Thursday, December 20, 2012

21st Century 2nd Amendment

Let’s bring the 2nd amendment into the 21st century. Here is the second amendment of the United States Constitution:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

But first, let’s examine the first amendment of the Unites States Constitution:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

This first one is a doozy. It covers religion, speech, press, assembly, and petitioning the government. Freedom of religion is the only one without limits, in the sense that you may establish and practice any religion of your choice. Of course, religious activities that are criminal or fraudulent are not a protected right. All of the others have limits. You may not say whatever you want, whenever you want, wherever you want. The press is not all powerful to do as it chooses. Assembling peaceably ( in itself a limit) has confines. Petitioning the government is subject to protocols and procedures.

Now back to the second amendment. A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. This has limits, too. You don’t get to bear a rocket propelled grenade. A line has already been drawn. Moving that line is a matter of societal and cultural change, and technological progress.

The question is simple: what arms do the people have a right to bear?

The line has already been drawn based on destructiveness. The people don’t have the right to bear a rocket propelled grenade due to the weapon’s destructiveness and indiscriminate nature. The people do not have the right to bear fully automatic weapons because of their destructiveness. It comes down to how offensive (as opposed to defensive) a weapon is. The greater the offensive capability, i.e. designed to kill as many humans as possible as fast as possible, of the weapon the more it should be restricted.

It is time to reconsider the placement of this line.
By their very nature “assault” weapons are highly destructive; pushed over the line by their ability for rapid fire combined with high volume magazines. Handguns are too easily concealed; their inherit stealthiness rendering them much more offensive than defensive.

The following firearms should be legal for the people to bear:

Bolt action rifles and breech loading shotguns.

With bolt action rifles and breech loading shotguns you can hunt and protect your home. Everything else should be illegal.

Arguments of gun proponents:

“Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.”
People murder people; handguns and “assault” weapons make murder easy and efficient. Let’s make it less so.

“Criminals will always be able to get guns.”
The idea is to make it more difficult for criminals to get guns. It is currently far too easy.

“Outlawing something just doesn’t make it go away.”
If you can’t have perfect results than don’t even try? So what you are saying is, “We can’t stop all robberies or rapes or terrorism so let’s just stop trying.” Whatever.

“Automobiles kill more people than guns.”
If we have mass murderers who kill via vehicular homicide then I will be more than happy to discuss “car control.”

“The founding fathers wanted to guarantee our right to bear arms.”
The founding fathers aren’t here and circumstances have changed necessitating a modification to what constitutes “arms.”

"300 million American guns were not misused again this week."
It's like we are sharing our homes, buildings, and places with gather with poisonous snakes. We go days, weeks, months without an encounter, and then 20 people die. And we do nothing; we simply wait for them to kill again.

“Gun control is not enough.”
No kidding, but gun control is part of the solution.

“But … The Second Amendment!”
We can change it if we choose, even repeal it. The brilliance of the constitution is its flexibility of interpretation. As times change, the interpretation changes. And times, they have changed, and so it is finally time for the interpretation of the second amendment to join the 21st century.



Wednesday, December 5, 2012

A Movie with Attitude

(There are spoilers below, but I am leaving out the key revelation [and a few other surprises], in case you watch the film.)

I streamed a movie on Netflix called "A Complete History of My Sexual Failures" and I want to write about it but I got no idea where to go with it. So, stream of consciousness writing; first thing that comes into my head ...

This is a documentary made by a 30 year old (my guess) man who appears to live in Edinburgh, Scotland. It seems he has had dozens of girlfriends and apparently all of them have dumped him (he never admits to dumping any of them). He decides to interview as many as he can to determine why they dumped him. I don't get the impression he was attempting to better himself. I get the impression he was desperate for an idea, for something to do, and went with this.

This guy is a bum. It is clear he wasn’t always this way. He looks much better, and happier, in old photos. He doesn't come close to smiling till over three quarters into the film. He speaks in a bland, monotone voice. His personal hygiene is in disrepair. He clothes are ratty. His flat is a mess. He has no job. It would seem he has lived like this for three years or so. I asked myself if he showed zero personality on purpose; as a device for his little film. I going to give him the benefit of the doubt. He was truly a bum.

I have three sisters. Growing up with three sisters and listening to their opinions about boys and men I can look at a man and tell you if he is cute, or handsome, or whatever. I can see the potential in this guy. Even as a bum you can see a certain cuteness factor underneath. If he would just fix his hair, shave/trim his beard, and smile more, I can see what women might find attractive. Still, I can't believe how many women were willing to go out with him. He certainly doesn't exude confidence, but I guess if you keep asking then someone will say yes.

However, it seems to me that women in Great Britain/Europe are generally more polite, less judgmental (at least on first appearances), and more willing to give it a go than women in America. Perhaps that is my own cynical perspective talking, but I think not.

He met several women via MySpace (film released in 2008), all of them attractive. One of them went to bed with him, but he couldn’t get it up. This guy overdosed on Viagra, drank too much, and then ran around the city asking women if they would have sex with him and many women tolerated it politely or even handled it with good humor. One girl was actually interested. She got his number, texted him later, which he ignored at the time, but then they eventually got together by movies' end.

Mum and Dad, tell us the story of how you met! Well, children, I was roaming the streets drunk with an erection that wouldn’t go away asking random women to have sex and your mum took my phone number and we hooked up later.

What makes this movie worthwhile is that it encourages you to consider yourself and your own life. I find myself thinking of the movie "Fast Times at Ridgemont High." Here is one boy's advice to another:

I just send out this vibe and I have personally found that women do respond. I mean, something happens.
- Well, naturally something happens. I mean, you put the vibe out to 30 million chicks, something is gonna happen.
That's the idea. That's the attitude.
-The attitude?
Yeah! The attitude dictates that you don't care whether she comes, stays, lays, or prays. I mean whatever happens, your toes are still tappin'. Now when you got that, then you have the attitude.

Basically, the secret is to not care, and to combine that with a certain level of aggressiveness. You are always working it, and never worrying about what happens, because you know you will eventually get a hit on your bait.

I guess I just don’t have the attitude. Probably never will.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

50 Shades of Dr. Seuss

I am Topper

I am Topper

That Topper-boy!
That Topper-boy!
I do not like that Topper-boy

Do you like restraints and toys?

I do not like them, Topper-boy
I do not like restraints and toys

Would you like them while I pull your hair?

I would not like them while you pull my hair
I would not like them anywhere
I do not like restraints and toys
I do not like them, Topper-boy

Would you like them on a bed?
Would you like a slap upside the head?

I do not like them in a bed
I do not like a slap upside the head
I do not like when you pull my hair
I do not like them anywhere
I do not like restraints and toys
I do not like them, Topper-boy

Would you try them on the floor?
Would you like me to call you a whore?

Not on the floor. Don’t call me a whore
Not in a bed. Don’t slap me upside the head
I would not try them while you pull my hair
I would not try them anywhere
I would not try restraints and toys
I do not like them, Topper-boy

Would you? Could you? Bent over a couch?
Try them! Try them! You will love the ouch!

I would not, could not, bent over a couch

You may like them. Do not withhold
You may like wearing a blindfold

Not with a blindfold
I would not, could not with a blindfold
Not bent over a couch! You are too bold.

I do not like them in a bed
I do not like a slap upside the head
I do not like them on the floor
I do not like to be called a whore
I do not like when you pull my hair
I do not like them anywhere
I do not like restraints and toys
I do not like them, Topper-boy

Role play! Role play!
Role play! Role play!
Could you, would you play a role?

Not playing a role! Not with a blindfold!
Not bent over a couch! Topper! You are too bold!
I would not, could not, in a bed
I could not get slapped upside the head
I will not try them on the floor
I will not like to be called a whore
I will not like when you pull my hair
I will not try them anywhere
I do not like them, Topper-boy

Say! In the butt! Here in the butt!
Would you, could you, in the butt?

I would not, could not, in the butt

Would you, could you, in any hole?

I would not, could not, in any hole
Not in the butt. Not playing a role
Not over a couch, Not in a blindfold
I do not like them, Topper, you are too bold
Not on the floor. Don’t call me a whore
Not in a bed. Don’t slap my head
I will not let you pull my hair
I do not like them anywhere!

You do not like restraints and toys?

I do not like them, Topper-boy

Could you, would you, enjoy a spanking?

I would not, could not bear a spanking!

Come on! Come on! Your safe word can be banking!

I do not need a safe word of banking
I will not, will not, bear a spanking
I will not, will not play a role
I will not try them in any hole
Not in the butt! Not in a blindfold!
Now let me be, you are too bold!
I do not like them on the floor
I do not like to be called a whore
I will not try them in a bed
I do not like to be slapped in the head
I do not like when you pull my hair
I do not like them ANYWHERE!

I do not like restraints and toys!
I do not like them, Topper-boy

You do not like them. SO you say
Try them! Try them!
And you may
Try them and you may, I say

Topper! If you will let me be, I will try them
You will see

I like restraints and toys!
I do!! I like them, Topper-boy!
We now need that safe work of banking
For surely I would enjoy a spanking
I would love to play a role
And in the butt, in any hole!
Bent over the couch, with a blindfold
There is nothing that I will withhold

So I will try them in a bed
And I would like a slap upside the head
And I will try them on the floor
I get goose bumps when you call me a whore
And I will try them as you pull my hair
Say! I will try them ANYWHERE!

I do so like restraints and toys!
Thank you! Thank you, Topper-boy!


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Revolutionary Road: Rorschach Movie Test

I fired up the movie Revolution Road last night and early on I had a thought pop into my head and I tweeted it. A bit later I had another thought. Tweeted that one, too. Then I decided to just keep tweeting whatever thoughts popped into my head as I was watching the movie.

Granted, these are not ALL of my thoughts. I have excluded stuff like "nice boobs" and "how many vintage cars did they need to shoot this street scene." Not to mention any auditory exclamations I may have made.

Here they are, my first reaction, thematic thoughts on the movie Revolutionary Road:

  • Never hang all of your hopes on accomplishment.
  • Accept where you are. Embrace it. Persevere for the change you desire.
  • Are good neighbors helpful? Or do you impose on them so they can impose on you?
  • You don't necessarily have to go anywhere or do anything in order to have a passionate life.
  • If you are ever disappointed with your life just remember that everyone does what they want. You are where you are because of your choices
  • Of course the grass is greener on the other side, you haven't peed all over it yet.
  • It isn't the endgame that excites us so much, it is the possibilities of what might happen that sets our hearts racing.
  • Life is never so alive as in our memories.
  • It's never as good as when people say exactly what they think and feel, yet can accept whatever others have to say.
  • The real trick is adapting to reality as it intrudes upon what you thought was possible.
  • The trouble comes when you let the expectations of others intrude upon your possibilities.
  • A memorable big moment is only a collection of simple small moments.
  • Whatever that magic is you are looking for you can find it wherever you are.
  • It would be great to be with someone where it always feels like the two of us are sharing an inside joke.
  • Just remember, if you blow bubbles then they are gonna pop.
  • When you live your life according to the choices of two people, sometimes the both of you end up with what you don't want.
  • The point of life is to learn what is important to you, because most of the time we are chasing ghosts.
  • And that concludes tonight's movie tweets. Revolutionary Road.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

L to the A

It was my first time to visit Los Angeles. Being in town for just one night, and accompanied by my teenage daughter with the stated purpose of visiting college campuses, my options were limited.

As we drove away in our rental car I noted the locations of a few gas stations so I could fill up on my way back. I reached an overpass, which I drove under, and not paying attention to signs (or the lack thereof) I thought it might be 405. I simply made a left from under the overpass to find that there was no entrance ramp, and this was not 405. No biggie, and besides, fate was rolling the dice.

I drove down a ways and turned right and as we neared 405, and rounded a bend, a huge donut loomed ahead. Randy’s Donut’s. This was my first movie moment, being that I have seen that huge donut in movies. We stopped for donuts, of course. It was 9:30 in the AM, after all. Cake-like donuts with loads of sugar.

We had no official appointment at UCLA, but we walked around the campus just to check it out. Pretty campus. I liked the big, tall trees. It was also hilly. A quiet Sunday morning. Driving back down 405 I decided we would head out to Venice Beach and have lunch.

This is when it became obvious that freeway ramps in LA are almost never setup like freeway ramps in Dallas. Except right in downtown Dallas there are feeder roads alongside freeways, with entrance/exit ramps. If you want to make what amounts to a left-turn from a street unto a freeway then about 95% of the time you do so from the left lane. But the norm in LA would seem to be from the right lane, with a clover-leaf ramp. Or even turn right and drive down a block to turn right twice more. Two rights really do make a left.

After finding myself on the wrong side of the street a few times I settled into the routine.

My second movie moment came when I saw exits for Olympic and Pico. Don’t ask me how my brain functions, but when I saw the names of these two streets the first Terminator movie popped into by head, as both streets get a mention.

Venice Beach was as expected; full of good people watching. We checked out a few shops and ate lunch at Danny’s, a tasty deli. I had the Cuban sandwich and my daughter had the pastrami. Very good chips. Walking along Venice Beach was a definite movie moment; how many movies have featured Venice Beach?

We drove by USC to get familiar with the area and then headed to the hotel, a Ramada near the convention center. Nap time.

On a recommendation we drove out to Tarzana for dinner. Sol y Luna. It is on Ventura Boulevard, so more a music moment than movie. Awesome guacamole, good Mexican food. Mmm, guacamole.

The following morning I searched for “breakfast in Los Angeles” and the third choice down, nearby and on the way to USC, was Jacks N Joe. I had buttermilk pancakes, and I tell ya, they might well have been the best pancakes I ever stuffed in my mouth. Daughter had the French toast, which also a got a thumbs up.

USC is great. I want to go to school there. Interesting that USC is flat, while UCLS is hilly. We were there for quite some time. Read the campus paper. Observed student traffic between classes.

We had plenty of time before out late afternoon flight and headed toward Santa Monica. My daughter was browsing lunch spot reviews and we opted for some deli-style place. To be honest, I forgot the name. We found it and parked across the street in a Von’s parking lot, with “you will be towed” signs all over. We headed into Von’s and bought a few snacks for the plane.

We had lunch at a place called Swingers (not our original destination). I had the pasta special and it was tasty. My daughter kept worrying about the car, thinking we would get towed. I tried to explain to her that the only way they would know to tow us is if we didn’t go into Von’s, and we went into Von’s and even bought something! But she just couldn’t get over it.

Then it was out the airport and a flight outta there.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Connecting Space

There are times while standing in some line that the person behind me is way too close. I mean, they are standing right next to me. I might move a bit, to give myself a little space, but then they move a bit, too, and they are still right on top me! I feel like giving them a stiff elbow, or stepping on their toes, or turning and sneezing into their face.

Conversely, there are times when someone behind me in line is way far away, like 8 feet back there. Then I am, like, yo! Do I have cooties or something? Do I stink today? Why are you so far back there? Can you not trust yourself standing near me?

Then there is space in a relationship, which has less to do with physical space and more to do with emotional and mental space, although the two usually go hand-in-hand. Now, I haven’t been in a relationship in over a decade, but I have dated during that time, and can draw on the before-time as well as recent escapades to talk about space in a relationship.

Most of the woman I have dated have not lived nearby; they have lived across town. Usually 40 to 45 minutes away, without traffic. None closer than 30 minutes. I assure you this was completely unintentional. I would much prefer to date someone closer. It just never worked out that way. Mayhap you could argue I was lackadaisical about dating those women because of the distance, in which case space did play some role. Or more like travel time to cross that space.

If I am “just dating” someone then I  expect there to be space. If that dating becomes a relationship, then I expect less space, i.e. more closeness.  If I like you then I like you, and I want you around. If I start to say “I need more space” then clearly I don’t like you as much. Don’t confuse this with me engaging in an activity by myself. The two loner activities I do is read and play a computer game. The woman with whom I have a relationship is welcome to read next to me, or play the game, too. The question is, do I do those things to as simple hobbies, or do I use it as a means of pushing her away? The latter would mean I need more space; that is, I don’t like you as much.

Someone recently said to me, “everyone craves human connection.” Aside from hermits, I guess. But maybe hermits just suppress or ignore that craving. How much connection is enough? What type of connection? What if you don’t get enough human connection? Is that when you go out drinking and attempt to connect with anyone,  until you wake up the following morning next to someone who you don’t want anyone to know you woke up next to?

Some people might need human connection so much that they can never really be on their own. I know people like that. Do they force relationships just to satisfy that craving? Do they end up with someone they really are not compatible with, but ignore the red flags for the sake of human connection? Sure they do, and they typically pay the price later but then solve it by immediately finding another relationship

It isn’t really about craving human connection, since it would seem we all crave it, it is about how well you tolerate a lack of human connection, and what you would do to satisfy that craving the longer you go without.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Do You Want To Play A Game?

This is how the game works. A man and woman meet. For the game to be in play the man and woman must assume their traditional parts. The man pursues the woman with the intent of having sex. The woman plays hard to get. Even if the woman is not hard to get, she has pretend to be to play the game.

For the man it is not about finding things he likes, it is about disqualifications. He can accept ugly, but not too ugly. He can accept fat, but not too fat. She can be old, not too old-looking. He can accept annoying, but not too annoying. It boils down to what he is willing to tolerate in order to get some. If a man continues to talk to a woman then he wants to have sex with her, he still may find a reason to bail.

For the woman it is about finding things she likes. She likes the way he talks to her. She likes his smile. She likes the way he dresses. If a woman continues to talk to a man then she is looking for a reason that might sway her to yes; course, she could just be passing the time and the man has no shot in hell.

The man needs to be assertive but not too aggressive. He needs to be confident, but not cocky. He needs to be funny, but not a goofball. He needs to flirt, but not be creepy.

The woman … well, she doesn’t really need to be anything. If she has attracted a man’s attention then she need only decide.

Here are variations on the game:

When a woman thinks more like a man. If so, there isn’t much of game. She makes it happen instead of waiting. Men hate this because without a game they are on the sideline. Men like this because … score!

When a woman isn’t really in the game but acts like she is. The man will keep working it on the off chance she decides to get in the game.

When a man isn’t playing the game. Really, it can happen. Some men are just not in the game. He might talk to women. Might be friendly. Maybe make some jokes. But he will not be assertive, and flirting will be light if any at all. The only time a man who doesn’t play can get some is when he encounters a woman who takes the role of the man, as long as she doesn’t disqualify him.
Now, get out there and play!





Friday, September 21, 2012

Crazy Is As Crazy Does

I was reading Angie’s post about the correlation between a crazy partner and hot sex, and how much crazy one would tolerate for the hot sex. My first thought was, “I need more hot sex.” My second thought was, “I need to find some crazies and check out the sex so can I speak authoritatively on the subject.” Several minutes later, after sobering back into reality, I decided to give some left-brained thought to the crazies and hot sex, as long it doesn’t know what my right-brain is doing!

First off, we are talking about a relationship with said crazy, right? Many guys will take a one night stand of hot sex with an out-the-window bat-shit crazy woman. In fact, lots of guys will take a couple weeks of that action. Right up until he begins to sniff “relationship.” So, I will assume we are talking about a relationship and not just tossing the dirty leg with some nutcase.
When I say relationship I mean your family and friends know your partner has got the crazy. If no one knows then that it is more like asking how long will someone have an affair with a crazy just for the hot monkey-sex? Right up until someone finds out, that’s how long.

What do we mean by hot sex? Well, we mean no holes barred, she is totally into it, pushing your boundaries, over the top sex. No one says no. No one complains. No one questions. No one judges. You don’t even tell your closest friend half of what you do. Whatever the two of you are doing she is totally into it, and you never, ever doubt it.

Of course, I am stalling. Because, of course, the answer depends. It depends on the guy. The longer a man can tolerate crazy in a relationship just for the hot sex, then the more self-centered that man is, then the more that man sees the woman as a prop.

Let’s be clear on tolerate. Some men like the crazy, so they are not tolerating it, they are attracted to it. The drama and the hysterics are like the candle to the moth. But who are we fooling? They look for the crazy because they are looking for the hot sex that might come along with it. Would they really stick it out with the crazy if that is all there was?

But the answer still depends and so I can only truly answer for myself. I would not be in a relationship just for the sex, but I do like a bit-o-crazy. Baggage and some drama, in other words emotion, are things everyone has. I would rather it be expressed out in the open. Yes, please.

Monday, September 17, 2012

A Street By Any Other Name

I attended the SMU-Texas A&M football game and more importantly I attended The Boulevard, SMU’s submission to the world of tailgating. My son is learning to drive and as he was doing some driving on Saturday he asked for a reminder of what it was called when someone is following too closely. Tailgating. In classic American language tradition we have a single word that has two completely different meanings.

 As with The Grove at Ole Miss, there are no real tailgates at The Boulevard. You have a grassy commons area with tent tops every few feet. The Boulevard seemed more like a state fair atmosphere, with several retail/commercial tents hawking products and services. A detraction, in my opinion. You can separate The Boulevard into two parts: the student section, and the family section.

The family section is your more traditional tailgate setting. Older alumni mixing with the young’uns, and visiting fans mooching for what they can. You got your grills, and TV’s, and food trays. All in all a relatively wholesome area.

To the north, and I noticed with less tree coverage and so less shade, is the student section. To be more precise you might call it the Greek section, as fraternities and sororities have their own tent tops. A multi-ring circus, so to speak. Here you have pounding music, and preppy guys (yes, in case you are unaware, 80’s preppy is in for male college students), and girls who seem dressed for an evening at a cocktail lounge. Lots of dresses and skirts, riding up as they jump around to some rap song. No one really dances anymore. They either jump around in unison, or do a line-dance. In unison appears to be the common thread. Occasionally someone will show off their choreographed dance moves and then you get mostly spectating.

In the student section my 17 year old daughter was appropriately put off by the raucous display, and my 16 year old son appropriately bugged-eyed.

Tailgating was originally conceived as a means of distraction while you wait for the football game. What you have at The Boulevard is tailgating accompanied by the distraction of a football game.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Giving the IT Finger

Hierarchy of Blame

Depending on what you support (or use) you may not have this same list of folks to blame for problems with your system.

User Error
Is there any subset of humans more troublesome than users? They are either ignorant, stupid, or both. You know how whenever you call a help line (which makes YOU the user) they always start with the most fundamental of questions? That is because the first to blame for your problems is you. Some users are so good at being wrong that the only way to set them straight is to look over their shoulder as they recreate their “problem.” If something goes wrong then the first finger is pointed at the user.

If you can’t do something in the system then it must be because you don’t have the proper access; access that most certainly should have been figured out and applied to your account well before you ever wanted to use it. The security team will try to confuse you with whatever nomenclature applies to your system: permission lists, query trees, security search records, row level security, component interfaces, web libraries, yada, yada, yada. They are like magicians, distracting you while they do some “magic.” Once you get past the triage that is the help desk then the second finger is pointed at security.

Working As Designed
You may not like how it works. You may not agree with how it works. You may be confused and bewildered by how it works. That is how it works. Get over it already. The third finger is the middle finger. Brought to you by the designers of your system.

Production Support
There are folks who are responsible for knowing how everything works. They test. They design. They develop. They troubleshoot. They document. They educate. Sometimes they suck at it.  You know where to put that fourth finger.

DBA’s (or equivalent know-it-alls with access to everything)
You notify the DBA’s of a problem and they will immediately forward it to someone else. You know that old comic Family Circus? With the ghost-like “Not Me” who breaks things and screws things up? “Not Me” is who the kids blame when the parents ask who did something. “Not Me” is what the DBA’s say. Only after the problem has been redirected multiple times will the DBA’s take a serious look at it. Fifth finger pointed.

You have a problem? Is it legitimate? No worries, just sit back and let the hierarchy of blame runs its course. Enjoy the ride.

Friday, August 3, 2012

A Mad Lib

Before proceeding please create selections for these items, so they may be inserted into the story as you read:

Name of Bar/Club. Activity. Body Part. Piece of Clothing. Part of town. Food. Dollar Amount. Sex Act 1. Sex Act 2.

A Man. A Woman. And what the parakeet saw.

The man and his friends go to ((name of bar/club)) for some drinking and ((activity)). The man and the woman make googly-eyes with each other. They meet and sit together. The man spills a hurricane right on her ((body part)). To make amends the man offers the woman his ((piece of clothing)). They stand-up and trade clothing on the spot. Over the next several hours the man and woman occasionally trade clothing. Management threatens eviction if the man and woman do not cease. They trade clothing again. They are kicked out.

The man and woman walk the ((part of town)) and eventually try to reenter where they were evicted. But the bouncers recognize them because the man is wearing a very distinctive shirt and hat. The man and women go to get some ((food)). While there some guy professes his admiration for the man’s very distinctive shirt. The man sell his shirt for ((dollar amount)) and the guy’s shirt. The man loses his hat and with his different shirt the man and woman are able to reenter.

The woman leaves with her friend but not before the man and woman enjoy ((sex act 1)) on a street corner. The man returns to his friends and later meets another woman. The place closes at 5am and the man and the other woman stand out front on the curb and enjoy ((sex act 2)).

The end.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Subprime Mortgage Blame Game

When reading The Big Short, by Michael Lewis, you must not get bogged down in the complexity of the investments. As you will learn in the book pretty much no one understood the mortgage-based investments that would eventually lead to the so-called Great Recession. All you need to understand is that Wall Street thought it had another the-house-always-wins investment security, and that a handful of people foresaw the folly in this and bet against it.

It is often assumed that players in a market (both buyers and sellers) will behave rationally, which should not be confused with behaving intelligently or logically. Rationality can be a relative, subjective term; it is often a matter of opinion. A rational person will almost always choose what they see as best for them, with the result being they get something they want as long as any recognized negative consequences are not realized in the short-term. Get what you want now, worry about the later consequences later. To put it more bluntly, people are selfish and greedy.

On the ground floor there were borrowers agreeing to loans they could not afford, and lenders offering loans they knew would default. Intelligent? No. Logical? No. Selfish and greedy? Most definitely. People with horrendous credit histories and income at or near poverty level were getting home/equity loans where the interest rate ballooned after four years, and even some where the interest rolled back into the loan principle for four years. Borrowers agreed to these outrageous conditions because all they saw was the immediate money. Lenders offered the loans because investment houses demanded more and more loans that could be bundled and sold. Again, immediate money.

Next on this assembly line are the rating agencies. Rating agencies are supposed to review an investment security, assess the risks, and label it as triple-A, double-A, etc. A rating of triple-A is supposed to be low risk. In fact, Wall Street considers triple-A to be virtually guaranteed. The rating agencies had no idea what were in these mortgage-based securities (neither did just about all of Wall Street). The agencies were given a batch to rate and generally (and essentially arbitrarily) rated 80% as triple-A, based on no research whatsoever. The remaining 20% were then bundled with other mortgages and resubmitted where 80% would then be rated a triple-A! This was plain and simple laziness.

There are plenty of directions in which fingers can be pointed. The fact remains that lenders are allowed to make any loans they want, however bad they might be, and borrowers are allowed to accept any loan that is offered, however unlikely they can afford it, and investment firms are allowed to bundle the mortgages and sell them, but rating agencies should never have rated investment securities that the agency did not research and completely understand. The rating agencies are the primary culprits.

Were the rating agencies selfish and greedy? Insomuch that laziness is a product of selfishness and greed, yes. If mortgage-based securities were too complex and lacked sufficient data for proper research then the rating agencies should have refused to rate them. Everyone else played the system, even those who bet the system would collapse, but the rating agencies enabled the system, dooming it to collapse.

Monday, July 30, 2012

I’m alright. You alright?

In college I lived in a dorm for two and a half years. It was an older dorm with locker room style bathrooms. We had a janitor named Willie. Willie always said, “I’m alright. You alright”? It didn’t matter what you said. You could say hello, how are you, what’s up, good morning, or whatever. Willie always answered with “I’m alright. You alright?” What Willie really was saying was “I don’t want to talk.” He was giving a thoughtless, automatic answer because he just wanted to get on with whatever he was getting on.

Which brings me to the word “okay.” Other than instances when okay means yes, when “okay” is the answer to a question what it really means is “not good.” It doesn’t necessarily mean bad, although it could, but it never actually means okay.

How was the movie? It was okay.
How was dinner? It was okay.
How was last night’s sex? It was okay.
You are saying you didn’t much like it, but more importantly you are also saying you don’t want to talk about it. “Okay” is a conversation ender, or at least a topic ender.

Similarly, the word “fine” means “not bad,” and also means you don’t want to talk about it.

How was the movie? It was fine.
How was dinner? It was fine.
How was sex last night? It was fine.

Fine is not bad and is better than okay which is not good.

Within a relationship the more often you hear or say “okay” and “fine” then the worse off your relationship. The use of these words thwart intimacy; they are roadblocks, or diversions.
When asked how I am, my response is usually “great.” I generally don’t say fine. I might say okay, which of course means I am not okay but don’t want to talk about it. On occasion I might be better than great.

How was Dark Knight Rises? It was good.
How was dinner? It was fine.
How was sex last night? How very generous of you to assume I have a sex life because I assume you mean sex with another person which I did not have last night but in answer to your question sex last night was okay.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Game. Gamer. Gamest.

About 15 years ago my dad had lunch with some former business associate. My dad told me this man asked about me; asked if I was still playing games by myself. What? Who is this guy? I have never heard of him. I don’t recall ever meeting him. He apparently met me when I was a kid and this is what he remembers? How did this man know?

I have always been able to entertain myself. I have always played games by myself. All I needed was a little time and my imagination. Props were nice but not required. I was imagining games by myself long before there was such a thing as video games.

When I became a teenager arcade games were just coming into their own. I would ride my bike several miles to a shopping mall that had a video arcade. Missile Command. Galaga. Star Castle. Asteroids. We got an Atari and Pitfall was the game of choice. Arcade games were fun but they lacked depth.

In my early to mid-high school years I was friends with some guys that introduced me to bookcase games. Bookcase games came in boxes that resembled large books, and you stored them on a shelf, on their sides, like books. These games had depth; often too much complexity. These were all top-down strategy games. You can still find them in the computer gaming world. Markers that represent units, moved around a map (usually with hexagons). We played a World War II in the Pacific game where the game map was 12 feet by 12 feet! Setup in one guy’s garage. Accompanied by a thick rule book.

Didn’t do much gaming during college. Too busy drinking every Wednesday thru Sunday nights. But after college I returned to gaming. I found a few bookcase games designed to play solo. My favorite one concerning carrier battles during the Solomon Islands campaigns.

In the early 90’s I began to search for a computer game to play. This was before the multi-media explosion. I found it in Empire Deluxe. An easy to play, top down strategy game. You could play solo, or exchange turns via email, or even play live over the world wide web. I played the shit out of that game.

Then multi-media was ushered in. Lots of people had computers, and then you could upgrade with a CD-ROM, a sound card, and speakers. Usually a few games were included, like Myst. Seems kinda lame now, but in its time Myst was pretty dang good. So, computer gaming here I come; perfect for the little boy who has no problem playing alone.  I mostly played strategy games and first-person shooters. Civilization. Masters of Orion. Half-life. Doom.

I knew of online games, the massively multiplayer online games; World of Warcraft being the dominate player. I was never much into games with magic; I preferred sci-fi elements. I was reluctant to jump into online gaming because I knew once I started I would be all in. So I hesitated, and waited for something that really interested me.

I had heard of EVE Online, and knew that when I did jump into online gaming it would be with the space-based EVE. One afternoon I was reading a science fiction novel dealing with space travel, and I just set down the book and signed up for EVE Online. That was 2007.

Just as I figured, EVE is pretty much the only computer game I play, much to the chagrin of my son who used to like to watch me play certain games, they were like movies to him. Course, now he just plays his own.

I haven’t watch network television since around 2000. I only got back into TV shows once I could stream entire seasons over Netlfix in one weekend. I watch a few shows now but do so because my kids are into them. Something we share and discuss. Where some people watch TV most evenings I play EVE. Where some people might go to the movies I play EVE. I haven’t played any other computer game in years. If I am spending a few hours with computer gaming  then I spend it on EVE.

And what is EVE Online? It is anything you want it to be. You fly around in space ships and do what you want; not without consequences, of course. You can build, buy, sell, destroy, repeat as necessary. Mine, manufacture, invent, pirate, mercenary, whatever.  I choose to be an industrialists. I procure different raw materials, sell some and use some in manufacturing.

What I like about Eve is the accomplishments. Completing tasks, achieving goals, acquiring certain things. Heck, it is just like life.

Whether you see it as a strength or as a character flaw, I have no problem being alone. I can always find ways to entertain myself.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Yoga Watching

On the one hand it can be tough observing others while doing yoga. In certain poses it is near impossible to get a good look at anyone else, but I am a people watcher and there are plenty of watchees in a yoga class.

Favorite Position, not Pose

First there is positioning; that is, where does one place their mat. By far the popular areas are to the sides and not in front. I guess I understand to the sides if you like to use the side mirror, but I find it amusing when they squeeze their mats in at one end or the other while there is plenty of open space in the middle. I know that if I were to the side and people just kept placing their mats nearby, I would be like, "GET AWAY FROM ME!! PUT YOUR MAT IN THE MIDDLE!" Yelling inside my head.

Many don't like being in the front row, I guess because they don't want to be, you know, in front. I can't not be in front. I am too used to seeing myself in the mirror. If I move back 8 feet then in the mirror I move back 16 feet, and that is just too far away for me. Besides, being in front offers better people watching

Pre-class Rituals

What does a person do with themselves while waiting for class to begin: i.e. pre-class rituals. Prior to class the lights are off, and of course, there is no talking in yoga. So, you lay there in the dark. I have never fallen asleep laying there in the dark but I have heard a few others snoring. Most people just lay on their back, quietly preparing for class, or thinking about what to do after class, or thinking about work, or thinking about which yoga poses are best suited for sex while still being reasonably comfortable. That last thought can crop up during class, too.

Some folks are gun-ho yogis and can't wait for class to begin. They go into several poses. I guess they would say they are getting warmed up. I sometimes do pushups before a class, if that class has no push-up in it. Otherwise I might stretch my arms over my head, or pull my knees to my chest, or adjust my package. Don't need out of position bits and pieces during class.

Outer Vestments

Usually the women outnumber the men. I have been in more classes where I was the only guy, then I have been in classes where men outnumbered the women. Most men wears shirts, but some do not. There is this one guy who is planet of the apes hairy and he always wears a shirt. Good for him. The guys who do go shirtless usually do not have body hair, so looks like manscaping is a prerequisite. I do not shave or wax or otherwise remove my chest hair, so as you can guess I wear a shirt. Almost all men where gym shorts of one kind or another.

The women do not go topless, and their clothes run the gamut. Some wear baggy gym shorts and loose shirts. Some wear tight spandex bottoms with sports bra tops. Others have combos. The colors also vary. All black is popular, but you get some bright colors, too.


A vast majority of those in class do not make noise beyond their breathing. But you can get a grunter or moaner sometimes. Men are more likely to grunt and groan than women. It's like the opposite of sex: where men are more likely to be all stoic and quiet, concentrating on not letting go, while women attempt to embrace the moment and can get vocal while doing so. There is this one annoying guy who I rarely see who talks during class, which is considered a no-no. I think he thinks he is being funny, throwing out sarcastic complaints or talking about a "starbucks break." Whatever, I just feel like slapping him upside the head.

With my membership I can bring guests for free, so just let me know if you want to partake in some hot room yoga.

Thursday, July 19, 2012


I used to go the local rec center and do the elliptical machine, some weights, and swim laps. My original perception of yoga was heavily influenced by movies and TV. It seemed to be all about flexibility. Women with their feet behind their heads, walking around on their hands. Inhuman stretching and contorting. I then began to understand that yoga was much more than that, I considered finding out how much more.

At about the same time a guy at work started talking about yoga. He is really into it. Said he liked to eat what he wanted and drink beer, and he found doing hot room yoga seemed the best at keeping off the pounds. He kept saying I should try it. Sunstone Yoga.

I already had the yoga idea floating in my head, and his prompting was the final straw. I checked it out. Hooked right off the bat.

Let me tell you what I like about yoga. There are no measurements. There are no numbers to log. Consequently , no appearance of bragging and grandstanding. Especially since Sunstone Yoga does not teach poses outside of most people’s normal range of motion. So, no feet behind the head and walking around on your hands. If you run, swim, or bike then you are measuring; how far and how long did it take. If you do weights then you are measuring; how much and how may reps and how many sets. It becomes a numbers game; a status symbol. There are no numbers in Yoga, and I like that. It’s just me and the poses.

I really like the hot room part. It has had a positive effect on my skin. I simply feel more healthy in a general way, and I feel stronger. There are muscles I use in yoga that never get used with weightlifting, running, or even swimming. I would say yoga is first and foremost about strength, then balance and flexibility.

I haven’t even scratched the surface on all that yoga can provide. It has begun to impact my diet, and that will only increase over time; what I want will begin to change. And I have yet to focus on the mental, intellectual, and emotional benefits.

I look forward to discovering so much more as I mature in my yoga practice. 

Monday, July 16, 2012

Let's Talk about Porn

My first exposure to porn was when I was eleven years old. A father two house down had a huge Playboy collection. We would sit in his garage attic and smoke cigarettes and look at Playboy magazines. Old school pubic hair. Which, of course, I still prefer. I mean hairlessness wasn’t really “in” until the 90’s, beyond my formative years. Don’t get me wrong. Hair, no hair; it’s call good..

By the time I was fifteen we lived in a different state and I would ride my bicycle up to the Stop ‘N Go and buy Penthouse magazines. Don’t ask me why they sold Penthouse to a fifteen year old. I guess they wanted the money.

When I was seventeen I saw my first porn movie. One of my older sisters called the house. She was out drinking with a friend and they decided they had never seen a porn movie and wanted to see one, and thought I could help. We belonged to a video store club and they had an adult section, which I had never entered. I was a regular there and only one year shy of 18, so no problems there. I rented Champagne for Breakfast. 70’s style porn with a storyline, which wasn’t half bad, really. I called a friend and we (he, I, sister, sister’s friend) watched it. Each of us sitting there in quiet trying to pretend we were alone. I am happy to report that no Penthouse Forum moments grew from this porn viewing.

In college we used to have Q&P Parties (quarters and porn). We’d play a porn movie on mute, crank up some music, and play quarters. We also played cards. They were smaller parties, and not always just a bunch of guys. During my first year in college there was a very old theater across the street that would show porn movies at midnight on weekends. I went twice, I think. The entertainment was everyone yelling out jokes about the movie, trying to elicit laughs.

In the 90’s, before I got myself an internet dial-up connection you would sometimes hear news stories about all the porn on the internet. Naturally, when I did get on the internet, I went in search of porn. It was not easy to find. There were no all-encompassing search engines like Google. Web sites had to be posted or advertised on sites like Yahoo. But I finally did find a site, which linked to other sites. Just about all of the internet porn back then were scans from magazines. Now, of course, just about any search will get you some porn in your results. It is no longer “ how can I find porn,” it is now “how can I not find porn.”

Can’t say I peruse porn as much as I used to. Now and then I hit a tangent and go on a little viewing run. Is this another example of youth being wasted on the young? I suppose by the time I am 80 the pendulum will swing back and I will be all into it.

The problem with porn today is that it lacks eroticism and sensuality. It’s just human bodies having sex, and usually in ways that regular people don’t because they aren’t doing it for pleasure they are doing it for the camera. The end result is some people expect their sexual experiences to match porn sex; or worse, they learn sex from porn sex.

So. Porn. Look at it. Or not.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Pick Up Lines

(Please note that not one of these lines ever resulted in the successful picking up of a woman.)

Your ability to do something is directly linked to your willingness to learn.

You must accept yourself before you can expect others to do the same.

Without action there is no resolution.

Animals are much better at handling adversity than humans. They learn to cope and then get on with their lives.

Unfortunately, we're better at learning for ourselves than heeding advice.

To deny your age is to admit regret for how you have lived your life.

To be strongly ambitious is to want what is not deservedly yours.

America is where good things happen to you - as long as your luck holds out.

To acknowledge your anger is strength. To act on your anger is weakness.

Argument & Debate
Most people consider an argument and a fight to be the same thing. Not so. An argument is an exchange of thoughts and ideas while a fight lacks both.

It is interesting that for some people art is a wonderful tool for expressing themselves while for others art is a means for avoiding personal expression.

Assuming is human nature. Acting on assumptions is a character flaw.  

For many people the event determines their attitude. For a lucky few of us our attitudes determine the event.

Authors & Writing
Good writing is the result of exploring the depths of one's mind.

True beauty is revealed through self-confidence and attitude.

To believe without commitment is like cooking soup without a pot.

Bureaucracy is like your lawn: you have to routinely cut it to keep in under control.

I haven't changed, your perception of me has ;-)

Character is like the roots of a tree: it's the part that can't plainly be seen that makes a person strong.

People have a tendency to decline to make a choice and then to complain about it.

Confidence has more influence on how you look then how you look does.

Resolving a conflict doesn't necessarily mean that someone has to lose.

Conformity & Nonconformity
The purpose of conformity is to control. The purpose of nonconformity is to explore.

There seems to be more and more talking and less and less conversation.

God didn't create the world; God supplied the energy and watched as the universe bloomed.

Creativity is taking what is in your mind and showing it to other people.

When taken correctly criticism aides growth.

If you are not ready to die then you haven't really lived.

Decisions. What's the big deal? Make one. Learn from it. Make another one.

Sometimes forest fires are beneficial to nature. But when is destruction ever beneficial to man?

If it were easy I would have done it a long time ago.

I don't believe in invention. There is only discovery.

Doubt should warn, not paralyze.

If you don't have dreams then what are you doing with all of your time?

We place too much reliance on drugs; they should be a last step, not a first step.
Let's be careful with our Planet Earth - it's uninsured.

Education is the key to everything.

All men are created equal. Unfortunately intelligence and common sense are extras that many people choose not to pay for.

Excellence in anything is like good acting - when done correctly you don't even notice it.

Experience is dependent upon the passage of time. Most people don't want to wait that long.

Are you an expert because of how much you know or how little everyone else knows?

Facts are always at the bottom of things, but are too easily manipulated. 

Fate & Destiny
Deja vu reinforces my belief in fate.

Freedom starts in the mind and ends with the hands and feet.

Generosity is a hallmark of intelligence.

Glory is usually achieved at someone else's expense.

To get to know God is to get to know yourself. To ask for God's help is to steal yourself for the task ahead.

Government's aren't bad. Sometimes the people who run them are.

Change is the imputes of growth.

Man's instincts are being replaced with habits. Instincts are formed and honed over thousands of years and are beneficial to everyone. In a single lifetime a man can gain and lose numerous habits, many of which are not beneficial.

Happiness in not something you get, it is something you have.

Imagine that every couple of years everything that you know about being in a relationship is lost and you have to start over each time. This is what it is like when generations of man do not learn from history.

Hope is what you do when you can't do anything else.

Living your life without humor is like watching a silent movie with your eyes closed.

Ignorance & Stupidity
Ignorance is when you don't know. Stupidity is when you don't care. 

Using your imagination is like taking a vacation without going anywhere.

Instinct is best used in conjunction with knowledge and experience

Insults are taken, never given.

You are a Broadway production and your intelligence is your stage hands: it's what you can't see that makes everything work.

Intentions are meaningless once the action has taken place.

Half of the joy in going somewhere is the journey.

Our misplaced faith in justice keeps us from focusing on prevention.

Knowledge is not knowing, knowledge is sharing what you know.

If you can't laugh about it then perhaps you'd be better off dead.

Don't trust anyone who touts their own leadership - it isn't theirs, it was given to them.

Many people can't enjoy life because they are too busy reflecting on the past or worrying about the future.

Most people are only listening for their queue to talk.

Memory serves as the raw materials for our intellect.

Mistakes are useful when shared and destructive when kept secret.

Why earn money? To spend it.

Too often we use observation to expose rather than to respect.

Opportunity is the most that anyone deserves.

Optimism & Pessimism
Optimism is about accepting and pessimism is about blaming.

Peace is a by-product of common sense and respect.

Personality is like the clothes we wear: it can reveal something true about us or it can be misleading.

Politics is an extension into adulthood of everything that we disdain about adolescence.

There is great power in restraint.

Pride in one's self is vanity. Pride in others is praise.

Without problems most of us would be out of work.

Most people are interested in progress only when it benefits them.

Prudence has become a victim of our media-rich and information-laden society.

If you don't have any questions then you probably aren't thinking.

Regret & Remorse
Don't confuse opportunity cost with regret or remorse.

Where I am depends on where you are.

People prefer that responsibility belong to someone else.

Revolution is like a forest fire. Sometimes you need one for rejuvenation.

Sanity & Insanity
Sanity is relative.

Society is a convenient scapegoat.

I'd like to enjoy Space before man screws it up.

The immature value strength of body while the mature value strength of mind.

Success & Failure
Being successful is not a fact, it is an opinion.

Terrorism is a result of blaming someone else for your own problems.

Pessimists see time as finite while optimists see time as infinite.

Violence is the result of a weak mind.

Most people spend a lifetime searching for the wealth that was inside them all along