I Thought I Didn't Want Kids Before ....

Thursday, July 28, 2005
I went to Disneyland two days ago with my girlfriend and her little 12 year old brother. If I wasn't so sure I didn't want kids before, I just became a little more certain.

I don't think her brother was as bad as my girlfriend thought he was but he was acting kind of bratty. The entire time he complained about how he didn't want to wait in line (we averaged about 25-30 minutes a line which is very good at Disneyland), how he was bored, how the rides were too short, etc. He was completely unappreciative of the fact that his sister took time out of her schedule, and spent money out of her pocket, to treat her brother to a day of fun. We did our best to show him a good time but for him, that just wasn't good enough for him.

My girlfriend was quite flustered at the end of the day but I was perfectly fine with all of this until he opened my backpack to look for something and did not close the zipper. I said to him in a very nice tone, "Hey, next time you go into my backpack can you close it?" He decided to respond to me, "You close it if you want it!" Um, excuse me, no. I had been nothing but nice to this kid up to this point. We would have gone home much earlier if it were not for me saying I would take him on the rides (My girlfriend was feeling quite ill toward the middle of the day). At that point I realized that kids are just a real pain in the ass.

If there was only a 45% chance I wanted kids before, I think that just dropped 5-10%

Harry Potter: A Review

Tuesday, July 26, 2005
OK, here it is. I will be not spoil the book for those who have not read it yet until later in my post and I will clearly mark that section. It took me only two days of reading to finish the book but I've waited to post to give those who are interested in reading it some time to finish.

I enjoyed this book. Probably one of the better ones in the series. I didn't particularly care for the fifth one and this one is much better than that. However, one of the things I liked about the other books was that I felt they stood on their own and this book does not. If you haven't read the other 5 books, I would not read this one by itself. You will be totally lost.

It is by far the darkest of the books in the series. I'm not so sure its appropriate for very little children. It does seem that Rowlings' writing style is evolving and maturing along with the characters in her book which may account for the more mature themes in this book.

If you like the Harry Potter series this is pretty much a must read. A lot of things have happened in this book that are essential to the plot and several loose ends are tied, but many more are created.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SPOILERS AFTER THIS POINT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Wow, I can't believe they killed Dumbledore. I had heard rumors that a very important character was going to die and I guessed who it was from early in the book but was still shocked when it happened. Now here is the question, what's going on with Snape?

I still think Snape can be counted in the good column. Am I crazy? How can he be good when he killed the greatest wizard of them all, Dumbledore? I just have that much faith in Dumbledore. For him to be this wrong about someone is very out of character. Throughout all six books, Dumbledore refuses to believe anything bad about Snape and insist that Snape has done something that warrants Dumbledore's absolute faith. Additionally, do you really think Dumbledore would beg for his life like he seems to when he pleads, "Serveus ..." No way. Dumbledore would have stood tall and proud and taken his death like a man. Instead, I truly believe Dumbledore was begging Snape to do what he must, protect his cover and do as they agreed to before, to kill Dumbledore no matter what. There is the argument that Hagrid overheard Snape and Dumbledore having which is yet to be explained. It is my belief that this was Dumbledore telling Snape that if it comes down to it, Snape must finish the task that Malfoy did not in order to save Snape's own life (he made the unbreakable vow) and continue working as a double agent against Voldermort. Maybe I'm wrong. I guess I have to wait and see.

One thing that disappointed me was that I believe that Rowlings is playing games with the books. From the start, it seemed that there would be 7 books, one for each year Harry was at Hogwarts. But now with the ending being that Harry is leaving Hogwarts, I think Rowlings is attempting to lengthen the series, and thus the money she can make from it all. I hope I am wrong about this. As much as I like the series and would like to see more books, I also think there is something to be said about the original intent of the novel and for the story to reach a natural conclusion. Than again, its all from the minds of this woman so any ending she sees fit I guess the rest of us are going to have to take it.

Harry Potter Mania

Friday, July 22, 2005
Last Friday I went with my girlfriend to the movies. It just so happens that the movie theater is in the same parking lot as the Barnes and Nobles. Our movie ended at 11:45 or so and we walked out into a very full parking lot. Now, this parking lot can get quite full but at 11:45 at night it is unusual that it is so full that it is full of stalkers. In fact, the movie theater is normally the only thing open that late. But on this night the lot was completely full with people following us around waiting for our spot.

It didn't occur to me till the next morning what was going on. I went to Target that morning and bought my copy of Harry Potter: The Half Blood Prince. There was no line and so I walked up to the counter and paid for it without any hassle. But then it occurred to me what was going on. People were lining up waiting to buy the book at midnight. I just really don't get this behavior. I was able to buy the book, only 9 hours later, without having to make any sort of extra trip nor wait in line with other obsessed fans. What possess people to have to be the first on the block to get a book, watch a movie, etc. is beyond me. If I can do the exact same thing only slightly later, without the hassle of waiting in line, you better believe I'm going to do it.

Oh, and it was cheaper at Target than anywhere else.

I finished the book already and will probably give a review in my next post.

Albertson Trying to Rip Me Off

Wednesday, July 20, 2005
So I went to Albertsons today to get some snacks. I bought a Snapple and on my out the door I noticed that I was charged $3.00 for my Snapple. My ONE bottle of Snapple. I know there is such a thing as inflation but this was ridiculous. So I asked about it and it turns out that I was charged for a 6 pack. They refunded me the difference.

Now, I am one of those who doesn't check the receipt too carefully but now I'm a little worried. What if this happens to me all that time. Its completely possible. I could be losing a lot of money because I'm so lazy.

Even More Reasons to Hate Doctors

Monday, July 18, 2005
I had a doctor's "appointment' this morning. Why you ask do I put that in quotes. Well I had an appointment "scheduled" for 9:30. I arrived promptly for my appoinment and filled out the normal paperwork. I than proceded to wait one 1.5 hours for my appointment to start. I was not put into a room until 11:10. Can you believe that. I mean seriously. What is the point of even scheduling an appointment in that case?

Kobe's New Nike Ad

Thursday, July 14, 2005
Kobe Bryant is in his first major National Advertising campaign since he was accused of rape in Colorado. Notice I put "accused" in bold because that was all that happened, he was accused. The state dropped all charges.

But wow. The Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault just gave a bad name for all Women's rights group. I'm a big supporter of women's rights. I think sexual assault is quite possibly the worse crime out there, even more so than murder. But I can not believe what this group is spouting. Their spokeswoman came out and said:

"We would ask corporations like Nike to act a little more responsibly. They really are creating a role model that millions of young kids across the world are going to see. They could have put up someone who is not only accomplished as an athlete but also is a person who has a reputation as a fine, upstanding citizen."

Are you kidding me? What is their beef with Kobe Bryant? Drop it already! Your Friggin state dropped the charges! And I don't want to hear anything about him being an adulterer. You know how many pro-athlete endorsers cheat on their wives. Try all of them. Shaq, Jordan all the big names have been shown to have cheated on their wives. I don't hear this woman group protesting anything about that.

If you don't like him as a person fine. If you think he is a bastard for cheating on his wife, great so do I. But for a national women's rights group to single out Kobe Bryant for something he was accused of and nothing more is just stupid on their part.

Closed Captioning said what?

Wednesday, July 13, 2005
I was watching TV on mute, the channel 5 news, and the closed captioning read:

"and the man was respectfully beaten to death"

I have no idea what was really said but I assume that somehow the closed captioning got this wrong. Can someone be respectfully beaten to death?

Welcome Back Hockey

I didn't even realize you were gone. Seriously, I'm a sports fan and I barely realized that they didn't play hockey last year. Did anybody not in Canada really care that we didn't have a hockey season?

Man the NHL players are stupid. They gave up a whole season for nothing. Here are the highlights of the expected terms:

Salary Rollback: Players will give back 24% of their contracts to the owners. 24%!

Salary Cap: There will be one, about $37 Million

Individual team-by-team player cap: No one player can earn more than 20% of any one teams payroll. This one is going to be interesting how it plays out.

Escrow: A still to be determined percent of players salaries will be placed in an escrow account. In the new deal, league-wide payroll can't exceed 54 percent of total league-wide revenue. If league-wide payroll is determined to be more than 54 percent of revenues, the escrow account will be passed back to the clubs. If league-wide payroll is determined to be less than 54 percent of revenues, the escrow account will go to the players.

So basically the Players lost on every front. Way to give up millions of dollars guys and still get screwed!

One of the things this shows me is that Athletes are NOT overpaid. The market takes care of it. The athletes thought they were worth more, and they were dead wrong. The owners took a stand and said, look we can't pay you this much and we won't. In the other sports, athletes want more money and the owners gave it to them because they were still able to make a profit. It wasn't the case in Hockey, and the NHL shutting down for a season just proved it.

When Did I Become Old

Monday, July 11, 2005
I'm home from work today because I pulled a muscle in my lower back and it hurts to sit up for too long. This is actually the second time in the last month or so that this has happened to me and its quite painful.

I thought back problems only happen to old people. When the heck did I get old? I'm not sure what is causing all these back problems. I had no idea what I did last time. This time my back started to hurt when I had to reach over my desk to open the window. Nothing crazy but I felt a twitch in my back.

Sign, I wonder when I will have to start using a walking stick.

Why is the U.S. Worried Now?

Thursday, July 07, 2005
There has been some hub bub about Chinese based Cnooc's bid for Unocal. My question is why now?

Do people not realize that the U.S. has mortgaged its future anyway to the Chinese? The U.S. has a GIGANTIC trade defict. The U.S. runs a deficit of $57 billion PER MONTH! The largest portion of that goes to China. It's not like the Chinese are just giving away the things they make. It's like your credit card. The U.S. can only feed its current excessive consumption by paying for it later and paying with interest, mostly in U.S. Treasurey bonds.

But now the U.S. is worried about China buying all these U.S. assets (like Maytag) and for what reason? The Chinese already own a very big portion of U.S. assets which is just getting larger by the day. It is only because these assets are tangible that there is complaining but in reality its the exact same thing.

It's like those people who think using your credit card is free. Let me tell you something, it isn't. You can ignore your monthly statement now, and pay the minimum, but sooner or later, they want their money and they will come collect.

Being Responsible

Tuesday, July 05, 2005
I hate being responsible sometimes. I am now in charge of making sure my Basketball league pays its bill to rent out the gym. It fell to me because I'm probably the most responsible person and so I will make sure that it all works out.

It's not something I want to do but I will end up doing it anyway because I won't let it just go by. I'm really upset at the situation though because the person before me did not pay the bill in time so I am scrambling to try and get enough money for last quarter and this quarter.

Yes, I still Blog

Friday, July 01, 2005
I know I haven't blogged all week. Things are just kind of hectic around these parts these days. Don't really have much to say. I was going to talk about the retirement of Sandra Day O'Connor but I just don't feel up to a deep and heavy blog.

So I have nothing to say. I keep thinking about blog topics during the week but then I am not by a computer and forget what I want to blog about. Oh well. Next week I will be better.

Happy 4th of July everybody!