Addiction to Logic Games

I used to hate logic games. You know… there are 4 puppets, each is a different animal and each has a different name. Each puppet also has a chief puppeteer and an assistant puppeteer. Based on the sketchy following information, you now need to be able to know which puppet is which and is controlled by which puppeteers.

Man I hated those things. Then, during preparation for my LSAT, I discovered that I needed to learn how to do them successfully if I wanted a prayer of attending law school. So I learned how to do them. But that didn’t mean I was going to LIKE them!

Flash forward 12 years. I do Sudokus almost every day. I love puzzles (well, ok, I love almost all puzzles) and solving them gives me a great deal of satisfaction.

But logic puzzles still bother me. I never really liked them then and now they bring LSAT flashbacks. But tonight, Tina decided to play an online logic puzzle. Grabbing a pen and paper, I quickly decided that I wanted to join in and see if I could still do them.

And wadda’ know? I can still do them.

That one was enough to last me another 12 years.

See ya’ again in 2018. 🙂

MTV VH1 … Friday Night Videos

Does anyone else remember Friday Night Videos? I believe it was on NBC… but maybe it was even a UHF channel (heck, does anyone remember UHF anymore?). In any event, FNV was pre-MTV, definitely pre-VH1 … and it was the start of music videos.

Yeah, most of them sucked. Artists didn’t know what was going to work in this medium, so they tried everything. And even as MTV came online with their first video of “Video Killed the Radio Star” by the Buggles (anyone who didn’t know of FNV ever think of how that song was the first one played on MTV if MTV was the first music video offering?), artists were still trying to figure out how to get their music across to listeners in a format other than pure sound.

The result was, as I said, less than great. People who had never seen their favorite bands other than on album cover art were sometimes shocked to discover the “face behind the song”. Boy George, Adam Ant and other “gender benders” enjoyed the first round of being able to be themselves on national television while pressing conservative buttons everywhere. Cyndi Lauper, with her high voice and tule skirts, also started a fashion revolution … along with, lest we forget, Madonna… who could be counted upon to raise the lust level in young men around the world.

But faster than might be expected, bands turned the videos into something more than the song. They used the video as a way to tell a story, share related images, even attack social crises like homelessness, HIV/AIDS, missing children, etc. And they also expanded the art of the video… such as with my favorite song, A-Ha’s “Take on Me”, which was the first video to combine live action and animation.

However, over 20 years later, there are still good videos and bad videos. And while you would think that certain things would have become “standard” in a video, it appears that they haven’t. For today, on MTV, I happened across the video for “Where’d You Go” by Fort Minor featuring Holly Brook.

Now, the song is ok… but it does contain profanity. You and I both know that MTV isn’t going to let that slip through, just like the radio stations won’t. And I’ve gotta’ believe that even if the artist themselves don’t understand that, their manager should.

So, when they’re recording the video, why wouldn’t they RECORD A VIDEO WITHOUT THE FRIGGIN’ PROFANITY? Because we already know that songs played on the radio sound really stupid when they blank out the audio for a swear word. So guess how stupid it looks when they blank out the audio and YOUR LIPS KEEP MOVING?

I mean, really. Are you kidding me? If you like your song so much that you want to use profanity in it, fine… but either record a clean version, or understand that your song/video can’t play. Cuz it just sounds stupid. And it looks even MORE stupid on the video.


In general I love a good box. Well constructed, made of a sturdy material, designed to hold my crap. Simple. Elegant. Cardboard, plastic, metal. Big, small, other. Doesn’t really matter. Add a cool lid (like the ones that have the interlocking tops to make them stackable) and it’s even better.

Maybe I just love the organization factor. It’s my anal-retentive nature, I suppose.

But then there are other boxes. Like Pandora’s.

And as a place to store your “music preferences” is about as cool as it gets. Now, I’m not one to just link to tell you where to visit (especially since I have a readership of like, um, nothing). But this is WAY too cool!

Put in your favorite artist… hear a song by them to start… then move onto simliar things recommended by the music genome project. I could be here for days.

I probably will.

nothing like a good friend to smack you upside your head

I shared my recent news with a really good friend yesterday. I was lamenting about how this was going to affect the whole family and that it was a lot to deal with. I basically said I didn’t know how to handle this and what I should do.

It took her all of about 30 seconds to say “it’s not about you.”

Well, no kidding… I know/knew that. But the reminder was very important to hear.

Thanks, C.

the aftermath

So it’s T-cell+1 (sorry, bad joke, but that’s about all I’m capable of at the moment). I have now had a single day to digest the facts about what might happen to my family member. I feel no closer to any kind of conclusion than I did yesterday at this time. Which really sucks.

But here’s what I know. I know that HIV can kill quickly if not taken care of. And while this family member, in their heart, believes that they’ll live 10-15 years with the virus, the truth is that I don’t think they have the responsibility level necessary to stay on the drug therapies and do the required acts necessary to prolong your life that long.

First, they are already an addict… and additional medications will wreak havoc with their social playtime. In fact, they currently don’t take the required meds for their other medical maladies because it intereferes with the high. Which means that even if they were OPEN to the idea of taking the cocktails, they simply won’t do it.

Second, if they were willing to take the meds, they are also the type of person to believe they are impervious to the badness that would come with an overabundance of the meds. They would think that they are somehow super-person and that they could beat the virus simply by taking ALL of the meds all at one time. So they would, in essence, survive the virus only to be eliminated by the meds.

Third, there’s always the chance that they’ll get the meds (which, btw, will come through Medicaid as they don’t have health insurance), and then sell them on the street because they’re not the exact same meds that their friends have or that they believe will work best.

Fourth, I also believe that they will simply not want to be on the meds, or will forget to take them… or will somehow otherwise not take them.

All in all, I don’t think that this person is going to make the 10-15 year lifespan they believe they will. And in talking with experts on the subject, there’s a pretty good chance that they’ll be dead in a year. 🙁


afternoon phone calls

So I’m riding with Tina back to work after having lunch together and my phone beeps with a message that I need to call back a number I’ve never seen before.

But I’m a sucker… so I call. And it’s a close family member calling.

I know, based on prior behavior, that the fact of the call means that it’s bad news. And I’m right.

I am now related to someone with HIV.

To my afflicted family member: I’m really sorry. 🙁 I love you more than you’ll ever know and I wish there was something I could do to make this go away.

Teaching and Learning

Regardless of where you are in the world, you’ve had some form of education. It could be as complex as grad school, or it could be as basic as your dad smacking your hand when you reached for the hot stove. You learned early on that someone would teach you a lesson and then you would be expected to carry that knowledge forward to the next opportunity.

If you’re lucky and make it through high school (sorry, non-US readers, this is going to be somewhat biased for a moment as I don’t know non-US education hierarchies, but for reference, we’re talking about steady school through about age 17), you have probably experienced the spoon-feeding education theory. This is where your instructor walks you through each and every logic point. They slowly and patiently explain the itty-bitty steps from no-knowledge and knowledge. For example, if you’ve ever taken Speech in school, you probably had to give an instructional speech where you explained something simple but in great detail… like making a Peanutbutter and Jelly sandwitch.

By the time you reach college-level courses, the instructors/professors assume that you have a certain baseline set of information already stored in your head. So rather than spoon feeding you, they try to move faster… driving your thought process, but always doing something of the “read this, then we’ll talk about it, then I’ll assign something for you to practice on with your new information” type process. You see this by reading assignments, followed by class lecture/discussion, followed by a graded exam.

If you’re really masochistic, you decide you want to go to grad school. And if you’re REALLY hell-bent on killing yourself, you choose law school (mostly because you realize that MD’s have a lot more school than law and may/may not have as much earning potential. Law school is usually taught in the Socratic Method… designed to inspire terror a greater learning curve. The method is based on a question/answer format where the professor guides the “student” to discovery of the miniscule point of law a specific case is trying to illustrate.

So, as you might have guessed by now, I survived all of this so far. But thought, what the hell, I want MORE… and enrolled in a local MBA program.

My first two courses are Stats and Marketing. Stats has its own challenges (perhaps the topic of another post on another day). Marketing is my focus today. Specifically, we have to do case studies… also individually geared towards a particular marketing point (such as defining your target market, pricing, etc). However, in each and every case, we get the lesson AFTER we have to turn in the case assignment! I’ve considered that I was missing something. But no, the reading still was done before class… as well as the particular case. The case is turned in first thing when we arrive… and then we are taught the lesson for the day.


March Madness

I’m sure that if you’re reading the title, you’ve thought that I would write about how much I like one team or another… or how I am doing well/poor in my office bracket gambling event.

But no. I’m writing to say that I hate college and professional sports. Not because I hate the players, because I don’t. I think many of them are incredible athletes and I’m glad that they have a way to do something that they love to do (and be paid well for it).

What I can’t stand are the fans.

Especially now that I live in ACC country, I am simply amazed at the quantity of time people spend thinking about basketball, dreaming about basketball, watching basketball… and getting completely over-worked about their team(s). And yes, I’m probably talking about you, too.

What amazes me most, however, is the level of seriousness taken on by the fans. It’s like their own personal lives hinge on the outcome of the game! Really! They take it as a personal affront if their team doesn’t win… and as a personal “win” if the team does well. And what I really think annoying is when the fans get sad ON BEHALF OF the players.


I have to believe that they realize that the players are going to (or already do) make more money in a single year than many do in a lifetime. I have to also believe that the players don’t really care about the fans… (you wouldn’t have things like a hockey strike if fans were the reason for playing). And to top it off, fans PAY MONEY to see the various teams play.

Don’t fans realize that they’re taken advantage of? Don’t they realize that their hard-earned money is going to pay for it, too? And that when they get emotional, they’re paying for that, too?



Jim Crow laws were wrong. They are wrong today and they were wrong 50 years ago. Arrests made under those laws were just as wrong. Rosa Parks (and the many men and women who came before and after her) are heros because they stood up and announced to the world that those laws were wrong.

Today, some folks are still looking to apologize in some way (as we should – and oh, btw, as long as we’re talking about this… let’s just say it all… we have to start with a very obviously missing “We’re SORRY!”). And the latest attempt is pardoning those people who were wrongly arrested, starting with Parks. For those folks who are still alive and for whom the pardon would erase their “criminal” history, that’s great and they should receive one. In many cases, however, the pardon comes 50+ years TOO DAMN LATE!

For example, Lillie Mae Bradford (now 75) has suffered the effects of an arrest record since 1951. Yes, she wants a pardon and should be granted one. But that’s still not going to undo the injustice suffered for the last 55 years. It’s not going to make her career better now (she had trouble landing government jobs because of the record). All we (and I’m speaking for the average white citizen here) are doing is trying to appease our conscience.

And if that’s what “we” want to do… start with a sincere apology. Then fix the friggin’ problem (which STILL exists in many parts of this country).

For an “advanced” society, we’re still pretty messed up.


I don’t want to make a habit of complaining… it just doesn’t ever seem to solve the underlying problem.

But why in the world do people think that being pissy is going to somehow be manageable, especially in the workplace?

I had a thought today at work… researched it, had a possible methodology… and then took it to the person who was responsible for maintaining the existing process (keeping in mind that this person doesn’t actually own the relationship… they’re merely a middleman).

This person then proceeded to rain on the parade. It won’t work because… We’ve already looked at things similar to that… If we ever did anything different than what we are currently doing, it wouldn’t be that…

I just don’t get it. Why wouldn’t you just listen?