Archive | February, 2008
February 28, 2008

In 1492, Columbus Sailed the Ocean Blue?

Fewer than half of American teenagers who were asked basic questions about history and literature during a recent telephone survey knew when the Civil War was fought, and one-quarter thought that Christopher Columbus sailed to the New World sometime after 1750, not in 1492.

[…]

In the survey, 1,200 17-year-olds were reached by telephone in January and asked to answer 33 multiple choice questions about history and literature, which were read aloud to them. The questions were drawn from a test administered by the federal government in 1986.

About a quarter of the teenagers surveyed were unable to correctly identify Adolf Hitler as Germany’s chancellor during World War II, instead identifying him variously as a munitions maker, an Austrian premier and the German Kaiser.

So American teenagers perform poorly in history, literature, math, science, etc. and can’t manage to run a mile in their PE classes? Dudes, what are kids doing in school these days?

February 24, 2008

In-N-Out University

In-N-Out University in Baldwin Park

Depending on my GMAT score, this might be where I end up getting my MBA. And ya know, maybe that wouldn’t be such a bad thing.

In-N-Out University in Baldwin Park
In-N-Out University in Baldwin Park

The In-N-Out University, according to the company’s website, is “where new managers are trained and the In-N-Out formula for success is consistently reinforced.”

I snapped this photo while on a traditional In-N-Out run after being picked up from Ontario airport. The In-N-Out University is located at 13850 Francisquito Ave. in Baldwin Park, the city where In-N-Out Burger was born.

Also, if you stop at the Baldwin Park location, there is a company store located in the same building as the “university.” Here, you can buy all the In-N-Out merchandise that your heart desires, including t-shirts, Fossil watches, beach towels, and Christmas ornaments. I’m not even going to tell you how much stuff I bought there.

Oh, and after checking the “new items” section on the website, you can now buy flip-flops:

in-n-out_flip-flops.jpg

Dudes, as a reminder, my birthday is coming up in a few months.

February 24, 2008

Sold the last of my furniture today

Yep, it’s finally all gone. Figured I might as well get rid of it now rather than dealing with it later in the year.

Now my belongings consist mainly of clothes, books, several bottles of vodka and Pimm’s, a bike, pair of hockey skates, sandwich maker, and In-N-Out mug. I kinda feel like a gypsy, but instead of a busted ass wagon I have an SUV.

February 21, 2008

Pink’s Hot Dogs

Pink

Stealing a page from Ann’s new blog, I’m going to start posting random photos that I’ve taken over the years and write a short explanation about them. The photo might be of something historical or just plain ridiculous, but will usually be related to somewhere that I’ve traveled.

Pink's hot dogs sign

I took this photo a few months ago while I was in Los Angeles. Pink’s Hot Dog stand, located on N. La Brea Boulevard in Hollywood, claims to be the “Home of the World’s Best Chili Dog”. Not having taste tested every single chili dog in the world, I cannot vouch for the authenticity of this claim, but I will say that Pink’s does make a damn good hot dog. Their menu is pretty eclectic, featuring hot dogs topped with everything from guacamole to BBQ sauce and onion rings. Ryan and I first visited Pink’s back in 2005, when we gorged ourselves on hot dogs after visiting a Soviet submarine in Long Beach. During my most recent trip, I opted for the “Today Show Dog” – two hot dogs in one bun topped with mustard, onions, chili, cheese, and guacamole (and keep in mind that for lunch I had a double double and fries from In-N-Out. Yes, I am well aware that a visit to the cardiologist is in my future).

Pink's hot dogs

If you find yourself in Los Angeles and craving a hot dog, I highly recommend you stop by Pink’s. The line tends to get long, but it’s worth the wait.

February 20, 2008

Should five percent appear too small, be thankful I don’t take it all

I begrudgingly mailed off my tax paperwork yesterday, including a check made out to the District of Columbia for the amount that I “owe” them. I wanted to write something on the memo line to the effect of “This is the last you’ll ever get from me you thieving, bloodsucking bastards” but I didn’t have any room left after I put down my social security number and other assorted information that they require on the memo line. Anyways, it’s not like they’d read it, as they would just cash it immediately so that they could spend it at Saks Fifth Avenue or purchase venetian blinds for their vacation home in the Caribbean (today’s WashPost article about Harriette Walters, the DC tax office manager who embezzled $50 million of DC taxpayer money, really sheds some light on what a banana republic this city truly is. Kids are gunning each other down in the streets while city employees dress themselves in furs and Versace acquired with your money).

Anyways, having mailed off my signed forms and checks, I was under the impression that I would not have to bother with the subject of taxes until next year. I was rather proud of the fact that I had even managed to do this a few months before the deadline. This illusion was promptly shattered, however, when I came home last night to find a thick envelope waiting for me, courtesy of the Internal Revenue Service. I really thought my brain was going to explode, right then and there, all over the clean kitchen floor, when I discovered that I apparently owed the IRS over $2,000, due March 12. Unbeknownst to both myself and my bank account, I had apparently earned an extra $17,000 in income during 2006 and failed to report it to our government overlords. Where this extra $17,000 in income went, I do not know, but I really wish I would have known about it so that I could have taken that trip to China and North Korea, or perhaps purchased a Nintendo Wii.

Upon reading the notice from the IRS, my first thought was that I had really screwed up while using TurboTax. Like, did I forgot to fill out a box or two when I was doing my taxes last year? I mean, I know I’m not good at math, but $17,000 is a pretty big number. But once I started going through the paperwork, I concluded that, obviously, this total financial screw up was not my fault. For whatever reason, my employer sent the IRS two different W-2s (whereas I received, well, just one correct W-2) and now the government beancounters think I’m trying to evade my patriotic duty of paying for idiotic Baby Boomer foreign policy screw ups, National Guard ads on NASCAR cars, and various pork barrel projects.

I am currently in the process of writing a letter to the IRS and gathering my supporting documentation so that they don’t send the jackbooted thugs to kick in my door and drag me off to federal prison. Still, if you don’t hear from me for a few years, it’s likely that I’m behind bars somewhere stamping license plates.

Hopefully they’ll go easy on me and send me to one of those comfy minimum security prisons where they send white collar criminals like Martha Stewart. Maybe I could even get some networking done while serving time. I’d probably be the envy of my fellow MBA students (“Yeah, been there, done that, dudes. It ain’t fun.”)
As it is, I am probably marked for life in the government’s system and will have all of my future returns scrutinized. C’est la vie, comrades.

(Fun fact: Exactly three years ago, in February 2005, someone wrote, in reference to me, “It’s like she [is] just begging for an IRS audit.” Yeah, you can stop laughing now.)

February 18, 2008

Whenever I hear someone’s phone

start to play the “Sex and the City” theme ringtone, I have a sudden urge to snatch their pink Motorola RAZR, throw it on the ground and repeatedly jump up and down on it.

Yeah, it was a good show, but come on people, enough is enough.

February 15, 2008

Breakfast of champions



Breakfast of champions, originally uploaded by lfincher.

Nothing better than a caramel frappacino at 5am.

February 14, 2008

SoCal for the weekend

Got a 6am flight out of Dulles tomorrow, which should put me into Palm Springs around 10:30 am, just in time for a double double from In-N-Out.

Guess I should start packing. Be back in DC Monday night.

Oh, you don’t get President’s Day off? That sucks.