Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I Learned I Would Never Fly a Veritech Fighter

As a 10 year old boy I loved watching Robotech. Scott Bernard was my hero and I was hoping (with advances in technology) that I too would be able to pilot a Veritech fighter as well as pilot a Cyclone.




Of course the technology for motorcycles that change into armor and fighter planes that turn into mecha did not advance quite as rapidly as I had hoped, but then again, by the time I was about 14 or 15, I realized it was just a natural and typical childhood dream of a normal 10 year old American boy and it would never materialize in my life.

Of course, then, some people never reach this stage of maturity and keep believing that they too can pilot Veritech fighters and single-handedly repel the Invid Invasion. Of course it's isn't really repelling the Invid Invasion as much as it is watching Eat Pray Love, or moving to NYC to relive Sex in the City, or going on some kind of world tour adventure that has no grounding in reality.

Though, I do wonder. Why is it required to get divorced to go on these adventures? Wouldn't you presumably WANT your spouse to come with you?

No, no, I know. I know. I'm just a stupid Ray Romano male. What do I know.

Enjoy the decline.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Ballroom Dancing's Shortage of Alpha Males

I have been teaching dance class for what will soon be 14 years. It is hard to recollect every aspect of when I first started teaching, but I could swear I noticed a trend occurring from way back in 1998 to today. Since I wasn't sure and wanted to confirm it, I asked Natasha (who took my class 7 years ago) a simple question;

"Have you noticed how men are just not leading anymore?"

And she said,

"Yes. There's a definite trend."

"So in your short 7 years of dancing, you have noticed it?"

"Yes."

So now that I know I'm not imagining it, permit me to speak of it.

Understand how ballroom or any partner dancing works is that one person MUST lead the other person MUST follow. The dynamics of this is not a "superior" leading an "inferior" person around, it is more akin to electricity. In order to have a current, you need a positive and a negative. Following is just as important as leading otherwise the dance just plain doesn't work. It may be more analogous to driving. Only ONE person can drive the car at any given time. If you have two people driving, the car will invariably crash and if you have no one driving it will crash a lot quicker. This relationship between the lead and follow and thus the man and the woman MUST be instilled before any kind of turns, throws, dips etc, can be taught.

Now traditionally it has been the women who have difficulty in playing their role of the follower and try to lead. And this has nothing to do with feminism or women wanting to take on more of a role in society. It boils down to women simply wanting to "help," but failing to realize that "helping" is antithetical to following. And by "helping" you are by default leading. And once I explain this to the women, they usually get it and start following real well.

It is the men I'm seeing deteriorating in their role of leading.

Be it the fact they plain don't want to be there, they're tired or even their wife won't let them lead, the trend I'm noticing goes beyond that. There is a noticeable decline in men's ability to take command on the dance floor and lead. And I cannot help but wonder if it isn't the sociological and economic environment that has led to it.

I see more and more men, who just plain have that defeated, domesticated look on their faces. I provide all the instruction, explain step by step what has to happen, and above all else explain to them they MUST pull their wife this way, send her out that way, they MUST LEAD. But when the time comes and the music plays, instead of a Steve McQueen like fashion, they look sheepishly at their wife or girlfriend and barely produce a slight tug on the girl's hand, all the while looking at her for constant confirmation and approval they're doing it correctly.

I can break it down, again and again. Repeat and cheer them on to be like John Wayne, and instead of leading, the men "suggest" the women turn a certain way, or ask their permission to turn them a certain way.

The women of course get frustrated (not only because viscerally women like strong men), but because the dance is structurally failing. They don't know where to turn. The lead is so limp and the man so unsure, the women is forced to take over and turn herself.

And then the whole system collapses. Instead of listening to me or the beat of the music, the rookie dancers try to figure it out themselves. The women (who had NOT been trained in leading) start lecturing the men (erroneously most of the time) as to what they're doing wrong. The men, obviously predisposed to listen to their wife or girlfriend over me (who technically is a complete stranger) miss out on my vital commands and instruction as to what is wrong and how to fix it. And when we try again, it doesn't work because it is now a joint effort when the men and women both amorphously lead and follow, mixing their roles. It's not until we have three or four lessons under our belt do the men get comfortable enough with the idea of leading (or the binary nature of the lead/follow and how the two do not intertwine), is there progress. But it didn't take 3-4 lessons in the past.

Further convincing me of my theory or observation is real, is that every once in a while I will have a guy show up with a confident little smirk. The age doesn't matter. I've seen that face in 18 year old kids and 65 year old retirees. One eye brow is always higher than the other. He has a Captain Jack Sparrow like sinful smirk on his face, his girlfriend/wife is always smiling ear to ear and without fail I will catch him pinching his significant other's derriere.

He is the alpha male and I have no problems ever getting them to understand the concept of leading.

Even if they're not on beat, they don't care.

THEY PULL.

THEY PUSH.

THEY LEAD.

There's the right way, the wrong way, and if they can't do either, they'll do the Max Power's way.

It may be a bit forceful, it may be a bit too fast, it may not be on beat, but there is no ambiguity to the ladies as to what these men want them to do. Additionally, all the women smile when they're dancing with these men. Why?

Not only because it is clear what the guy wants his partner to do during the dance, the dirty little secret is that women like strong men.

Of course, their numbers are dwindling. And in 14 years no less.

Now I could go on about the sissification of America and could postulate theories about economics and how the economy may be depressing men and lord knows whatever other sociological/psychological theories, but has anybody else out there in the ballroom community noticed this? I'm being serious, I'd like to be able to figure out the problem so I can solve it.

"Her Father Could Not Be Reached for Comment"

We don't need no stinking fathers!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

"Why Can't We Just Print Off More Money?"

When I am king, I will make it a requirement that in order to vote you must explain why the government cannot just print off more money. And I'm willing to bet you at least 75% of current politicians in congress couldn't explain this either.

In any case, finally got off my butt and put together this little chart comparing the monetary base against GDP. In other words, how much money is floating around as a percent of the stuff it can buy.



For those of you watching American Idol, or "Glee" or glued to the TV for "March Madness," this is why you are paying $4 a gallon in gas. This is why food prices are going up. This is why gold is so high. And this is why shorting the dollar isn't the worst move you could make.

But to quote Michael Savage,

"No, you don't want to hear that. You want to hear about some guy who hits a ball over a fence."

Rumpleminze as a Disinfectant

Just a short one and then I have to go.

There is an "unnamed girl" in my house.

My house is in part heated by a wood burning stove because I'm eclectic.

Instead of breaking out the chain saw to cut the larger pieces of wood into sizes that will fit into the stove, I use a hand axe to cut some of the pieces I have on hand if I just need a piece or two.

I get myself a blister because of the repetitive motion of the axe on the palm of my hand.

Like all men I bite the dead skin of the blister to pop it (I do apologize for the crassness of that statement).

Like all bachelors, I don't have luxuries such as "neosporin" or "rubbing alcohol" and so I reach for the open bottle of Rumpleminze.

I apply some Rumpleminze to my opened blister and it stings like there's no tomorrow.

Not only do I have to suffer the insane stinging pain, I then get to suffer the lecturing tone of "unnamed girl" who berates me for applying Rumpleminze to my wound.

I then have to worry about the sugar in the Rumpleminze creating a syrupy ooze on my hand which prevents the application of a bandaid (which is also a luxury in Bachelor World, but thankfully Unnamed Girl has one).

Of course, I can't get the bandaid for free.

No, I have to suffer a sermon about the evils of using Rumpleminze as a disinfectant.

So I wash the sugar that is now crystallizing on my hand.

The water dries.

And the bandaid is applied.

And yet,

Just yet,

SOMEHOW the world has not ceased to exist.

The world has continued to rotate.

And I'm pretty sure the sun will rise tomorrow.

Despite me thumbing my nose at the gods with my use of Rumpleminze as a Disinfectant.

Friday, March 25, 2011

You Will Conform and Obey

by reading these links!

Pole Dancing for Jesus. I am speechless. But I am now triply reconfirmed that I did the right thing as an 11 year old PK by leaving religion forever.

No jobs at a job fair. It reiterates my point that you will waste the equivalent of a masters degree worth of time looking for a job and you might as well just play video games. Also long the lines of the Great Maja Rushie who said, "You can't really make any money until you're 40 because no one will let you." Hat tip.

You know how kids spend more time and energy whining and complaining about doing their chores or homework or what have you than it would take to actually do it? The Greenazis spend more time and energy conforming to going green than finding out whether it's actually "good" for the environment. But then again it never was about the environment now was it?

We don't need no stinking fathers! I actually don't know if there is a father in the equation or not...but...ummm.... yeah, I know there isn't a father in the equation.

How Japan manages 200% debt to GDP.(which I always found to be an amazing feat).

and finally;

Again, whether it is the mother you are interested in dating, or the daughter, when they say;

"My mother/daughter is my BFF!"

run.

Corporate Profits Surge!



Yep, they've "surged" back to normal levels.

It was like when I got food poisoning and my weight "surged" back to 142 from 137.

Or if you were really weak after surgery and your bench press "surged" from 80 pounds to 100.

Or you got stuck behind my mom on the interstate as she holds up traffic and you pass and manage to "surge" back to 35 MPH.

Mediocrity is the new excellence!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Eliminating Worthless Degree Programs

If you'll permit the ole Captain a little bragging rights as he asks the question;

"Was anybody else on top of this worthless degree thing before me?"

I feel for the guy. Reminds me of trying to teach Economics to some of the country's most degenerate children.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Must Hit the Ground Running

As you know, the Captain is fond of motorcycles. He owns one, drives one and it impresses the chicks (no, really, it does. I'm not joking, just buy one and save yourself the time and money going to night clubs, not to mention gas money).



And since I live in Minnesota, Sturgis, South Dakota is only a day's drive away. I've visited the Sturgis Rally twice now. Not on account I wanted to go to Sturgis, but because I love the Black Hill's area of South Dakota and Sturgis just happens to be there. But for whatever the reason I was there, there was something I noticed both times when I was;

there ain't no young people.

Oh sure, there's the occasional 35 year old there. And the 20 something couple there. But the VAST majority of people under 30 at Sturgis are simply there as wait staff and bartenders. They are not participants.

I found this odd on my little venture into Sturgis, my little Cappy Cap brain trying to find a reason for the lack of youth. And the answer quickly came to me as I headed out to Vanocker Canyon. For it was there, in its curvy valley, I was stuck behind Baby Boomer motorcyclist after Baby Boomer motorcyclist making their way through the canyon at 15 miles per hour.

Now keep in mind, your Captain has a dinky Ninja 250. The primary purpose for the purchase was fuel efficiency. So it should NEVER by the laws of physics be able to pass a 950 v-twin Harley. Of course it did because it was some 59 year old banker scared to shift into 3rd gear and actually accelerate above 45 MPH, but that isn't the point. The point is 90% of the people who own Harley's shouldn't be driving them, but they are the only ones that can afford them. And being the only ones that can afford them, they make up the majority of the participants of Sturgis.

It is because of this, Sturgis I predict will pass away with the passing of the Baby Boomer generation. They are the only ones in their prime earning years and are therefore the only ones who can afford Harleys. Or in other words;

Harley Davidson has failed to prepare for the next generation. Good luck finding a Harley that is affordable to the average 27 year old kid.

However, Harley Davidson is not the only company failing to account for a generation that will invariably pass.

Bosch, a division in which I am somewhat familiar with, has a plant where the "old timers" there are about the only ones in the nation who are trained to use the very unique and specific machinery. They have mentioned, on several occasions, how when they retire there will be no replacements available to do their jobs and that Bosch might want to consider hiring apprentices. Of course that went unheeded, and now the old timers know just to keep their mouths shut as it really isn't their problem.

Dayton, Ohio as well faces this problem where recently they had to lower the passing scores for their police entrance exam. The primary reason for this lowering of standards was NOT as the media may report to allow for more minorities to pass. The original impetus was a disproportionate amount of cops retiring. Again, nobody is grooming replacements.

Now I could go on and on, but you get the point.

Companies and institutions are failing to preparing for the passing of the current generation of managers, specialized employees and so on, and are merely waiting till judgement day to find replacements (kind of like social security - not until the 11th hour are we concerned about very real and immediate problems).

Which results in a phenomenon my younger Gen X and Gen Y economists no doubt are running into - the experience paradox.

In other words all jobs require X years of experience, even entry level ones, behooving the question of age old, "Well if nobody is going to give me experience, how do I get any?"

The answer is simple, you won't. But there is of course a consequence for our beloved Corporate America - they have irrational demands that will never be met.

Notice in the olden days they had these things called "training programs" where you could come out of high school, go into this "training program" and the company would "train you" to do the job.

You didn't have to go to college.

You didn't have to have a degree.

You just had to show up, have a good record and boom, off to work you went.

But now, you need to have years of experience, and not just years of experience, you must be able to train yourself. Thus inane requirements in job postings such as;

"Must be able to hit the ground running."

or

"Steep learning curve."

or

"Self-learner."

Your Captain routinely sees jobs requiring SAS experience. When he calls the employer and asks if they would be willing to train him in it (which would take a whole week), he is immediately dismissed as they need somebody NOW. Sure enough 4 weeks later the job is still open, when the Captain (or any applicant) could have been providing them 3 weeks of full service by that time. But again, I don't have an MBA, so what do I know.

Regardless, all of this translates into;

"We're too cheap to train you and frankly have become so cheap that we're now willing to sacrifice quality and profitability. Besides which, our managers don't like being bothered with petty BS questions you may have. Here's a training manual, figure it out yourself and don't bother us."

Of course the real world results are that of Sturgis, the Bosch plant, or the Ohio Police Department. A mad scramble that will come when they realize they haven't groomed or prepared any successors. Worse still, with progressively less and less effort and time dedicated towards training employees, as well as the general deterioration of loyalty Gen X and Gen Y have to employers, how precisely are you going to find those "loyal junior executives" to groom?

Oh, I know, they're out there, they're out there. But not in the number, nor may I say quality of previous generations. Not in part due to anything inherent with Gen X or Y (though I could see somebody making the argument for my generation being lacking in other areas), but because of an utter lack of resources spent on training and preparing them. It will be like the father who ignored his children for years, perhaps was an alcoholic, and not until he sobers up and his children are in their 20's or 30's, does he approach them and say,

"Hey, do you want to go camping?"

"Sorry, dad. I'm busy with work, and uh, who are you again?"


Translate that into the corporate rush to find new blood for managerial ranks in say the next 10-20 years;

"Hey, do you want to get promoted?"

"Sorry, I don't want to pay the taxes nor do I want the responsibility. I've learned to live on unreliable income and keep my expenses down. I have no children, no mortgage and no car payment, and therefore no responsibilities and have become accustomed to this non-rat-race life.


Besides, I don't know SAS."

Clown Day

I have several teachers as friends and I am always amazed with the sheer number of "Clown Days" schools have.

"Clown Days" meaning days where instead of learning, the little kinder are marched off to the gym where they are entertained by clowns. Or during St. Patrick's Day where they have potato rolling contests. Or "Dunk the Teacher Day" where students raise funds by paying to have a chance to throw a ball and dunk a teacher in a dunking tank.

My friends estimate about 3 days a month are dedicated to "clown days." Multiply that by 9 months (which most students can't because they're too busy with "Pizza Days") and you are losing about a full month of education.

Of course management of the schools claims this helps the "morale" of the students and the teachers (as if they were in war or something). And that it betters the student-teacher relationship making teachers more friendly. And of course that's the problem.

Having a "friendly student-teacher relationship" is not what is in the best interest of the children.

Ever notice how you would never want to date/hang out with/marry a parent (or the child) who says "My mom is my best friend." Or "Oh, me and my daughter are BFF's."

It's the same principle. If you really want to be a good parent or teacher, the relationship is simply this;

The adult (be it a parent or teacher) is the authority, the child is the moronic youth that doesn't know anybody and should obey and respect the adult.

This shouldn't end either with the kid turning the age of 18.

Elders, in general, but especially those who are in positions of power over you, should be given some basic respect and courtesy. THis is of course unless they are corrupt (which happens frequently), but in general, if you are the 19 year old college student, you should not be throwing pies in your professor's face.

Of course, real professors and real men and women would never succumb to such a spineless act, but, eh, who needs leaders and ranks? We should just all be friends.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Housing Starts TUMBLE! No Wait! SURGE! No Wait!

If you had listened to the mainstream media here

and

here.

You'd have no clue what's going on.

But if you had listened to the Captain, you would not be suffering the headache you have now.

Charts people. Charts.



You can replace the entire news staff of CNN, NBC, CBS, NPR and ABC with charts because they're unbiased and are just raw data. They don't tell you what to think. They just are.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Damn Technocrati Claim Token

HHR4HM7ZPMV3

Technocrati Claim Token

HHR4HM7ZPMV3

Why Gru Trumps "Mars Needs Moms"

Gru, the villain/hero from "Despicable Me" does not like children. In the movie he adopts three young girls only to use them to help him carry out his diabolical plot to "steal the moon." Invariably and accidentally, he ends up caring about and loving the children and finds out he gained something more important than stealing the moon.




"Mars Needs Moms." Good god, do I even have to bother explaining why this bombed?



Dalrock (or rather, should I say, Dalrock's wife) predicted this would happen (though I should warn you Mr. Dalrock himself makes some ...um....additional "vulgar" observations). Meanwhile Disney's executives are "scratching their heads" about why Mars Needs Moms has bombed.

Hmmm....what does the public want?

Politically correct stories, the theme/morals of which have been beaten into our heads by the media, government and schools that we're all sick of hearing about day in and day out?

OR

Heroic funny stories where

(GASP)

a

(NO, DON'T SAY IT!!!!)

FATHER FIGURE

(OH, NO! YOU SAID IT!)

will come in and save the day?

(NO DAMN YOU! HE MUST BE A SENSITIVE, ABSENT, NON-ENTITY. AND IF PRESENT AT ALL MUST BE AN OAFISH, MORON WHOSE CHILDREN MOCK HIM AND DON'T RESPECT HIM!)

Anybody remember Hartigan from Sin City and how he protects the poor little girl?

Or John Creasy?

Or are these just too obscure of references and I'm just dreaming about what kind of role men should play in society?

Honest to Pete. And they wonder why men just sit at home and Netflix/Gamefly instead of flock to movies.

Enjoy the decline folks. Enjoy the decline.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Your "No Freakin Duh" Economic Epiphany of the Day



You mean to tell me that US and Western countries cannot get by where the entire populace majors in philosophy and theater? That inevitably we need to produce something of economic value in order for our stocks to go up? Are you saying that we CAN'T just run trillion dollar deficits year after year duping the Chinese into buying our debt?

I mean, I thought we could all major in "communications," land cushy government jobs, listen to NPR, bitch about how evil corporations are, promise ourselves free food, shelter and health care and somehow stocks would just magically increase by 12.8% a year in perpetuity so we'd all have big fat 401k values to retire on.

Honest to god. I had somebody in my class ask me, "So economics, that sounds really tough."

I said, "No, it's actually quite easy. It's dealing with the politics that is difficult. The economics profession has made it "seem" difficult by requiring you have all this calculus and advanced statistics before you can even apply for grad school. Math you'll never use, and if you did, you'll use it in a finite model that will fail to predict black swan events like housing bubbles, or, ooohhhhh, I don't know, collapsing western economies."

With a blank stare he said, "So...I um should continue in computer networking?"

"Yes, you should continue in computer networking."

Enjoy the decline people.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Pour Yourself a Martini and Fire Up a Cigar

From the Hawaiian Libertarian;

"Not a courageous moral warrior walking alone the path of righteousness in a world of sin, but rather a butthurt scoundrel trying to grab onto every piece of power he can find while disguising it as being morally superior in order to feel better about himself."

What the Hawaiian Libertarian is highlighting here is what I have called "Crusaderism." I didn't come up with the term or the concept to seem like a faux intellectual. I came up with it because it exists. And not only does it exist, it is the single largest factor causing the general decline of the US and western civilization.

IF YOU WANT TO UNDERSTAND POLITICS AND THE WORLD TODAY (and dare I say) even more clearly than what Rush Limbaugh can convey, watch the series below (THERE ARE TEN PARTS, THE BEST ONES ARE THE LATER ONES, DO NOT LISTEN TO JUST THE FIRST ONE AND STOP AND THEN WONDER WHY YOU HAVEN'T ACHIEVED SUPER AWESOME ECONOMIC GENIUS). But of course first pour yourself a martini and light up a cigar. You don't have to "watch it" you just need to hear it, so turn up the computer speakers and do some spring cleaning or something. You will thank me for it;

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Never Send a Liberal to Do a Conservative's Job

Cripes.

Though I am VERY happy the nice little socialist students in California get to pay higher tuition because of this.

Not to mention all those good socialist voters in California get to pay higher taxes because of this.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Because Divorce is Good for the Chlidren

Dalrock puts together a spot on piece about how to market divorce.


However, it reminds me of the divorce episode in South Park which couldn't have been more succinct;

Saturday, March 05, 2011

San Fran, Madison and the Snarkolepsy Shuffle

Snarks attended a rally in SF and took some photos of the "solidarity" protest they had for their brothers in arms in Madison.

The pictures pretty much tell you all you need to know.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

A Happy Ending for Antioch College

A short but happy piece.

But what is even better is the first three comments so do click and read below. It will give you your daily laugh.