The Absurdity of the Big Three Bailout in One Sentence

If the taxpayers of this country wanted you to have their money (or had it to give), a good indicator would have been that they were actually buying your cars.

Didn’t we already vote on this when we decided not to buy?

More here:

The federal government has no business running a car company. Congress has proven their inability to be fiscally responsible in any context. Five hundred thirty five CEOs of GM will only screw it up futher.

HT Michael Silence

2009 Internet Goals

I read this post the other day on Daily Blog Tips on 2009 Internet goals.  It’s a group writing project they’re sponsoring.  I haven’t participated in one of these in quite a while, but this one is pretty poignant.  Goal setting is usually something that I do in my head, but of course it’s a good idea to write these things down so that we can go back later and check them, right?  Right.

I think I came pretty far in 2008, and I hit most of the goals that I’d loosly set for myself, but there’s a pretty good chance I’ve just forgotten about the ones I didn’t hit, so I think writing them down is the way to go.

1)  Get at least two friends to start blogging.  This means you!!!  Even if you keep your blog private (that’s easy to do) or accessible only to your friends and family, it’s just too easy to have a nice site these days.  I have a whole different post coming about managing your online reputation.  Having your own site is the first step.  Grab a domain name for a few bucks a year, and talk to me about hosting.  I’m running a friend special right now.  😉

2)  Get over 100 subscribers to this blog (finally).  I’ve been hovering at around 85 for quite a while now.  I’m not really sure how to make it over the hump, but I have a year to figure out, right?  I think one of the problems may be that I bounce around a lot of different topics and get pretty streaky on things.  But that’s the way my mind works, and this is supposed to reflect what I’m thinking, right?  Oh wait, there is one thing I can do…BEG!!!  Please subscribe if you haven’t yet.  If you aren’t sure what I mean by “subscribe”, here’s a quick tutorial.

3)  Launch three new sites.  I actually know what two of these sites will be centered around–more on that next year.  That leaves me with the task of coming up with one other idea.  This shouldn’t be too tough to do–I’ve got a million ideas I haven’t even thought yet.  But then, there’s the implementation–there’s the rub.

4)  Money.  Financial goals are always fun.  With all of my efforts combine, I’d like to make it to $600/month by the end of 2009.  Right now I’m at about $225 per month, and it’s increasing at a pretty steady rate.  I think this goal can be attained by June or July, but I think it’s prudent to give myself some wiggle room just in case I don’t get a bailout.

5)  Empower a bunch of people.  This one is tough to measure, but I know a bunch when I see a bunch, and I hope some of the projects I’m working on will help a bunch express themselves and share information.

6)  Complete two WordPress plugins.  I’m almost finished with one sizeable plugin, and there’s another I’d like to write as well.  They both tie in with goal #5.  I think they will go a long way in making things easier for people to accomplish some tasks with their WordPress blogs.

7)  Get two links from A-list bloggers.  I’m not as concerned with which of my site(s) get these links as I am that I get them.  And I’m not picky about who these A-listers are.  Why would I be?  I think this is definitely doable–I got one last year.  Then again, that was in January and I didn’t get another one all year.

The Death of News Stories?

I was running with @Mr_Schwartz the other day, and we were (once again) coming up with solutions to the world’s most difficult problems.  Unfortunately for the world, I’m not doing too much distance these days, so there isn’t enough time to fix every problem.  Nonetheless, the topic of conversation this cold and rainy night was the news.  See, @Mr_Schwartz made a funny comment to this post last week, but in making a joke he also made an excellent point:

Why is is that NO ONE in the popular media has talked about how much this guy looks like Stephen King? You don’t see many of those haircuts out there, and if you do then they aren’t hung on jack o’ lantern sized noggins like this guy. AND he wears track suits??? Awesome!
We have someone that is trying to turn himself into the most stereotypical corrupt politician since the Mayor “diamond” Joe Quimby on The Simpsons.
I need these angles played, media! Do the work, Campbell Brown! You have to earn it…

I’ve been harping on this for a while in a roundabout way.  It’s a little baffling to me that newspapers are continuing to struggle in a market where the appetite for news is insatiable.  Of course, the management of newspapers can lay some of the blame at the feet of bloggers, but the fact that bloggers are beating them at the news game seems like proof to me that the market is thriving.  Is this just a management issue?

I’ve also realized that so many people at the top of the news business (print in particular) are still dealing with old standards that no longer exist. Instead of using the tools available and realizing that there has to be a balance between newsroom/tech crews, there are some local papers that are just seeing the dark at the end of the tunnel.

That’s a scary proposition to me, and I’ll tell you why.  I’m afraid that the death of newspapers is going to be the death of news stories.

Not the death of the dissemination of news facts–I can get those on Twitter.  Actually, I prefer to get them there real time.   Not the death of news analysis–I can get that on countless blogs and cable stations.  Actually, I can just read my own blog for that.

But news stories that are investigated, fact checked, pieced together through multiple interviews and accounts may actually disappear with the newspaper.  I would hate to see that happen.  Anyone with time to hit 140 buttons can tell a lie on Twitter, and blogs are like opinions–everybody’s got one.  But writers who can piece together and accurately tell a story are rare, and a lot of them are working for newspapers…for now.

The good news is, I believe there’s a place for these folks online.  I think the ability to accurately tell a good news story is about as rare on the web right now as it is in newspapers (yeah, ouch).  And I think journalists who are enterprising may utlimately find they are more comfortable and productive working for themselves online instead of working for bosses who just don’t get it.

But that’s just the opinion of a guy behind a keyboard at 7:30 am…not a proven fact, and definitely not researched.  😛

And Now I’d Like to Pass the Mic

As you can probably tell, I haven’t had much time for posts lately, which sucks because there is a lot going on right now in Chicago. I’m doing my best to keep up, but my Chicago corruption kung fu is weak. If you read this post from a few days ago you got a little information, but the best stuff there has been contributed by TLittle in the comments.

TLittle is actually in Chicago, so he’s getting lots of stuff locally.  He is also way more Chicago savvy than me, although I must confess that the last time I was there he set us on the wrong direction on the Red Line.  But we were able to correct that without incident, so we’ll let it slide.

Anyway, I’ve asked him to guest blog (if he feels like it) with the good little gems he comes up with to help us stay updated on what’s going on up there.  So before you leave a comment complimenting me on a written post you just read on Chicago corruption, check who posted it.  I’m sure you’ll find that it was in fact TLittle who was responsible for giving you the useful information.

Meanwhile, I’ll be writing another post on rasslin’.

Back by Popular Demand

Actually no demand at all, but I’ve added the poll back onto the site.  I don’t think anyone missed it, or if they did I didn’t hear about it.  But, as Say Uncle says, “Remember, I do this to entertain me, not you.”  I think he only says that because “Powered by Spite” was taken.

So please vote on the latest poll.  I’ll switch them out and write really long posts about the results when I get bored and want to change them–every 4 or 5 months or so.

Twittering and Running

There’s a group of Knoxville Twitterish types gearing up to run the Jingle Bell 5k here in Knoxville on December 13. Brandon over at Knoxify has more information, including team name and link to sign up. Oh wait, I can give you that here.

Come on out and run with us while you can still beat me. I’m making a comeback, this is my only race of 2008, and then it is ON in ’09.

Best Thanksgiving List Ever

I’m not going to even begin to bore anyone with the old cliche’d things I’m thankful for. Family, health, friends, etc.–anyone can think of those. Besides, I wrote a nice Thanksgiving post last year. Nope, I’m going to get real. I’m thankful for a lot of things most people probably aren’t, so why not list those and make my Thanksgiving post a little different? Ok then, I will.

  • Nice ladies with coffee–I like nice ladies, and I like coffee, but when you put the two together you get magic!  Nice ladies with coffee just give it away sometimes (I’m still talking about coffee). Other times, they will break the rule that says “you can’t get $.59 refills in styrofoam cups” and let you do it anyway. This is especially helpful if you are driving to the ATL and are stopping for your 2nd or 3rd cup of the day.
  • Muscle memory–It’s frustrating to get older and not be able to the things you used to do as well or as fast as you could when you were younger. On the other hand, it’s nice to still be able to do them period.
  • La Gallina Turuleca and ZoboomafooLa Gallina Turuleca has been viewed 11.5 million times. I think I’m responsible for about 9 million of those.  It stops the screaming.  Zoboomafoo, while popular with the kid is actually a pretty decent show.  I was just saying last night while flipping through channels that Zoboomafoo is better than most of the other stuff on TV.  Which brings me to…
  • Rock of Love Charm School–I’m thankful for this show because it makes me thankful for so many other things. First, it makes me thankful for Rock of Love, without which this show would not be possible. Secondly, it makes me thankful for every ex-girlfriend ever. Yeah, even “that one” wasn’t anything like these chicks. And all those ex-girlfiends make me thankful for my current girlfriend. Sure, technically we’re married, but since we still like each other so much it’s more like dating, which I’m very thankful for.
  • WordPress–Not just WordPress (which is free), but all the free WordPress plugins and WordPress themes as well. What a great, easily extendible platform! I’m thankful more people are catching on to how flexible and easy it is for people to get things done on the web with WordPress. The more people are empowered, the easier it is for them to get information out, and we all win.
  • Free speech–I’m really greatful that we’re able to sit behind our keyboards and cry “Socialism!” when we see it closing in on us. I’m really not sure why we’re still allowed to do so. It’s probably because big government isn’t efficient enough to stop us yet–they’ll have to spend a few years doing a study, creating a department, hiring a huge staff, and creating some regulation first. Oh, and taxing the shit out of us to pay for it all. Of course, it’s entirely possible that they really don’t know that all this stuff they’re doing is socialism. I never considered that possibility until this week.
  • Space…Fight!–This is quite possibly the greatest Facebook app ever produced. It’s a game that has no apparent purpose and cannot be won. What’s the point? I believe the point is to see how long you can stand to play this game. Can you stand to play it longer than your friends? Out of spite, I believe I can. However, I’m getting some stiff competition from one Space…Fight!er who just won’t give up.
  • “Change”–This word has given me so many opportunities to laugh this year, and the hits just keep on coming.  Only in America can more of the same be marketed as change and be bought by so many. It reminds me of Mick Foley rasslin as Cactus Jack, Dude Love, and Mankind. He wore different costumes as each character, but once the bell rung you just had a crazy sumbitch dishing out pain, no matter the gettup. That’s change I can believe in.
Have a great, safe, and happy Thanksgiving!

Mellish Meter Revealed!!!

I’m going to go ahead and preface this post with a disclaimer–it’s going to get stupid and, as LL Cool J would say, ridicalous (misspelled on purpose for all you sticklers).

Ok, so I have a really bad habit of posting the Mellish Meter rankings on Twitter when I hear them.  What is the Mellish Meter, and why do I do this?  According to the WSB site:

The Mellish Meter is meteorologist Kirk Mellish’s assessment of that day’s weather. A “10” is a perfect day, not too hot, not too cold, no rain, a “Chamber of Commerce” weather day. A “1” is an ugly day with rain, sleet, snow, ice, or severe cold. A “5” is an average day. “4” and “6” are slightly below or above average. “7, 8, and 9” are good to great days while “2 and 3” are fair to poor weather days.

But here’s the thing…this is Atlanta’s weather.  I hear it while listening to WSB in the mornings, and I’ve been tricked more than a couple of times into thinking I’m listening to the local weather.  Several seconds of confusion ensue when Mr. Mellish tells me it’s raining while I’m looking out of my window at pure sunshine, but I usually figure it out.

I dont know if this is the Mellish Meter, but this looks cool
I don't know if it's the Mellish Meter, but this looks cool

Anyway, I did a search and found 14 mentions of the Mellish Meter on Twitter in the last 6 months, eight of which were mine.  That kind of kills an idea I was kicking around.  Because I don’t have enough other things to do </sarcasm> and am a nerd, I was thinking of analyzing the factors that could possibly contribute to the Mellish Meter’s readings.  My plan was to track temperature, humidity, luminance, air pressure, and other weather factors in Atlanta and peg them to the day’s Mellish Meter reading.  I have my suspicions that other non-weather related factors affect the Mellish Meter, and I would like to prove it.  For instance, I’d bet that a bad hangover day can never result in a reading greater than 5, no matter the weather.

The lack of Twitter activity around the Mellish Meter leads me to believe there is not much of a market for this analysis.  Solving the riddle would only satisfy my personal curiousity.  And let’s face it…I’ll move onto something else soon enough.

New Digs

 

Change
Change

 

Big changes here, obviously.  I have a lot of other changes planned as well, but will phase them in gradually.  Some things remain the same though–bad writing, lame attempts at humor, and uninformed opinions remain.

Basically I’d hacked the other theme up to the point that something had to be done.  I’m not very good at designing anything to look nice, so I went out and found a theme that was 99.9% what I wanted.  Again, still some changes coming, but I think I may stick with this for a while.

Just like last time, please let me know if you catch anything here that’s broken and I’ll get around to fixing that at some point.  Ah, who am I kidding?  I’m never gonna fix it unless it’s costing me money.

I Don’t Feel Like Writing

But these people do.  So go read their posts.

LissaKay on how socialism works.  Notice the guy at the top pays the same amount either way.

BillyMac has fun playing with John McCain’s tongue.  Strange fetish.

Why Libertarians and true conservatives don’t win elections.  Duh.

Seth Godin writes a post about me–too small to fail.  If I had a nickel…

Jen has some thoughts on Warren Buffet’s recent op-ed piece.  My big problem with it is that Warren Buffet has a huge financial interest in bailouts and market recoveries.  Do it because you think you should, not because he thinks you should.

An Anonymous Idiot is begging for more chicks with tattoos.

Just Sayin’ has some ideas on Money and Power.

Stolen bases= free tacos.  Bet on it!  Why can’t someone do this with sub-prime mortages?  What a great way to give everyone home ownership!

If you’re going to be a criminal anyway, don’t pay for the privelage.