Blog Shorts….

This is pretty cool….

In the DotCom days, all of the software companies offered Stock Options.  Now that the economy is in the toilet, do you think they could start offering options on Shorts….

“OK Mr. Hofer, were are going to give you options for 1000 shares at 20 dollars, and 1000 shorts at 20 dollars”.  Stock price goes to 30 dollars – Woo hoo, options are worth 10K.  Stock price goes to $5, shorts are worth 15K.

Just a thought….

I was driving back from lunch today and some lady in a minivan cut me off.  I don’t think she ever saw me, but she practically took the front of my car off.  I slammed on the brakes and laid on the horn.  As I caught back up to her to flip her off, I noticed the “Hang up and Drive” bumper sticker on her car.  As I passed her and raised the bird, I noticed she was on her cell phone.  Irony or double standard?

When I got back to work I realized that none of this story ever happened, other than seeing someone with a  “Hang up and Drive” bumper sticker the other day and thinking it would be funny if it really did happen.

Economic Stimulus Plan

The Jim Hofer Economic Stimulus Plan 2002 —

  1. Job Creation
    • Currently when a company hires an employee, there is a significant amount of overhead involved above and beyond the employees salary.  My thought is, for the first year only, any new employees that a company hires, the company is not responsible for paying their portion of  FICA, Medicare, unemployment insurance etc (I haven’t done enough research to uncover all hidden Federal cost of hiring someone, but I believe these are accurate).  This would only be for employees above the companies current head count.  Since a number of these people are not currently paying into FICA anyway, this should not be a drain on Social Security.
  2. Airline Bailout
    • Giving the airlines money doesn’t help the economy.  Instead, purchase tickets on the airlines..  Include one roundtrip ticket for each dependant on your tax return from your closest major city to another major city of your choice (which you specify on your 1040).  Essentially you are giving each person a vacation.  On this vacation, they will be spending money in the target city, continuing to fuel the economy.
  3. Tax Rebates
    • If the government decides to give Tax rebates similar to the couple hundred dollar one we got last summer, they should be in the form of prepaid Visa cards.  This insures that the money is re-spent, and not used for paying bills or put into savings.

Comments Welcome.  Sponsored by the Jim Hofer for Congress – 2004 fund.

Risk Management

I got to play a new version of RISK on Friday night.  I definitely liked the changes they have made (other than the color choices — they should have hired a color blindness consultant — perhaps I’ve found a new business….).

The game is set in the future, after the moon and oceans have been colonized.  The game begins by randomly placing 4 nuclear wastelands markers on the board (draw 4 cards from the deck and place a marker on each spot — these countries are essentially removed from the game.  In our case, since part of Africa was destroyed, if you took South America and an adjacent water colony, you only had one border to protect for both (not each, 1 border to protect both).  Initially the moon and water colonies are uncontested — you can move into them freely.

The other major addition is Commanders.  You need to have a water commander to attack to or from water colonies, and space commander to attack the moon.  Besides those two, there is the land commander, the diplomat, and the nuclear commander.

The entire game only last 5 turns for each player.  You bid power each turn to determine the playing order.  You get power based on how many countries you own plus continent bonuses, etc.  You also use power to buy commanders and cards, and to use cards.

That’s enough on game basics.  Anyway, we had 5 players (the max allowed – some I knew, some I didn’t), plus some spectators.  We go through the initial placing of armies and I realize that I can’t tell two of the colors apart — one of which is mine.  Someone immediately offers to switch colors.  Since everything is in place, I switch seats with him and we leave the armies where they were.  Not being able to tell the colors apart, i don’t realize what a big advantage I am giving him — first turn he takes over South America and a water colony (as discussed above).  With his early advantage, he buys a card that allows him to kill any commander.  After much table talk, he decides to kill one of mine.

Later, I get a card that allows me to get even.  Rather than read the card out loud, I set it on top of 6 of his armies, roll a die (get a 6), scoop his armies up and toss them to him.  He gets pissed.  He tells me that I’m lucky he doesn’t jump across the table and that I better never play a contact sport with him.  I smile and laugh, and continue to rub it in.  He gets more pissed.

What a fun night.  I ended up in third, my in-game nemesis ended in fourth.  Bollini should have won (in fact I said on my last turn – “I’ve decided that the winner will be Dan”, and used my turn to improve his position).  He missed a rule and made a critical mistake on the last turn (then again, knowing Bollini, he did it intentionally to get back at me for tainting his win).

Blog Shorts

  • In the words of Steve Martin “I’m somebody” — someone got to my blog by searching google for “blog st. louis”.  I show up on the first page.  Hopefully whoever it was found the link to STLBloggers.  I still get a ton of hits from people looking for P.F. Changs St. Louis.  I wonder if my less than stellar review has cost them any money?
  • I’ve noticed a large number of blogs reporting encounters with supernatural beings ( Kofuzi and Dezzie and Ben and William ).  My thoughts – one of the following is true:
    • Blogging causes dillusions.
    • The end of the world is near.
    • The exorcist was in St. Louis, so it all kinda makes sense.
    • The Gateway Arch is actually a Gateway by which demons and otherworldly creatures enter our world.

jc:    That…would be me.
me:  uhhhh…ummm..Ok
me:  Why are you here?
jc:    Why am I here? Why are any of us here? I hate these questions. Frankly Jim I expected a little more from you.
me:  Actually I meant, why are you here, in this room?
jc:    Oh, I’m looking for my parents. Dad got drunk and was looking for mom. Its not pretty when they get together. All hell breaks loose.
me:  All Hell breaks loose?
jc:    You are so literal. Anyway, I was scanning the universe, and saw both their names enter your mind together, so I thought you might know where they were.
me:  Scanning the universe, that sounds like a cool power.
jc:    Power? No, I meant on my thought scanner. I picked it up at Radioshack for $20. So do you know where they are?
me:  I can probably get you started.
me:  Wait a sec, I thought Mary was your mom, not Dezzie?
jc:   Well, sort of. Mom and Dad, or Dezzie and William as you call them, had an embrio frozen shortly after they were married. Dad got custody, and had the doctors implant me in Mary.
me:  Oh. That make sense. Anyway, your dad was drinking beer over at Ben’s house, and your mom was hanging out with some guy named Kofuzi.
jc:    thanks. ** Poof **
me:  Back into the ether then…
me:  I crack myself up. Damn, I wish I would have hit him up for powerball numbers…


Dang…the google search for blog st. louis is actually the second page. I didn’t look close enough…I guess I have to wait to be somebody…

Girls night out.

Brenda is working nights tonight — the 10:00 PM to 8:00 AM shift.  She has to do it again on Superbowl Sunday.  The girls are spending the night at grandma and grandpa Hofer’s.

Danielle has had a fever off and on since before New Years.  This weekend the fever hit 104.8 F (that’s a lot).  Brenda took her back to the doctor again today.  She spent 1.5 hours in the waiting room for a 15 minute visit to find out she has a double ear infection and inflamed tonsils.  Why the doctor last week couldn’t figure this out…who knows.  So after the doctor visit, Danielle wasn’t too interested in doing anything but staying at home — after being sick for that long, I can’t blame her.  Allison also told me that Zoom (her beanie baby turtle) told her that she needed to stay at home and watch him.

Brenda and I both told Danielle and Alli that they would have to spend the night with grandma and grandpa.  Danielle asked me to make a dummy that looked like her and bring that to grandma’s instead.  I told her that I didn’t know how, so she gave me instructions (you use this for the head, that for the body, something straight for the arms, string for the fingers, …) .

By the time we got to grandma’s, Alli was pretty excited about spending the night.  Danielle eventually warmed up to the idea as well — not sure if it was grandpa’s new big screen tv, him making pancake’s in the morning, or tomato soup and cheese sandwiches for lunch.

Justin fell asleep on the way home.  He has school, so he doesn’t get to spend the night.  I may even get to sleep without anyone asking me for a drink of water in the middle of the night.

I guess I’ll find out tomorrow how it all went the girls.