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Everything posted by ashw_justin

  1. Live By the Sword, Die By the Sword

    Investing: put all of your eggs in a basket, throw it into the air, expect it to grow wings because nobody else's baskets have hit the ground yet. As the imaginary money vanishes, it seems most sane to reconsider how much real wealth that money represented in the first place. Sooner or later mavericks will get burned leveraging short positions. What goes around comes around.
  2. Live By the Sword, Die By the Sword

    I'm leaving "all" of my money in the bank for you fuckers
  3. Live By the Sword, Die By the Sword

    Debt is a symptom of two or three paychecks per family not being enough to afford what's shoved down people's throats as an acceptable quality of life in 21 century America. Is debt freedom or slavery? There's a fine line. It seems like debt is just as liable to worsen the financial situation of the Average Working American as it is to improve it. Not to mention the role of relaxed lending standards in promoting price inflation.
  4. Live By the Sword, Die By the Sword

    Look, my shit is down %30+ on the year too. But give me a fucking break. It's time to stop playing victim and take responsibility for the investment choices we made. We all had the option of buying low-risk bonds and such, but most of us invested in overpriced stocks instead, because we were seduced by the idea of a higher return. Well guess what: higher return usually comes with higher risk. The stock market has experienced dramatic "corrections" three times in my relatively short lifetime, and at least twice before. Don't act surprised. Can't take out a big loan right now? That might be good thing, debt is often a symptom of living beyond one's means. The glass is half full guys. There are healthier and more constructive ways of dealing with the downsides.
  5. Live By the Sword, Die By the Sword

    Is anyone else becoming annoyed with how intently the media has been trying to construe the fluctuations of imaginary (excuse me "unrealized") inflated market prices as a "loss in wealth?" That "wealth" never existed. Just like at the bank.
  6. The Debate

    My biggest fear is the idea of John McCain in control of our armed forces and nuclear arsenal. Then again, that may also be our "peaceful adversaries'" biggest fear, potentially working in our diplomatic favor. How's that for cynicism. But I'm afraid it's just not worth it. Something unsettling about the idea of a "maverick" president with his hand on the button... Anyway, rest assured that if/when the bombs start dropping, we can have an honest down-home mother holding our hands, soothing our hearts, and charmingly telling us we don't got to worry because God shines on us Americans and welcomes [most] of us into Heaven. BTW here's a picture of a "maverick" missile for the warmongers' spank bank ::
  7. The Debate

    Oh yeah I forgot, it's about The Issues... Too bad opinions are like assholes, and that most of the American People (including myself... and, yes, the candidates) honestly don't know exactly how to solve everyone's problems, despite often pretending to. So we guess. Face it. In the end I think I'll vote for the person who least pretends to be infallible (contingent on the whole not starting any more unnecessary wars thing I mean).
  8. The Debate

    Well maybe I am guilty of mis-estimating the interests of the voting public, but I think the last eight years painfully proved just how susceptible "we" are to this kind propaganda. Am I wrong or is the American Public just begging to eat this sh*t up? Definitely. The only problem is, the media frenzy led everyone to expect her to fail, which then ironically works to her favor when she doesn't. Now everyone is thinking "wow, she actually sounded a lot smarter than I expected" (given her media portrayal up to this point). Another Big Whoops. Actually I am way too young to know about/remember Reagan's campaigns, and my comparison is highly superficial. However, the comparison I am making concerns the ability to make love to the camera--a highly superficial, but extremely desirable trait for getting elected. To be fair, Obama's not too camera-shy either.
  9. The Debate

    I know little about Alaskan politics, but I'm willing to believe that Palin is a decent governor. She is obviously not stupid. (Knowing nothing about what happens outside of her home state doesn't make her stupid--just ignorant.) She is the first female governor in Alaska, not to mention the youngest. Alaska. Serious warning bells should have been going off a long time ago in Democrat HQ... Her solid gold stage presence is reminiscent of Reagan's and that is not surprising--Reagan was a Hollywood hunk and she was a young beauty queen. Her (and Reagan's) innate ability to turn a political debate in a highly personal and/or vaguely ideological pageant is an incredible threat to the opposition (and to democracy itself, I might add). Any underestimation of her ability to appeal to voters' hearts instead of their minds is a critical mistake. Look what she did to Biden. A well-informed and highly experienced insider who should have been able to pick her ignorance to pieces with an air of calm expertise turned to scowling, pouting, and simpering by the end. He played into a game that she cannot lose--the personality game. Biden was either underprepared, or simply outmatched. He started badly and nearly every statement was a campaign slogan beginning with "Barack Obama this" or "John McCain that." He rarely played to his strengths--legitimacy, knowledge and experience--squandered continuing opportunities to do so. [i wonder how Hilary Clinton would have dealt with Palin. Could she have fared better?] These are painful but simple things to admit. I'm not necessarily saying these things as a supporter of the McCain/Palin ticket. (Personally, above all, I will be voting for the candidate least likely to instigate WWIII.) I'm saying this because I think it is dangerous to underestimate and to dismiss Palin's "star power." The media and popular culture are deep in an orgy over someone who in concrete political terms ought to be considered completely insignificant (and that's being generous).
  10. Has this video been posted here already?

    Classic, it's all the poor peoples' fault again! You mean they weren't going to make mortgage payments twice as high as their monthly incomes? HOW DARE THEY! THESE ARE AAA SECURITIES GOD DAMMIT! It's just a bubble. Wouldn't it be great if everyone could just stop bitching, accept their voluntary losses, and let it go? Life goes on, no bullshit required.
  11. The Debate

    It's funny hearing criticism of Obama's mild umming and ahing, when just a few years ago roughly half of the voters fell in love with someone who had trouble pronouncing basic words and completing basic sentences. How far we've come since then! Unfortunately, perhaps next time we will hear more charming little anecdotes from Obama too, instead of the speech patterns and body language exhibited by someone who is actually thinking on the spot. (The only time I could possibly care what McCain wears on his wrists is if he does something worthy of handcuffs...) Oh, but the politics. Key to fixing federal budget: save 18 billion? Seriously? Isn't the federal budget over 3000 billion dollars now? Didn't Bush II (a.k.a. Reagan Revolutions) increased federal spending by ~50% (1000 billion dollars) in the past eight years? Largely due to massive spending for an unnecessary war that was littered with scandalous contracts for private interests? Meanwhile the spending that McCain is most worried about adds up to 2 cents on the dollar? Are you kidding me? 3 million for studying the DNA of bears in Montana? OMG stop the f*cking presses! We could occupy Iraq for another 6 minutes with that money!
  12. WAMU

    Chill the fuck out people! All that money never really existed in the first place. Doesn't that make you feel any better? Welcome to the great national pyramid bitches. Annuit cœptis.

  14. Critical Mass Cyclists

    Yeah, 'REAL MEN' don't shave!
  15. Blue Angels

    I think if I were from a war-torn region I would be a lot more frightened by explosions and gunfire than by pretty-colored jets. Fireworks displays in particular would seem in poor taste, given their apparent tribute to the explosive carnage of a battlefield.
  16. Critical Mass Cyclists

    Well I was referring to more than just leg-shaving when I said that. Also by ground beef I was referring to roadkill, that is the appearance of an innocent mammalian organism after being obliterated by 2000 pounds of excessive steel cocoon.
  17. Critical Mass Cyclists

    I think the reality is that the ones you notice are the pretentious and proud ones, while the ones you (that is the collective 'you') don't notice are just trying to get somewhere without being run over. It may very well be better to look a little ghey than to look a little like ground beef. I guess we all have to find our own threshold of acceptable gheyness. I go for lots of reflective tape. I did that once with some clippers. I don't really remember why, maybe for aerodynamics. All I really remember is that it felt pretty cool--I mean in the tactile sense, as opposed to the psychological. Actually it seems to me that having a healthy coat of leg hair should protect the skin from abrasion, to a certain extent.
  18. Critical Mass Cyclists

    It seems like we would hear about this kind of thing a lot more if the critical mass rides were really that menacing. This group interacts with hundreds, thousands of cars on a ride, and one driver is involved in a violent incident. Are we supposed to consider this bad luck on the part of this one driver? Uh-uh. No reason to pick on him any more though, he's already confessed that he consciously provoked and/or aggravated the incident. That said, I'm with the folks that believe that critical mass is mainly an excuse for brats to get together, act out, and get away with shit they shouldn't. Bicyclists certainly don't need these kinds of demonstrations to "take back the streets." Sometimes when I see a CM ride go by I'm tempted to pull in to see what all of the fuss is about. It takes about 2 seconds to realize that the last thing I want to do is get stuck in a big group of brats who can't ride for shit and can't keep a 10 mph pace even while ignoring all traffic regulations.
  19. Good places for top ropes for kids in the Icicle

    Mountaineer's Dome? I think this is one of the small bluffs on the right side of the road about halfway between Sleeping Lady and the Snow Creek Trailhead parking lot (1-2 miles up the road).
  20. What rating for cyclone fence?

    Perhaps it would be more appropriate to give this an approach/bushwhack rating, like in comparison to a swath of slide alder. Barbed wire ~ devil's club, electrified ~ nettles, guard dog ~ hungry bear. Starting to sound like a solid grade V 'shwhack.
  21. I'm considering buying a house in Seattle

    Same old story, just do all of the math (without a loan officer 'helping' you that is) and ignore the hype (that is, unless the hype factors into the equation, which apparently it does ).
  22. GPS and the Internet - Possible Effects

    I gather that the point (if any) that the author wanted to make is that sharing precise backcountry route data is more likely to lead to the establishment of new, unsanctioned trails and camps, because everyone will take the same path. Unfortunately for his argument, humans have been following each others routes in the wilderness since the dawn of history (and before). The only difference is they used to use flagging, saws, axes, machetes, shovels, and pack animals to mark the trail. Luckily for the wilderness, that's not necessary anymore. Dude is just looking for a modern excuse to restrict backcountry travel, period (whether or not he even realizes it).
  23. An Agenda to limit access on Rainier?

    Denali pulls in $200/permit; arguments in favor may or may not include: - most climbers can afford it (or at least, the out-of-town big spenders with their "euros, yen, and ruble" can) - reduces crowding (read: by raising fees we can bring in the same amount of money while dealing with less climbers) - helps pay for reducing climbers' impact (because snow, rock, and ice are very sensitive) - is necessary to pay for enough rangers to assist/rescue noobs (because mountaineering is meant to be a safe activity at any cost) From a paranoid viewpoint, some of the questions in this survey would seem to be written precisely to show evidence that would back up similar observations with regard to Rainier. Hello $50 fee? $100? $200? Why not? Aren't there rumors of Denali going up to $500 or more for similar reasons? In theory, there may exist some level of over-crowding above which the park service is expected to take action to limit the number of mountaineers on Rainier. But I don't think we're anywhere near it with respect to the mountaineering routes. It's a big pile of rock and ice that will probably blow up again on a short geological time scale, and there are few if any resident organisms above say 8000 feet. If people don't like the idea of climbing in the vicinity of 100 other people, then there are plenty of other times and places to climb. It would not be realistic to attempt to engineer a lonely wilderness experience on a mountain this close and this visible, and I think that locals in particular would be hurt by having to pay any more than they already have to to play in their back yard. [/paranoia]
  24. Nude climber craze tipped to take over Britain

    Some may only realize the farce after their first full-body strawberry, crotch ropeburn, or bareback cholla cactus rodeo. (Not that I have anything against pictures of babes rock climbing.)
  25. Climb Rainier in 4 Hrs! I have some questions....

    I don't know... seems like to really qualify as the 'toughest' athlete one would have to endure some pretty serious shit, perseverance through epics involving horrible unspeakable things. But I can't really see Tiger coming back from Joe Simpson territory either.