Friday, February 06, 2009

If The Big XII Was The Middle East

KANSAS: Saudi Arabia. Not altogether a bad place; has had historical success in oil and basketball, and continues to be a world leader in those areas. However, parts of the ruling family tends to thrive on its excess, much to its detriment; a certain prince's fondness for American culture (especially for its sweet baked goods) could very well lead to its downfall.

KANSAS STATE: Armenia. No one wants to be here, especially the Armenians.
What's more, nobody really knows where it is. First came to prominence just a decade ago, and nobody can really remember it existing as an independent nation before that. Primary exports: Corn, junior college transfers.

NEBRASKA: Egypt. Was once a great power; its history, through the ages, is matched by few. Has languished in recent years, failing to recognize its new place in the world order as a follower, and not the leader it once was. Its people tend to be the friendliest to its neighbors, though still harboring a long simmering, yet contained, hatred for Israel.

COLORADO: United Arab Emirates. An incredibly refined populace-- probably because it's impossible to make it your home unless you're incredibly wealthy. Does its best to compete with its neighbors, but has resigned itself to being the playground of the region, instead of one of its traditional powers. Doesn't have a baseball team.

IOWA STATE: Afghanistan. There's really no reason that this nation should even exist, and if it weren't for previous colonial empires, it probably wouldn't. Easily overlooked over the last 300 years, its people are a ramshackle alliance of groups that don't belong anywhere else. Wishes to God, Allah, and whoever else that it would either cease to exist, or be swallowed up by Pakistan to the south, or the University of Iowa to the west.

MISSOURI: Turkey. Still trying to figure out how it got mixed up in this region, anyway. They're a member of NATO. Shouldn't they be in the Big Ten?

OKLAHOMA STATE: Syria. Nobody pays attention to them until they start mouthing off to the other nations around it. Will occasionally attack its neighbors, with varying success, with most of its successes coming in areas that others couldn't care less about, like wrestling.

TEXAS TECH: Iran. Really, REALLY wants to be noticed in the international community. Will go so far as to fake the development of nuclear weapons, or choose homicidal, maniacal, self-aggrandizing men as their president/basketball coach, just to get noticed. Incredibly eccentric as a nation. Has a deep-seated hatred of both Israel and Iraq--and a huge inferiority complex to go along with it. Very arid, dry climate featuring frequent windstorms.

BAYLOR: Lebanon. Everything they do is just a cluster, and no matter what they do, nothing ever seems to get better. Every once in awhile, it'll nip at the ankles of one of the larger nations, and piss those other nations off just enough to where they're smacked down and consequently can't achieve anything noteworthy for the next ten years.

OKLAHOMA: Iraq. Lies, cheats, and steals to get its way in the international community. If caught doing something wrong, or illegal, its excuse is that "everybody else has done it, we just get caught." No one wants to live here, but everybody that does wishes they could move away. Recently has undergone minor restructuring due to numerous ethics violations.

TEXAS: Israel. Pretty much everyone else in the region hates them. Can destroy lesser countries at will using incredibly advanced tactics. Not relegated to the stone-age lifestyle of some of its closest neighboring nations. Home of God's chosen, but some of the most annoying, people.

TEXAS A&M: Palestine. Doesn't actually exist as an entity to really be dealt with, but loves nothing more than to take pot-shots at Israel, just to tick them off. Economy based on farming, with an emphasis on sheep. Continuously complains that they're the real power in the region, and that their status should supersede that of Israel. Religious zealotry abounds; small, infrequent attacks on its neighbors are hailed as moral victories.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100.If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:

The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
The fifth would pay $1.
The sixth would pay $3.
The seventh would pay $7.
The eighth would pay $12.
The ninth would pay $18.
The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.

So, that's what they decided to do. The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve.'Since you are all such good customers, he said, I'm going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20.Drinks for the ten now cost just $80.

The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes so the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free.But what about the other six men ? How could they divide the $20 Windfall so that everyone would get his 'fair share?'They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody's share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer.

So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man's bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay!And so:

The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing--(100% savings).
The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 ---------------(33% savings).
The seventh now pay $5 instead of $7---------------(28% savings).
The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12------------ (25% savings).
The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 ------------(22% savings).
The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59------------ (16% savings).

Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free. But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings.'I only got a dollar out of the $20, 'declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man, 'but he got $10!'

'Yeah, that's right,' exclaimed the fifth man. 'I only saved a dollar, too. It's unfair that he got ten times more than I!'

'That's true!!' shouted the seventh man. 'Why should he get $10 back when I got only two? The wealthy get all the breaks!'

*'Wait a minute,' yelled the first four men in unison. 'We didn't get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!'

The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

The next night the tenth man didn't show up for drinks, so the nine sat down and had beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn't have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!

And that, Blue Staters and Red Staters, boys and girls, journalists and college professors, is how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact, they might start drinking overseas where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.

Ph.D.Professor of Economics, University of Georgia

For those who understand, no explanation is needed.
For those who do not understand, no explanation is possible

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Big Decision

Well, I have finally made a huge decision...and just in time see today I purchased a brand new bike (well actually Don bought it for me, how sweet!). Now you may ask why this is such a big decision, after all in this day and age there are many things requiring decision and yet I chose to make this my important decision of the week. Well the thing is I have registered for the MS 150 - a daunting 180 mile trek from Houston to Austin over a period of two days on a bicycle. And now I have made a decision as to what bicycle I will be riding for that trip. Stay tuned for more information as I will try to post things as I begin training and my thoughts on the ride...

Monday, October 20, 2008


It’s been a while...ok it’s been a really long while since I posted anything on this blog. Although I would like to say the reason for that was that I have been off on a grand adventure; unfortunately that is not the case. Well some adventurous things have been happening but primarily I have been busy with work (which is just too boring to blog about) to fill you in on the goings on in my life, i have decided to start back up with my blog.

Married life is going well. Don is finally employed and in Houston!! He successfully defended his thesis and will officially graduate in December.

We bought a house – actually I should say we built a house. Which is awesome!! I never thought I would want to have the permanence of owning a home but it’s so nice to come home and have all the space we want and the flexibility to do what we want with it. There are still several rooms that are empty but the main livings areas are coming along nicely.

Finally, (for now) my sister just got married!! Don and I went to Oklahoma for the wedding. The chapel was gorgeous, the ceremony very nice, and Jess looked amazing. I can't wait to see the pictures.

So in the future I plan to keep this site more up to date - but dont be surprised if there isn't a lot happening outside of work :(

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Wedding Photos

The wait is over...I have posted some (only a few in comparison to the hundreds we have) of the photos from the wedding on the site below. It was truely a wonderful expereince. Thanks to everyone who made it so special.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Wedding Stuff

Well as most of you who read this already know...Don and I are finally getting married. Hopefully thats not too big of a suprise for anyone given how long we have been dating. The date is December 20, 2007. According to the calendar thats only about 46 days away. People are always asking me if I am excited...I am, but its hard to be super excited when I have loads of work stuff to worry about.

Luckilly most of the arrangements are taken care the dress, location (Dalhousie Castle in Scotland), minister, visa (you have to have one to marry in the UK if you are not a resident), hotels, plane tickets, flowers, cake, ring bearer (his name is Bandit, see picture)...We are working with a group called Highland Country Weddings. They are based in Inverness Scotland, but also have an office in LA. So far its been pretty good, and rather easy.
We decided to register at Pottery Barn, Williams Sonoma, and JC Penney. At first we weren't going to register since it will be a small wedding but some of the people at work are throwing us a shower and wanted us to register. Its not like we need a whole lot of stuff, but it was fun to pick things out.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Funny and very true

Hurricanes and cars

Well it looks like Houston has avoided the first major hurricane of the season. It would have been a nice few days off work but also a hassle to deal with. I think that the consensus for most of my friends and neighbors is that we are likely to stick it out here in H-town. The reasoning being that we are far enough inland to get any major damage. Now if an evacuation was ordered for our area (unlikely) we would leave and head north. Yes I do have an almost full tank of gas in the event of an evacuation. Although don't forget that my car does run on an electric battery also.
Speaking of cars, Don bought a new one this weekend. Its very cool ... a Nissan Versa. Its a small hatchback, ultra low emissions and above 30 mpg. It also has a surprising amount of space and cost about half of my car. Below is a picture (shamelessly borrowed from Nissan's website). It's pretty cool because of some of the technology that is built in. It is Bluetooth capable and has a hook-up for an mp3 player. But the neatest thing is that you can keep the keys in your pocket and start the car. Its hard to explain but weird to watch at first.

Other than that not much happening outside of work. A group of us got together for a night at one of the Museums called "Mixers, Elixers and Imax". Basically its a Friday night event for those above 21 to explore the museum and watch an Imax with a cash bar and appetizers. It was pretty fun and there were a wide range of people in attendence. It appears to be a summer things (probably to get people out of the heat and humidity). Well thats all for now folks!