Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Would you drink wine from ...

Texas? Seriously, Texas is the 4th largest volume producer wines in the US, it's something like 12 billion gallons annually. Now, this is not GRAPE production, but actual wine production. One of my student's from last term is starting up his own vineyard after his sister bequeathed him an acre ... I was thinking, an acre isn't much, and it does not include the space for the vineyard. However, he seems confident that he will be able to create a decent specimen in 4 - 6 years o.O How amazing is that.

In addition to the total volume from state production, the total revenues in the industry were $1.2 BILLION, no, really! Thats pretty amazing, and a good chunk of it comes from tourism. I've lived in texas for many years, and I never thought the win industry was very big here ... apparently I was wrong.


Monday, January 26, 2009

Fuel Efficiency?

As you know the world is holding its breath, to see what Pres. Obama will do in his months of office. While I typically hesitate to talk politics, I am loving this area, because you hear people saying things like, "history will depict W as a great President." Wow, history may mitigate some of the negativity and abrograte some of the stupidity in favor of politically correct undertones and smartly turned phrases. However, there are some things that are just immutable. I leave you with a sample to ponder,"Fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again."

And again?

Seriously, this is like 2 posts ... almost in a row. Somebody stop meh!

I thought this was totally hilarious. I got it around Christmas time from my sister who got it from another. Usually these are total garbage, but omg, this is riotous.
This may not be for the weakhearted :)


This is an article submitted to a 1999 Louisville Sentinel contest to find out who had the wildest Christmas dinners. It won first prize.

As a joke, my brother Jay used to hang a pair of panty hose over his fireplace before Christmas. He said all he wanted was for Santa to fill them.

What they say about Santa checking the list twice must be true because every Christmas morning, although Jay's kids' stockings overflowed, his poor pantyhose hung sadly empty.

One year I decided to make his dream come true. I put on sunglasses and went in search of an inflatable love doll. They don't sell those things at Wal-Mart. I had to go to an adult bookstore downtown.

If you've never been in an X-rated store, don't go. you'll only confuse yourself. I was there an hour saying things like, 'What does this do?' 'You're kidding me!' 'Who would buy that?' Finally, I made it to the inflatable doll section.

I wanted to buy a standard, uncomplicated doll that could also substitute as a passenger in my truck so I could use the car pool lane during rush hour.

Finding what I wanted was difficult. 'Love Dolls' come in many different models. The top of the line, according to the side of the box, could do things I'd only seen in a book on animal husbandry. I settled for 'Lovable Louise.' She was at the bottom of the price scale.

To call Louise a 'doll' took a huge leap of imagination.

On Christmas Eve and with the help of an old bicycle pump, Louise came to life.

My sister-in-law was in on the plan and let me in during the wee morning hours. Long after Santa had come and gone, I filled the dangling pantyhose with Louise's pliant legs and bottom. I also ate some cookies and drank what remained of a glass of milk on a nearby tray. I went home, and giggled for a couple of hours.

The next morning my brother called to say that Santa had been to his house and left a present that had made him VERY happy, but had left the dog confused. She would bark, start to walk away, then come back and bark some more.

We all agreed that Louise should remain in her pantyhose so the rest of the family could admire her when they came over for the traditional Christmas dinner.

My grandmother noticed Louise the moment she walked in the door.
'What the hell is that?' she asked.

My brother quickly explained, 'It's a doll.'

'Who would play with something like that?' Granny snapped.

I kept my mouth shut.

'Where are her clothes?' Granny continued.

'Boy, that turkey sure smells nice, Gran,' Jay said, to steer her into the dining room.

But Granny was relentless. 'Why doesn't she have any teeth?'

Again, I could have answered, but why would I? It was Christmas and no one wanted to ride in the back of the ambulance saying, 'Hang on Granny, hang on!'

My grandfather, a delightful old man with poor eyesight, sidled up to me and said, ' Hey, who's the naked gal by the fireplace?' I told him she was Jay's friend.

A few minutes later I noticed Grandpa by the mantel, talking to Louise. Not just talking, but actually flirting. It was then that we realized this might be Grandpa's last Christmas at home.

The dinner went well. We made the usual small talk about who had died, who was dying, and who should be killed, when suddenly Louise made a noise like my father in the bathroom in the morning. Then she lurched from the mantel, flew around the room twice, and fell in a heap in front of the sofa. The cat screamed. I passed cranberry sauce through my nose, and Grandpa ran across the room, fell to his knees, and began administering mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

My brother fell back over his chair and wet his pants.

Granny threw down her napkin, stomped out of the room, and sat in the car.

It was indeed a Christmas to treasure and remember.

Later in my brother's garage, we conducted a thorough examination to decide the cause of Louise's collapse. We discovered that Louise had suffered from a hot ember to the back of her right thigh.

Fortunately, thanks to a wonder drug called duct tape, we restored her to perfect health.

I can't wait until next Christmas.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Hello, is anyone out there?

So, it's been a year since my last post. Who would have thought that this blog would even still be up given the length of inactivity! Seriously, at this point I'm just taking up server space, right? Meh, maybe I'm entitled as an early mover in the international blogging spotlight.

I'm not even going to promise to publish on here steadily, because as soon as I do, I'll forget about it and not do it. Social contracting and reciprocity aside, I just don't think it fits in well with my schedule to have a continuous stream of musings. Plus, forced posting on a schedule ends up looking like a formal regurgitation of days' sequences. How much fun is that? No, really ...

That said, however, I will try and post here :) I'm hoping to get in touch with some friends I've lost touch with. M and I have not spoken in over a year, and C and I have not talked on the phone in forever. Though we do enjoy fleeting encounters over pixelated, innernets media. E, a friend who lived closeby, got married last fall and has since moved to the north east.

Of course I'm utilizing my facilities to cultivate other personal relationships, but I really miss my old friends. M and I went through law school together, and I seriously think the only reason I got through it was because of her unconditional support. C and I totally rocked the international world in Stockholm, the primary basis of this blog, and left our mark on the faculty there. Oh what times we had. Not surprisingly, the only other ethnically paritous person in my program and I have started to hang out. I'll save that for another post.

In any case, I hope to start posting here more often.


Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Football, Giants Win

Anyone who is not on life support probably knows that the Patriots LOST the superbowl on Sunday, Feb 3, 2008. Go them ... Pats suck. I don't want you to think I'm supporting the Giants, because I'm not. I just am ecstatic that the Pats lost.

Plus the shot of Peyton Manning jumping up and down when his brother, Eli, threw the winning TD was priceless. Tom Brady doesn't have that connection ... then again, I guess it's pretty rare to have 2 in the family, same generation, who play in the NFL simultaneously. Still, I don't want to see Brady with the 4 superbowl wins since the first was questionable -- didn't arm pump *mumble mumble* My significant other at the time, J, would have had apoplexy had I been honest about my review of the supposed non-pass fumble. And thus I ramble. I'm just delaying leaving the office for advanced stats.

Have a good one all!


Monday, January 28, 2008

Chuck Norris Anyone?

Almost everyone knows who Chuck Norris is. Whether it's from old reruns of Walker Texas Ranger or some other throw-back martial arts series, we know who Chuck is. I even have a tshirt I got from Target for $4.96 that declares, "Chuck does all my stunts." It even has a beard-sporting characiture to nail the message home. I noticed this obsession probably about 3 years ago when a few of my gamer buddies were spouting off 'Chuck Norris Facts.' Interestingly, Ian Spector created a fact generator about Chuck Norris in 2005 ... o.O The website back in 2005 was getting 10s of millions of hits a month. Ian attempted to explain to Chuck, on several public occasions, the meaning and purpose of the website, but apparently the powers to be, like major TV stations, didn't have the timeslot for the interlude. So Chuck settled on a private meeting late in 2005. This is all from Ian's book that he published after enormous response from fans in 2006, "The Truth About Chuck Norris: 400 Facts About the World's Greatest Human," (Nov. 2007). Now that credit is given, I thought I would share some of these with you. Of note, I've heard the ones below so I don't mind retelling them. I hesitate to copy direction from Ian's book, since it seems unfair to impart the contents of something he clearly worked at producing ... (honestly, I think a bunch of flunkies with excessive amounts of vodka, and herbal substitutes, in their systems ran a bunch of facts through the website to produce most of the content). What you will notice is that most of these involve bodily functions, round-house kicks or body parts. Need I say more?

1. Chuck takes a crowbar into the bathroom with him incase he craps a bobcat and has to beat it to death.
2. Chuck is so all American that he eats Tyranny and shits bald eagles.
3. Chuck is like corn. No matter how much deep shit he's in he comes out in one piece.
4. When Chuck was denied a Whopper during the faux 'whopper outtage' Burger King is advertising, he roundhouse kicked the store so hard it became a Wendy's.
5. Chuck trained his dog to clean up after himself, because Chuck doesn't take shit from anyone.
6. Chuck coined the phrase, "Don't look at me like that or I'll fucking kill you." The common usage became, "Don't mess with Texas."
7. Chuck has perfected the art of removing a man's ear in hand-to-hand combat. Where do you think Tyson learned it?
8. If you can see Chuck, he can see you. If you can't see Chuck, you may be moments away from death.
9. Someone once bet Chuck he couldn't shit on the ceiling. Michaelangelo still owes him 10 bucks.
10. If Jesus had a braclet it would say "WWCND".

Hopefully this humor isn't totally lost :) Hope you enjoyed.


Monday, January 21, 2008

A week in ...

So I'm more than a week into the program, actually, but I thought I would tell you guys a bit more about my program. I am studying international business strategy, more or less. I get to take 4 courses a semester for 4 semesters. The classes I'm taking this term are research design, network theory, advanced stats (based in econometrics), and organizational behavior.

Research design. The professor for this course is one of those really laid-back guys who does a lot of simulations and is walking us through the basics of creating and implementing a research design. We are even going to work with empirical data -- which apparently even the 2nd years have not yet done. The first day we all had to write our research topics up on the board, of course I didn't have one, though he did ask ... just in case. I think he has 2 PhDs, one is, surprisingly, in math.

Network theory. This is a pretty interesting class looking at the systems and networks, relationships and groupings. It is pretty interesting. Think Oracle, the original network program, or Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon. Honest to god, the very basis of the theory so closely relates to Six Degrees that you describe half of the definitions in terms of Kevin Bacon and his incestuous affair with Hollywood.

Advanced Stats. This class is pretty decent. The prof. is a recent grad, and has a great energy that everyone picks up on. It makes it so much easier to learn the material. Even better is that if you call the prof out on a mistake she gives you points. Not to be out done by my more senior classmates, I picked out a mistake and already have a point to add to a homework score!

OB. This should be a great class. Organizational Behavior is basically the touchy feely side of business. I enjoyed it, even if the prof was a dick, in my MBA prog. I'm looking forward to getting into more of the power dynamics and conflict management stuff.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!


Thursday, January 17, 2008

B does a PhD

Seriously ... how long has it been now?! I doubt anyone out there reads this anymore, but I think I will have to start this up again. Maybe I can snag hottoddy and C again. It starts with 1 ...

In any event, I totally fell off the face of the earth when I moved back to Texas. For anyone who doesn't know where Texas is, it's in the South Central part of the US abutting fantastic Mexico. I happen to be like 900 miles from the Border, but I like to say I live near anyways. Also, anyone who is reading this and lives abroad, you can always spot a texan because they look comfortable in jeans AND when you ask them where they are from they say Texas, not the US. Dead serious, I got called out on that several times.

After falling in the abyss that is family life here in Texas, I got totally disenchanted with working. Not so much the work part as the finding something I wanted to work at ... or with ... or on ... Ya, lots of choices. I started looking around for other stuff to do, PhD app here, lecturer app there, MBA search. It went on. My MBA search turned up some interesting options and I ended up going to a local university here. They paid me, gave me a nice honor's title, and shoved me into the progam. The whole process took 3 weeks, I think. In any event I finished it in 18 months. There was a lot of busy, but there was a genuine lack of productive.

I really didn't want to get a job in the corporate world. Much to the woe of my program director who expected me to get one of those killer 6 figure jobs when I graduated, I still had my eye on school and, ultimately, teaching. Seriously people, I'm obsessed. I've wanted to be a teacher since I was in HS. Well, not to be outdone by the MBA program, the head of the strategy department sent me a message on Dec 27th, when I had just gotten back from a 7 day all-inclusive in mexico -- I was an easy target I guess. We met Jan 4th and discussed the program. I met all the faculty in one day - 1000 to 1830. By the end of the day the question wasn't, "So, are you interested in applying?" Instead he dropped on me a total surprise, kinda, "So, we've had a student drop out of the program. We only accept three students a year, so there is room for someone to start in the Spring," I paused ... and his response was just, "Right now ... " o.O So, my initial offer was not, "please apply" it was "please decide between the spring and fall ... within 2 days ... "

I obviously took the offer, since I know that their last few placements are at prominent top 20 business schools with salaries well over what I'd expect as a professor. The program covers my tuition and medical, and includes a decent stipend.

SO! I'm hoping to be keeping up a bit more with my blog, maybe revitalize it. Hopefully my audience will grow, I know C is already eagerly anticipating voluminous entries :)


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