Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Marginalizing My Father

My father drives out fifty miles each way to my place once a week to spend time with his two grandkids and to "help" me in general (get work done, relax a bit, etc.) It's a win-win situation for all involved and I greatly appreciate his visits. But...

So today at 10:45am I watch him pull up to the curb. He's wearing shorts even though it's 59 degrees. It may have been 80 the other day, but wardrobe selection probably ought to be made based on current weather. It reminded me of when I worked at a golf course in Philadelphia. Without fail, the first few sunny days of spring saw tons of stupid kids (college, high school,...) show up at the course wearing shorts and freezing their *sses off. They'd come into the clubhouse at the turn, if not sooner, and ante up for a jacket to at least warm up half their bodies.

Why do Morons opt to guess the weather forecast when they could spend one second ascertaining what meteorologists have called for?

So my father is not only wearing shorts, but also a light blue jacket. I chided him,

CaptiousNut - "Dad, a good rule of thumb is that if you need to wear a jacket, then it's not a 'shorts' day."

Now my son usually drags Grandpa down into our basement where his cache of toys is. He makes his grandfather stay down there for hours on end. After my son's nap, he immediately demanded that Grandpa take him back down to his toys for round two of basement time.

Grandpa - No, no. It's too cold down there.

I usually try to stay detached when I have "help" and concentrate on losing money in the market, but today I could not ward off interjection. It's bad enough that Grandpa didn't dress warm enough to say, take my son out to the park, but apparently he didn't even dress warm enough to visit certain rooms within the house!

CaptiousNut - Why didn't you turn the space heater on if you were cold? It's right there in the middle of the room. It's been used almost everyday for the past six months.

Grandpa - [unintelligible grumbling]

Again, I try to disengage myself from the "help". Who could say no to such a trifling grandchild demand? They go down to the cold basement.

An hour later I hop down to check on them. The heater is still not on. My father is sitting in a chair right next to it. I holler,

CaptiousNut - Dad, why didn't you turn the heater on? What the heck do you think it's for if not to warm the room when needed?

Grandpa - [unintelligible grumbling]

Many horses won't even let you lead them to water - never mind get them to drink.

Filed under Jurassic Butterfly Effect.

By the way, I could go on for a while about Grandpa's idiosyncrasies. He is blog fodder incarnate.

I'll bet your family members are cut from the same exact cloth.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Happy Earth Day, You Heathen Socialists! What About Your Externalities?

Yesterday was Earth Day and I almost didn't notice because of the unqualified success of my Big Media withdrawal program (which I can't recommend highly enough).

Here's what keeps reminding me of the modern Earth-fetishists - my blog gets near 100 hits per day, just from losers downloading this Day After Tomorrow pic from my blog.

Even worse, I can see that these kids (presumably) are finding my pic under "wallpaper" searches. So they want to plaster their computer screens with images of a climate change apocalypse.

Me? My wallpaper is a magnificent family picture from my daughter's baptism.

I really feel sorry for the millions of young people drunk on Greenism. I see them all over the blogosphere. What kind of loser 20 year-old is sitting around worrying about penguins and atmospheric carbon dioxide levels - not to mention getting the facts all wrong anyway. I was occasionally seen as a nerd growing up (an accusation hard to avoid for most of us toting a 300 IQ), but my introversion never rivaled the pathetic alarmism of today's young "environmentalists". I urge them to go have a beer, stalk some members of the opposite sex, or dare I say "go get a job and make some money". (I worked near forty hours a week when I was in college).

I pity these kids, first because many of them are have been innocently brainwashed by depraved socialist adults. But more so, I pity them because they are traveling a road toward lifetime disillusionment. They are the analogues of 60s hippies who thought everlasting happiness was a simple recipe of narcotics, nudity, Hendrix, and "peace". 60s radicals are cranky today precisely because of all the bankrupt ideas they inhaled in their youth.

Here's what will happen to today's green hippies. In twenty years, when the "climate" is the same and perhaps their trust funds dry up, they will look around and realize that while they were bracing for the end-of-the-world, many of their peers will have developed their careers, bred families, and found contentment. They'll be just as bitter, crusty, and alone as most of today's college professors and newspaper writers.

Look at this toy I espied in a catalog my son was perusing.

Sixty bucks for a "recycling center"? Tell me that price doesn't include a Moron well it should.

On one level they are absolutely correct.

It really is all garbage.

Here's what I say to Morons now if I detect the green infection (and y'all can use this line without expressed written consent).

I inquire, "Do you worship the sun, moon, and stars as well? How about the wind or forest nymphs?"

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Tales Of Facebook Stalking

Recently, I sent a YouTube clip titled The Facebook Skit to my college buddies and we laughed our collective asses off.

The Facebook was, at least back in 1992, a headshot photo compilation of incoming college freshman. After the University of Pennsylvania admitted me, sometime that spring or summer before the first semester, I received a notice in the mail asking me to send in a picture of myself for inclusion in the book. Like most others, I sent in my high school senior portrait. Upon arriving at Penn in late August, I found my "facebook" already sitting in my mailbox.

What a profound resource that was. First of all, if you met some girl while you were inebriated, in the oft chance you remembered her name or something about her appearance, you could research her further via the facebook. Back then, only name, matriculating high school, hometown and current dorm were among the data provided. But this was way better than nothing. And of course you could get a firmer grasp of her physical attractiveness than your memory would otherwise permit - with allowances made for the freshman 15. You could see whether she was in Wharton, the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Engineering, or the Nursing School. And you could ethnically profile her by her last name. Annoyingly, many kids out of the 2,000 undergrads did not send in pictures of themselves; in those cases stalkers were out of luck.

Watch the video and then I'll elaborate some more.

Obviously, the facebook (or meatbook) has migrated to the internet and been greatly enhanced.

This parody really hit home for me and my buddies because it was done by a UPenn a cappella group. We stalked girls on those same bricks of Locust Walk - only we couldn't so easily learn the hobbies of young ladies and "poking" them had to be done over the telephone. (To "poke" essentially means to say hello in computer programming speak. Did you think it meant something else?)

At the 2:45 mark of the video you see the stalker's time-annotated map of where and when his victim would likely be. One particular friend of mine basically did the same exact thing for a blonde chick he was smitten by. He knew where the young lady ate, at what precise times, where her classes where (Penn is a huge school), and thus where she'd likely be walking on say Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10:30am when her Management 101 class at Steinberg-Dietrich Hall let out. Anytime someone in our clique saw her, the "sighting" was immediately relayed to the stalker so he could update the map. When a new semester started, it was a veritable mad scramble to learn her new schedule. Our friend essentially turned all of his buddies into accomplices. I occasionally google that particular blonde even to this day. I can't help it - even though I never liked her a little bit.

Are you a loser if you sit in your room and stare at the facebook? As Bill O'Reilly would say, let the folks at home decide. For the record, though I was only at Penn for 3.5 years, and there's really only an avenue for you to purchase your own class' facebook, I actually procured five year's worth of facebooks (1991-1996). I would disclose my methods but am unsure of the statute of limitations on federal mail tampering.

Real studly men needn't have ever opened a facebook to research or stalk fair ladies. But for most of these guys, college (and high school) was the apex of their lives. What a crying shame to peak so early in life. They'll most likely be the parents screaming at Little League and Pop Warner games, trying to vicariously reclaim the glory of their own lives through their children. The analogue to this guy is the mother who gets disturbingly excited for her own daughters' proms. If you've ever seen such an animal, you'll have to agree that these moms are pathetically trying to recapture a part of their own youth.

So yeah, I spent some time thumbing through the facebook. My personal stalking of a few girls never approximated the depravity of my buddy's; and it would have happened even if the facebook didn't exist. Blaming the facebook for stalking is like blaming spoons for making Rosie O'Donnell fat. I have no qualms admitting stuff like this. It's not like I am Rich Karlgaard, who admitted to zillowing his old girlfriends' houses. He wanted to see if any of them "did better" than him for a spouse. The difference between me and Rich is, number one, I am not a publisher of Forbes. And number two, CaptiousNut is an alias.

Last anecdote.

In April of 1996, even though I had already graduated in December and started market-making on the Philadelphia Stock Exchange, I went to Spring Fling, UPenn's annual drunken bash. Late at night, I was in a High Rise elevator with my buddy, the depraved stalker described above. Some random girl got into the elevator with us and my buddy struck up a conversation. (all names are pseudonyms)

Stalker - Hi Lisa.

Lisa - Hi. [deep pause] Do I know you?

Stalker - Yeah I am Bob. We met at a frat party.

Lisa - Which one? [with a palpable cynicism]

Stalker - I am not really sure.

Lisa - When was it? [with prosecutorial conviction]

Stalker - I don't know....I was really drunk....I don't remember.

The young lady was not buying any of it. She just wanted to get off the elevator and did so as fast as possible. What a b*tch. It's astounding the prejudice often shown towards men in our society who've recently consumed a fifth of Jack Daniels. I turned to my buddy,

CaptiousNut - Who the heck was that?

Stalker - That was Lisa Smith.

CaptiousNut - Who?

Stalker - How could you not know who she is? She is right next to you in the facebook.

I was blown away.

How the heck could he recognize a girl in the wee hours of the morning at the end of a massive drinking binge? A girl he admitted he'd never even seen in person during four years of school, no less from a high school picture that was four if not five years old?

For crying out loud, there were over 2,000 students in our class - almost 10,000 total undergrads.

Photographic memory? Complete loser? Both?

For the most part he was staring at my facebook collection, so I unwittingly enabled his perversion. Sometimes I would come back to the dorm and find him laying on his bed with the facebooks fanned out atop his unopened text books. Whatever a black light would reveal about my facebook collection....let's just say that I am not really interested in learning.

(Ironically, a black light is also known as "Wood's light".)

Go ahead and judge us Penn Quakers. But you probably have no idea how terrible the selection of girls was at that school. We needed every possible resource. If you went to a school full of desirable women like Texas or Florida State, then this post will surely be lost on you.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Political Correctness Run Amok

Give me a break. Now even photos of nachos have to be taken by Hispanics? It's like on television's Law & Order - whenever racial issues crop up in the courtroom, they can't ever have three white guys (two lawyers and a judge) settling the case; diversity is mandatory in those situations.

No further details on the nachos "dispute"?

Could it have been a double-dip situation?

I myself, am an unapologetic multiple-dipper...

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Share the Earth?

What does "sharing" have to do with clean air and clean water?

Sharing is Commi-speak.

And as I have said more than a few times - environmentalism is the handmaiden of socialism. I kid you not. Take it from the horse's own mouth.

From Socialist Party USA's 2005 Earth Day statement,

On Earth Day, concerns over capitalism's stewardship of Mother Earth or lack thereof take center stage for a day in ecological conscious circles, among left-leaning progressives and the working class. The well-being of our Mother Earth and the mere existence of our human race should lead all of us to seriously recognize what kind of "miracle," if any, we intend to bequeath to future generations if we don't organize locally, nationally and internationally to end capitalism's profit-driven exploitation of our natural environment and resources.

Join the Socialist Party USA as we work towards the restoration of the integral bond between humanity and Mother Earth and recognize that the mechanisms in capitalism that oppress and alienate humans are the same mechanisms that destroy the environment.

Of course, the dirty little secret is that the former Soviet Union and Communist China have the filthiest air and water around. Yeah, let's copy their economic systems.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Rudy's Last Chance to Save NY and America

Greg Mankiw, Harvard Genius

Greg Mankiw, in 1989, predicted two decades of misery for housing.

The boomers’ and busters’ influence on the housing market has never been easy to predict. In 1989, economists Greg Mankiw and David Weil, then both at Harvard University, took a stab at it. As the baby busters were entering the market, they wrote in a widely read paper that "housing demand will grow more slowly in the 1990s than in any time in the past 40 years . . . [and] housing prices will fall substantially over the next two decades." Wellesley College economist Karl Case jokingly calls this "one of the worst forecasts in the history of mankind." Anyone who’s read a newspaper in the past 20 years knows he’s only slightly exaggerating. The median price for a house in Boston dropped last year to $515,500, but compare that with 1990, when the median price was $159,000. There are two reasons Mankiw and Weil turned out to be so off-target, says Case. One is that immigrants took up some of the slack, adding to the population numbers, buying houses, and keeping the market healthy. The other is that the boomers weren’t quite dead yet. Mankiw and Weis didn’t foresee the trend of "trading up" that the generation would fuel, nor did they predict the group’s continuing enthusiasm for second and third homes. Ultimately, the baby boomers were such active real estate buyers that they sent prices spiraling up, not down. "Mankiw and Weil missed something that demographers are really sensitive to," says Dowell Myers, a demographer at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles and the author of the new book Immigrants and Boomers: Forging a New Social Contract for the Future of America. "It’s a classic mistake."

Bill O'Reilly versus Geraldo

Watch, this clip. I thought they were going to come to blows.

(The background is the death of two teenage girls in Virginia Beach. They were killed by a repeat drunk driver who just happened to be "undocumented".)

One blurb,

Geraldo - Illegal aliens commit crimes at a lower rate than citizens do...


I guess he doesn't consider jumping the border, overstaying a visa, or identity theft to be "crimes".

Geraldo, you actually said "illegal aliens" don't commit crime. That would be like saying "Fat people aren't overweight".