Thoughts on Cosmetic Surgery

My friend, McKay Coppins, wrote an article today which is sure to get the Mormon Times humming, and may even explode a bomb in his email inbox.  The article: Plastic Surgery.

Since he asked me to email him my thoughts on the subject (well, not me personally – he asked all his readers – but I take my assignments from Mr. Coppins very seriously), I obliged.  I was somewhat surprised by my own findings as I talked about the subject.  Here is my response to him.

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American Idol – Top 6

Big Mike was awesome last night.

That’s all I really have to say about Idol. I kind of hope they cancel it after this season. I’m just not into it as much anymore. I think the contestants this season are lame, and I don’t get excited to watch it anymore. Seeing Simon every week is my only motivation to watch it.

Something tells me that even after Cowell leaves the show, some idiot executive at Fox is going to come up with a spreadsheet that convinces them to do it for ONE more dreadful, money-making season, just to prove to everyone that it’s dead.

Update on Market Riggers

Yesterday, the SEC filed a lawsuit against Goldman Sachs for selling collateralized debt obligations (the CDOs I referred to in my previous post) without properly informing the investors of the risks. They have emails and other communications between Goldman and the hedge fund Paulson & Company where both parties knew they were creating really risky CDOs and then selling them to the market as triple-A rated securities.

I hope the fact that the SEC filed the suit (rather than settling) means that they have a solid case. It will be very hard to prove intent, even with ‘smoking gun’ emails.

Whether or not they win or lose the suit, we should prosecute Goldman and these hedge funds in the court of public opinion. It is clear that they value their own bonuses and bottom lines over the security and health of their customer’s investments. I will never invest a dime with these companies, even if they are the last ones standing.

Hedging? or Rigging the Market?

Last week’s episode of This American Life was a super-interesting deep dive into some of the players that caused the financial meltdown.  They started with the premise that the oft-repeated phrase “no one saw this coming” was unacceptable.  Wall Street is supposedly filled with these financial wiz kids, and can we really believe that no one saw the risk?  No one is responsible for the creation of so many worthless assets?

Because the podcast is an hour long, and WAY to dry for most normal humans, I’ll try to sum up some key findings here.

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Weekends are Nice

Weekends are just fantastic.

This weekend, we enjoyed a friday night game night with our friends, the Brauns.  It has been TOO long since we hung out!  The best part of the night was when little Elizabeth came running into my arms and playing on my lap for a few minutes.  Granted, her motivation was to avoid having to go to bed, but still – it was a FIRST!  She is finally warming up to her Uncle Brows.

Saturday was going to be an intense yard day, but it wasn’t to be.  I got up early to attend a baptism, and when Audrey went to go pull the mower out, she saw the TruGreen people pulling away – no mowing for 48 hours!  At least our weeds will die now, and we’ll hopefully have something to mow!

We decided we could still trim the bushes, but when I got my trimmer out I quickly found that all of the batteries were dead.  As dead as dead could be.  I guess winter likes to drain batteries?  Who knew?

So we went to Plan C: clean off the back porch.  We had about 10 pots of various dead vegetation on our back porch that needed to be removed and destroyed.  When we were all done, we were left with a single potted tree.  Kinda sad, but kinda good.

I returned to the inside world where I got laundry and dishes done while Audrey washed her car and soaked up some of the great spring sunshine.  What a beautiful, allergy-filled day it was!

That evening we enjoyed Sherlock Holmes together.  I thought it was a really good movie.  Well played!

Sunday, I barely made it to my 6:30am meeting.  A2 had to re-wake me up at 6 after I had disabled my alarm at 5:30 and fallen back to sleep.  I trudged to church and put in my obligatory 8 hours.

When I finally got home, A2 suggested that we watch Star Wars Episode 3 (the only one she had never seen…) so we did!  It was a miracle that she suggested it.  The only greater miracle would be if she ever asked to watch The Princess Bride.  Somehow I avoided falling asleep during the movie.

We took a nice walk after the movie and enjoyed some of the activity in the neighborhood.  These are some of the few weeks where people here in Texas enjoy being outdoors, unless you’re an allergy sufferer in which case you still have to wait for the fall to truly enjoy nice temperatures.

Nice weather outside always turns my thoughts back to our boring back yard.  On our walk, we talked about what we wanted in our back yard.  We verbally designed a 20 or 30 thousand dollar back yard, and then came back to reality to know that we just needed to do something simple that we could enjoy a few times per year.

Does anyone have any landscape design skillz?  We need help translating our vision to paper!

Back to work today…

Party of No

I like a good political rally.  As an independent moderate, I enjoy listening to both sides and coming to my own conclusions on where the truth is in all the politics.  I’ve been known to make solid, impassioned arguments solely for the opportunity to hear myself talk sometimes, even.  Rhetoric can be good, clean fun.

This is how the Tea Party movement began in this country; a group of people got together as way to protest what they felt like was wasteful government spending on bail outs and special deals.  Fun.  Some people even dressed up in little colonial costumes and read from scrolls.  Nice.

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