Pet Peeves

I find it incredibly irritating when articles talk about anything that is “so large it can be seen from space.”  Dude, anything can be seen from space with a good enough lens.

Movies I can’t stop watching when I find them on TV

(in no particular order)

I Love You, Man
Role Models
Last Samurai
Terminator 2
The Fifth Element
The Shawshank Redemption
Seven
Constantine
The Goonies
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Underworld
Man on Fire
Training Day
Proof of Life
Spy Game
Seven Years in Tibet
The Assassination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford
National Lampoon’s Vegas Vacation
Harold and Kumar
Can’t Hardly Wait
Dances with Wolves (dammit!)
Con Air
Boondock Saints
Gone in 60 Seconds
The Rock
Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift
All of the X-Men movies
Walking Tall
The Rundown
Friday Night Lights
The Fountain
I Robot
Heat
Equilibrium
300
Gladiator
Bourne Trilogy
Children of Men
Black Hawk Down
Talladega Nights
Starship Troopers
Collateral
Dodgeball

Got any I missed? Let me know in the Comments!

Stepping Up

You bust your ass for months, years, on a case.  Double and triple all-nighters, buying toothbrushes for the weary associates and partners who have their heads down on conference room tables.  Three to four hours of sleep a day for weeks on end.  You become One with the case and its documents, tapped in like the Matrix.  You go to court, though you sit in the overflow room, since you are not important enough to sit in the room with the Judge.  You are there only to carry documents, and hand them up to your Boss when necessary.  You’re junior, so it’s not really your job to speak, it’s your job to know everything.  You are there to be seen, and not heard.  Eyes open, mouth closed.

You start to get more senior.  Start to pipe up more during meetings.  Your Boss puts more confidence in you.  “You run this call – I have something else (i.e., more important) to do.”  Still, you remain relatively low-key.  You know you’re still not good enough to run with the big-dogs.

You bide your time, learning, speaking occasionally, marking up documents.  You get shut down and overruled, but once in a while, your comments slip through.  You sit in the main courtroom, in the middle or back.  You slowly gain responsibility for one or more agreements or pleadings, though your product is an ugly, misshapen ingot which must be hammered and refined by your betters into a surgical steel blade.

Your writing gets better.  Less red ink is spilled at your expense.  You learn what is important and what is not.  You learn how to pick your battles.  You are the Lead Associate.  You are the Primary Drafter.  You sit in the front of the courtroom.  You take fire, but now you know how to fire back. 

Suddenly, your Boss is called away, or indisposed.  The documents require your signoff.  A seat is saved for you in front of the courtroom bar.  Others speak.  It’s your Turn.

You step up to the podium…

Do Not Ever Buy a Panasonic TV

A few years back, I bought a Panasonic PT-50LC13, which was, at the time, a great LCD rear projection TV.  Well, it turned out the TV was laden with defects, most notably that the set would not regulate voltage properly, resulting in constant lamp blowouts.  This problem could not be repaired, it was a fundamental defect.  Thousands of others had the same problem, resulting in a class-action lawsuit.  I wrote about my experience here.  The real problem for me was that in the end, Panasonic would not stand behind their product, even after I asked, and I was left with a $3000 brick.  I vowed never again to buy a Panasonic TV, and I’ve told all my friends the same.

Now, it seems history is repeating itself.  I recently saw an article, here, Panasonic G10 plasmas have a problem with voltage adjustments which affect the black levels on the sets.  Here is my advice to all of you who have been screwed:

1. get as much as you can via the class action lawsuit that is now in place.  If you can get a credit, do so, and buy a tv.

2. sell your tv as fast as you can.  if you get a new tv from Panny, sell that too.

3. Never buy another Panasonic TV again.  I have since bought a Samsung Plasma, and could not be happier.

Take it from my experience, cutting your losses now will pay huge dividends to your psyche down the road.

For better or worse…

Things that make the world a worse place (in no particular order):

“Jersey Shore”
“Real Housewives” (all of them)
“Keeping up with the Kardashians” (notice a theme starting to develop?)
Jay Leno
The Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (Times Op-Ed piece here)

Things that make the world a better place:

Google, for standing up to China.
Sorry, thats all I got.  It’s easier to be bad than good, I suppose.

Where is my mind?

Twenty years later and it sounds like it came out yesterday:

With your feet in the air and your head on the ground
Try this trick and spin it, yeah
Your head will collapse
But there’s nothing in it
And you’ll ask yourself…
Where is my mind