Smart TV

Wednesday, June 30, 2004
Yesterday I was flipping around the tube and stopped on PBS. It was showing a biography on Ulysses S. Grant. There really wasn't anything better on so I stopped it there and continued doing what I was doing. (I rarely watch TV and only watch TV. I like to multi-task and have the TV on as background noise)

When I was younger I use to watch PBS all the time. First it was Sesame Street, than it was the nature shows, and then it was all the science shows. Somewhere along the way I stopped. I don't know why but I think it was probably because I started watching much more mainstream shows like Friends and ER.

After watching the biography I felt a lot smarter. I knew a lot of the things they talked about since I'm very interested in the Civil War but I still felt like I had learned a great deal. Is it a coincidence that I think I was a much smarter child than I am an adult? Maybe watching TV, at least the wrong TV, really does make you dumber.

Wanted: A Rich Woman

Tuesday, June 29, 2004
MSN has an article about women who make more than their partners. I guess they created an article for all those couples out there who have problems because the woman earns more than the man.

Is this really a problem? I wish I could meet a woman who makes more than me. I don't see someone else's ability to achieve and earn as a threat to me. My partner's great achievements don't make mine any less significant and if anything enhances them. I don't think that making less money than my partner would make me less of a "man". You all know that I think money is important (not in and of itself but what it connotes) but I will be the first to say that it isn't everything.

So seriously, what does everyone else think? Would most men really have a problem with their partner earning more? If so why do you think that is the case?

So if there is a woman out there reading this and you earn a lot of money and feel most men don't understand this please contact me. I am a young, single, successful male who enjoys reading and walks on the beach. I earn a good living myself so I wouldn't need to leech off of you and I would appreciate you for all the things that make you great.

Luxury Hotel vs. Budget Hotel

Friday, June 25, 2004
I'm finally back from Chicago. Overall it was a good trip both from a business perspective and from a personal perspective. Had a good time, got to see a friend of mine I haven't seen in a while, and even caught a baseball game.

What I'm here to write about is a comparison of the two hotels I stayed in while I was in the Chicago Area. The differences between the two were great but I'll let you draw your own conclusions.

The Hampton Inn - Naperville
Cost - $82.80 per night
Size of room ~ 250 sq ft
Internet Access - Free (wireless)
Bottled water - Free
In Room Snack - Free
Breakfast - Free
Shower - Waterpik head
Cookies - Free at Front Desk

The Palmer House Hilton - Downtown Chicago
Cost - $217.16 per night
Size of room ~ 200 sq ft
Internet Access - $10 per day (wired)
Bottle Water - $5
In Room Snack - none
Breakfast - None
Shower - standard shower head
Cookies - None

Is there something wrong with this picture? I'm sure Jenny will have much more to say about how much she loved the Palmer House but I'll let her do that. Just to be fair the Palmer House does have its advantages. It is downtown so you are closer to things (the best attraction in Naperville is a AMC 36) and the decor of the building is much nicer and plush. But who really cares about the decor? It also has things like a bell desk, restaurants, a kitchen to order room service, a mini-bar, a bar, shops, etc. But these are all things that as a traveler I don't really care all that much for. Also it frustrated me that to get to the 15th floor from the 11th floor I had to either take the stairs or take the elevator to the 8th floor first and then catch a different elevator to the 15th floor. How stupid is that?

A Different World

Thursday, June 17, 2004
For those who don't know I'm in Chicago for the week. Actually I'm in Naperville for the rest of this week and in Chicago starting this weekend. We are going to a show, SUPERCOMM 2004, and my department put together all the demos. I'm here to make sure they work.

So here is my take on Chicago so far. (I've been here before but here is what I've noticed this time)

- There are no non-white people here. Maybe in downtown there are but here in Naperville, I haven't seen anybody of color

- There are no foreign cars around. I use to wonder when I was young how Ford and GM were always the best selling cars in America when most people I knew had foreign, Japanese or German, cars. Come to mid-america. The mystery goes away.

- Its too humid. Then again, anywhere above 5% humidity is too much for me

- Houses are HUGE. I'm so use to living in NYC and in California that its strange to see these houses that are 2x as big as those in California and probably cost 1/4 the price.

- I really like traveling. I know most people don't but I really do. I waited 1 hour to even board the shuttle (they screwed up my reservation) and I didn't even get that mad. I like having my bed made and my clothes picked up for me. I like not worrying about having to make dinner. I like seeing different places and cultures (see above). Even when I was a consultant and traveled every week I didn't mind it too much. I figure I'm young and single and might as well do it now.

Money = Your Life

Monday, June 14, 2004
People spend too much money. At least in America they do. We are a nation in love with debt. We love to buy things on credit because it seem to cost no money. We figure we can always pay for it later when we have that mythical better paying job that never seems to materialize.

The people who are the most in debt seem to be the people who can least afford it or who hate their jobs the most. Maybe spending money they don't have makes these people feel better about themselves? I'm not sure but whatever it is I've never really understood it.

But don't these people realize what spending the money they earned actually means? Think about it. You earn your money by working at a job. Whether it is sititng in front of a computer all day or flipping burgers you are paid to spend time doing something when you would probably rather be doing something else. Now lets say you earn $10/hour. Now you decide you need to treat yourself so you go buy a brand new pair of shoes that cost you $80. You just speant 8 hours of your life earning that pair of shoes. For most people that is one day of their lives. You are basically equating that pair of shoes to be worth one day of you sitting in front of the computer bored out of your mine. Was it really worth it?

I'm not saying don't buy things that make you happy. By all means, spend all your money on whatever you want. Next time you want to complain about your job though, remember, at least you have those nice pair of shoes.

Why I Hate Laker Fans

Wednesday, June 09, 2004
Kobe Bryant is the Man. Let me say that again. Kobe Bryant is the Man. For those who don't know Kobe Bryant saved the Laker's championship hopes by draining a deep three pointer with 2.1 seconds left and the Lakers down by three.

Now why do I hate Laker Fans? They whine and complain so much about Kobe. Kobe is the best player in the NBA. If you don't believe it just watch SportsCenter today, they will replay that shot a few times for you. I will be the first to admit that every once in a while Kobe Bryant will frustrate me when he takes a horribly difficult shot late in the game. But you have to live with this. Why? Kobe has definitely won more games than he has lost. Remember Portland where he hit two absolutely ridiculous threes to give the Lakers the Pacific Division title?

If you love Kobe when he is making impossible shots to save the Lakers' butt than you can't hate him when he is jacking up impossible shots and missing. He isn't going to make all of them. You have to take the good with the bad. That is how basketball works.

And just because the L.A. media seems intent on coddling Shaq and crucifying Kobe let me say this. SHAQ, GET A FRIGGIN REBOUND!!!! You are the biggest guy on the court. You should average 20 rebounds a game. Are you going to really let Ben Wallace, who is only 6' 9" because of his fro, dominate you on the boards. I don't want to hear this crap about feeding the big dog so he will take care of the yard (which by the way may be the most selfish thing ever said in sports). Yes nobody can stop you. But just because you are unstoppable on the offensive end does not mean you don't have to play defense. And just because you don't get the ball every time you want, and anyone who plays basketball knows how difficult it can be to get the ball into the post all the time, doesn't mean you don't have to play defense. Defense is about effort and heart. How much heart do you have Shaq?

Can We Please Stop This?

Monday, June 07, 2004
How come J-Lo can get married whenever she wants to, to whomever she wants to, however many times she wants to but we prevent two men from getting married because it ruins the sanctity of marriage?

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world" - Mahatma Ghandi

Saturday, June 05, 2004
I realize something about myself. I'm very different than most people. I actually like my job which I'm realizing more and more is not true for most people.

This week has been a long week work wise. I've worked on average something like 12 hours each day. I have left work each day only to come home, boot up the computer, grab dinner, and sit and do some work. I will be going into the office this weekend to hopefully finish up a project I have been working on. And the thing is, I don't really mind any of it. Sure I'm a little tired, sure I'm underpaid, and sure I would like to change the way certain things work at my company, but overall I would have to say that I at least like what I do. I can't control some of the other things but in the little world I have carved out in my company I actually like what goes on.

I'm not sure what it is about me that makes me this way. Is it that I just like my job and that I don't mind putting in the long hours or is it that I can find happiness in the work I do regardless of the situation? I could make an argument for either case.

How is it that people get stuck at jobs they hate? Everyone growing up has these dreams of what they want to be when they grow up. For most, these dreams have long since vanished and they are faced with the harsh reality that is their life. I'm not saying that when I was five I wanted to be the manager for a software department. All I wanted (besides to be Superman which I have a hunch isn't going to happen) was to do be remembered for doing something great. I still have that as a goal in life and I plan on making it happen. Maybe I'm different because I've refused to let go of this dream. Am I crazy or are more people than I realize really happy where they are and are on the right path to doing what they have always wanted to do?

Finding the Truth

Tuesday, June 01, 2004
I had a conversation with someone the other day that made me do some thinking. If we should have as little government as possible who will defend the poor in criminal manners?

Now some take my beliefs as I don't want to do anything to help the poor. Nothing could be further from the truth. I do want people to take responsibility for their own actions and situations in life. The logical path from this is that people should be responsible for paying for their own defense. I simply don't believe this.

What? Isn't that a contradiction? As I always say, I try not to contradict myself. So what's going on? Well this only follows if the assumption is that government is only interested in winning whatever case the prosecution puts forth. I don't believe that is government's role. I believe governments role is to find the truth in all matters. It should have an equal interest if someone raped someone or someone is being falsely accused.

This leads me to why I thought about this, the Kobe Bryant case. Being a Laker fan I realize I am a little bias as I tend to think Kobe Bryant is innocent. However I am fully willing to admit that anybody is capable of anything and nobody knows what happened in that hotel room. However, what really disturbs me is how the D.A., Mark Hulbert, is acting in this case. The government should care as much about Kobe Bryant as it does about the alleged victim. It should care if they put an innocent man behind bars. But Mark Hulbert is treating this, ironically, like a basketball game. Win at all cost. Forget about the truth, lets slam dunkd this case and make sure we put Kobe Bryant behind bars.

What makes me say this? Kobe's defense team has asked for text messages sent between the accuser, her ex-boyfriend, and a third party just hours after the alleged assault. To me this has a huge bearing on the case as it may further strengthen the accuser's arguments or may completely shatter her credibility. Either way the prosecutor should want to know. Instead he fought the defense teams motion to obtain these records. According to the federal Electronics Communication Privacy Act, "A governmental entity may require the disclosure by a provider of electronic communication service of the contents of a wire or electronic communication, that is in electronic storage in an electronic communications system." All the D.A. had to do was make the request and the information would have been made available to him. Was he interested in the information. Absolutely not. Does it scare anybody else that the government really only cares about winning the cases it decides to prosecute?