Vanity Fair is running an article
about the perverse and dichotomous laissez-faire economics dealing with government contractors
. Specifically, they take an accounting of the relationship between SAIC
and the federal government as it influences the readers' moral center and income tax statement.
The authors eloquently demonize the monster 'shadow corporation'
but provide a wealth of facts and conjecture. It's a worthwhile read
if you can filter the unncessary adjectives.
To get some idea of the scale: contractors absorb the taxes paid by everyone in America with incomes under $100,000.
Three years and a million lines of garbled computer code later, [the FBI's Virtual Case File system] has been written off by a global publication for technology professionals as 'the most highly publicized software failure in history.'
An unrepentant Donald Rumsfeld stated that he would shut down the Office of Strategic Influence but in name only: 'There's the name. You can have the name, but I'm going to keep doing every single thing that needs to be done.'
Unlike traditional wars, which eventually come to an end, the Global War on Terror as defined by the Bush administration can have no end: it is a permanent war - the perfect war for a company that has become an essential component of the permanent government.
I took a midweek trip
up to Tahoe
's fabulous north shore. Apparently all that Wii Weather paid off, or I just got really lucky:
- An hour after our flight left San Diego, the airport was shut down on account of heavy fog. My roommate was in a holding pattern for an hour before they redirected him to Vegas.
- A snow flurry arrived for our first day of skiing. It created a slightly treacherous powder-on-ice situation, but was preferable to hot weather and a thin, icy base (experienced by the same roommate the days preceding).
- The second day was very mild and clear with great, fresh snow.
- We returned to Sacramento as a nasty storm was approaching, escaping Tahoe at precisely the right time.The first day we skiied Squaw Valley, then Northstar on the next day. Both resorts were virtually deserted, leaving vacant slopes and nonexistent lines. In fact, the only significant population consisted of rainbow-scarved Google employees on their annual ski trip. It probably goes without saying that most of them took advantage of complimentary lessons and could be seen wobbling down the flats, so the mountain backsides were wonderfully barren.
had her little point and shoot, so I had a some fun shooting
a couple runs. I couldn't coax her into the snow park, but the vids definitely show what a nice day it was. Next purchase: auto-stabilization.
And finally, it was this trip that I realized how much better the Northstar runs are
. Squaw's runs are short, the chairs are slow, and the lift/run setup is just lackluster (like Mammoth). Northstar has some long runs, a great all-diamond backside (see first video below), and lots of fast, high-capacity chairs.
So yesterday was the Player's Sports Bar
Super Bowl shindig. It was all you can eat, all you can drink
for a modest $75. And in the event that either half's kickoff be returned for a touchdown, everyone would get their money back and ten g's would be up for grabs in the raffle.
As it turns out, the opening kickoff was returned for a touchdown
. At that point it didn't matter the color of your jersey, we all cheered for free food and drink.
Our crew of nine arrived at noon to begin the seven-hour, lifespan-shortening orgy of food and drink
. One individual made it his personal goal to expand the bartender's repertoire
upon learning that they 'might' have the proper ingredients for a mudslide. His subsequent orders included a rumrunner, tokyo tea, and grateful dead. Apparently both the bartender and waitress derived passing amusement from having to research each concoction.
Another enterprising individual appointed himself the sportsbook
and took, um, imaginary bets. I won all of mine:
- Coin toss comes up heads
- First interception thrown by Peyton
- Colts win by more than seven
- Grossman QB rating < 75.0
- Brian doesn't cry when the Colts win
- None of the white, female journalists on the field would interview a coach at half (facetious high-five to the South!) Other unique ones were that there would be a Budweiser commercial before the first Pepsi commercial, and that the sports book would take a net loss for the evening.
Late arrivals to the game included horse and bear mascots that distributed gummy candy. Fox News and a local news radio station did some recording. The most auspicious Colts fan in our party was micced twice and we ended up making the ten o'clock news
So serious props to Players. The food was fine, the drinks were plentiful, and the door prizes were worthwhile ($10 gift cert, insulated travel mug for everyone). And a big thanks to Devin Hester
Here's what the sports book might have looked like:
So the Pendleton Mud Run
is coming up in five months. CS
have enlisted the resources of personal trainers
. I prefer the old fashioned pathway to fitness - performance enhancing drugs. But I can't just sit on the couch and play Zelda letting the hormones turn me into Lance Armstrong
, I have to benchmark myself every so often to gauge the quickness with which I effortlessly approach peak physical performance
Hopefully this will take the form of a weekly sporting activity in the Mesa; last weekend we had a 4v4 football matchup. The highlight
, of course, was Jon catching a football with his eye
. A fairly extraordinary event, not because he injured himself, but because it was on the rebound from a tree
placed conveniently in their end zone. Not only did the ball achieve the improbable by deflecting off the tree into his eye, but did so having originated fifty yards away
clearly achieved the greatest kickoff in history
Serious, I YouTubed The Play
immediately afterwards. I said, 'After Bret
's kickoff, this looks like a bunch of rhinos dooked partially-digested monkeys on a field and the monkeys are writhing toward one end of the field where there are a bunch of shiny dook monkeys.' Then I went to ebaums and found a video of a bunch of partially-digested dook monkeys on a field writhing toward one end of the field where there were a bunch of shiny dook monkeys. Exactly the same