An excellent, nuanced, well-enumerated, well-explained counterpoint to the fluffy feelgood religious concept of always forgiving.
I’m definitely saving this one so I don’t have to explain myself again! Woo!
March 6, 2014
An excellent, nuanced, well-enumerated, well-explained counterpoint to the fluffy feelgood religious concept of always forgiving.
I’m definitely saving this one so I don’t have to explain myself again! Woo!
March 3, 2014
(Check our your property value using the official Fairfax county link.)
THE BASIC SUMMARY: Our real estate assessment grew 5.1888% — more than it has 8 out of the 14 years we’ve lived here. I guess things are back on track?. A 5.18884351% increase , which is a less than the average of yearly gains (7.3% a year on average, as of 2014), but way more than last year’s 0% increase. This would be a better than average year if the ridiculous bubble in 2004-2005 didn’t artificially inflate the average.
Our house went up 10.00183% — the most since the addition.
Our land stayed at the same value.
Our real estate value increased $1,365 a month. Our mortgage is currently about $1090, and includes all taxes & insurance. It’s almost like we’re getting paid $275 to live here, but then I remember this house comes with other associated costs: Electricity, internet, home warranty, trash, water/sewer, and maintenance.
In 1999, we bought the house at $141K. In 2000, we were assessed at $142K. In 2001, this grew by 3.5% to $147K. In 2002, this grew by 39% to $205K. In 2003, this grew by 3% to $211K. In 2004, this grew by 24% to $261K. In 2005, this grew by 34% to $349K. In 2006, this grew by 13% to $395K. [addition basically complete] In 2007, this grew by 3% to $406K (peak) In 2008, this dropped by 7% to $375K. [addition officially complete] In 2009, this dropped by 3% to $364K. In 2010, this dropped by 18% to $298K. (ouch) In 2011, this grew by 3% to $307K. (Finally a gain!) In 2012, this grew by ~3% to $316K. In 2013, this remained at $316K. (Hmm...) In 2014, this grew by 5% to $332K. (back on track)
We’re 18% down from our peak value. (But not 22% like last year, or 37% like 4 years ago).
We still owe $131.8 on our mortgage [2013/12=$133.9K/$136.1K].
The house is worth 2.52X more than we owe on the mortgage (2013/12/11: 2.36,2.32,2.27).
In 2014, we owe about $2100 less than we did the prior year. That is how much principal was paid this year. [2013=$2000. 2012=we owed $700 MORE than the prior year due to refinance costs to get a $260/mo cheaper mortgage payment].
So we are still ahead (“ahead” means “assessed value minus what is owed on the mortgage”) by $200.5K (2013/12/11/10=$182.0,179.8,171.7,163K).
Our gain in getting ahead was $18.4K this year ($1538/mo), which was greater than previous years’ gains (2013/12/11=$2.2,8.1,8.7K).
We’ve lived here 14 years now [actually 15--next year I will use the right number of 16! All my numbers have always been slightly off!], so that’s a running average of getting $14,318 ahead each year. This running average had been declining, but is now gaining: 2013/12/11=$12,997/14,903/15,609.
Per month, that is $1193 ahead each month, for all months that we’ve lived here. [2013/12/11=$1083,$1249$1300]. Considering that we took $30K out of the house to pay for an addition, that’s a pretty good rate of return.
Our mortgage is now up to $1058.76. (2013=1025 after refinance,2012=1300), so this place seems to literally be paying for itself: It’s value goes up more each month, on average, over the entire time we’ve lived here… Than how much we pay each month! Well… Not counting those “associated costs”, anyway.
(Of course, the addition wasn’t free, it was about $80K, so we’re really only $120.5K ahead (2013/12/11=$102.0/99.8/91.7K), or only $8,604 ahead per year (2013/12/11=$7,283/$8,317/$8,336), or only about $717 (2013/12/11=$606/$693/694) ahead each month. Still not shabby.))
These people who say houses aren’t a good investment don’t know what they’re talking about. Even if it’s value drops 90%, you’re still getting 10% more of your money back than if you were renting! And we’re sure as hell doing better than dropping 90%… We’re getting double our money back, assuming value holds.
We also have way more living space than people who pay the same amount: 2500 sq ft @ 1025/mo = 42.35 cents per square foot per month [2013=41]. Renting space in D.C. is often paying 3X as much per square-foot-month as what we are paying. And that’s with no yard or parking. It’s amazing how much more you can get when you don’t demand every little thing be perfect.
Here’s the new graph:
2002: $90K (+27%)
2003: $100K (+11%)
2004: $150K (+50%)
2005: $184K (+23%)
2006: $166K (-10%) [addition completed]
2008: $184K (+11%)
2009: $166K (-10%)
2010: $148K (-11%)
2012: $152K (+2.7%)
2001: $76K (+7%)
2002: $115K (+51%)
2003: $111K (-3%)
2005: $165K (+49%) [addition possibly counted here]
2006: $229K (+39%) [addition completed]
2007: $241K (+5%)
2008: $192K (-20%)
2009: $198K (+3%)
2010: $150K (-24%)
2011: $159K (+6%)
2012: $164K (+3%)
2014: $180K (+10%)
FOOTNOTE: 2006 was about when the construction was mostly finished, but due to problems with it being completely finished, it might not have been legally counted as finished until 2008.
RANDOM NOTE: The Google Chart Playground is very, very useful. Saves a lot of manual page refresheses…
Mood: did not want to type this up the day I re-installed windows!
February 27, 2014
[IMDB link] [Netflix link] [Facebook link] [Official site -- you can also watch it here, and pay what you feel like paying for the expeirence.] “A story that will touch you. Inappropriately.”
PEOPLE: Made by a bunch of people nobody has heard of, but with some notable actors in minor parts. Gabriel McIver plays the sex offender, but this is only his 2nd movie. Kristen Tucker plays the sex offender’s girlfriend, and has been in a few other movies, but nothing anybody has seen. Kevin Corrigan (Pineapple Express, Superbad, Detroit Rock City, True Romance) plays Grabok. Nick Offerman (Briggs from Children’s Hospital, Parks & Recreation, The Men Who Stare At Goats, Wristcutters:A Love Story, Sin City) plays Simmons. Director Richard Linklater (A Scanner Darkly, Dazed And Confused, SubUrbia, Waking Life) plays a principal. The parole officer, Suzy Nakamura, was in some eps of Curb Your Enthusiasm, and was in Dodgeball:A True Underdog Story, and was one of the speed daters in The 40-Year-Old Virgin. Okay, maybe the cast isn’t completely unknown — but these are definitely minor players.
PLOT SUMMARY: A sex offender gets out of prison, and tries to live a normal life.
UNCOMFORTABLE PLOT SUMMARY (inspired by this): [highlight for spoilers]→ System fails to lock up child pornographer. (This is quite the awkward exaggeration, as the movie reveals what really put him in prison, and it was truly an honest mistake that did not represent anything morally wrong.)
QUIRKS: Mockumentary style. So a lot of the movie seems to be single-take scenes with improvisation. Like most mockumentaries, it has lots of weak parts, but also lots of funny parts.
VISUALS: A Dobbshead!!! You could only see the top of his hair, because the guy wearing the SubGenius shirt was wearing a smock over it — but there’s no mistaking that hairline as being one J.R. “Bob” Dobbs! Awesome!!
MORALS: You know… The guy is kind of a pervy douchebag… Reminding me of Glen… But in truth, he never really did anything to deserve going to prison for 3 years. It’s not revealed until later in the movie what he did to become a sex offender. And it’s kind of cool NOT knowing what he did. But if anyone must know: [highlight for spoilers]→ He took a picture of his dick with a balloon tied to it, and sent it to his girlfriend. But he wrote the wrong address, so a 3rd grader opened up the card instead. An honest mistake. Not one deserving of jail time, or being on a sex offender registry.. And he takes flak for not admitting he did something wrong, too.
POLITICS: Shows some of the ridiculous lengths that sex offenders must go through when exiting prison, as well as how you can wind up on a list that makes people think you are a child molester, even if you’ve actually done nothing to hurt any actual children. Murderers and people who commit violent crimes (which this guy did not) have it easier, which makes no sense. Actual child rapists? Yes, put them through something. But what this guy did in this movie? Not deserving of the treatment he received.
GOOD STUFF: Some new situations to make jokes in! I’ve never seen jokes about sex offender thearpy sessions before. This movie has some unique humor, even if it isn’t the fuinniest.
BAD STUFF: Not polished filmmaking. Mockumentaries almost always are mediocre, lazy filmmaking. But it works as a vehicle to deliver some creepy, awkward, situationally unique humor.
CONCLUSION: A decently funny mockumentary full of creepily awkward situations to place humor in.
RECOMMENDATION: If you can stand mockumentaries, here’s a decent one to watch. WAAAY funnier than Rock, Paper, Scissors:Way Of The Tosser. Don’t be repelled by the fact that it’s about a sex offender. That actually makes this funnier.
SIMILAR MOVIES: This is actually pretty unique.
MOVIE QUOTE: Plenty of awkward ones, but nothing listed on IMDB for me to copy-paste here.
February 26, 2014
Flat tax is a bullshit idea for the rich.
Money’s value to an individual is logarithmic, not linear.
Each additional dollar has less value to the individual, despite the fact that it represents the same absolute value.
[This is also a component of why people blow their money like impulsive idiots on payday.]
You can bet $1 means more to a homeless man than to Lars Ulrich [chosen for this example because he's a fucking greedy cunt who helped kill napster].
Take 50% from Bill Gates, and he’s still a rich fucking fuck who can do whatever the fuck he wants. Negligible difference.
Take 50% from me, it might tip things so my wife & I both have to work constantly instead of mostly. Moderate difference.
Take 50% from someone in poverty? Can’t make rent. Can’t pay food. Big difference.
Of course the rich want to be taxed at the same percentage as the poor, because it is to their advantage.
Equality is not the same thing as fairness.
If you have a 2′ person, a 4′ person, and a 6′ person trying to watch a football game over a 8′ fence, you don’t give them all 2′ boxes. You give a 2′ box to the 6′, 4′ to the 4′, and 6′ to the 2′.
The end. (more…)
February 22, 2014
A BAD DAY
My alarm beeped… 6:25 AM. “Great.” I thought, “Five minutes until my bus comes.” I hopped out of bed and jumped into the first clothes I could get my hands on, which happened to be the same ones that I wore yesterday. Oh well.
I grabbed my books and my stuff, and I started running to the bus stop, which happened to be about three blocks away. I ran as fast as I could, because I could just barely see the yellow blur slowly moving to pick up its daily cattle. The bus was finished picking up the students at my bus stop, so I had to chase the bus to its next stop. I had to run all the way down the next three blocks right behind the bus, trying to catch up with it. All this time, my so called “friends” in the bus were laughing their heads off, as they threw pieces of paper, pencils, and their school books at me, shouting, “Loser, loser.” I only got a bloody nose from somebody’s science book. I’ll live.
I finally caught up to the bus. It was completely full, so I tried sitting in the aisle. I felt several sharp jabs, turned around, and received a kick in the face. That hurt a little bit, so I decided that it would be best for me to sit on the steps right by the bus’s door. The bus driver opened the door and swerved, trying to throw me out, shouting, “Loser, loser,” but I grabbed hold of the dashboard and managed to keep from being run over by the oncoming cars. I guess you know by now that my bus driver hates me a little bit.
First of all, let me describe my school…. I go to Muddville High School. The school has just about the worst teachers, and the worst principal that you can have, Dr. Cratchit. (Yes, he’s a doctor… I think that he majored in child abuse or some similar subject.) This is the type of a principal that would cause you to wake up in the middle of the night, screaming, because you had a dream that your parents died, you were put into an orphanage, and he adopted you. This is how horrible he is. He is the most sadistic, child-hating man (if you can call him human) that I have ever known. He stands about 5’3”, and has red hair, which everybody is completely sure is a toupee.. This is one of the most discussed topics at school, because everybody SAYS that it is a toupee, but nobody KNOWS. So that’s my principal, now for the school day…
I got there, and immediately I was called up to the office. It seems that somebody “found” a lost math book of mine, and returned it to the office… It must have been one of my enemies, because everybody knows that Dr. Cratchit hates people losing their books… I was screamed at, I was yelled at, and I was practically dead by the time that Dr. Cratchit was finished lecturing me on things like “responsibility” and “citizenship” and “insubordinance.” I wish I could see Dr. Cratchit safety-pinned to a barbed wire fence with midgets poking him to death with toothpicks. That would be a good laugh.
So after going through the lecture, which many kids at my school call “The Cratchit-Crotch-Cracker,” I went on my merry way to first period, ENGLISH.
Of course, there was a big test today, and nobody bothered telling me about it… I was last to finish, and the teacher said to me, “I’m not going to bother grading your paper… You got a 40%, ok?”
“Sure,” I mumbled, not really caring since life sucks at school anyway, and all you have to do is get through it.
Second period, ALGEBRA I… This is the third time that I had to take this subject, since I failed it last year and at summer school. I figure that “the third time’s the charm.” At least I hope so. I got through listening about the quadratic formula, and the Pythagorean Theorem, and imaginary numbers… It was a bitch.
Third period, SHOP… This is the best class, since we were done with our projects, and all we had to do was fool around by taking scraps of wood and chunks of plastic and bending them, melting them, sawing them, and mutilating them any possible way that we could. It was fun, until I bent, mutilated, melted, and sawed my left hand. The clinic was nice. The bandage and alcohol only hurt a little.
Fourth period, good ol’ ESPANOL.
“No hablo espanol,” was mostly what I had said during class, except for the occasional “Si” or “No.” I forgot my homework, got back two tests (an F and a D-), and couldn’t take today’s test because I didn’t have a pencil or paper, and nobody would lend me one. I complained to my spanish teacher, Srta. Blakwitch, that it wasn’t fair.
All my spanish teacher would say was, “Tough shit, loser.”
Fifth period, PE.
I went through the usual routine. Dressing out, five minutes, Taking roll, five minutes. Warmup, five minutes. Track lap, five minutes, Getting equipment organized, five minutes. Picking teams, five minutes. Participation (the actual P.E.), five minutes. Showers and dressing, five minutes. Hence the phrase, “PE SUCKS.”
Lunch. Aside from waiting 10 minutes out of the 25 minute lunch period, everything at lunch was ok except for the fact that somebody tripped me, and I fell down. The entire cafeteria laughed at me and threw their food at me, yelling, “Loser, loser,” so I got a little stain on my shirt and pants.
Sixth period, CIVICS. Pure boredom.
We listened all about the electoral college, but I was kind of daydreaming about summer vacation, so I guess that’s why I didn’t hear her ask me the question. So now I have an ‘F’ entered in my notebook as a “bad class participation punishment.” I hate that bitch.
Seventh period, SCIENCE.
I had fun in the halls. The lead in my arm didn’t hurt that bad, because the pencil wasn’t that sharp when it entered into my flesh. I wonder why that guy stabbed me, shouting, “Loser, loser.” Science was ok. I wish I had understood half of what the teacher was saying, instead of about a tenth. Science used to be fun. But now they make school hard, so you can’t B.S. it. I fell asleep in science. I had a dream. I dreamed that school was out, and that it was summer vacation, and I had fun. But the weird thing in my dream was that, even though it lasted for months, the date was still July 17th, every day. I guess summer vacation was never going to end (what a shame). It was a good dream, and then, all of a sudden, it was September 7th. But the calendar wouldn’t change to September 8th. I kept going to school over and over again, and every day was like today was. That was too much. I woke up. I screamed so loud that a beaker near me broke. I guess I must have really screamed, because everybody in my class just stared at me for about thirty seconds, then the teacher made me sit in the corner.
After he gave the students their assignment, he brought me into the back room. He told me all kind of things like, “I’m failing you for the year. I’m getting you suspended. You will be expelled. I’m giving you 2 months detention. I’m going to go over to your house this summer and kill you. You are going to die a slow and painful death, loser.” I guess he was a little mad at me. HE didn’t scare me as much as the thought of having to go through the “Cratchit-Crotch-Cracker” again.
Finally he sat me back down on the seat, but he made me sit on my hands, and he put a “Dunce” hat on my head. I didn’t even know that those existed. Everybody in the class had a ball laughing at me, shouting, “Loser, loser.” Then, I saw a light. It was like a gift from God. One of the most beautiful sounds that I have ever heard in my entire life. A sound that I would give my life savings to hear one more time.
THE BELL RANG, for its final and last time that day. Now I could get home and get some sleep! I started walking down the halls to catch my bus, but all my books and notebooks fell in the hall, and I had to pick them up, along with my papers. It was a little hard since everybody kept stepping on my hands and kicking me in the face, but I got my books after about 15 minutes.
I RAN LIKE HELL TO CATCH MY BUS, but I missed it.
I started my four-mile walk home, and I was looking at the sky, not really paying much attention to the real world, because it sucked. The majority of the school was still there, because they all were socializing, and lots of others were staying after school for some big club meeting. Anyway, I was looking at the sky, and everybody started yelling. I thought it was a fight, but I didn’t bother looking because I had to get home so I could fail my homework. I guess it wasn’t a fight, as I felt the car’s fender hit sharply into my side, cracking several ribs. That hurt! Then I felt the hood ornament slam into my left eye, causing some blood and fluid to spurt a few feet. I flew up onto the windshield, breaking my nose in the process. “Ouch!” I said as I flew of the back of the car. Since the car that hit me had its brakes on, the car behind it had to slam on its brakes. But it couldn’t slam them hard enough.
This time, it didn’t hurt as much, it just kind of numbed my entire body. The car then slammed into the side of my head, and my head thumped into the asphalt, making a distinct “crack.” I could feel the blood trickling down my face, but I couldn’t move my arms to wipe it off. I could also see a stream of blood spurting out from where my hand was. It was interesting how the spurts followed my pulse… spurt… spurt… spurt… My pulse was getting slower. I could tell that this was the end.
Several kids ran up to me. One of them leaned over to me, and inspected me.
He then leaned closer to me, and put his ear near my mouth to see if I was breathing.
“The loser’s not going to make it!” shouted the kid loudly.
“Thank God,” I mumbled, as everything went black.
February 17, 2014
PEOPLE: Directed and co-written by Alexandre Aja (Pirahna 3-D, Mirrors, The Hills Have Eyes 2006). Starring Cecile De France and Maiwenn Le Besco (The Fifth Element) as girlfriends, and Philippe Nahon (who’s been in over 100 french movies) as the killer.
PLOT SUMMARY: A serial killer attacks a rural farmhouse.
UNCOMFORTABLE PLOT SUMMARY (inspired by this): [highlight for spoilers]→ Lesbian kills family.
QUIRKS: Based on Intensity, a book by Dean Koontz. This book was also made into a TV movie of the same name in 1997, starring John C. McGinley and Molly Parker. It seems that most people *who comment on the the 1997 TV movie thread* prefer that version.
VISUALS: Definitely some brutal gore scenes! Not a lot, though. But there’s a scene (that is an homage to Blue Velvet) that is pretty graphically muderous.
SOUNDTRACK: Unremarkable. Maybe a bit on the bad side, but I’m a music snob.
MORALS: [highlight for spoilers]→ Make sure you really know your friends.
GOOD STUFF: What a twist!
BAD STUFF: Other than the major twist, I found it almost a little too straightforward. There’s hardly any explanation for anything. Then again, maybe that makes perfect sense given the “big picture”. Hmmm.
A lot of people thought it made no sense and were all confused. MORBO LAUGH AT PUNY MORTALS. Seriously — people saying the director “cheated”, or that things were a “cop out” are just dead wrong and closeminded. If you don’t spoon feed them ever aspect of the story, they actually get angry. Now, I get kinda mad when things are confusing, and it might make me not like a movie, but these people are confused WAY too easily. This isn’t fucking David Lynch. Here’s an excellent explanation/critique (spoilers, obviously) that I agree with.
CONCLUSION: A 4-star movie, with a 5-star twist. Which makes me unsure of how to exactly rate it.
Clint: Netflix: 4.4/5 stars (a high 4). IMDB: 8/10. I didn’t quite “love it”, which is the criteria for 5 stars. I might like this more if I see it again, though. I may come back from the future and change this rating someday.
RECOMMENDATION: See it for the tension and merciless murder… Stay for the twist.
SIMILAR MOVIES: It would be spoilery to say.
MOVIE QUOTE: [repeated over and over] “I won’t let anyone come between us any more.”
FRIENDS’ RATINGS: Radha loves it. (more…)
February 14, 2014
When republicans make laws about abortions that affect 16-18 year olds, feminists scream “it’s a woman’s right to choose what to do with her own body”. I AGREE.
Yet, do you know how we got the age of consent of 18? The feminist movement pushed legislation to raise the age of consent to 18. They basically passed a law saying “it is illegal for you to use your vagina with certain people because you are too young to choose what to do with your own body”.
Major incongruity here. I get that they aren’t the same situation. That’s obvious. Nonetheless, by saying you can’t consent to someone over 18 until you are 18 yourself, a law was passed stating what you’re allowed to do with your vagina. (Difference being that if that age-of-consent law is broken, the vagina-owner doesn’t get in trouble. I’m sure that is a component in things.)
So it should probably be, “Keep your laws off my body and out of my vagina… Unless they put other people in jail. Then they’re okay.”
I’m sort of trolling here in that I know this may generate a controversial response, and that’s part of why I’m posting this — but I’m also being 100% honest here. (more…)