Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Officially Old: A Top Five

Since I turned thirty about two weeks ago, I have decided to make a top five list of ways I can tell that I am officially "old". If I weren't so old and could concentrate for a longer period of time, this would be a top ten list. But, alas... I'm old. What was I saying?

5. I listen to NPR on occasion.
4. I live (for the time being) in a condo.
3. I have items of clothing in my "wardrobe" that are nearly as old some of the undergrads that annoyingly congregate around the lower floors of the building I work in.
2. I seek out competition to play the game of golf or the sport of tennis instead of baseball or basketball.
1. I listen to "classic" rock because "new" music sucks... it's just a bunch of noise. Damn you kids, with your iPods and your fancy cellular phones. Get off my lawn. If I wasn't so old, I'd come down there and tell you a thing or two about what it was like back in my day.

Open Challenge

I dare anyone to beat my time on the Evil difficulty on the WebSudoku site. If anyone wants to take me up on the challenge, feel free to post your times in the comments section and I will write a new post one week from today with the results. If anyone is interested in a more elaborate competition using the different difficulties, just let me know and I am certain we can come up with something. Good luck to everyone!

NOTE: For users new to the websudoku site, I'd recommend clicking the option button on the puzzle screen and checking all of the boxes and have the buttons set to "regular".

Monday, October 6, 2008

The Skaff Energy Policy

My biggest concern surrounding the entire election is the stance on energy. McCain appears to want to take the shotgun approach and see what sticks, but the main focus is on off-shore drilling. The experts have said that beginning a drilling program to tap into those oil reserves would take ten years to see results. That is just not going to help right now when we need it. Obama's plan seems to shift weekly from one thing to another.

The U.S. needs a focused plan that makes sense and the government is going to have to oversee it. We are living in a time where everyone should see what a lack of oversight has done to the economy. Since we do not live in a free-market society any longer (investors can short sell financial companies, government will soon be purchasing another 1.4% of the total market (not including AIG and portions of Citi - via the Wachovia buyout, and the other debt they have taken on in the pre-"official bailout plan" era).

SIDE NOTE: To my Republican or just anti-Clinton readers - I do not understand how anyone can just blame all of the current economic collapse on policies and deregulation during the Clinton administration. The Republicans have been in office for eight years, during which the first four of those years, both houses of Congress, the Executive branch and Judicial branches of the government along with the media were under Republican control. If they thought those policies were wrong, there was plenty of time and they had the power to force a change. Their hands are just as dirty as anyone else's in this problem. END SIDE NOTE.

Here is my all-inclusive problem solving plan to solving nearly all of our current problems. If we were to shift focus from off-shore drilling to alternative sources - nuclear, wind and solar energies, then focus on building a national energy network. This country would produce hundreds of thousands of jobs which would stimulate the economy (a la FDR and LBJ style of national infrastructure plans during difficult economic times) and converting the country's resources from oil to alternatives. If we were to share these technologies with China and India, oil becomes universally less important. Without the Middle East holding the oil resources over the world's collective head, the region will become literally irrelevant. I am well aware that this would take a considerable amount of time (probably 20 years), but if we were to start something like this soon we would at least have some form of direction. This country has just been wandering in fifteen different directions for a decade now. It's time to move ahead and put all this petty partisan crap aside and make this happen.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Answer the God Damned Question

Last night I watched the vice presidential debates with the stunningly beautiful Ms. Florance. Just like the rest of the country, I didn't expect much. After watching the entirety of the debate, I thought that both candidates reigned in what are perceived to be their biggest flaws. Biden has a tendency to say exactly what he is thinking and ends up being condescending. Palin typically sounds like she doesn't know anything about anything because she is not qualified to be the mayor of a small town in Alaska, let alone the Vice President. During the course of the debate, Biden kept his temper in check and didn't make any derogatory or absurd comments, and Palin passed herself off as being capable of being the mayor of a small town in Alaska.

The thing that was most annoying about the debate was the lack of ANSWERING THE GOD DAMNED QUESTIONS. Biden would tend to answer a question similar to the one asked. Palin would simply dismiss the question so that she could blah, blah, blah, on about her non-existent record as governor for all of two years during which time she BIRTHED A CHILD. Palin did do a better job than I expected (but that isn't saying much - anything is better than nothing), but realistically anyone could perform at least that well. She has been sheltered and coached for this event from the second she was chosen to the time of the debate (five weeks). Biden also did better than I expected. Overall, neither candidate made major mistakes and I would guess that the overall net movement in the polls will be virtually nil. I must admit, the debate would have been more interesting if one of the candidates would have spontaneously burst into flames. But, that's why everyone watches the debates... just in case.

NOTE: I am well aware of my own political bias, but I am also well aware of the flaws of both parties.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Fruit of My Labor

The poster is officially complete. Since this is about to be public information, I don't see any harm in posting an image of the poster here. So, if anyone is interested in the type of work that I do, take a look. Enjoy! Feel free to ask questions