Sucks to Be Asian Male

Thursday, April 28, 2005
I was thinking about it and I realized that there is no really no advantage to being Asian male. I'm not saying it is hard to be Asian Male, I'm just saying you have not built in advantage in society. In different parts of society each racial-sex combination has its advantages. I'll admit I'm sure my viewpoint might be a little skewed so if you can think of something I'm missing please feel free to add. I'm going to list a few examples.

I AM NOT SAYING IT IS BETTER OR WORSE TO BE ANY COMBINATION. I AM NOT SAYING I BUY INTO THESE STEREOTYPES. I want to be clear about this. I don't buy into most stereotypes but I recognize that they exist. While certain combinations have advantages in some areas they are more than offset by disadvantages in others. I'm just saying that in no category does it pay to be Asian Male.

Getting into school - This one has advantages for anyone who is not Asian-male or White-Male. Every other combination can find some school where preference is given to that particular combination. White-Male may be neutral in most regards but there is a definite disadvantage to be Asian-Male at most undergraduate schools and almost all Medical and Business Schools.

Getting a Job - Again, advantages for most females. In most male dominated industries, and those that tend to pay better, females have an advantage at companies looking for diversity. Even though companies are not supposed to discriminate the only way they can't is to do it. It's a strange paradox.

In Hollywood - Definitely does not pay to be Asian-Male. If you are Asian-Male you never get the girl. You are only portrayed as someone who either A) Knows Kung-Fu B) is part of the Asian Mafia (and you of course still know Kung Fu)

Dating - This one is the kicker and really what got me thinking about this. Females have the clear advantage in this as race doesn't really factor into this too much. There are few negative stereotypes for women here although I think maybe black-female might have some negative stereotypes associated.

The Asian-Male stereotype is awful. We are usually seen as non-aggressive, feminine, and my favorite having smaller than average, ahem, equipment. These are not things that endear the Asian-Male to most females. I actually had a recent experience where a girl told me she was kind of worried about dating me (she hadn't dated anyone Asian before) because of the horror stories that some of her girlfriends told her. They told her over and over again that the stereotype of Asian-Males was true, that they were horrible kissers, and that they just didn't "measure up" to other guys.

One person try to say, but you have the advantage that people assume you are smart. How is that an advantage when it has no practical application? It won't help you get into school, get a job, and we have already seen it won't get you the girl.

Any thoughts?

Are You a Better Fan If You are Poor?

Tuesday, April 26, 2005
I keep hearing how "true" fans are the ones who buy the seats in the nosebleed sections of games. I just don't get this perspective.

I have spent most of my life in the nosebleeds. The one regular season Laker game I went to I could barely make out the court and it was impossible to tell who was who except for Shaq because his butt was so big who else could it be?

But over the years I have started to earn more money and now if I went to the Laker game I could probably afford a ticket in the lower bowl. As I have earned money have I become less of a fan? Absolutely not. But I follow a lot of fan forums and all I hear is how management is sticking it to the "real" fans because they keep raising prices.

I'm a real fan. I cheer on the Lakers this year despite the fact that they suck. I've stuck with the Dodgers despite the fact that everyone gave up on them even before the season started. Now that I have money I'm a worse fan? That makes no sense.

I just don't understand how the amount of money I have in my pocket translates to my love for a team on the field but it just seems to be common knowledge that the "true" fans are those who have the least money and that ownership should cater to these "real" fans by keeping prices low.

NBA age limit

Friday, April 22, 2005
This idea of an NBA age limit is ridiculous. Jermaine O'Neal said that the policy would be racist. I don't think the NBA or David Stern is TRYING to be racist but nevertheless I see the point that the policy itself would be racist since it would ONLY affect young black men. Only one non-black, non-European (but they don't count because Europe has professional leagues for young players) has ever been drafted out of high school, Robert Smith. That being said, I don't think it is racist but it doesn't stop it from being stupid.

Let me be clear about how I feel. I would prefer that most players go play some college ball, develop skills, and then go to the NBA. I think the game would be more fluid and you would see a higher skill level. But this isn't about what I want.

Why on earth should there be an age limit? Here are some common arguments.

Young Players need college to develop skills

Yeah because Kobe Bryant, Tracy McGrady, Kevin Garnett, Jermaine O'Neal, Lebron James, etc. really aren't very good players. I just named five of the top 10 players in the game. I don't think not going to college hurt them.

These Players need a fall back plan if they don't make it

Players drafted in the first round of the NBA draft are guaranteed a three year contract worth at least $2.3 Million dollars. Do you know of another profession that you can make that much money that young? If it doesn't work out after three years they can pretty much pay their own way through college.

Players need the guidance and discipline that college provides.

Have you seen the life of some college athletes. Remember the Hooker scandal at Colorado? You don't think favors are done for athletes to help them pass classes or money is paid to them under the table? Yeah teach them that others will do their work for them and that it is OK to break the rules. That's really teaching them values and is exactly what they need to learn to live in the NBA (I originally wrote that sarcastically but come to think of it maybe it is)

They aren't ready to play professional sports.

I don't see that stopping tennis or golf players.

But those are individual sports, basketball is different, it is a team sport.

Doesn't really stop Baseball from taking High School players does it?

Oh, but they have a minor league system

Gee, Soccer doesn't and they have Freddy Adu. And look, European players go pro as young as 14. I don't see society collapsing in Europe because of this. Give me a break.

But education is important.

Maybe for you it is but something my High School English teacher said to me that stuck with me. I openly questioned why everyone didn't just go to college. She said simply, "It's right for you but college isn't for everybody". Simple words yes but I had never really thought about it. Lots of people don't go to college and live just fine. Further if you are really going to worry about kids getting an education why don't you worry about the millions of kids who are unable to go rather than 5 or so a year who have an alternative, very lucrative, way to make a living.

It's better for the Game.

The argument goes that since these players aren't developing skills that the NBA isn't as watchable and thus hurts the whole league. OK, this one may have some credence but come on. When did we become a communist society? When did the "welfare" of the group take precedence over the RIGHTS of the individual. Just because I as a fan love seeing the skill of 4 year college player Tim Duncan doesn't give me the right to tell Kobe Bryant that he isn't ready and that he can't go earn a million dollars.

Besides, the NBA just announced the highest attendance figures ever. Yeah, clearly the fans don't like what they see on the floor.

Where is My Tall Gene?

Wednesday, April 20, 2005
What's with all these really tall Chinese guys? Sun Ming Ming is a potential pick in this year's NBA draft. He is 7'8". What's up with that? Where all all these tall Chinese guys, like Yao Ming, coming from and how come I didn't get some of this tall DNA?

Scroll down the link and look at the size of this guys hands. Go pick up a basketball for comparison. Its frightening; it's like he is holding a tennis ball or something.

New Cell Phone

Tuesday, April 19, 2005
I got a new cell phone last week. I switched carriers and it was surprisingly not that bad.

I think T-mobile must be made up of a bunch of idiots. First off I wasn't particularly happy with some of their coverage. Its no big deal to me since I don't use my cell phone that much but for others I'm sure it is.

Second, I've been a very good customer for them. Over the past two years I was on their $40 plan and getting 1000 minutes anytime. I have, on average, used about 150 minutes a month Anytime and maybe another 150 whenever minutes. They were making a killing off of me. I went to them first to see if they would give me a new phone but all the T-mobile phones sucked. I then asked if they would either give me a phone credit or get me a particular phone that they had but were not offering to people who did upgrades, only to new subscribers. They said no. I told them I would cancel if their answer was no, and since it was I switched.

I mean really. Every cell phone company has their problems but I was trying to bend over backwards to stay a customer and they simply ignored it. I could understand if someone like Netflix didn't want me back, as I probably cost them money (not lately though, I think I've gotten off their "Heavy User" list) but I'm sure T-Mobile was making money off of me hand over fist. Oh well.

The whole number portability thing is fantastic. It took about 2.5 hours after the request was made for my new carrier to get my number and for me to have service. Not too bad. Here is my new phone, the Nokia 6230. It has WAY too many features. It has a built in MP3 player, a radio, Bluetooth, it can take videos, and a slot for a MMC card. The one annoying thing is that I can't set an individual ringtone for each caller that comes in. That always helped me know who was calling without having to actually look at my phone. The other thing I don't like is that when the key-pad lock is on and you press a button the phone does not light up. This is useful when it is dark and all I really want to do is know the time. But other than that, the phone isn't too bad.

Being Too Smart

Monday, April 18, 2005
Just another thing that I'm quickly finding out about women and what they say vs. what they really mean.

Most women say they want an intelligent man. However, women do not want "intelligent" men. They want, more accurately, a man who is as intelligent as they are, no more and no less. There is a BIG difference. Either that or they want a man who is smart who doesn't talk about intelligent stuff, which of course is almost a contradiction. On the last few dates I've been on I've literally been told I'm too smart. Seems odd to me.

I know for me, when I say I want a beautiful, kind, intelligent women I mean exactly that. The more beatiful, the more kind, and the more intelligent the better. I don't think I have an upper limit on any of these characteristics. I don't think it's possible for a women to be too beautiful or too smart, but then again I haven't met a female Einstein so maybe I could be wrong on this.

I guess someone can be too extreme but I don't think that I'm that smart, come on, I'm no brain surgeon. I highly doubt this would be the case for me. I mean if an extremely beautiful women like Halle Barry or someone extremely smart like Marilyn vos Savant I doubt I would run the other way. In fact, I think it would be very attractive. But maybe that is just me.

Problems with the tax code

Friday, April 15, 2005
Today is the only day that millions of Americans actually are happy that either money was taken away from them or angry that it was given to them.

Of course I'm talking about taxes. Most of my readers realize that getting a tax return amounts to the government just taking money throughout the year form you, money that is rightfully yours, and giving it back, interest free, several months later. The opposite is true if you have to pay taxes, you got money interest free from the government for the year. I'm not going to say anything more about this.

I honestly believe something must be done to simplify the tax code. I don't know if I support Bush's plan, but something must me done. United States citizens pay over $135 Billion complying with the tax code. That is money not used for other more productive activities.

This subject really interest me. I'm reading a book called Perfectly Legal which talks about how the super rich can get away with paying no taxes, and most of it is perfectly legal. I don't agree with everything with the book, the book has its obvious biases, but it brings up some interesting point.

This is a very complex issue, one that doesn't have many solutions. My own take is this. You can't fix the current tax structure because

1. It is progressive - This actually causes a lot more problems then people think. The arguments against a flat tax is that it adversely affects the poor and families. There is some truth in this but there it isn't the whole story. Do people realize that deductions in a progressive tax code benefit the rich more? So the deduction you get for your mortgage interest is worth even more to someone who is rich.

2. There are too many exemptions - this overly complicates the code and creates huge loopholes. Doing away with this will cause its own problems. Families who have enjoyed credits for having children and deductions for medical care and mortgage payments would see these vanish and would probably cry bloody murder. However, the rich are even better at exploiting these exemptions. People just don't look outside there own situation. Ever dollar that someone else is able to avoid is another dollar someone else has to pay. Not only that that person spent some money paying someone to avoid that tax and the government probably paid someone to see if the deduction is actually valid.

3. They tax income. Do people realize how easy it is for the rich to hide income? Do people realize that the rich get a lot of their income from capital gains which is taxed at a much lower level? I find it laughable that many people praise the Google founders for only taking $1 in salary. People think they are doing a charitable thing. Do people realize this was probably done to avoid paying taxes? Money that the rest of the tax paying public will have to make up?

Taxing income, in my mind, is just a bad idea. Of course there is the argument that taxing anything else will adversely affect the poor. I swear to people that these are rich people feeding this to others that this is a bad idea. The argument goes that poor people spend a greater percentage of their income and thus will have a larger burden. However, taxation is a complex situation. Knowing who actually shares the burden can never be known because it depends how the burden is shifted. I won't get into a deep economic discussion here but believe me, you can not tell who is paying the tax even if there is seemingly no tax on an item. If you really must keep appearances up you can simply do what all the states do, don't tax necessities like food, clothing (in some states), etc. Items that poor people spend a majority of their money on. (I think not taxing necessities would be a bad idea for reasons I won't get into)

4. Government is too big. We need to just restrict government spending. Its getting out of hand. We tax because we expect government to provide a million different services, all of which cost money. Of course we as individuals don't see the big picture and figure our little program, whether it be lowering capital gains or saving the rain forest, isn't going to make a dent in the trillion dollar federal budget. Yeah, and buying that Starbuck's Espresso everyday isn't going to make a big difference either.

What is my solution? I'm not sure yet. I'm still thinking about it. I just know I don't like what we have. In summary, the more complex the tax code the more expensive it is to comply with, the more inefficient it is at collecting taxes, and the easier it is for the rich to avoid taxes.

OK, I've babbled long enough. The point is, I hate tax day. I hate giving my money to the government so that it can be wasted on some program I don't care about, will never use, or to pay for some $1000 hammer or something.

Gym Etiquette: Other equipment

Thursday, April 14, 2005
For the love of god, do not put your stuff on a piece of equipment you are not using. Use a locker, put it on the floor next to you, but please do not take up a piece of equipment to put your cell phone, book, and whatever garbage you shouldn't have anyway on a piece of equipment someone might want to use.

I don't care how empty the gym is or how incoveinent it might be to put it somewhere else.

Licensing of Parents

Wednesday, April 13, 2005
If ever there was a reason to support Birth Control and the requirement that all parents be licensed, it is that Britney Spears is Pregnant.

Tiger Woods is the Man

Monday, April 11, 2005
Tiger Woods won his fourth Masters and ninth Major overall yesterday.

I love watching Tiger Woods. I know some people don't like watching him BECAUSE he is so good and they complain about one person (or team) dominating so much. But I love dominance in sports. I love watching greatness. I don't care for parity, I want to watch someone who is just head and shoulders above the rest. Did you see that chip on 16? It was ridiculous.

At some point I'm going to have to go to a golf tournament that Tiger Woods is in. When I was younger I always wanted to go to a Bulls game because I knew that Michael Jordan was the greatest basketball player that ever lived and it isn't often you can see something like that in person. Unfortunately I never really had the resources as a kid to be able to go to any games but now I don't think I can pass up watching perhaps the soon-to-be greatest golfer play live.

Sick Children

Thursday, April 07, 2005
So at work people will often take time off to take care of their sick child. As we don't really have a sick day policy this basically means that they can take the day off at no cost to them. I find this to be completely unfair. Don't get me wrong, I feel bad for them and it sucks to have to take care of a sick child but it is simply unfair to the rest of us non-children-having employees.

Can I please have time off because I'm single? Can't I just take time off work because I'm hung over and tired from going out to the clubs and drinking all night? Look, we all have things that take our attention away from work. I have a video game right now I would rather be taking care of than to be sitting in the office.

Its just strange how when hiring you are not allowed to take anything, marital status and having children being one of them, into consideration other than work related information. However, as soon as the person is hired, considerations are made for those who do.

Yes I know, I could "fake" sick and take some time off but it just wouldn't be as understood if I were to send an e-mail saying "I have to take care of my sick child". I know for a fact that a lot of people don't necessarily believe it when someone takes a sick day off (especially on a Monday or Friday) but don't really think twice about it when it comes to sick children.

How did you find me?

Tuesday, April 05, 2005
People keep finding me through Google Images searching for this picture.

If you are one of these people, can you please leave me a small note to tell me what you searched for? Just curious.

Shaq is NOT the Most Dominant Ever.

Monday, April 04, 2005

I'm getting really tired of people, namely Shaq himself, declaring Shaq to be the Most Dominant Ever. I said it when he was a Laker and I was rooting for him and I'll say it now that he is part of the Heat and I can't stand him, he is not, never was, and never will be, the most dominant player to play the game. How can I say that.

How many times has he done any of the following?

1. Lead the league in rebounds.
2. Lead the league in block shots.
3. Been named Defensive Player of the Year?

That's right, a grand total of 0 times.

OK how about leading the league in Scoring? 2
MVP's? 1

He has been in the league a total of 13 years. And has dominated the league how? Two scoring titles and 1 MVP.

OK he has 3 championship rings and 3 finals MVP. Yeah?

has 6 rings, 6 finals MVPs, 5 MVPs, 10 scoring titles, 1 defensive player of the year (which is ridiculous for a guard to win)

Russell - 11 rings, 5 MVPs, 5 time rebounding champ And probably would have had a dozen defensive player of the year awards and lead the leage in block shots if they had it back then

Wilt Chamberlain
- 7 scoring titles (once with a sick 50.4 scoring average), Lead league in rebounding 11 times and averaged an NBA record 22.9 RPG,

So please stop saying he is the most dominant ever. He is VERY good. Top 10 player no doubt. But Most Dominant Ever? Please. A big man needs to rebound and defend the paint, not just score.

Quick Trip to San Diego

Friday, April 01, 2005
I just got back from a quick trip to San Diego to give a presentation to a company down there. It was actually located right next to Sergio's new office but I wasn't going to be there long and so didn't try and see him.

The travelling was a nightmare. The meeting lasted 1.5 hours and I speant a total of 7 hours in the car. Oh well, gotta get one of these units we build sold.

Everyone have a good weekend.