Fedex Tracking

The other day I ordered something shipped via FedEx 2 days shipping.

Here is how they shipped my package.




If you map that, you can see that my package took a round trip around the US.

I have a hard time believing that this is the most efficient route for the package.

I guess you can make the argument that, for that particular day, this was the only route to Sacramento, but geesh…


I hate Groupon

Two reasons

1) It makes me wife treat shopping for travel like she shops for clothes. “Oh look honey, it’s a two for one deal. I have to buy it!”

2) You are forced to pre-plan your life. I am a spur of the moment kind of guy. The idea of pre-paying for something I might not want to do an hour from now bothers me a lot.

I rather just pay full price.


Your Breakthrough Hour

Today I saw something on Sunday morning televangelist TV that I thought was just absolutely appalling.


If you look at their website, you will notice that they are soliciting a donation, or whatever the heck it is, for absolutely nothing.

I saw a couple minutes of the video, and looked at their website, and I am completely confused what exactly they are selling. I think it’s something to do with a “seed”.

Why is this kind of programming allowed on TV?


America: The land of plenty… garbage.

When I walk our dog around the block, I notice that 4 out of 5 garages are full with stuff. I rarely see a garage with space for cars.

And when I say full, I don’t mean things taking up all the floor space, I mean the garage is packed from floor to ceiling.

This phenomenon is amazing to me, but I guess it is not that surprising because we live in a society where sharing is obsolete.

For example, it bothers me that in order to mow my tiny patch of lawn, I have to buy my own lawn mower. A lawn mower that will cost me over $100 dollars, that I will only use at most once a week. The rest of the time, it will sit in my garage taking up a considerable amount of space.

I often wonder why its not common for neighbors to share things like lawn mowers. I am willing to bet that my entire neighborhood could share one lawn mower, and all of us would have nice green, trimmed lawns. But nope. Everyone has their own lawn mower, rusting away inside their garage.

Recently, because of my desire to put up christmas lights, I also had a need for a ladder. I thought about buying a ladder, but the more I think about it, the more I realize that the ladder would probably be used once, to put up christmas lights, during the year. A ladder takes up a lot of space. It just seems wasteful to buy something I will use once a year, that takes up a considerable amount of space in my garage.

I could just go borrow my neighbor’s ladder. I bet he has one. But how could I? Aren’t there rules against talking to your neighbors? Also, if TV has taught me anything. Borrowing things from your neighbor is a very unpleasant affair.



costs the taxpayer

On the local news, they are constantly reminding us how much it “costs the taxpayer”.

Raids of the occupy protests, costs of building roads, prisons, social programs, court fees, etc…

To be fair, maybe they should also remind viewers how much something “benefited the taxpayer”.

Public parks, free education, clean air and water, social safety net, life saving healthcare, subsidized energy costs, transportation infrastructure, safe food products, jobs, retirement benefits, etc…

It should be obvious that I am not defending wasteful government programs, or condoning fraudulent use of our taxes. However, it is misleading, dangerous, and stupid to imply that the government only wastes our money.


Eating rice noodles give me a stomach ache

Eating rice noodles give me a stomach ache.

Not poo in your pants stomachache.

Knot in your stomach kind.

Anyone else ever had this problem?


How to make Margin Call better

I keep thinking about the movie I saw last night, “Margin Call”, and how it could have been so much better. While the movie was very well done, I feel that it could have done a better job at storytelling.

I would consider myself as someone who has an above average understanding of the financial crisis, but even I could not really connect with or comprehend the crisis portrayed in the movie. I think it would be better explained if they used a plot that more closely tied with the reality of our current economic troubles.

Here are my suggestions

  1. The part when the boss, Tuld, asked Peter to explain the problem to him in a way that a child, and a dog could understand, Peter did the exact opposite. He explained it in a very cryptic manner. Here is what he could have said:

    Sir, well, as you know, our company allows people, who do not normally qualify for any loans, to take out very big loans to buy homes. We make it possible for a hair stylist, making 30 thousand a year, to buy a quarter million dollar track home in the suburbs. We encourage the bus driver to buy an investment property (in the background show people shaking hands with their real estate agent). We were able to do this because house prices have been rising year after year. So even when people don’t pay back their loans, we could always sell the house for a profit. We made a lot of money doing this. In fact, a majority of our company’s business is now invested here. However, in the last couple of months, the housing market has been slowing down. And according to this model (points to paper), at the current growth rate, we are losing more than the entire value of our company. And if we are no longer making loans, it would only compound the problem. When less people are able to get loans to buy homes, housing prices will continue to decline. But here is the kicker, we are not the only company exposed to this risk, the entire industry is vulnerable. Eventually, if the projections are correct, we would be bankrupt, and neighborhood homes across the country would be empty. And the sad part is, a lot of the same people who will lose their homes when this hits, have 401K, pension plans, and savings heavily invested in companies like our. So they will not only lose their house, their retirement accounts will also be wiped out.

  2. The Demi Moore character, and the Indian guy was a waste of time. They should replace those characters with something more plausible. A Congressman and the Federal Reserve chairman. Here is how I imagine it going down.

    After the group meeting ended, Tuld goes into his office and privately called Congressman Renhob, and Fed Chairman Eknanreb

    Tuld: (Explains to the two guys what is about to happen)
    Renhob: For fuck sake Tuld, what more do you want us to do? We de-regulated the market to make money, not so you can destroy the economy.
    Eknanreb: What are we supposed to do here, the fed rate is already at historical lows, we have no where else to go.
    Tuld: Listen, get with the President and tell him shit will go south quickly if he doesn’t do something to bailout us out here.
    Renhob: What do you mean, bail you out? You think the taxpayer is going to give you money? Fuck you Tuld, you are getting delusional. My constituents are not going to put up with this.
    Tuld: What fucking constituents? If you don’t get on board with us here, next time elections roll around, you are going to be standing on the corner dancing with a hat begging for campaign donations. What? You think the fucking teacher’s union is going to contribute to your campaign?
    Eknanreb: Tuld, calm down, we understand what you are saying, but what do expect us to? we can’t print money here…
    Tuld: You CAN print money. You are the fucking federal reserve. Get with your buddies, and do something. We re too big to fail. If you allow us to fail, you are looking at the next great depression. Massive unemployment, social unrest, people will be camping out on lawn your and you are going to be out of a job if you let this happen.
    Renhob: Alright Tuld, we get it. Give us some time. We will covenent a meeting tomorrow and see what we can do.
    Tuld: Create a relief program, lend us money from the reserves, let the Arabs buy some of our shares, hell, get the feds to buy some of our assets. Write it off and let it rot on the public books. Give it a good name, tell the taxpayer its for their own good. Tell them they need us. We create the jobs for this economy. Will us, they are nothing.

    When they had the scene where they were standing in the elevator with the janitor, I thought it was hinting at how the decisions made by the investment firm affected blue collar workers. Turns out, it was just a random scene. But I think it would have been a good part of the plot.

  3. Throughout the movie they should showcase various types of jobs that are affected by the financial crisis. In addition to showing the janitor working the night shift, they can show some other professions.

Twitter is not a marketing strategy

I get very annoyed when people think that tweeting is a vital component of marketing.

Companies do not need to tweet.

Only some companies belong on twitter: News, Pop Culture, Comedians, etc….

I feel like marketing people are using social plugins as an excuse to charge money and cover up their total lack of a real plan.

Politics Rant

Consumer Protection Agency

Yesterday on the radio they were interviewing a couple of people who have donated money to the Herman Cain campaign.

It blew my mind that these people said they have donated upwards of $1000, and were thinking of donating more. One person even said that if it turns out he IS guilty of sexual harassment, they would still consider donating to him.

Let me be clear. It’s not only ridiculous because it Herman Cain, but it’s ridiculous that any average American would give $1000 to ANY political candidate.

For the same reasons that we have surgeon general warnings on cigarette cartons, as a society striving for righteousness and equality, we need to some how educate people about the ridiculous choices they make.

I put this in the same category as people who took out mortgages they can’t afford. But at least for people who took out a bad mortgage, they got a roof to sleep under for a couple years. What does giving $1000 dollars to a talking head, lying sack of crap gets you?


Love of Country

When I went to Vietnam for three weeks, it made me realize how much I “love” America. We have it really really really really good here.

Clean environment, good public safety, ample education opportunities, and plenty of good paying jobs.

So when I read stories like this:,0,1327960.premiumvideo

It makes me sad.

Also, one of my main complaints about Vietnam was all the litter on the floor. People threw garbage everywhere. Sad to say, I was naive to think that it was a third world problem.

The other day I was in one of San Francisco’s poorer neighborhood, much like the neighborhood I grew up in, and I was surprised that I did not remember how dirty it was.