The thoughts that were thunk and the goings on of my life.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Modern fArt

While in New York I had a great chance to visit one of the premier museums for Modern fArt that exist, the MoMA. One of the frustrating things that I noticed was that the 'artists' never seemed to be able to relate what their masterpiece was about. Perhaps they couldn't recognize it.

Fortunately for you, I've taken a few of these masterpieces and helped you to better appreciate these items of beauty by giving them a name and helping you to understand the emotions and passion behind these brilliant works.

Gymnasium in Flood

Nothing better captures emotions than a flood. Here you can see three balls. One finds itself as an outcast from the others despite them all being the same. You can also see their tension as the rest between the water that lifts them and the air that they need to remain full. Yes, I think we all can relate.

Home Depot: Paint Department

Some of the most beautiful things in the world are those that are around us all the time. What better way to demonstrate that to bring the world of your local paint department to the halls of a museum. A perfect contrast of simple and refined.

Young Artist Wets Their Bed

As a child wakes up in the morning and wets the bed, so has this artist. But to help preserve the complexity and disorder of those moments the artist has replaced the results of micturition with paint.

Freebirds as Leftovers...Microwaved

We've all done it. Brought home a burrito and tried to reheat it. Most people realize that you should take the foil off before microwaving; however the artist chose to let us see the danger that would happen if we did not follow our normal pattern of rules.

Jacked-Up Jousting Jackalope

Yeah, um...there's no explaining this one. I'm thinking they needed some money, had a few sticks and a dead rabbit.

As you can see those that appreciate or create modern art are socially capable individuals that are solidly grounded in reality and help to express the world in a way that's intuitively relevant and comprehendible to all.

Thursday, March 22, 2007


Alright, I'm on a political bent, so you'll have to bear with me.

Really excited about Ron Paul running for president. A guy like this would do AMAZING things for this country. Too bad most of America is too dumb to understand what needs to be done, and he's not your mainstream Republicrat so he's getting no coverage whatsoever in the media. But the good news is he's gaining a lot of support thru the internet, and who knows, if I can convince some people that can convince some people...could become something real.

Death and Taxes. The only sure things in life. Question is are you so sure about why you're paying them? According to this interesting documentary (America: Freedom to Fascism). While certain lawyers may disagree (ahem) with it, the fact remains if you cannot clearly point out where a law is and why it exists, then you cannot enforce such a non-existent law. Why don't we just implement the Fair Tax instead of our current overly complex system that provides too many loopholes for those with the money to evade it?

RTfB Act. I really think that one of the worst parts of our government is the ambiguity and ridiculous length of what members of congress say they approve of. When a bill is 1000 pages long there is NO way that you could have the ability to read, much less comprehend what you're voting for. Not only that, but much of the language of laws is deliberately worded so that it's so ambiguous that nobody can understand it (much like credit card contracts), that way the authorities that be can really do whatever they want and claim that the law is actually on their side. I really applaud DownsizeDC for trying to get this off the ground. Yet again, probably will never make it, but if it does...expect great bad things like abolition of Habeas Corpus to be a thing of the past.

Other ideas in the pipeworks that I like. A law that would only allow one topic to be addressed per bill proposed. And having automatic runoffs or making the house of representatives reflect the voting percentages of the electorate on a per party percentage (like in the Netherlands). Whatever happens in this country the first thing to do is to take control of our currency, shift taxes so that they do not punish production, and then create laws that force it to where Congress can only really do something if it's VERY important or relatively simple to accomplish. Not that any of this will ever happen though...unless we can somehow get Ron Paul in for president. What would be really interesting is if Hillary gets the Dem nomination, and Paul does not get the Rep nomination, then to have a Paul/Barrack that would get America interested in the race and prove on both their parts that they are more concerned with helping America than with partisan politics. We'll see what really goes down though.

[Edit March 23, 2007]
One more great link.
A Visual Guide to Where Your Taxes Go by Death and Taxes

Are You Good Enough?

Recently I purchased Neal Boortz's book Somebody's Gotta Say It and ran accross this amazing quiz in one of the chapters. The quiz can be found online here:

The Boortz Citizenship Quiz

And this is why I love this guy. You may not agree with all of the points, but man...they really make you think. And I'm ashamed to say there's a good chunk of the questions in there that I really don't know anything about or completely understand. - It would really help if there was an NIV or NAS version of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. -

Just in case you're too lazy to check out the list here are a few of the questions that really made me think.
  • If our Constitution provides for equal protection under the law, why, then, does the Voting Rights Act only apply to certain states who were held in political disfavor in the 70's?
  • Where in our Constitution does it specifically state that only U.S. citizens may vote for the office of President of the United States?
  • Why were the words "under God" placed into the Pledge of Allegiance?
  • How many times can the word "democracy" found in the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution?
  • How many times can the word "democracy" found in the constitutions of any of the 50 states?
  • If two wolves and one sheep vote on what they're going to have for dinner what do you think the menu will look like?
  • Do you have a choice as to whether or not you pay Social Security taxes? Why then do they call Social Security taxes "contributions"?
The wife and I actually had a really great conversation trying to figure out the 'right' answers to some of these. And we ended up having a lot of fun discussing these issues. That's one of the best things about being married to her...just when I think I know her inside and out I just keep learning more.

What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun?

To all of my readers that are still left, I apologize for the long absence. Life has been very interrupting lately, but it's been good because it's let me learn much about myself and what I hold to be important.

Ultimately things have really been changing for me since November. I thought it would finally be a good idea to look at all the money that seemed to slip like sand out of my fingers and see where it's really going. Looking at your debts is an amazing way to reflect upon what your values are and for those of you that haven't I strongly recommend it. Once I got the main checking accounts worked out I sat down with the wife and made a plan for finally ridding ourselves of debt. I think this is going to be one of the hardest things that we ever do as a couple though...definitely will take a lot of work, but the freedom involved with a lack of debt will be awesome! From the checking accounts I moved on to the retirement accounts and the various other accounts that I have stuck here and there and was truly amazed at what can happen when you're not looking. IRAs in all the wrong distributions, moneys missing and the like. All very stressful, but once worked out, very satisfying.

It's weird but lately I've been on a big kick to try and figure out what money really is. I mean it seems weird that I spend so much of my life dedicated to the earning of money, but the more I acquire the faster it runs away from me. Is my spending really out of control? Is there really a need to save as much as I am for my future? All these things I'm not really sure of. I mean I know that there won't be Social Security when I get old (every person with two synapses knows my generation won't see a dime). Even if I do manage to save and earn millions with compounded interest it still won't be worth nearly as much by the time I go to get it due to inflation.

On the one hand it's been really fun to delve into money in this larger scale sense and try to gain an understanding of what really happens with it all. But on the other hand I feel little like Solomon must have felt when God gave him the gift of knowledge. While this new knowledge is awesome I can't help to feel really let down. What's amazed me most is to see that if you understand money on a large scale it puts everything else into perspective. It becomes so easy to see how people are manipulated at the top levels to help a few of their friends to build a toll road, give away the basis for power of our government, and become involved only in areas where we get a monetary and not a moral reward.

The biggest thing that has recently opened my eyes to the world that we all pay for is actually a cartoon called Money as Debt (video and website). But not just any cartoon, it's more of a documentary of the fuel that moves us forward. It appears to be well researched and if you get the time to watch it (about 45 min), I think it will open your eyes a bit more to the world around you. And if it does open your eyes I think that you will see much is wrong. I feel like the US that we live in today is very akin to Vanity Fair. All running around filled with mirth, but unaware of the danger that we are walking in and the traps we have unwittingly set for ourselves. It really saddens me because I really want to love the US, but it seems at every turn she does yet another thing that dissolves any trust. It's like having a girlfriend that you want to love but she seems more interested in whoring herself to the highest bidder.

I don't quite know where to go from here. This was actually meant to be a quite different post, but it evolved of its own accord. I guess some of the things I wanted to leave you with were some of the resources that I've found of late that really have helped me to learn more about who I am and better understand this world around me.

So in no particular order:
The Simple Dollar - One man's quest to save and not continue life as a serf
Smart Couples Finish Rich by David Bach
How to Lose Your Fear of Being Fired by The Chief Happiness Officer (lame name, great advice...particularly in the top 10 articles)
Google Finance - See how your stock options are worth nothing!

Various other links, comments, blurbs and other conversation that have helped to build me, but I'm tired of listing things.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

New Favorite Web Comic

After feeling like ToothPasteforDinner has gone down the drains a little lately, I have finally found a new favorite Web Comic. This is a great find for me today because I was able to have many laughs while sifting through all 231 of the entries.

This person seems to think a lot like I do. A whole lot of nerd, thinking of life as various algorhithms and charts, and spending too much time coming to logical conclusions via faulty thought processes. Anyways, I hope you enjoy as much as I.

To help all of you out I found the following to be the best entries: