Friday, May 23, 2008

Trunk Monkey - The Date

Someday I will have kids and I want one of these!!!!

Trunk Monkey - Donut Bribe

Trunk Monkey is one of the funniest series of commercials I have ever seen. Here is one I call "Donut Bribe".

The Difference

John McCain, Hillary Clinton, and Barak Obama were walking down a Washington, D.C. street when they came upon a homeless man.

John MCain gave the man his business card and told him to come to his office for a job. He then took $20 out of his pocket and gave it to the homeless man.

Hillary was very impressed so when they came upon another homeless person she decided to help. She walked over to him and gave him directions to the welfare office. Then she reached into John McCain's pocket and got $20. She kept $15 for her administrative fees and gave the homeless man $5.

When they came upon yet another homeless man, Barak told him to "have hope...change is coming..." and gave him nothing.

Now do you understand the difference?

NOTE: I did not create this, it was emailed to me and the author is unknown, but I thought it was poignant enough to post to my blog.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Gasoline Is Cheap! Four dollars a gallon is outrageous! We should be paying much more.

This was posted on Slate by Robert Bryce...I think he makes some good points. Read the entire article before you comment.

The next time you have to take out a loan just to fill up your tank, remember this: Four-dollar-per-gallon gasoline is cheap.

There's no doubt that high fuel prices are hurting low-income consumers, and high energy costs are placing a tax on the economy that is slowing investment while sending billions of dollars overseas. It's unsurprising that presidential candidates and members of Congress issue new proposals practically every day to lower gas prices: Stop filling the Strategic Petroleum Reserve! Suspend the federal gas tax! Open ANWR to oil drilling!

These proposals are delusions, and Americans are living in a fantasy land when it comes to energy and energy prices. Over the past few years, consumers have been inundated with news stories about the soaring price of gasoline. Invariably, these stories include comments from a motorist who is outraged at the evils of a) Saudi Arabia, b) OPEC, c) Big Oil, d) all of the above.

Click here for the entire article.

Quote of the Day

If life was fair, Elvis would be alive and all the impersonators would be dead. - Johnny Carson

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Defining Liberalism and Conservatism

If you have every been in a discussion with someone and all of a sudden they ask you to define a concept or idea that you are familiar with, but not intimate, it can be intimidating.

I have one good friend that asks people all the time when discussing government to name and describe the roles of the 3 branches of government and it is fun watching peoples reaction (granted I am sure I had the same one the first time he asked me the question). Likewise in discussions with people on the current presidential race or politics in general the words liberal and conservative are often bantered about synonymously with Democrats and Republican, but they have very little to do with the groups and more with personal views.

To me Democrats and Republicans can be liberal or conservative and quite frankly in the last 12 years or so I have not seen a bit of difference between either group.

To me a liberal values bigger government, more taxation, less personal responsibility, which leads to less overall personal liberty.

A conservative values smaller government, less taxation, more personal responsibility which leads to more overall personal liberty.

Following these definitions I would fall under a conservative. Which are you? How would you define these differently? What are your values?

Think about it the next time you go to the polls you can make an independent and informed decision without following the pundits and false prophets.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008's 2008 Travelers' Choice List

2008 Travelers' Choice World Destinations:

1. Milford Sound, New Zealand
2. Queenstown, New Zealand
3. Philipsburg, St. Maarten
4. Cayo Largo, Cuba
5. Rhodes, Greece
6. Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas
7. Cruz Bay, St. John
8. Bridgetown, Barbados
9. Banff, Canada
10. Lake Tahoe, California

2008 Travelers' Choice U.S. Destinations:

1. Lake Tahoe, California
2. Big Sur, California
3. San Francisco, California
4. Poipu, Hawaii
5. Sedona, Arizona
6. New Orleans, Louisiana
7. Carmel, California
8. Napa, California
9. Lahaina, Hawaii
10. La Jolla, California

2008 Travelers' Choice Europe Destinations:

1. Rhodes, Greece
2. Salzburg, Austria
3. Amalfi, Italy
4. Bath, England
5. Siena, Italy
6. Dingle, Ireland
7. Bruges, Belgium
8. Lucerne, Switzerland
9. Vatican City, Italy
10. Edinburgh, Scotland

For the complete 2008 Travelers' Choice Destinations list, visit here.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

A Man Without Gloves

Imagine a man who wore gloves throughout his life. The gloves allowed him to experience, but not truly feel the gifts and experiences he encountered. Sure, he did some phenomenal things....traveled, learned to fly, fulfilled many of his dreams in life - but never really felt the joy and completeness of his accomplishments - or more likely these were not the accomplishments he sought?

The gloves were his shell...his protection keeping him safe, but never allowing him to put himself out there - keeping him from being hurt again - keeping him from feeling the complete ends of the spectrum of emotion whether that be hurt or complete infatuation. They kept his essence from his true potential and the realization of what he wanted out of life.

His gloves are off now and they have been for a while. He sees what he wants. He knows what he sees. Most importantly he can experience these things like never before.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Clinton and Obama to Appear at Laugh Factory

Oops. I am sorry. I meant to say that Clinton and Obama make me laugh! Why? Simple - when it comes to gas proposals they are both idiots.

Recently Obama began running ads in North Carolina and Indiana denouncing Hillary Clinton's "gas tax holiday" proposal ticking through a number of points of his plan - what he neglected to tell voters was that his plan is virtually identical to Clinton's with the exception of the suspension of the gas tax. Both plans want to implement a windfall profits tax on the oil companies, both want to fund $150 million in alternative energy research, and both accuse oil companies of price gouging. By the way - Obama is right that no economists have come forth and said that Clinton's plan will save any money at all, but come to think of it none of have come out for him either!

Price gouging? Don't we live and operate in a free market and hasn't the FTC done an number of inquiries on behalf of congress that have time and time again determined there is no price gouging - it is free market dynamics at work! I believe the Federal Reserve has done as much of a disservice to the American consumer by cutting rates, weakening the dollar, causing additional speculation in oil driving the market price up - ever heard of a Petrodollar? Are these presidential candidates even aware of the increased consumption by India and China.

Then we have Hillary speaking on This Week May 4th about the lack of economist support for her gas tax ideas stating the following:

"Well, I'll tell you what, I'm not going to put my lot in with economists, because I know if we get it right, if we actually did it right, if we had a president who used all the tools of the presidency, we would design it in such a way that it would be implemented effectively."

I tend to believe someone who speaks like that has a rectal cranial inversion - or in short has their head up their ass. Now you and I know the President has a lot of cool tools, but come on -- does it really come with a tool to suspend the laws of supply and demand? If it does - impressive.

And finally let's look at oil company profits. It is true that oil companies make a net profit that is larger than the S&P 500. The S&P 500 averages 8.5% and oil companies average 9.7% in the S&P Energy Sector - but compare their net profits with those of Google and other companies. Google showed a net profit of 25% in their most recent quarter far out performing the S&P 500 or the oil companies. Should we have an online advertising windfall profit tax?

I think puts it best.

"In a nutshell, Clinton and Obama are offering nearly identical energy plans. Both imply that price gouging is partially responsible for rising prices without providing adequate proof that price gouging is actually occurring and both want oil companies to help fund research into alternative energy. And neither candidate has a short-term plan that will, in fact, help families cope with rising gas costs."

Laughing complete.

Gambling in Washington State

I just came back from Seattle and was surprised to find out that gambling is legal in the State of Washington. I mainly played just south of downtown Seattle in Renton, Tukwila, and SeaTac. I played Spanish 21 (blackjack with sucker bets), played in a holdem tournament with a $40 buy in and played Ultimate Texas Holdem Table Game.

In short, I came back up and the casinos are much smaller in general - but all over. Think of an Applebee's sized casino. In the tournament I played I went out mid-pack when my quad 4's were beaten by quad Q's. I was behind all the way and never knew it. That is fine though because I then went to the Ultimate Texas Holdem Table and hit quad 10's with a bonus and made over 3x my initial investment on one hand.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Surprising Seattle

I spent the last weekend in Seattle, Washington and was surprised by the experience. Maybe we should start with what I expected and why I went. I went to join some friends for a Celebri viewing of Corteo by Cirque Du Soleil - for those of you that know me you know I am a big Cirque fan. What I expected to find was granola thrown at my feet by a grunge rocker as soon as I stepped of the plane, but I found the Greater Seattle Area to be a very beautiful area with a great mix of water, hills, mountains, trees and lots of aviation related industry.

I arrived on Thursday and after checking into my hotel in Renton headed north to Everett. I took a tour of Boeing's Everett Manufacturing facility where they build the 747, 767, 777, and the 787 and visited the Future of Flight Exhibit. I can describe this in one word - amazing. If you get to the Seattle area this is a must do for anyone. I am an aviation buff, but most of the people on the tour I took were not and they were in complete awe of what we saw. I also visited the Museum of Flight next to Boeing Field just south of downtown Seattle and it was one of the best aviation museums I have been to ranking right up there with the Smithsonian and the Museum at Wright Patterson in Dayton, Ohio. For dinner I took Mike Spencer's advise and went to the Metropolitan Grill and had one of the top 10 dinners of my life.

Friday I went to downtown Seattle and saw the usual sites - Pike Place Market, the Space Needle, the Duks, the floating bridges, athe waterfront and then spent some time taking a second tour around the Reston Airport where Boeing assembles the 737 before realizing that gambling is legal in Washington State and finding a casino in Tukwila to play a bit of blackjack before joining some friends for dinner at Teatro Zinzanni where I learned the bald mans handshake. If you ever get to San Francisco or Seattle I would recommend going to Teatro Zinzanni - it is a bit pricey, but the food is good and the entertainment is great!

On Saturday morning I got up early and went to the Silver Dollar Casino at SeaTac and played in a Holdem Tournament where I went out mid-pack on what I thought was a good hand, but 4 4's loses to 4 Q's anytime in anyplace and I got mine at a bad time. I then went across the casino to their Ultimate Holdem Table and made back my $40 investment and hit quad 10's for a huge payoff more than doubling my money. I then went back to my hotel and got ready to head to my friends house for a "wake" - that is a pre-show party for Corteo. The show portrays a clowns funeral. My friend, Rich Alford, went way out and created a pre-show party that featured lavish hours devours, great adult beverages, and good camaraderie. We left there and went directly to the show which was a spectacle in itself and after the show I headed back to my hotel to rest my weary self.

On Sunday I just got up and leisurely took my time packing and got some breakfast before heading to the airport for my return to Atlanta.

So on a trip rating of 1 to 10 this trip ranked about an 8. I like Seattle and found there was much more to do there than drink coffee, wrangle with environmentalists or slip on left over granola. Seattle turned out to be a diamond in the ruff with nice people and lots to do and see.

Maybe I wasn't so much surprised and misguided.