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Archive for December, 2008

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Top 25 Songs for 2008

Every December for the past few years, I have looked over the old iTunes song count and reflected on my top 25. Since it’s near the end of the year, I thought I would take a moment and give you my Top 25 for 2008.

Snow ((Hey Oh)) – Red Hot Chili Peppers
Turn It Again – Red Hot Chili Peppers
I’m Yours – Jason Mraz
Geek In The Pink – Jason Mraz
Plane – Jason Mraz
I’ll Do Anything – Jason Mraz
Next Year – Foo Fighters
Bella Luna – Jason Mraz
O. Lover – Jason Mraz
Did You Get My Message? – Jason Mraz
Lucky (feat. Colbie Caillat) – Jason Mraz
Wordplay – Jason Mraz
You And I Both – Jason Mraz
21st Century – Red Hot Chili Peppers
Dani California – Red Hot Chili Peppers
Song For A Friend – Jason Mraz
The Remedy (I Won’t Worry) – Jason Mraz
London Calling – The Clash
Falling Down – Duran Duran
Please Don’t Tell Her – Jason Mraz
Pork and Beans – Weezer
Life Is Wonderful – Jason Mraz
I’m Yours (From the Casa Nova Sessions) – Jason Mraz
Hard To Concentrate – Red Hot Chili Peppers
The Beauty In Ugly (Ugly Betty Version) – Jason Mraz

To say this was the year of Jason Mraz, would be an understatement. I got his latest release (We Sing, We Dance, We Steal Things) and fell in love with it. I quickly went back and bought the back catalog. I have always liked talented songwriters and Jason fits that bill. He’s got a great voice and some really good lyrics. Besides that he’s got a great attitude on the music business. He allows his shows to be taped and freely distributed. The key is: freely. Don’t try to sell a concern or they will hunt you down. Jennifer, Kevin Reese and I went to see him in concert for my birthday in July. He was great and about a week later, I was able to download that concert and enjoy it all over again.

So 16 of the top 25 are Mraz songs, so that tells you what I was listening to this year. Throw in the 5 Chili Peppers songs and I had a pretty limited scope of music in 2008. Stadium Arcadium is a great disk and I think is the RHCP best album.

Throw in touches of the Clash, Duran Duran, and Weezer and you have your top 25. I have always prided myself on my diversity when it comes to music, I must say that I was a little disappointed at the lack of it here. O well, numbers don’t lie.

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Rod says a bunch of bad words.

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Maybe all it took was for me to officially close the door on 2008 for things to start looking up. People all over Illinois are dancing for joy as our nimrod of a Governor got arrested on federal corruption charges. See the details here: Rob says the f-bomb.

After reading most of the details of what he did, he makes George Ryan look like an amateur. But in all fairness, let’s look at all the good things he’s done for Illinois. He’s increased the income tax base of every state that surrounds Illinois as people and business’ have moved. He’s been successful in pissing off his own party more than the republicans ever could. And, boy, can the guy ever drop the f-word when he needs to.

After being in local politics and seeing the lack of support that his office gave to the citizens of Illinois, this could not have been better karma. I have still not yet found anyone that actually voted for him 2 years ago. I will continue to look.

In the meantime, good luck, Rod. As an asshole, you are number one with me!

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Goodbye, 2008. Don't let the door hit you on the way out.

Reflecting back on 2008, I can honestly say: This year sucked. It’s always a good idea the look at the positives and all the good things that have happened to you and your family. That’s all well and good, but for the sake of argument I’m going to look back on what will go down in flames as the one of the crappiest years in my life. (How’s that for being professor positive?)

Screw you, Dow Jones and your average.
When you make a living in the investment business, it’s not good to have the worst year on record for every major stock average. Seeing the Dow drop from 14,164 to about 7500 makes for a bad year. Throw in a bond market that is for crap and there you go. I have spent most of the past three months dealing with this market, so, that’s all I have to say about that.

And Leo’s getting larger….
I started to get on a diet plan a couple of months back. I was jazzed about it and even wrote a blog or two. Then stress from the stock market crept into my waistline and the diet went by the wayside and McDonald’s came back into my life. Now I just have a bigger number to start from when I appear on Biggest loser next season.

Ahhhhh, my sports teams.
Indians – The Tribe was one win away from the World Series in 2007. Whoever won the American League was going to roll over the Rockies. The Indians managed to blow a 3-1 series lead in the ALCS and lose to Boston. C.C. Sabathia won the Cy Young award and things were looking good for 2008. Injuries, bad pitching and other excuses lead to a 81-81 season. We spent most of the season in 2nd to last place. Our bright spot was that Cliff Lee won the Cy Young this year. So, it’s December and we are still without a closer, a healthy, power-hitting DH, 3 spots in the rotation are up for grabs and we don’t have a 3rd baseman. Needless to say, I’m a little concerned for next year.

Cowboys – After expecting the Cowboys to run the table in the NFL this year, they sit at 8-5. Tony Romo was hurt, the team is still learning that NFL games are 4 quarters, not 3 and they still have the train wreck that is T.O. So, the Cowboys will be enjoying the playoffs from their couches this year.

Salukis – The football team had another good year, but was bounced from the playoffs in the first round. Our basketball team is average at best and missed the NCAA this past March after going for the previous 6 years.

So, I’m fat, work is tough and my sports teams stink. Seems like a thin reason to call it a bad year. I still have a beautiful, wonderful wife. My son brings a new smile to my face everyday. I have the love and support of my family. Most of the things that I am ready to flush are out of my control. And what that old serenity prayer say? “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference. So, c’mon down 2009. I’m ready for you.

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You missed your chance Detroit!!

A couple of weeks ago, the Detroit auto makers came to congress to ask for some cash to help their struggling companies. Congress asked them for their plan, and they didn’t have one. So much for asking dad for an advance on our allowance to buy more Hot Wheels.

What I thought was interesting about this exchange is the story regarding their travel habits. The news was that the 3 CEOs came to Washington via private jet. Not 1 private jet, three separate private jets. Each flight costing $20,000 for the round trip. The comparable flight on a commercial airline would have been about $750 dollars.

With all the outrage from the public regarding executive compensation, you would have thought these guys would have maybe thought about this. Its tough for the american public to sympathize with you guys when you spent $60,000 on a day trip to Washington to ask for $25B in taxpayer money.

Missed the Oportunity

What could one of them done to look like a hero? Assume the Ford CEO, Alan Mulally, gassed up a new 2009 Ford Escape Hybrid and headed out for the 8-hour trip to DC from Detroit. As the news story breaks that the other 2 CEOs flew their jets, Ford’s CEO pulls up to the hearings in his shiny hybrid. When the microphones are shoved in his face, he quotes, “I didn’t think it would be right to show up and ask for help after flying the corporate jet. Besides, the Ford Escape is one of the best cars for highway travel with an estimated 34 mpg.”

He could have been a hero and great salesperson. That could have been the story. The book is closed on what “could have been.”

So, today the big 3’s plans are due to congress and Mr. Mulally is driving to DC and the other 2 are flying commercial. Sorry guys, you only get one chance to make a first impression.