Wednesday, March 29, 2006

The new face of terror?

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

In vapid Hollywood celebrity news...

Mid-East peace "is just a breath away", says Sharon Stone. Here's how.

What's more disturbing? Sharon Stone waxing idiotic about peaceful co-existence in the Middle East, or Sharon Stone offering unsolicited sex advice to young girls in clothing stores?

Friday, March 24, 2006

<<NEWS FLASH>> Canadian Seal Hunt Starts Saturday

Let the bloodbath begin...

If seals looked like this creature, would anyone care how their ranks were culled?

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Interesting development this afternoon: I just received a call for a job interview with a huge company headquarted here in Phoenix. A friend of mine who works there submitted my resume to his bosses a few months back on the off chance that some internal postings would open up. I guess they did.

I wasn't considering leaving my company for at least another year, but if the right offer came along...

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

I have to get this book.

A UC Berkeley prof released a study saying whiny, insecure brats grow up to be conservatives and confident, self-reliant tykes grow up to be liberals. Hey, as long as they get it right in the end.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Here's my funny video of the day.

If you're curious as to how a cat can survive an 80-foot fall, it's apparently due to a paradoxical feline phenomenon called "High-Rise Syndrome" that explains how many cats can survive multi-story falls with little or no physical damage, yet still sustain fatal injuries from heights as short as six feet. Go figure.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Newsweek is running a story online about the recent rise in polygamy activism.

Reading the article got me thinking: Are we ready for Polygamist Pride parades? Would annual convoys of flamboyant floats carting haggard Mormons in buttless chaps hurt or harm their cause?

Friday, March 10, 2006

Finally...

For my Maritime readers, here's an old policy paper by the Altantic Institute for Market Studies that details how the region can break out of its chronic economic funk. Originally published in April 2004, it appears that the paper's five key recommendations have gone largely unheeded.

More required reading...

Reason Magazine's Science Correspondent takes on one California legislator's plan to impose a Canadian-style single payer healthcare system on her state.

Prof. George Reisman weighs in on the Global Warming Bugaboo. Good stuff.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

I recently attended my first HOA annual meeting. For those of you who do not reside within the hallowed perimeter of a gated community, HOA is short for Homeowners’ Association. What is an HOA? In a nutshell, it’s a quasi-governmental body that polices the gated community by enforcing a litany of by-laws designed to keep the neighborhood from looking like a microcosm of Nogales (i.e. South Phoenix). For this privilege, I pay a monthly fee, get full access to the clubhouse and community pool, and get invited to the annual meeting.

After wolfing down a half-tin of Costco brownies and a half gallon of bottled water (no milk – watching the waistline) during the Meet & Greet, I took a seat. Following a brief preamble, the HOA board presented a recap of the past year, an agenda for the year to come, and opened the floor for Q&A, which given the ensuing discussion could have been aptly short for Quarrelsome and Asinine. Within minutes, I became convinced that I had plopped down smack-dab in the middle of what appeared to be my first student government forum in over 10 years. Here’s a quick rundown:

Several questions were posed to the board officers by residents regarding the HOA’s handling of rude pet owners who refused to scoop their dogs’ shit off the otherwise pristine sidewalks. The answer: If you catch someone leaving dog shit on the sidewalk, call Dawn, the community manager, to complain.

Several questions about dust in the air. Answer: You live in the Sonoran Desert, which is primarily composed of dry dirt. Dust in the air is inevitable given that the HOA has no control over the gusting winds which occasionally sweep through the Valley. Also, ongoing house construction in the area will result in turned soil, hence the possibility of additional dust-ups. Live with it, otherwise call Dawn, the community manager, to complain.

Several questions about litter and its possible origin. Answer: Again, you live in a construction zone. Bits and pieces of packing material and foam will eventually get caught by the wind and drift into the gated community. And again, the HOA has no control over wind gusts. If you believe the HOA does in fact have some role in determining weather patterns, call Dawn, the community manager, to complain.

Several questions about whether or not the Albertson’s/Osco drugstore around the corner might close given the recent merger activity. Answer: Nobody on the HOA board sits concurrently on the board of Albertson’s Corp., so who knows? If you are concerned, call Dawn, the community manager, to complain.

Several questions about the grizzly looking man who holds up a sales sign in front of the neighboring gated community on the weekends. Answer: The HOA board does not know who the grizzly looking man is since he is under the employ of one of the builders in the neighboring gated community. If the man is far too grizzly for your liking, or you are concerned that he may be an unregistered sex offender, or possibly a child molester, call Dawn, the community manager, to complain.

Being strangely compelled to add my two cents to the lunacy, I was tempted to harness my inner smart aleck and ask if I should call Dawn, the community manager, to complain about illegal immigration or to share my concerns about future terrorist attacks on US soil. I demurred, as the Q&A was suddenly sidetracked by an extended discussion of ladybugs (yes, ladybugs) that set the whole room abuzz.

At this point, I looked down at my watch and realized that I was missing out on something far more important than this “Annual Meeting”, namely another episode of American Idol, Season 5. In the midst of the ladybug frenzy, I stood up, walked casually to the refreshments table, pocketed two handfuls of Costco brownies and left.

Looking forward to next year’s meeting already…