When President Obama proposed to freeze Federal Government pay for two years I thought he was taunting us with an April Fool’s joke in November. I mean really. Is the public supposed to take the President seriously after he signed off on a 3.9% 2009 pay hike when Armageddon hit in 2008 while attacking the private sector for getting paid too much? Not only did all Federal Government employees get a 3.9% pay hike in 2009, they also got another 2.9% pay hike in 2010! In other words, while practically all of America suffered through the financial crisis with pay cuts and job losses, Federal Government employees raked it in! We’re talking the percentage of Federal Government employees making over $100,000 jumping from 14% to 19% during the meltdown. Sweet!
Every two to four years we have government elections and every two to four years I wonder the same thing, “Does my vote matter?” In California, we have two Gubernatorial candidates Meg Whitman (R) and Jerry Brown (D) who have the most vicious attack ads I’ve ever seen. Their ads make them BOTH sound unappealing, which makes common citizens like me depressed that no change will come.
I have to think there are attack ads in almost every city in America which is resulting in the same voter ambivalence. Am I wrong? You tell me. Every single politician says the same thing:
* I plan to change the way the Capital is run. No more politics as usual.
* I plan to balance the budget.
* I am qualified because of my experience in politics, or my experience in business.
* My opponent is unqualified.
* I answer to no one but you.
* Wonk, wonk, blah, blah, schimmy, schimmy, bang, bang.
Watch Texas Rangers relief pitching if you want to learn how to NOT be clutch! Wow, I mean come on. How does that one kid throw 11 balls in a row and walk two SF Giants batters in the 8th inning of Game 2 when the bases are loaded? It’s absolutely unbelievable how bad the Texas Rangers relief pitching was, and it’s simply due to mental weakness. Texas going from having a chance down 0-2 in the 8th to losing the game 0-9 is a 100% ass kicking.
I understand how difficult it is to close things out due to competitive tennis. I’ve blown my share of 5-4, third set leads before, and 9 times out of 10, it’s because my mind broke down. Tennis, like many one-on-one sports is a complete mind bend. I started worrying and thinking about all the “what ifs”. What if I shank the ball when going for it? What if my calves start cramping? What if he starts catching fire? As soon as I start filling my mind with doubt, my body follows suite and then before I know it, I’ve blown the lead and lose.
I’ve since been able to calm some nerves that have helped me cross the finish line in tight situations before. Here are some tips for keeping your head in the game.
Over poker one night, we got to talking about what we always talk about: entrepreneurship. Out of a table of 10, four work at start-ups, three are at Google, one is a high-tech lawyer, one works as a medical correspondent for CNN, and then there’s me, a hybrid. I had just got done working on Yakezie.com for three hours after working an 11 hour day, and needless to say, I was a little bit tired.
I love going to Friday night poker mainly because I get to bounce ideas off of really smart and incredibly hard working people. When I hear stories of one start-up player working from 7am to 3am every night for two weeks straight to launch a product offering, I get pumped. When the Venture Capitalist player recounts his firm rejecting a pitch by Tim Westergren, Pandora’s founder in 2008, I wince, but daydream in amazement.
When the state of California raised the sales tax by another 1% on April 1, 2009 I was pretty pissed. What kind of government expects their residents to pay a whopping 10% tax on everything they buy? Pedro doesn’t want to pay $200 in taxes on his $2,000 60-inch LCD TV. Nancy shouldn’t have to pay $300 more on her $3,000 diamond encrusted bracelet. And I certainly don’t want to spend $5,200 in taxes on a handsome $52,000 BMW! That’s just ridiculous!
We the people of California deserve our luxury items just like every other parrot-brained consumer in America. Who’s to dictate what we can and can’t waste our hard earned money on? Certainly not some bureaucrat in Sacramento counting all his money under the table, no way!