Saturday, February 28, 2009

Money Ball - Arizona Style

In the latest issue of Fortune Magazine was a great article on the Arizona Diamondbacks CEO Derrick Hall.

Derrick Hall seems like a great CEO for baseball. He and his moneyball GM Josh Byrnes focus on maximizing their clubs performance on a Bill Webb type statistical decision making process. Having their team in a midlevel market makes it hard for them to attract solid talent at discount prices. Because of this, like the Oakland A's, they have to get maximum productivity for every dollar spent. As a result, most of their talent is derived through minor league prospecting and training.

Soldiers Coffins to be Photographed

I am trying to give this administration a break on my criticisms until they have shown what they can do with handling the Iraq quagmire and the Afghanistan escalation in violence. In my opinion they made a great decision to make public a withdrawal date for major operations in Iraq. However, they sure screwed the pooch on their next major announcement. The administration has decided to lift the blackout on photographing our dead soldiers. Last I checked every nightly news and Sunday political program runs a list of American casualties during their broadcast. Almost everyone knows how many Americans have been sacrificed for this war. My question is why must we embarrass the Americans who decide to fight for this country by showing their coffins get unloaded from a military cargo plane.

The argument for allowing these photos is that it shows Americans the true cost of war. If that is the case, why not show the video footage of Americans actually getting killed? That would sure show the 'cost of war'.

What happened to decency? I sure hope the President shows more respect to 'his' troops in the future.

--Also, if we are going to discuss the cost of this war, why not discuss the benefits?
I will save that lengthy digression for another time.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Great Stuff

Kentucky Brewery?

Louisville was just taken off of my S**t list.
After spending a the first part of the week drinking boring and watery beers, and sitting in smoky St. Louis bars, I was in desperate need of a good dark microbrew. Bluegrass Brewing Company came to my rescue. Thank God.

Here is the line-up:
-American Pale Ale
-Raspberry Meade
-Dark Star Porter
-Nut Brown Ale
-Summer Wheat
-Bourbon Barrel Big Brown- *Very Good Bourbon taste, similar taste to GI Bourbon Cnty Stout*
-Cherry Lambic
-Old St Matthews
-Schwarzbeer -
*My first dark lager----Unusual, but I think I could get used to it*
-Nut Brown Lambic-

In addition to the good beer selection they also have an impressive food menu and friendly locals. Who knew I could find a good brewery in Kentucky Bourbon country?

I had to check out this site that the BC Obama has propped over the last few days during his post inauguration stimulus campaign. There are many promises being made on this site but very few explanations. The site is downright insulting to the visitor's intelligence.

Tax relief & protecting the vulnerable? Are they kidding? What the hell do these terms mean? Good luck trying to find a good explanation, or any explanation for that matter. I searched for a couple mins and came up with nothing.

Does the big O think we are a bunch of idiots? apparently

Budget Time

This is scary.

I wonder who is going to finance this budget. My guess is that it will be our friends, the Chinese.

...Here comes a tax hike.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

St. Louis

In January 2007 I was stuck in St. Louis when their airport shut down as I landed for my layover on my trip home from Atlanta. On that trip, my stay was limited to about 36 hours and was very cold and wet. The upside of that 2007 trip was that I could mark St. Louis off my places yet to visit list. Unfortunately, I didn't see much due to the white-out blizzard conditions that shut the city down.

On Monday I returned to St. Louis, this time with rather fair weather working in the city's favor. Here is a quick list that sums up my opinion of the people of Saint Louis: FAT, SMOKEY, RUDE. However, the city itself was much more impressive then the people within it's limits.

Like most midwest & southern cities, St. Louis is full of people who are bordering on morbid obesity. Taking a back seat in the H.A.I. (Hippopotamus Ass Index) only to Louisville, Kentucky and the entire state of Louisiana. As if the city wasn't unhealthy enough with the weight issue, smoking is still permitted in restaurants and in public areas. Nothing like going to get a beer after work and ending up with a suit smelling like Saint Louis.

The city itself is clean and it appears to have a good amount of ongoing construction. I was also surprised by the amount of large corporations that call Saint Louis home. The downtown metro area appears newly built and affluent, making it a decent place to visit in the summer time, that is if there was something to do in Saint Louis and the people weren't repulsive.

In summary, now I know why the Rams are so bad and I have a greater appreciation for Bo Jackson (the St. Louis area's #1 export).

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Good and the Bad

I figure I better post something other than financial and political blabber in order to keep the disinterested interested.

Four winning beers and one loser.
1. Goose Island Bourbon County Stout
-Love at first taste. This is by far my favorite beer of all time. The more I drink, the more I want. This beer is not for the weak. For the unsuspecting the first sip is like a kick in the mouth from this sensory overloading meal in a glass. The 13% makes this stout even more lovable. Caramel, coffee, bourbon & beer in a glass. This beer is all over the Internet as one of the best stouts being sold right now. However, most places are out of it. So, if you want some I will start the bidding at $7.50 a bottle. Suckers!

2. Laguanita Maximus IPA
- A great tasting non-bitter IPA. The color and head on this beer is amazing. I love this stuff.
3. North Coast Brother Thelonious
- This is a great non-acidic fruity Belgian Ale. On the shopping list for sure.
4. Ommegang Three Philosophers
- Only sold in a pricey 750ml bottle, otherwise this stuff would always be packed in my fridge. This is the first Abbey Quadrupel I have tried, and I think I have fallen in love.

The loser.
North Coast Blue Star Wheat Beer-
-I could not get into this beer. Very bitter and boring for a wheat beer. American wheat beers, like this one, often take a back seat to Hefeweizen wheat beers. This one is no exception. Blagh!

Interesting Chart

I found this chart referenced on The Big Picture blog by Barry Ritholtz.

I guess you can say we have overextended ourselves.

My Idiot list--Top 10

1. Alan Greenspan
2. Christopher Cox
3. Sarah Palin
4. Bud Selig & MLB
5. Donald Rumsfeld
6. Sub-Prime home owners
7. Ken Lewis & BofA
8. Tie- Nancy Pelosi, Barbara Boxer, & Maxine Waters (Waters probably wins outright if my list was longer)
9. Arnold "The Vetominator" Schwarzenegger
10. The Octodoctor

So it begins...

Well, I have officially started a damn blog. Partly this thing is being created because I have an e-commerce course next semester and having a blog is a requirement, and partly because, well....who knows.

This blog will be focused on a wide variety of stuff. politics. fishing. hiking. the economy. things and people I can't stand. finance. and my travels.

I welcome comments to anything I may write. If you disagree with me, bring it on!

Just so you know where I stand, here is a quick run-down:

1. Someone needs to tell Barack "Blank Check" Obama that the election is over, now get to work.
2. The Republican party is in disarray with no hope in sight.
2b. Conservative Republicans --newsflash-- Pro-Choicers won
3. FYI -Nationalization is not socialism. (BTW... Nationalize the damn banks already)
3b. Can someone please tell me why Ken Lewis is still employed?
4. Despite my view on nationalizing the banking system, believe it or not I consider myself a free market capitalist most of the time.
5. Greenspan is an idiot, finally the world is beginning to realize he is not the "maestro" he thought he was .
6. The Federal Government ruins everything it touches.
7. Stimulus Plan = Are you kidding me?

I have plenty more...