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


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

Drinks @ IKES, Bank, and Lyons Pub


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 know like how it is in real life.


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


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.


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.


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


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? 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:)


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


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 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

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

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.

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.