Mike Beversluis

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

This time, the narcisism is explicit

25 Things about Mike

1. I was almost born on Mother’s Day, 1975. I’ve been just as punctual ever since.

2. I like to cook, and every once in awhile I will invite a bunch of people over as an excuse to do something big and fun. Hence Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It’s also a good motivator to clean up the apartment clutter.

3. I sometimes play Powerball lotteries when the prizes get over $150 million. The odds of winning are roughly 1 in 150 million, so at that point, your expected winnings (odds times the prize) is equal to the cost of the ticket. Ignore taxes. And the odds for multiple winners. And other details. THEN it’s a mathematically sound investment strategy! If the prize goes up to 200 million, you should expect to make 25 cents! [insert joke about the stock market in 2008 here! LOL]

4. I like my car, and it makes me feel good every time I get in it and zip around, but I do not want to be one of those guys who takes a picture of themselves standing next to their car, and even worse, posts it online.

5. I want to buy a Persian rug someday – one of the expensive ones. They are the most beautiful thing I think I could own. I also want to buy a Wegner chair and a Shaker side table. There's an element of status symbol here, but they are also intrinsically beautiful, and being near such things on a regular basis is a small part, and not the most important, but still, of a good life.

6. I want to build a house someday. I constantly doodle house plans on SketchUp. If it weren’t for that minor detail of having to make clients happy, I’d like to have been an architect.

7. I don’t buy orange juice any more, just oranges.

8. I have 20/10 vision, but I suspect it won’t last forever. I think I'll miss it, but then my glasses will help me look smart.  Or at least smrt.

9. I really like Belgian beer, but a cold Budweiser after a hot day outside is wonderful.

10. I’m going to see Tom Waits someday in concert. More generally, despite how much I like music, I don’t go to many concerts, and maybe I should change that.

11. I’d like to live in Austin Texas someday, but often times I’ve found I liked the idea of something more than the thing itself. That goes for things like mountain biking or stereos, or some of the things on this list, or getting my PhD, or moving here and there. The best places I’ve lived were really only so because I had a good group of friends around.

12. I have a weird fascination with hot-rod Volvo’s. It makes no sense. I’m hoping that this is just a phase.

13. I like most any BBQ or grilled food – yeah, duh.  It's funny that BBQ is one of those things that causes people to become obsessed with naming or tracking down the best.  Very good is good enough, very close to the top is close enough, and you can keep your perfectionism and OCD.  On the other hand, I'm happy those people are around to drive the pile forward.  Just don't want to be them.

14. I think graduate school is a bad idea for just about everyone (80% of those who apply). Just say no to pyramid schemes, because that’s what academia is, in a time-labor sort of way. Actually, college isn’t that great an idea for some people (25%) too.

15. I like Eric Hoffer’s aphorisms.  For instance: “We lie loudest when we lie to ourselves.”

16. I want to age gracefully into a cool old guy, perhaps with a pipe. People are too obsessed with looking young. How about a little dignity instead?

17. Baseball on the radio is a good thing.

18. Last year I had a sinus infection, and it strongly affected my hearing so that guitars and pianos sounded really out of tune. It was bad enough that I couldn’t listen and enjoy any music much until it cleared up.  It was odd that I wasn’t deaf, but that everything sounded wrong. Which was bad in its own surprising way.

19. I like machine shops, and would probably make a good $3 an hour machinist. I’d probably make a good $4 an hour auto mechanic too. Okay, $3. I’m thinking of buying a Sherline mini-milling machine because I belong to the more money than ability club.

20. I want to see a shuttle launch. Also, I want to go to New Zealand (to see Bret and Jermaine’s childhood homes). I would like to drive a 911 on the autobahn, or even the ‘ring. I’d like to go to London. Possibly France.

21. I like P.G. Wodehouse’s books, and people who also like them too have excellent taste and are good eggs.

22. The “Stuff White People Like” list applies way too much to me.

23. I believe that no good comes from meetings over thirty minutes, so make up a reason to leave. If you have an assistant, arrange for them to call you 25 minutes into the meeting, and beg forgiveness when you “have to leave for this emergency that you were just told of…"

24. I think the two blinking red lights on the Washington Memorial look like snake eyes.

25. Men should not wear shorts or sandals if they are not at the beach or in the water; So I don’t.

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7 Comments:

  • What spurred this session of belly-button gazing?

    Also,

    #16 - Dignity AND gravitas.

    #25 - ...Or attempting to appear liberal.

    By Anonymous Adam, at 24 November, 2009 15:43  

  • Dood, this whole thing is one long navel gaze. Just explicitly labeled it as such this time around.

    By Blogger Mike Beversluis, at 24 November, 2009 18:06  

  • Mike, for number 14, I am quite involved in the thing. What you say about academia being a pyramid scheme makes sense. In your opinion, does it or does it not apply to working in a corporation? And why yes or why not?

    By Blogger John Travolta Sardus, at 25 November, 2009 07:06  

  • Everyone needs to sell enough of something to pay their salary, but no, not all corporations are pyramids. That of course, is a very loaded term that I used. What I mean by it is that there is a long apprenticeship and only a few positions at the top.

    League sports are like this, where a large number of players dream of making it to the top. The minor leagues winnow out 98%. The superstars shoot straight to the top, but the last 2% fight it out for the rest. Hence the saying "the enemy of the good is the best"

    Law firms operated as an apprenticeship too, with the partners at top using a large number of associates generate "hours" which bring in the bulk of the money.

    If there are lots of potential customers, then everyone can set up shop. If there is one customer or one professional guild that you can work through, these senority/tenure structures tend to develop.

    Other careers are not like this. Medicine offers both: There are a fixed, small number of neurosurgeons that are AMA-board certified in the US, but the number of nurses isn't limited.

    In general, the seniority/guild/league/academia system generates "stars" while the alternative has lower wages across a broader range of people. I think most engineering jobs fall into the latter category. The barriers to professional entry are much lower.

    Note also that in academic careers where there isn't research money, e.g. history, everyone is poor, but there is still prestige and seniority to fight over.

    By Blogger Mike Beversluis, at 25 November, 2009 08:09  

  • #4. So do I. Neither do I.

    #8. So did I. Not anymore. Getting old sucks, but it beats heck out of the alternative.

    #20. I had a 911 for 14 years. Didn't drive it on the 'ring or the 'bahn, but did get it onto Summit Point once. My adrenal gland looked like a raisin afterwards.

    #21. This is the last time I intend to read about PG Wodehouse without reading PG Wodehouse.

    As for the rest, and, I suppose, the above, it all proves that men are far more similar than women.

    By Blogger Hey Skipper, at 25 November, 2009 19:53  

  • Realizing this list would make a good plot for a Wes Anderson film.

    By Anonymous e, at 26 November, 2009 23:27  

  • Hear, hear E. Wes? Are you out there? Really far out there?

    By Anonymous Sarah Z., at 05 January, 2010 21:51  

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