Thursday, January 31, 2008

Manipulation vs. Carefully Crafted Incentives

I have not really felt like writing, so started looking back at some blog entries that I started and abandoned – ether because I was bored with the subject, or I forgot about the blog entry. This is one of those posts; guess I started it in November.

~Deb had an interesting Blog entry on Friday, dealing with manipulation.

Well, I am not going to expand on what she wrote – it is beautifully written, and I don't really think I can add to the discussion.

But when I was reading the blog entry, one question kept echoing in my brain: "Some of this manipulation stuff sounds a bit like carefully crafted incentives."

For instance.

I don't take crap anymore. Is this manipulative or incentivized? There are people who say mean things. And when people say mean things, I walk away. I don't argue or even make faces, I just leave. So if people want to interact with me, they better play nice. Some consider this manipulation – I think it is aligning incentives with outcomes I support.

Tax code. It is tax time again, and if you pull your hair out when filing your taxes, think for a second about government-determined incentives. If you are blind, you get more of a deduction – but if you lost a leg in Desert Storm, not so much. There have been incentives for specific car types (think lobbying did not occur there?), owning a home (mortgage interest), or being philanthropic (hint: look at Schedule A). Personally, I think taxes should be about generating income to run the government, and I would favor what they do in Europe: allow sixteen-year olds to drink alcohol and have consumption tax. I am sort of kidding about the sixteen-year olds drinking. Well, sort of. Consumption taxes make sure hookers and senators pay their fair share of taxes. Now, according to the tax code, sex for money and kickbacks are supposed to be reported on the income tax return, but they rarely are.

Play nice for sex. When I want sex from my hubbie, I don't bitch earlier in the evening. I don't tell him that he needs to take out the garbage or complain that he has not made the bed (his job). I play nice. Not that he needs incentives for sex.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Presidential Healthcare

I have been watching the presidential candidates for the last couple of months. Their view on this, or that, and one view that scares the crap out of me is most candidates view on healthcare.

For instance, Senator Hillary Clinton says she "wants universal health-care coverage by the end of her second term." Not even elected and she is already planning her second term.

Now I don't want to pick on Ms. Clinton – none of the Democratic candidates get it, and most of the Republican candidates get it, either. Ron Paul gets it, well, he will do the right thing for the wrong reasons (he just wants the Government out of most things, including healthcare).

Most of the candidates want "universal healthcare." Actually, most want everybody to have health insurance, and they think this will solve the healthcare problem. When I was young and was not offered healthcare at work, I went without for a while. I was young and healthy, and I didn't go to the doctor. Also, I did not have enough money to rub together for anyone to come after, so I did the irresponsible thing. Does this describe many of the 46 million without healthcare? Oh, I did get a cheap healthcare policy after a while – it was inexpensive because it paid nothing for the first several thousand dollars. Then it paid everything (or almost everything, as I probably did not read all of the small type). I had a friend who got in a car accident – similar circumstances as me, and although she did not have insurance (or much money), it took her a while to crawl out of the paperwork associated with bankruptcy. So my $30/month was more like hassle insurance.

Enough about me.

Health insurance acts as a buffer between the producer (doctors, hospitals) and the consumer (patients). The Clintons were pointing to a Kaiser Permanente system that worked well in the 80s but was starting to crumble in the early nineties. For instance, more people died waiting for a kidney transplant than received them in one eighteen month period. Health insurance was invented not for the consumers – it was created for the employers (to keep people at work). And it sort of does that – and in some instances, keeps them employed because of the health insurance. I have met several people who work at jobs they hate because they have a special needs kid and love the insurance.

One page can't really explain my thoughts. Think of it this way – when I was involved in one accident, I took my car to a body shop, and they billed the insurance one amount. If I were just taking the car into the shop for the same stuff without insurance, it would be actually cheaper because the body shop uses market forces to set the price sans insurance. With healthcare, it is actually the opposite – they charge way more for healthcare of non-insured (or self-insured) people because they don't expect to be paid and will hound, garnish or otherwise collect some of what they are due.

Anyway, if everyone has health insurance, overall costs for health insurance will actually increase. I have heard quotes from lots of people saying, "I want to vote for this candidate or that candidate because they will give me health insurance." If you get something from the government, it is coming from somewhere. Sure, the government prints a heck of a lot of money, but the US's budget is not a Ponzi scheme. Actually, it is sort of like a Ponzi scheme in that future people are paying for what we are using today.

Oi vey. I think I am going to be sick. Good thing I have health insurance. For a $10 co-pay, I can see a doctor for just about anything. And they have to listen to me.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Little Girls Grow Up

Most of my adult friends are not the same age I am. They are either younger or older than I am. I have a good friend who has two children, her daughter who is mid 20s, and her son who is in college – I have a feeling he is younger than most seniors (skipped at least one grade).

Well, I first met the daughter when she was in middle school. She was shy, sweet, and an all-around-good-kid. As she matured, I mostly heard from her mother, about how she was becoming a young woman who had ideals that was not consistent with her upbringing. In other words, she became a teenager. She was into Martha Stewart (pre-pinstripe), her makeup, and making herself beautiful.

She went off to college, and I heard less about her. I heard that she was doing good, that she was loving college, then that she met a boy, and after she graduated, she started working, still seeing the same boy. She is a newlywed, and she radiates.

Funny thing is that she is not the innocent girl I once knew. She has a Facebook page, she openly talks about porn with her mom, she is a young woman now. Now, her mom is not really excited about some of the choices she has made, but they are open with each other. That's got to count for something.

I never talked to my mom about sex. Well, except for lying about not having sex – that made both of us feel better. At times, I wonder if it is not better to engage in frank discussions with our elders. Not sure. But it suits their relationship, even though it probably gives my friend a few more grey hairs.

Thursday, January 24, 2008


Being in an audience has always interested me. I love listening to people talk, partly because I engage those people in conversations in my mind. They don't know it, but I argue with them, agree with them, tell them related stories, and sometimes help them find just the right line they should say. I guess I interact with people's words.

The other day I was listening to someone, and they used a lot of trite management sayings. The one that disturbed me that day was, "There is no 'I' in 'Team.'" There is, however, 'me' in 'team.'

It's all about me. When people say, "there is no 'I' in 'Team,'" what they mean, I think, is that it is not all about the person. It is about the team. But if you think about it, when people are more concerned with themselves, they may indicate that it is all about me. The height of selfishness.

Then I started thinking about other words you could make with team.

I wonder if the Mets say, "there is a Met in team." Probably not, but those letters are also in team. Baseball, to me, doesn't really seam like a team sport. Everyone is concerned with stats on individual players. The hitters stand alone in the batter's box, and when someone new joins the team, it seems like they can just step in and play. No getting to know the teammates, learning the new plays, and insert other sports-related examples here. I am not much of a baseball fan.

Not sure mats have anything to do with teams. Teams can be doormats, I suppose. Just thinking about my yellow jackets, I suppose.

Football teams eat whole cows before games, I suppose, but I don't think there is anything prosaic about having the word "eat" in team.

Similarly, the word "meat" is in team. And "tea" is in team.

After thinking about all of this, I can't remember what that guy was talking about. I guess his phrase about "I" not being in "Team" sort of defeated the purpose that morning.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Television Idiot

I remember when I first heard about the writer's strike. I thought, "Okay, the writers and the studio owners (whoever management is) are going to fight over this for a week or two and that will be that.

The only thing I have really learned is that most series are only running part of a season ahead of their scripts. I didn't know that. I really don't know much about television.

When I was growing up, television was not complicated. There were two knobs, VHF and UHF1, and you just turned them to one of four stations that the television received. Okay, sometimes you had to play with the rabbit ears, but it was a piece of cake to do. And there was no hunting for the remote, because there were no remotes. No tiny buttons, no fumbling in the dark, wondering if you are going to hit the volume up or the disable DVD button. Well, not sure what the button is, but it sure screws with watching a DVD.

Well, we just bought a new television. Actually, I am not sure we purchased a television, based on the several acronyms used on the box. We have no cable, no dish, just rabbit ears. Funny thing is that now, the over-the-air channels are crisper than before.

And I get more channels. Actually, one of the channels, 11.2 (WTOC Weather is like having a weather channel). I am a little confused that some of the channels are "split." For instance, CBS has three channels, sort of. And the weirdest thing is that broadcast television sometimes looks better than DVDs. It is all about resolution – broadcast television, for the digital stations, seem to be at 1080 DPI. DVDs are at 480 DPI.

I thought that Blue Ray or HD-DVD was a waste of money – who needs to see better than a normal DVD. Of course, with my logic, I would still be tuning into radio to listen to the president's fireside chats while pinning up my blouse on a clothesline. I hate that there is no clear leader of Blu-Ray verses HD DVD.2 Before I got my new, er, television, I would not have wanted either technology. Now I don't like watching DVDs on my television. Son-of-a-bitch marketers.

We gave our television away – the old one – and that's why we had to buy a new one. The old television had a DVD/VCR player in it, and now that it is gone, we can't watch VCR videos. And I wonder if I will buy a new player. I mean, what is the point. We did have an old DVD player – was not used, actually. Sometimes I think me and hubbie are so weird – without cable/dish, giving away equipment before we replace it, etc. Completely weird.

Plus I learned in a year that normal televisions won't work without some type of converter – if you want to watch TV from an antenna. Our government is sort of pushing this – and they will be spending more than a billion dollars to help out people with converter boxes. Yeah. Not sure I understand this. Personally I am surprised that we are not giving out digital televisions to felons, people on welfare, and congress people.

Me, I am wondering if we can trade our new TV for the one we just gave away. Because the videos on the old TV seemed okay to me.

Television technology really confuses me. The best thing about books? I won't need a converter. I have books published hundreds of years ago, and you know what? I can still read them.

1They stand for very high frequency and ultra high frequency.
2Looks like Blu-Ray has a slight advantage right now. Blu-Ray is winning in Japan, Warner only makes Blu-Ray disks now, and several retailers are giving more shelf space to Blu-Ray.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

I Love Google

I was looking for a rare DVD the other day, and found one at a site. Price seemed reasonable. And before I clicked on the "purchase now", I googled the name of the store and the word "complaint". I have started doing this as a precaution. Sort of another way to use Google. Well, I got lots of hits, and decided against purchasing the DVD set. That sort of got me thinking: Google has really changed how we view the information on the Web.

As stated above, I search for companies with the word "complaint", "rip-off" or similar names. And you know, a percentage of the time, I find hits on Google. And I avoid the companies like the plague. You know, I sometimes also look on the Better Business Bureau website (well, websites), and often, there is no mention of the company there.

Movie Information
Have you ever forgotten the exact quote of a movie? I have. And it drives me crazy. I get on Google, and I look for the quote. I normally know several of the words in the quote – and you know the quotes I am looking for are normally online somewhere. Same thing for who starred in what movie. All at your fingertips – and normally on IMDB has the answer, but it is easier to find it on Google.

Me Information
Every once in a while, I google my own name, my husband's name too, to see if my name is "out there" on the Internet. And like most people, I get a few hits. No, no porn queen web pages – silly stuff, surprising stuff. Sites that specialize in high school hookups, I mean high school memories, protests, whatever. And knowing what is out there about you is important. Just ask someone interviewing that has a MySpace account – and a picture of her, legs wrapped around the toilet. Flattering.

I sometimes read snippets, or hear about snippets in the news. Then I want to know more about the situation. And Google tells me – I type in a few key words in the news tab and bingo, I get the most current information about the news. Well, some of the news stories are from really weak news organizations, but you can weed those out.

Every once in a while, I want to have a picture to illustrate my blog. Google to the rescue. I can type in a few words in the image feature, and boom, I get a bunch of photos. Get the URL and I am off to the races.

Google Maps
I don't use this often at all, but Google Maps is pretty cool. I can see a satellite map of my house, and it is my house. Part of this scares me – just glad there was not any activity surrounding the image on file.

Needless to say, I love Google. It saved me $70 today.

Monday, January 21, 2008

College Basketball

Georgia Tech Cheerleaders and mascot at a basketball game.
I went to a school which was pretty good in basketball. Problem is, I like football better. It is easier to carry on a conversation in an outdoor stadium than it is inside with all of the sounds bouncing off the hardwood, the ceiling, the walls. Even the ball dribbling and the whistles can interrupt a conversation. Oh, and you thought I would say that I liked the football players in their tight white pants, bending over? Yeah, right. Actually I think some women go along with a "high def" purchase because it makes those tight white pants really jump of the screen. Or so I have heard.

Oh, and my team is in the basement of the ACC. Best basketball conference - the only team in the conference without an overall winning record right now. And I looked at the RPI Rankings (most other rankings only go up to 25 or so) to see where GA Tech rates, and, well, they are not in the top 100. In fact, there is a real chance that most of the teams in the ACC will be invited to the tourney, with the exception of GA Tech and probably a team or two. I sort of feel like one of the fans of a team that is in the same conference (or whatever it is really called) with the NY Yankees and Boston Red Socks. I mean, really, why even field a decent team when the competition is going to outspend you 3 to 1. One year, New York's infield cost more than most major league teams. Really. Don't quote me on that, but doesn't it sound true?

You might ask yourself why I am writing about Georgia Tech basketball on MLK's birthday (celebrated day, not actual day). Well, I think a lot of people won't even read this so why waste a good post about invisible panty lines (how to have them) or Candida albicans (how not to get it).

Speaking of issues of little importance, I was looking at a webpage the other day, and I saw the following ad:

It is an ad to chat with a Mormon. Maybe because I have had sex on the brain recently, but it sort of looks like one of those sex chat ads. I mean, you know the ones on late night television – sexy woman who says, "You know, when I want to relax, I just chat with my friends on the phone." It sort of sounds like when she works on the sex line, it is relaxing to her. Guess she picked the right line of work – until her voice gets all gravelly from the two-pack a day habit. Unless that is some sort of fetish I am unaware of.

Personally, I can't wait until football season. College football. That is, if my team were better. I am glad I am not a rabid fan because more often than not, the season ends in disappointment. Sort of like calling those sex hotlines. I mean, date hotlines.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Too Much Information, Re: Circumcision

A few weeks ago, I was listening to a conversation between my mother-in-law (hubbie's mother) and my sister-in-law (married my husband's brother). Neither of these women are really related to me – other than by marriage. And although I would not pick either woman as a friend, I have to at least be cordial to both.

They were talking about . . . er, circumcision.

Okay. First thing is that I know little about the issue, other than all of my sexual experience has been with circumcised men. And I did not want to offer that up in the conversation.

Well, mother-in-law was trying to convince sister-in-law that her unborn child should not get circumcised. The only think I really know about the issue I heard from Dr. Dean's radio show years ago. Well, basically his position on the issue is that it is an unnecessary surgery and it reduces pleasure in the male. I found his site today, and it appears a recent study sort of says the opposite. Then there are studies saying circumcised penises are responsible for women not having enough orgasms. Okay, the study says it contributes to female arousal disorder, something I have never heard before.

When I used to listen to the Dr. Dean Edell show, a lot of the questions were about sex. I figured that was so because the call screeners realize that sex brings in more listeners. Plus people who did not want to discuss this with their physicians (it gets in the medical record) could approach a stranger with a million eavesdroppers. Okay, I don't quite get that. But anyway, the radio show explored a lot of sexual subjects. Okay for a radio show, not okay for a holiday discussion between family members.

So here I am, listening to a mother-in-law (who probably has limited information concerning penises) discussing this with sister-in-law (who probably has limited information, though more current information, concerning penises). You know, I thought about taping the conversation and having a transcript placed in the baby book, but you know, that might not be appreciated.

Sister-in-law finally said that they had not decided yet, but the decision would theirs to make. Probably better than telling your child, "Yeah, we wanted to have a surgeon whittle away at your foreskin, but grandma was adamant that you keep it." I broached the subject with hubbie later, leaving out the Dr. Dean stuff, and he paused and said, "I don't know. I guess the little snip-snip might help with locker discussions in gym class."

I had no idea that men compared their penises in gym class. And I am so glad I refrained from entering that weird discussion.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Thirty-nine: A Magic Number

Okay, I am 39 years old. And that sort of sucks. Not that 39 is a bad age, but when someone asks now, I will say I am 39 and almost no one will believe me.

When I was growing up, I had an aunt who was 39 for about 15 years. So if you asked her your age, you would assume she was older. I am 39, and if anyone asks (and I tell the truth), they may not believe me. I don't lie about my age – never really thought about it. Until now.

I have heard that age is just a number. I don't believe it, though. I mean, my bank account balance is just a number, but those rat bastards at the bank charge me $15 if I don't have sufficient funds and write a check. I can just imagine me saying, "You know, my bank account balance is just a number." And if I said that, I am sure the teller would laugh themselves into a tizzy.

Numbers can be important. At least that's what the drug companies tell you – with cholesterol, blood sugar, whatever. Or even bed companies. The Old Bionic Woman is sleep number 35. What's your sleep number? Numbers are important. Age does matter, but it is not everything. My 39-year-old aunt was a vivacious woman – a crazy woman, a woman who acted 21 even into her fifties. But when she was in her fifties, she no longer ran naked through sprinklers (she could twist and ankle). But she still shocked her kids.

Now, I don't really mind if people know I am 39. But when people ask, I think I will whip out my driver's license and prove that I am 39. Of course, the driver's license may not prove I am an American. But that is a discussion for another day.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Happy Birthday, Dr. King

I wrote this yesterday and thought I posed it. Second time in a week I did this.

Today, January 15, is Dr. Martin Luther King's birthday. Contrary to popular opinion, he was not born on the third Monday in January. You know, these government holidays sort of suck. The rest of the world doesn't get the day off, but I don't get mail or access to money at the local bank. Also, having the holiday on a floating Monday sort of gives the impression, "Yeah, we want to honor you, but only to the extent that it conveniences us."

Similarly, when I was in school, we celebrated both George Washington's and Abraham Lincoln's birthdays. Now I don't know if there were Federal holidays at the time to honor those two presidents – after all, I was a kid and every other day was a holiday. Abe Lincoln's birthday was February 12 – we made stovepipe hats for several years to drill that into our impressionable heads. George Washington's birthday is February 22. I believe we used hatchets to cut down cherry trees for that birthday. Well, maybe not.

Now, I have heard from others that we have too many Federal holidays. I don't know about that, but I like MLK's Birthday. I don't get the day off, but whenever it dawns on me that the mailman didn't come, or my bank is closed, I remember what I read about race relations in the 1960s. MLK was an important figure – nearly as impressive as Gandhi, the person I think has affected change more than any one person in the 20th Century.

At this time of year, however, it appears that Hillary Clinton is using MLK as a political pawn. Her hero, her pawn. Funny thing is that I have heard people blaming black people for supporting Obama because, I guess, they assume it is because of his race. But you know, if the presidential candidate was a Georgia native, I would be much more likely to support the candidate, Republican or Democratic. I mean, I would have more in common from someone from this state – the Democrats are more conservative here. Both parties are a bit more similar to my views – that is, for people who get chauffeured around their whole lives, who have people pick up the tab for all meals, for people who don't grocery shop, for people who get lots of free stuff. You know, just like us but not so much.

I don't know who I will vote for when picking a president – I just have something against Ms. Clinton. Now I don't think it is the whole competitive bitch thing, but it could play into my feelings. Well, I just don't trust Ms. Clinton, and the more I learn, the more I think integrity is an important issue. I don't care who the smartest president is (Carter was a genius); I just want one that doesn't seem like a buffoon (current president) or a philandering power jockey (Clinton).

Happy Birthday, Dr. King. I hope your dream is closer to being realized.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Porn is for Men

Porn seems to be made for men. Not all porn, but the limited amount I have seen.

First off, all the leading men of "regular porn" seem to be sort of average. Portly. With a lot of hair. One third of the men I see in the supermarket are hotter than the "actors" in heterosexual porn. I remember someone once saying that they were a fan of gay porn – I have not seen any, but I imagine that the participants are hotter. Plus there are probably more penises in gay porn. And that seems like a bonus. Oh, and I guess the reason that the men are older and more regular is to connect with the viewers. And many of them are like the male actors.

Then there are the leading ladies. If the men are in their forties, the women are crack whore twenty-year-olds. And I don't identify with the women being portrayed. I mean, I am not a meth-induced toothpick, nor do I think so carelessly about good anal health. Since my primary drive is to view naked men, most of the women do very little for me.

Then the script. Or lack thereof. I mean, when I view a movie, I like to see a beginning, middle and end. Plot twists, creative banter. And the porn I see has little of it. I mean, except for the pizza guy scenes, where the pizza guy rings the bell (the beginning), then the sex (middle), and end (when the blonde gives him a wonderful tip). And the only plot twist would be where I put the anchovies. So plot is not essential to porn.

And the banter. "Yeah, that feels good," is not a good line. Or "harder." Or a moan. It seems like the camera guy just turns on the camera, and the actors make things up as they go.

Then the lighting is either poor, or two harsh or whatever. Not that I have a cinematographer's eye, but you have seen the movies. Or not.

I don't care enough about porn to do something about it, except to complain about it.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

On Self Image

When I was in sixth grade, something happened to my body. I got breasts before any other the other girls. The flat-chested girls were jealous and I was mortified. I started cradling my books to my chest when walking from class to class, and I noticed boys were staring at me in class a lot more often. In short, I grew to hate my breasts.

My self-image was in the potty, so to speak.

I mean, at the time, I did not hate these boys. Still don't. I sort of hated that I began developing before most girls. Strange thing is that I did not feel more like a woman – just felt different than my friends. And I did not feel any prettier, though when I look at pictures me, I should have thought of myself as pretty.

Years later, I was talking some friends – and nearly universally, none of us considered ourselves pretty when in school. I am not talking "hot" because, lets face it, we were kids. But we were cute, all of us, and none of us knew.

In It's a Wonderful Life, there is a line: "Youth is wasted on the young." Now I don't believe the line because the young are foolish. And being foolish is more than it is cracked up to be. Foolish means carefree. Foolish can mean free-spirited. Foolish is great, really.

But foolish also doesn't know how pretty she is when she was thirteen years old. Or how wonderfully she was inside, how fully of hope, how full of dreams. All she remembers is how clumsy guys got, bumping into her breasts between classes.

Yeah, parents can tell you that you are pretty when you are young but you really never believe them.

Yesterday, I read a bit of self-flagellation on one of my favorite blogger's sites, and in a second, all of these thoughts came pouring out. The world is full of beautiful.1 people, and it is sad to know that most of us never really consider ourselves beautiful.1

1Beautiful can mean so many things, and while I primarily focused on physical beauty in my examples, I was thinking of everything that makes someone unique – gifts of intelligence, patience, kindness, and talent, as well as unique physical traits, like the wrinkling of a nose to an unpleasant odor.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Bed Sheets

Over the past week, I have been traveling. I enjoy parts of traveling, but I am not partial to hotels. Mostly because I like sleeping on clean sheets, and I don't trust hotels to thoroughly clean their sheets. Yeah, I know they have big washers and dryers that use scalding hot water to remove everything, but when I see hotel sheets, I imagine all of the germs still on them. And that does not count dust mites. Damn OCD.

What was more embarrassing is that hubbie and I had sex in the hotel one night – really drenched the sheets, if you know what I mean. The next day, I went back to the room for something in the early afternoon – just wanted to pop in and get something out of the suitcase and brush my hair.

The maid was in the room, replacing the sheets. And I was so embarrassed. There I was, entering the room, and she was changing sex-soaked sheets. She had to have known, and there I was, busted.

As I was walking down to the elevator, I remembered another experience with bed sheets. I was working at a camp one summer, and the last morning of camp, the camp residents were to carry their bed sheets to the office before "check out." So here I was, on the first shift, accepting sheets and placing them in these large tubs. One of my girlfriends was next shift, and she comes to relieve me.

We start chatting, and someone comes to give us her sheets. She instructs the person to place the sheets in the tub, and I ask her why. Her answer was that the sheets could be "dirty," meaning sex-dirty. I had never even thought of that, and there were probably 15 to 20 sheets I personally handled.

I took a shower after being relieved. Sex was not part of the scheduled programs, but I had never envisioned that any of these people would have had sex in the week or two weeks they were at camp. Sheltered me.

I have got to go. I sort of want to go home and do a load of laundry now. Can't do it, but I feel compelled nonetheless.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Of National Titles and Presidents

Last night there was a football game. Yawn. Ohio State and LSU played for the national championship, and well, not a lot of people cared.

I did not watch the game, but I did Google about the outcome this morning. I am guessing that the NCAA wants people to care enough to at least watch the game. Er, not sure that I am the typical football fan, but with such a big game, the people paying for the commercials probably want the occasional fan. They spend money, too.

Before the BCS fiasco of the last ten years, I actually watched some of the bowl games. I mean, Number 1 never played Number 2, but that did not seem to matter. It seemed like a number of the top teams played in the big bowls, and Number 3 could rise to the top spot if the top two spots faltered. And that happened more than once.

So before the BCS fixed things, there were more entertaining games.

And if you think about it, a bowl game is not a real good determiner of who is the better team. Each team is off for a month or more, preparing for the game. Before that, the games are spaced at weekly intervals. So perhaps the better prepared team normally wins the games. And you cannot look at which conferences win the most games, that does not necessarily mean that the conference is stronger. Sure, the SEC was something like 7-2, but a couple of the smaller conferences were 4-1 or 4-2. That does not mean the Mountain West is the second strongest conference of them all.

Name (Teams)/ Record
Atlantic Coast (8) 2-6
Big 12 (8) 5-3
Big East (5) 3-2
Big Ten (8) 3-5
Conference USA (6) 2-4
Independents (FBS) (1) 0-1
Mid-American (3) 0-3
Mountain West (5) 4-1
Pacific-10 (6) 4-2
Southeastern (9) 7-2
Sun Belt (1) 1-0
Western Athletic (4) 1-3

I just think that the bowl system is not the best system to crown a champion.

Similarly, we are currently looking at presidential primaries.

The primary system does not seem to be the best system to pick a democratic or republican presidential contender.

I mean, you have races, Iowa and New Hampshire, whose results affect the next contests. So people in Florida are affected by what blue-bloods in New Hampshire feel. And you know, both democrats and republicans seem to be different in different parts of the country.

For me, more of an independent, I get to choose from a real liberal (Dukakis) or an SOB conservative (Dole). Just seems the system doesn't really work to pick the best candidates, just the ones that take fewer chances (H. Clinton or Ohio State).

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year

Hello All.

Just a quick note to say that I will be taking time off during the Christmas break.

So, I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and all. I am going to take a respite from work and blogging. Enjoy the New Year!