"Should've Been A Cowboy"

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Addicted to Baseball

i seem to be addicted to my video game "MLB 2006" that i play on my PS2. i am playing a season as the texas rangers, and i'm currently 39-13. each game takes about 45 mins to play and i find myself playing almost two a day. on a couple of occasions i have woken up in the morning and left for work later than normal just so i can have time to play a game. but, i have the urge to do that all the time now. i think what really drives my addiction is that the game has set goals for me to achieve. such as have a .500 team over 2 seasons. that is over 300 games mind you. a couple more examples are to lead the league in individual home runs and have an average attendance of 39k over 3 season. now we are talking 500 games to reach that one. this goal is part of the franchise mode that i'm in. i not only play, but i have to coach and run the team in every aspect as well. i will take a moment to say that i am the short stop for the ranger and i'm batting .384 with 9 home runs, 44 RBIs, and leading the league in all-star votes for short stop by over 150 votes. i guess i'm like kerri and her addiction to tetris?

Thursday, May 26, 2005

A carrot, an egg and a cup of coffee

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil, without saying a word. In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her daughter, she asked, tell me? What do you see? Carrots, eggs, and coffee, she replied. Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled, as she tasted its rich aroma. The daughter then asked, what does it mean, mother? Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity... boiling water.

Each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in boiling water, they had changed the water. Which are you? She asked her daughter. When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

FREE M.I.T. education

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Monday, May 23, 2005


this past weekend i went to austin to celebrate the birthday of a good friend of mine. i and 2 other guys all drove there on friday night. that night we watched the mavs play while eating @ hooters. for the first time ever i heard a hooters girl offer to "debone" our meat. i as well as the other guys couldn't help but find that funny. if you're a guy you know why. oh, though i was rooting for the mavs i must say that even if they beat phoenix. i do not feel that they would have beat san antonio. you can't beat san antonio when your 7ft gets 1 board in a game. nash got 13 in one game. due's like 6ft tall.

anyway.... the next morning we all woke up and played golf. i hadn't played in 6 months and had only been to the driving range once in the last 6 months. therefore i put up a daunting 51 on the front 9. not jlay style. out of my frustration i decided to play the whole back 9 with only my driver so that i could justify my bad score. when i say play with only my driver that includes putting and chipping. i proceeded to shoot a 45 on the back 9 with only my driver. it was greatness beating my friends with only my driver on the back 9. though that wasn't enough to win the round all together, it was quite nice hearing them bitch about it on the way home.

on to saturday night. where did we go? where else? 6th street. it was a blast. we spent most of the night in coyote ugly. though more expensive than other bars on the strip. definitely entertaining to the male eye. i was originally going to be the "DD", but since the bday boy's allergies were buggin' him he decided to not drink. so i was a good friend and did it for him. for those who want to see women dancing on the bar. either rent the movie coyote ugly or ask to see the video on my phone.

sunday was a lax day. woke up around 11am. we went to razoos for our first meal of the day. i couldn't help but notice one of the waitress turning to look @ me on a repetitive basis. i noticed this because i was checking out every waitress that walked by. this waitress, which was not our waitress, ends up bringing out our food, and proceeds to ask who ordered the gator tail. i said that i did. the next thing i know she is telling me she likes my style. followed by the guys commenting on the pass that she made. it's always nice to be flirted with. makes your feel good. it's even better when it is in front of your friends.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Right or Left?

last night was the conclusion of my teams softball season. though we lost our 6th straight game to finish with 2 wins and 6 losses. it was still a fun game. our team did quite well defensively. i must give props to carter who caughter several balls in left field. to add a little flare to the game i forgot my glove. the problem with this is i'm left handed, and didn't have anyone to borrow a glove from. i would have just sat the bench, but my pitcher said he couldn't make it to the game because he was working late so that he could go watch the new star wars movie and go to work later the next day. so i decided to pitch with my right hand. thankfully i seem to be able to do most things with either side of my body. as it turns out i think i might be a better right handed pitcher than a left handed pitcher. though i will probably go back to pitching with my left hand. i now know that when my left arm is getting tired i can just switch hands.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Electric Bill

back in april my electricity got cut off, and to answer the question in your head. yes i paid my bill and i paid it on time. my apt complex has two address 200 oak knoll circle and 202 oak knoll circle. i live at 200 oak knoll circle apt 313. someone moved into 202 oak knoll circle apt 313b in january. they proceeded to sign up for electricity for my apt and not theirs. since they signed up with a different provider this initiated a switch for my apt from 1st choice to gexa. when the problem was noticed gexa corrected the address on the other tennants account and moved my apt under my complex's account. i recieved a bill in feb, but not in march. i though that maybe my bill got lost in the mail and i paid the same amount as i had in feb so that my electricity wouldn't be shut off. in april i recieved a check from my electric provider for the amount i had sent in in march. since i had recieved a letter from my apt complex stating that they switch providers in feb. i started to wonder if they switched their tennants provider too, and i figured i would recieve a bill from this new provider. a couple days latter my apt complex sent me a letter stating that i owed them money for my electricity from feb-march and that i had 48hrs to contact them before it was turned off. 72 hrs later i gave them a check for the full amount owed. five days later....zap. no more electricity for jlay. i know that it wasn't their fault i got slammed, but i feel it was their fault that i got disconnected. i feel they could have handled the situation better. they keep trying to put blame on the electric company for my power being shut off. it only took me 8 days to get my electricity back on! they have since sent me a bill for march-april. i've quietly been protesting this bill. even though i know i ow them the money i haven't paid them for it, and it has been a week since i recieved the bill. i would say they ow me and they should eat this bill, but it has come to my attention that they didn't bill me for jan-feb. so i will pay them the money for march-april, but i'm still an little mad at them and am holding out.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Newsweek = Treason?

today on my way to work i was stopped at a light behind a suburu outback. the driver of this automobile was approximately 50 years of age. i couldn't help by notice his homemade "bumper sticker" taped to the inside of his back window. it said "Newsweek = Treason". This made me go to the newsweek website to see if i could find anything that could be considered treason. After an extensive search through recent articles i couldn't find anything.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Another reason to save for retirement

Paraphrased from “The New 65” (http://slate.com/id/2113883/) written by William Saletan

Here's what we've learned from the Social Security debate so far. Republicans are right that the system is heading for bankruptcy. Democrats are right that personal retirement accounts, whatever their future merits, won't pay off the system's current debts. Republicans won't raise taxes; Democrats won't cut benefits. It looks like there's no way out. But there is a way.
According to the latest government
data, men who reached age 65 in 2002 had on average 16.6 years of life before them, and women had 19.5 years—about five years more than Social Security originally budgeted for. At age 70, men and women in 2002 could still expect more remaining life (13.2 years for men, 15.8 for women) than their 65-year-old counterparts could in 1935. Even a 75-year-old man in 2002 could expect 10.3 more years, nearly as many as a 65-year-old man could expect in 1935. If you were designing a system today for men with 11 or 12 remaining years and for women with 15 remaining years, you wouldn't set the retirement age at 65. You'd set it between 70 and 75.

How much money would a higher retirement age save? According to the Congressional Budget Office, if the ascent to age 67 were accelerated and completed by 2016, and if the retirement age kept rising two months a year until it hit age 70 in 2037, and if the rate of increase then slowed to one month every two years, Social Security outlays in 2050 would decline by 12 percent. A fully adjusted retirement age--one that kept pace with biology instead of lagging 40 years behind it, as the CBO's scenario does--would generate an even bigger surplus. By one rule of thumb, every year of recipient eligibility consumes about 7 percent of Social Security's financial commitments. Compared to the currently assumed retirement age of 67, an increase to age 73 could cut the government's obligations by as much as 40 percent. Either way, the projected Social Security deficit would disappear--and with it, the Democratic objection to personal retirement accounts, which could be funded out of the new payroll tax surplus.

How old do you want to be when you retire; 55, 65, or maybe 75? You have a choice to work later in life and continue to pay taxes, or lay around in leisure and receive benefits from a retirement account that you built for yourself. See my previous post “Retirement is not an age”

Friday, May 13, 2005

Retirement is not an age

Retirement for these days is more of a dollar amount than an age these days. What I mean when I say that is, just because you are 65 doesn’t mean you can retire and not work another day for the rest of your life. Thus we have Wal-Mart greeters. You need a certain dollar amount to still come in on a repetitive basis, such as social security to officially retire. But, there is a problem with relying on social security. It is projected that in 2017 the social security administration (SSA) will be paying out more money than it is taking in. This is due to the number of children born during the "baby boom". Also it is estimated that in 2041 the SSA will not be able to payout benefits at promised levels. Meaning for those of us who are 40 years of age and younger will be greatly affected by this. For example, current SSA benefits for a retiree are $1200-$1600 per month. Not exactly a lot of money these days. Lets move forward to 2041, but assume that there has been no inflation since 2005, and you were born in 1975. So you are now 66 years old. Due to the social security slowly running out of money the are only going to give you a check for $900 per month. Is this enough money to live on? I think not.

Here is a quote by Treasury Secretary John Snow--
"The numbers leave nothing to doubt about the financial condition of the social Security system. The report underscores the fact that we need to do something."

How do we remedy this you might ask? Well, there are a few ways. We could have budget cuts to pull money from other programs, or maybe raise federal taxes to make up the difference. A strikingly different conclusion, however, was drawn by critics of president bush's proposal to transform social security by allowing for the creation of private accounts. Meaning the money they take from your paycheck goes into a personal fund instead of the general SSA fund. Over the last 8 months I have been educated on a similar principal while working as a financial advisor for Primerica, a division of Citi Corp. How it works is you save for retirement yourself using qualified retirement accounts that give special tax deductions. Examples are a 401k or an IRA. So, instead of relying on the federal government to help support you during your retirement, you support yourself. Therefore you do not rely on the SSA to pay you $900 per month. Instead you learn how to have a retirement account that pays you $2500 per month plus the $900 SSA can pay you.

Just to use myself as an example. I am currently 24 years old. Assuming that my home is paid off I want to retire in 35 yrs, and I feel that I could easily live off of what is now $2000 a month. In 35yrs I will need more like $13200 per month due to inflation. To do this I need to save $3000 per year for the next 35 yrs in a mutual fund. Assuming I get a 10% rate of return. I will have approximately $2.3 million dollars. Which will allow me to live another 30 yrs without having to worry about money or having to work. The biggest mistake you can make is assuming you don't have any money to save. If you earn an income, it's simply a matter of how you're spending it. You can put some money aside each month — if you make saving for your future a priority. The longer you wait the more money you will need to save each month to make up for lost time.If you begin saving for your retirement early in your life, you'll have to put aside much less money each month. If you wait until you're nearing retirement, the amount you'll need to save each month could be near impossible.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Big Will

for those who don't know me as well as you think you do, i like rap. in particular will smith. i don't know if i would call it an official man crush. mainly because i don't know the true definition of it. maybe luke can help me with that since he uses the phrase a lot more than i do. for real though. i like will smith as an actor and a rap artist. recently he came out with a new album called "lost and found". it like his past albums, is a good album. but, unlike his past work. you get to see an angry side of will smith. as almost half his album is composed of rhymes of will venting about how friends, fellow rap artist, and the public have treated him since his success. don't get me wrong. i enjoy the tracks. it just caught me off guard. i totally understand where he is coming from. not because i've been through the things he has, but because i have to vent from time to time as well.

Monday, May 09, 2005


apologizing. why do people feel the need to apologize multiple time for the same offense? does it really help? it never makes me feel any better. hell, most of the time it simply reminds me of the event which i have already forgotten about. i find that people apologize to me for things that i don't feel i need an apology for. if by chance there should be an apology made. i speak english and can hear just fine. so i ask you to please limit your apology to just that; an apology.