Thursday, October 28, 2004

When Curses are Lifted

It is not uncommon for celestial phenomena to occur at the same time a curse is broken. I may be superstitious. These have been uncertain times filled with doubt. A dark cloud has hung over the heads of America for a while. Its strange how faith... the faith that good things will happen... has a way of making the night seem a little more interesting. For instance, the Boston Red Sox's curse of the Bambino was lifted and a total lunar eclipse was seen across the United States! Coincidence? Or supernatural intervention?
I have a feeling that now Boston has won the World Series, the Lunar Eclipse has occured, All Hallows Eve is at hand... Well, there is a strong chance that positive change is at hand.

Change has no will to cease. Wiccans say this is a time for lifting curses and exorcising demons, for long dragged chains of fear to be left behind. Sometimes curses are lifted, and sometimes they are reversed!
What positive changes do you see coming in the next 7 days?

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Thursday, October 21, 2004

My Night as Nomar

After a long Monday at the NACS Convention the show floor finally closed. Every exhibitor who ever grabbed a bat to play ball rushed to one of the few beer booths to watch the Red Sox / Yankees game. As the eighth inning closed, a crowd of over 400 people were gathered infront of the TV... then they cut the power to the screens!
There was a mass exodus to the busses to take us back to our hotels and casinos. I got off at the first stop to continue watching the game. The bus dropped me off infront of the Westin and I hustled next door to Bourbon Street Casino to watch the game. I figured they'd have a nice big screen TV to finish watching the game. In the time it took me to get there, neither team scored on the field.
I sat down to watch the game and began shooting the shit with this guy from Oklahoma about the rivalry. The waitress brought me a beer on the house! When I had put that Budweiser down the hatch, the waitress brought me a whole bucket of beer! What luck? I'm not gambling or anything. This random guy came walking up to me and asked me what I was doing away from Chicago, but the game was on and I think I answered that "I'm just having a low key evening, trying to watch the game." I don't think I knew him, and it was weird if he knew I was from Chicago with out asking. Weird, right?
So after a few beers, I head to the can. When I come back, there are two Lazy Boy recliners pulled all the way up to the TV. In the other seat was the guy from OK. He waved me over and told me that the seats were for us. At this point... with the game still tied up in the 11th... I was more than happy to get a comfy chair.
Then this guy comes up to me and tells me that a All Talk Radio station was broadcasting from the bar and they wanted to talk to me about the similarities between Chicago & Boston.
Of course, I'm rooting for Boston in this one... The Cubs and the Sox are similar in many respects. They both have great ball fields, great fans, rivalries, & curses. So I walk over to their booth and grab a pair of headphones. They ask me some questions and I give some answers... then I realize that they think I'm some one else! Yes, now I get it. They think I am Nomar Garciaparra, former Red Sock turned Chicago Cub. As soon as I have that thought, one of the announcers tells me how special it is to have me ("Nomar") as a guest! I covered the microphone and shook my head and said "Dude, I'm not Nomar!" One of them laughed a bit, and the announcer next to me whispered "It doesn't matter, we're getting a great response from this. The board is lit up. We're getting calls!"
I was encouraged to go with it, but I decided I had to get back to the game. When I got back to my comfy chair, I was given a cogniac dipped cigar and a comp ticket for some comedy act (both of which I gave to the guy from OK). I couldn't help but think while I was sitting there, what Nomar is thinking while he sits at home. Did he do the right thing by switching teams midstream? Us Cub Fans were glad to have him this season. He played hard and gave us some hope in our own chase for the division win.
Boston won, and they have continued to win... and they're on the way to the World Series. Curses can be lifted if they aren't given any mind. When it comes down to it, its about teamwork and the independent achievement of a batter at a plate.

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Thursday, October 14, 2004

The Worst Haircut Ever

Ok, so most of you know that I rarely get a haircut and I don't mind running around looking a lil scrubby... a lil shaggy.
My dad used to cut my and my brother's hair. He did a decent job of the bowl/dome cut. I didn't mind it too bad. That is, until the day my Dad cut through my brother's ear with the scissors. While he was screaming in the high chair with blood dropping onto the yellow kitchen tiles below, I was freaking out because my Dad said I was next!
It seemed like a lot of blood, and my brother was really verbose and loud! My mom took him away and my dad grabbed me and threw me in the seat. There was NO way I was going to let that butcher near me at the time, and he's never cut my hair since.
I became very particular about who I let cut my hair. Though I don't mind experimenting with style, however, it doesn't seem to matter who I go to. They all pretty much cut my hair about the same... its a cross between Will from Will & Grace and Greg from Dharma & Greg. I guess medium thick dark whiteboy hair doesn't allow for many options?
(it just struck me as strange that the comparison is similiar to two TV shows with similiar names)
Needless to say, its hard to fuck up my hair too bad. I mean, you really have to work at it... it always winds up falling the same way.
Except for the worst haircut I ever had... yesterday!
I went to Salon 1800 to get a cut as a recommendation from Melissa. I walked in with LONG hair... I mean, I haven't had a cut since January and its grown out evenly! I told her specifically to keep it long. Melissa (Missy) came with for support and as my "style advisor." In the process of her cut I find out three things... she just was hired... she's never worked on anyone our age before... and she just didn't seem to listen about the few small, but important details about my hair... most importantly... DON'T CUT IT SHORT!
I told her I have a crown/collock on the back of my head. I told her I have a scar just above my hairline on the right side... that if and when I do part my hair, it would be on the left side. She didn't hear a word of it. I look like a fuckin' mook, and so this is my rant! I'm bummed out. Sure I'll look alright for the business trip in Vegas, but I wanted to present myself as who I am, and she missed the point.

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Sunday, October 10, 2004

Loose Suess's Soiled Suit

Augustus Steen was awefully mean
when he thought up his criminal scheme
He did not like Suess,
which is obtuse
for any of us to say.

Steen claimed Geisel sat down at his Eisel
...the facts here are still a bit hazy
But Instead of "The pain of being true at heart"
(that title's not smart)
Seuss thought better "Daisy-Head Mayzie, Ok?"

"Plagarized!" Steen Shout out
to people with clout
"I demand my piece of the pie!"
Without batting an eye they'd reply
"That's a lie. Good day to you Mr Small Fry!"

"If my work can't be seen
then I'll make a scene."
I'll turn the widow Seuss green!

So Steen began to paint in fury and hate
"Revenge with my brush I'll elate.
And here he will mate with another lude dude."
(It was Dr. Suess in the nude!)

Encounters he drew of Suess and Horton who hired a ho?
With a smidge of Oh, the places you'll blow?
To the widow he sent Les Pictures Irreverent
Along with a nasty note.

"Here is my plan
2.5 million clams
or I'll reveal my art to the land."

This is a horrible notion,
a threat of extortion.
"Steen plead to the court
"Guilty." of course

In the end, no harm done
except to the one
who painted Suess as a hung one.

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Saturday, October 09, 2004

GUNS & BUTTER > A STAGFLATION ECONOMY

War has been said to improve the economy of a industrial nation.

Stagflation (Stagnation + Inflation). When unemployment went up, generally, inflation would go down. However we saw in the 70s that something changed the economic rule.
Fresh from Vietnam...
The World climate of 1972... worldwide crop failures. US grain reserves evaporated.
Kind of like if hurricanes from Florida destroyed crops all over Africa... it made a different kind of inflationary surge. Usually inflation is due to outstripping growth... too much money chasing too few goods.
This is when supply grew more slowly. Wars bloomed in 1973... the Middle East exploded. All of the sudden oil cost a ton more. Inflation went up by 10.8%!
The president and his financial advisors were actually not allowed to find out the true costs of the war, so they couldn't plan for it. The production slowed down (just as it has today)... but inflation didn't go away (does this sound familiar). Food prices and energy products went up and because those went up, prices of associated goods. We did things that made our problems even worse. When stagnation hit we made wage and price controls... and the economy was rocked even further. We had bad data, and it showed faster growth than what really happened and we couldn't see that we were actually headed for a recession. The FED restricted the financial reserve... and that was a mistake. It didn't stop the spiral. It relied on old formulas of restrictive spending. The GNP continued to fall. Unemployment continued to rise. The supply shock was a foreign event, people didn't know how to think about it, so it was hard for policy makers to figure out how to deal with it. Gerald Ford finally admitted the uninevitable... a worsening recession. They shifted their emphasis from inflation to recession and there was a tax relief bill that went through congress. It was a holding action... the government wasn't more successful because we were trying to deal with the problem too much from the demand side of the supply demand curve (GNP vs. Price Level). The supply side needed more attention.
The inflation rate was very uncharacteristic in the 90s when inflation didn't hit (Thank you Alan Greenspan). Why didn't this happen? One reason was the tech revolution and there was a new economy of intellectual property. Alan Greenspan believed inflation couldn't be monitored using old systems. We found out we don't always get inflation when unemployment drops. I mean, looking at Japan... its economy was flat on its back. While we were expanding there was stagnation abroad. When there's money here we can spend our money abroad. We believed in budgetary restraint and outsourcing abroud. Revenues from said outsourcing led to surpluses. The Fed opened the monetary floodgates after the events of 911. This has thrown the economy into a downturn. The downturn means people aren't buying, or demanding goods and services. And we over reacted... we got sloppy. We had a long period of little inflation and we got comfortable and we started playing with the other side of equation.
The 1990s was the exact opposite of the 1970s. There is no guarantee that productivity is going to keep its vitality and because of outsourcing and loop holes we may already be in a deep hole which took 20 years to fight our way out of. Lets hope it doesn't happen again... or we'll be looking at gas that costs $5/gallon and +10% unemployment.
I thought this might be helpful for your conversations with republicans regarding the economy and why Bush shouldn't be president anymore.

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Tuesday, October 05, 2004

My opinion on Bush... for the record

I think if you lead the country to war and the reasons you gave the public turn out to be fabrications, then you lose your job.
Its hard work to do the right thing. Safety is an illusion. There will be no peace with this administration in the office.
Its not just the administration... its the policies.
I do not like the policies set in the last 4 years they work against the Bill of Rights. I don't believe no bid contracts and secret meetings and detentions are good for America.
I don't believe spending 46 billion dollars on not having a national health care plan is a good use of the funds when it costs the same 46 billion to have a real health care plan (according to a Harvard Research Study).

TODAY IS THE LAST DAY TO REGISTER TO VOTE! DO IT NOW!!!

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