Saturday, December 30, 2006


I'm not generally one to make a big deal about a year. It's just an arbitrary period of time, and my goal setting tends to be in both shorter and longer periods of time, and I typically don't use January 1 as a meaningful date.

However, 2006 was such a poor year for goals, I think maybe there's value in taking a few minutes as we move into a new year to take a look at where I am and where I want to go.

My life gets kinda broken into buckets. There's Work. There's Lifting. Then there's the most important one, Life.

Of course, they all kind of mix together, but you can see the distinction. And if you can't, tough. Get your own blog.


I'm a winner. I'm more talented than the vast majority of people in my position, and, in fact, than the vast majority of people at my level in the organization. This works in my favor. However, I also can't relocate, which makes moving up to the next level a bit of a challenge, as there aren't many more field positions out there in this area... in order to climb the corporate latter, someday we'll have to move.

That's OK, though. I've been in this job for 28 months, and I have the opportunity this year to show that I am not only more talented, but I'm the best performer. (An important distinction. The best performer in this role is far less talented than I.) To that end, I'm resolving (ugh) to really focus on executing my business plan, to taking it seriously, and to putting the effort in necessary to get results out at the end. No more 3/4 throttle.

To do this, I need to get better at planning, and get better at focusing on work when I'm working. Time management is critical, as is ensuring that anything I do gets me closer to success, thus removing those things I do that don't add value.

I'm lucky in that my job allows a great deal of flexibility. (I can work from home, I'm out on the road a lot, so I don't spend much time in a cube. This can be a blessing and a curse.) I need to better leverage that to help me with the other two buckets.


As you may have noticed, lifting was simply not a priority this year. There are lots of reasons, lots of excuses. Given my generally positive outlook, I'm taking a positive from 2006: I don't like being normal. I love lifting, I love the effects, I love having it as part of my life. I think it took a long period where it wasn't (and there are good things about that) to recognize that while not going to the gym is nice, I miss it.

As usual, I have a plan. I have a canned 12 week plan to start out, but the keys, as usual, for me are to stay consistent. Is it tough sometimes with my work schedule? Sure. But it's a priority.

Goals for this year?
Get/Stay healthy
Lift in a meet
Make progress
Get jacked

That's about it. I don't really know where I am, so it's hard to say where I want to be. The good thing is that I didn't really lose too much mass or anything, so I think my lifts should come back pretty quickly.

As an aside, nutrition will be a big part of my lifestyle as well. I'll be following the PN plan, and working hard to use lifting and nutrition to better my health. I am getting older, you know. That said, it won't stand in the way of enjoying the finer things...


This bucket is more about my relationships and my lifestyle. Obviously I want to continue to build my relationship with my wife, although we are a damn happy couple. I'm also going to ensure we do more entertaining. Not just to eat and drink, but to foster relationships with some friends that I've not really seen for a while.

Of course, I do want to appreciate the finer things. I'm building an interest in wine, and building more of an interest in food, so I expect to spend a little more time and money exploring the two.

I'm getting a new car.

I'm also going to focus on health. As I said above, I need to improve my nutrition, and lifting is good for me. I also need to stop self destructive behavior, be it smoking, drinking to excess, not sleeping enough, whatever. Smoking is done. Everything - cigarettes, cigars, whatever. No dip, either. There is absolutely no redeeming value, in my opinion, of the use of tobacco.

I'm also going to work on better running my life, so I have time to do all the things I want to do, as well as get the rest I need to get to be productive the next day. Planning and time management are critical here, but I think I have that down.

I'd like to write more, too. Set some time aside every day to put pen to paper, or keyboard to internet, whatever.

I really want to expand my mind. While I read a lot of news stuff, and I'm up to date on Economics and Classical Liberal Political Theory, I don't read enough (fiction or non). My parents got me a book called Stout Fellow that was all about the Nero Wolfe series of novels and novellas by Rex Stout. I started reading them when I was in middle school, and love them to this day... yet I haven't read them all. I should, given I tore through that book in a day. Satisfactory, Mom and Dad. That just shows me that I need to spend a little more time reading, a habit I've all but lost. (I do read, just I read newspapers, magazines, and the internet... which is fine, but it's not a book.)

Now that our house is pretty much done (save a couple of projects that aren't time sensitive), I'm really looking forward to finding ways to enjoy my life. We've been fortunate and hard working enough to be in a financial position to not worry much (she still worries a little, which keeps me out of a Ferrari, but what are you going to do?) I think now we need to focus on getting to retirement age (55!) happy and healthy so we can just enjoy the fruits of our hard work.

Finally, I always strive to give more back. To the lifting community, I'll continue trying to point new lifters in the right direction. To my local community, I'll continue to watch out for my neighbors, and pour some time and effort into working with kids (I'm teaching personal finance to kids in middle school through the Youth Dreamers this year.) To the broader community, I'll continue to support SPCA, Playing for Peace, and the Special Olympics (and some others). Politically, I'll keep speaking for Liberty.

I'm pretty excited about the new year, I think it will be the best yet. I hope it is for you.

Worst news of the year

Corey Maye lost his motion for a new trial.

Radley Balko (who should be the blogger of the year, for both his coverage of this and of SWAT raids on non violent people) gives the details.

Kinda takes the wind out of your sails. I hope this isn't the end of the road, though.

I'm Two!

Today, my blog is two.

Just upgraded to the new version of Blogger, so I can now put posts in categories, and the template is easier to work with.

Friday, December 29, 2006


Sometimes, I don't realize how good I've got it.

But some days I do.

There is nothing better than sitting in my new house, surrounded by my nice things, sipping a Grey Goose Martini, listening to Classical Music on the Sonos, looking at my incredible wife in that incredible black top with the zipper, the long skirt, and black boots.

I even get to pet a dog.

Blogs can't be far behind bumper stickers

The FEC 'admonished' NASCAR driver Kirk Shelmerdine for having a Bush/Cheney bumper sticker on his race car in 2004.
In a decision announced Tuesday, the FEC sent an “admonishment letter” to Kirk Shelmerdine Racing. Kirk Shelmerdine, a former pit boss for the late Dale Earnhardt, has been an unsuccessful, underfunded and undersponsored driver. He has never finished higher than 26th.

So back in 2004, in a move perhaps designed to draw some attention to his car, he placed a “Bush-Cheney ’04” decal on his rear quarter panel, which was otherwise unencumbered by advertising. Democratic activist Sydnor Thompson complained to the FEC, and the agency found that Shelmerdine “may have made an unreported independent expenditure or a prohibited corporate expenditure.”

I told you it's coming. Chavez is taking out a TV network. Are we really that far behind?

And you think you want them to control your health care?

A letter in the WaPo from the Comptroller General of the United States.
The largest employer in the world announced on Dec. 15 that it lost about $450 billion in fiscal 2006. Its auditor found that its financial statements were unreliable and that its controls were inadequate for the 10th straight year. On top of that, the entity's total liabilities and unfunded commitments rose to about $50 trillion, up from $20 trillion in just six years.

If this announcement related to a private company, the news would have been on the front page of major newspapers. Unfortunately, such was not the case -- even though the entity is the U.S. government.

Shouldn't Sarbaines Oxley apply to the government?

A good quote

Credited to both Davey Crockett and President Ford
A government that is big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have.

You might want to stew on that for a while.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Training Update

And other stuff.

Things slowly get back to normal. For the weeks leading up to the holidays, we busted tail to get the house ready to host Christmas Dinner (which went pretty well, I have to say).

Alas, now, there is calm.

I've been catching up on sleep and work stuff, but I think I might just go to the gym this weekend. As noted in a post below, I'm looking forward to not being normal.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006


Another romp of the Steelers. If nothing else, that's a mark of a successful season. With the Colts loss (HA!) the Ravens can lock up a bye and a home game with a win against Buffalo.

I have tickets to the theater on Superbowl Sunday. Normally, this is fine, given I can live without wathcing the Superbowl, and it will be a good day to go out to dinner.

Unless the Ravens are in the Superbowl.

Discussions with Mrs. Stagg are underway.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

A year of progress

This post is a little over a year old.

Has anything changed, other than the body count?

Anybody know what 'victory' is?

Sometimes it's fun being right. Other times it's sickening that people continue to die because of other people's criminal acts.

Required Reading

Yes, I'm an Economics Geek. But I can also pick up the back end of a car, so it's not so bad.

Don Boudreaux explains why creating jobs isn't hard to do, but it also isn't necessarily helpful.

Learn something today.

Party City

Just an observation: wouldn't you think the employees at a place called Party City would be pretty festive?

They aren't.

Monday, December 18, 2006


Ravens are in the Playoffs.

I'm rooting for Cinci tonight. A loss by the Colts opens up the number 2 seed and a bye. Plus, of course, I always root against the Colts.

The start of a movement?

Bob Barr joins the Libertarian Party, and makes a big deal of it.

This is a great thing, to have recognizable names move to the party. (I would be thrilled to see Ron Paul do it). I sure would like to see it more often.

Saturday, December 16, 2006


The other day I said 'I used to lift'.

Thing is, lifting encourages other positive habits - I eat well, I make sure I get enough sleep, I don't drink much, etc. when I'm training regularly.

So now, I'm eating like crap, I don't get enough sleep, I drink too much. I started smoking regularly again.

On one hand, I kind of needed the break, not only to get things done, but to remind myself that I don't like living like a normal person. I like living the lifestyle of a lifter, and I miss it.

A Note to Baltimore City.

You are an idiot. One giant colletive moron. Why?

Flashing blue lights in Fells Point.

Some time ago, Baltimore got some Federal bucks to further infringe on the rights of the individuals, and started putting up police cameras. They said they would only go on 'known drug corners' or 'high crime areas'. In a fit of brilliance, they decided to affix a blue strobe light to the top of the camera, so that everyone would know exactly where the camera is. Which essentially moved the known drug corners to other corners, and of course leads to more flashing blue lights.

I was driving through Fells Point a couple of weeks ago... I don't go to Fells Point as often as I used to since we moved to Canton. I noted a flashing blue strobe light at the corner of Aliceanna and Broadway.

Probably the least likely drug corner in the city.

That corner is, however, the hub of a bustling trendy touristy neighborhood. So it makes sense, I guess, to the City of Baltimore to put a flashing blue light that says 'stay out, with your money and your huge development plans! We don't want no property appreciation here!'

Morons. Seriously.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Fantastic summary

Of why big government always fails, regardless of the party running it at Coyote Blog.

Great stuff. Take note.. you won't be any happier when Hilliary can listen to your phone calls without a warrant than the Dems are when you spend money on YOUR pet interest.

Is this how you wish to live?

Radley Balko (The Agitator) links to a photo of a paramilitary police officer standing guard while a child uses the toilet during a drug raid. A raid that turned up nothing.

Balko makes the appropriate point - that no one in their right mind would think this is where the 'land of the free' would be in 2006. Yet, somehow, we are. And we somehow think it's ok to use this level of force to show people we're serious about drugs.

Kid looks like he could bust a cap in yo' ass, huh? I wonder how he's going to end up, what with all the trust in authority he must have now.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Updates coming

I've got a couple of things to post about, just not an opportunity to get to them.

In the meantime, compare and contrast the Baltimore Ravens and the Indianapolis Colts.

Who's going deeper in the playoffs and why.

Please show your work.

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Um, whoops?

WJZ, one of the local TV stations here in Baltimore, 'broke' the story that Michael Richards had appeared in blackface at a roast for Whoopie Goldberg, just a few weeks after his, um, tirade at an LA comedy club.

Their source: Dateline Hollywood

I understand the WSJ is going to use The Onion as a source on foriegn policy.

Saturday, December 2, 2006

Sorry for the tease

I can't put up the consumer alert just yet.

Probably soon.

If you are planning on buying appliances, send me an e-mail.