Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Only Way It Would Be Cooler Is If It Also Made Alcoholic Beverages

On the recommendation of the Director Parents and Rorschach - and drinking coffee at both their houses recently - I got myself a Keurig B60 Single-Cup Brewing System

This is just a neat little toy, making single cups of coffee using little "K-cup" packets, which has brands and blends ranging from Tully's to Caribou. It's great for houses with single coffee drinkers, or ones with one decaf and one regular drinker since it makes just one cup at a time. There is no fuss or mess, no coffee pot to rinse afterwords, and no filter that accidentally spills grinds all over the kitchen floor.

There are literally over a hundred different brands and blends of coffee available, so everyone should be able to find one that is perfect for them. It also has packets for tea and hot chocolate, and can be a hot-water maker in a pinch.

The one problem is that there are no alcoholic beverages available for it, which is something I will need to experiment with (maybe an Irish Coffee K-cup?)

Friday, May 29, 2009

Inflation Isn't Growth

So it is starting to happen - the markets are starting to price in the devaluation of the dollar, or inflation, into the yield curve. In other words long-term bonds are requiring a much higher rate of return than short-term bonds, and the spread is now at a record.

I am not one to argue with a Harvard economist, but I disagree with Mr. Mankiw at the link above that this points to "future economic growth". This points to future inflation, and inflation is not "growth".

The downside of all of this is that the "stimulus package" is now backfiring, raising interest rates for mortgages, making housing more expensive, putting a throttle on the housing recovery (along with the throttles of higher taxes and lower deductions for the "rich").

In the mean time the dollar is plummeting. Because there are a lot more out there supporting a shrinking amount of wealth (at the end of the day they are just paper).

This administration is ruining the economy, not helping it.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Scenes from Indy

Courtesy (except the one of me) by my Canon Digital Rebel and IS telephoto, both of which I highly recommend:

Monday, May 25, 2009

One Item Off the Bucket List: Indy

I went to the Indy500 yesterday, and it is simply an awesome experience. Even if you are not into racing it is something you should do some time in your life.

Buddy "Rorschach", who hosted me, is thinking of making this an annual event, in which case we will be looking for more people to join us next year.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Because There Is Always Something To Worry About

Before Louis Pasteur, what were germaphobes afraid of?

Thursday, May 14, 2009

A Long Recovery? Gee, Ya Think?

The economy will be in the doldrums for a long time:

Economists in the latest Wall Street Journal survey see an end to the recession by autumn, but say it will take years for the economy to fully recover.

Obama and the democrats trump the rule of law. They spend bazaillions we don't have. They balloon the deficit. They create a climate of fear for businesses.

So they expect all of these actions to improve the economy?

We have been witnessing political buyout and favoritism on a scale never seen before in history, all at the expense of the other 299 million remaining Americans. And most of those Americans are too stupid, too uneducated, or just plain too enamoured with "the first black president" to see the long term damage being done to the economy.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

If You Have Time, You Can Do Worse Than Waterboard

The whole debate about torture really is silly. Because if you have time, you don’t need "torture", waterboarding or anything else that makes people physically uncomfortable. All you need psychology.
Most of us don’t know it, but we really, truly need other people. Really. An empty mind on its own goes mad, crazy. In its emptiness it searches for anything, anyone to connect to, to bond with. And it is this fundamental human feature is all that is needed to break someone.
It’s quite simple really. All that is needed is solitary confinement and the work of one dedicated individual. No physical pain is needed. No physical pressures of any kind. Just aloneness.
Leave someone alone for months. I mean truly alone. Absolutely no one talking to them. No physical contact or even seeing someone. I mean ALONE. Comfortable, well fed and nothing to leave them bad feelings – and someone to lash out against. No books, no writing, no outlet. Leave them totally alone in the isolation of a small room. And go away for a few months, even a year. Maybe two years, leaving food in small slot.
Then slowly, deliberately, give them just one person to talk to. Someone similar to them and a native speaker. Just a few minutes at first. Don’t ask them questions. Just show up. Just a sentence. “How you doing?”. Do this for a few more months. This becomes the only human contact they have in memory. Then lengthen the conversation. Just a little. Then a little more. And a little more. Always with the same person. The only person they see.
Over the course of time this solitary mind, in its complete abandonment and isolation, will open up to the only person it can latch onto. Because taking their new friend away – their only human contact – will be a psychological pain worse than any physical pain anyone could ever endure. And in order to avoid this psychological pain – to keep the company going and avoid the pain of isolation – this person will tell them anything and everything they want to hear.
The only problem is that this takes time. Months. Years. And in some cases we don’t have the luxury of time. In that case I am all for giving unbearable physical pain or waterboarding. But if you have time it really isn’t necessary.
Because – and think about this – psychological pain is worse than physical pain. Physical pain comes and goes with whatever is giving the pain. But psychological pain can last years, decades even, long after whatever is giving the pain is long gone. And it doesn’t fade like physical pain. Psychological pain can grow, become worse than the initial jolt, expanding to occupy all corners of the mind, especially a mind that is isolated. And in these cases people will do something, anything, to get rid of the psychological pain. Even if that means revealing secrets.

Monday, May 04, 2009

The Only Good Part Is They Mostly Supported Obama

The best part about Obama's War on BusinessTM is that most CEOs, investment bankers, venture capitalists and corporate managers voted for him. Now they stand back in horror as he declares all-out war on business interests, wondering what happened.

None of this should be surprising anyone.