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You Sunk My Battleship
The stories of a square peg trying to fit a round hole
In which Greg resorts to lame risqué lines to get you to click here!

A quick blurb about vigilantism as the latest in the wave of "hey, look at me" type shenanigans.
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Now, first of all, I read a lot of men's style blogs but a common refrain against almost all of them is this belief, some public stated, some implied, and others subconsciously, that somehow, if you're not dressing like me (i.e. the author of the blog), then you're somehow dirty and are beneath contempt.

I dress the way I do (essentially formal wear) because of the way it makes me feel and not for anybody else nor do I generally believe that because I'm dressed this particular way that I'm somehow better than someone who dresses more casually than I do. I understand that everyone has different sensibilities and accept that.

That said, I still believe that there ought to be a certain level of minimum standards. Like the fact that people regularly roll out of the house in sweatpants, that's probably taking it a bit too far. In any event, I read something today that captures my thoughts perfectly:

Make an effort.

Put on something NICE on a Friday night.


And ladies, ditch the flip flops and Uggs for something CLASSY.

With each amount of effort the opposite sex makes we’ll all keep getting a bit better.

Cahlo makes a great point and I think it's made without any air of condescension or judgment but rather an inner reflection.
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I woke up to this depressing news on Saturday:
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Random musings for your pleasure:
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Why does the GOP talk endlessly about global competition when it comes to corporate tax rate yet seem to not understand the same dynamics apply to energy?
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Personally, I'm a big fan of Peter Cetera and was sad that he left Chicago and started his own solo career, but I know that like Phil Collins, Cetera has his fair share of critics. But, that's actually not what this is about.

What I actually wanted to talk about is actually the writers who inspire me. There are of course, great authors but I am more talking about journalists, great scribes like James Wolcott of Vanity Fair. One simply needs to close their eyes and randomly point at any one of Wolcott's postings to find a gem. However, for a variety of reasons, Three Days in Another Town really struck a chord with me. I strive for the day when I'm able to so eloquently put my thoughts and more importantly emotions, into words.

A more recent nevertheless important discovery is Joe Posnanski, the writer who took over Rick Reilly's back page on Sports Illustrated (apparently on a split time basis). His musings on sports are alright, but I find his true gems are his musings on life. Like this piece about an experience at Universal Studios. Most certainly the story itself is very touching but the way it unfolds, the way he articulates the experience and draws us into his world, this is, I think, what all writers strive for.
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Some of us remember back to days of yore (sometime in the early 90s) when buy American came back in a big way and ever since the media and the populace at large have started to fixate on the "Made In America" label. Today's entry comes from the liberal writer, Michael Tomasky, in The Guardian talking about hybrid cars, emphasis mine:

I'd prefer to buy American, but there just aren't many hybrid sedans. There are two I'm aware of: Ford Fusion and its more elegant brother, the Lincoln MKZ. They frankly don't have nearly as striking a profile as the Sonata. And they're both more expensive. The Sonata tops out around $30,000, while the Fusion can get up to $35,000 and the MKZ more like $44,000. Then of course there's the Camry, but it's not American of course, and Camrys are so boring. And I think that's about it for hybrid sedans.

First of all, as an American, I suppose it is his prerogative to want to purchase American but why not the camry? As far as I'm aware, camrys are basically 100% assembled in America now. Yes, Toyota isn't an American company but if everything about the car is American, then why should it not be considered Made In America?

To his credit, Tomasky isn't blinded by his desire to purchase American to the exclusion of everything else and seems to be headed towards the Hyundai Sonata by the conclusion of his piece, but even then, according to sonata's wiki entry, it's assembled in Alabama, so should it also be considered made in America?
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Reading the always riveting British GQ (far better IMO than the original American GQ), we come across this article from author, Jane Moore about chat up/pick up lines.

Being the debonair man about town, Greg's never had to resort to using such crude devices; on any given night he simply shows up, winks at a woman, and they keep it moving. (Yes, dear readers, the above was purely a work of fiction meant for _your_ pleasure!) By all means, please do read the Moore article, but one thing that's always left me wondering is, in almost all instances, when prompted, women will almost always say, "chat up lines don't work!" And yes, let's go ahead and differentiate between obvious joke/worthless lines like "you must be tired because you've been running in my dreams all night" et al. to more sophisticated lines like "what's your sign?" But, if women so universally find chat up lines distasteful, then why do men still persist in using them?

Now, if one reads between the lines, Moore's implication is that women find the man attractive, irrespective of what he says and the average man will take her attraction of him as a sign that his chat up line worked. Are men really that obtuse?
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The first in an occasional series.

First up, it's Glenn friggin' Madeiros! I don't remember precisely the first time I heard it but my first summer in Jordan, I remember listening to this song many times in the car driving around Amman.

Browsing around the wiki page for the song, I was amazed to find that the song hit #12 on the US Billboards!

Anyway, I don't have much to say, hopefully I'll have more in future installments, this is just a damned good song to share!
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Yachting has become a dangerous pastime–at least to judge by the headlines. Four American yachters were captured and killed off the coast of Somalia last month, while a Danish couple sailing near Somalia last week was kidnapped.

Okay, first of all, it's obviously sad to those who know the victims who lost their lives. But why are rich people yachting off the coast of Somalia?

The point here however is this fascination that (mostly Americans) have with guns. You know, guns don't automatically make you safer. As one of the yacht brokers said, for those who are truly concerned about security, they're probably bringing their own private security firm (i.e. bodyguards), professionals who are trained in the handling of fire arms but more importantly, whose job it is to watch and protect the people who've hired them.

As for the reason why these yachts are off Somalia, why not click through to find out. It's kind of interesting.
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Recently, I finally decided to do a damned thing with my domain and have set up a blog over there and I think I will start to use that as my primary platform of ranting and raving.

This doesn't mean that I've given up LJ (hmm, the question really ought to be, when have I really invested in LJ!), it means that I'll start to cross-link my posts. For now, I have a question, does anybody know of a way for LJ to automatically pick up posts so that I don't have to manually C&P posts from one blog to the other?
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I apparently read a lot. That's not something for me to judge but amongst my favourites is the Photographers Blog from Reuters. If you're not familiar, it's the blog where Reuters photographers write a bit some pictures that they've taken, in more depth and often provide much desired context to make the photos that much more dramatic.

Today's entry by Nick Loh does precisely that. But, what makes it more memorable for me is because it touches on a few thoughts that I have had for the land of my youth.

Foremost amongst which (for those that don't know) is that Taiwan, like South Korea and Israel many countries, still has conscription. (It's worthwhile to click through to see that Greenland has no standing army!) Now, I never served in the army because I left Taiwan at too young of an age and I also know several people who left Taiwan for the US (or points beyond) not simply for educational purposes by their parents but also to avoid their having to serve in the military.

It may very well be because I never served but I believe that compulsory miilitary service isn't as bad as some make it out to be. And I would go further to conjecture that in today's world, a spot of military service isn't such a horrible thing.

To back up this hypothesis, I point to some anecdotal evidence...

Whenever I've occasioned to meet with friends who have previously served, they would regale each other and reminisce about the time they've spent in the service. It was as if it's a rite of passage for them. (I often feel left out of these stories.) Basically, having that common thread of service, allows men to almost instantly bond.

Secondly, boys can do with a spot of discipline in their lives I think. Especially these days when parents seem to dote on their children to excess, someone needs to step back in and teach this to them. Now, my smart friends, you may say that, surely for young men who're 18, it's too late to be teaching them about discipline, I disagree! I think it's never too late for such things.
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From an Author@Google speech that Garry Kasparov gave. Watch it here!

The whole thing's about an hour but my favourite bits are the couple questions that he answered around minute 28:47 to about minute 35.

Just to further entice you, the first question is:

Do you ever rely on gut feeling and intuition in making decisions in chess and do you think such things exists? And is it valid?
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As I sit in my backyard enjoying the beautiful weather we're having here in wonderful Southern California sipping on some cool sangria that I whipped up this morning and smoking a cigar I can't help but wonder if bookmarks (specifically browser bookmarks) are of any real use. I have literally thousands of bookmarks (okay, maybe not that high a number but certainly in the hundreds), I wonder how many of them I will ever visit again. Despite the fact that great care was taken to file them in the first place, I still find it difficult if I don't recall specifically what it is I am searching for. And on the off-chance that I find the particular bookmark in question, what are the odds that the page will still be active and relevant? The problem further exacerbate itself in the fact that I take advantage of many browsers and many computers. I have a desktop machine at home, two laptops, a server in a datacenter and my work machines (again, a desktop and laptop combination) and on these myriad of machines, I use Internet Explorer (though not too many bookmarks in that), firefox, and safari. There are very few overlapping bookmarks across all of these machines and really, those bookmarks are for sites like WSJ and BBC that really, if they weren't bookmarked, there's little doubt I wouldn't know how to get to them. So again I am left wondering what is the purpose/point of bookmarks. Yet, nevertheless, I continue to squirrel away links like a squirrel storing nuts for the winter. It seems that in this digital age, our habits and customs in the physical world gets carried over to the electronic. I find that in the real world, I store away random knick knacks as well. For example, I happened upon a boarding pass from my first first-class flight so many moons ago in an old book as a bookmark (ha, yes, I recognize the symmetry and the irony of it). What of you? Do you find that many of your habits translate across these different aspects of your life?
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