Friday, November 26, 2004

It’s the day after Thanksgiving and I am the only one in the office.

Holding down the fort means occasionally handling support calls from clients, about whose systems I know nothing about. I just got off the phone with a client from Louisiana. I could have sworn I was talking to a mongoloid, but I doubt a mongoloid would be speaking in a technical vernacular about an Oracle General Ledger system error. A mongoloid savant, perhaps?

As you might expect, I plan on doing very little productive work today, and, oh yes, I will be leaving early.

Exactly two years ago, I purchased my first house. Having spent the last two years procrastinating over remodelling projects and murdering the back lawn, I’ve come to the conclusion that owning a house doesn’t exactly jive with my personality.

I like the idea of ownership; the fixed mortgage payments vs. annual rent hikes, the luscious tax breaks, the robust equity appreciation from Phoenix's hot housing market, etc. What I don’t like is the burden of continuous upkeep. I’m not bashful about it, either.

My bathrooms have no floors, just raw concrete slab. I started repainting the kitchen cabinets 13 months ago, and it's still just halfway done. My front yard is only a busted water heater shy of looking like a ghetto crackhouse. I’m constantly fighting weeds. (I play sick little games with them, letting them grow free for a while before mowing them down under a shovel and a cloud of Roundup®. Yes, for a few brief moments I get to play Weed Tyrant. I know, it sounds like a nifty Machiavellian time, but it’s really a pain. That Roundup® crap stinks, literally.) There’s a dead bird carcass in the yard. (I haven’t tossed it in the garbage yet because I’m curious as to how long it will be before the neighborhood cats drag it off somewhere.) And, there are so many oil stains on the driveway that I’m contemplating a Guinness submission for the World’s Largest Rorschach Test.

Were it not for my parsimonious nature, I would have paid someone long ago to tile the floor, paint the cabinets, pull the weeds, trash the bird, and scrub the driveway. In the meantime, I'm just letting it all go, knowing some day I’ll eventually be obliged to cough up some dough for a day laborer, lest my home be mistakenly raided by the DEA.

This grand adventure in home ownership has made me realize, once and for all, that not only am I not a house person, I am a fundamentally cheap and lazy person, as well.

Maybe my next property should be a condo.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

It’s official: Fox News has been approved for Canada’s airwaves. No word on when FNC will be distributed, though the speculation is sometime next year. The CRTC, the federal media regulatory body, clearly deliberated intensely before rendering the decision, being ever so careful to consider the comments of concerned citizens:
The Commission received 35 comments from individuals who opposed the addition of Fox News, most of whom objected to the content of the service. Several individuals referred to Fox News as a service that presents a biased, conservative viewpoint supportive of Republican interests. Others opposed to the addition of the service suggested that the Commission should not authorize its carriage because of what they alleged to be Fox’s conservative ideological slant.
In effect, these people really backed the CRTC into a corner. To bar Fox News on ideological grounds, the commission would, in the spirit of fairness, also have to immediately pull the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's license, as it offers a service that presents a biased, liberal viewpoint supportive of Liberal Party interests.

It’s all water under the bridge now. Time to let bygones be bygones, and allow the Canadian people to decide for themselves if Fox News’ content is as antithetic to its “Fair and Balanced” slogan as the liberal media would have them believe. If Canadians find Bill O’Reilly a boorish hack, fine. If they just can’t take Geraldo seriously, fine. If they skip Hannity & Colmes because they think Colmes looks like the freakishly disfigured kid from Mask, fine. At least they now have a choice in the matter.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

My apologies for the blogging lag. After swimming in the blissful post-election ether, I was called away to Florida on business last week. I'll post something salient and topical shortly. In the meantime, go do something productive.

Friday, November 05, 2004

The US economy created 337,000 jobs in October, bringing to total number of new jobs over the last 12 months to well over 2 million. This is a moot point, more or less, now that America is finished playing footsie with John F. “Botox” Kerry. Couple this news with last week’s report showing 3.7% GDP growth in the 3rd quarter, and you have a tasty recipe for a healthy, robust economy.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Worst economy since Herbert Hoover? I think not.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Here's a link to my vacation pictures from the Caribbean.

Finally, it's over: Bush by 3. I predicted Bush by 5. No problem. I'll take what I can get, especially when it comes with wider Congressional margins.

Made a boatload of cash trading the election contracts on TradeSports.com, a website run by Irish bookmakers. After the mid-afternoon leak of the laughable exit poll figures, the Bush contracts plummetted. I picked up a slew of them for a song and ended up tripling my investment. Easiest money I've made, ever.

The wife and I were going to attend the Arizona Republican Party's victory celebrations, but my 8pm we were overcome by jet-lag, having just returned from the Virgin Islands late Monday night. Judging from the local newscasts, it looked like a blast. Oh, well. Next time.