Results for category "Life"

Using Psychology To Make the Best Fantasy Baseball Trades

I’ve been reading a lot lately about psychology and the way people respond to things. Anyone who knows me will tell you I spend wayyyyyy too much time figuring out why people do the things they do…and way too much time over analyzing things I should probably just leave alone. For example, I talked to a hibachi chef Friday night for an hour about how Lancaster Countians act differently then people anywhere else in the country (We both agreed to this point, and I’ve heard it from others). This kind of thinking has its pros and its cons – but it does provide a framework for describing why things go down the way they do most of the time.

Of course I’m rocking several fantasy baseball leagues – The big, longterm 16-team, 8×8 Roto Inglorious Bastardos, The 12 Team TFP Just for Fun 8×8 Roto You Dickey!, the a Weekly head to head 12 team full of people I don’t know, who don’t trade, and who I beat every year…not gonna’ lie. I’ve been playing in leagues for over 6 years now and I dig it..I think it actually makes me a bigger baseball fan and, believe or not, better at my real world job.

Trading, in my opinion, is the most important thing you can do to improve your team, and the single most enjoyable part of fantasy sports. Everything, from the offer created, to the evaluation, to the veto process is a lesson in psychology. Some of them are logical, some are them are completely irrational, but, just knowing a little basic psychology can help you pull off the ultimate value adds for your team. The info below is based on actual experience as well as some real research – not done for simply the purposes of fantasy of course…:O. The idea for the post comes from an ongoing text discussion with my buddy Matt Horn on how individual fantasy owners act the same way, year over year.  Leads to articles like this.

I just got done reading the book “Thinking, Fast and Slow” by David Kahneman. He started the field of Behavioral Economics and shared a Nobel Prize for his work. One of his primary theories is that decision making takes place in two distinct ways. System 1 decisions are sometimes referred to as ‘spur of the moment’, and many of them happen automatically, quickly and subconsciously. This part of the decision making process is biased by information readily on hand – and, surprisingly enough gets used over 90% of the time when people make decisions. The other side of this is System 2 thought which is slower, analytical and more logical (maybe I need to trust System 1 more?). So, you ask yourself – how do I make the acceptance of this trade happen on a System 1 decision? How do I make accepting my trade more of an impulse, than something calculated and analyzed up one side and down the other? Here is the secret –

Play to Irrational Biases of Other Owners

You know you’ve done it – you just never knew the fact that it works is based in science. Irrational biases show up in tons of places, but every league can rely on at least a few constants, and I would argue that even the most ‘advanced’ fantasy owner will succumb to overvaluing guys for one reason or another. Here are a quick 20 trading strategies that play off the irrational biases of others. Most of these I’ve encountered and used over the years, and all of them are based on some sort of psychological logic. The greatest moves come when you combine more than one in a single trade.

1. Trading Partner’s Favorite Real Life Team’s Players. Easiest one in the book. Kahneman suggests a concept called What You See Is All There Is (WYSIATI)..which basically states that people have an irrational bias towards the things they see themselves. Makes pretty good sense.

2. Team that has games on owner’s local cable station. Again, WYSIATI. If they see Rollins go 5-5, that increases the odds that they’ll trade for him…before they realize that it’s Rollins and he stinks now..

3. Highly publicized player – Good or bad (even the bad ones will be fresh in their mind). Works great with prospects, another example of WYSIATI

4. Cool name Literally. Giancarlo Stanton just increased his changes of being irrationally traded for by simply changing his name from Mike. I think this is totally just because everyone has considered at one point or another, changing or improving there name. I am irrational about the name Clint (which actually happens to be my Pap’s name). I’ve never met an uncool Clint.

5. Guy who’s great in some obscure stat someone is pumped they look at and you don’t. Don’t have to be a rocket scientist here. Fantasy is all about maximizing value – based on the way I look at a player,if I think he’s better than the player I’m offering you, I’m all about it. It’s just up to you to know what your opponent likes to use. Plus every fantasy owner likes to think they got one up on another.

6. Aces. Chicks dig the long ball – but fantasy owners dig the pitching strikeout. Seriously. I’m convinced that it’s just because ‘Slugger’ doesn’t sound as cool as ‘Ace’..but aces are always overvalued.Ace

7. Urgency – Works mainly for roto leagues..but I’ve made some ridiculous trades because someone’s 2B just went on the 15 day. This speaks to a psychological concept called loss aversion – people tend to fear loss more than they appreciate gain.

8. Compliments – Every owner is an egomaniac when it comes to his team and his strategy. Tell them they’re doing good in the comments section of the trade, tell them you thought grabbing Bryce Harper and stashing him was a sweet move. Just like with anybody, they’ll be pumped someone is actually paying attention and that someone finally recognizes their genius. That’s relationships 101 baby!

9. Have a Trade Pending With Somebody Else – One of the quickest things people ask themselves when they receive a trade is ‘is this guy trying to screw me with some junk offer?’ By already having a trade going with someone else, they know you’re at least capable of executing a fair trade and that alleviates this fear a little, and plays into everybody’s irrational need to do what everyone else is doing. Use it!

10. Have a Good Reputation – Kinda plays into the one above, as well as every relationship you’ve ever tried to make in your life. Bottomline – if you were a scumbag to somebody else – calling them out, offering them crap deals, saying dumb stuff on the message board – it lowers your credibility as well as your chances of making deals/relationships in the future. People talk.

11. Trade for the extra player or provide a replacement – This is the one that happens to me all the time. I play in a 16 team league. Why am I going to trade you Troy Tulowitski for Robinson Cano? I have no backup SS, and none are available? It would also leave me with an extra 2B. I’m human; I fear loss more than I support gain. Instead, try to grab my 4th outfielder for an upgrade or add on pitcher. You’re not leaving me holes and I considered that guy trade bait anyway. Loss Aversion.

12. Don’t make them drop guys to make it happen – Remember, I’m an egomaniac and I think my team is great and my strategy is better than yours. Even though I like your deal, why would I want to dump a guy I like so someone else can pick him up later basically for free? Instead, offer me an even up deal personnel-wise..I’m much more likely to include a guy in a trade for slightly less value, then to dump him and lose the ability to gain something. More Loss Aversion. Fear Loss more than like gain!

13. Be Visible – Related to reputation, but it’s another play off of WYSIATI. Look visible, look interested. Make add drops, post on message boards. Text people about trades. If you have a good reputation, let people experience it..don’t keep it quiet…and the trades get easier.

14. Trade Them the Guys They Had Last Year – A bunch of things going on here. They’re familiar with the guys’ stats, they were into them enough to keep them last season, AND, you recognized that so that plays to the whole ego trip thing. I’ve seen this happen MANY, MANY times.

15. Hometown Favorite – Just like 14, jump on board the big name who reluctantly got traded to some other real-life team. They’re definitely going to be more educated about the guy than most people. How many times has a baseball fan told you…we loved (insert name) when he played here..but he went where the money is. Cater to that bummed-outed-ness…

16. Encourage Someone Else To Ride the Hot Streak – There are a ton of reasons why this works. WYSIATI is definitely in play. Kahneman also believes people generally underestimate chance, instead preferring to assume what they see will continue to happen in the future. Plays great to the owner who just watched the breakout game the night before too. Works great when an interleague matchup is dominated by a mediocre American league pitcher against a pidly National League one….for example…

17. Trade With the Guy Who Got the Better Side of an Earlier Deal – Cockiness plays hard and any male-dominated competition is overflowing with it. If the owner is on cloud 9 over the Clayton Kershaw for Rafael Betencourt deal they just made – hit them up with a deal you like ASAP. Risk aversion will be overcome with the feeling of the surplus they just hauled in. Make it happen now!

18. Trade the Guy Who Got the Worse Part of an Earlier Deal – Kahneman calls it Sunk-Cost…or the tendency of someone who has made a bad move to continue making them to try and outweigh a sense of regret. So go for it – target the owner who traded Josh Hamilton for Albert Pujols…he’ll be looking for an upswing.

19. Explain Yourself – Literally..the only true enabler of System 1 thought. If the owner knows your intentions right from the get-go..on how you value the guys you’re offering and asking for…that’s one step closer to making a snap judgement on the trade. Tell them – “I really need steals and you’re down holds, so  I think Balfour for Bonifacio works for both of us.” Plus..it helps him better understand how you think for future deals. Excellent!

20. Frame Your Words Carefully – Kahneman discusses a concept called Framing whereby people respond differently to the same concepts depending on how they’re presented. His example is, are you more likely to have a surgery where you have a 90% survival rate…or one with a 10% mortality rate? Most people say the prior. When you’re explaining your trade offer…use the most positively correlated messaging you can to explain the trade…it may affect the outcome.

A Gumptastic Evening Of Thought

Matt Riggleman 1 Comment

I just got done watching “Forrest Gump,” which I hold up as one of the greatest movies of all time. The movie resonates with me on a bunch of levels and I can’t help watch it whenever it’s on. Of course, with me, the “Greatest Movies of All Time” list also includes the likes of “Commando” and “Forgetting Sarah Marshall”..so I’d forgive you if you decided to move on before I tell you why. But I figured I’d use Forrest Gump this warm Sunday evening to get all introspective and build some blog content.

The Forrest Gump “I just Felt Like Running” Moment

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wyx6JDQCslE]One of the underlying themes of the movie is Forrest’s simple-mindedness. He’s programmed with a set of beliefs and morals and he carries those out..with little regard for how other things fit into life’s equation. I feel like I’m doing this right now with the “Biggest Loser” program at work. For the record, I don’t give a crap about losing weight…I’ve never weighed more than 175, like LMFAO I work out, and I’ve always eaten everything in sight…I just can’t resist a competition. 17 lbs. later..I’m going hard to the finish…with the chance to win $500 bucks. “I just felt like competin’.

The “What If Gump Had a Cellphone” Moment

Also known as the Seinfeld Paradox – pretty much every plotline of Seinfeld would have been entirely different if just 1 of them had a cell phone. Because I live in the 21st century (most of the time), and cellphones are ubiquitous, I always try to see if pre-cell movies can hold up. Unfortunately, I don’t think Forrest Gump could…unless you assume he’d be too simple minded to own one.  Just think how crappy it’d be if he could just pick up the cell and give Jenny a ring? Though it’d definitely be sweet to hear some Forrest voicemails…

The Forrest Gump “Simple Man” Moment

I always wondered why they never threw in Skynard’s classic “Simple Man” into Gump’s soundtrack…it fits the era…and the area..of the majority of the movie. But then, I guess celebrating Gump’s “Simple-ness”..kind of belittle’s the complexity of the character. For me, and a good portion of my family I think, we have to support a few “Simple Man” moments. Sometimes it would be great to just get out of our own ways (and heads) and do the things we know we want, and should, do anyway. Sometimes perhaps, ignorance is bliss.

The Bubba Blue’s My Best Good Friend Moment.

In lots of ways, Forrest Gump is just a lucky guy. There’s a huge list of events, totally out of his control, that totally make things go his way. In no paricular order (that sounded Gumpian) – Got wounded but not seriously injured in Vietnam, learned how to play ping pong in army hospital, was home when Jenny showed up, ran into Jenny in DC, got recruited to play college football after running across field, meets Lt. Dan in NYC, survives Hurricane Carmen…and, last but not least, he runs into a guy who is just as conventionally backward as him in the Army..thereby gaining a great friend and inadvertently setting up the rest of his life. So, my Bubba Blue moment would have to be getting to asked to be the best man at my “conventionally backward”  best friend’s wedding. Congrats to Matt and Christina..and thanks for the honor.

The “What the F is Jenny’s Last Name” Moment 

I know it now, but I will forget it. Every time I go into that movie I try to come out of it with this one useless bit of trivia..and I always end up forgetting it like a day later. They only show it once, and nobody says it. I’ll leave you the pleasure of finding it yourself..but no Googling..

The “Forrest’s Mom is Sick” Moment

One of the truly awesome parts of Forrest Gump is simply the quality of the supporting cast. Each one of them easily passes the “If they were going to do another movie, from (enter character)’s perspective, I would watch it” test. Sally Field’s performance in the scene where she tell’s Forrest she has cancer is powerful and (I think) she won an Oscar for it. For me, unfortunately, this kind of hits home. Another scenario where I’d like to be able to throw it on auto-pilot and not really dwell on it, but both of my Grandmas have experienced some sort of Cancer over the last few months. One had it removed, the other is battling pretty hard to kick it. Definitely a tough situation to go through..just have to keep hoping for the best.

The “Shrimpin’ Ain’t Easy” Moment 

Sidenote – I always thought this would make a great T-Shirt..and apparently so did somebody else  cause it exists here

This is kind of like the “Simple Man” Moment. Gump’s simple/single-mindedness drives him to continue to hunt for shrimp despite a toilet-load of crappy catches. His perseverance pays off after he survives Hurricane Carmen and Bubba Gump Shrimp takes off. My Shrimpin Ain’t Easy Moment has come over the last few months as I’ve basically forced myself to become a good cook. Not going to lie..right now I can crank out some pretty good stuff and I’m starting to dig cooking alot..after a pile of early failures.

The “Forrest is Everywhere” moment 

It’s kind of wild as you’re watching this movie how much history Forrest actually walks though. Like I said above, most of it could be attributed to luck…but nonetheless it’s pretty impressive. My “Forrest is Everywhere” moment has to do with Twitter. As a Marketer involved with understanding social media and the likes, it took me a long time to really understand the appeal of Twitter. I dabbled a little last year during Fantasy Baseball season..there really is nothing better to stay up to date on sports. I wrote here once that Facebook reminded me of how similar each person’s life really is, but Twitter takes this to another level. At this point, Twitter really is the world’s shared experience. It is what certain TV programs were in the 60s 70s and early 80s. Twitter allows you to tap into this shared experience in real time…and to participate in sharing it with people in all walks and status’. That kind of connection is powerful – and you could argue – world-changing. As we become more connected with every nook and cranny of the World English Muffin – won’t it be harder to do things like say…go to war with it? That’s the Egg McMuffin of thoughts from this blog (don’t know why I went all breakfast food on ya there..).

The “Greatest Gift Anybody Could Ever Get” Moment 

Not really sure why Forrest applies this title to a pair of Marty McFly Nikes…but since they are shoes I figured I had a parallel going on. I’m not one to buy clothes, shoes or really anything wardrobe related. As my friends will readily tell you I have a pretty regular cycle of clothes that gets washed as I run out of clean underwear. But, by the urging of my apparently extremely fashion-conscious roommate, I broke down and bought a new pair of brown shoes. Gotta’ say it feels pretty good to wear them…but I wouldn’t make the buy again.

Thanks for reading..and feel free to comment or hit me up on twitter @mattriggleman.


Marshmallows and Whipped Cream Coffee Marketing

Matt Riggleman 5 Comments

Wow, did I really not write on this thing for a year and a half? Geez. I guess life kind of got in the way. In a nutshell, life has basically flowed slightly in the direction of a routine now including bill paying. My job is now at least above average serious and I spend the majority of my week pondering marketing, writing and search engine optimization and mix in a little COD Black Ops. But, at the end of the day, I’m still pretty much the same. But, since I call myself a writer, I guess I had better start writing on my own again, hence, the entry below.

StayPuft Marshmallow ManYou like marshmallows. And, you like Whipped Cream. As far as products go, these sell themselves. There’s no convincing. For the most part, there’s no strange allergies involved. There’s no age limit. If you’re concerned with weight, marshmallows are fat-free. You can stack marshmallows, and they formed the internal structure and general awesomeness of the Staypuft Marshmallow Man which quite frankly puts the Pillsbury DoughBoy to shame. And, you can put them in stuff. Which, brings me to this post.

I live on caffeine now. At least a little. Anyone who is in this boat inadvertently becomes familiar with Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks, or the local coffee equivalent.  But, there’s something missing here. Something that these large, overly expensive, coffee monopolies should have exploited a long time ago.

THERE IS NO WAY TO PUT MARSHMALLOWS OR WHIPPED CREAM INSIDE WITHOUT SACRIFICING DRINK!

Just look inside your cup the next time you get one. The barista, who I will refer to here as “Hot Coffee Chick” after the girl who works at my nearby shop, puts in the drink, realizes that in order to cram the whipped cream and marshmallows under the tight sealing, do-everything-we-can-to-not-get-sued-for-you-spilling-this lid, she’s got to hold off on filling the thing..essentially jipping you out of a few ounces of java or hot chocolate. I don’t want to have to choose between the MarshMallow Whipped Cream Experience, or getting my just deserved full cup of java. The crazy part is, it’s not that hard to fix…and none of these billion dollar companies seem to care. Possible solutions:

1. Let the customer control Marshmallow and/or Whipped Cream Distribution.

Ever notice that these are the only condiments you REALLY want to add to coffee or hot chocolate and they’re not available? It’s like quasi coffee shop Communism. They control the means of distribution. By allowing me to put the marshmallow or whipped cream on as I see fit, I don’t care that I have to sac a little java…I just don’t want the company screwing me. Especially when I just dropped 4 bucks on this junk.

2. Design a Domed Lid Capable of Sealing Tight Enough To Prevent Spillage

Dart Container RCL LidI’ve worked in the Largest Lid Plant in the World at the time they built the RCL lid that goes on Dunkin Donuts coffee. Trust me, it’s a relatively complex process. These guys can surely come up with a domed lid that can allow for mallows and whipped cream without sacrificing spillage OR volume.

3. Market a new “Marshmallow-Safe” Cup

Let’s face it, Marshmallows and Whipped Cream are here to say, shouldn’t a coffee company take advantage of the natural relationship these lifesavers have? Wouldn’t you rather buy your coffee or hot chocolate from a company that fully supported the mallow and whipped cream without “secretly” screwing you out of a few ounces? I propose cups that add an extra ounce or two on top known as the “Marshmallow zone” or the “Creme of the Cup” or something. Market the new 18 oz. cup specifically to marshmallow lovers (AKA everybody), and continue to charge the same exorbitant price you already do. Why hasn’t anyone thought of this?

Big Green EggIn other news, I now have my own house, a fish tank, A Big Green Egg and a 7:1 Channel surround sound system. Not in that order. I hope to write again within the next year and a half, stay tuned. I leave you with a clip from Last Saturday’s SNL featuring the greatest Will Smith impersonation ever from Jay Pharaoh.

http://widget.nbc.com/videos/nbcshort_at.swf?CXNID=1000004.10045NXC&widID=4727a250e66f9723&clipID=1270070&showID=61&configXML=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.nbc.com%2Fservice%2Fvideowidget%2Fparams%2FdmlkZW9faWQ9MTI3MDA3MA%3D%3D%2F&initXML=http://www.nbc.com%2Fsaturday-night-live%2Fvideo%2Fepisodes%2Finit.xml?videoId=1270070

MR

Jacksonian Democracy & the Power of Popularity

Wow, back after a long hiatus. Not gonna’ lie, not much has really gone down to stop me from writing, save the fact that my next post will most likely be from the friendly confines of my first house.

Anyway, Michael Jackson has died. You’ve heard about it. You’ve formed your opinion on the guy. It’s the aftermath of the tragedy that has been particularly fascinating to me though.

Michael Jackson is the King of Pop. This is without question. His body of work includes the Thriller album, which is enough to qualify this title all by itself. But to me, it’s amazing the roller coaster that has resulted from the perception of his POPularity along the way.

Michael Jackson has never been conventionally cool in my lifetime until now. In the late 80s, early 90s, you could break out a copy of Thriller or the Bad album and get away with it; appreciating the King for the artist he was, even though he was starting to turn a little whiter and for some reason was hanging out with the kid from Home Alone. Come mid-90s, you could get beat up, or at least ostracized for a couple grades for even admitting you owned a Jackson album. These were the years I told people I listened religiously to NWA and Dr. Dre even though I was never allowed to actually own the albums. Closet Jackson fans had to enjoy the music solo mission style, or in my case in the company of other non-cool Jackson listeners poolside while playing billiards, as the “Pop” star was continually in the press for a bunch of outlandish crap. Now that he’s dead, the appreciation of his music, and amazingly, the man himself has resurged like a tidal wave. It is now “cool” and “POPular” to like Jackson again.

The interesting thing to me is that Jackson achieved his momentous 80s popularity while suffering from the same social anxiety and desire to fit in that made people NOT listen to his music 10 years later.

Jackson’s not a criminal, but he is a weirdo. I mean, there’s no way around it. He never achieved the ability to socialize or understand anyone over the age of 8, he most likely underwent a host of plastic surgeries to create an appearance he thought people he couldn’t communicate with would better appreciate. He lived in an amusement park, had weird relationships, and treated children as though he were their own age (much to the dismay of their parents. This being said, everyone knew he was a weird guy; for that reason alone, why would anyone let their kids hang out with him?).

But, yet, though much of this was at least apparent early on, his tremendous ability pulled the wool over the world’s eyes and led to the creation of the King of Pop persona that rendered him untouchable and yet even more vulnerable to attack.

And it was this same popular opinion, that kept fans down for a decade, until he died and it was cool again to listen..

The power of pop…and Jackson was a master of it in more ways than one.

Ha, in honor of Michael’s, and most people’s, search for popularity, check out the crappy video below from a few years back.

MR
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNc45FTenhg]

Random Holiday Thoughts

Matt Riggleman 1 Comment

Just a few things since I haven’t posted in awhile.

Rock, Paper, Scissors can actually make a worthwhile tournament. Having recently participated by MCing a local tournament, I can tell you that it was way more intense and cooler than I would’ve ever anticipated. It’s a great, random “What the hell can I do to get people together and doing something when it’s freezing outside” idea too. The fact that you can win money for something that’s pretty much completely random is a pretty sweet idea too.

I’ve come to the conclusion, at least at this point in my life, I’m not a “baby guy.” Nothing against babies, I think they’re awesome and all that, I just can’t like click or identify with them. Made all the more potent of late since people around me lately seem to have baby fever. Seriously it exists..watch out fellas’ and wrap it up. Unless it’s something you want, than by all means roll with it. I just can’t wrap my head around the idea without having the other pieces in my life in place. I feel kind of weird for saying that: about as weird as I feel when everybody oogles over a new baby and I watch and smile from a distance..haha. Nothing against the babies in my life (you know who you are): I love you, but man I’ll be glad when you become functioning human beings. Maybe I just need to grow up.

I’m noticing more and more recently that the conventions that make “A Good Writer” are going out the window more and more. As a person who writes for profit, I can tell you that I’ve been told on more than one occasion to throw out normal writing conventions and just go with what’s simpler to understand. “What’s simpler to understand” is essentially the language of the Internet, and as that expands, so will the de-appreciation for the “old” craft of writing. You have to wonder if anything that can be deemed a classic will even be created anymore, or at least, if it is, it’ll be judged by entirely different criteria. Soon, the writers trained in Shakespearean style or in the ways of the early American wri-

ters will go the way of “That Guy Who Knows how to Fix an 8 track player:”..aka..pretty much obsolete. Though I’m not necessarily sure that’s a bad thing. The goal of good writing is to convey an idea and/or emotions, what does it matter how that’s done? It would seem to me you could connect with your readers easier by talking in a conversational style they’re accustomed to, rather than a set of (antiquated?) rules even the best writers argue about. Writing in a classic style and passing it off as right, is like using Ozzy Osbourne’s family as a typical American family: it’s tough to identify with and sometimes difficult to understand.

I’ve found the coolest gift available this holiday season for anyone that works in an office. The USB Powered, Laser Guided Nerf Missile

Launcher is excellent for office warfare. Software included pivots it, activates the laser and fires. Totally excellent.

SB The Bruce, who’s been one of the best since the late 80s, also has a blog, so check it out when you get a chance: SB’s Blog. To give you a preview, SB is currently in Grad School at U Chicago studying to be a lifelong Chem expert to take over the world. His adventures include a bike ride from Chicago to Philly in 12 days, establishing a Bruce to Moose Connection,  and he once swam to Japan. Give SB’s blog a whirl.

Until Next Time,

MR

New Blog And the Great College Delusion

Matt Riggleman 0 Comments

Hey Now…welcome to the Matt Riggs experience, and my new blog, free from the protected confines and the 8-track-like isolation of Myspace, and out into the freewheeling, indexable-content, Blu-ray world of Word Press.

CollegeI’m not ridiculously successful. Let’s throw that out there. I went to a “good” school for four years, I have a “good” job and the prospects for the future are at least leaning to the bright side.  But, for whatever reason, I get asked a lot about college, and my opinion on so-and-so’s college experience, and where I think they should go and all that.

After you get past the classic stereotypes of boozing and sex, the defining characteristic of the college “experience” is the drive and will of the student. Bottomline. Particularly, coming from a small town, I see lots of kids never really leave their hometown attitude, and continue to mentally be in high school mode. The result is usually a drop out after a year or so, which, in my opinion, to come to that realization, makes them smarter than any professor. The other side of the coin is the clueless undergrad graduate who is just as misguided as they day they started paying to go to school: and now they’re a Lexus in debt.

Because every blog needs a picture of AlbaAn undergrad degree from a “good” school is like saying you hooked up with the hottest chick in high school. Sure she was hot naked, taught you a bunch of things and made you more popular, but it’s not anything you couldn’t have gotten from hanging out with the cooler, less-conceited chick who wasn’t so high-maintenance. In fact, to take a page from Horn and Hago’s Joe’s Cheesesteak scale, I think all colleges can be ranked on a hottest chick list. Think of how much cooler the conversation would be: “Hey bro, I just got into Jessica Alba, I’m crazy stoked.” “That’s cool man, congratulations. Looks like I’m headed to “(Insert the girl who sat in the back of your class who saved scraps of skin in her desk like Goldmember in Austin Powers 3)” for four years, this blows.”

CostanzaThe syndicated philosopher George Costanza believed gaining access to hot chicks opened the door to access to more hot chicks, but at least in the case of the undergrad college analogy, I think that’s rarely the case (probably in real life though?).

Many people I know are quick to condemn people who drop-out..but college isn’t for everybody. Until you mentally commit to that kind of schooling, it doesn’t matter if you’re going to Harvard or HACC. The fact remains, intelligence is defined by drive, and if you can’t find it, get the heck out while the cost is still in the tens of thousands.

So give people a break that aren’t ready to take that step yet.

How does this relate? Well, lately lots of talk and articles have been written about how the higher-priced private colleges are losing ground to the more affordable community colleges and the like as the economy gets rougher. I say, go to the cheap school, work hard at what you want to do, and the doors will open as wide regardless. And if college isn’t your thing, get out with minimal debt and go back if/when you’re feeling it.

Ok, done soap boxing

In other news, my heart goes out to my buddy Mark who recently lost his Dad. He wrote about how rough it’s been on his blog. Definitely a powerful read man.

I just bought a new computer from Dell; making me feel kind of selfish because it’s that time of year when feelings go to one extreme or the next.

The team I captained in Fall Softball, the Wet Sox, ended with a 5-3 record, which was pretty excellent considering it was our first year.

I’m trying to reconcile feelings of anger, pity, love and sadness into a plausible holiday season solution.

Pure, all-around hitter Albert Pujols won the NL MVP over free-swinging homerun king Ryan Howard, meaning the sanctity of baseball lives on for another year.

“Fooseball’s the Debil:” quite possibly the greatest fantasy football team ever created, continues to hold steady at 2nd, with a week 11 win.

The Tom Petty documentary is incredibly long, and though a good song writer and singer, Petty’s voice turns into a strange combination of Fats Domino and Chandler’s girlfriend Janice on “Friends”, about an hour and forty-five minutes in.

Downtown OwlI just finished reading “Downtown Owl” by Chuck Klosterman. Thanks to Mandy V for showing me this author. For anyone accustomed to the small-town life and the strange small town-isms that come from it, you’re sure to find some parallels from your high-school class and local Hinkles within its pages. Town drunk? You’ve got it! Glorified athletes? They’re here. High school teacher who hooks up with students? You’ve got that too..

Feel free to throw your two cents in,

Until the next post..

MR