Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Wimbledon 2011: Roger Federer vs. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

I don't have much to say about this other than I'm shocked.

I don't think Federer played a bad match (although I only got to watch the first two sets before heading to work). I also didn't think Tsonga played a bad first two sets. It's just that usually when Federer is up two sets to love, he wins the match. I'd like to watch the last three sets...maybe on Wimbledon Primetime on The Tennis Channel tonight.

Anyway, good job Tsonga. I like the way he plays when he's playing well and up to his potential. Sorry for Federer. Sometimes you think that "old" champions should go out on a winning high but they feel like they can do anything (who doesn't) after they win. Was the last major Federer won was the 2010 French Open? Maybe he should have just walked away then. I'm not saying he still isn't a phenomenal player. I just don't like to see those sports figures that were on top for so long sort of flailing here and there before they FINALLY decide to walk away and by then people are feeling sad for them more than excited that they are still playing the game.

So, ramble, ramble, ramble...on to the Rafael Nadal vs. Mardy Fish match. I wish Fish the best and hope he can win the tournament but I'm not super confident in his ability to take the trophy. I like his game though...still serving and volleying in this day and age is such a blessing to watch versus the boring baseline to baseline exchanges.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Goff's Hamburgers

It has been a long while since my first visit to Goff's Hamburgers. This is for a few reasons but mainly because I think it is overpriced for what you get and their food just doesn't have that "wow" factor, or even a "that sounds good" thinking, for me. Now some may say that the portion size is exact for what people should eat to keep from gaining weight. I don't disagree with this. What I do disagree with is the steep price they charge for what is essentially the size of a hockey puck (or two double-stacked).

It seems that Tuesdays after 5 p.m. are half-price burgers, at the University Park location anyway. So last Tuesday, I figured it was a good time to take them for another test drive.

I don't recall the menu from my 1st and only visit but I didn't want to seem like an "ignorant customer" so I was trying to read the menu from the back of the line. It was about seven people deep so I had time to eyeball the chalkboard menu on the wall by the register.

The menu items are listed by numbers, mostly, as far as I could tell.

The line seemed to be moving smoothly so I started feeling pressured to know what I wanted to order.

I wasn't extremely hungry but didn't want to ruin the "bargain" of 1/2-price burgers. I decided to go with the #11—2 patties, lettuce, tomato, and sauce—with a drink. The cashier asked if I wanted fries or onion rings. I was tempted but I held steadfast to my master plan of ordering cheap.

I was given my drink cup and a ticket. I got my Diet Coke and took a seat near the front of the restaurant. About 7 minutes later, I assumed my number was called because the ticket I was given had a number on it but it wasn't stated to me by the cashier that it was my number. She could have assumed I was a regular and "in the know" but I would think telling the customer their ticket number should be standard practice.

I took my burger back to my seat and I must say that my expectation of a double-patty burger was NOT what I received. In comparison, a double-meat at Jake's Burgers is closer to what I, or anyone for that matter, would expect.

I proceeded to take a few bites and it dawned on me that the #11 at Goff's is very similar to the Big Mac at McDonald's. The main differences in my opinion are as follows: (1)the patties are cooked differently, (2)the #11 has one less bun, and (3)the #11 has slightly thicker patties. The similarities are double-meat, cheese, lettuce, and special sauce. I think the regular price of the #11 is the same price as the Big Mac value meal at McDonald's. Again, not something that I would have expected from a not-advertised-as-fast-food restaurant.

The burger was...ummm...average. It didn't make me think to myself how glad I was to have chosen this place for dinner nor did it make me want to hurry back. I can't say the #11 was bad so I'm just going with average.

I won't be heading back unless it is on a Tuesday. I do believe that the convenience of this location is favorable for me but the costs on other days is not conducive to my liking or my wallet. I may try it a third time and try a different burger but I'm not rushing out the door to do so.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Revisited: Is A College Degree Worth It?

I have previously written about this topic here.

A few days later I ran across this story but just now had time to write about it. I think it's got some very valid points from the horses' mouth (the actual graduates)!

That's all I got to say about that!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Mini Anden in The Mechanic (2011)

I started this about two weeks ago. I thought I'd at least finish it even if it doesn't reflect my original thoughts.

This is Mini Anden in a screen capture from the movie The Mechanic (2011).

She's hot! And her scene with Statham in bed is short but hot. That's the whole point of this post.

But to keep from coming across as a complete perv, I will comment a bit on the movie.

The movie was pretty good if you take it for what it's worth: a high-action, fast-paced movie. What else would you expect from a movie with Jason Statham in it?

If you think too much about movies, like I sometimes do, you'd see that it's predictable. It's been done before in the same or close-to-it manner.

But don't think about the movie too much, enjoy it for what it is and it will be worth watching.

One thing that always interests me is how contract killers, spies, etc. always have the best fucking Internet connections and speeds in the most remote of places! I guess when you make the kind of money that contract killing can get you, you can build and have the best shit at your house!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Dallas Mavericks are your 2011 NBA Champions

In case you haven't heard or read about it before, the Dallas Mavericks are the 2011 NBA Champions.

Suck that Dwayne and Lebron.

Dirk Nowitzki is a class act unlike those two punk-ass bitches I mentioned in the previous sentence. The enclosed image from the cover of Sports Illustrated is priceless: showing Nowitzki "towering" over the two arrogant cry babies.

Go Dirk! Go Mavs! Job well done!

That's all I got to say about that!

Farmers Branch Liberty Fest 2011

This event is obviously past by a few weeks but I am a busy person and I post what I post when I can post it. Capisce?!

I kept telling my friends that it was Frisco not Farmers Branch but what did I know. I was invited by the mother of a friend of my oldest's. This mother is a big fan of Rick Springfield and a so-so fan of The Spin Doctors.

The mother invited us and paid for our tickets. They were $5 each so it wasn't a big purchase but it was a very nice gesture on her part. The regular cost if I went to the website is like $15. Anyway, again, we were grateful, cordial and we actually had a pretty decent time as a couple and as a family hanging with friends.

We got there about 4:30pm but the concert was scheduled to start until 7pm. We found a close seat on the grass fairly close to the stage. It was hot. It was really hot. The closer we got to the stage the more of a tree line which meant less of a breeze.

Okay, so too much time has passed since I attended this event and started typing this post. If you want more information, you can visit the home page and/or see Photos from PegasNews.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

This is how Playstation says "Thank You"?

Two free PS3 games that are older games and a couple not so grand and exciting. The best one in my opinion (I guess somewhat bias since it's the only one I've actually played) is InFamous. It's a pretty damn good game. I can't wait to play the second version. I've read about Little Big Planet and how great it is. The other two I had never played before. So, I downloaded Little Big Planet and WipeOut HD Bundle. I have only played WipeOut and I'd have to say it's a lame fucking game. I think most of the apps on the iPhone are better than this game. Graphically, they are probably equal but the play/replay value is nil. I have yet to install Little Big Planet.

As far as the free movies, again, are you fucking shitting me!? "GhostBusters," "Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within," and "Bad Boys?"!? How old long ago did GhostBusters come out?

Anyway, Sony has a funny and lame fucking way to say, "Thanks" and "Sorry." It reminds me when Sprint sent me a "Thanks for being a long-term, loyal customer with Premier status" and said they're offering me a free ring tone. The max charge/worth of a ring tone was $3.99 with the lowest being $.99.

Boo Sony! Boo Sprint! Boo!

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Walgreen's email ads are sometimes weird

I've written a few times or more about the power or powerlessness of advertising and product placement. I received this advertisement in an email because I'm on their email listserv as a willing participant from Walgreens. I just thought it was funny on the mix of the products they put in this ad.

I would like to think they had some kind of theme for the email blast but I'm not totally sure. I was thinking it was about summer, the beach and the like. I guess it follows that theme...sort of. You got your sun care products, your sunglasses, baby and children toys and then...what? Sexual wellness? I guess that could be a summer beachy thing.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Is an undergraduate college degree worth it?

I haven't consistently written about my pain and suffering of obtaining my undergraduate degree while working full-time and being a wonderful husband and great parent of two. I have a short attention span most of the time and I get misdirected to other things in the middle of ongoing things and then it's just a cluster fuck of things. Before I know it, I've lost track of anything and everything I wanted to say, write, or do and I move on until I can remember them later on. If I could stay on track and compile my thoughts in one cohesive linear direction, this blog would be much longer and each day's postings would be enormously long or many or both.

With that being expressed, I have come to the conclusion that I should (will) complete my long, tenuous journey of obtaining my undegraduate degree from a well-known school. If all goes well, May 2012 will be my graduation month/year. {fingers crossed}

I'd like to start with a little pre-journey background. I didn't grow up with parents that made enough money for us to live comfortably. At times, my parents struggled to make ends meet. I shared a roughly 20' x 20' room with my brother up until I was in 10th or 11the grade which is when he moved out. There were three boys in my parents 3-bedroom house since I was in elementary school because my older four siblings were already on their own by the time I was in 3rd.

Most of my clothes, excluding underwear, came from hand-me-downs or the second-hand store (if it's still there we visited the D.A.V.- Disabled American Veteran's store in Irving, TX). The bicycle I learned to ride a bike on was my oldest sister's—yes, a girl's bike—who is fifteen years older than me. I learned to ride it at the age of five but I was unable to sit on the seat. Therefore, I had to "stand" the entire time while pedaling and the handle bars were at a height above my head where I looked like I was stretching more than I was riding a bike. Damn good thing it WAS a girl's bike!

Anyway, point is that I didn't expect to go to college. Times were tough most of my childhood and money was tight. I was (am) a smart kid but I knew my parents couldn't afford it and so I didn't ever prepare to attend or think about college. I didn't ask for brochures or any information from colleges. I conceded/expected the fact that I would work after high school and see what the future brought. Neither of my parents went to college. One or two of my siblings took a class here and there from Tarrant County Junior College (now TCC). I was not groomed for continued education.

So anyhow, I started this journey in the fall of 1989 at the ripe old age of 18. I didn't start this journey willingly. My mom told me I had to enroll in college (TCJC) in the fall after my high school graduation because they needed to keep health insurance on me and to claim me on their taxes. I didn't really have a job lined up but was actively looking while also trying to enjoy my summer of fun and freedom from no longer having to returned to "required" schooling.

I enrolled in twelve hours at TCJC for full-time status for a few semesters/years and before or on the drop date, I'd drop at least half of the classes because I was skipping them. I look bad now and regret not being more respectful of my mom's hard-earned money to pay for my classes but I was younger and dumber at the time. I looked at it as I didn't like the damn classes anyway and my mom was forcing me to take them. I particularly disliked taking the GEC classes because if it wasn't specific to what I wanted to do, like technology or whatever, I felt that classes like Human Relations and Rhetoric were total bullshit and a waste of money. I look back now and I wasted the money by not just getting a passing grade in all the classes instead of dropping them. I spent a lot of time in the game room playing fuseball, ping pong and pool. I also slept a lot in the lounge area when I should have been in class. College was not a motivator for me. It never has been and still really isn't.

I got me a full-time job making decent money (at the time it was decent). I worked 7am to 4pm and had my afternoons and evenings to just hang out, relax, and have fun. A few years of full-time work, I started taking an evening class each fall and spring semester because my company would reimburse me if I passed with a C+. I took classes I wanted to take like Pascal and C programming as well as some other techie classes. It wasn't the funnest but my wife (girlfriend at the time) was very persistent in what she thought I should do with my life. It really came down to she was slightly embarrassed around her friends and family to be dating me because I had no real college aspirations and she was going to a very expensive private college and she had goals and plans.

Longer story short, I got a job at a college and they have tuition benefits. They pay up front though unlike my previous job but they don't cover books and fees. That's okay when the tuition is like $8k-$10k for two classes, I think I'm better off paying $300 for books and fees. It still sucks but it's better than the alternative. Between work and family time, I have taken six hours a semester (FL/SP/SU) for quite a while. My work covers 18 hours and I'm not paying for more nor am I taking more than two classes a term because it's a lot for me to take on with family, work, school and personal sanity time. Focus is still hard for me because when it comes to family, fun or a 5-page paper, family first then fun rules out and then I'm pulling an all-nighter to finish the paper or study for an exam. It's not fun.

So, I've got 13 hours left. I'm taken three for the first summer term and then six in Fall 2011 and six in Spring 2012. Then finally (hopefully) graduation in May 2012 with a BBA and a minor in photography. Look at me the previous underachiever achieving a major and a minor.

Now the point of my title. I work in an MBA office and I see and process applications for our program every day. These applicants fill out their current employer and salary. All these people have already received their undergraduate degree from some institution. Many are at least 28 years of age but can range from 26 to 36 years old. If we go with those that are 30-36 and U.S. citizens, many of them have salaries that are equal to mine give or take a couple of thousand dollars.

Granted, I didn't start at what I make now but they spent minimum four years in undergraduate college and something like $60k-$80k in tuition to work at a job making the same money as I am without a completed college education. Of course, they have the education and potential to make more...blah, blah, blah...but they don't right now. Not to mention that I work for a university and I knew going in that it wasn't about the money I could make. It was about the sanity and peace of mind of not working in the crazy-ass high-pressure corporate world anymore and to get my tuition benefits for me, my wife and my kids.

My point comes down to this. Is it worth wasting four years of life (excluding the frat parties, panty raids and other extracurricular activities) and being in debt for paying the college tuition (unless your parents are rich) to obtain a job that starts out at, say, $32,000/year? Years ago I started at $26,000/yr at a previous employer working in the mail room. I progressed to a promotion in a few years making $30,000/yr which was equal to those the company was hiring straight out of college at the time. The college graduate didn't do the job any better than I did and in fact many did worse. So, who was better or worse off?

Again, society says a college education is important and for some reason people still believe that a college grad will do a better job than a high school grad. To that I say, "Bullshit." It all comes down to the capabilities of the applicant/employee...but again, the decision makers say differently. I just see that an accounting major learns theory in college and learns real life on the job. A competent non-college worker learns on the job and didn't waste time in class theory. Is one the college grad better, worth more? I think not but the higher-ups think differently. Would you trust a non-college educated real estate agent that learned on the job from a mentor and works in the actual business or a college graduate that just graduated with a major in real estate?

I guess there's an argument for both sides. I tell my kids that I will support them in whatever they want. I don't think a college degree is necessary overall but I think it is necessary for them just because of the biases that people have against non-college grads versus college grads. It isn't the end all be all but it doesn't hurt either, I guess.

Anyway, that's my random opinion of the day. You can find different opinions on whether or not a degree is worth the time and money by a Google search, as I did. In fact, I will share a couple here and here.

Oh yeah, I saw an article somewhere that said the MBA is now considered more like an undergraduate degree because everyone's got one. I think that's a remark stating that the undergraduate degree has lost its clout and the MBA is following suit. What's next, everyone needs a Ph.D.?

UPDATE 6/2/11: It's funny sometimes how when you write or talk about something that there is someone somewhere that had a similar idea but on a bigger platform. I saw an article here that has a few theories on the worth of college. It was an interesting read although I think it misses some con-college points. Still worth a read though.