Monday, January 22, 2007

Energy Bar Heaven

So I discovered Lärabars the other day. Of course, they are next to the CLIF bars, which are always $0.99 at Trader Joes.

But tonight, after a 1.5 hour ski in preparation for Saturday's race, I made another new discovery. CLIF must've heard my prayers, because they have just released a new flavor, Blueberry Crisp. It's days like these that I start to believe in the possibility of a higher power.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Echoes of Youth

Holy Crap. I just found this.

Anyone remember Bob Ross?

You should. He was the guy that came on when Sesame Street, Mr. Rogers, and 3-2-1 Contact were over on PBS.

I was really pissy a few days ago until I discovered this. I was driving home anticipating some good food, when the powersteering goes out on my car. Then some guy won't let me merge onto I-394, who I ended up making mad too, after I totally flipped him off. (It was kindof satisfying to see him flail his arms in disbelief, now that I think about it.)

This guy is like the human equivalent of a few bong hits. You watch him, and in less than two minutes, you can feel mellowness throughout your entire body. You smile at his effortless happy little trees, and the clouds who live.....wherever you want them to.....maybe. And you know you're about to peak when he decides to "get a little crazy."

I think everyone should have at least one weekly dose of "the joy of painting." Although--if the republicans found out about it, they'd probably make it illegal.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Confessions of a Spendthrift

I've been trying to figure out for the past couple weeks where all my money goes. Although my parents were very disciplined with money, the most advice I'd ever got from them was......"save your money"

Is it my parents fault I suck with money? I don't think so. Before the age of 21, I rarely heeded any advice from my parents.

But it would have been nice to know HOW to save money. I will tell my snot-nose children to save money by building a well thought out budget, withdrawing your planned savings from your account before you pay rent or buy anything, and learning to invest at a young age. And I will make them read The Millionaire Next Door.

Anyways, back to my financial analysis.

I've started building spreadsheets and charts to understand exactly which directions my money flows and in what quantity.

I've come to a very sad realization that my most expensive possession is the roll of fat on my waist. It's easily worth more than the book on my car, and over the past several years, I've contributed to building it much faster than I have to my 401(k) and my savings account combined. I'm estimating that I've spent close to 7% of my take-home earnings going out to eat(including drinks), probably another 7% at the grocer, and probably another 5-6% on drinks at bars. I'll let you figure out how much that is.

It's too bad that you don't get hangovers from overspending.

Three years ago, I went out to eat almost as or more often as I ate at home. My consumption has slowed, but not as much as it should have. Surely going out to eat costs 3 times what it does to cook for myself. Even worse, I hardly know HOW to cook outside a handfull of dishes , which are extremely simple & quick to make.

Perhaps even more depressing is the monetary effort I've gone to decrease it's size. A gym membership, 2 nice bikes and equipment to support them, health supplements, healthy food that goes bad in my fridge while I eat crappy stuff at restaruants......

Change is on the way, and I will be in better shape physically and financially in 2007.

Sunday, January 7, 2007

There's really alot of people in this world that I'd like to slap.

A conservative co-worker(who I get along with) gave me an article on a book he wanted me to read. The book is by a guy named Mark Steyn, and he writes about the imminent Muslim invasion of America and the world.

In an excerpt from the book, he says, "You think Kurds and Arabs, Sunni and Shia are incompatible? What do you call a jurisdiction split between post-christian secular gay potheads and anti-whoring anti-sodomite anti-everything you dig Islamists? If Kurdistans an awkward fit in Iraq, how well does Pornostan fit in the Islamic republic of Holland?" Supposedly, this is LOL for conservatives.

Well, he does have a point. I will not get along with radical islam, although it is somewhat debatable on how much I identify his depiction of an American liberal.

Unfortunately he's missing something really, really important. I will not get along with islamic fundamentalists for the same reason I won't get along with contemporary conservatives in America. Let me re-iterate that.

You see, fundamentalist christians, I really think your lemon-lime flavored Kool-Aid sucks. And it's not because I hate lemon-lime. You see, I also hate islamic cherry flavored Kool-Aid. And mormon raspberry flavored Kool-Aid. I while I'm on the topic, I also think scientology Ecto Cooler flavored Hi-C tastes like shit too.

You see, I don't like all kinds of Kool-Aid. I like water, and Crystal Lite, and a diet Pepsi now & then. You all can show me all of your books about how great your flavor of Kool-Aid is, but I know it's all empty calories, and nothing to get serious about.

Hold on, I'm not done yet.

When you hear yourself saying "This is a Christian nation, the puritans came here to practice christianity in peace!", I hear you yelling "Shariah!, Shariah!, Allahu Ackbar!"

You wanna know why?

It's strange that contemporary American fundamentalist Christianity and radical Islam both:

+ are in favor of capital punishment
+ are in favor of criminalizing abortions.
+ don't want evolution taught in schools.
+ want to prevent gay marriage & ban gay rights (and some want them executed)
+ want the right to bear assault rifles
+ have leaders who talk directly God & Allah
+ are opposed to sexual freedom/liberation/expression
+ are opposed to birth control
+ are against stem cell research
+ support authoritarian goverance

Another thing these numbskulls are so concerned about is birthrate, which is apparently gargantuan in the middle east. Well, there's been many studies done that show that women who produce the most offspring are poorly educated. It's nice to see how well "abstinance only" policies work abroad.......much like they do here. Ok Ok, I'm spinning the issue. Andrew, all those islamic women are MARRIED. (because they usually stone women discovered having sex before marriage)

Back in ND we have a neighbor, who when asked at a cardgame when he & his wife were going to stop having kids, he replied, "when the good lord lets us know." Last I heard, they have 15 kids, and the last couple were retarded. Hey, at least they're married.

Mixture of cultures. Mr. Steyn bases alot of his points on the "fact" that islamic immigrants won't mix into America's melting pot. This sounds suspiciously much like the anti-irish (and anti-catholic) sentiment when the Irish were coming over in hordes. They were poor, dirty, drunk, and criminals--so there was great resistance to them in the big cities. The irish were the race that refused to jump into the melting pot. The "Know Nothing" party was formed.

That's why Tom & Nicole moved to Oklahoma.

This goofball also continues to rail the point that, as the population of middle eastern immigrants (a.k.a. "Islamicists") increases in the US and Europe(citing the average age of Italians, which is much older than the average age of the immigrants), that the world will devolve into medieval chaos and wretchedness. This dumbshit assumes that all of these immigrants is some type of jihadist, that they're going to come crashing into American cities as islam did on 9/11. Listen, people are coming here for the saaaaame reason they've been coming since 1776....a chance at a better life for themselves & their children. You wanna slow immigration into the US? Here's an idea-- fight poverty at it's source. Unfortunately nobody makes money fighting poverty; so far, we've only found ways to make money fighting.

Again, not like we haven't been paranoid before....the Japanese attack Pearl Harbor and all of sudden, we start rounding up 120,000 Japanese immigrants and putting them (and anyone who looks Japanese) in concentration camps on US soil. Ok, ok. We called them "internment camps." They were all getting their citizen degrees, and needed 6 months of experience making coffee for real American citizens before they could graduate.

Saturday, January 6, 2007

Not Expected

I'm pretty sure they've made a commercial about this at some point in time, but here's how a meeting of mine went a few days ago.

Attendance: Me, a couple top engineers, an operations manager, an engineering manager, and engineering director.

Engineering director is a very distinguished, well-dressed gentleman as you might expect. Short salt & pepper hair, perfectly pressed BOSS shirts & dress slacks, perfect knot in his stylish tie, always spearheading discussion.

I generally give him his due respect. He does his job well.

Back to the meeting. We're all having a good discussion, trying to solve problems, etc. I'm doling out necessary information, they're questioning me on the whys & hows.

A moment of silence for reflection of the lastest idea.......

Loud teenybobber club music permeates the room.

Everyone sits still for a few, very long seconds.

Engineering director reaches for his cell phone.

I bite my lips together very hard to keep from laughing.