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Published: 2010-10-20T00:09:16-07:00


On the Nevada Senate Race


If you've been following this blog for a while, you may have noticed... there's been nothing to follow for a while. Mostly that's because politics, the favored topic of discussion around here, has been so damn depressing of late. But with early voting now started in Nevada, I do feel compelled to write about an important issue -- the Senate race between Democratic incumbent Harry Reid, and Republican challenger Sharron Angle. If you live in this fine state, you've almost certainly received a ton of direct mail pieces from both candidates (or their allies). Unless you've been living under a rock, you've been unable to avoid the deluge of attack ads on TV. In more than 20 years of actively...

Financial Advice?


I have this older friend who is in serious financial distress. Unfortunately, this friend has gotten himself deeply into debt, and continues to spend way more than he brings home every year. Consider these details: For the last few years, my friend has been making around $24K-$25K in net take-home pay. But he's been spending more than he brings home each year, borrowing anywhere from about $1,500 to $4,500 annually to make up the difference. In 2009, with a down economy, he had a modest $20,740 in net take-home pay. However, he also increased spending significantly. So he found that he needed to charge an additional $20,530 on credit cards, plus borrow from his own 401(k) savings in the amount...

Quote of the Day


"Progress isn't made by early risers. It's made by lazy men trying to find easier ways to do something." -- Robert Heinlein

A Trip to Red Rock Canyon


I’ve been meaning to do the Red Rock Canyon scenic drive ever since I got the convertible, and since I’m off work for a couple of days I thought I’d drop the top and check it out. It was quite nice if a bit breezy to start – but then the weather got a bit more ominous and the wind REALLY picked up. Here’s a handy tip – when you’re driving topless at 35 mph and there’s a 40 mph cross-wind, it can be hard to breathe normally! So halfway through the drive the top came up, but the scenery was still amazing. Anyhow, I took my camera along and stopped at a few of the overlooks along the way....

My Own Private Stimulus


Yeah, get your mind out of the gutter... I'm talkin' about a nice little free spin bonus I had recently in one of my favorite slot machines, "Moon Festival". The bonus is 10 free spins with "sticky wilds" -- any wild symbols (in this case, the moon) that show up during a free spin stick in that position for all subsequent spins. So you can end up collecting quite a few wild symbols by the end of the run, where most every spin pays off huge. In this particular case, my first free spin got me a couple of wilds in the 2nd and 3rd reels, and as you can see by the end of my run half of the...

Quote of the Day


"I hope than when I die, people say about me, 'Boy, that guy sure owed me a lot of money!'" -- Jack Handy

Nerd Humor


So if you're a fan of the original Star Trek TV show, AND a fan of Will Ferrell's Old School, AND a fan of The 40-Year-Old Virgin, AND a fan of Stephen Colbert, AND a fan of more cowbell (and hey, who ISN'T a fan of all those things?) you're gonna love this (some NSFW language in here...) (Hat tip to SciFi Wire)

Some people just don't get it...


Saw this headline on my Google News this morning: French Workers Strike to Protest Economy Friggin' brilliant. Struggling economy got you down? Stop working, that'll fix things!

Lovin' Vegas


One of many reasons I enjoy living in Sin City: It's the middle of freakin' JANUARY and I'm able to drive around with the top down... what a life...

Reinventing the Wheel


After a solid 20+ years of being a staunch IBM PC-compatible kinda guy, I've been thinking recently about (gasp) maybe getting a Mac, too. The problem I have with that is they're so darn expensive for what you get... just yesterday I was browsing the Mac store on-line and saw the "top of the line" MacBook Pro 17" model for just under $2900, while a comparable model from Dell (same processor, memory, display, hard drive, etc.) was just under $2200. To be sure, I could find a 17" Windows-based laptop for significantly less than that even, but I wanted to try to compare... well... Apples to Apples, so to speak. Anyhow, news comes today that Apple has just unveiled the...

Day of Reckoning


So election day is finally here. At last, our long national nightmare is about to be over. And a new long national nightmare is about to begin. No matter who ends up being elected today. Assuming, of course, that the election is actually over today. For some time now I've been checking and re-checking the electoral college map for some way that McCain can pull this off. His chances are grim, indeed, but not completely lost. The most optimistic (yet still halfway reasonable) scenario that I've been able to come up with has McCain tied with Obama 269-269 at the end of the day. That would, of course, throw the election to the House of Representatives, in the new Congress,...

Who's your man?


A friend passed this link along to me this afternoon (thanks Kelley!), it's an interesting little quickie barometer for figuring out how closely aligned you are with the two major Presidential candidates' quotes on certain key issues. No surprise for me, I came out favoring McCain on more than 60% of the statements. But of course, that means that I favor Obama on the other 40% -- a decisive edge to McCain, but not a hyper-partisan one (though to be fair, a couple of questions were tough calls for picking only one statement to agree with, and those both came out as Obama points... so my "support" for Obama is weaker than the quiz would indicate). There's lots more political...

What's this? Enthusiasm!?!?


As discussed yesterday, and continued a bit elsewhere today, I didn't think that John McCain's selection of Sarah Palin was necessarily a great choice, but an understandable sop to the social conservatives of his party. I resigned myself to grudgingly cast my vote for McCain despite his VP. I caught a bit of the end of Mitt Romney's speech this evening from work, and thought this guy's positioning himself to be the next traditional Republican candidate in 2012, with a lame run-down of all the standard talking points and using the term "liberal" as an insult in and of itself (no need to justify why "liberal" is a bad thing, after all, any God-fearing, America-loving, French-hating patriot just knows in...

Political Round-Up


So last week, as I often do, I happened to be skimming headlines on Google. The link said: McCain picks Palin for VP And, I shit you not, my first thought was: "Michael Palin? That's kind of a ballsy move." (Which should give you some idea of how my brain is wired.) My second thought was: "Well, of course it isn't Michael Palin. So who the HELL is that?" And, the intertubes being all clicky and everything, I followed the link to find out. Now, I'm no longer the 24/7 political junkie that I was before I moved to Las Vegas and got, you know, (kind of) a life. I simply have more pressing daily responsibilities than keeping up with...

My Happy Ending


I’ve been out of it for a while now--that song fits. Sometimes life hands you lemons, from which you can make delicious lemonade. Somewhat less well known, however, is that sometimes life kicks you squarely in the junk, rips your still-beating heart from your chest and stomps it into thousand little pieces. What do you do with that? On a more positive side, the running thing has been going well. I ran 10 miles for the first time in July, which gave me a lot of confidence for the half marathon. After moving in late July I got to take the girls up to Oregon for a week. We first went to my sister’s house in Eugene, and the girls...

His wife ain't too shabby, either...


I haven't been watching the convention as it happens, so I've been getting bits and pieces out of order as I try to catch up. I didn't see Hillary's big speech until after I saw Bill's, so here's the clip of her big moment: As I mentioned over a year ago, I think the Democrats are missing an opportunity by passing over Hillary for Barack. I don't necessarily agree with her policies, but she's a significantly more engaging personality. I honestly think her speech was better than Bill's. It's just as well, I've got to vote for the Republican ticket no matter what, and it's a lot easier for me to do with Obama on the other side. More important...

Dude gives a good speech...


Probably the most gifted orator of the past 50 years... never mind that some of his points are rather specious, the man is just awesome at working a crowd. Notice, however, how he speaks to "My fellow Democrats", not "My fellow Americans". Yes he's at the Democratic convention, but he's on national (if not world-wide) TV, his audience is much broader than that. Anyhow, others may have a different read on this, but it seems to me like he's going through the motions, saying what he needs to say about his party's nominee more out of obligation than out of conviction.

It's been a while...


Been busy with work and other things... and haven't had much to say of late. But last night I picked up my new (used) toy and thought I should share: It's a 2005 BMW 330ci, and while I had never driven a BMW until less than a week ago, I have to say that I'm a big fan now. Man, is this a sweet ride. I've been wanting to get a new car ever since moving to Vegas, but of course I figured I needed to buy a house first. And that took a couple of years longer than I expected... but now that I'm more or less settled into the house, I started looking around at cars again. I've...


Today was the worst day of my life.

96 Degrees in the Shade


It’s been hot. Really, really hot, and not a desert heat with a nice wind. Last Thursday I had the joy of spending the day running about—mostly driving and talking on the cell like my fellow L.A. peeps, and it just so happened that it was 107 degrees outside. I tried to hang out at Starbucks but they were packed inside, so I was outdoors near a tree that smelled like pee. Not so fun fact: there are about a hundred million places to pee in a toilet in L.A., but still I come across a lot of (human) pee smells outdoors, in parking garages, in staircases, etc. It might just be me. It stayed over 100 through Sunday just...