street trader,

One question up front: are you guys really that unaware of the real world the other 99.9% of us reside in? Because a few things you have said give me the impression you get all your information about us "common folk" from Telemundo comedy shows, the History Channel and back issues of Field and Stream. Let me see if I can help you out a bit.

I don't make $85K a year. Oh, I wish I do, but I don't. In fact, I know of only one person that makes at least that, and he is a tech director for a company and pretty much works 24/7, what with being on call all the time and on weekends. I used to take an hour for lunch - UNPAID. Now, so I can get home, I work with a 20min paid lunch. I am working to train my body to do it's natural waste discharge during one of my breaks. My wife works in a school. There are days she never gets a lunch, with the extra workload caused by the financial crisis you created. And she doesn't get 4 months off, she gets just under 3.

I am not sure how you think you are better for my job or my wife's job. Just because you manage the buying of selling of "stuff" doesn't magically make you more capable of being a teacher. For starters - you need a license. In Illinois, it's called a Type 10. Just saying "I sold 2 billion is assets last year" doesn't gain you the license. One must attend certain college courses. Don't even think about my wife's job. That's a Type 75. You need a Master's specializing in speech and audiology. Now my job? If you think you can handle networking, VPNs, deep troubleshooting and other technical issues, come apply. But expect that salary to be a couple 10k's less, and enjoy your 15 days off a year. That's right.....fifteen. Trust me pal, when the time comes for you to get a job in the real world, say bagging groceries at Jewel, and the manager needs to choose between a 17 year old kid and your pathetic butt, who do you think will get that job? (Let me give you a hint: not you).

Now you threaten to not buy your $80k car, leave a big tip and manage your own home improvements. What was that car - a Benz? Infinity? BMW? Volvo? Those aren't made in the USA, dumb*ss. So you weren't helping the economy then, and you won't be helping it now, unless you decide to buy a vehicle actually produced within our borders. And a 35% tip? Yeah.....right. You left a 35% tip the day I won my first Stanley Cup.

Spare us the righteousness you claim to have. You work in an industry that is self serving. You do nothing to produce money. You simply manage it. You do not manufacture a good, and you do not really provide a service. You simply work in a closed industry that pats itself on the back and thinks it controls the world. Here's the truth - your job is to make money for yourself, no matter what happens to the other person. You make money even when the other person loses money. I can think of two industries off the top of my head that are like that: real estate and casinos. I think Agent Smith said it best.

Neo isn't coming to save you. And no matter how hot Trinity is (and boy, is she hot), she doesn't believe a word you say. Your days are numbered.

Friday, May 7, 2010

My Name Is....

Am I the only person that, when I hear the media talk about the Times Square bomber doofus Faisal Shahzad, thinks of this little guy?

Poor Fivel.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

YouTube-sday™: It only weighs about 50 pounds.

I think the screen on my Motorola cell phone is larger that that sucker.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Spill, baby....spill

Ever wonder how an oil spill totally destroys an environment? Just watch this animation to see how the recent BP oil rig explosion has completely wrecked the Gulf.

I was thinking - why are we not surprised by BP's mistakes?. BP hosed Alaska with a leak in 2006, and now this. Maybe we need to reexamine why they are in business.