Friday, February 27, 2009
Really, "my bad"? That's how the Republicans are going to handle this. Here is the money quote.
“Tonight, we tell America that Republican values, conservative values, are right for America,” he said, admitting that the party has made some mistakes. “Tonight, we tell America: we know the past, we know we did wrong. My bad. But we go forward in appreciation of the values that brought us to this point.”
"My bad" is like when you thrown a stupid interception.
"My bad" is when you renege because you trumped wrong (I'm looking at you Feinberg)..
"My bad" is when an mom has 8 babies without a visible form of income or husband.
"My bad" is NOT an appropriate response when you take a huge surplus and turn it into a deficit. ... "My bad" is NOT an appropriate response when you remove oversight and watch Wall Street and the world banking system tank and a million Americans lose their jobs. ...."My bad" is NOT appropriate response to shredding the Constitution. .... "My bad" is NOT an appropriate response making the world believe that honerable American Servicemen torture human beings for fun and laughs.
You, Mr. Michael Steele, are a short-sighted, dumb ass that shouldn't be given a karaoke mike to "Sally-Sings", much less the national stage, you dip shit.
Oh wait. What I meant to say was that "I respectfully disagree with your comments."
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Turns out I am younger than Barbie by 20 days!!!!
Barbie turns 50 on March 9th.
--- and I fit in here ------
Me (Scott Mitchell)
As you may or may not know, I am also stuck between the following in 1959 age group.
(Me: Scott Mitchell)
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
A Gentlemen’s Pursuit of Decorum in New York (Circa late 2000s)
One may, with reasonable assurance, assume that the title is meant wryly, ironically or fatalistically. One would be, however, incorrect. While there may be some question if I am a gentlemen, there can be no question that pursuit of decorum in New York City, while a lonely and unrequited quest, is none the less a quest that is desperately called for. I may not be “just the man for the case”, but I see no others stepping up to the plate – as it were.
Stepping up to the plate. Well, this is just indicative of the entire problem isn’t it? I mean the phrase “stepping up to the plate” is understood by most of the city. It can be reasonably translated by nearly everyone as “taking responsibility” or “making an effort”. This analogy is understood even by people who watch neither baseball nor cricket. However, the phrase “pursuit of decorum” will draw a blank stare from most people. Of course, the question “Where is the nearest coffee shop?” will normally draw a blank stare from people. It seems that the countenance of a fully feed bovine has replaced the effort to simply respond, “I’m sorry, I don’t know.”
How we as a city, or perhaps nation, or perhaps world, have gotten to this situation is beside the point. One must find a way to correct this, to “right the ship” as it were, before I go mad. Oh yes, I fully acknowledge that this pursuit, my windmill as it were, is based on righteous indignation of a populace gone stark raving bonkers. Even the pages of the most fashionable magazines feature vapid models in lovely clothes, expressionless and listless. As if they are already mentally posting on facebook, “Cathy (with an X – as in Xathy) is bored in Prada”. Cathay with an X, we don’t need facebook to gather this information. You are both bored and boring. You reek of the stench of it. If you hate it so much get a real job, or at least one where we don’t have to bear witness to your antipathy to life.
My sidekick, my Sancho Panza as it were, in this gentlemanly pursuit is a well-behaved and groomed Lakeland Terrier named Trevor. Unlike mid-twenty something young men in a bar, he will not hump your leg or stagger out well past 2 AM and regurgitate in the street. He does not smash into unsuspecting pedestrians with a cell-phone is glued to his ear (and all without an acknowledgement). He does not bear his private parts to the paparazzi, nor wear pants so low you that you are dazzled by his asscrack. Just because he can’t and these heathens can doesn’t denigrate the outcome. On an equivalency level he could mindlessly bark on the street constantly or lick his groin in public – but he has the good grace to do neither. He is, in short, much better behaved that any number of celebrities that attack the senses on the airwaves or in print. He is an admirable traveler on our journey.
And I do use the word celebrity purposefully, for all of American youth (perhaps all the world youth – I haven’t yet had the chance to find out) consider themselves celebrities. They may not have been discovered yet, but it seems to be their belief they are just one Episode of “Make Me a Super Vixen” or “Hanging with the Big Dog” before their rightful place is acknowledged. This has led to the twin evils of youth that are excessively arrogant and the inability of the service industry to find adequate staff. If you don’t believe me, ask your counter person to make change without using the register. It will make you weep for the future of humanity.
I must take a momentary aside here to illustrate my point. Once, at an unnamed establishment with twin yellow adornments, the counter person told me the cost was $6.01. I gave her a ten dollar bill and said, “one minute, I think I have a penny”. The penny was quickly found and delivered. To which she said, “I’m sorry I already put in ten dollars”, and she proceed to count out 99 cents.
I stopped her and said “Just take the penny and give me four dollars.”
It was not her perplexed expression that annoyed me, it was the heavy sigh that me, an old coot of 27 at the time, couldn’t understand. She pointed at the register and said, “It says your change is $3.99” and went back to counting out change for me.
But I was not be deterred, which I suppose was silly of me. Talking to a counterperson often is like teaching a pig to sing, it frustrates you and annoys the pig. “No,” I explained. “I don’t want 99 cents. You see, that is why I gave you the penny.”
“But it says $3.99”.
“That’s because you put in $10.00. not $10.01.”
“Whatever.” (A comment that we must address later.) And she pushed the penny back to me and went back to counting.
However I was not to be deterred by the future Miss Einstein. “Stop.” And when said in a firm and normal tone stops many teenagers dead in their tracks. I think they never hear it at home. “Please call the manager.”
“I have to close the register.” She said. And it was said in a plaintive tone that indicated something unfathomable to me.
Maybe she didn’t know how to close the register, and so I explained, “Just push it back in.”
While her expression changed to venom, my suggestion did work and she stomped off to find the manager. Upon her return with a slightly older young lady, the counter person proceeded to explain what happen in great detail as if I was making an unreasonable request. After the tortured explanation, and the counter persons accusatory description of my unreasonable request, the manager simply said, “Take the penny and give him four dollars change”, in a manner that can only be describe as perfectly reasonable.
“But…” our counterperson whined and pointed to the register, “It says $3.99.”
The manager, with the patience of Job, reassured her, “I’ll fix it after he leaves.”
Thus reassured, my four dollars was forked over. No doubt the young woman daydreamed about the shitstorm she would rain down upon me when she was famous.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
A friend of Ed's brother (Phil) is Tony Bennet, the coach of Washington State Basketball - affectionately known as WAZU (the Cougars, not the Huskies).
I can see how this might not be exciting if you live in Arizona (watch out for the kittys, Muffin!), but for the rest of us this is fun news.
Monday, February 23, 2009
So I saw and reviewed a show last night. The review is here.
So if Citi is semi-nationalized, I see 2 unintended consequences....
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Aside from the international to and from the flights, the flying within SE Asia has been remarkable smooth (knock wood).
In the most bizarre of cross national coincidents, last night Ed, Lynn and I meet Ed's fellow ex-housefellows Don (from Bangkok) and Thorpe (from Chicago) in a Thai night market and drank Lao and German beers.
I marvel at how lucky I have been and was struck by what a different life I lead than my grandparents (never mind their grandparents) ever thought of. Every time I get to see a little more of the world I feel richer in spirit and experience and I come home appreciating my life (country, home, friends, family, means and all) a little more.
Zela once told me that when her future husband said that they would live in California one day, he might have well as said China for all she knew about it. there is something wonderful about experiencing things so different from what you expect - be it monks in Laos or finding un-expected people in Missoula when I visited mom. Every now and then I remember that life sucks unless you decide to jump in with both feet and sometimes just say screw it. And when you do - magic (Sleepless in Seattle reference acknowledged, but it is true).
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Thailand's island here has been wonderful. Today we went on zip lines (pictures later) and yesterday we went for a big drive around the island.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
So, Lynn got here today, and is doing pretty well in her jet lag. This is a picture of us at the infinite pool at the resort.
Sunday, February 15, 2009
Well, it has been a great time here in Cambodia. I am not loading big pictures because the web is a little iffy here, but we have had a wonderful time.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Monday, February 09, 2009
So we went to the night market tonight (Lynnie is going to LOVE this!) and we took a tuk tuk home. The tuk tuk looked like the one pictured only driven by a hellion who tail gated, ran along the side of the road and popped a wheelie on our way home! PS - Great shorts for less than 8 bucks.
I don't know the name of Carson and Ursula's baby yet... but she's a keeper!! Born on Feb 8th (we think time and calendar math is tricky here). Yeah for you guys. She's beautiful. Of course Don is a camera hog, but still, we can see her :-)
Sunday, February 08, 2009
Ed has a friend (Don Hutner) who tookus out last night.
We wandered through the grounds and temples of the Grand Palace, and street food and had a nice time before going to a party of his friends.
Today we went to the week-end market, which was like 10 giant swap meets put together. They had everything and lots of it. Some was almost wholesale (like plates and silverware and silks) other stuff was one of a kind wierd stuff. Like a live 7 foot long crocodile. Just crazy.
We are going on a river adventure in a few minutes,
Friday, February 06, 2009
1. Still the Dan Dan noodles in Hong Kong's new airport in the Cathay Business lounge. Even better than the noodles in their First Class lounge.
2. Still the shopping in the Singapore Airport. There are no domestive Singapore flights (it is a little city/state with no other airport) so everything is duty free cheap.
3. (New) The American Airlines Shower facilities here in Tokyo. They are a dream!!! I feel better already. It was a 14 hour flight, but the shower (with the heated toilet) was pure heaven.
Wednesday, February 04, 2009
Eddie and I are leaving tomorrow for our birthday trip. We are flying from New York to Tokyo, then Bangkok. We are in Bangkok for a few days visiting palace, temples and Ed's friend Don.
After that we fly to Laos.
We will be in Luang Prabang in Laos. Laos is a short trip, but should be very interesting. Laos has not been open to the outside world for more than a few years. Luang Prabang is the old capital when it was a Kingdom (the new capital is Vientiane). We aren't there long, but it should be fun.
Then Ed is indulging me and going to Siem Reap and Angkor Wat with me. This was my favorite visit ever and I cannot wait to take Eddie.
Finally we are going to a Villa in Koh Samui, an island resort off Thailand. Lynnie is joining us there and I shall post pictures.
Eddie and I
Tuesday, February 03, 2009
Trinia's site picture. Apparently taken when she was about 30 pounds lighter than she is now, which isn't a good sign for a therapist in my book.
Joe (the Plumber) has a current gig today advising the Republican Conservative Working Group in Washington.
Monday, February 02, 2009
She isn't the sexiest girl in the world, but she is fun and i like her. And fun is a good thing in the middle of winter.
So the Mormons, who claimed to be persecuted, hot and bothered about their small involvement in removing my right to Wed in California, have responded to a request from the California Election board.
This is an interesting article about how Bill Clinton went to Davos (the International Economic Bru-ha-ha) to speak.
Sunday, February 01, 2009
Also let me say, this may be a bit long, so feel free to ignore this post at any time. My mind is about to go awandering.. . feel free to come or go as you please.
I last attended Grad School for a year at UC San Diego, getting a Masters in Pacific International Affairs. As an aside, I had to get my grades from Grad School – and they were excellent – so kudos to me. Anywho, I attend an amazing school focused on the Pacific Rim, and I focused on the NECs at the time. In 1989 the NECs were the “Newly Emerging Countries” of Singapore, South Korea, Honk Kong and Taiwan. My professor, one of the architects of the Marshall Plan (!) for rebuilding Europe was the paid private consultant to Malaysia and so we studied Malaysia as well.
It was the most fascinating intellectual year I have ever had, for multiple reasons. A key change in the world happened that year when the Berlin Wall collapsed and Eastern Europe was free’d. Jeffery Sachs (now a professor at Colombia) was preaching free markets in Latin America and was all but parachuted into Eastern Europe by Reagan and Bush 1. Any school of International Affairs, focused on the Pacific Region or not, HAD to follow these changes!
One of our guest lecturers was the Soviet (remember the USSR – still around in early 1990) was at San Diego as the Second Russian Revolutionary stand-off took place. It was amazing.
My final paper for year 1 actually used the model and lessons learned from the Asian NECs and applied it to Poland to understand where that country had benefits and shortcomings in the future growth. It was very cool and reading it now, I am pleased at how well it held up.
I grew up in a world divided into only 2 camps – the good guys and the bad guys. I started grad school when that began to change. The change has move in ways NO ONE expected and people and non-governmental organizations have stepped up as huge players, mainly positive (micro-finance, business expertise) and some hugely negative (terrorism). I am excited not just to g back to be able to share so much of what I have learned.
I hope to come out (if I get in :-) able to use my skills in a positive way. It sounds stupid, but through Citi I have actually helped with cheaper microfinance, with more reliable and less expensive ways for foreign workers to send money home and opening options for women in finance in Islamic countries. It was all for profit, but I did get to help, and that makes me feel better.
And the faculty and lecturers at NYU consist of great financiers, of UN diplomats and NGO personnel with stories to tell. Whatever, I think it will be cool.