Just Another Blog
Thursday, March 31, 2005
Internet Gambling

G Diddy is all sports all the time nowadays thanks to the wonders of dem internets.

This article, The Future of Gaming - Is it on the Internet?, is a great piece on many of the legal issues surrounding betting online. Careers, they say, are being made in the legal battles that surround issues like where does a bet take place? They say it could be a trillion dollar industry.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005
In that moment, Nagle made history. Paralysed from the neck down after a vicious knife attack four years ago, he is the first person to have controlled an artificial limb using a device chronically implanted into his brain.
Do you think the CIA knows what part of the brain to tickle to learn the real truth?

Tuesday, March 29, 2005
Funny Movie

I can't seem to get it to work, but Stu swears this movie, Cop Shoots Self, is a riot. Of course he's the same one who so strongly recommended this suicide video (please right click, save as). You decide. Let me know about the first one. I didn't like the second one, but you can't argue that it is a painless death.


Why don't we let athletes who play in private organizations like the NFL use steroids? As long as everyone has access to the same technology, shouldn't it be allowed? This has nothing to do with college games or high school games. This is professional sports in a private league.

"This is not even medicine. This is better athletes through chemistry," charges the puritan. Who is he to say those are mutually exclusive? We manipulate genes to live longer. We bombard our bodies with vitamins and supplements and painkillers and memory enhancers and memory erasers and tobacco and marijuana and alcohol and anything else that you can get in the Ghetto before you jet to the Bronx, and that's all ok. So why not more advanced vitamins? Why not stronger medicines? Why not allow grown-ups to make their own choices about how they want to train their own bodies so that they can excel in their own jobs which they perform for private organizations? Where's the compelling government interest? Let 'em do what they want. They already do anyway.

Verizon vs Qwest for MCI

This really is a fascinating business story. At the beginning of the story, you see a great potential for arbitrage. A buyout is offering $23.50, the board seems to want to take the offer, but buyers are paying $23.78. Sell short now, kick over the $23.50 when the board and shareholders approve the deal. Of course there is the danger that Qwest could win out at $26 a share and you'd be screwed.

I liked this line: MCI said that in making its determination, its board of directors considered the need for Verizon's size, resources, reputation with customers, and wireless capabilities as key to survival in the telecommunications market. [emphasis added]

US West was awful. Qwest is worse. I love to see them lose. Heck, with $17B in debt and awful customer service , they're already doomed. Hell, Q is barely more than a penny stock. I love too that the MCI board is standing in there and saying, "The best interest of our shareholders is a stronger company; the best interest of our shareholders is not a quick payday." And the fact that it pronounces such clear judgement on a weaker rival is awesome.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Geoff Kendall is the best bartender I have ever known, met, or seen. He's one of those guys who is always on. I took a class to learn the drinks, but he taught me how to tend bar.

Geoff has as many great marketing ideas as my brother and as many half-baked schemes as well. But when Anheuser Busch finally decides to break out the Bud and Little Bud commercial done in a The Incredibles-style, know that it was Geoff who sent them the idea.

At one time, Geoff was well connected in the DC bar scene. One of the innovations that he single-handedly foisted upon the scene, industry, the city, nay!, the world! - was Dial-a-Shot.

Dial-a-Shot is an efficient way to get drunk with the rest of your buddies around town or around the city or around the world! using nothing more than a telephone. Once the big hand met the little hand, the phone could start ringing or we might start calling at anytime. From Foggy Bottom we toasted with the fellows in Georgetown, with the gents in Dupont Circle, and with the drunks next-door.

Now, you must understand, back in the early days of Dial-a-Shot, there were no cell phones. There was no text messaging. There was no wi-fi. Heck, we didn't even have cordless phones! But it was a fine innovation. Suddenly, we could all drink together -- even if we wouldn't get to see each other until after-hours.

The technology of today should have made Dial-a-Shot founder, Geoff Kendall, a rich man, but fate is always more cruel: Geoff still works for a living.

I tried to Dial-a-Shot this evening with Geoffery G., but found I had a bad number. Here's to you, man; I'm looking for you.

T. G. I. G. F.

Thank goodness it's good Friday.

Your god is dead (for 72 hours, anyway (hey, what happens if something goes wrong in the next couple of days? Of yeah, you've got those other two gods...)).

Science is god. I'm hope like hell the UK is progressive enough not to let a bunch of three-headed-ghost-seeing-nutjobs talk them out of progress. We already know so much more than god, it's not even funny.

The job of government is not to restrict science. I'm not entirely convinced government should fund science, but it definitely should not hinder the progress of knowledge.

If we do decide to restrict science, let's be clear about it and follow the lead of our muslim brethern who cut the heads off of any who dare challenge the grand pedophile mohammed. Public beheadings accompanied by the poerty of State shall await those who would continue to expand the knowledge of man beyond the limits of god.

Be clear! We have progressed far enough. Any further answers can only spawn more questions - the answers to which are too terrible to consider!

We must believe. We must not doubt. We must question no further. We must have faith.

Thursday, March 24, 2005
Social Security

Social Security is a complex form of accounting as much as it is a welfare program. The annual report on Social Security and Medicare is out. If there's one thing that I learned at S&P, it is the value of reading the annual report before making investment decisions. Your belief and bet on the future of social security could be an awfully important investment decision.

Fortunately, you don't need to read the entire report. The trustees provide a Summary of the Status of the Social Security and Medicare Programs. I thought this was a very well written and understandable explanation of the state of the program and how we know it's in trouble. People think that everything that the government spits out is convoluted and crammed with legalistic mumbo jumbo. I think this summary - in addition to things from the IRS like their information publications - are a good refutation of that point.

I worry actually about what portion of the population could not understand that summary. It's important, and it ties together lots of different concepts from employment, to math, to insurance, to interest rates, to actuarial estimates. None of it is overly complicated as presented, but I worry that too many people just don't even have the most basic understanding of the principles involved.

I blame public education.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005
Pysch Out

How do you really psych a guy out? You wreck his career and haunt his dreams. You know it's Romo. Did you know it was his teammate?

How quick Denver is to turn on our former stalwart. Notice how they end the article ripping the guy? That sucks; he was great.

Expensing Stock Options

Sarbanes Oxley 404 will have a profound effect on the expenses incurred to manage a business even if it may ultimately have any real effect on how businesses are managed. The new rule requiring the expensing of stock options may have a much bigger short-term impact on the markets. Expensing of options now means eating up earnings whereas before it was a vague long term compensation arrangement that didn't eat from "real" money. This article explains it and the complications of putting a value on the hereafter expensed options as clearly as I've heard it yet and surely more clearly than I.


I never ended up needing all of that Y2K ammo. Maybe I'll get another chance when society collapses under the burden, panic, and anarchy of a really bad bird flu pandemic. What if the world's population was reduced by a quarter in the course of two years? Awesome.

A Certain Je Ne Se Quois

There's the picture of me just below in New York, and I could show you other pictures of me taken in all sorts of exoctic locales far and wide. Still, it may surprise you to realize that I am the number three hit for good looking boys with international flair. It shouldn't surprise you. If it's not international flair that I've got, well, then I'm not sure what it is.

Monday, March 21, 2005
Attention Interested Persons

All readers are hearby notified pursuant to Colorado State Statutes that I intend for you to be interested persons and to act as such on my behalf if I should become physically and/or mentally incapacitated as attested to in writing by two licensed physicians. I do hereby and following define "on my behalf" as acting in accordance to my wishes as laid out herein and as may be amended herein, prior to my documented incapacitatation.

Whereas I have no desire to live a life lessened by physical or mental handicap as compared to my current standard of living;
and whereas I have neither spouse nor other signifcant other to either support in life or to benefit in death;
and whereas I do openly welcome death as a relief from any apparent or likely sufferring or anguish, physical or mental;
I do now hereby instruct that no extraordinary measures be taken to preserve my life.

Extraordinary measures are intended to be defined as any method of artifical or supplemental respiration or any method of artificial or supplemental heart stimulation including without exclusion CPR, chest-compressions, electric-stimulation, defibrillation, auto-defib, and other similar measures.

The act of publicizing this notice onto the world wide web is intended by myself, the true author, Jonathan Harrington, to serve as a legal and binding notification to interested persons under Colorado Statutes.

This notice and its succesor modification shall only be revokable by the author and only by written notification or publication herein.

I'm Big in New York

Thanks Copper!

Saturday, March 19, 2005
Stereo Sounds

My stereo usage just jumped right through the roof once I realized that I have the part needed to play the mp3 player through the stereo. It's just a little plug that is stereo headphone line out on one side and then red and white female stereo connectors on the other side. I had the thing since about three computers ago when I didn't have a CD player on the computer, so I needed away to get music from my stereo on to the computer. Anyway, it works great, and I am once again reminded of the need to make and use playlists.

I rearranged my entire music collection in to folders by artist. It's a much improved experience for the people who browse my files via Soul Seek. It has also made it much more efficient for me to go through and clean up the tags and filenames with Mp3nity. Another week or so and I will have an immaculately arranged collection of music. Then I can think about playlists and more downloading.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005
Flavorings Industry

My brother is currently harboring conspiratorial feelings toward a largely unnamed group that he vaguely refers to as the Flavorings Industry. The Flavorings Industry is pumping us full of crazy, lab-created chemicals that they are testing on us. But they also make a tasty marinade and a fabulous dry rub, and who can forget when they put iodine in salt?

Here's a fascinating article on giving up on even trying to get people to eat healthily. But, really, it's a story of how to try to get people to eat healthier. All accomplished through the Flavor Industry's ability to make chemicals taste and look and feel and even fill you up like real food does. Check this out:
Richard Faulks of the IFR [Institute of Food Research] says: "Our knowledge of the ways in which different foods are digested and processed by the body has grown hugely in recent years. Before, we had very little understanding of how appetite works. Now, we have a computer model where we can input any kind of food and get an exact reading of how it is digested, how satiety works and how the energy is released. It is this work that will allow us to manipulate foods to make them potentially more healthy."
We got computers that can do that? That eat? It blows my mind. Cool. It's a long article that often reads word for word as if it were from a Flavorings Industry press release, but it is interesting.


It is as if Darwin were watching over those sheep.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

I'm not really missing hockey. I hope they all go back to Europe and it just becomes winter-soccer.

But I am looking forward to football.

Creative Zen Micro

Well, it's not perfect, but it is awesome. I like it and I'd definitely recommend it. I'll expand on these thoughts when my attention span sufficiently expands to allow for further elucidation.


...for a moment that I had a shot at the hot, old lady who sat down next to me at the bar at McCormick's tonight. But no, she had some other, round, middle-aged, goateed, me-look-a-like, meeting her there. That's ok. I had to go get my hair cut anyway.


Walking to work, from work, down from 28, and a little bit at lunch. Kind of tired; still too heavy; keep on walking and walking.

How I Would Handle It

These guys who won't get off the plane, but who have no weapons other than their seated asses and a bit of determination, here's what I would do.

I would put on an inflight movie of the hostage take down at the ballet in Russia. I would announce that the KGB has been working on a new version of that gas which last time killed 1 in 10 (guessing here). I would let them know that the gas was going off in two minutes.

And I would gas the shit out of them while I screamed, "GET OUT OF MY PLANE!" over a bullhorn cranked-up to about 8.

Monday, March 07, 2005
Rollover IRA

Any of you folks in the business have any thoughts or comments on the best place for a Rollover IRA? I'm thinking Fidelity, Schwab, Etrade, Ameritrade - no mutual-fund-only companies. I've got tiny bits of money from Omni and S&P (k)-plans plus Merrill's gonna start hitting my Roth with an inactivity fee, so I need to move that too. I'll look up the fees and costs soon enough, but I was curious if any of you had anything interesting to say about the big discount brokers.

Thursday, March 03, 2005
So Sleepy

I came home tonight from dinner at my brother's to find a terrible beeping noise filling my house. It turned out to be my carbon monoxide detector.

I couldn't get the damned thing to turn off. The directions said to move to clean air, but I didn't want to bring it outside at this time of night. I tried shaking it through the air in another room, and I tried wrapping it up in a towel. But I just couldn't stop the beeping, so I finally just took out the battery. Now, I'm going to bed. I'll worry about it if I wake up in the morning. I'm sure I will be so blessed.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Got on the SoulSeek this weekend. It was so damned addicting that I never got any of my house put back together, and the place is still a mess. I did, however, get about 700 new songs and crossed the 8k barrier and am quickly approaching 40GB.

Now I'm just hoarding.

Just finished listening to the 3, 6, 9 Seconds of Light EP by Belle and Sebastian. Very awesome. Now on to Iggy Pop Lust for Life because I still haven't finished Please Kill Me, but, again, I was music-gathering all weekend.

I gotta get an mp3 player for the walk. That'll be my only chance to get caught up on all of the songs I've never listened to. I'm thinking of this one or this one. The 30 GB is cheaper than the 5 GB, but the 5 has the voice recorder which might better allow me to share these important thoughts with you. (oh, here's the 40 GB for the same price as the 5)

Update: I ordered the little one. In Broncos Orange. 4 gigs of music and 1 gig of me rambling on about sometin'.