Tuesday, October 30, 2007
But at least people know them (there was a recent poll saying over 50% of Americans couldn't name a Republican candidate, there's hope for you Ron Paul!).
WaPo is live blogging the non-story debate. Would having that job be considered torture by the UN? Would Dick Cheney consider it worse than waterboarding?
Odds are no one said anything new, no one convinced voters that they are good, but money and valuable electrons were wasted.
Here's to you, 21st Century American politics! (remember, someone once voted for Howard Taft and Martun Van Buren...)
Saturday, October 27, 2007
I'm stealing internet from a neighbor. So:
I'm stealing your wireless internet. I apologize, but my digital cable and internet are not working. I'm suffering. Et tu html?
I can use regular cable with my tv, but no digital. Thank you Cox Cable, you suck! After 5 different calls, I've got nothing going here. First call I found out they didn't register my equipment at my new address, even though I gave them 2 weeks notice. So they fixed that. The next 4 calls were repeats of me telling them I moved, that things weren't working, and them asking me to turn stuff off and on in various orders.
Oh really??? Turn off the cable box? MAN! WHY DIDN'T I THINK OF THAT!!!!! Shockingly turning off my TV didn't help, but at least this last guy was really nice and pleasant. What I enjoy the most with Cox is the boiler plate language they use:
- Sorry for your inconvenience, I apologize for your lack of service.
- What's your full name sir? Ok Mr. xxxxxxxxx, let's see what I can do.
- Ok sir, tonight I did _____, and _____, and _____ (which equates to NOTHING!). Have a great night.
Oh, and your voice recognition system SUCKS. And it shouldn't take me 3 minutes to get to a person to get help if I constantly press 000000000000000000000, or yell "TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE!"
So the final recommendation??????????????????????????????????????????????????
"Well Mr. Jefferson" they used my street name instead of my real name, "I recommend you take your equipment in to have it replace. Can I recommend the Richmond location to you?"
Let's just say, I don't live near Richmond.
I'm hating you Cox. Expect a pissed off call in 8 weeks to tell you I hate you, and I want a lower rate.
Um, I dunno. Google Maps it is!
Well, 18.4 miles each way to work. 7.4 to the lady's place. Add in miscellaneous driving during the day, and the odd trip to "the house that must be sold" (27.1 miles), and I came up with 42 miles a day.
That's 210 miles during the workweek, plus another 50 or so during the weekend. 260 miles a week.
Times 52 weeks, is 13,520 miles/year. That is LOW. Because I'm well over 100k miles after 6 years of car ownership.
Oh, and I have a coolant leak, and probably an oil leak. BOO.
Ah, "General Business" for me it is....
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
I guess there's some logic to putting the show on its namesake night, buuuuuuuuut, has any show of this nature ever made it on a night when people specifically don't want to watch tv?
It got off to an inauspicious beginning. Even originally, the famed "Sports Guy" with ESPN couldn't take it due to low ratings: http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=simmons/061117
But then he came around in a BIG way, http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=simmons/070919, to the point that he wrote an entire article in ESPN's magazine.
So the show can pull in even the most fickle sports and tv show enthusiast.
But since its on Friday nights? I TiVo it. So lost ratings.
I'll miss you Friday nights...
What's more fun than hard work? Cheating of course. As a big baseball fan I can appreciate the fine "art" of doctoring a ball (glue, sandpaper, a belt buckle, dirt, etc), corking a bat, and friendly diversionary tactics in the field of play (ala A-Rod spooking a former friend, Howie Clark, during a game).
How can one apply this "cheating" concept to burning calories?
- Chew gum - This gets you around 50 calories a day, depending on how vigorous or constant you can chew. Added bonus is it helps your jaw line to look better as your masticating muscles get stronger
- Nervous habits - This one is weird, and while I deplore rude noisemaking habits in the office, if you start tapping or shaking your foot as you sit at your desk working you can burn extra calories
- Stretch breaks - Caffeine fiends take their breaks, nicotine junkies take theirs. So why not one for those of us who are healthy? I take at least three 1-minute breaks during the day to do some light stretching. In addition to waking me up and boosting my productivity, it also wakes up your body and metabolism
- Ban the elevator - When at all feasible (meaning, when you aren't carrying 50 pound weights at work or at home) take the stairs. An old-time IRS employee I once knew had the "1 up, 2 down" rule. He'd take the stairs to go up one flight, or down two. What an easy way to start out a beneficial habit. We've had issues with people bringing cell phones into the office (something about "corporate espionage", pfft), so our main level entrance to the elevator has been closed. Now everyone has to go up at least one flight. I'm going to organize a "take the stairs" week in the office. I'm very lame, but oh well.
- Cubicle crunches - a very cute young lady I know (http://karaskitchen.blogspot.com) always makes sure to sit with good posture at work, which includes holding in her abs. She also will do crunches while at the desk, lifting her knees to her torso. I do this as well, and here's to hoping no one ever catches me doing it at work…
- Commuting crunches - I take my obsessiveness to the car as well. If you ever pass me (which wasn't likely until I stopped driving too fast, thanks for the behavioral adjustment VA's finest!) you may think I'm dancing side to side in the car. Nope, I'm doing side crunches. I recommend tightening for a three-count while exhaling. Make it the hardest 10 crunches you've ever done, then work up to 20. I do one set for each side each time I get in the car.
All the above are easy "cheats". I do them, yet if you read below you'll see I'm at a whopping 18% body fat. These "cheats" are no replacement for good honest workouts.
I'm looking forward to the upcoming rec league basketball season. Going to the first game and being totally gassed after :45 will help motivate me to work out.
- 230 Visits
- 274 Pageviews
- 1.19 Pages/Visit
- 91.30% Bounce Rate
- 00:00:19 Avg. Time on Site
- 85.65% % New Visits
Content Overview (Page >> Pageviews >> % Pageviews)
- root >> 128 >> 46.72%
- /2007/10/b-lloyd-b-gone.html >> 15 >> 5.47%
- /display?blogID=4883897836513693480&mode=layout 12 4.38%
- /2007/10/t-win.html >> 11 >> 4.01%
- /2007/10/is-it-ok-to-digg-your-own-post.html >> 10 >> 3.65%
I can't believe that the teenie tiny number of views/visitors I've had so far has happened. While it pales in comparison to anything even modest in the blogosphere, it's still fun to think that many people have read what I've written. And at least one person has come back!
The site is starting to take a direction I like. People who blog write about this mumbo jumbo all the time, they aren't happy with how "it's going". But now I get it. I have a "voice" for what I'm writing, and know generally what I'm writing about. So far it's a bit less sportsy than I want, waaaaaaay less business content than I want, and a good (too much?) amount about what I'm doing. I want to keep the "what I'm doing" stuff and turn it into tips and more "how to" stuff.
I also need to figure out how to integrate buttoms at the bottom of each post for
Monday, October 22, 2007
I haven't actually worked out in at least 6 weeks, till tonight. I got in 25 minutes of stairs in my apartment building's stairwell. Glad to have done it, but boy was I weak. My lungs are totally shot, I wasn't even running up, just walking two steps at a time. I had to take a resting walk to get my wind after each rep (10 in total).
This has to change, and quickly.
What are these stats? Typically it will be click/view stats on your listing and virtual tour, and then once people start actually visiting the house, you get told how many people etc. Very cool.
Tour created date: 10/20/2007
# of times the tour has been emailed: 0
# of times the tour has been viewed: 16
# of times the tour has been downloaded: 0
Average tour views per day: 8.00
# of views by location
homesdatabase.com = 8
visualtour.com = 3
homeseekers.com = 1
realtor.com = 1
Our website or other portals = 3
Total Tour Views: 16
Sunday, October 21, 2007
So is it unethical to "digg" my own posts? I think so, but I may try it for one or two posts just to check it out.
Bear in mind, any "seller" tips were most applicable about 3 years ago. If you attempt them in 2007, you're just an idiot:
- Ignore the request/s of the other party - If you do this, then you're sure to send things south. Why fix a silly bathroom fan when you can kill a $600k deal?
- Don't sign forms - This is a high art. By not signing required forms, you can totally kill the deal. This interacts with several other factors (see "secret" and "ignore"), and really PO's the other party involved. You keep them in the dark, which makes them unclear as to what is going on. Psychological warfare, nice one.
- Keep your demands secret till the last minute - By doing so, you can spring the requests on the other party thereby giving them minimal time to respond. This has a dual effect, you can both complicate the closing AND require some sort of crazy response with minimal time to react.
- Make outrageous claims - Just request totally nuts stuff, such as that they add an extra room to the house, or that the closing price suddenly be $30k higher. Added bonus is that both agents will flip out!
- Have your agent go nuts - This is super fun, have one of the agents start making outrageous requests. It could involve any of the above (timing, elements, etc), or just something totally our of the blue ("We want clowns and balloon animals, and we want them NOW!"). This is especially great when one agent intimidates the other.
- Make the money disappear - Why pay when defaulting to start off is so much more rewarding.
- Change your mind - You have no real recourse at this point to call of the sale (from a buyer or seller perspective), but why not? Just say it's not "working" for you, and let the sparks fly.
- Disappear - Take it ALL to the extreme. No response, change the terms? That's baby stuff. Just don't respond to anything, take a week off from work so no one can find you, and just let the real estate agents flip out. THIS is high entertainment.
Most players did well with what they were given. Chris "Napoleon Dynamite" Turner was ok with the passing. Ball had a great day running (Lattimore got more carries and was good). Heyward-Bey caught what was thrown to him.
But the play calling was HORRIFIC!
Saturday, October 20, 2007
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Wait a minute, didn't we go through this before? Hmmmmmm…..
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Santana Moss, the modest mouse sized Redskins WR, stands at the heart of the Skins recent loss to the Greenbay Packers.
Lots of observations exist on the loss, but by all accounts (including one Mr. Joe Gibbs), the most electric player for Washington STUNK.
Greenbay's MVP? Basically.
Total stats? 1 rush, for zero yards, with the lost fumble. I've seen counts of 4 drops.
So the blame rests squarely on Moss.
I almost respect him more for having taken himself out of the game. Kneejerk (emphasis on jerk) reactions are that he gets paid too much to not play the entire game. But hey, if you are sucking it up, get out of the game.
It should be immediately followed by a walk-through of the place you are buying.
My closing is totally up in the air. First they were complaining that we weren't going to do it early enough on Friday. Why? They have to have the money so they can close on a new house Friday PM.
So I said fine, let's do it Thursday. But then the settlement attorney said if they HAVE to have the money, guaranteed, for Friday, we should close Wednesday. Fine.
Then they complained Wednesday was too early. $#$$#!@$Q#$^!!!!
So why not just say "It has to be Thursday" to begin with??? And where's my agent in all this? She's emailing me, telling me my closing attorney is confused.
So I've stepped out. I said, no mas for me. You people figure it out, tell me when and where to be. DANG!
Let's just step back though. Should I even give a hoot about their stupid Friday PM closing?? It's THEIR fault they scheduled it when they did. I should just stick it to them. But yet I won't. BOO to me.
Sunday, October 14, 2007
- Super excited girl - She's very very excited and keeps telling you. You probably weren't friends with her, but she hugged you nonetheless.
- Wow, what a dud - Used to be the cool guy that all the girls had a crush on, not anymore. Not much hair, but he made up for it with a beer gut. And he drives the same car as in high school.
- You look great! - Lost a lot of weight, or her face cleared up finally. She's most likely to secretly be thinking of this as her chance to prove all of your egotistical jerks wrong. And she probably has 3 cats.
- Ohhhhhhhhh - not doing well, working at BestBuy, but I hear his pad in his parents basement is looking pretty sweet.
- I can't believe s/he came - there are at least 2 random people there, someone who flew in from the other coast, or someone you literally haven't heard of at all in X years.
- Who's that? . . . Who? - No one knew you then, or now.
I'd like to think at my 5 year reunion I was "Oh, yeah, him" and none of the above. But it was nice to learn that people thought I and my friends were totally nuts and did drugs! (Disclaimer: we were nuts, but we did no drugs)
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Not only is it a funny sounding word (it's like "splat", but funnier, and not funny "ha ha", but funny "look at that duck waddle"), it also means:
1. a plot of ground.
2. a plan or map, as of land.
So the image for this post is the plat of the house to be purchased, which contradicts all guidelines in the "How to buy a crappy house" post (http://ckstevenson.blogspot.com/2007/09/how-to-buy-crappy-house.html)
I have no clue what the plat really means, but I hope it to be MY plat soon.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
But a friend and his wife are very pregnant: http://babysites.com/sites/brillhart/
And my first cousin (who is about 18 years older than me) just had his third son, after he and his wife were told 3-4 years ago that they couldn't due to a surgery to her. Well they just had one, he's adorable, and it's totally crazy that they did.
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
- Radon - they agreed to remediation without an additional test, nice
- Aluminum wiring - we got electrician confirmation that the wiring was to the A/C and included copper splicing
- Bath fan - fixed the next day
- Crawl space door - replaced
- Financing - almost all the paperwork is in, need to find some conclusive bank statements that include CDs
- Home insurance - Seems like I'll get some temporary insurance to be canceled post-marriage when I go with USAA.
Overall: B+, still have worries about moving things in, getting paperwork finalized and signing a billion papers
Agent: C+, great job helping us with the search, initiating the contract and moving paperwork along; sucky job negotiating for us, seems to be afraid of their agent. My cynical nature forces me to wonder if she's more focussed on her commission and not letting tension enter the negotiations, and less on getting us the best house and terms possible.
- Paint - will be a week behind schedule if I'm lucky
- Carpet - what's going in is in, what's coming out is still there
- Floors - still covered
- Grass - looking decent but with lots of leaves
- Bushes - send water!
- POD - 2/3's by 2/3's filled
- Shed - EMPTY!
- Trash - all but gone
I'm giving myself a C+, but if the paint and carpet come together soon we might be ok.
are so-so. But he's a classic "glue" player, and he has done everything that has ever been asked of him, makes big plays, and fills holes where needed.
If it weren't for the three years with the Eagles, I'd say yes. At least it wasn't the Cowboys...
Skins over the Detroit Lions
and the TERPS over Georgia Tech (!!!!)
Jason Campbell sounded great (from a waxing and waning radio signal), and MD sounded great.
Fun story (yeah?):
I listened to the MD game via their online feed, and immediately after they won I discovered it was being covered locally in Winston-Salem, NC. This was after being told at the Fox & the Hound (in W-S, sister bar to NoVA's Bailey's) that they game wasn't on locally and I'd need satellite to see it.
I'll take the wins, either way...
Monday, October 8, 2007
- Upstairs hardwood that needs replacing in just one (tiny!) spot
- Paint that is "outdated"
- Paint that is marked, scuffed, flawed, flaking, or just plain stained
- Lots and LOTS of stuff that needs to be thrown out
- B2K - over 2000 books
- Lots of stuff you don't want
- A sagging front walkway
- Condensation in the basement
- No dining table (or chairs) in your dining room
- B2K, seriously it's a lot of books
- A painter who says "one week" but really meant "two"
- You've hard of this sagging real estate market right?
I guess this is the inverse, or something like that, of my previous post "How to buy a crappy house".
Saturday, October 6, 2007
I do know someone who does quite often.
Via another great resource, Get Rich Slowly, is a piece on why you should check your recpeipts:
- As in our recent trip to IKEA, you might be overcharged.
- You might also be undercharged, and have to point out errors to the checker. (I’ve found that sometimes a store won’t even bother to fix a small error if it’s in the customer’s favor.)
- You might be charged for a completely different item. Computerized databases speed transactions, but they’re not foolproof.
- Sale prices may not register. This is actually fairly common, especially at the supermarket. If you’re after a particularly good deal, be sure you’re paying what you expected.
I've seen mistakes caught by doing this, and there are several Google'able research papers on how grocery stores often make mistakes on the list and charged price.
But, more interestingly, I came across this item from lifehacker on how to properly iron your dress shirt. I did that this morning (along with a pair of khakis) for a wedding (and brunch) today. Weee, ironing! Wee, wedding!
I doubt highly that I did it "right", but I know I hit the major points my Mom taught me.
- Begin with the collar, inside and out, starting at the tips and working your way to the back.
- Do the cuffs.
- Slide the shoulder onto the end of the board and do the sleeves. Start new the cuff opening then move to the top.
- Iron the body. Start at the top and go down. The back is low priority -- it will wrinkles from sitting against the back of a chair or in a car.
- Slide the tip of the iron between the buttons.
Iron, or laundry service? Sadly I use a service a lot, but I hope the new house motivates me to wash and iron at home.
There are three keys that determine your leadership style.
- How you view and use authority
- How you view and use human resources
- How you view and relate to people.
Wake Forest, down 9-7 to Duke. Yikes.
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
Ok, cheesy thing to write, but who actually plans out there career, and ever has it work out?
Some guy named Marc (Andreessen) has put together the Pmarca Guide to Careen Planning.
And he starts out with:
- These posts are aimed at high-potential people who want to excel throughout their careers and make a significant impact on their fields and the world. These posts are not appropriate for people for whom work/life balance is a high priority or for whom lifestyle is particularly important -- if that's you, there are plenty of existing career planning resources for you already!
He continues the thread with the following two posts:
Worth the read and I look forward to what he writes next.
Monday, October 1, 2007
Team W L PCT GB
Philadelphia 89 73 .549 -
NY Mets 88 74 .543 1.0
Atlanta 84 78 .519 5.0
Washington 73 89 .451 16.0
Florida 71 91 .438 18.0
Thanks to the crack (as in drug, not quality) staff of the mlb.com folks, we get this gem. Yes, we exceeded expectations, but only because they were catastrophically wretched.
Dmitri, if he recovers from his noggin' injury, will play 1B for most of the year as we await a slow recovering Nick Johnson.
We have, at best, three #3 starters. Patterson was, IMHO, a flash in the pan in his best year. And he never really did much then either.
We still have no starting SS.
No starting CF.
Multiple starting LF/RF options.
And there's the decreasing weak hitting catcher.
So we'll see next year. The Nats keep yapping a lot about the low end of the minor league system, but it isn't helpful until they prove themselves in the MLB's.
PS: Can we give Justin Maxwell a lot of ABs in spring training? All he did was hit the crap out of the ball in his limited spots.
How to figure out the average flight cost, the average package cost, etc.
There are obviously multiple air carriers to choose from, and multiple venues to select from. So far I'm focusing in on sandals, which comes highly recommended, but it's hard to compare/contract the options.
And how long should the honeymoon bet? 7 days? Leave and return on Sundays? What time is ideal to depart?
Lot's of variables.