Monday, September 28, 2009

A long September

The winter winds came into Minnesota today and I was reminded that despite the prolonged warm weather the seasons have officially changed.   It is now time to prepare for shorter days and colder nights.   This is usually the time of the year when football starts gearing up as college teams get in their conference schedule and NFL teams start forming their identity.     September is a great month in that it ushers out summer/baseball and welcomes in football/fall.   For me it has been a long September since at the beginning of the month I had almost given up on the Twins and was excited for the AFC East defending champs to start their new season.   Now it looks like the Dolphins season is over (Pennington out for the year) and surprisingly the Twins are only 2 games back of the AL Central lead.   I guess I thought I would be following one team in late September, but I just didn't expect that one team to be the Twins.

In other news I went to the Vikings-49ers game yesterday.  I don't know if you heard or saw, but this old journeyman quarterback (3 teams in the past 3 years) with a strange last name completed a 32 yard touchdown pass to Greg Lewis with 2 seconds left in the game to give the Vikings a remarkable win.    Vikings fans were high fiving and hugging each other in euphoria rarely seen in the sports world.    Not a bad $17 I spent on the ticket to the game.  

Go Twins.  Keep the pressure on the Tigers. 

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Salary and hard work

Normally I don't take the bait, but I guess yesterday I was feeling a little feisty.   The bait I am referring to is when people make Facebook posts that seem designed so that people will comment on them.   Usually they are political and from my Mississippi friends they are normally something that would make Bill O'Reilly proud.  Anyway, like I first wrote I normally just let these comments come and go because I don't care to make a scene especially on the internet.  Yesterday must have been different.   Below is the comment with all of the comments that came about because of it:

Jordan Cole Wow. Some anti-capitalist idiot on the news just asked: "why would anyone need to make more than 500k a year?" Lady, it's called hard work... And clearly you have no idea what that means. I guess we still can't fix stupid.

11 hours ago via Facebook for iPhone ·  · 
Joe J. Powell III
Joe J. Powell III
Ancient saying: Ignorance abounds. Those that care for others often choose poor tactics but have good soul. Those that have right tactic can lose their source. Best to work together and appreciate unique gifts of other.
My best! JP 
11 hours ago
Kevin Malphurs
Kevin Malphurs
Does everyone who makes over $500K work hard? Does that person who said that comment automatically not work hard? I am confused. It seems like you are making a lot of assumptions based on one comment.
11 hours ago · Delete
Jordan Cole
Jordan Cole
I have made little assumption on the matter, yet you have assumed my initial intention based on your own. I can only speak from personal experience, and everyone I know, that makes over $500k a year, works pretty damn hard for it, and has worked even harder to just get to a level to where they can be in said position. I don't know how "hard" the anti-capitalist individual works, but she clearly doesn't earn 500k a year as a PhD student (she is). As JP has indicated... I am sure her wishes are geared in the right direction, she has allowed something else to cloud her capability of logical thought in the process. If I work hard, I hope to be rewarded for doing so. If I do not work hard, I am a fool to think I should automatically receive something merely based on a "fairness" factor. These are simply my thoughts... not assumptions.
10 hours ago
Kevin Malphurs
Kevin Malphurs
I didn't assume anything, but merely was asking clarifying questions. I don't think there is as much correlation between salary and hard work as you might believe. I know plenty of people who might not make a lot of money, but work very hard and vice versa. Overall I hope we all can agree on the saying that life isn't fair.
10 hours ago · Delete
Jordan Cole
Jordan Cole
The whole "life isn't fair" argument is pretty much played out. It's moreover a question of one's own mortality. Why am I lucky? Why am I better off? Etc.

I think this particular argument is more geared towards: why did I (or not) take advantage of certain opportunities and others did not? I've worked hard to get where I am, and I will never feel bad for doing so.
10 hours ago
Curt Griffin
Curt Griffin
I just want to make 500k don't care If I have to work hard or not. I don't stepping on people to do it.... Yeah I am ass so what
10 hours ago
Andrew Balthrop
Andrew Balthrop
you have the causality backwards. efficiency wages dictate that you work hard because you are getting paid in excess of your productivity. High wages are a motivator, but it is because they make you afraid to be fired.
8 hours ago
Jon Harris
Jon Harris
Oh come now Jordan. You don't seriously believe all this fox news bullshit do you? No one is arguing against hard work, they are arguing against a broken system that makes it hard or impossible for the "hard workers" to reach those upper brackets of pay. And if this lady IS in fact stupid, well then do a google scholar search for Wage inequality and see how many educated folk out there think it is an equally large problem...and by your ASSUMPTION are also stupid.

I guess american CEOs "just work harder" than their foreign counterparts...

And those people working several jobs but still can't pay for basic human needs "just aren't working hard enough"
7 hours ago

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Random Thoughts

It has been awhile since I tried to get some random thoughts down on my blog, so let me try to address all relevant and not so relevant topics that have been floating around in my head:

  • This team is starting to grow on me.   Of course it only took the entire summer, but I am really starting to enjoy watching this completely average team.   They keep getting setbacks like Slowly's injury, Perkins/Liriano's disappearance, Morneau's injury and now Span's mild concussion.   They have responding with lineups that include players like Matt Tolbert, Nick Punto, Brendan Harris and starting pitchers like Brian Duensing.  
  • By the Twins as I write this are 3 games behind the Tigers with an 8-5 lead against the White Sox.
  • This past Saturday they finally had their signature win of the season.   Thanks to a Cabrerra  Metrodome double (are opposing teams more excited about Target Field than the Twins?) followed by a Kubel hit and another clutch Cuddyer home run the Twins treated my parents to a 6-2 victory over the Tigers ace Justin Verlander.  
  • The Twins will continue to be must see TV as long as their games behind is greater than the number of games they have left against the Tigers.  Right now it is 3 compared to 4.
  • The pro team (the Dolphins) had a unique loss yesterday on the anniversary of the Wildcat.  I could write chapters about the conservative play calling, the defense, the terrible missed holding calls and of course the missed Ted Ginn Jr. touchdown. What frustrated me most was the final 3 minutes and the Dolphins final possession.  A team could probably never run a worse 2 minute drill while still advancing the ball down the field.  
  • I partially blame the loss yesterday on poor preparation by my fellow Dolphins fan and me.  We had the plan in place to get ribs and chopped pork from Ted Cook's (the reigning BBQ champ in our minds) only to find out that Ted Cook's is closed on Monday.   Of course it has been so long since we had a Monday Night Football game to get excited about, so we didn't even consider the possibility that Ted Cook's would be closed.  
  • The college team (The Redhawks) might be the worst team in college football.  They were ranked as such last week and after a loss to one of the directional Michigans I don't see why their spot will change.  
Wedding planning
  • The current question that I am asking myself is how best to figure out how many people will actually show up at the wedding?  As a professional forecaster I am probably doing way too much analysis on the probabilities on my Wedding List excel grid.   Yes, I am that much of a dork.   
  • I don't know if I mentioned this, but M and I have picked a date, church, reception place, bridal party, dress (for her), dresses (for her bridesmaids) and are currently working on DJ and photographer.   And by working I mean I watch the Twins game and she emails people.   
  • Any ideas on entrance theme/music for the bridal party?   I want to continue with the basketball theme especially since there are 5 groomsmen and 5 bridesmaids.  
  • The BBQ idea for the rehearsal dinner is still a possibility.   I think I might have to do some convincing of key parties, but at least it is still in the running.
  • Why do people say things like "I'm not even lying, but..." or "Quite honestly?"   Really?  I am supposed to trust these people ever again after saying that?
  • Is it just that Democrats think that there is a lot of luck in the world and that Republicans think that there is little to no luck?   Does that explain each side's position on welfare, affirmative action and now this healthcare debate?   As a generalization do Republicans just believe that you get were you are because of what you do and not because of society.   The world is a just place and left to their free will people are treated fairly by the market.  If you are without healthcare or a job it is because you are either dumb or you didn't work hard and not because of any other thing.   Does that sum things up?
  • Shouldn't somebody come up with a healthy alternative to the cigarette break?  I sure would like to take a break every hour or two to talk with some fellow coworkers or friends outside.  
That's it for now.   I am going to try and forget about football for awhile and just focus on the Twins.   Let's hope for the best.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Michael Jordan

I don't know if there will ever be a player I dislike more than Michael Jordan.   Sure there have been times when I have disliked Tyler Hansbrough, Tim Tebow, Barry Bonds or Chris Webber, but none of them carry along the same level of disdain I have for the "greatest basketball player of all time."    Jordan played for hated rival UNC (thus giving UNC a nice recruiting pitch for the next 100 years) before going off to Chicago and helping the Bulls beat the Jazz in the 1997 and 1998 Finals.  He was a very talented player, but the way he carried himself on and off the court was something that irked me.   He seemed phony.  He was someone would have no problem playing the smiling ad man on TV, while on the court he looked like a tyrant of a teammate.   

That is why all of this talk about his Hall of Fame speech has been so gratifying.  I have enjoyed reading other writers criticize Jordan for what I thought was a tasteless speech especially considering the moment.  If you care read the articles linked below:

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Labor Day visit

A few pictures from this weekend.  

The miracle of birth center at the state fair - 

Elisabeth and M at the state fair - 

Garrison Keillor during the taping of a Prairie Home Companion- 

On the walk around Lake Harriet

Out to dinner last night at Cafe 28

Hope you enjoyed.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Miami football

As a 17/18 year old you have to make a big decision on what college you want to attend.   For some people the decision is pretty easy because they just pick a local school that they were always destined to go to.   I really think some people (most people?) spend more time researching hotel options for a vacation than they do researching college options.   (Of course there are other students who are highly motivated and look to get in the best school possible, but I am not going to get into that.) 

I picked Miami because I loved the campus, the athletics, the reputation and everything I read about the school.   Another appeal was that it was a big school that really seemed to focus on undergraduate education.  I didn't want to go to a small school where I felt like I knew everyone, but I also didn't want to go a huge school were I felt like I was just a number.   Miami with their 14K student body was the perfect 3 Bears solution.  

One thing that I knew going to Miami was that I wasn't picking the school for its football reputation.   I had been to a Saturday night football game at Tiger Stadium and I understood the appeal of Howard's Rock at Clemson.   I knew that by picking Miami I would be picking a MAC school with no shot at a national title or even any ESPN televised games.   

Over my 4 years I was surprised to see Miami's football program rise primarily because of the talent of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.   They were playing games televised by ESPN and renovating Yager Stadium.   There was the longest winning streak in the nation and a #10th ranking in the final national poll.   Things were looking up and with the fertile recruiting ground in Ohio there was no reason to think that Miami couldn't be one of those Boise St. mid major like programs.

Then the coach (Terry Hoeppner) left for Indiana, but I tried to convince myself that the young offensive coordinator who had groomed Roethlisberger was going to keep the program headed in the right direction.   After a few below-average seasons though the bottom dropped out last year with a 2-10 season.   Now, Miami University is back to being an after thought in the college football world.   It is probably their rightful place in the hierarchy, but still for Miami fans it is disheartening.   

Today, Miami plays Kentucky in football and is down 21-0.   I know that I picked Miami for a bunch of reasons and I had amazing 4 years there, but is it too much to ask for a respectable football team?   I see everyone posting facebook messages getting excited about the beginning of football season and I find it hard to get excited for a team coming off a 2-10 season playing in a game that isn't being televised.    Still I sit here in my 2003 football season shirt celebrating the 13-1 year and hope for the best.  Like Andy Dufresne I believe in hope and that is what I hold on to with Redhawk football.   Go Redhawks.  I hope for a comeback.