Monday, April 30, 2012

In Case You Were Wondering

...if FLG made jambalaya yesterday, then the answer is yes. You know it's gonna be good when the first five words in the recipe are "Brown meat in bacon drippings..."

FLG needs to make some gumbo soon.

Friday, April 27, 2012

FLG Almost Repeats Himself

For whatever reason, FLG thought of the movie Desperado today.  He thought to himself that he needs to put that up as one of posts in his Great Moments in Film series.  He always laughs when Banderas says, "Yes, it's me."

But then he stopped and thought, didn't he already post that?  And sure enough, he had.

However, that video is now disabled.

French Election

FLG must admit he is a little scared about the prospect of Hollande winning the French presidency.  He figures there's about a 50-50 chance that Hollande actually goes through with what he has promised on the campaign trail.  FLG gives it 50-50 because Hollande was there for the disaster that was the beginning of the Mitterand government, but on the other hand FLG also believe Hollande, deep in his heart, really is a crazy socialist.

And if Hollande goes through with what he is talking about, then there's about a 50-50 chance that it throws not just France, but the whole Eurozone crisis into a big mess again.  So, if Hollande wins, there's about a 25% chance everything goes to shit.   At least by FLG's reckoning.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Out On The Town

Mrs. FLG took FLG to see Rodrigo y Gabriela last night.  Great times were had by all.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Insanity Update

Still doing Insanity.  Only three weeks left.  Weighed in at 210 again this week, which is a minor miracle given how FLG's diet has been.  Month Two workouts are still hard as shit. 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Quote of the day

New Yorker:
True cinéastes say that the ultimate French film will be a still photograph of a dead mime.

Friday, April 20, 2012

About Cutting Government Spending

FLG always chuckles a little when Chuck Schumer or somebody says we can't balance the budget on the backs of the poor, children, and elderly.

The simple fact is that when you cut government spending there are basically two things you can cut, as the old guns or butter analogy implies, either the military or programs that benefit poor, children, or the elderly.  Sure, the government does other stuff, and the money allocated does sound pretty big.  But really when you talk about cutting the deficit, you either cut the military or programs for some group to which people are sympathetic.

(Not that there aren't certain tax loopholes that benefit the well-off, but that's a revenue, not a spending issue.)

FLG Just Realized

That today is Friday.  And that means that the Georgetown University Grilling Society ought to be out selling their massive, delicious burgers for $3.  FLG knows what he'll be having for lunch today.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Made FLG Laugh Out Loud

This did.


FLG hasn't been posting recently because he's still doing insanity in the morning and most of his free time has been devoted to his job search rather than blogging.

Insanity is going pretty well. FLG is most of the way through the first week of month two, which involves a new set of workouts. He feels much like he did the very first week - nauseous, tired, sore, and a goodly part of the workout alternating between curse-laden inquiries about the origin and sanity of the people on the video and staring dumbly and slack-jawed at the screen. Hopefully, the same thing applies in month two as it did in month one and FLG will completing the workout fine by next week.

The job hunt, on the other hand, is going pretty poorly thus far. FLG is trying to change career paths from his current field, which he hates, into a finance field, and it's been tough going. Since he doesn't really have a professional network or work experience in finance, it's been an uphill battle. It's not like FLG is trying to get into venture capital or private equity or anything. Although, he'll probably send some resumes out to them anyway. A good portion of his classmates have offered some help, so hopefully one will come through soon.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Time Horizons

FLG saw that TNC is reading Democracy in America and he posted a rather lengthy passage. A few things caught FLG's eye because they deal with time horizons.

is it not the true interest of kings to render their subjects happy, and the true interest of nobles to admit recruits into their order on suitable grounds? If remote advantages had power to prevail over the passions and the exigencies of the moment, no such thing as a tyrannical sovereign or an exclusive aristocracy could ever exist.

For Tocqueville, an aristocrat, the "true interest" is, of course and without a doubt, the long run interest.

Later in the passage, there's this:
Moreover, all democratic communities are agitated by an ill-defined excitement and by a kind of feverish impatience, that engender a multitude of innovations, almost all of which are attended with expense. In monarchies and aristocracies the natural taste which the rulers have for power and for renown is stimulated by the promptings of ambition, and they are frequently incited by these temptations to very costly undertakings.

FLG finds the use of the words "feverish impatience" very interesting.

Given that FLG has just read The Unheavenly City, he's reading this next paragraph a bit differently than when he read it last:
The extravagance of democracy is, however, less to be dreaded in proportion as the people acquires a share of property, because on the one hand the contributions of the rich are then less needed, and, on the other, it is more difficult to lay on taxes which do not affect the interests of the lower classes. On this account universal suffrage would be less dangerous in France than in England, because in the latter country the property on which taxes may be levied is vested in fewer hands. America, where the great majority of the citizens possess some fortune, is in a still more favorable position than France.

When FLG first read Tocqueville, he read this as - if people have property, irrespective of how they acquired the property, then there's less to fear. But Banfield's argument, which FLG will really have to post about (because he likes the argument, but has some issues with it as well), is that the biggest distinction between social classes is their level of orientation toward the future versus the present. Being lower down the class ladder implies a correspondingly greater orientation toward the present. Thus, that a wide swath of people have property would merely be a signal that the population is capable of savings and investment and consequently more future oriented. So, widely-held amounts of property, while the proximate cause in Tocqueville's argument about better democracy, is actually the effect of a deeper cause in Banfield's argument, which is that the population is wealthy because it is future oriented and that future orientation is what actually makes the extravagance of democracy less to be dreaded in American than France.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Time Horizons

FLG finally got around to approving some older comments. Mrs. P had an interesting one about how law firms are very short-term oriented when it comes to operating their business. This doesn't really surprise FLG, but he can't definitively say why.

Also, FLG had been meaning to read Banfield's The Unheavenly City for a long while, and an email from a reader asking if FLG had read it finally prompted him to do something about it. He read it during his Istanbul trip and will have some things to say about it later.

Insanity and Istanbul Update

FLG is back from Istanbul. He had a great time, especially when Mrs. FLG joined him during his second week there. Unfortunately, FLG didn't get a chance to see Troy. Maybe next time.

FLG was lazy on the Insanity front, but he did go on a few runs with Mrs. FLG. And he walked a lot.

Today, FLG decided to back-up and redo a week of Insanity. He weighed in at 210, which means a 4 pound loss despite lots of beer, baklava, and Turkish Delight during the last two weeks.

Lastly, since it is now after Easter and officially the season, FLG is rockin' a seersucker suit today.
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