Friday, October 24, 2008

Emily Heffner's a moron

After being called to the carpet about her article claiming Darcy Burner doesn't have a degree in econ, she writes this.

Harvard uses different terminology for their major/degrees than most colleges. The bottom line is that she does, in fact, have the equivelent of a degree in Econ although it's not called that because of how Harvard does things. Technically it's called a specialization.

It could have been argued that Heffner was simply confused in her initial article, although her lack of comprehension is unacceptable given the fact she is paid to investigate and report these things. But the fact she wrote this article, which states that Burner's econ degree is the equivalent of a minor (which Harvard does not have either) and then tries to create a false equivalency on Reichert's side demonstrates to me she knows she f*&^ed up and is more concerned with her own ass than accuracy.

What I think is equally damning is that both articles Heffner wrote seem to use the language of the various campaigns, i.e. look how similar the degree explanation is in Burner's press release including the "similar to a minor language".

And for the record, I can relate. UPS has (I think) a normal degree system & terminology. But my degree, Foreign Laguages & International Affairs, has a similar quality in that it's really a degree in Chinese & Economics. The degree is vague, and offers several language options and emphasis in either business, econ or political science (I even noticed UPS changed the degree to FL & Internation Econ).

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Deep Thought

When Howard is done firing everyone, who is going to change the back-up tapes?

Monday, October 20, 2008

Even Sideshow Marcroft knew

Even Sideshow knows. Maybe Schumi can form a new super-squad with Vino.

Deep Thought

If the Seahawks don't get better I think the Hawk's should get a new coach.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Morning Commute

Wow, 75 degrees at 7am. And sunny. That was a nice ride.

Morning Scrimmage

It sure would be nice if I could get about 90 guys to do a race in the morning that started at my house and ended in downtown San Francisco.....

Thursday, October 16, 2008

And so it begins...

One of the reasons I don't hold most people accountable for being underwater on their mortgages is that I think the evidence is pretty compelling that lenders were not operating in good faith. Consumer's are dependent on appraiser's expertise and judgment when determining what their home is worth and it's a conflict of interest for lenders to pressure appraisers. Yet that appears to have happened on a rather systemic basis.

I have wondered aloud why large class-actions haven't arisen as homeowners try to save their houses and their own credit by claiming that the mortgages they were sold were fraudulent. It seems to me that they would have pretty good legal and moral grounds for that claim. So new that appraiser's have opened the can of worms themselves and sued countrywide for unfair business practices in pressuring them to inflate home appraisals is a good sign.

And before anyone starts with the "it's your responsibility to educate yourself about home prices" blah blah.. shut the hell up unless you are willing to apply that standard to every aspect of your life. Our legal system and society is dependent on people operating in good faith. It's not an esoteric dream, it's an actual legal concept implicit in all contracts. Without it, the free market we all know and love doesn't work. We all benefit from it.

Deep Thought

5am is early.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Deep Thought

I don't think I am going to be ready for Mason Lake....

Game Theory

Based on his quick admission of guilt, I suggest whomever is responsible for handing out Kohl's suspension reduce it immediately to 1 year, with time served from his last race.

If he gets the full 2 years or is left in limbo for any length of time, then other riders who get caught doping have no reason to confess. Rather, the systemic incentive will be to follow the Flandis model of fighting until the bitter end.

Of course if Teh Man was really serious about fighting Doping they'd have hired Blade to do the testing.

Here's a clip of Blade taking care of some guys who tried to skip the dope control at the Cascade Twilight Crit last year

He takes the morning train...

For your viewing pleasure; the over capacity 7:45 baby bullet from San Jose to SF.

On the one hand I appreciate the simple existance of a train from my house to my office. With a bike car no less.

On the otherhand this is a blog and the essential mission of Teh Intertubes and Blogs is to complain about stuff.

So let me ask CalTrain this: After a month of using CalTrain even I can see that peak usage from the 7:45 from Redwood City is Wed & Thurs. So why do you put a 2nd car on for Mon & Tues but only have one car during peak usage?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

and another thing..

Can reporters stop saying there aren't many Republicans in Hollywood? There is no evidence that Hollywood has an unusually small or large number of republicans vs. the rest of California. What is true is that the primary movie-going demographic leans heavily democratic. But that's not the same thing.

I've always wondered

Whenever a reported writes about the stock market, they always give the reason for movement in either direction. Today's AP for example:

Wall Street has ended a relatively calm day with a moderate decline, with the Dow Jones industrials falling about 76 points as profit-taking set in after Monday's massive advance. It's the first time in nine sessions that the Dow hasn't closed up or down in triple digits.
emphasis mine

To which I have always wondered... really? How do you know that exactly? Did you poll traders? What was the methodology?

I understand the all to human need to find a reason, but I've never seen evidence that this tendency doesn't use the Bureau of My Ass for it's statistical analysis.

Teh Bike Industry

Shouldn't Teh Depression we are in/entering/escaped increase demand for bicycles as people run out of cash to make car payments or purchase gas?

Simple answer

The simple answer is that Pearlstein doesn't understand economics.

And since his job is to report on something he doesn't understand his only option is make transparent appeals to authority rather to protect his status.

Monday, October 13, 2008


All you Krugman haters just got skooled Nobel style.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Maybe I was too hard

I had forgotten the hard work W did in April to avert this financial crisis.

I wonder about this too

Atrios finds himself wondering the same thing I have.

Still the question remains if, on the whole, those who were more prudent will come out ahead or if those who are defaulting on their home equity loans ultimately made the right decisions.

I have a strong moral bias to believe we should all honor our debt obligations. But, much like lawsuits and lawyers, I wonder if this bias isn't the result of authority figures preaching responsibility with no intention of living up to the same standards.

I mean, why should I feel obligated to pay Countrywide my full mortgage when they have shown no compunction about ditching their obligations? I mean this as a serious question. I have noticed that a commonality among many of the people now preaching responsibility is that it seems motivated entirely on avoiding their own shitty investments.

The DOW is down but...

I am somewhat amazed by the 2 year cliff dive of my former employer, Teh Howard.. ehh I mean Starbucks. Looks like they've lost 75% of their stock value in the last 2 years. Which makes me look real good when I sold and told everyone they were stupid not to sell and buy index funds.

That said, if it hits $5 / share I am not sure I can not buy. As determined as Howard seems to be to run Teh Bux into the ground to prove he's Teh Awesome the underlying business model is very very good.


The good news is that PruFam is here and our stuff should arrive tomorrow. Bad news is that my new place is cool, but the commmute is only 40 minutes total on the bike (since I have to CalTrain most of it).

Hopefully that will change now that I have a Garmin 109754724572 Edge with mental link and teleportation powers.

Thursday, October 09, 2008


Just in case the hinted at names get named by Equipe here are my picks for the riders to be popped:

Bettini (from the Olympic retests, I know he didn't do the Tour you knuckleheads)
Behrnard Kohl

Of course Sastre is suspect cause he won but I didn't see anything physically remarkable about his performance. He won by being smart and rolling the dice on an attack that is consistent with his previous performances. Now I am not saying he is clean, I am just saying that unlike Schumaker in the TT he didn't come out of nowhere on Alpe de Huez to destroy a bunch of riders who are way better climbers than him.

DOW 7000

Some may feel that I am being pushy here. After all, the DOW has already dropped nearly 1000 points today and currently sits at 8579. And that's pretty amazing.

But, this is America dammit and we don't settle for amazing. We want Heli-Amazing. So to all you investors, financial advisers etc out there I lay down this challenge. DOW 7000! You can do it! Just think of all those toxic assets on the balance sheets of our financial industry.

And if news that Paulson is heeding Krugman and DeLong's advise and opting for a Swedish-style recap is raising your hopes let me remind you he works for *W*. Quick recap:


Do we really think he is not going to find a way to make Teh Hela-Depression worse?

Think about it. And I promise that once it hits 7K I will begin my own PruDog plan to inject capital into the market. But remember, you want my fat stacks of cash you gotta gimme what I need here and don't play chicken with me cause I am real good at it.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

My Financial Advise to you

First, be skeptical of a presidential candidate who doesn't know the difference between a fiscal and a financial crisis.

Second, hold your cash and get ready to buy low in the stock market baby! Cause if you do you'll get way more than the avg 10%.

My Endorsement

Despite what many of you DFH and Fundies may expect, I am not endorsing Barack Obama for President. None of you deserve That One's leadership and Teh Awesomeness. You deserve Zod and that is who I endorse.

Don't call it a threepeat

But Emde won The 508 yet again.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Where is everyone?

It's so quiet.. where did you all go? Hibernating in Oxygen Tent until Mason Lake?

Waterfall & Agile: why can't we just get along

I think it was Chef that once said Waterfall and Agile DNA just don't splice. But, I am gonna do it anyway.

I've come to realize that RioMobility is a Xtreme Design shop at it's core, while our factory in Taiwan is about as rigidly Waterfall as you can get without being Paccar. My job, figure out how to bridge that gap.

Actually, it isn't that hard; the factory will just need to be included in the last 2 or 3 iterations. The challenge will be when in the previous interations to engage with them.

Monday, October 06, 2008

They had him at hello

I guess there is some reason to believe that if you dope in the era of the Biological Passport and targetted testing you are just not very smart to begin with. But is there anyone who didn't see this coming?

My only question is what took them so long? I mean Schumacher pretty much had a "screw you I'm gonna dope as much as I want suckas" tattoed on his chest.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Armstrong & retesting

That's great that the lab that admitted it injected EPO into the same samples Equipe reported were positive* has offered Armstrong a do-over.

Seriously, only an idiot would agree to this. I mean, what's the upside here? There are 4 possible results (and I will use negative here to mean no evidence of EPO and positive to mean either evidence of EPO or the always great indication of doping but not a positive):

Armstrong doped, but the lab tests come back negative,
Armstrong doped, and the lab results come back positive,
Armstrong rode clean, and the lab tests come back negative,
Armstrong rode clean, and the lab results come back positive.

If the lab assiduously followed testing protocol, which it fully admits it does not (remember their argument is that they are so good they don't need to) and Armstrong rode clean then maybe this would be a good idea. The chance of any result except a negative would be very very low.

But the lab has been admonished by the CAS for sloppiness and threatened with having it's accreditation pulled. Further, it adheres to a civil standard not a scientific standard. And it has already admitted to juking Armstrong's tests once before.

So I would say the chance of Armstrong pulling a positive even if he was clean as being significant.

On the otherhand if the result does come back negative I doubt it would change anyones mind as the explanation will be the old he had better stuff than they can test for.

So I would say no way.

And for the record I think he was totally juiced. I am just saying that the lab isn't reliable enough to prove anything.

*the story of those "positive" tests is that the lab pulled a bunch of samples to use in a study of how many known positive samples would return negative finding. They injected the samples with EPO to ensure they were positive. Someone then took the results of the study and leaked them to the UCI which leaked them to Equipe which presented the results as a positive dope test.

In fairness, the lab never officially presented it as a positive. That said, the lab didn't object to the characterization of these tests and the story only came out when the UCI started a formal investigation, the results of which are here. The part about spiking the samples is Section 4 page 52. And there is some circumstantial, but convincing evidence, that the lab was behind the leak.

Obama goes negative

Take that McCain. Don't make the Barack angry. Or he will ask you to stop!

Obama Runs Constructive Criticism Ad Against McCain
The best one is last.

Unfinished Business

Many of you (well ok, 1 of you) has pondered aloud "will PruDog ever come back"?

I assume you mean to Seattle.

The short answer? That all depends. Every man has a price, and as I like to say mine is affordable and payment plans are available (on confirmation of credit worthiness of course).

But you know, that brings up a good point and a epiphany I had recently. The Bay Area is just about the most foreign place I have ever lived. Then again, thinking about it, it's the only place other than Seattle-Tacoma I have ever really lived. Yes I spent time abroad but those all had expiration dates. I never took all my stuff and moved. Which got me thinking, I really don't see myself as an American. I think of myself as a Washingtonian. Which, I know, just sank my Presidential chances in '12. But Newt would have crushed me anyway.

So yah I will probably be back. Besides, I never did win that weekend Cat 2 race I always kind of sorta wanted to (although oddly I came closest when I was less fit) to prove that I am the real patron of the NW Pelaton damnit.

And I got a stack of free trips saved up on Southwest so hell yah.