Monday, March 30, 2009

Umm, Wow.

I want me a border collie, damn it.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Ryan's Personal Philosophy

Someone else coined the phrase. I dish out advice, whether it is good or not is up to debate I suppose. I guess it is part of my ever evolving personal philosophy that I like to spread around because it works for me. Your mileage may vary.

In any case, this is just stuff I picked up along the way or came to on my own that fits my experiences and helps me make sense of things. Or if not sense, at least accept and move on. I figured I'd share it. Someone called them Ryanisms once and I think I like that. I'm sure I missed some. Everything is subject to change, this is just what I believe right now.

1) Labels get in the way.
I think it is easy to get too tied up in trying to label situations or issues instead of focusing on understanding them and just accepting them. Who cares if you have low self-esteem or if it is self-doubt, understand that is who you are right now and then learn how to embrace it and adapt. Getting caught up in identifying the proper label may serve a purpose at first but it starts to become counter-productive. This is particularly true when trying to label relationships between people. That shit is just complicated.

2) Know where your shit ends and someone else's begins.
Everyone reacts to things differently for a variety of reasons. There are things that you are going to react to in a way that is out-of-proportion to the actual event because of past hurts and experiences you have had. As a result, conversations can get heated for reasons that aren't apparent. Knowing where your shit ends - for example, not taking responsibility for someone over-reacting - can make a huge difference.

3) How your internal dialog talks to you makes a big difference in self-esteem.
Self talk is hugely important to self-esteem. If you make a mistake and then berate yourself for it in your inner dialog - saying things like 'You idiot' or 'That was stupid' - all you are doing is beating yourself down. What is the point of doing that? It was a mistake, who cares. Give yourself a break. It is all about the positive thinking. Changing your perspective.

4) Everyone was a beginner at some point.
How many times have you walked into a situation, particularly a learning situation or where you were new to something, and felt totally out-of-place or like everyone was staring at you? Just remember, all of those people were beginners at some point too.

5) Let things happen when they are ready to happen.
I believe that things happen smoothly when they are ready to happen. Forcing events doesn't usually end well. For example, this post. I've had it rolling around in my head for sometime but it didn't feel right to post it until now. Gut feelings can hold wisdom.

6) Perception is everything OR You are your experiences.
This one can be discussed a lot but basically you are what you perceive. I'm not sure I can really explain this in a short paragraph, but I'll give it a shot. If two people experience the exact same event at the same time, what they take from it - their perception of it - is going to be different based on past experiences. Their interpretation of the event is filtered through who they are. Who they are is based on life experiences and genetics (which gets into nature vs nurture, let us table that for now). Anyway, I say all that to say this: your reality is an interpretation of what happens to you. This comes in in trying to understand politics and such and the art of managing perceptions.

Okey dokey, this is going a little long. I'm not sure I did a good job explaining some of this stuff so please, hit me with some questions or challenge me on some of this stuff. It helps me clarify my own thoughts.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A Chica Chica, A Chica Chica, A Chica Chica Ow!

It's Business Time! Love this song:

Favorite line: "You know when I`m down to just my socks it`s time for business that`s why they call it business socks."

Come Sail Away

I was going to post this in response to a comment in my Outboard Engine post I posted earlier today, but the last half of it was so funny I decided it needed its own post.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Cartman:

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Adventures in Sailing! - Outboard Update

Talked to the boat engine guy today. He put together an estimate that comes to about $400 (parts, labor, etc) to fix the prop shaft, replace the prop and do some other things that are in dire need of fixing on the lower unit. The rest of the engine is in good shape so once this is done it should be good to go for awhile.

$400 was about what I thought it would come to and was prepared to pay, so that is good. The other thing is DAMN is that cheaper than repairs on my old 150 hp. This would have easily run $2500 or so. I heart little engines.

On the downish-side, it'll take about two weeks or so. Thankfully this is all happening at the start of the season so I'm not going to miss out too much. Assuming I get paid and get my finances fixed, this would also be a prime time to pull the boat out so I can work on the hull. Whether or not that happens will greatly depend on the cash flow. It isn't critical and can wait until the fall or even next season, so no big deal either way.

So, in a nutshell, hopefully sailing can recommence in two weeks or so!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Constitutional Arguments on AIG Bonus Tax

This one will be nice and dry.

The House passed, and it looks like the Senate will or has (too lazy to look it up right now) a bill that will tax bonuses to employees of companies that took bailout money at 90%. Basically, between that and the tax bracket the bonus will be voided. Obviously the motivator for this is the AIG bonuses, but it applies to any company that takes bailout money.

There are various arguments about the unconstitutionality of such an act by Congress. Not having any sort of legal background, I have no insight into how valid these arguments are; however, I did come across this today from someone that does have a law background. The comments, particularly about the 5th one in or so (the start of a thread of comments) are pretty helpful.

It seems that the constitutional question comes down to whether or not this is a tax or a punishment. If it is a tax, it seems that the various arguments wouldn't apply ("Bills of attainder" and "ex post facto"). However, if it is a punishment it would be a problem.

That said - assuming I understand the arguments - since this is aimed at income and not property, and because it is being attached as a condition to government aide (in the same way non-profits have to deal with retroactive rules), this doesn't fall outside of the constitution.

Either way, it is probably heading to the courts. Whether or not it is helpful financially to do this, I still maintain that Congress has to do something to satisfy the people and this is along the right lines. It is all about perception and right now the perception is these guys are on the wrong side of it.

Young For A Gamer

And here I was, thinking I would have been on the older end of gaming. But no, in 2006 the ESA (trade organization in the U.S. for the game industry) released a report saying that the average age of gamers in the US is 33. Well, apparently they upped it to 35 in 2008. Granted, I was 31 in 2006 so anyway you slice it, I'm on the young side.

That just floors me.

2006 article: here
2008 article: here

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Unemployment Party, USA!

Came across this nifty map. Or sad map, I suppose.

Turns out, the country I currently live has one of the lowest national unemployment rates at 4.3%. The country I grew up in is close to 10%. There is, what, a 60 miles difference? Wild.

How is your country holding up?

Friday, March 20, 2009


I haven't really posted anything about AIG but I just came across something else, on top of the bonuses, that blows my mind. Regardless of how legal it is, these people need to buy a public relations clue and lay low for a while. All they are doing is forcing congress to act in ways they probably wouldn't have cared to before. Congress has to at least appear to be punishing them because AIG keeps doing shit that is enraging the public. Its no wonder they ended up where they did if this is the kind of genius thinking that went into running the company. These people are totally clueless.

What I am talking about is that AIG is suing the US Government for $306 million. Like I said, regardless of the merits of the case what the hell are these people thinking? How do you think it is going to play? On the face of it is just seems like more greed and the whole 'masters of the universe' the 'rules don't apply to me' attitude. They need to shut their mouth, take their medicine, and stop forcing peoples hands.

With that said, I'm glad they are forcing the hand of Congress to do something. The sooner they nationalize AIG, fire the idiots, restructure and sell it back in a form that isn't 'too big the fail' the better.

Anyway, the suing article is here.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Things Bumming Ryan Out

This was almost a 'stream of consciousness' post last night, but I decided not to. Instead, I present a list of things that are bumming me out.

1) Outboard engines

2) Fucking AIG. What is wrong with these people? Bonuses to the idiots that killed the company in the first place? Are they fucking insane? Poster boy of asshole elites.

3) Women.

4) Dead beat contracts. I have $20 until I get paid. I haven't been paid in two months. There are three invoices outstanding. I wish I was exaggerating. Man, I need to stick to my financial plans a little closer I think. My old 'just make more money' plan apparently has some flaws.

5) BSG ending. Ok, this isn't really bumming me out that much. But they squeezed way too much content into the last season and kinda screwed the pooch.

6) Continued ignoring of insolvent banks and just pretending it is a liquidity problem. Its not going to get better until we nationalize them, restructure them, then sell them off. Just wasting money on asshole elites like the AIG fuckers until we do it.

7) Upside down mortgage.

8) Friends that require me to do all the reaching out and 'friend maintenance'. Screw that. Tired of it.

9) Control.

10) The need to come up with 10 items on a numbered list. Don't know what that is all about but there it is.

Carry on.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Get It On

Get It On

Make sure you see the three outtakes at the end.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Death By Hyperthermia

I don't know that any description I could write would give this article justice. Here is the tag line:

Forgetting a child in the back seat of a hot, parked car is a horrifying, inexcusable mistake. But is it a crime?


Friday, March 06, 2009

"Never Drown"

"Never Drown" - Days of The New (only video I could find was of a dude playing a game with the song playing)

I am the dirt, the dust, the stain, the rust that's on your fingers
You're here to get inside the place
To hide the fear that lingers
If we never drown, we never know how well it tastes

So tell me how it tastes and I know just how well you drown
Keep in all the things that make you fall
Together we'll stand tall
In the end, the choice will face us all

Together we'll fall, so don't let go
We release the chains that cause you pain
That keeps your spirit locked down

If we never drown the walls we found
Would never be our lesson?
The end is near the demon's jaw
The lives we swallow

In the end the choice will face us all

Together we'll fall, so don't let go
Maybe it's the way...
But I'm not looking forward to running away

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Adventures in Sailing! - Stupid Outboard


I took the boat out last Thursday. The weather was nice but there was no wind save for about 40 minutes. We decided to motor on over to Alexandria for lunch and to check out how they are setup when it isn't super crowded. After radioing the dock master for a slip (and waking him in the process) I brought the boat around and eased it into the slip nice and slow. At the last moment I kicked the engine in reverse to stop us. Reverse didn't happen. So we slowly bumped the dock. At the time I didn't realized reverse didn't work and had just thought I came in too fast since reverse on this engine has always been shit. It wasn't until we tried to leave that I realized reverse is toast.

Once again I pulled the engine and took it home. I set it up on the engine stand I made last time and started poking around. It was then that I noticed that a part called the propeller shaft housing was cracked all the way through. I removed the bolts and pulled the assembly out. The assembly is basically the entire gear case but instead of oil coming out it was water. That explained why there was a bunch of oil in the water!

Either water freezing cracked the housing (unlikely since I didn't see the oil until after reverse didn't work) or it was weakened and when I tossed it into reverse it cracked from the torque. Either way, bad deal.

I found this website call Just Answers that lets you ask a question to the experts and pay them for an answer. I asked what to look for and about the cracked housing question, plus that I noticed some play in the shaft itself. Long story short, it might be the housing. Hard to tell for sure but everything else looks just fine.

So now I have a problem. I can order a new part to replace the broken part pretty cheaply. However, I don't know for sure that it'll fix the problem AND one of the stupid bolts broke and I'm having a heck of time getting it out. The second option is taking it to a repair place. Problem there is I have to find one local and my experience with them is that they take FOREVER. The third option is to just buy a new lower unit all together. This is certainly more expensive but in the 6 weeks I've owned the boat that is where I've had the problems. That is also where I had all the issues in my power boat. Finally, I found a few people selling newer used engines that would just be about $400 more than the cost of the lower unit.

In any case, the boat is out-of-commission until I get the engine running again. Oh well. At least it'll give me time to finish the teak and cleaning.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Tea Bag the Dems!

I’m thinking someone should take a look at the Urban Dictionary before making a sign next time.

And actually, while I’m at it here is an oldie but goodie: