philosophy, dialogues & conversations, heh

2011 Resolutions: Midyear Review

2011 Midyear Review of the New Year Resolutions

The memorable Top Five sequence of events have been:

1. found a loyal, reliable friend here in Chicago -- with the same birthday!
2. kicked a loafer "friend" off my couch and fixed everything he broke!
3. upset a friend who wanted more ... feelings of single-syndrome crept back in
4. managed to tango with both family AND friends during a single trip to NC.  Dad and Mom are playing opposite roles again. 
5. reconnected with a very old friend for his birthday, and was pleasantly surprised :) 

2011 midyear financial and health goals are on track but others got pushed to the side. Top ten updates are:

1. Mint & maximize money - spending is trending downward after Mint kept reminding me of the budget; see chart below.  My banks are dissolving their debit cashback programs! :(  so I'll have to go back to managing points.  I did move savings into a high yield account at a credit union thanks to my sister.  
spending trend chart

2. retirement - company is matching my 401k and I've doubled contributions 
3. minimize in-office/away-from-home time - done, the bike also helps :)  also moved the truck into a garage.
4. an adoptable dog and cat - hmm Indecision 2011.  I'm watching Denise's adoption to see whether I'll keep this goal.
5. volunteer in more races - mostly failing at this LOL!  I barely met the deadline to stay in T2 and am spending all my time exercising on the bike instead of running.  There's only 2 months for me to catch up.
6. code more Perl! - done very little.  would need to find a project for motivation.  On a side note, I still get unsolicited emails and calls for job offers :)
7. fix some minor but irritating health concerns - several changes that are all on target.  Got a new primary care doctor (because my previous one became a specialist) so working on getting him to be more aggressive and proactive, got a new yet old-school dentist that is doing dental work (not cosmetic work) on issues I've complained about for awhile, went back to my old dermatologist and am working on two fronts with him, and found a quick orthopedic surgeon to repair my arm.
8. continue with the Fun List - have found friends that like playing just have to come up with more excuses for gaming night :)
9. company midyear - basically need to show off my skillz :)
10. house - this is new and really an addition for 2012 but preparation has to start early.  Some financial concerns here will be resolved late spring/early summer of next year but it doesn't cost anything to window shop :)
law, machina, groupthink, computers, science

Giving in: The Cloud

Being online just became too complex to personally manage.  The Cloud will do it for me. 

blog -> LJ | Google Reader -> Facebook Note <-> Droid
music -> Pandora <-> Facebook Music -> Droid
instant msg -> AIM <-> Facebook IM <-> Droid
contacts -> Google Contacts <-> Facebook Friends <-> Droid
browser -> Google Bookmarks/History <-> Droid
todo lists -> Google Calendar/Tasks <-> Droid
movies -> Netflix -> Facebook Movies | Droid
docs -> Google Docs <-> Droid
vids -> Youtube/Google <-> Facebook <-> Droid
travel -> Tripit -> Facebook Places <-> Droid
weather -> Verizon/GPS -> Droid
money -> Bank Autobill <-> Droid
books -> LibraryThing | Facebook Books <-> Amazon Kindle -> Droid
philosophy, dialogues &amp; conversations, heh

MeterMaid -- I will CUT you!

Dear City of Chicago,

Your metermaid has incorrectly issued three parking violations against my truck in the past week. All three cite code 9-64-170 as the reason for me not being allowed to park on Cullom St near California Ave, but my vehicle is exempt. That code says "this prohibition shall not apply to the owner of a pickup truck or van weighing under 4,500 pound". My pickup truck, a Ford Ranger '99, weighs only 2,700 pounds. There are trucks and vans that weight much more than mine and remain parked on Cullom without any tickets (like Escalades weighting 7,000lbs, and Econolines weighing at least 6,500lbs). I've been parking on Cullom since May '09 without any violations until this past week; the law has not changed, and the tickets are issued by your metermaid at suspiciously predatory hours (between midnight and 1am), so this reaks of metermaid-on-Vendetta. In every case the code has been incorrectly cited so all three tickets are void. Please confirm a the favorable contest.

Your high-tax-paying Citizen
analysis, reflection, erudite, criticism

ObamaCare Script

In genuine patriotic spirit, I tuned into four AM talk shows today, but in banal conservative rhetoric, I heard the same Obamacare paranoia script from each show.  The order of memorization by repetition was:
  • Glenn Beck
  • Rush Limbaugh
  • Mark Levin
  • Janet Parshall
By the time Mark's show aired, there were odd 'deja vu' phrases coming out of the radio.  Now there's only so many news items in any given day, but this isn't CNN Headline news so I'd expect some variety.  Instead, each show spent an hour repeating the previous show's sound bites.  The most repeated stereotype was:
  1. Obamacare kills with death panels
  2. Obamacare penalizes providers
  3. Obamacare drives out private insurers
The problem with hearing the same thing for four hours by four different sources is it a) gets boring and b) becomes conspicuous.  I started wondering if News Corp owned every radio station that broadcasts talk radio on AM channels from WV to IL.  That seemed unlikely but the conspicuous repitition made the shows sound like the very kind of State Media that Limbaugh claims NPR spouts out. 

By the fourth hour, I had gotten tired of being treated like a listener with amnesia, switched to music, and hoped on a plane.  I decided to finally read last Friday's copy of the Wall Street Journal that the Hyatt had slipped under my door, and in the Opinion section I started reading the very sound bites that all these shows had airedle.  That article was quoting the same sound bites that all four shows had aired today and the same talking points about single-payer but it was doing it via a paper that had been printed three days before the shows aired.  It was like reading a script for each of these shows.

The article was Obama and Permanent Campaign, by Karl Rove.  Please, Republicans; be more original.  Originality is memorable too.  And Rove's political strategies lost your majority.

analysis, reflection, erudite, criticism

Facebook Votes 4 Stupidity

More hypocritical and redundant "democracy", this time from Facebook.  A vote is up for a "governing" document, called Rights and Responsibilities, that includes the following two rules:

3.8 You will not use Facebook to do anything unlawful, misleading, malicious, or discriminatory.
4.4 You will not use Facebook if you are a convicted sex offender.

The later is unnecessary given the former.  Combining to two implies that Facebook can discriminate but its members cannot.  And how is 4.4 enforced?  It implies than a non-member could browse and be in violation, so Facebook is extending its "jurisdiction" to action performed outside those who signed up?!  Does this fall under the legal concept of theft?? or thought-crime?  "I'm sorry officer.  I saw Pamela's big titties on the billboard.  I didn't know one wasn't suppose to stop and gawk."

This kind of hyper-morality undermines the ethical changes needed to actually prevent something like rape.  Today, a 16 year old guy can "sext" his 15 year old girlfriend, be convicted as a sex offender, registered for life, and not join Facebook.  This is not the same as a 35 year old teacher luring a student into sex.  This is silly.

What about this revision:

3.8  Both Facebook (governing members) and its members will read the laws of their respective governments, from national to local, and act accordingly.
4.4  If you have ever been registered as an officer of a company that has filed for bankruptcy, or if you have ever litigated on behalf of a company filing for bankruptcy, or ever acted on behalf of a bankrupt company to liquidate debts, or sat as a judge who ordered a company's bankruptcy, then you may not create a Facebook account.  Sorry; you failed.

Cast your vote, and say silly things like them.

free will, choices, Oracle, truth

Daily Bible Reading

So why are Christians not banning interest bearing loans??

Usury: Leviticus 25:35-37

If one of your countrymen becomes poor and is unable to support himself among you, help him as you would an alien or a temporary resident, so he can continue to live among you. 36 Do not take interest of any kind [a] from him, but fear your God, so that your countryman may continue to live among you. 37 You must not lend him money at interest or sell him food at a profit.

Homosexuality: Leviticus 18:22

Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.