Tuesday, August 23, 2005

The Dark Side

If any of you have a positive image of myself that you would rather not have change, please discontinue reading now.

I am a small 'l' libertarian. What this means is that I annoy conservatives because I don't believe in legislating morality (i.e. drugs should be legalized, gays should be able to marry, etc) and I annoy Liberals because I believe that the government's job is to stay out of the way (i.e. end all entitlements, abolish the income tax, etc). Why am I telling you this when I have striven so hard to keep politics out of this site, aside from my favorite links? Because a girl called me stupid this weekend and it filled me with glee. A glee that I'm still buzzed from as sad as that may seem.

I had the unfortunate experience of being required to go to school last Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 9am to 4pm each day. The official title of the class was Professional Responsibility, but the content was about the market, ethics, and law. The first two days were a bore as the pharmaceutical kids took over. I wasn't interested in arguing about the drug industry's creation of diseases and their 'public service' announcements to raise awareness of this awful state in order to find consumers for their drugs (i.e. anxiety disorder and Paxil - c'mon, who isn't anxious?) or in the glorification and funding of breast cancer research at the expense of other diseases that kill many more Americans, but just aren't sexy enough. Pardon the pun.

What I was interested in was in our discussions of the third day of insider trading, which I think should be legal (the price of the stock reflects the true value due to insider knowledge, as well as being practically unenforceable Martha aside), corporate negligence aka tort, and in universal human rights, which is really a misnomer as there are no such things.

I won't go into all of the fun little arguments I had that day. Let's just get to the girl who called me stupid. We're talking about universal rights, which I've already stated are relative to society and that until a market fails, the only rights a person has are the ones granted by the government. Once the market fails and people no longer accept the current state of things, political will and action changes the rules and additional rights are granted. Rights, not being inherent, but granted. As you can imagine, this annoyed some of the bleeding hearts in the class. I heard many a sigh. Yes, I was beginning to giggle.

The professor then posed a hypothetical situation where a U.S. company owns a factory in another country. Above the exit to the building is a large sign that states that anyone caught stealing will be turned over to the authorities and punished to the full extent of the law. Inevitably, you catch someone stealing. You turn him over to the police. The police take the person outside and shoot him in the head. What do you, as the owner of the company, do? Many comments such as leave the country, dock a person's pay if caught stealing, etc were given. I raised my hand. The professor, at this point was smiling because he knew what was coming. I said to change nothing. Keep the rule as it exists. Everyone in the factory saw the thief shot. The likelihood of someone stealing again is zero.

It was then that this girl said I was stupid. No argument. Just a playground retort. I simply laughed. No greater compliment can be paid a debater than to insult rather than argue. I'm still smiling, but it's an evil smile.

Monday, August 22, 2005


Liz's photoblog
My favorite is the most recent pic. This is how Z looks everyday when I come home. Sometimes he stomps his feet and shakes because he's so excited. Yes, I love it.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

It Will Not Subside

Items on my mind that probably deserve entries of their own, but due to my poor writing skills and memory, will only receive bulleted entries:

- "You know?" This phrase turns my stomach. What's worse is that it has entered into the Mike lexicon. I shiver every time it escapes my mouth.

- Chaffing. Last Saturday, I went running on a horse trail (Yes, a horse trail in NY. This is Westchester, albeit the West Side.) in 100 degree heat with 90% humidity. I meant to run 6 miles, but had no idea where I was going and ended up running 8. I wouldn't normally run on a day like that, but it was Saturday and I had only run once that week and I guilted myself into it. I did want to eat ice cream that day. Let's see, one bowl of ice cream with chocolate syrup is about 1000 calories (four scoops). Running eight miles took care of that. Anyways, sidetracked again. Sometimes I really don't know how I am able to tie my shoes. Ok, unsidetracked. I ran in that miserable weather and sweated quite a bit. Arrived home, headed for the shower not knowing the pain that was about to commence. Turned on the water and stepped in. Liz heard the screaming. She probably thought I had hit my head on the toilet seat again. No, no toilet seat. Just the water coursing down my body to the unmentionable/taint/chode. Apparently, it was rubbed a little raw.

- I've been wondering why my pants have been so tight. I'm down to 151 and yet my pants are as tight as ever. I discovered the culprit the other day. Apparently fat on my body congregates between the top of my butt and my lower back. It's kind of hidden so that when I stand up, you can't see it. It's only when sitting down that it pushes up and out on my pants that it is noticeable. It's very sad. What do you call this portion of your body? The bass?

Ok, this has turned into a gripe session. I swear, I'm normal, even-keeled, and not prone to mood swings. Maybe this all is coming out because I'm not running enough. Running is usually the way I eliminate all of the negative vibes. Or I could just need a new crystal.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

The Muse Cometh?

Sometimes my muse comes, sometimes it doesn't. Forgive me for my long spells of no writing. I'm sure both of you are devastated. You see, the problem is that my muse only comes during peace, tranquility, and not worrying about $100 million projects that people seem intent on sabotaging. Oh, wait, no work talk. I don't want to get dooced.

So lately, the muse hasn't been around. Lately, I've barely had time for running. Running three days a week is a major accomplishment these days. If I haven't told you already, and I probably have, but don't feel like checking my archives, my goal of breaking a three hour marathon is on hold until after I graduate May 4, 2006 at 9pm. Oh what a sweet day that will be.

Sorry for the pause. I was mumbling again. Something about how the $36k coming out of my own pocket better being worth it. (Thank you employer for picking up the remainder). I learned how to mumble effectively from she who shall remain nameless. It's an art really. Just loud enough so that the person knows you said something, but not loud enough for the person to understand. Then the feigned look of innocence and the loud pronouncement of, "Nothing". I use this technique at work all the time when I don't know what I'm talking about, which is often. It's amazing how far mumbling can take you when you're ambitious, but don't have any skills. I've made a list of times where mumbling is a requirement. I might share it sometime.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Freak Indeed

Brian, if that was you pretending to be slutty Brittany, bravo, well done. I always knew you had a little she-male in you. Just to let you know, I'll be running with my shirt off tonight. Me and my donut. It's not quite a spare tire yet.

New book. No, Simple Rules for a Complex World is not a self-help book, a book about how to make money, or a book about how to make people like you. It's a book about law, about how in a more complex world, we need a simplified set of laws. Very libertarian. Very Cato Institutish. John Rawls, you've met your match.