A License to Present

Thursday, September 30, 2004
It should be required that anyone who wants to speak in public has to have a license. They would take a test that would measure their ability to speak and if the person fell below a certain threshold they would not be allowed to do a presentation.

I am sitting in one of the most boring presentations I have ever been in. The material is dry but what is worse the guy giving the presentation is just awful. What makes it worse is that this is the second day and only about 1 hour was at all pertinent to me.

I don't think it takes much to be a good presenter. All you need is to know your material beforehand and speak with confidence. Most people who give presentations read straight from their slides. THIS IS AN AWFUL WAY TO GIVE A PRESENTATION. Never ever ever read to people in a presentation. It is boring and it insults everyone's intelligence.

Whenever I give a presentation I make sure I know the material backwards and forwards. I only use my slides to remind me of the topic I'm going to cover. I never use slides as a placeholder for my brain. If I don't know enough to give the presentation without having to constantly refer to my slides I don't know enough to be giving the presentation in the first place.

Why I Hate the Government #94

Tuesday, September 28, 2004
Eminent domain my ass.

Now I will tell you how I really feel. I hate the concept of emininent domain which is basically the government's way of telling you that the your rights mean squat when compared to everyone else's. Seriously, how can you be serving the public by removing the rights of one of its citizens?

Most of you know that I believe government should have a very limited role in our lives. One of the few things I think government should do is protect private property. In other words, nobody has the right to steal anything from you, and that includes the government. This notion that the "public's" interest in a new hotel and health spa is more important than the rights of the individual home owner is just ridiculous. This is NOT a case when the NEED of the many outweight the RIGHTS of a few.

I can't even think of a circumstance where I think it is OK for the government to sieze your property. If anyone can and wants to try and convince me feel free, I'll listen. If the government can't come up with what the property owner thinks is fair value for the land then government, like everyone else, needs to find an alternative plan.

Should Green Play?

Thursday, September 23, 2004
There is a debate going on whether Shawn Green of the L.A. Dodgers should play this weekend or not. For background I will give you this. Shawn Green is Jewish. This Friday and Saturday is Yom Kippur, the holiest day for the Jewish People. It is the day when Jewish People are not to eat, drink, or work at all as atonement for their promises broken to God. The Dodgers are in the middle of a pennant race with the San Francisco Giants who, coincidently enough are the opponent for that weekend. So what is Shawn Green to do?

Most might think I would say he should play. I'm not religious, I'm a team player, and I am a Dodger's fan. It is hard for someone like me to understand the importance that people put in their faith and would be likely to say, "The Dodgers are in the middle of a pennant race. They haven't won a playoff game in 16 years. Its time to get back to the post season". Most people would be wrong.

How can anyone blame Shawn Green. This is what is important to him. It may not be important to me but that is not for me to decide. People think that Shawn Green owes something to the Dodgers and their fans but let me tell you this. No man owes anybody more than he owes himself. There is only one person who you can be sure to please all the time if you so choose and that is yourself. I do not expect Shawn Green to play for me by sacrificing his heritage and beliefs. He is paying for his choice. As I understand it he will not be paid for that day. If the Dodgers had a problem they shouldn't have signed him. It was well known that Shawn Green was very religious when he signed. It was actually a reason he signed with the Dodgers, L.A. has a very strong Jewish community.

So lay off the guy. His beliefs are his to have. It is after all just a game.

V6 Power

Yesterday I drove a Mustang. Boy was it a piece of crap. First of all, way too small and second of all the power on the car was just horrible. I would step on the gas assuming that I would accelerate and it would just take forever for it to kick in. Why the heck do people buy this car?

Makes me really glad I opted for the V6 in my Accord. I'm probably just spoiled but I have to say that the V6 makes for one hell of a better ride. The negatives of a bigger engine are of course that you get worse gas mileage. In these times, with the price of gas so high, that can be significant. For me it isn't a big factor so the positives outweigh any negatives. The positives being

1. Much better acceleration, crucial when trying to pass someone on the road or merge into traffic.
2. A much smoother ride. The car doesn't work as hard at lower speeds. This is very noticeable if you are use to a more powerful engine.
3. Climbing hills, you can actually accelerate.
4. Its just more fun.

This is the reason why America faces a gas crisis. People like me with more engine than the reallly need are clogging up the highways. I say raise gas prices way up and show people like me what we can do with our bigger more powerful engines.

Snobs of all kind

Tuesday, September 21, 2004
On the radio just right now I heard a commentator say, "I hate today's music. It all sounds the same"

This just makes me think of all those snobs who don't think anything is good anymore or that anything of a certain genre is all crap. I mean do I love Heavy Metal? No. Do I think it is all crap? No. I mean can millions of people really be wrong?

While I do believe that I'm right and others are wrong becauseI trust my own taste, that does not mean I don't have an open mind to hear alternatives. I mean, once in my life I was actually proven wrong about something. I know you are shocked that I'm not ALWAYS right but it did actually happen ... once.

I can't think what type of snob I am. I sure I am a snob about something I just don't know what. If anybody knows what type of snob I am please let me know. What type of snob are you?

A Perfectionist

Sunday, September 19, 2004
No doubt about it. I'm a perfectionist.

I don't want to get into details about exactly what happened but I had something very important to take care of this weekend. If I had known the final result of what I did before I did it I would have told everybody that I would be very satisfied with it. But as it turns out I am somewhat dissatisfied because how I got to the final result did not go as well as I would have liked. Confused yet? Let me give an analogy.

Lets say you want to take the SAT. You decide you would be happy with a score of 1500. You take the test and you get a total score of 1520. However you got that score by getting a 800 in the verbal and 720 in the math. You really would have preferred to have had it a little more balance, say 760 and 760. So instead of being ecstatic with the 1520 you are upset by how that score was made up. You are really good at math and feel that if you would have just done what you should have on that part your score would have been outstanding. You are also applying to MIT and are worried they won't think you are "math" enough or something like that. You know that it isn't a big deal but you still aren't happy with the whole thing in totality even though you are happy with the final result.

So that is basically what happened to me. Am I crazy, absolutely.

The Good Weather Charm

Thursday, September 16, 2004
I must be good luck when it comes to good weather.

This last week was supposedly insanely hot here in Southern California. I was all the while in NYC enjoying some of the finest weather the city has seen all year. While it did rain once, and quite hard , when I was there I was peacefully asleep in my hotel the entire time and missed the brunt of it. In fact, one weather system that was supposed to hit at the end of the week never materialized.

Now I'm back in California and the weather is pretty good. Good enough to make me think that all my friends here were lying.

It reminds my of when I went to Princeton. The year before I attended was the worst snow storm in recent memory. So bad they actually moved back reading period which they never ever do. They did so because a lot of students couldn't get back to New Jersey in time. Of course I get to Princeton and it barely snows my Freshman year. In fact it didn't snow at all my Sophomore year which is why we didn't run the Nude Olympics that year. All the while in California they were experience severe El-Nino type weather.

Wonder what will happen if I move again?

Forgetting Things

Wednesday, September 15, 2004
I must be getting old. Everywhere I went during the past week I forgot something.

In Seattle at my friend Nancy's place I left my belt.

In Princeton when I went to visit Jenny I forgot my sunglasses in her car.

In New York when I stayed with my friend Ivy I forgot my basketball shorts.

I guess senility really does come with old age. Who knew it started at 26?

Why I Hate the Government #911

Tuesday, September 14, 2004
Sometimes the government just does really stupid stuf with OUR tax dollars and nobody seems to really care. Case in point: Security at Airports.

On my way home this weekend the ticket agent looked at my ticket and circled it with a big read marker where it had a "S" under a title called "security". The next agent tells me that I will have to go through the extensive screening process where all my bags are "thoroughly" searched and a metal-detecting wand is scanned over me from head to toe. Being the good sport I am I submit to the screening with a smile and a good attitude all the time thinking that this is such a waste of time.

There is no way this does anything to prevent terrorism. All it does is inconveinence travellers and cost us all a lot of money. Think about it. I'm a terrorist and I want to hijack a plane. I buy my ticket and when it comes out I see that there is a big "S" on the ticket. What do I do? I turn around and go home. Or better yet I buy two tickets and if the first one has a "S" on it I go get the other one. Since the screening is done randomly the chances of me getting two tickets is small. Even if the second one also has a "S" on it I still can turn around and go home. Could you imagine if your boss at work announced that she knew someone was stealing money and that every employee's desk would be checked for the missing money. Now she isn't going to do it right then and there or check everyone but instead going to send an e-mail to those people she is going to check and then come by their desk a few hours later and see if she finds anything. Can anyone say Dilbert?

Back to the story. Now the ordinary citizen is going to either ignore the "S" or simply not care. So the ONLY people who the screeners are going to screen are innocent people. Yet this makes the lines at the airport much longer and inconveinences not only the person being screened but everyone else. Moreover, it is a complete invasion of privacy. It is one thing to get your bag x-rayed and then checked if they see something suspicious, quite another for them to go through my bags and see everything I have in there. I mean I have nothing to hide but that doesn't mean I want people going through my underwear? What if I had some embarassing items in my bag like a naughty gift for my girlfriend or something like that? And the kicker of it all, we pay for the privilege since it is our tax dollars funding the whole stupid thing.

The only thing I can think of is it makes travellers feel safer. Wake up people!

Out of Town = Wanting to See My Cat

Friday, September 10, 2004

(Title changed, see Susan's comment)

I normally don't want to talk about anything too personal on this blog but I ran into this photo on my laptop today. I haven't seen my cat in over a week and I miss him a lot. Silly I know.

Looking at the picture doesn't it make you wonder why cats love strong smells? Bandit just loves the smell of a freshly worn shoe or sock. In fact just the other day after I had come home from Basketball and put my sweaty jersey on the floor Bandit walked over to it and started rolling around in it like it was cat nip or something. Strange.

A Little Privacy

Thursday, September 09, 2004
There are many reasons why I don't date more than I do. One of the reasons manifested itself yesterday.

Most people who know me well know I'm a pretty open guy about certain things. I don't have a lot of shame or guilt so I'm willing to talk about almost any aspect of my life quite openly. However there are parts of my life I like to keep private.

Yesterday I had a friend of mine ask me about a relationship I had a while back. She had no real reason to know about the relationship and to be honest it doesn't matter if she knows or not. The thing that bothers me is that the only way she could possibly know is if another friend of mine told her about it. This other friend had no reason to ever bring it up and the only thing it could have been is idle gossip.

I would probably date more if I didn't think I would be the topic of stupid gossip. I'm probably just as guilty as some other people out there and talk about my friends when I probably shouldn't. I hate the idea that if I started dating a friend of a friend my friend would hear about all the details or give me a hard time if it didn't all work out. That's why I'm almost certain that the next girl I date will probably be a complete stranger to the rest of my friends.

I never quite understood the mentality of guys waiting a long time to introduce their girlfriends to their friends but I am beginning to understand it a little better. Who wants to deal with all the crap that happens when relationships don't work out?

Grass is Greener ...

Tuesday, September 07, 2004
I've discovered I'm definitely a grass-is-greener type of guy.

So this week I'm back in NYC, the city I left to go back to California. It will mark the longest time I've been here since I moved out. I have to say that I'm pretty glad to be back.

I still have a lot of friends here that I really like being around but that isn't really it since I haven't seen any of them yet (altough I do have plans to see them all). I guess, like I have always said, New York is a great city to visit but a lousy place to live. I really do like most of the things the city has to offer but I hate the cost of living. I hate that to live by youself and get a tiny studio apartment cost you in the neighborhood of $2,000.

But for now I'm really happy to be back. I really like it here but then again I really wanted to be in California when I was here. Maybe I'm just like John Kerry and I'll have to flip-flop back and forth. (Yes I'm voting for him so don't get on me). Maybe Its just that every 4 or 5 years I need to trade coast until I miss the other one too much.

Kobe Bryant: The End Game

Wednesday, September 01, 2004
The charges against Kobe Bryant have been dropped. And while I'm glad that it is over for Kobe I am partially sick to my stomach. I believe Kate Farber falsely accused Kobe. I wasn't so sure before and still had some lingering doubts but all those went out the window as of today.

Millions were spent on this trial on both sides. The government decided to prosecute a case that was clearly flawed from the very onset. If the government can bring a case against someone given the facts that all pointed to a false accusation than we are all in trouble.

She is in it for the money. The D.A. said the reason he dropped out of the case is because the accuser wanted it and that he did not want to subject her to any more pain. OK, why have you waited until 5 days before the trial was supposed to start? This has been going on for a year and all of a sudden, when so close to victory if you believe him, you are going to pull out of the case? Give me a break. She doesn't have the strength to go up to the witness stand and say, "That man raped me" in a criminal case where the man can go to jail but she can do it in a civil case, which is still going on, where she stands to get some money? And she won't have the benefit of any rape shield laws? If you are really raped money will not make you whole again.

The D.A. is an idiot and should be disbarred. He states, "With the victim we truly felt we had a great case and that justice would prevail. Our commitment to this case remains strong." Let me remind people of something. This is The State of Colorado vs. Kobe Bryant. If the D.A. really believe Kobe Bryant raped Kate it is his duty to continue to prosecute whether the woman wants to go forward or not. If she doesn't you call supboena her and make her testify. If Kobe really did rape her he needs to go to Jail for a very long time. There is a reason the state prosecutes this, it is in the public interest to make sure sexual predators are not roaming free.

This case is important to all of us. I can not imagine anything worse than being falsely accused of a crime and being sent to jail. Our system is meant to prevent this very error but it saddens be that I believe if Kobe Bryant is innocent but didn't have all this money he might be on his way to jail right about now.