Money magazine thinks I'm an idiot

Pressured into subscribing to some magazines to help my little brother with a fundraiser, I subscribed to Money. With 3 issues remaining in my subscription, I get an issue with a paper jacket over it, reminding me I’m supposed to re-subscribe. The jacket said “Warning: You’re about to lose Money.” I thought that was at least somewhat clever, although probably wouldn’t call it funny.

The real funny part is when I opened it up to see what the deal was for renewal. My options were as follows:

1) 1 year subscription (13 issues) for $19.95 (save 61%)
2) 2 year subscription (26 issues) for $19.95 per year (save 61%)
3) 3 year subscription (39 issues) for $19.95 per year (save 61%)

Any moron can see that each of these offers is exactly the same price per year, and it’s a joke that they’re even listing them out like this. The really hilarious part is that they’ve highlighted the 3 year subscription, drawn an arrow to it, and written “Best Deal!” next to it.

This is Money magazine we’re talking about.

QVC Ladder fall

This is one of the few times I wish I was watching QVC. Don’t forget to click on the link at the bottom to watch the actual movie.

As Lisa explained what viewers were seeing on their screens (“Chris is over there kinda givin’ us a look at how to use the ladder there”) and Renee waxed rhapsodic about the Telesteps ladder (“I gotta tell you something: I have this ladder; it is awesome. And everybody wants this ladder. I live in an apartment with vaulted ceilings . . .”) there came a loud crash as Chris lost his balance, fell off the ladder, and landed on his back.

The camera quickly cuts away as the guy is writhing in pain on the floor.

Dean slipping

It looks like Howard Dean has started his slide off the political stage with a third place finish in Iowa. Some people credit this to some of his misstatements or flip-flopping on issues, but I tend to think it’s coming down to what some Republicans had realized some time ago that he doesn’t appear likely to beat Bush. Kerry on the other hand, strikes me as someone who appears more presidential (I don’t know a better way to put it), and could give the Republicans more of a run for their money. It will be interesting to see how Clark impacts the race in New Hampshire since he didn’t campaign in Iowa. It will also be interesting to see who Coon Dog votes for.

Sports "Experts"

Now that we know it’ll be the New England Patriots and the Carolina Panthers in Superbowl XXXVIII, I think we should all read this article written by a [I assume highly paid] sports expert. Actually, don’t bother reading the whole thing. It’s really long and explains how the Eagles and the Colts were going to play in the Superbowl. My favorite part near the end is this, where he’s commenting on how good he is at predicting things.

So how do I know these things? Luck, I guess. I suppose you could say I’m blowing my own horn.

It’s about as funny as reading stock predictions by Wall Street experts.

Posted in me |

It's a small party after all

As you probably know by now, the highly anticipated list of stories from Schulte’s stay at my apartment never came, because there really wasn’t much interesting happening.

One thing did take place that was mildly interesting was that we had a visitor on Wednesday night. One of the Libertarian candidates for president, the one I’m likely to vote for, was staying in Concord, MA before heading to College Convention 2004 up in Manchester. I’m on his e-mail list, and received word that rather than donating money to the party, if someone could house the campaign manager for a night that would effectively be equivalent to donating what a hotel room would otherwise cost.

I volunteered, noting in my e-mail that Schulte was staying with me and things might be a little tight. I didn’t hear back, so I figured I wasn’t selected as the best option. Then, the day before they were scheduled to be here I receive an e-mail from the campaign manager telling me that thier other option fell through, and he’d like to take me up on my offer. I gave him directions to my apartment and set up an inflatable air mattress.

On Wednesday night, out the window I see a red SUV pull up, and someone get out and head to my door. I also recognize Gary Nolan (the candidate himself) is actually driving the car. The campaign manager comes in, I’m surprised how young he is (a year younger than me). A minute later I get a call on my phone, and sure enough it’s Gary Nolan on the other end, asking to speak to the guy (and, I presumed, making sure he didn’t just drop him off at the home of a homicidal maniac).

We talked for a bit and then called it a night. Schulte wasn’t there (he came home late) otherwise I’m sure he would have made some “hilarious” remarks. The next morning I drove the guy to the hotel where Gary Nolan had stayed.

On the way, I asked him about the common problem where a lot of people vote for one of the two major parties because they feel they’d be throwing away their vote otherwise. Knowing that most Libertarians often end up voting Republican he explained to me what the strategy was for this in the upcoming election. Basically it goes like this: when Clinton was in office, government spending increased significantly LESS than under the current administration (even if you account for spending on the war). The reason this took place is because there was some deadlock between the president and congress. One party did not control everything. Now, the Republicans control the congress as well as the presidency, so many bills/plans/policies/programs get passed without as much difficulty.

The solution? Vote Libertarian. Even if doing so ends up costing the Republicans the election, it will at worst create a split government like we used to have, and fewer hair-brained spending programs will get passed.

No HD-PVR on the Horizon

Although HDTV and PVR technology were featured at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) this year, there still doesn’t appear to be an HD-PVR out there for people in my shoes. TiVo’s HD-PVR still isn’t going to fly for people who get their HD Signals over cable.

he TiVo HDTV reference design will offer all the same unique recording and viewing features currently available for the TiVo Series2 and will also support all high-definition formats, including 480i, 480p, 720p and 1080i. The source of the HDTV signal may be ATSC terrestrial HD broadcasts or satellite HD broadcast.

Which basically means if I don’t want to buy a satellite dish/subscription, I have to get my HD over the air with a regular antenna, and I’m not even sure if I have that many stations in range. Comcast doesn’t yet support a device like the Motorola DCT6208, so no luck there either. That would effectively be a combined Cable Box, HD Tuner, and PVR in one. And, as far as I know, there are no HDTV-tuner cards (for computers) that support digicipher 2, which is how Comcast sends the HD signal out to their boxes.

So that kind of sucks. I guess there aren’t many people utilizing HD via their cable company or this problem would have been solved by now. Bastards.