Monthly Archives: July 2009

Dixon Blames Feds

Taking a page out of the O’Malley playbook, Sheila Dixon blames the feds for the recent explosion in violence (19 shootings in 6 hours)

The court documents also suggest, however, that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and city police knew more than a year ago what was driving the violence, arresting two key members after acting on tips from a confidential informant. On Monday, both Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III and Mayor Sheila Dixon expressed frustration that the investigation apparently stalled.

Dixon noted on Wednesday that the federal investigation had been going on for two years.

“They’ve got to step up,” she said. “The weight can’t just be on our police.”

It’s not her fault.  It’s not the Baltimore PD that knows where these people are and what they are doing, and it’s not the City State’s Attorney who can’t seem to get any of them convicted.

It’s probably George W. Bush’s or Bob Ehrlich’s fault.


Training 7/27/09

Deload week!

Squat
45×5
95×5
135×3
155×5
185×5
225×5

Leg Press
2×8 @ 180

HS Leg curl
2×8 @ 45

12 mins treadmill @ 130 bpm – was actually too hard on me due to the incline, so I switched to
10 mins bike @ 130 bpm, 10 mins @ 150 bpm.


Value means more than just dollars

The Simple Dollar has a nice post up on the value of frugality, I thought I might add a bit on the subject of value, dollars, and time.

The writer at The Simple Dollar was asked:

I don’t see why I should spend fifteen minutes making a batch of homemade laundry detergent just to save a few bucks when I could spend that fifteen minutes building my career. Most “frugality tips” seem like a waste of time.

There’s a pretty simple way to look at this, and the poster points it out pretty well. If the value of the 15 minutes is higher than the value of the laundry detergent + the cost of purchasing detergent, then certainly your time is better spent doing something else.  (BTW, the cost of homemade detergent is higher than just 15 minutes of time!)

Another example:  My employer pays me about $50 an hour (it’s more complicated than that, as I don’t ‘do’, but rather ‘manage’ and ‘think’ and ‘plan’, so my employer is paying me more for my work product than my time, but time is the simplest way to look at things for our purposes). That’s as good a starting point as any to value my time.  I hire someone to clean my house every two weeks, and pay her $80. $160 a month just on housecleaning to some is an extravagant expenditure… but do the math. It would take me about 3 hours to clean my house.  Thats $150 of value of my time, assuming I like cleaning as much as I like my job, which isn’t true at all.  I would charge you $100 an hour to clean your house (which is why I don’t run a housecleaning business).  So $160 a month to get back 6 hours to do something I want to do, is a huge bargain for me.

It isn’t all about dollars, frugality of time is as important, isn’t it?

If that’s the case, be honest with yourself about it. It’s not just about earning money, it’s about personal enjoyment, and you’re accepting that the return is less (or possibly nonexistent) because you enjoy doing it. That’s great, but it doesn’t mean that the frugal task has any less value.

Here’s an example. One of my cousins is a meticulous housekeeper, to the point of being obsessive. Yet she enjoys it. She’d far rather be doing that than engaging in other activities. Sure, it serves as great maintenance on her home, but it doesn’t put much financial value in her pocket. What it does do is make her feel good when she sees her sparkling clean house. She often chooses that for a Saturday afternoon instead of networking within her career.

Everyone has differnet values for time, as well as values for enjoyment.  I was making small talk with a friend’s husband a couple of weeks ago, and we got on the subject of wine (to his credit, we were meandering around for something to talk about other than the weather, and even though he’s not into wine, he at least sounded interested so we could not stand there in silence while the ladies were inside going on about weddings or shoes or whatever).  We were discussing the cost of wine, and how hard it is for me to spend more than $30 on a bottle for something I’m just going to drink.  I was a bit uncomfortable, as I had recently purchased a $70 bottle of wine.  He pointed out he would regularly spend $200 on 4 hours of golf, and that it’s worth it because he loves it.  He then just asked me if I really liked the wine.

Made that $70 look like a value play.

Don’t focus on the numbers, focus on the value.  Sure, the basics still apply – if you are in debt and want to build your net worth, you may need to give up golf and wine for a while.  But once you are comfortable and on track with your goals, use more than just dollars to measure value.  You’ll find bargains everywhere.


Training 7/26/09

Bench Press
45×5
95×5
135×5
185×3
210×5
240×3
270×6 (PR!)
Gigantic PR. The 210 felt really heavy for some reason, but the 270 flew up. I’m pretty happy with that – my last 6RM was 255

HS Incline
3×12 @ 55/side

CSR
3×15 @ 60

30 mins treadmill @ 125-130 bpm


An open letter to my Republican friends:

If you are pinning your hopes on Sarah Palin, get ready for a nice long run as the minority party.

Which, in a Center/Right nation, says a lot.

She’s a kook, a bit of a doofus, and has issues with ethics.  Sure, she’s ‘folksy’, and since Reagan was ‘folksy’, you may think there’s some substantive likeness to the Gipper.  There isn’t.  Reagan was a brilliant politician, and outstanding leader (both motivationally and strategically), and a great communicator.  Ms. Palin is none of those things.

So, my friends, my advice to you is to drop her now, and work on finding high level candidates who have more shot at actually getting elected.  Like, maybe, this guy.


61

Louie Simmons. 61.


Baltimore’s West Side “Redevelopment”

This is a shame, and a pretty big blow to Baltimore’s attempts at redeveloping (in some cases, just developing) the West Side.

A plan to build luxury condominiums on Baltimore’s west side that has stalled amid the recession is being reborn as an affordable housing project, M.J. “Jay” Brodie, president of the Baltimore Development Corp., said Thursday. Brodie said Washington, D.C.-based Oak Street Developers Ltd. presented revised plans to the BDC’s project committee and plans to proceed with new housing at North Howard and Madison streets, across from Maryland General Hospital. Oak Street had acquired the property and razed existing buildings but was unable to get financing to proceed with M on Madison, originally planned as a 72-unit mix of studio, townhouse-style and penthouse homes with private rooftop terraces. Brodie said the developer has formed a new partnership and plans to write down the cost of the project with the help of state low-income housing tax credits. A representative of the partner heading the project could not be immediately reached Thursday for comment.

Call it “affordable” or low income housing, it is most certainly not what the city needs on the West Side to continue any redevelopment of the area.  I think it’s one more nail in the coffin (perhaps the final one), unfortunately they just can’t overcome the issues in that area.  More low income housing will only add to those issues.


First amendment no longer applies to Republicans in Congress?

At least, that’s what this appears to say

Rep. John Carter (R-Texas), the secretary of the House Republican Conference and a former District Court Judge, is having his messages to constituents censored by Democrats on the Franking Commission.  Republicans are no longer allowed to use the words “government run health care” in the communications to their constituents.

Carter received an email from the Franking Commission informing him of the censorship.  

“It came to me from the Franking Commission and I have the email from the Franking Commission here if you’d like to see it,” Carter said.  “We held a telephone town-hall… When you hold telephone town-halls you have a recorded message that introduces the town-hall and the subject matter you’re going to be talking about.  You have to now submit that language to the Franking Commission.

I’m pretty sure that’s not the role of the Franking Commission, and I’m also pretty sure this is going to make the Democrats look bad (but maybe not).

What we proposed as language was as follows, ‘House Democrats unveiled a government-run health care plan,’” Carter said. “Our response from Franking was, ‘You cannot use that language. You must use, ‘The House majority unveiled a public option health care plan,’ which is Pelosi-speak or ‘just last week the House majority unveiled a health care plan which I believe will cost taxpayers…’”

“I would submit to you this is a free speech issue, guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States,” Carter said. A highly-placed Hill staff source tells HUMAN EVENTS this is the new policy being enforced by Democrats. Republicans will be forced to use the Democrats’ version of language describing their attempted government takeover of healthcare on their official communications with their constituents or they will have to pay for the postage personally.

I think the Democrats are imploding, much like the Republicans did. Here’s hoping for some gridlock in 2010.


Quick Quiz

Read this news article, and tell me what happens to the availability of inexpensive reliable transportation for poor people under this program.

Here’s a hint:

Q: What happens to my old vehicle?

A: The trade-in vehicle will be scrapped. Dealers are required to use a government-approved salvage facility for the vehicle disposal. Vehicles need to be shredded or crushed within six months.

Congress, looking out for everyone’s best interest, unless you are poor and need a reliable used car.  Because those are bad for the environments.


Training, 7/24/2009

Deadlift
135×5
185×5
225×3
275×1
305×5
345×3
385×4 (PR)

45 degree hypers
3×10

Incline situps
2×15

Skipped cardio due to time constraints, I’ll get some in tomorrow.


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