2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 25,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 9 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.


On Obama vs Obama – The First American Presidential Debate

All this debate hoopla between Willard “Mitt aka Obama 2.0” Romney and Barack “Socialist Kenyan Muslim” Obama has really gotten out of hand. Sure, I enjoyed the memes about angry Big Birds, the Jim Lehrer incompetence rants, and the fact everyone was getting so worked up on Obama 2.0 supposedly beating Prez Obama to a pulp in last night’s debate.

But to be honest, I was more excited that the New York Yankees are going to the World Series again and how Ben Bernanke‘s QE3+ is causing inflation in Hong Kong. Since QE3+ was announced with the intention of propping up the stagnant American economy until unemployment drops to 5.5% (ROFL), inflation in Hong Kong has increased around 5-10% and the real estate bubble has gotten to the point where the government is getting involved to deflate it. Also, the price of food has increased and the HKD is going to lose more value against the Renminbi.

Note to self: begin splitting half of my HKD holdings in the bank into RMB to hedge against more damage from QE3+.

For all the theatrics and political WWF-style wrestling in the debate, neither Romney nor Obama really said anything substantial. Obama was just being passive as usual while Romney just pulled numbers out of nowhere and made them real with his confidence and photogenic smile. And yes, we now know Romney is a capable multitasker because he was able to both moderate the debate and hand Obama his ass at the same time.

I can say all these things while others are getting worked up over comments on their debate posts to the point of deleting either the comments, posts or even dropping a contact or two because I am not going to vote in November. Yes, I am not going to vote. No absentee ballots, no online voting and no write-ins for you-know-who and that Johnson fellow. Full disclosure, I voted for Obama in 2008 and it didn’t seem to pay off in any way so I am not voting for him or his Obama 2.0 (Romney) tool presented by the GOP. Even if I voted, my vote would be just filtered down to a handful of electoral votes that would go to Obama and my supposed absentee ballot will take its sweet time to pass customs to be added to the totals.

So no, I am not going to vote on November 6th. Conversely, I have no plans to play Halo4 that day either. I am just going to go to work, focus on the work, attend a few client meetings, have lunch with colleagues, and then head home to exercise and read a William Gibson novel or even one from Phillip K. Dick. Not voting on election day by choice will be one of the most American things I will do since becoming a naturalised citizen of the United States of America.

Thank you and I love Big Bird too.

Ben Bernanke: “Words cannot describe how happy I am that Ron Paul is retiring.”

Ben Bernanke: “Words cannot describe how happy I am that Ron Paul is retiring.”

~While I was walking past the lobby of JP Morgan’s headquarters at 60 Wall St., I ran into FED Chairman Ben Bernanke, who had just concluded a private meeting with CEO Jamie Dimon.

JD: Mr. Bernanke, what do you think about Ron Paul not seeking re-election?

Ben Bernanke: Oh yes, I am so JOYFUL beyond belief. Words cannot describe the delight that every FED governor and Wall Street executive has right now – to know that Dr. Paul will not be around to harass us. No more ‘Audit the FED’ legislation, no more embarrassing congressional testimonies and Youtube gaffes for me; it’s just like we’re starting over from 1913.

JD: Do you have any celebrations planned for this?

Ben Bernanke: Oh yes. We’re throwing a $200M party at every FED branch – courtesy of my printing presses. We’re also inviting every Fortune 100 CEO, Wall St. Banker, and each politician which we’ve bought off. Not to mention, our keynote speaker will be former Treasury Secretary and Goldman Sachs CEO, Henry Paulson. And just to add icing on the cake, we’re going to institute a semi-annual round of quantitative easing to commemorate this festive occasion. I can now sleep soundly at night, knowing that these relentless attacks from Dr. Paul will cease to exist!
Posted by ~ Jonathan D. Hodges

X-Men: First Class Movie Spoilers

From Wikipedia.org:

At a German concentration camp in occupied Poland in 1944, young Erik Lensherr is separated from his parents by Nazi guards. The child’s desperate mind remarkably bends a metal gate until a guard knocks Lensherr unconscious. A scientist, Dr. Schmidt[4] who has observed this through a window calls Lensherr up to see him. Placing a metal coin on a desk, he orders Lensherr to use his magnetism power to move it. When Lensherr cannot, despite his best efforts, Schmidt shoots and kills Lensher’s mother in front of him. In his rage, Lensherr’s out-of-control magnetic power kills the two guards and destroys two rooms, to the scientist’s delight. Around this same time, in a Westchester County, New York mansion, a young Charles Xavier meets a young, shape-shifting girl named Raven, scrounging the food in the kitchen. Overjoyed to meet someone else “different” like him, he invites her to live with his family.

In Switzerland in the movie’s present-day of 1962, Lensherr forces a banker to trace a bar of Nazi gold to the scientist’s address in Argentina. There he finds a tavern patronized by former German soldiers. Lensherr kills the three men after he learns that the scientist has a yacht in Florida. Meanwhile, in England, Oxford University graduate Xavier is publishing his thesis on mutation; his foster sister Raven, a waitress, lives with him. Simultaneously in Las Vegas, Nevada, CIA agent Moira MacTaggert follows U.S. Army Colonel Hendry into the Hellfire Club, where she sees Sebastian Shaw, Emma Frost, and Azazel. After Shaw threatens Hendry, Azazel disappears with the officer; moments later he is in the War Room, advocating that U.S. install nuclear missiles in Turkey. Shaw later kills him, demonstrating his energy-absorbing mutant power and revealing that he is Schmidt, de-aged.

MacTaggert seeks Xavier’s advice on mutation, and introduces him and Raven to the CIA, where they convince her chief that mutants exist and Shaw is a threat. Xavier tracks him down as Shaw escapes a battle with Lensherr, whom Xavier brings to a secret CIA science facility run by an unnamed agent (called the Man in Black in the movie’s credits). They meet young scientist Hank McCoy, a prehensile-footed mutant whom Xavier inadvertently outs. McCoy and Raven feel a kinship, and McCoy promises her he will find a way to make them look “normal.” Xavier then uses a computerized mutant-locating device, Cerebro, to find and recruit mutants for training to stop Shaw. They find Angel Salvadore at a strip club; Armando Muñoz, who will take the code name Darwin, driving a taxi; Alex Summers, who will call himself Havok, confined at an Army base; and Sean Cassidy, who dubs himself Banshee, at an aquarium. Raven takes the name Mystique. Xavier and Lensherr also attempt to recruit Wolverine, who rejects them.

Shaw plans to meet with a Russian general, but instead sends Frost, whom Xavier and Lensherr capture. Meanwhile, Azazel, Riptide and Shaw attack the CIA facility, killing everyone but the young mutants and offering them the chance to join him. Angel accepts. Darwin tries to rescue her as the others attack in vain, and Shaw kills him. With the facility destroyed, Xavier take Lensherr and the youngsters to his family mansion, where they train. McCoy devises protective uniforms and a stealth jet. Xavier helps Lensherr unlock his potential.

President John F. Kennedy institutes a blockade to stop a Russian ship from moving nuclear missiles to Cuba in the real-life Cuban Missile Crisis. Shaw travels with the Russian fleet to ensure that the missiles arrive, knowing it could trigger World War III, after which mutants will rule. The night before Xavier and the others go to the blockade line to stop Shaw, who will undoubtedly be there, McCoy offers Raven his cure for her appearance. After having spoken with Lensherr about mutant pride, she refuses. McCoy, in his lab, injects the cure, which backfires and renders him a hairy, leonine beast. Regardless, he pilots the mutants and MacTaggert to the blockade line. Shaw, in a submarine wears a custom made helmet to block Xavier’s telepathy — which Xavier uses to have a Russian ship destroy the missile freighter. After Banshee locates Shaw, Lensherr pulls Shaw’s submarine from the water, but an attack from Riptide forces the jet and submarine to crash.

While the other mutants fight, Lensherr finds Shaw in a psychic blackspot within the sub’s wreckage of his submarine. He removes Shaw’s helmet, allowing Xavier to take control of Shaw. Lensherr puts on the helmet, then kills Shaw by forcing the concentration-camp coin through his brain.

The two fleets fire their missiles at the mutants, but Lensherr turns the missiles back onto them. In an ensuing fight, Xavier distracts Lensherr and neutralizes the missile threat. MacTaggert fires at Lensherr, who deflects the bullets; one accidentally hits Xavier in the spine, paralyzing him. Lensherr, remorseful, leaves with Mystique, Angel, Riptide and Azazel. Later, a wheelchair-bound Xavier and the mutants return to the mansion, where he will open a school. Xavier wipes MacTaggert’s memory of recent events. Lensherr breaks Frost from confinement, and in his new uniform tells her to call him Magneto.

Thanks, Mr.Hipster Record Store Clerk.

Thanks, Mr.Hipster Record Store Clerk.
Date: 2008-02-26, 5:25PM PST

Dear Hipster Record Store Clerk,

Thank you for judging me on the CD I bought yesterday. Our passive-aggressive altercation made me realize how conformist I am for buying an old Rage Against The Machine album. Your condescension was just the intellectual wake-up call I needed.

I discovered a new me yesterday, and my eyes were opened in a new way. Thanks to you, I realize now that the key to enlightenment is reading Pitchfork, watching High Fidelity, listening to Velvet Underground, having a tattoo of a star on the inside of my wrist, growing an ironic mustache, living in the Mission, and wearing a too-small sweater, multi-colored 70’s ski-vest, chunky plastic-frame glasses, a high school sports T-shirt, air-tight black jeans, and Nixon-era Chuck Taylors.

I had it all wrong, man. You showed me that a skilled job and a comfortable living is just a lie. I need to go to art school, have my parents pay my rent, join a Joy Division-influenced band, and wait for a record deal, like you. I’m totally missing out in life.

So thanks again for mocking me. I mean, at first I thought you were just a pathetic, frustrated musician trying to feel better about yourself. But now I see you’re an uncompromising visionary.

No one will ever understand you. You’re so different.


Everyone Not Like You

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