Environment, life, Stuff that sucks, travel, Traveling

Quitting Smoking Can Be Hazardous to Your Health

We all know that smoking is linked to a myriad of diseases. We see all the campaigns about the dangers of smoking. I have encouraged people to stop smoking. I’ve evern purchased the gum and patches for an girlfriend I was dating years ago who was having difficulty quitting.

I never thought I would meet someone who almost died from quitting smoking. Technically, I didn’t meet him, but I did meet his daughter. A couple of Fridays ago (Friday the 13th to be precise) I was heading back to LAX on my second redeye of the day. I got to talking with the lady sitting next to me about things, and we got onto the topic of her dad. Her story was one of the ironic stories I’ve ever heard.

Her dad had been smoking for decades. For years, everyone had been telling him to quit smoking. He smoked a couple of cigarettes on his way to work and on his way back home. He also smoked during the day, but most of his smoking was in his truck because it was a long commute and stressed him out. One day, he decided that it would be best for him to quit so that he cold live a longer, more fulfilling life. He worked hard to resist the urge to smoke while driving.

After a few months, he ended up in the hospital with severe headaches and an increasing loss of mental capacity. He was diagnosed with brain damage. It turned out that his truck had a cabin leak that was pumping carbon minoxide into the cabin. While he was smoking, he always had the windows down to let the cigarette smoke out. After he quit smoking, he kept the windows rolled up.

There is one upside to this story. It generated awareness in his neighborhood about the dangers of carbon minoxide poisoning in their cars and homes.

friends, life, Relationships, Stuff that sucks, thoughts

I’m the Asshole?

The other day, I felt like I was going crazy. I was bursting into uncontrollable laughter. I had received a message on Facebook that I was tagged in a photo. It was one of those collage photos, so I figured I check it out sometime later. Those things can be pretty entertaining. I eventually got around to checking it and discovered I had been tagged as “the asshole” in the picture.

Now, the person who tagged me as “the asshole” is the real reason I was laughing my ass off. This is the same woman who I had been dating off and on for five-and-a-half years when she told me that my friend Rich committed suicide because I’m such a lousy friend and then left me because she was so hurt by me. Mind you, she did this 10 days after Rich killed himself.

To be sure, I’m no innocent person. I happen to be a human being, and I’ve made some very big mistakes in my life. I’ve hurt quite a few people along the way, and I have no problems with people considering me an asshole. I have certainly been an asshole to many people, and anyone who has dealt with me in business will tell you that I have a brutal streak of shrewdness.

Still, I’m not sure that someone who I helped build her career and her personal life should be calling me an asshole. Of course, I’m sure she has long forgotten about how so much she has in her life right now has come from the support that I have given her over the years.

Now, the whipped cream and cherry on top came today. Her best friend decided to tag me as “the asshole” as well  on what would have been Rich’s 33rd birthday.

I feel for them both. That somehow they feel comfort in labeling me as an asshole while I am wandering through the grieving process  of having lost a close friend of nearly 20 years is beyond me. Is it too much to ask them to at least wait a couple months?

football, Sports, Stuff that sucks

End of Luck for BCS?

Has the lucky run of the BCS finally run out? While many argue in favor of the BCS (it’s still in place), it really is total garbage. Let’s just take a quick rundown of how the BCS ranked teams have done this bowl season. After all, these teams are theoretically better than other teams, right?

#16 BYU gets spanked by unranked (Pac-10) Arizona

#11 TCU eaked by #9 ranked Boise St

#21 Missouri is one of the few better ranked teams this season that is going to beat their lower/unranked team

#13 Oklahoma St was demolished by #17 Oregon (Pac-10) in the second half

#20 Pittsburgh loses 3-0 to unranked Oregon St (Pac-10)

#24 Boston College loses to unranked Vanderbilt

#14 Georgia Tech is completely humiliated by unranked LSU

#15 Georgia handedly beats #18 Michigan

#5 USC utterly destroyed #8 Penn St

#12 Cincinnati if destroyed by #19 Virginia Tech

Perhaps the most embarrassing BCS ranking blow out… #7 Texas Tech (who was in the run for the BCS champion game for a short while) is completely annihilated by #25 Ole Miss!

#4 Alabama is completely dominated by #6 ranked (and undefeated) Utah

Now, I’m not saying that Utah should be considered the top team in the country. However, they did show that BCS rankings mean practically nothing. In fact, just about every team that played a ranked team or better ranked team this bowl season has shown us that the BCS is a total farce. The Pac-10 (the only undefeated conference in bowl games this season) in particular helped expose the the BCS rankings.

There are just a few games left, but this bowl season has really shown the absolute worthlessness of the BCS rankings.

media, News, Politics, quotes, rants, Stuff that sucks, thoughts

Dick Cheney Worst VP Ever

I can’t believe that only 23% of the people polled in a CNN poll thought Vice President Dick(head) Cheney is the worst VP in the history of America. Either these people have a strong recollection of Aaron Burr and Spiro Agnew, or they haven’t paid much attention to distortion of our constitution by the worst Vice President in history. Certainly, Agnew was a swindler, but he has nothing on Cheney. Dick easily ranks up there with Burr.

I would be interested in knowing who these people really think is the worst VP ever.

My favorite quote from Dick:

“I’m very comfortable with where we are and what we achieved substantively. And frankly, I would not want to be one of those guys who spends all his time reading the polls. I think people like that shouldn’t serve in these jobs.”

Of course he feels very comfortable. After having pulled off the largest raping of the American public, I’m sure he feels as comfortable as OJ Simpson with a glove that doesn’t fit on his hand.

football, rants, Sports, Stuff that sucks

Yet Another Reason BCS Ratings are Pointless

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: The BCS is worthless.

Yesterday showed once again that the BCS is completely worthless. There is no point other than to make people talk about how terrible a subjective system is in a definitive sport. Oklahoma slaughtered Texas Tech. It wasn’t even remotely close the entire game. I’m not saying Texas Tech is a bad team. They are a great team. They just got outplayed and out-coached by Oklahoma on Saturday.

The real question is why do we have a ranking system for a sport that is a win-or-lose sport? It’s not like these guys are figure skaters. Football is a game that you either win or lose (and sometimes tie). It’s like a race. You don’t see us rating Usain Bolt as #1 for any other reason than the fact that he holds the world record in the 100m dash, right? You win, you are top dog.

Yet, with college football, we seem to want a “national champion” so bad that we are going to sacrifice the quality of the competition. We’ve allowed the BCS to run the “national champion” rating system into nothing more than a joke. Occassionally they will get lucky a produce a good championship game (like Texas vs. USC) and keep the whole scam going.

blogging, Economics, humor, Politics, rants, Stuff that sucks, thoughts, Work

New Business Venture: Bailout Investors Needed

I have a new idea for a business that is going to make a killing, but I need some investors to get things started. First, we need to hire tens of thousands of people. I’m thinking at least 30,000 people. We’re only going to pay them minimum wage, so we’ll be able to keep costs down. We also need to spend millions of dollars on advertising and make sure we are purchasing materials and services from hundreds of vendors in America.

You might be asking yourself, “What are we going to make?”

That’s the great part! We aren’t going to even make anything! We’ll probably just have each employee purchase a lottery ticket in the states where they are employed. The employees will get to play pool, foosball, air hockey, and basketball while on the job. We’ll have a corporate jet to fly us around. Corporate cars. We’ll have all the amenities necessary to run a large corporation.

Now, you might be asking yourself, “How will I recover my investment?”

By employing so many people and working with so many vendors, us going out of business will cause such a massive “ripple effect” that the federal government will just have to bail us out. We’ll fly to Washington in our private jet and ask them for maybe… I don’t know… Maybe $25 billion. That’s a small price for people to pay for preventing a massive economic meldown, right?

News, Politics, rants, Stuff that sucks, thoughts

Irony? Comrade Paulson Lecturing at Ronald Reagan Library

I was fascinated this morning when I checked my RSS feed of happenings in the Conejo Vally area. Somehow, the folks at the Ronald Reagan library have managed to allow our communist Treasury Secretary, Henry Paulson, to lecture at the late president’s library in Simi Valley on Thursday. I would pay to have someone ask Paulson if he thought there was a bit of irony (or maybe tragedy) in the fact that our president who fought communism more than any other president had a communist Treasury Secretary lecturing at his library.