Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Movie Reviews?

I look forward to Amiga 3000's Sith remarks. Well if the Running Dog is going to put in a movie recommendation, so am I. Napoleon Dynamite is well worth viewing, in my humble opinion. An odd little comedy, but one worth seeking out.

Running Dog Reporting for Duty

Greetings Miserable Donuts,

I am the capitalist running dog economist who just returned to his computer after the holiday weekend. My thoughts were with my late Uncle Dom who flew the Burma Hump in WWII and my two grandfathers who served in the War to End All Wars. One was a submariner. The other was in the artillery in France. Also, the Running Dog household is thankful that Major John has returned home and was not the focus of our Memorial Day.

I want to go on the record stating that Revenge of the Sith is surprisingly good. The first two prequels help the cause by making almost anything strong in comparison, but Sith is better than Return of the Jedi. As my brother pointed out, you need only revisit Return of the Jedi to confirm this. The key is that the Sith business is finally out in the open. The Palpatane/Emperor character is the most interesting part of the film. If Phantom Menace had been less phantom and more menace (told the story from the Sith perspective), then the whole enterprise would have been much improved.

Summer reading? Freakonomics by Levitt and Dubner. It proves that hope endures for the Dismal Science.

Your Capitalist Running Dog

Monday, May 30, 2005

Memorial Day

Folks, this one is easy. Take a little time today to honor those that died serving this country in her Armed Forces. After that, go and enjoy those liberties they secured for you. See, not so hard.
I have heard too much from those that would take political advantage of this (*cough*, Ted Koppel, *cough*). I have also heard from people that would be almost too serious about this - decrying the sales and barbecues as somehow profaning a sacred day. The men in the 2-265 ADA, 3/4 CAV, 1/168th INF and 3/116th INF that died while I was serving with them in Afghanistan would probably have wanted to have people keep their politics out of the day, but they also would have been the first to enjoy a hot steak and a cold beer in the afternoon (after having gone to the appropriate memorial service earlier in the day to be sure).
Thanks for your attention.

Remembering ALL the Fallen


Civil War memorial - Elgin, Illinois.

Remembering the Fallen


Graves at Bluff City cemetary.

Memorial Day 2005


Elgin, Illinois. One of many Memorial Day ceremonies in the area.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Senior Peon reporting for duty!

Ok, so I'm the Senior Peon mentioned by Major John. Of this motley crue [sic], I believe I'm the only one with a "real job" (that is, creating valuable American products for gleeful consumption by the entire civilized world -- that kind of stuff can't be left to mere lawyers, professors, and ethicicicists.) I've been working for the same major American Corporation That Shall Remain Nameless for more than 15 years, and despite the horror that is my daily existence, I don't see myself leaving any time soon. More on that another day, I suppose.

Johnson's Theory of Modern Corporate America states that there are really only four rungs on the corporate ladder to speak of: Junior Peons, Senior Peons, Junior Executives, and Senior Executives.

Junior Peons are those who do pretty much all of the actual *work*. Ironically, they're also the ones who typically have the least experience, in all forms of the word. That's where Senior Peons come in.

Senior Peons are those who decide specifically what the Junior Peons should do and then make sure they're doing it. If the Junior Peons don't do their work, the Senior Peons might actually have to do it themselves, and we can't have that. Senior Peons might be highly experienced technical dudes or managers of some type, but trust me, they're all still peons. Senior Peons typically take the fall for anything that goes wrong.

Junior Executives are those who, through either lucky circumstances of birth or extreme sociopathy, have crossed the Class Barrier. They exist to take credit for anything that goes right, shift blame for anything that goes wrong, consume free lunches, and accept stock options, but most importantly, to create a personal empire and justify its existence. I can't begin to explain the staff-hours that are committed to coming up with bizarre Powerpoint presentations for the sole purpose of explaining why each Junior Executive requires more staff and budget. (Junior Executives don't actually *create* those presentations, by the way -- that's what their vast arrays of Senior Peons are for! Really gifted Junior Executives even get their Senior Peons to *present* their justification slide shows for them.)

Senior Executives are those who massage Wall Street to get them to convince people to buy their stock and then use the proceeds to travel around the world giving motivational speeches, accepting honorary degrees, making promises to Senior Executives from other companies that have no connection with reality, and thinking up catchy new slogans.

So I'm a Senior Peon. I have been for probably 2/3 of my "career" following a truly meteoric rise through the ranks of Junior Peondom, and I expect to remain so until I retire or die (q.v. "donut of misery"). See, since I'm not a complete sociopath and I honestly don't have the urge to create a twisted little cult of personality around myself, I really don't have what it takes to ever cross the Great Divide. I'm not wired for it. Sure, the unending gravy train of ill-gotten loot would be great, but I really just want to be able to do good work and stay out of workplace politics. In fact, I've recently moved myself to what I would consider to be a Junior Peon job (except retaining my Senior Peon salary -- woo hoo!), and it's the best thing that's happened to me in at least 6 years.

Sorry for the length. Once I get rollin' on this topic, it's hard to stop myself. Going forward, I'll most likely leave the political material to Major John (he just loves that junk!) and I'll probably focus on tidbits of advice and/or commiseration for you Peons (and perhaps a few really clever Executives).

Right Result - Wrong Reason

Give the French people credit - they did the right thing, in my humble opinion, in rejecting the EU 'constitution' [Why am I always reminded of the comparison some other blogger made of the Borg on Star Trek to the EU bureaucracy - "freedom is irrelevant", "resistance is futile, you will be assimilated", etc.?]. They may have cast their rejection as a snub of things Anglo, but they still managed to save themselves from an (even more) unrepresentative, unaccountable oligarchy. So one cheer and a glass of Beaujolais for the French.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

A scene from northern Illinois


Along US 20, near Marengo, Illinois. Posted by Hello

Light Posting

I think most people will be spending little time viewing blogs this weekend - so in the same spirit, I will spend little time posting. I will have some thoughts on Monday - after I attend a couple of ceremonies. Maybe some of the others could fill in a post or two...

Friday, May 27, 2005

Whence came the name


Behold the Donut of Misery!
(Note: set for 84 years, heh)Posted by Hello

Why I added Iowahawk to the links

What is a Miserable Donut?

The title of this blog comes from the Excel spreadsheet titled "Donut of Misery". It is a ring/donut shaped graph that shows time spent/remaining in a period you determine. We all had this on our computers at Bagram AF - we put in the day we arrived and the day we expected to leave. It showed the time spent and remaining in weeks, days, hours, minutes and seconds. If I can figure out how to post an example, I will.

Instalanche!

Wow, 2 days of blogging and we got us our very own Instalanche. Thanks to Professor Reynolds and welcome to all of you who followed him here.

2 More!

Mighty Quinn has joined us - he is the Medical Ethics Guy.
Tempus42 has also jumped on board - He is a Senior Peon.

They'll have to explain themselves to all of you.

Armed and Dangerous?


Spare ammo clip? Bah. I need the room for my "Big Kat" Kit Kat bar! Posted by Hello

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Now that you mention it

Say, it has now been 2 months and 6 days since anyone shot at me! I think a glass of port is in order.

More Links

More links.

Chrenkoff - Arthur Chrenkoff is famous for his "Good News" series about the under (or un) reported events in Iraq and Afghanistan. He also posted a few entries from me while I was deployed.

Mudville Gazette - Greyhawk (and Mrs. Greyhawk) provides a good doorway into the world of Milblogs. He also said some nice things about my Instapundit work.

Vodkapundit - "Martini Boy" Green (and Will Collier) runs an interesting site. He also promised to buy me a martini if I made it back from Afghanistan and ever made it out his way. So far he is safe, heh.

Then there were 2...

Amiga 3000 is the Educational Computer Dude I was trying to lure into posting on this blog - he'll have to tell you about himself. I don't want to blow his cover...heh.

Mmm...kimchi!


Major John discovering Korean Food Posted by Hello

Major Who?

Pardon me, I should have introduced myself. I am best known as the one-time Instapundit Afghanistan Correspondent (April 2004-2005).

The links you see: Instapundit - I consider myself one of his Blog kids; Allah - Despite the Allahpundit having some wild ups and downs with the blog experience, he also needs to get some credit as an inspiration; Tim Blair - He posted a lovely apology and compassionate head-tilt photo from me, see props to him too (I won't harp on the vegemite he never sent me...); Protein Wisdom - This simply has to be experienced - words often fail me in trying to describe it.

I anticipate adding more soon (ie. Vodkapundit, Mudville Gazette, Chrenkoff, etc.) but I am just getting started with this whole blog thing.

Things to Come

Right now I am the only one who will be posting...I am seeking to add An Economist, A Senior Peon, A Medical Ethics Guy and an Educational Computer Dude to the mix. Why? 'cause I ain't entertaining or informative enough on my own!
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