Thursday, June 19, 2008

Has He Lost His Mind?

I love the show Two and a Half Men, but it now battles a pretty big PR problem. The show's star, Charlie Sheen, leaves an angry voice mail for his ex-wife and in his infinite wisdom, he calls her a "fucking nigger." Your message is being recorded dumbass, that's the whole point of leaving a voice mail. Of course she is going to release this to the press. Their divorce was pretty nasty and they still go back and forth in the media. What a coup for her. Initially during their breakup most people were on her side because they just assumed he had gone back to drugs and hookers. Then it turns out she is sending naked pictures of herself to her best friend's husband. Why, I still don't understand, but let's move on shall we. So, Charlie is one of the highest paid sitcom actors alive, gets remarried, and seems to have it all together again but now like so many things in his past, he has a knack for effin' it up. You can apologize all day long, but in today's world you will always have an uphill battle if you ever utter that word. Especially when it is used as an insult against someone, even if they are white. What an odd thing to say to her anyway when there are so many other words that would make more sense and be more accurate. So now not only have you pissed off people touched by cancer with your earlier "bald mom" comment, you've also added a whole race to your list of people to apologize to. Even though she was one of the hottest women on the planet when they met, I really doubt it was worth all of this.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Random Thoughts

When it comes to buying things, I'm all about sales, coupons, and rebates. I try to be frugal with money, but sometimes the amount I spend on things doesn't match my normal behavior. An example came up last night. I am putting Netflix on hold for a month because we recorded some movies over the weekend while DirecTV had all of the movie channels for free and I let out a Woo-Hoo. Stacie laughed at me because I was easily willing to spend the equivalent of a new car to have the house painted but saving $15 elicits more of a response. Of course it isn't just any paint job, it's a ceramic paint job that doesn't require a repaint every 5 or so years. For big purchases, I am willing to spend more money now if it will save me time or money in the long run. We ultimately decided not to do it because we agreed we would have to stay in the house at least 7-10 more years to make it worth the investment. We are not sure what we will be doing 5 years from now, so we will just go with the repair / touch up route, but I will do it for our next house which will hopefully be in the mountains or on a lake.

So, Bud may no longer be the last American owned "big" brewery. We started losing ownership of our breweries a few years ago. Miller merged with a South African company in 2002 and is now incorporated in London. In 2005, Coors joined with Molson out of Canada. Late last year, this American-Canadian company also developed a joint venture with Miller to handle their US operations. I realize in today's world we are more of a global economy, but it still sucks to see long time American icons going to ownership oversees.

This leads me to my next thought: What is considered an American car? Is it a car built in the US? Is it a car built by a US owned company? Things aren't so clear any more. Here are a few examples:

Nissan Titan - This pickup is 100% built in Mississippi by a Japanese company that is 60% owned by Renault, a French company.
Honda Accord - Built in Ohio specifically for the American market by a Japanes company. The European Accord is sold in the states as an Acura TSX.
BMW - Makes tons of vehicles in South Carolina not just for the American market.
Mazda Tribute - Sold by a Japanes company that is 1/3 owned by Ford. The is the same vehicle as the Ford Escape and built in Missouri.
Chevrolet Suburban - Some are assembled in Mexico, but I guess it is OK to call them American as long as it's part of North America. Unless we are talking about immigration and then people have a different definition.
Chrysler - Up until recently, this was owned for a few years by the German manufacture that makes Mercedes Benz. Daimler still owns 20% of the existing company with the remaining belonging to a private equity firm.

What is the underlying reason to buy an "American" car? Is it to support an American company or support American workers? Depending on your answer, you may be buying an "American" car after all.

Insert random sign off phrase here

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Fun Friday Night

I had a blast last night with Kaj's neighbors in Bryant's bar / basement. The boys over there really know how to do a man den right. I have been impressed with all of their basements. The format and location made for a great drinking environment.

We played a couple of full table tourneys and thanks to 2 river suckouts for me, my cashing in his hood continued. Unlike the Braves, I can win on the road. I bombed out of the first game early, but took 1st place money in the second one. Bobby and I got heads up and he said Kaj's favorite word, "chop." I gave Bobby 10 bucks off of the top prize and we called it a night.

Kaj cracked us up when he put us "on notice" at the beginning of the second game that he had had a few drinks. Although he was a little buzzed from the beer and vodka, he was no where near one of the other regulars. By the time we got to 4 handed, he was raising without looking at his cards and folding his big blind preflop when the pot hadn't been raised. The kicker for the night was when he also mucked the tying hand after it was checked down on the river because he was sure he was beat. As we were leaving, we actually searched the yard to make sure he wasn't passed out somewhere in the grass.

Hopefully I can turn last night's profit in to a little more during live play this month. This will come in handy for my trip next month. I've been checking out the tournament schedule and would like to play 1 or 2 lower buy-in games while in Vegas along with a few shots at the cash games. I will be practicing a little over the next coming weeks. Since I do it so infrequently, I think I will just go with the nut peddling approach and see how that works.

For this upcoming trip, it looks like I'll be doing some recreational flying Saturday morning before it gets too hot, Sunday may be Lake Mead day, rides at the Stratosphere Sunday night, watch some of the Main Event at the Rio, and squeeze in some card playing at different intervals throughout the weekend.

Insert random sign off phrase here.