Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Years Eve and Day

FYI I had a great birthday:) Thanks for all of the wishes. Last night was just the way I wanted it. Nice little dinner @ Bagu and then a few cocktails @ Tailgate in bed early no hang over and feeling good for tonight:)

In other news....

What if the calendars were incremental? What if they never started over again at 1?

What if today was 2009*31 or January 62,279?

Happy Arbitrary Re-Starting of the Calendar Day:)

Wishing You and Yours A Wonderful 2009:)

Love,
Brian in Minneapolis

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Brian In Minneapolis: Forward Looking Statement for 2009

Today is my Birthday:) One thing I always do on my birthday is set goals for the coming year.

I am, I think, I will.

What do I want to accomplish with my 31st year on planet earth?

Goals for my 31st Year on this Planet


Read 50 Books.

Take 20 credits worth of classes.

Fence off my back yard.

Place a concrete patio in the back yard.

Get a dog.

Publish one book.

Take Two Trips - Thinking of North Carolina this summer and Arizona this spring.

Pay off another $10,000 in debt and quit being my own worst enemy it absolutely sucks how much crappy credit history can effect your job prospects, especially in this market.

In the fall I would like to redo my basement.Especially, the bar area not really sure how much money or what exactly I will do but at a minimum I want to put my poker table up, wire the basement for TVs and sound maybe put a few small flat screen monitors up, get a few comfy used bar stools. (It kills me to see all of this stuff on Craig's list right now and not be able to afford any of it.) I would like to start having bi-weekly game again by next winter so if you want on the list let me know and I will keep you posted.

Try 24 New Bars or Restaurants.

Sign-Up for some more sports teams.

Upload Videos to the net. (I have never done this before and it is something I want to do)

Register on inventnow.org

Pick two from the following list. (They all cost the same and I want to do them all but I have to narrow this down)
- Renew MPR Membership
- Fencing Lessons
- Join the Masons
- Renew Mensa
- Dance Lessons
- Karate Lessons
- Swedish Institute Membership
- Renew PMI Membership
- Renew Block Buster Movie Membership (F U I like it better then netflicks)


I am going to avoid the Cliches about working out, eating better, losing weight, quitting smoking, saving money etc. Although I wish to do all of these things I am going to try a little different appraoch this year and hope that all of these things will become a by-product of another goal for example...

Get a dog = Walk More(Exersize) Come home to let him out (Leave the bar early and don't stay out so late = Save money)

Remodel Basement and Patio = More entertaining at home. (Save money + increase home value)

Kickball = Exersize + Social +Fun

Get the idea?

Monday, December 29, 2008

Brian in Minneapolis by the Numbers 2008

Tomorrow is my Birthday. I turn 31 years old and say good bye to another year of sand in my bodies hour glass. In closing the books I look back on some highlights of this past year.

Brian in Minneapolis by the Numbers 2008

Read: 56 Books, 13,496 pages. (Not counting school books)

School: 22 Upper Division Credits.

Movies Watched: 51

Debt: Paid off $13,692.31

Out and About: Tried 24 New Bars and Restaurants (At least they were new to me)

Travel: Left the state 15 times (Denver, Colorado Springs, Milwaukee, Green bay, Appleton, Madison, Wautoma, La Crosse) ok wasn't too exciting of a year of travel but I think anytime you go somewhere new you benefit.

Rounds of Lay-offs Survived: 5

Kickball Record: 7-3 (Sorry about the Championship I will work on tagging up this summer)

Number of Posts: 322

Number of Hits: 22,340 (Thank you for stopping and making my random thoughts part of your day:)

Home Improvement Projects Completed: 9 out of 13 planned project

Happiness meter: 9.2

Friday, December 26, 2008

Thank You:)

AW I would not have gotten through this year without you. You were the light in my darkness and I owe you the rest of my life:)

PS, KS, BB, JE, KW-T, MT, MB, AH, RD, ED, MM, LA, DM, SH-M, ML, JW, KW, MB - Thanks for the drinks, the shelter from the storms, putting up with me, challenging me to be better and comforting me when I fall short. You guys are the best.

To Little Sis, MOM, G-Ma and all of my extended and collaboration of family sorry I am such a prick and can be so indifferent thanks for respecting my space and allowing me to live the life I wanted to. You are really special people and I never forget that even if it seems that way.

To everybody @ Cardinal Stritch. (Hey it's accredited) Thanks for a challenging year.

To Tailgate sorry about the tiff this year promise if you get our shirts on time I will never bad mouth you again.

A shout out to the Library on York in Edina thanks for all of the help with research this year.

To all my friends on Face Book, MySpace, Blogspot, Bloglog and readers thanks for making me a part of your world and letting me be a part of yours.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

So This Is Christmas...

Question: Why did you give presents to people you loved today? As opposed to some other time throughout the year. I assume you thought they were special and lovely on days other then today. So why presents? Why today?


Hopefully everybody did their civic duty and purchased enough presents to insure that Limited Brands, Target, and Wal-Mart won't disappoint analysts earnings expectations too much.


Department Store: Man filing out a tag on a present he is having gift wrapped.

Brian in Mpls: Don't you think it is kind of funny you sign presents from Santa instead of from Jesus? I mean aren't you celebrating his birthday by passing out presents that are supposed to represent offerings in his name to your loved ones? What's with Santa getting all the credit? I wonder if Christ feels gypped at this arrangement? I mean you die and people celebrate your birthday by getting everyone but you a present in someone elses name.

Religious Person: *Shocked expression*

Brian in Mpls: I suppose though it might be traumatic for the kids to have little blood trails from the stigmata wounds leading from the Chimney to the tree instead of the cute little elf and reindeer prints you can get at Michaels.

Religious Person: *Shocked expression*

Brian in Mpls: Sooo...What's Jesus going to get you for Christmas?

Religious Person: Eternal salvation.

Brian in Mpls: Technically that's his Easter present to you but I am willing to work with ya on this...So what did you get Jesus for his birthday?

Religious Person: (Pause) I don't think you understand Christmas. *Said as he is walking away*

Brian in Mpls: I guess not..

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Despite Our Special Status - I Love Minneapolis

Minneapolis or for that matter Minnesota in general is handicapped.

It is cold been -7 this week with wind-chill below -30.
There has been snow and freezing rain.
There is black ice that causes spin outs on the road
You have to pay extra money to live here for things like heat, gloves, mittens, jackets, salt, shovels.
There is a cost in time takes time to shovel, plow, scrape your windows, warm up your car.

In almost all respects you can think of it is a flat windy, cold and inhospitable place to to live.

Yet, there is this vibrant culture that exists in this place. The arts, The museums, the shows, the sports, the bars, the restaurants, the clubs, the libraries, the open mic nights, the different cultures clashing in feast for the senses along EAT Street, Uptown, Downtown, Frog Town, Dinky town. The intellectual pursuits of the universities that ring the cities.

It is like an oasis in the ice.

Tuesday morning I went out to start my car it was one of those colds wear your bones hurt and you get fatigued doing just simple things. In this temputure I saw a man smile and I wasn't cold any more.

I wonder what we would become if we didn't have the handicaps or are we a great city because of them?

Some places are only special because of the weather, I say we are special despite the weather.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

An Apple a Day

Person: That apple is rotten.

Brian in Mpls: It is all relative.

Person: Relative to what?

Brian in Mpls: How hungry the person is holding it.


Of all the expressions I hate the most, one that continually tops my list is.."One bad apple spoils the bunch."

The truth is all apples spoil given a long enough time line. Whether they are in a bunch or not. There are not magical apples out there that refuse to spoil or will only spoil when around already spoiled apples. The causality is life cycle, oxidation, lack of water, etc. It has almost nothing to do with the other apples, other then they all share the same properties. Yes some rot faster then others but all will rot eventually.

You hear this expression used most by parents who want to escape blame for their children's actions. They shift focus from the circumstances and natural process and blame the other apples or the children's peer group.

Failing to realize that peer groups tend to be selected based on common elements that are usually outside of the children's control. I.e Social-Economic status, School choice, emotional relativity, family structure, early experience etc. They blame the other apples rather then examine the forces that caused them to bunch in the first place.

PS Happy Festivus:)

Monday, December 22, 2008

Weekend ReCap

Friday

Read: Killing Sacred Cows: Overcoming the Financial Myths That Are Destroying Your Prosperity, by Garrett Gunderson. This book comes the closest to any financial book I have ever read at explaining my personal philosophy on finance. He nailed out of the park why 401k's are horse shit and why insurance is important. Definitely a book to check out.... I wish I would have wrote it, but at least now I have something I can send people who ask what my view on the market is.

Went to Trocaderos for few drinks.

& Ike's

Saturday

Cleaned, Raked the Roof, Watched some TV in my sweat pants.

Typed some more on my paper for class.

Cleaned up and went to a Work Party.

Drinks after @ Tailgate sorry B man that we couldn't meet up but we will have to do it soon.

Sunday

Watched Football

Made some beer cheese soup

Watched House Bunny - pretty much what I expected...lol

Saturday, December 20, 2008

WWJHOHI (What would Jesus have on his IPOD?)

I wonder what songs\artist Jesus would have on his IPOD.

The simple answer would be everything but I don't think he would. His actions in the bible seem to signify a tendency for preference of one thing over another such as where he celebrated Passover or who he choice to visit and break bread with or even that he choice bread to break instead of rice to share etc.

This would lead me to believe this preference would also extend to the types of music he listened to.

Now my gut instinctive stereotype would be that it would be filled with Country and Gospel but then how vain would he be to listen to nothing but songs that glorified him?

So then maybe it is just filled with censored music? Show tunes? I wonder how he would feel about Christmas music? Is the catchy version of Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer a type of blasphemy?

If you had to create a playlist for JC what would you put on it?

Friday, December 19, 2008

Blood Clots...

The Kind of Blood Clot You Actually Want.

Hey it is Friday how about some shooters....

Blood Clot
1/3 Jag
1/3 Cherry Dr McGillicutty
1/3 Red bull

Chilled in a shaker..

Enjoyed Quickly

Also heard this called a "Hemorrhage" in different parts of the land....

It is a good mixed crowd social shot. The jag gives it a bite and the redbull and Dr. give it some sweetness so it goes over good in most crowds.

Another good Winter Time Social Favorite is the Ginger Bread Man

1/3 Goldschlager
1/3 Butterscotch schapps
1/3 Baileys

Chilled in a shaker..

or same ingredients in 1/4s with Jag for an Oatmeal Cookie.

1/4 Goldschlager
1/4 Butterscotch schapps
1/4 Baileys
1/4 Jag

Although too much Baileys tends to lead to some internal problems for me so I usually stick to the blood clots.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

This Little Light of Mine.

As opposed as I am to Christmas I have to admit I like Christmas lights.

Especially this year.

With all of the shit going on, the lay-offs, the foreclosures, the suffering, the war, the news.

There they are.

Twinkling.

A revolution of light.

A spirit that will not be crushed.

A beacon in the darkness illuminating something far beyond any door step or awning.

It is a refusal to surrender.

A refusal to succumb to the negativity that floods the air waves.

A sign off hope in place by all accounts where there should be none.

A simple walk down a simple Minneapolis street and I could start to feel it again.

Inspiration.

Hope.

And a surge of energetic power recharging this little light of mine.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Reason Why I Am Not a Lawyer #254123

Time Circa 1:30AM
Place: Bar
Situation: Bar Manager in my face and I am holding a lit cigerrette. (Gasp)INSIDE A PUBLIC BUILDING!!

Law lesson #1 - Leverage is everything


Manager: You have to put that out or get the hell out of here.

Brian in Mpls: Why?

Manager: There is no smoking in here

Brian in Mpls: Well I am not smoking, smoking being the act of inhaling and exhaling as you can see I am merely holding this.

Manager: Well why are you holding it?

Brian in Mpls: In case I decide I want to smoke it.

Manager: If you want to smoke it you can't order anymore drinks.

Brian in Mpls: I am putting it out.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Pick a Side - Brothers Grimm vs The People Copy Right Infringment

Sometimes I think it would be interesting to be a lawyer and get to argue a case like this. Clearly they did not create anything or give any royalties to the people who had created the stories that made them a fortune, they merely wrote them down.

The brothers Grimm would win of course but I am not sure I like the implications.

It is not evidence to be used against you until you write it down. Then it becomes legal. Official. You own it for better or worse.

I was thinking of this in relation to this blog.

I am sure many people have the same thoughts of dragging people out of the car that just cut them off and beating them with a rock.

But because I write this here...in this place...I am more guilty somehow then someone who just thinks this.

I wonder if this blog would be protected under my fifth amendment right of self incrimination?

Instead I live in world where what I share, what I vent, what I struggle to find meaning in, where my very honesty will become the cross that I am nailed too.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Weekend ReCap

Friday

Watched: The Dark Knight - Technically this was the second time I watched this this week and it rocked. This was a great movie.

Drank a bottle of wine and wrote some.

Went to Tailgate

Saturday

Read Voluntary Simplicity: Toward a Way of Life That Is Outwardly Simple, Inwardly Rich by Duane Elgin I totally agree with the concept of spend wisely on things that give you value and purpose and declutter the rest of your life but this book could have stayed away from all of the religious undertones and it would have been ten times better.

Worked out

Hung out:)

Watched: The Happening not sure how good it was because at some point I fell asleep.

Sunday

Watched the Packer Game @ Gabes for some cheap Bloody Mary's apparently everyone from WI who now lives in Minnesota goes to Gabes.

Skated to the Dubliner...

Slid to Tailgate..

Read: End of America - Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot by Naomi Wolf - Read it.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Life Expectancy and Causality

What if the greatest advances in medicine have nothing to do with research and development or new drugs and technology? What if the greatest advancement in life expectancy came when we did something extremely simple like started to bath or wash our sheets?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Relationship Status and Translations

I was looking at the relationship status on a couple of websites like myspace and facebook recently and I found it curious. Especially the status that says, “I am in a Relationship” I mean isn’t this a little vague? Aren’t we all in relationships with each other? Am I not in a relationship with everyone who reads this blog?

Although granted it the nature of these relationships varies it just seems to general.

Shouldn’t it read:

I have exclusive breeding rights with ______.

Or

I have formally agreed not to cheat on ______.

Some people would opt for the I am in a committed relationship with_______.

But even that seems a little vague since aren’t we all in committed relationships and social structures with each other?

PS Anyone whose status reads, “It’s Complicated” is in an formal breeding right contract and looking to violate the extent of that contract.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Picture This Windows

Looking out this window I wonder if I am the picture for the outside or is the outside the picture for me?

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

With One Headlight

Sometimes I am glad that headlight manufactures obviously don't practice a rigid form of six sigma. Can you imagine if they were spot on and both of your headlights went out at the same time? A sudden shock of darkness right as you were taking that sharp turn on that lonely country road. Perhaps they purposely add defects or the materials are already perfectly defective either way driving with one headlight is probably better then driving with none

Monday, December 08, 2008

Weekend ReCap

Friday

Went to the library

“Borrowed” some firewood

Read: Ayn Rands, Anthem. Is it wrong to say she is my hero? I think of her everytime I read the news, listen to talks on bailouts, hear the words taxpayer or community.

I Am, I Think, I Will.

Watched Step Brothers and laughed my ass off. I was a little nervous because I heard this movie sucked maybe going in with low expectations was key but I thought it was great.

Made a fire and slowly drank into the night.


Saturday

Slept in

Read the WSJ if my work wasn’t covering the cost I would cancel.

Read: Revolutionary Road by Richard Yeates this is right up there with the Corrections as one of the best American family stories I have ever read. It is almost sad that they turned this into a movie recently.

Watched Wanted dumb.

Watched some football

Went to Tailgate

Sunday

Went to a friends house for bunch

Did some homework and ran a bunch or errands.

Watched some football

Watched Hancock it was alright.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Legislation and the Art of Unintended Consequences

If you smoke you have started to notice over the last few months that your cigarettes have been burning out if you leave them unintended for a short period of time. This is due to a new piece of legislation that is sweeping the country requiring all cigarette manufactures to put additive or thicker paper on smokes to prevent fires.

The intended consequence is that 1000 lives will be saved each year by passing this bill.

huh?

A few years back the government sued the tobacco companies for billions of dollars for making unsafe products.

One of the more interesting cases was that the government said Light Cigarettes were misleading because people thought they were safer but in reality people inhaled deeper increasing there risk of death and dependency.

Guess what the legislation above is going to do?

Increase people inhaling deeper and give rise to greater dependency.

Good job legislation you have just saved a 1000 lived at the expense of 50,000 lives I think you need a raise. It is legislative mass murder.

Maybe the world is better off since now people can sue the government for legislating additives and making cigarettes more unsafe.

Maybe the unintended consequence of this, besides another 50,000 people dying, is that I have a seven figure settlement in the future.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Sour Milk - Career Coaching with Brian in Minneapolis

Brian as a mentor and career coach.

There is only one person in my life for whom, "When are you going to be done with school?" Is a question that I accept as legitimate. And that is because she has a direct stake in my income earning potential that is directly tied to my degree achieving potential and project. For everybody else who asks me this question I look at you like sour milk.

The second you stop going to school. The second you stop reading and taking training courses is very moment an expiration date is written visibly across your body.

You become milk sitting on a shelf..

Milk that eventually will go bad...

For all of the milk out there..

Think back to the last degree you received
Your expiration date is 2 years after graduation.

Think back to the last book you read.
Your expiration date is one month after you closed the cover.

Think back to the last training class you took.
Your expiration date is 6 months after that class.

Take the greatest date..

Write that date in your cube
Write that date on your fridge
Write that date on your bathroom mirror

It is the date that you become sour...

Are you expired?

Think of your education as a stay fresh guarantee...

A zip lock bag you open for potential employers, business partners and investors.

And stop asking people when they will be done with education and start asking them when their expiration date is..

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Why Gender Specific Bathrooms?

Doesn't it seem a little 1930's that we still have gender specific bathrooms? I wonder if people are afraid that there will be non-stop orgies if all of sudden we all go shit in the same place?

Are they afraid we are going to see each others we-we's and who-ha's?

If I had to guess the whole reason there is segregation it is either because of a male conspiracy or a female one.

Female: They need a place to talk in private. (I would suggest texting)
Men: They are afraid of waiting in line.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

I am Job with a Few Notable Exceptions

1.) I am not religious
2.) I am not pious
3.) I don't believe I will be rewarded for suffering

But suffer alike we do.

In America there are two types of people those who have suffered and those who have not. I firmly believe the latter should not not be able to speak for the former as there is a distinct difference. There is a difference between knowledge and experience. There is a difference between being knowledgeable about poverty and actually having\lived in poverty.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Week(end) ReCap

Wednesday

Went to the Library and picked up a few books.

Drove to Wisconsin

Crawled into a little room and read

Crawled out drank a bottle of vodka

Thursday

Ate

Crawled into a little room and read

Ate

Drank a bottle of vodka

Watched football

Ate

Had some cocktails at Billy B's

Friday




Partied in downtown Wautoma, Doggers, Billy's, Grims

Saturday

Crawled into a little room

Finished Reading: Undaunted Courage by Stephen Ambrose - This was a great book the attention to detail was magnificent it honestly made me wish I was part of the exploration into the interior. I also wish I would have picked it up and read it sooner be the 600 pages kind of scared me..lol
Finished Reading: Getting Your Shift Together by Liz Pellet (Working this one into my Capstone Project)



Sunday

Drove back to Minneapolis

Watched some football

Friday, November 28, 2008

We Won The Election?

One of my favorite topics to get into discussions about is race anyone who knows me knows I love to stray into the taboo areas of our social realm and challenge assumptions that rarely ever get examined.

Sitting @ a bar talking politics and the man next to me says

Man: "We finally beat you and got one of our own into the White House."

- Now for the record I voted for Obama but I was curious to see where this was going.

Brian in Mpls: "Really, who did?"

Man: "We did motherfucker, we all went out and voted and got him in."

Brian in Mpls: "How do you explain then that Obama lost in almost every state that has a high concentration of American Americans?"

Man: "What? Don't talk crazy. You can't prove that."

Well I couldn't at the time but I can now...anyone want to place the red and blue state diagram over this census population picture and tell me what you see?
I don't see why it had to be about race and not just people looking for change and the right person to lead the change.




PS. Anyone want to levy any conjectures about the states with the highest African American population voting overwhelmingly for McCain? Possibly the implications this data has on American race issues and relations?

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Pricing for Risk

The rate on your card is supposed to be reflective of the amount of risk you carry with a credit card company. Priced out because they know a certain amount of people within a given set of demographics is likely to default. For example if you have bad credit you might pay 25% on your card because people with the same credit criteria as you have shown that x amount of people in x(y) population are likely to default this way the credit card can cover the losses of people in this group who will not pay.

In essence they are covering their risk of loss by charging you a higher interest rate.

But what if they can't lose? What if no matter what they can garnish your wages, have you pay for their legal fees etc..? What if they can't lose? Then aren't you being ripped off paying a high interest rate to begin with?

So they are charging you for risk they don't really have.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Homeless People and Dogs

If you think about it, a homeless person is a dogs wet dream of an owner. They are on a permanent walk, they get to be outside all day and they get to eat out of the trash without anyone yelling at them.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Ownership vs. Experience - The Mastery Fallacy

"Having a male gynecologist is like going to an auto mechanic who doesn't own a car"
-Carrie Snow

Yes Carrie you have a vagina and I am happy for you. I would also like to wager that despite my lack of a vagina I have more vaginal experience then you. I have seen multiple vagina's up close. I have experimented extensively with them. Seen their capacity for excepting various objects up close. I would be willing to bet that despite your ownership of the object I have greater experience with it.

Just because you have something doesn't make you the expert.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Weekend ReCap

Friday

Met an old friend for a 2-4-1 @ Tailgate

Saturday

Typed a paper

Read: Factomtum by Charles Bukowski it was good similar to his book Women but probably the last one i will read by him.

Watched: Iron Man and loved it.

Cleaned

Went for a walk.

Watched Flags of Our Fathers and in the vain of Saving Private Ryan this was a great movie.

Sunday


Had Dinner with Mom in Minneapolis @ The Old Country Buffet

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Truth Is....

I am happy:)

I might bitch a lot about my current financial situation and don't get me wrong it sucks, but then a million little things remind me that I have a wonderful life.

A hair tie
An email
A phone call
A comment
Your hug
A card
2 4 1's
My couch
A fire
A ball
Backrubs
Cheap wine
The library
School
Being under a million comforters
Coffee @ home
Friends
Solace
Time to reflect
Just walking
Kitties

The truth is I have had a lot more things and been a lot less happy then I am right now and I owe you that and I won't forget it ever.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Who Says You Can't Kick A Dead Horse?

(Sorry I know this is a little insensitive but it is hard to be sensitive when you are being beaten death by the long arm of the law. I don't really feel this way anymore but I got a laugh when I fond this in my folder today)

Who says you can't kick a dead horse...

For Capitol One and Messerli & Kramer it is just another steal toe party.

Some things I scribbled whilst sitting in court...

Compounding Disinterest

Action Taken:
3-Application denied by financial institution
AKA
Brian's Reduction on a HMDA Transmittal
AKA
Your seed money and my coffins nails
AKA
Hennepin County Fourth Court District Case #XXXXXXXXX
AKA
Spread them .....further
AKA
This call is for Brian Johnson, by continuing to listen to this call you acknowledge you are..click
AKA
This is an attempt to collect a debt any information obtained will be used..click
AKA
Do you want to live press 1 followed by the pound sign...click


Christmas Wishes for Capitol One and Messerli & Kramer

I wish you the same kind of happiness you obviously wish for me.

I hope all of your children's toys were made and China with the best lead paint that they had available while your toddler is at a teething point in their life.

May that irregular piece of meat go down the wrong pipe and stick there just long enough for you to feel deaths desperate hand.

May your condoms break and your mistresses infect you and your family with sores.

May your cat scan results reveal it is nothing trivial.

But mostly I wish that all of the misery and pain that you inflict on this world shows up at your door step in never ending waves that will slowly rip apart the entire fabric of your lives, washing away everything you hold dear, leaving you exactly where you just left me.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

"Pizza"




Hmmmm. I was waiting for a pizza to cook when I noticed the top of the wrapper that said , "Made with 100% (Kraft) Cheese"

Now I eat enough Mac and Cheese to understand what Kraft thinks cheese is, but the way the wrapper is worded I think alot of people would be confused that the pizza is made with 100% cheese (pure cheese).

The use of the word Kraft in the logo in effect puts quotes around the whole cheese concept making it suspect.

I decided to call customer care on the back of the wrapper and get a comment from them....I still have not heard back. I will keep you posted

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Log Splitter AKA The Kate Moss Effect

Log Splitter: Noun: Used to describe a woman who is so thin her pubic bone threatens to turn your dick into a canoe.

“She was a log splitter.”

Other endearing terms include, “Buck Tooth Beaver”, “Cave Cunt”

So go ahead and have seconds…please.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Context Along Racial Lines

What fun would it be if the world you saw today didn't change a little bit because you came to visit me?


With the outcome of the election there has been a lot of talk about race in America. For some reason people assume that racism caused slavery this always puzzles me since slavery has existed for thousands of years before the first slaves were brought to what is now the United States. The constitution of the United States conflicting with the practice of slavery in America is what caused racism....racism was an effect not a cause of slavery. This is why the majority of slaves that were brought to the so called New World ended up in Brazil or countries other then the United States. (Less then 7% of all slaves taken from Africa were brought to the United States) The other countries have much different racial identifies then our own since they did not have the contradiction of practice vs. principle that we had in America.

I wonder if it would also surprise people that more Europeans were brought to Africa as slaves then Africans were brought to the United States as slaves during roughly the same period of history? (Challenge to the notion that the practice of slavery only disrupted, destroyed families etc of Africans)

By almost a 2:1 margin.

Interesting isn't it? (Barbary Pirates vs. African Slave Trade)

One thing I wish I could get people more involved in is world history instead of American History. To study just the later is to lose context.

What group of people is the biggest recipient by dollar volume of welfare in this country?

If you guessed old people you are correct.... those 55+, lazy, wrinkly balls, saggy tits, arthritis having parasites. Sitting around doing nothing for nobody. We should move them all to an island and forget about them.

(Only kidding grandma...but seriously watch your back)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Captivity

So it begins today... 15 weeks of captivity. I would like to thank everyone who helped with the send off this weekend I do appreciate it and March 1st I will get you back. I would also like to thank everybody in advance for stopping over this winter with bottles of wine and vodka ...or just showing up and leaving cash in my mailbox:)

OK... So I am not going to be locked up exactly ,but it will amount to the same thing.

Last week, just in time for the holidays I was forced into a wonderfully painful situation with a few of my creditors where they will be taking the majority of my next seven paychecks...(There is an assumption in there of course that I will still be getting seven more pay checks of course and that is looking ever more doubtful)

What will I be doing in captivity you wonder?

Reading
Eating Ramen
Trying to distill booze from what I can find in the trash
Watching TV
Working out
Finishing my Capstone
and
Cleaning

Ok maybe my life really won't be that much different then it is now?

On the flip side my financial picture will be a lot better this spring and hopefully the working out I have been doing will stick and by the time I get out of captivity I will be back in fighting shape.

So if you don't see me in person for a little bit, don't worry I am still around just parked in the debtors prison of my house...

Weekend ReCap

Friday

Drove to Madison

I was welcomed back to State Street with what seemed like a never-ending stream of vodka.

Saturday

Drank all day for the Badger Gopher game. I love you guys.

Something, something, went into the game...ended up in Verona(sp)

Pics are up on FB

Sunday

Watched: Football

Read: Go It Alone: The Secret to Building a Successful Business on Your Own by Bruce Judson. It was ok there was nothing that jumped off the page as new and exciting information and he begged and borrowed his way to filling the pages, but if you are just starting to research starting your own business this might be a good reference to start with.`

Friday, November 14, 2008

Smile:) - Product Idea #25412 White Out for Teeth

I was looking at an ad yesterday and I realized what has been holding me back from being successful all of these years…..Bright White Straight Teeth!

I wonder if I could invent a tooth polish…kind of a combination between nail polish and white out that I could use to paint the coffee, wine and tar stains from my teeth?

Then I would surely be a success in more ways then one.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Shitty Weather

I was walking through the rain yesterday watching the water drops cling to my jacket and thought to myself what if there really was a shit storm? What if it hailed turds? Greasy streams of loose stools streaming down from butt shaped clouds. Shit blowing in on you sideways. What if those weren’t water droplets? What if my coat was turning brown with speckles from shit stains?

I bet the sales of umbrellas would go up.

I also wonder how our clothing would change and if we would all have showers on our porches to get the stank off or if we would just get used to it.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Camel Crush Bad Product Idea #3454

How many smokers out there get half way through smoking a light or regular flavored cigarette and think to themselves, “Fuck I wish this was a menthol, if only there was something in the filter I could snap so I could add menthol goodness.”

People tend to be either menthol smokers or a non-menthol smoker. This isn’t a fence issue. If I had to guess the inventor of this product is a mooch who likes to bum cigarettes but never has any of their own and wanted to increase the likelihood of the cigarette they bum being a menthol.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A Blackhole for the Darkness

I am filled with despair
A bubble ripped apart by compounding depression and escalating sadness
I am multidimensional
A walking six foot by six, freshly dug, black hole
A lead lined sarcophagus in defiance of loves radiation.
I am the messenger to marathon on the last leg
I am a happy hour that is anything but
I am a docket on a desk
A void in a picture
A vague sensation in a memory
I am a matchstick man
In a house of cards soaked in gas
Hiding from a light

Monday, November 10, 2008

Weekend ReCap

Friday

Date Night....J D Hoyts for some blackened fish, Bev's for couple glasses of wine over candlelight...Liquor Lyle's for some shots and darts.

Saturday

Got my brakes fixed so I will be eating ramen for the next few weeks...lol

Watched the Badger and Gopher games.

Drinks @ Ike's

Dinner @ Fogo De Chao....yum


Sunday

Packers Vs Vikes....@ Tailgate!


Read: Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller, I should say I finally finished this. I was not impressed. For as hyped up as this was on the banned book list, etc. I thought it was boring.

Friday, November 07, 2008

My Failed Mathematics Logic or Is It?

Did my odds of winning the jackpot get bigger after the drawing?

I was arguing with my friend last night that my odds of holding a winning ticket went up after the jack pot drawing.

Here is my logic

Before the jackpot drawing my odds of holding a winning ticket were 1 in 10 million.

The day after the drawing I figure since the winning set of numbers was picked and only 500,000 people played my odds of holding the winning ticket improved to 1 in 500,000 instead of the 1 in 10,000,000 before the drawing.

Sounds reasonable right?

22 napkins, 18 charts later I was still unconvinced that my odds did not improve after the drawing. I know that my overall chances are still the same regardless but since a winner was determined by a much narrower data set shouldn't my odds of holding the winning ticket mathematically go up?

This is reason # 2541523 I miss the chips @ 11:00 crew....Rocket, G-Off am I crazy?

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Wanted Dead or Alive

Things to pass the time

#1)
Wouldn't it be awesome to put one of your friends pictures on a wanted poster linked to some grizzly crime and then plaster them all over places they normally go to like their office, gas station, bar, grocery store etc and just sit back and see what happens? Go door to door in their neighborhood and leaving flyers..lol


#2)
I would also like to wear a tan dickies suit and dog walk a pack of German Sheppard's in a neighborhood that is close to a prison and just start yelling things into a walkie talkie,

"Another Resident has died?!?!"

"What do you mean he now has 6 guns and a saw?!?!"

"How many have escaped now?!?!"

#3) Or perhaps wear a radiation suit and just going up to a random persons house with a noise maker beeping and start yelling," melt down this places is off the charts," and then wrap their entire house in saran wrap with a quarantine sign on the front law. (I figure it is about time TP'ing got a face lift.)

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Female Sports Announcers

I know what a pig right? But I can't help it. Every time I see a woman with a mic in her hands I just keep waiting for her to swallow it. Stop talking into it and put it in your mouth....

Ever notice all of the male announcers have either head sets or lapel mics?

Check it out next week....

But the women? No their hands are wrapped around the microphone shaft inches from their mouths... I blame the dirty fuckers at ESPN for the fact that I always have to go back and look up what was being said online because I am too distracted by this phenomenon.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

CSI Ancient Rome

Sometimes I wonder if there were drive by spearings in ancient Rome. A local gang pulling up in their chariot at night with the lanterns snuffed out spearing someone on the street corner and then galloping off at a brisk five miles an hour.

I wonder what the police thought when they got on the scene?

"Damn it Jim, its a spear again."

They all had the same spears and since finger printing was centuries off and all the chariot tire tracks were the same I can just picture this cop who was either

A.) Really crazy thinking all of the murders were being committed by this single serial spear killer

or

B.) The luckiest guy ever with the easiest job ever, since you could just lock anybody up since everybody fit the suspect description. (APB on a guy wearing sandals and toga may have a spear)

I wonder if the Vikings had the same problem? Looking for a guy in hat with horns and a bushy beard carrying an Axe. Fuck not again..

and

Don't even get me started on Cavemen and their fucking rocks...

Monday, November 03, 2008

Weekend ReCap

Friday

Drove to Appleton WI for a little trick or treating.

Brian in Minneapolis Dressed as the Badgers Coach Bret Bielema. (I am not sure why I thought this was a good idea since he is probably one of the most hated people in Wisconsin right now, but I am told I resemble him, It got me out of wearing a mask, I got to hold a clip board and yell and people and since he has a rep for hitting on young college girls I figured why not.)



Plus it was awesome and the crowds loved it. I had a blast:) Thanks everybody. I threw some of the pics up on FB:) I love you guys and that was some good solid bar hopping down College ave.

Saturday

Sat in an Appleton bar all day watched the Badger and Gopher games.

Took a nap....

Bar hopped again...saw an awesome dance party that still had me grinning days later..lol


Sunday

Woke up drove home....took a detour as we ran out of gas...that was a new one..lol. Thanks for the experience:)

Read The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien (Local Minnesota man who writes absolutly beatifully about his horrific experience in Vietnam) Great book.

Watched August Rush - It was ok although it definitly converted on 3 and chessy.

Friday, October 31, 2008

20 Years Ago...

I was ten years old the first I was in a court room. I remember looking up at my mom from the stands. She was crying so hard I couldn't tell what she was saying. Just angry tears filling the desolate silence of a room filled with strangers. I can remember trying to contort my long lanky frame into a little ball. Trying to make myself invisible through the masterful art of evasive slouching. I had my church shoes on. I don't remember any feeling of sympathy, any longing to comfort her. I just remember the embarrassment, my cheeks red and heavy with shame. I remember the relief I felt when she stepped down.

I remember when you took the stand. I remember my uncle's big hand grabbing mine and telling me to stand up. I didn't want too. I didn't understand. He wanted you to see me. To see my sister. To have our image emblazoned into your nightmares. The way yours was emblazoned into ours. You never looked at me. You never looked up. No one did. Not you. Not the judge. Not the courtroom filled with our families publication of grief. I have never felt more invisible then standing in that court room waiting for you to apologize to me, for killing my dad.

You might read this and think it is a sad story, but I no longer see it in those terms. It is a mark of time, a passage of growth. It is the A.D to my B.C. It is the birth of my self-awareness, my appreciation of life, my sense of justice, my distintion between dreams and nightmares, my feeling of self-preservation, my search for understanding...

It is not tragic. It just is.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Before You Swipe....

If I showed you a $100 dollar bill and asked you how much you would pay for it what would you say?

Would you pay $117 dollars for a $100 dollar bill?

Most people would say no that would be a rip-off.

Then they pull out their credit card and pay for a purchase and do exactly that.

Paying more then face value for the ability to use it now instead of later.

For some reason this definition of paying more for a $100 bill then it is really worth has helped me greatly with my spending.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Road Side Attractions

Sometimes I wonder to myself where do the homeless people get the nice black magic markers to make their signs?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Another Look @ Executive Compensation.

Imagine for a second that we all were paid the way we are crying to the government to enforce executive compensation. If the company does well we are paid well and if the company does poorly we are paid poorly.

Imagine in the economy that your industry is suffering a slow down that might not have anything to do with how your particular company is performing....would you like to get half a pay check? You would cry bloody foul. Bitch about how unfair it is. Tell the world it is not your fault. It is someone else's. Pay me my money.

But for some reason we expect executives to follow this model?

Think about the logic of it...

You are saying that your contribution to the overall results is so insignificant that you deserve to be exempt from this type of results oriented compensation and that the executives contribution is so significant that they deserve to be on this type of compensation but then out of the other side of your mouth you say it is not fair they make so much more?....huh?

We spend too much time worrying about the value of other people instead of increasing the value that we provide.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Weekend ReCap

Friday

Read Economic Facts and Fallacies by Thomas Sowell (One of my Idols up there with John Stossel) And I loved it..one of those books I wish everyone would read.



Drinks @ IKES, Bank, and Lyons Pub



Saturday

Raked, Edged, Cleaned the gutters for the last time, Installed a new windshield wiper on my car, put a new battery in my camera so it will actually take more then one picture before dying.

Watched Sex in the City: The Movie. Now I have seen the shows, I understand the friendship bonds, I understand the search for love, I get it....but seriously wasn't that just a little corny? I would have changed the ending to Big having a heart attack and her living the rest of her life wondering what the fuck happened dealing with regret anger and sadness...you know like how it is in real life.


Sunday

Worked for a few hours in the morning.

Typed up my marketing promotion for class.

Made a spreadsheet for how I am going to get my ass out of the hole.

Typed up a few Motions to Vacate to get that stuff rolling

Friday, October 24, 2008

Closer Look @ Werewolves

The full moon has the effect of pulling hair through your skin and pulling down your canine teeth and enhancing all of your senses. Just like a full moon effects the tie cycle a little different. But then what about a half moon? Does it just make peoples who are werewolves bushes just really hairy? just kind of effects them a little?

Arguing about this a friend said no it is like a lock it only opens if all the combinations of numbers are aligned.

But doesn't a lock give a little even if you only have three of the four digits? Maybe just additional stubble?

Do werewolves have to shave? Do the hair follicles recede in the morning? only to come back stronger at night as the moon waxes and wanes?

How come their hair on their head never grows in proportion to the rest of their hair growth? Shouldn't all werewolves have mullets?

The myth about the full moon. The truth is these stories were passed down because throughout history people were more active on full moons since before the advent of light and lanterns etc. You were kind of SOL at night time. The full moon enabled people to see better at night. To hunt. To pillage and invade etc. So my guess is the full moon used to hold a lot of anxiety for people since troop movements or robbery etc could only be carried out for a limited time at night during the entire month.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Closer Look @ Mummy's

With the exception of the trilogy with Brendon Frasier the mummy has classically been nothing more then a zombie wrapped in cloth. I mean a mummy by definition is the walking undead. However I find a mummy a lot less scary then a zombie probably because zombies travel in packs and eat brains. Maybe it is the wrapping in TP that makes it lose its appeal. I mean it is right there draped in flammable material just begging for a match or a number 2 after a hard night of drinking.

Frankly I am much more scared of the living. Especially republicans and short people with big hands.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Closer Look @ The Creature From the Black Lagoon

One, stay the fuck out of a black lagoon at night. Even if there is no Creature there are these things called alligators and snakes that happen to be active at night waiting for an idiot like you to come wandering down to the water unarmed with your thumb up your ass in a boat that will capsize on a slight breeze. If you find yourself in the swamp in this situation I figure this is Darwinism at it finest and we are all better off without you.

Two, if there was a creature there would be lots of creatures since it would have to have someone to mate with. So technically it should be Creature(s) from the Black Lagoon.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Government is Your Next Door Neighbor.

Government is not a stand alone entity. It does not exist by itself in a vacuum. Government is a collection account of additional labor, productivity, creativity and capital created by the population that funds it. The government is the people. When someone asks the government for money they are asking their neighbor for money. When someone asks the government to fix a problem they are asking their neighbor to fix the problem. The wealth that funds it comes from your labor. Your production. It comes from your neighbor and their neighbor.

For some reason I feel like we have forgotten this. I feel like we lack the ability to take responsibility for our actions.

We blame this entity and forget this entity is us.

We are the government.

I wish people would just remember what the government is, then maybe they would get pissed or at least pay attention.

That's what this politics thing is all about. It is about the best way to spend the additional productivity of our neighborhoods in the most efficient manner possible to the benefit of shared growth and well-being for us and generations to come.

I think until we all rediscover what the government and this political process is really about, we will continue the wasteful circus sideshow that mismanages and underutilizes all of the hard earned potential we create to fund this....

Do you really think your neighbor should be responsible for what you do?

Is the best way to spend your neighborhoods potential locking up people who smoke pot in their homes? Or is building new streets? Creating more jobs? Helping children get a good education?

When ever you hear a government plan look at your check book, then walk down your street and ask yourself if you would pay money out of your own pocket to do to the people on your street what the government is proposing. (This is exactly what the government is doing they are paying money out of your own pocket) Is it fair? If you were in their shoes what would you hope they would do?

Then call and tell your reps what you would do. Tell them no. Tell them yes. Get involved.

We forget this is all about us.

By the People for the People. Built with the sweat of you and your neighbors for the shared benefit of you and your neighbors.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Weekend ReCap

Friday

Read The White Boy Shuffle by Paul Beatty. This is the book I wish I had the talent to write. It was funny, insightful and it had this flow to words that borderlines genius. Great recommendation from the Hottest thing in Nashville.

Saturday

Drank some wine, mowed, raked, round one with the gutters, watched some football, drank some more.

Made a fire in the fireplace and Watched Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and had further proof that I don't really like the same things I did when I was 10.

Sunday

Woke up and went for a long walk.

Went to Champs in Richfield and watched a little Vikings.

Made another fire and took a shot at cooking some beef tenderlion.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Shades of the Little Green Monster

I was green with envy.
The little green monster of jealousy.

I wonder if these shades of green are the same? Or is one darker or lighter then the other?

If I was a crayon called Envy Green would I be darker then a crayon called Jealous Green?

Or would it be a lighter color green like sea sick green?

I also find it frustrating that Crayola gets to decide this for me without any input on my behalf.

I don't think it is fair they get to dictate the color of my emotional responses into a definitive color. After all aren't my cheeks flush with anger at a different color then yours?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Winner of the 2008 Election Is....

Rupert Murdoch

His bribes, I mean campaign contributions insure that no matter who wins the election his News Crap company will have favorable status at the same time he is raking in cash hand over fist in advertising dollars for all of the commercials that are airing on his network.

No matter if it is a republican commercial or a democratic commercial. A negative ad or a positive add. The piper gets paid.

I bet local stations just love a contested state.

As I watch TV or listen to the radio I just imagine all of the people responsible for selling advertising space are sitting at the beach drinking cocktails.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Average Annual Return Means Dick....

The average annual return on any financial document means dick what you really need to look at is what was the yield. Many people forget that these are completely separate items for example.


I am going to invest a $5,000.00 and watch it grow in a high risk mutual fund over four years.

Year.. Return.... Amount
1..... 100%..... $10,000.00
2..... -50%..... $5,000.00
3..... 100%..... $10,000.00
4..... -50%..... $5,000.00

My average annual return is (200-100)/4 = 25%
My Yield is.....drum roll........ 0!

Which number is on the prospective?

Which number do you actually car about?

If you factor in the time value of money with inflation and fees from the fund you would actually have a negative yield. But since this example used semi unrealistic numbers in the rates of return to simplify the example, it should also leave out the additonal detail.ical.

So next time you are sitting with a financial planner or looking at a fund say that is nice rate but what is the take home yield after Inflation and Fees.... after all that is what you really care about.

You will start to notice funds that might not have high rates of return every year but with dividends, cash flow, etc. they will have a yield that is much higher then those funds you are investing in with much less risk.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Double "0" Times Up

Roulette Wheel of Life

On my way to work yesterday a few cops went screaming by me along with an ambulance. I admit as selfish as this sounds I was a little annoyed that we all had to pull over and let them pass because I was running a little late for a meeting. They all stopped about a mile up ahead and as I got closer I could see there was a pretty bad accident where a truck had t-boned a car in the intersection.

An intersection I go through 6 times a days.

For the rest of the day I couldn't help thinking that life is a big roulette wheel. The metallic ball bouncing along its brine. Getting closer. Going slower. Eventually with enough spins it lands on your number like this truck landed on this car.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Weekend ReCap

Friday

Read: Women by Charles Bukowski - This has been sitting on my recommendation list for a long time. Normally I hate reading stuff that people say fits me to a T because then I get pissed realizing that my self delusion has been shattered by what an asshole people think I am. However I really liked this one and saw the exact four places in this book where you thought of me....and let me guess you are Bobby?...lol Prick. It was a good book though and I ordered Factotum too.

Drove to Wisconsin.

Not only did I fall of the wagon I was dragged by it for several miles:)

Saturday

Badger Game - Cocktails Grims, Doggers, Hide-a-Way.


Sunday

Drove home thought about raking but took a nap instead.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Presidential Debate

For some reason during the last presidential debate I couldn't shake the fact that I kept thinking Kayne West was going to jump out and say, "Tom Brokaw doesn't like black people."

Friday, October 10, 2008

TV Looking Back at Me

Ever notice how no one in any of the TV shows you watch ever watches TV in the show?

We love this TV less world so much we watch an average of four hours of it a day.

I wonder if people will ever realize that if they simply turned off that switch they have the power to be their own show.

Imagine if the TV showed you and the reality show crew or sitcom cast watched you...would they be excited? Must see TV?

Imagine if people on the show you watched just watched TV. Would you still tune in?
It would be like looking into a hall of mirrors where the same sad image was repeated in smaller and smaller proportions to infinity.

Those conversations you watch, the drama, the love, the excitement it is already right there for you.

All that it requires is that you get up off the couch and change the channel....to you.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

It's a Neigborhood Bar

(Before I say good bye to Tailgate never to return or endorse it again, I will leave you with one last story of why I had loved this bar so much.)

One thing I can't stand in life is people who pick on other people. Immediately as I walked through the door of the bar I could see an acquaintance of mine was in trouble his beet red face cowering towards the bar told the entire story of the man standing behind him talking into his ear.

The relief that my little friend showed on his face when he saw me walk in broke my heart and instantly started my adrenalin. I knew in an instant that I was going to beat the shit out of this guy if it was the last thing I would do on this earth.

I walked around the bar and pulled my phone out and proceeded to take a picture of the man standing behind him.

Brianinmpls, "Say cheese. Ok can you put your arm behind your back and stick your chest out and smile?"

Man, "What the fuck do you think your doing?"

Brianinmpls, "Webster's dictionary is coming out with a picture version and I think you would be a perfect definition of a tool."

His demeanor seemed to change instantly and he said him and his friend didn't want any trouble and they were leaving.

I can admit I felt like the toughest guy alive for about .0002 seconds until I turned around and realized that four other people I know at the bar had gotten up and were standing behind me.

Lesson of the Day: Don't pick on people, everybody has struggles. If you are better off then someone else in some way leave it at that. There is never a reason to make others feel bad about themselves.
Side Lesson: Don't pop your collar this isn't the 80's and very few people can pull it off chances are pretty good you are not one of them so let it go.

(This also highlighted one of the reasons I loved Tailgate so much this was one of the few places on Earth where a Technology Analyst can stick up for a gaming geek and be backed up by a combination of 2 Bikers and 2 Gang Members. This bar was off the hook @ just about any given time you find a blend of section 8 housing tenants, blue collared workers, sports fans, pimps and gangsters, bikers, upper white collar workers, families starting out and college kids. 612 this one's for you.)

Tailgate R.I.P

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Surge Worked?

Can we take a closer look at this?

OK Pick any American city that has a crime problem. Pay a hundred thousand police officers to storm the city. Post a police man on every corner. Lock up every suspect in a prison. Crime will go down.....duh.

But does it solve the underlying problem?

How long are the police going to need to be there?

What is the strategy for removing them?

They are expensive!

Our plan?

We are building schools. To educate and win the hearts and minds of the youth of Iraq. (So is our Republican plan to keep police on the corners and people in jail until the population gets their western diploma?) 14 more years? Train the Iraq soldiers to imitate the imperial policing methods of our soldiers?

So when they say the surge worked what exactly worked?

Crime went down...there is artificial stabilization.

But what really worked?

People fail to recognize that their is an exponential factor in policing a population like this. For every civilian who is killed or every person who is locked up there are sons, daughters, aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters, wives, husbands who are impacted...and not in a positive I hope the Americans win kind of way.

The other side that people fail to look at this context is the opportunity cost of what we could have done instead of a surge. That should be the real measure.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

So They Say...

"The only difference between the you of today and the you five years from now is the people you meet and the books you read."

I actually agree with this one.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Weekend ReCap

Friday
Watched Made of Honor - one star, that's all I am going to say about that

Saturday
Went for a long romantic walk, while holding hands with the most beautiful woman in the world

Went to Aldi, I can only compare this to going to a food shelf or shopping in a third world county but beggers can't be choosers.....thanks Mom

Watched Gopher game. Watched Badgers. Watched Brewer Game - Go Brew Crew! If it can't be the Twins - next best thing.

Drinks at Bulldog NE and Nyes with a group of people I appreciate more and more.

Sunday
Watched Run Fatboy Run - and loved it :)

Watched football, scratched balls.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Brian's Secret #87654



Whenever I am in a bathroom at a bar or a party where I can hear music I pretend to be the fountain at the Bellagio. Arcing my urine in time with the music, swirling, starting, stopping in a symphony of relief....I am the maestro.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Applause for the Other Prisoners? - McCain's Paradox

One of the most sited stories about John McCain is that he spent over five years in a prison war camp being tortured at the hands of his enemies for refusing to give information.

Can we take a look at this if that is ok? If it is not too taboo for the audience?

Three points I would like to look at.

1.) He was not some innocent guy who was kidnapped while site seeing with his family, he was after all dropping bombs on his captors from an airplane before he was taken hostage....If someone was dropping bombs on us we would probably be pretty pissed off too and want to capture them and get information out of them before more bombs were dropped on us.

Which brings us to point number two...

2.) Are we in the process of creating middle eastern versions on John McCain in Cuba right now? People who will go back to their country celebrated as hero's for surviving torture at the hands of their enemies. The detainees of Guantanamo Bay the future leaders of the Arab world? I mean didn't we capture them and torture them to make sure no more bombs or plots would be hatched against us? I guess I struggle with the moral confusion of what makes one a patriot and another a terrorist?

3.) What about million Americans in this country right now who are still in prison camps? Non-violent pot smokers who are serving 5-10 mandatory sentences being brutalized, tortured, separated from families and mentally scared. People who will not get a parade for what they endured. For the injustice they suffered. People who will be outcast from society labeled as write-offs and being no good for going through the exact same experience that John McCain is celebrated for? Minus the fact that their crime has not hurt anybody else.

I wonder what do we really value in this country? What is a patriot? When we celebrate John McCain's experience I wonder where the applause is for all the other prisoners? Why is it taboo to challenge these notions? Why do we celebrate our own methods and slap the hands and condemn others who use them? I would think that being what he has been through, the heart ache, the depression, the brutality that he would be the first to see the injustice of our system and walk through the halls of our prisons and be the man to let our people go, and give back the freedom to millions that he seems to tout in his campaign ads.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Asshole and Heart A Rainy Day Story

Walking through a parking lot recently I was trying to avoid eye contact with a man who was struggling to replace his windshield wipers in the rain when he unavoidably called out, "Hey do you know any thing about wipers?"

Brianinmpls, "Why yes I know that they work on an oscillating motor for the purpose of moving water out of the line of sight on your windshield, they are also usually made out of a metallic material with a backwards facing rubber blade and can be purchased in sizes that are inch increments from 15 to 25 inches at a local supply store."

Feeling that this information satisfied the condition of the question I then continued walking.

Man, "So are going to help me?"

Brianinmpls, "Sorry I only do one question a day."

The sad part was that as I left Target he was still out there messing with the blades. I thought of just sitting inside and having some Starbucks and waiting for him to leave but I was in a hurry and in some of the most uncomfortable silence that one can imagine I installed his wiper blades for him.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Budget Tip #587132

I have been doing this for a few weeks now when ever I get paid I head over to Target where they have new releases in CD's on sale for $7.98. (This week was Buck Cherry's Black Butterfly) I buy the CD (Saving $2) from the cost on ITune. Then I rip the CD to my computer and immediately head to the Pawn Shop when I am done where they buy new releases for $3 so I get the whole CD for $5.

Questions:

Why don't you just rip music for free off of the internet?
Brianinmpls: I have enough legal problems the way it is.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Weekend ReCap

Friday

Watched the Twins Get Smoked @ Home

Saturday

Read: From Edison to iPod: Frederick Mostert. One of the best layman's books for patent and copy right protecting your work I have read to date. If you have an idea and are looking to do something with it this would be a great place to start.

Went to Rudolf's to watch the Badger Game..ouch....Twins game...ouch...

Went to Frenchman's...things get spotty....I was in several of my neighbors houses...not sure if I was invited in our just walked in..ping pong?


Sunday:

Woke up and had a scary moment in a scene straight out of the Godfather I peeled my sheets back and they were soaked in blood.

WFT Did I get into a fight? Kill someone?Why do I have these gashes all over my hands and legs? Run to the bathroom and look at my face.

Turns out the answer is a little less exciting. Apparently I broke a glass then kneeled in it to clean it up with my bare hands using my fingers for a broom.

It was enough to scare me though...

Day 2 on the wagon no smoking or drinking

Watched TV all day hiding in shame.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Pimp Lesson #8976 - Booty Prospecting Time Management

This is a lesson is prospecting your prospects for booty using the BCC function of your email.

First it is important to understand distribution groups of booty calls. Usually three buckets.

1.) People you have not slept with yet that you want to sleep with.

2.) People you have had relations with that you would like more relations with .

and a third category that would probably be called mistresses. Usually people you have had lots of relations with.

This lesson deals primarily with buckets one and two above.

Step One: Create a group in your email box with all of the people who fit in a specific bucket. (The wider the net the more fish you catch)

Step Two: Add that group to the BCC potion of your email. So that none of the recipients can see how many people it went to.

Step Three: Add a subject: "Can't stop thinking about you:)" or "How Come We Never Got Together?" or some other personally generic line even just "Hi:)".

Step Four: Message Body. Keep it personally generic. "I know this is going to sound weird but I have been thinking of you lately and wondered if you would like to get together for a drink sometime. If no that is totally fine I hope this doesn't come off creepy or anything I just didn't want to look back and say I missed the opportunity to get to know you better because I was too scared to try."

Step Five: Send. (Casting the line)

Step Six : Wait for nibbles

Step Seven: Real them in.

Step Eight: Pump and Dump


* You message and subject to bucket two is going to be different then bucket one. Try "The One That Got Away" or something like that.
* The message and the subject can vary depending on the audience.
* Careful about the co-workers.
* I used to be a pig I know.
* This lesson is for only people who have passed the advanced emotionally shallow course.
* This method also works well over texting.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Hypocrisy, The Religious Right, Bailouts - WWJD

Dear George Bush, John McCain and the entire Right,

If you are going to look to the bible and divine intervention to determine if it is wise to run for office, or oppose abortion, or decide what country to invade shouldn't you also follow in Jesus' steps when it comes to the economy? When Jesus saw corruption, people making profits at the expense of common citizens he did not get behind them and offer them an extra line of credit with favorable financing terms for their deeds.

Matthew 21:12-13

Jesus at the Temple

12Jesus entered the temple area and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. 13"It is written," he said to them, " 'My house will be called a house of prayer,'[a] but you are making it a 'den of robbers.'[b]"



If you insist on claiming divine right for your actions at least be consistent and let the chips fall. The governments job is to protect fair play in the market place. Regulate trade and use consumer protection laws to protect consumers.

If you are looking for divine guidance it is written for you above.

WWJD? He would over turn the tables of the money changers not re-enforce their position.

Thanks,
Brian

Invention Idea #254125 - Conference Call Time Saver.

I spend approximately 98.329999% of my working time sitting on conference calls listening to people talk. What I would like is a device that connects to the receiver of my phone and places a text window of everything that is being said on my computer. The software would listen for my name and then flash on the screen with the text of the last 15 seconds of the conversation.

I would also like it if this 15 seconds of conversation could be rephrased as a question.

For Example, "Just so I am clear....(insert 15 second of text here).

That will give you time to think of an answer and it would give me 98.023333% of my day back.

I also submitted this idea to Google 10^100

Article Link

Submit your idea for a chance @ $10 Million

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Move to Minnesota: Save Gas.

As I was looking around my beautiful city the other day it occurred to me that I could see for miles and miles...seriously look out the Windows from the top of the IDS Building, I think you can see all the way to Iowa one Direction, South Dakota the other and Wisconsin the other..

It then registered that I can see for miles and miles because it is so damn flat.

Then I though maybe that could be another selling point for our great city. Since it takes less energy to move a 2 ton car across a flat surface then it does to move it up a a hill maybe if we had the entire country move to the Midwest we could reduce our gas consumption in half.

Of course I still have to figure out the amount of gas that is saved from going down the hill you just went up since the result might be net. Plus the cost of additional fuel used to heat our cars in the winter or sit idling on the freeway during construction season, but hey most candidates have no clue about the details of their plans when they make their promises so why should I be any different?

Move to Minnesota: Save the World.
Brianinmpls 2012

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Black and White and Newport Lights

I swung into a gas station on the way out to the bar to purchase a luxury items these days that comes in the form of Camel Light cigarettes. There were two gentlemen in front of me conversing with the cashier as I stated my order and waited for the transaction to complete.

Gentleman #1 " How come his cigarettes are .50 cents cheaper then mine?"
Gentleman #2 "It's cause they know its mostly black people smoke Newport's and it is another way they keep us broke."
Cashier "Fucking right white people get all the breaks."

I know at this point I should probably just pick my cigarettes up off the counter and continue on my way.

But I have never been very good at following that little voice in my head.

So I decided to have a mini-seminar on the spot about economies of scale, the effects of pricing to mass markets and value added processing.

For some reasons these three gentlemen and the crowd formin around us refused to buy into the theory that if you sell more of a product you can gain efficiencies and lower price or that the adding of menthol requires extra processing and additional cost that is passed onto the consumers.

Gentleman #1" If menthol makes it cost more how come Kool's are .75 cents cheaper then Newport's."

Brianinmpls "Perhaps the tobacco used in Newport's is of better quality then Kool's, or perhaps if you feel Newport's pricing strategy is unfair you could switch brands then you would be paying .25 cents less then I am paying and this entire conversation would be pointless."

In the silence that followed this remark I quickly realized that I was the only white person in the store and tension was rather getting thick.

In the interest of not getting my ass kick or being the cause of race relations collapsing across the Midwest I decided on an appeasement exit strategy.

I said, "But you are right fuck whitey."

And walked out of the store.

* I hate appeasment I think alot of what is wrong in our country is because we tell each other what we want to hear rather then deal with underlying issues.
* I hate that I have been smoking again.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Weekend ReCap

Friday

Paid bills.
Installed new light in Attic.
Went to Honda for a new remote for my car.
Bunch of chores.

Dinner @ Busters and a few beers.

Saturday

Farm Market

Washed Car, Mowed

Lunch with Mom

Watched the Twins Game

Drinks @ Lucky 13, Tailgate and the Legion.

Sunday

Worked from 6am to 11am

Tailgate for the Vikings Game.

Napped

Ate

Went to Bed.

Friday, September 19, 2008

1 + 1 = Fun

As I pulled the ingredients out of the fridge to make my screw driver I was over come with what can only be described as a stoke of pure genius.

Pour the half of bottle of vodka directly into the half of container of Orange Juice and avoid all dishes.

Screw the cap back on and you even have a built in shaker.

I was sitting on the couch drinking straight from the carton and it was wonderful:)

*Tip: Make sure you label the OJ with your name on it or parents who let their little shits rummage through your fridge while you nap will tend to get very upset after their little ones are "feeling funny" from drinking your OJ. They will also call you an "animal". Hey it is my fridge!!! You are an animal for going in there in the first place.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Candidate Confusion

Sorry I couldn't resist when I got this forward....lol

*If you
-spend 3 years as a brilliant community organizer, become
the first
black President of the Harvard Law Review, create a voter
registration
drive that registers 150,000 new voters, spend 12 years as
a
Constitutional Law professor, spend 8 years as a State
Senator
representing a district with over 750,000 people, become
chairman of the
state Senate's Health and Human Services committee,
spend 4 years in the
United States Senate representing a state of 13 million
people while
sponsoring 131 bills and serving on the Foreign Affairs,
Environment and
Public Works and Veteran's
Affairs committees, you don't have any real leadership
experience.

If your
-total resume is: local weather girl, 4 years on the city
council and 6
years as the mayor of a town with less than 7,000
people, 20 months as the governor of a state with only
650,000 people,
then you're qualified to become the country's
second highest ranking
executive.


*If you
-have been married to the same woman for 19 years while
raising 2
beautiful daughters, all within Protestant churches,
you're not a real Christian.

If you
-cheated on your first wife with a rich heiress, and left
your
disfigured wife and married the heiress the next month,
you're a
Christian.

* If you
-teach responsible, age appropriate sex education,
including the proper
use of birth control, you are eroding the
fiber of society.

If
-while governor, you staunchly advocate abstinence only,
with no other
option in sex education in your state's school system
while your unwed
teen daughter ends up pregnant , you're very
responsible.


*If your
-wife is a Harvard graduate lawyer who gave up a position
in a
prestigious law firm to work for the betterment of her
inner
city community, then gave that up to raise a family, your
family's
values don't represent America's.

If your
husband is nicknamed "First Dude", with at least
one DWI conviction and
no college education, who didn't register to
vote until age 25 and once was a member of a group that
advocated the
secession of Alaska from the USA, your family is extremely
admirable.


OK I got it, much clearer now

Unsecured Debt My Ass

Plan vs.. Actual.

When my mind conjures up the word unsecured debt I have a picture of things not tried to the back of a truck flying off the back as it motors down the freeway.

After the financial fall-out from my divorce I was sitting in a pile of bills and wondering how in the hell am I going to pay all of this shit. An idea slowly formed in my mind that if I just defaulted on all of my unsecured credit card debt I would have the money to live and pay my secured debt I.e House and Car. (This thought came that even with a consolidation loan I still would not have enough money left over to eat) After all a credit card company can't come and take stuff away from you right? Well at least that is what I thought.

So I defaulted. I became a deadbeat with my credit card and personal loans.

Things improved. For a while.

Then something happened I didn't think was possible...my check went down one day....by alot....enough that I started to panic.

It turns out credit card companies can garnish your wages after they win a judgment by default.

Turns out that debt is secured...secured straight to your ass!!

So now I was unable to pay for my mortgage because Capitol One felt I should be paying them interest and fees before I should be able to feed myself.

I know I was irresponsible, I know at the heart it was my fault, but fuck you for judging until you have been there.

Bring on BK. I have been digging out for the last three years and have finally started to breath again.

1.) Lessons learned - I will never own another credit card in my life. (Would you believe these assholes who took me to court, made my life a living hell have actually started to send me new offers that begin with, "As a former valued customer you are eligible for our exclusive offer.." Fuck you.)

2.) The system fucks middle class people you make too much money to get a free attorney so pile that on to your expense list. (I think if the legislation makes a law so complicated that it can not be argued by reasonable people on their own they should either re-write it or give everybody free attorneys)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Communism the new Democracy

Business that make bad decisions and investments are supposed to fail. That is how capitalism works. Money is supposed to flow to those who put it to the best means.

AIG Should Have Failed.

There is a world for a society where businesses are all controlled by the central government it is called Communism.

The only way to get rid of a bubble is to pop it....not blow more or fill up shirking ones with fresh air.

The entire system has now been destablized and what should be the final stretch is now going to be just the beggingign.

Was Farming the End of Civilization?

I do not by any means subscribe to the theory of the noble savage. In our hunter gather tribes were were just a violent as we are today. We murdered and raped members of other tribes. Stole etc. but I can't shake the notion that farming has crippled life for mankind.

Since Farming became a way of life humankind has become less healthy (4 grain crops now represent the majority of our diet)
Farming gave rise to class systems since and societal free loaders, give rise to land destruction, erosion and famine.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Key Economic Indicators

Every morning like millions of people I drive by the gas station on the way to work. A big sign sits on the window with neon red lights that advertise the amount of various lottery jackpots. This sign is all that I need to gage the majority of the US economy and how Minnesota is doing in relation to it.

The amount of the jackpots go up at a regular pace every game that runs and no one wins. The variable amount that the jackpots go up correlates to the amount of tickets sold. I.e the more tickets sold the faster and higher the amount climbs.

We have four advertised big games in Minnesota.

One played across the Metro Area
One played across the State
One played across the Midwest
One played across the Country (I.e Power ball)

By looking at the board every day when I drive by I can instantly see how we are fairing in the economy. The correlation being that desperate people, unemployed, scared about their jobs, losing purchasing power play more when they are stressed making the jackpots bigger faster.

A neon indicator of the countries stress. Of the economy. Of pipe dreams of riches.

I wonder if they give out noble prizes for this?

I smell a thesis

Monday, September 15, 2008

Weekend ReCap

Friday

Watched: Maxed Out: Hard Times Easy Credit and the Era of Predatory Lending. I related to this on so many levels it was crazy. I work in the credit markets. I was forced into BK by being to over leveraged.etc. Who owns E-Z Cash? Check and Pawn, Payday Loans? Would it surprise you that they are owned by WellsFargo? HSBC? MBNA? Citifincail? If you get the chance check this documentary out my favorite part is the bankruptcy reform hearing in Congress.


Saturday

Went to the Farmers Market

Homework, Mowed, Trimmed Bushes, Edged.

Read 300 pages of The Brothers Karamazov by Dostoevsky and I decided I am actually not going to finish it.

Watched the Badger Game while swiftly downing bottles of wine.

Made an awesome dinner. Shrimp Tostados....yum


Sunday

Watched Football all Day. Probably farted and burped a few times before peeing on the toilet seat while scratching my ass, drinking oj straight from the carton.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Black Market for Used Lottery Tickets

(aka. Turning a Losing Hand Into a Winning One)

Just to prove where there is a will there is a way or where there is a law there is a black market. I would like to shine a little light on the losing ticket racket. Now these percents vary given a persons income, the amount of the prize, the state etc but as a general over view here is how it works.

When you win a prize say $100,000 your winnings are taxed. Lets say for example you get to keep $60,000 and you have a $40,000 tax burden on your winnings. This tax burden can be offset by showing gambling losses that can be itemized on your tax return. So if you have $20,000 dollars in non-winning tickets, or casino receipts, or betting tickets you can reduce your tax burden by that amount. For simplistic sake we will say now that you can show a $20,000 loss your take home on the $100,000 is now $80,000 instead of $60,000. You give yourself a $20,000 raise by going to a used ticket broker. Where you purchase $20,000 worth of used or non-winning slips for say $2k So you are paying $2k to get $18k more of the prize money. Make sense? It is a little more complicated then that but that is it in a nut shell. You can write off up to your current winnings and to a percent of your income. (Check local laws before attempting and remember tax fraud = pound you in the ass prison)

So when you are checking your tickets at the store and are inevitably told they are losers watch what the clerk does with your losers. They might be putting them in a separate drawer or bin where they are stock piling them for trade on the black market in which case I would immediately ask for a cut of the action.

Also curious is to watch people comb the bins and trash cans after your local horse races for betting slips.

WTF? Check Ebay or Craigs list for Used Lotto Tickets or people fronting as "Lotologists" you will find the right people to help you keep more of your money through itemized deductions.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Whiskey Plates Are the New Tramp Stamp.

In Minnesota we have an interesting system where by if you receive a DUI you get a special license plate that allows the police to pull you over when ever they feel like it. We lovingly call them Whiskey Plates.

Now here is the logic of using the Whiskey Plate for a picking up the driver.

1.) You know they like to party and you can approach them in another setting other then a bar. (after all you get them after your second DUI)

2.) If you have had a similar experience you can easily start a conversation.

3.) If they have them on their car cause of their significant other they are probably looking for some pay back on them.

4.) They have already proven they are open to making some bad decisions.

5.) They need a ride.


Careful though cause they are also probably broke and it is a good sign that they just paid a ton of money for fees and tickets but might not have had enough money to get a lawyer out of having to put the plates on in the first place.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Wash Me

On of my favorite things to do is to write messages in the dirt on the back of peoples cars.

"Poop on me I like it."
"I have this car b\c I have a little penis."
"I have crabs."
"I eat celery"
"I have a midget in the trunk"

Depending how drunk I get the messages tend to make less and less sense.

The trick is you have to be fast people get really pissed if you mess with their cars.

I am also open to taking requests so if there is something you would like to see written in pure Minnesota grime on the back of a car let me know and I will make it happen.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

L.E.T.L.A.R (Life exploration though logic and reason)

The purpose of Letlar is too create a new kind of renaissance person for the twenty first century. To create an individual through experiences and a forum where people can come together to discuss ideas and create action and change. It is an open secret society meaning that anyone can join provided that they meet or are working towards certain requirements. Here are the requirements for the three levels of Letlar.

The goal of letlar is to open minds, build confidence, learn practical skills like how to install a toilet or turn an idea into a business, get involved in position of influence and change, debate, have fun and push each other in a never ending cycle of self improvement and fulfillment. The levels don't really matter they are superficial and meant merely as a guide of benchmarks to help set goals and monitor personal progress.

Apprentice
1.) You are in school working on a four year degree.
2.) You participate in the POS book club or another local book club.
3.) You participate in Letlar drinking Olympics.
4.) You participate in educational clinics. (Habitat, Art Tours, Seminars, Waste Treatment Tours, etc.)


Citizens
1.) You have a four year degree.
2.) You are taking or have rank in a self defense skill. (Boxing, Karate, Kickboxing etc.)
3.) You play a musical instrument or are actively taking lessons.
4.) You have completed a firearms safety session.
5.) You participate in politics or a campaign.
6.) You take a technical assessment or attend training on technology advancement.
7.) You participate in tall hall debates.
8.) You take a red cross emergency first responder course.
9.) You continue to do items 2-4 in the apprentice.

Knights
1.) You have completed or are in an advanced degree program.
2.) You speak or are learning a second language.
3.) You have submitted one idea for patent.
4.) You have submitted or published at least one piece of original work.
5.) You host or have a workshop for other members in your area of expertise.
6.) You pass a technology implementation assessment (Put together a phone or computer from parts and create a limited working network or build a solar generator from parts etc. or code a computer application)
7.) Peer evaluations of work.
8.) Cook an entire meal from scratch using only what you find at the farmers market or a cooking class.
8.) Complete an endurance test of strength and stamina. (Triathlon, Marathon, 3 Day Walk for Cancer, MS150 Bike Tour, etc)
9.) Continue to do items 2-7 from the Citizen Group

Monday, September 08, 2008

Weekend ReCap

Friday

Left for Milwaukee

Holy Shit first off thanks to everyone for a great weekend and a ton of shots for my broke ass..I think I am actually still peeing straight vodka..lol

Drinks @ the Hyatt, Dinner at Fratellos, Drinks @ Trinty, Bar Louie ...(Insert some more places here I can't seem to remember)...Hotel.

Saturday

Woke up thinking there was an earthquake, then quickly realized it was just me shaking...blood mary.

Went to the Miller Brewery tour and this should definitely be a stop if you are ever in Milwaukee.

Tailgated for the Brewer Game.

Watched the Game.

Went to Rounding Third after the game then to Hart Lounge? Bootleggers.ummmm The Back to Bar Louie. Then realizing it is bar time I was granted my first experience at a George Webb....and it was fucking awesome!!!


Sunday

Woke up @ eight Drove my hungover ass home. Spent the rest of the day praying death would greet me.


Watched the VMA....they sucked