Don’t speed while driving

October 31, 2008


A discussion at Microsoft about Live Search Cashback Program

October 30, 2008

<paraphrased to protect the innocent… or the guilty>

MSFT FTE #1:  You can get 25% off anything at eBay using Live Cashback!

MSFT FTE #2:  It was 30% until some time this past weekend.

MSFT FTE #3:  It looks like it’s off again. 

MSFT FTE #4:  No, it’s still up!

MSFT FTE #5:  I hope this doesn’t affect the search relevance of eBay on Live Search.

MSFT FTE #6:  I don’t care as long as they keep offering cashback on Joe Biden. 



I laughed so hard at this I peed a little.  I imagine special interest lobbyists paying off Joe Biden through eBay and using Live Cashback to get a 25% discount on all their bribes… err… I mean, “contributions”.

INFO: More podcasts I’m listening to right now

October 29, 2008

Lewis Black’s Root of all Evil on “Why the iPhone is evil”

October 17, 2008

An Interesting Visual of Each of the Presidential Candidate’s Income Tax Policies

October 15, 2008

As taken from the Washington Post – June 2008:

Note each policy are based on FAMILY income, not individual income.


VEGAS: Picking up your show tickets beforehand in Vegas is lame

October 12, 2008

image(Someone asked me yesterday about this topic so consider this a public service announcement)

For any of you that buy tickets to shows in Las Vegas you’ll always read that “you must pick up your tickets at least an hour before the show but no sooner than 24 hours beforehand” or they will be given away or some absolute crap like that. 

You do NOT have to pick up your tickets beforehand. 

I’ve strolled into the box offices of the shows I’ve attended so many times with just 15-30 minutes to go, picked up my tickets and strolled right on in.  I remember when I was young, I would have all these shows that I planned on going to and I’d have to pick up the tickets beforehand the day of the show.

This is really annoying that they ask people to do this.  Like we don’t have any f-ing better things to do with our vacation time than cab over to their stupid box office just to pick up a pair of tickets to a show later that same goddamned night.  All just so that they have an accurate count of how full the show is or not – despite the fact that you’ve already PAID for the ticket.

Note:  If you go through VEGAS.COM or one of these online sites, you can often times PRINT your ticket online.  For example, MGM Grand provides printable e-Tickets for virtually every event the put on.  But otherwise, don’t feel compelled to pick up your tickets early during the day just because they say so. 

Assuming that you’ve already paid for your admission, you can just walk in 30 minutes before show time… just like every other show in the world, and pick up your tickets and walk into your venue.

VIDEO: CNN talks to Bill Gates on the American Economy

October 10, 2008

image Fareed Zakaria spoke with Bill Gates about his extraordinary charitable work and his views on the American economy.  Specifically, Bill said that there is no crisis of capitalism.

"The economy may go down somewhat, but nothing like a big recession or depression," Gates added. He said that the amount of investment "is actually greater today."



Pet Adoption Festival & Strut Your Mutt Walk at La Brea Tar Pits – Oct 12th

October 9, 2008

Join Best Friends LA and Come Adopt a New Friend or Walk to Help Save Homeless Pets!

What: The Largest Pet Adoptions Festival in California and the Strut Your Mutt Walk

When: Sunday, October 12, 2008
• Pet Adoption Festival runs from 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
• Strut Your Mutt starts at 9:00 a.m., prizes awarded at 11:00 a.m.

Why: Because every animal deserves a loving home!!! Over 1,000 dogs, cats, puppies, kittens and rabbits will be at the festival just waiting for you!

Walkers can fundraise and compete for prizes!

1st place: Wins a two night stay in Kanab and a VIP Tour of Best Friends Animal Society
2nd place: Wins a Dyson animal vacuum
3rd place: Wins a one-year supply of premium dog food

All Walkers get a “Strut Your Mutt” t-shirt and goodie bag!

For more event information, call (310) 202-4336
To Register for Strut Your Mutt and learn more please visit
Registration for the walk is $25 in advance / $30 at the event.
Learn more about what is happening on behalf of the animals of LA by joining the Best Friends Network Los Angeles Community.

A Puppy & a Cat

October 8, 2008

I can think of so many things that this photo is symbolic of. 

Couple things to keep in mind:  The dog might not be as quick but the dog is stronger.  And it’s going to get even stronger.  Oh, and the dog was taken by surprise.  How dumb does the cat have to be to break out the claws on a dog.  The sequence after this photo was taken of the cat & the dog couldn’t have been pretty. 

My bet is on the dog.


On cashing out one’s 401k

October 8, 2008

image I thought that the one or two of you that are actually reading this would find this internal dialogue here at Microsoft interesting.  This by the way is obviously not a recommendation… it’s just a stuff I’ve read.

The other day, someone in the company (on one of our many internal discussion/mailing lists) asked the question, “Who’s converting their 401k to cash?”  A legitimate question for people concerned about their future savings.  No one wants to be left penniless in their retirement.

When do you want out?
One person chimed in that the big question revolves around when that money matures and when the person is looking to need that money.  If it’s in the immediate future, well, there might be something to think about there but if it’s in the next 10 years or more, this is more than likely a buying opportunity being that he had confidence that the markets would recover during that period of time at which point he’d then need the money.  Timing the market is a scary thing unless you’re willing to put a huge amount of time figuring things out… and even then it’s just and educated guess.

Your funds are already hedging
Someone else chimed in and said that funds are all hedging right now anyway.  A person’s change of making a difference short term, in a way that could actually be measured 20 years from now is slim to none.  The only thing you can do at this point is pick a good fund and stick with it because they’re already hedging.

It’s a good time to buy
One person said that his financial advisor also said, like everyone else’s, that now is the time to buy.  Getting out of the market i.e. cashing out is a move to avoid according to his financial planner because you’re probably getting out at a much lower period than what will be available in the future.

Don’t listen to soothsayers
Now one of our ‘think tank’ folks strongly came down on the idea of “financial wizards” or forecasters being that soothsayers don’t exist.  Most of them have massive losses and/or are barely escaping bankruptcy.  He recommends asset allocation by using money going in that increases what you are trying to generate interest on.  He also mentions a technique known as the barbell approach.  Simply put:  “…the good investment strategy is to put 90% of your money in the safest possible government securities and the remaining 10% in a large number of high-risk ventures. This insulates you from bad black swans and exposes you to the possibility of good ones. Your smallest investment could go “convex” – explode – and make you rich.”

In his own words: 

“Driving what I do is, yes, loss aversion– if I am 100% richer  I am not 100% happier but if I am 50% poorer I am very very unhappy.  Money needed to pay for things promised to people I love is not money I seek high risk growth on.  

The enemy of performance is trading and the fees it generates and fee generally. The other enemy of performance is chasing performance. Stocks could go up tomorrow or down. In the long term stocks will go up at a reasonable pace. Will I buy new stocks soon? Unlikely. Not buying more stocks is not the same as moving to cash by paying a commission.

I told you what I do with my money.  It is not intended as financial advice.  If you want financial advice read Buffett, Lynch, Munger, Swensen (of Yale), etc.”

More financial perspective from the Maverick Blogger
Someone else said that Mark Cuban apparently wrote an article about investing and diversification.

Personally, I have to admit that Mark Cuban’s posts are very interesting.

NEWS: Ellen & the Breast Cancer dunk tank, sponsored by Windows Mobile

October 6, 2008

Sponsored by Windows Mobile, a member of Ellen’s audience survived breast cancer, and she displays her courage once again by sitting atop Ellen’s dunk tank!

Watch what happens when Ellen hits the target, in an effort to find a cure for Breast Cancer.

I love Geek and Poke

October 3, 2008

Good stuff.  Really.

iphonegen  waysofsteveAppleNDA seinfeld