Monday, October 14, 2013

Because Google already owns your soul...

... they might as well have the rights to your face.

Google + members should check their updated terms of use agreement.  Google is going to start using your face and opinion to endorse products across the interweb.  Your permission is not really necessary, and besides you gave it them when you decided to use their products.

Read this article for more details:

Next up, Google Life Management.  You, Only Better.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

"Somebody needs to Pay"


Just wow.

"Somebody needs to be held accountable, and somebody needs to pay."

At the risk of sounding callous and uncaring, I would like to say that the people who need to be held accountable for those children are the parents.  It is unfortunate that the father of 10 of her 15 children is currently in jail.  But whose fault could that be?  It is unfortunate that she has 15 kids in the first place, considering that she obviously didn't have a plan to provide for that family as she was building it.

This is a terrible situation for the children involved, and a dangerous situation for the community in which they live.  These children are in danger of becoming the products of their environment, dependants of the state, and neglected and mistreated statistics.  It is very sad.

I want to tackle this not because I have any easy answers, or harsh judgements to pass, but because I don't.  This story evokes different emotions in me simultaneously, illustrating just how difficult it is to have a Black and White code of social ethics.  We can all argue that there is a RIGHT and that there is a WRONG and that those are absolutes.  But we cannot live real lives and avoid the GRAY areas.

FIRST of all, this woman and the fathers of her children have been gravely irresponsible.  To ever get to the point where you have fifteen children who are entirely vulnerable and in your care, without making sure that you have a sound support system in place is unconscionable.  Whether it is a great job, a large trust fund, or an extensive and supportive family that will help you, the most basic tenant of parenthood is that you MUST protect and provide for your children.

I find it hard to believe that hard times did not befall this family sometime before that fifteenth birth.  Although there are a lot of uneducated young people out there who have children without understanding the how, why and what next, there is no way that more than a dozen pregnancies could come and go without some understanding of what is causing things.

SECOND, lets talk about our responsibility as a society.  It would be easy to say that this woman has created this situation for herself and she should have to figure it out.  It would also be easy to say that we should make sure that these children have all of the things that they need, ie. food, shelter, education, and make sure that some government agency or other sees to it that these kids are cared for.

But what is best for these children?  What is best for Society?  Statistically speaking, children are very likely to follow the same or similar life choices that their parents did.  Why?  Because that's what we know.  As parents we hope that if we work hard and take personal responsibility for our decisions, that our children will inherit these values and try to live by the same code.  So it makes sense, that children raised in opposite environment may still inherit the attitudes and values of those in charge.

Should these children all be removed from this woman's custody and have better more stable homes found for them?  Maybe, but is that what is best for these kids?  Maybe, but the foster care system isn't able to produce remarkably better results than unstable parents to begin with.  Why?  Probably because by the time the Social Services intervene, there has already been significant trauma.

Should these children stay with their mother, and have Society take care of their needs?  Does that not teach a dangerous lesson, that you are not really responsible for yourself or you choices?  Whether the aid comes from Charities, Uncle Sam, or private individuals, it sets a precedent that there will always be someone else to help you if you get into trouble.

I personally think that it is nice to have that safety net, at least in concept, but at the same time I feel that everyone should take full responsibility for their situation.  This is my GRAY area.  I think it is irresponsible of an individual to get themselves into a situation like this.  I think that it would be irresponsible and cruel of a society to ignore someone, anyone, who is genuinely in need of help.  I think that our current cultural climate is going to perpetuate this problem by raising children who think like this woman thinks, that someone else need to be held accountable for her lack of forethought and inability to make an informed decision.

I don't have an answer for this situation that suits my conscious.  In a perfect world this situation would not occur.  In a better world, these children would grow up with help from their community, and not hold on to the same sense of entitlement that brought their mother to this point to begin with, but instead they would grow up grateful to their community and filled with their own desire to give back and help.  Some of them surely will grow up in fear of falling into this same situation, and work hard and dedicate themselves to bettering their situation.  But unfortunately this world we live in will make victims of most of them, and growing up a victim in a harsh uncaring world doesn't often lead to good places.

We don't live in a perfect world.  But we need to start working towards a better one.

Friday, October 11, 2013

The only thing Democrats and Republicans hate worse than each other...

Is an Independent Candidate.

I'm sure that it will not come as a shock to many of you that the system is rigged.  Here in Virginia we have an election rapidly approaching for the Governor's Seat.  This year there will be three choices on the ballet, The Democrat Machine, the Republican Machine, and a little know Libertarian Candidate named Robert Sarvis.

If you don't know much about Sarvis, don't beat yourself up.  It is hard to compete with the established parties when it comes to advertising, since Advertising is simply an extension of how much money your candidacy can muster.  And let's face it, even the not paid for "News" coverage of any election any where in this country, simply skims over Independent Candidates as minor foot notes, if it mentions them at all.

 This headline may be the last you hear of Sarvis this year:


He is not being allowed to attend the last televised debate because he has not consistently polled at over 10% popular support.  In some recent polls he was as high as 12%, which is incredible considering that most (if not all) of the political polls are slanted one way or the other (D vs R).  I mean why wouldn't they be?  Who do you think is paying for them?

So, logically, if a candidate can not poll well then why should they be allowed to debate publicly?  The only political arena where money is not the overwhelming factor.  A place where ideas can actually be expressed and defended or challenged face to face.  The only place where a wild card with good ideas could out shine an entrenched political system.

I'm not telling you that what you believe is wrong.

I am not telling you who you should vote for.  

I'm not telling you the Sarvis is a great guy with any of the right answers.

What I am telling you is that you are being fooled.  Hoodwinked.  Bamboozled.  The American People have been fleeced by the very machine that we think represents us.  The system that protects and defends us.  The one that is supposed to OBEY us.  

Robert Sarvis may not be the best candidate to represent you.  But in all honesty, he is the only Person running, his opponents don't even have names or faces.  He is not running against McAuliffe (D) and Cuccinelli (R).  He is opposing a corrupt system that is so sure that it owns us all so completely, that it doesn't even care if we know it anymore. 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Between Madness and Inspiration...

I had pretty much given up on blogging altogether, but in light of the current state of our Government, our Society, and pretty much our entire Eco-System, it looks like my services are once more needed out here on the inter-web.

Just remember that the revolution starts here.  With you.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Men Who Stare At Goats

When I saw the trailer for this movie months ago, I said to myself, "Self, that looks like it is going to be one funny movie." But since then, The Men Who Stare At Goats has gotten mediocre to just plain bad reviews. So, when it was released on DVD I asked myself, "Self, do you really want to put this movie in your Netflix queue and waste an entire evening with yet another bad movie?" I can't remember how the rest of the conversation went, but the movie ended up in my queue anyway. And we watched it, just the other night.

The movie starts with a disclaimer, you know kind of like Based On True Events, or Hastily Adapted from Such-and-Such book by an Out-Of-Work-Alcoholic-Novelist. As it turns in the case of The Men Who Stare At Goats, More Of This Is True Then You Would Believe. And with a little internet research, you can easily find that more of it is in fact true than you WANT to believe.

This was the funniest movie I've seen in a long time! George Clooney is freaking hilarious. It amazes me that someone can act so serious and come across so funny. The story, the cast, the characters are all excellent. I highly recommend this movie to anyone who has a REAL sense of humor. I know that it's not going to be for everybody, there isn't any sophomoric bathroom humor, or gratuitous nudity, and you may be expected to think a little to actually get the jokes.

Two Enthusiastic Thumb up!



Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Big One

Yesterday, March 27, 2010, my wife and I ran in the Monument Avenue 10K Street Race in Richmond VA. So did over 37,000 other people, including my wife's sister Erin and her brother's girlfriend Jordan. Tyler took one for the team and pulled stroller duty (thanks Tyler).

I had agreed before the race to run with Alexis for at least the first 3 miles. She was determined to reach a goal she had set for herself and finish in 56:00 minutes, which would have meant maintaining a 9:03 minute pace or better for the whole 6.2 miles. This was our first 10K race, and her best ever 5K pace is 8:06, and that was set on a pretty flat course. So I volunteered to help her pace herself accordingly to reach her goal.

I don't generally run conservatively. My typical race strategy is to run about as hard as I can until I feel like dying, and then push on to the finish line, nearly collapsing at the end of every race. I'm really not all that fast, but I think that I can endure a fair amount of pain and discomfort. Alexis runs smarter than me, but she also runs slower. We've tried to run together at the beginning of races before, with the intended outcome being that I pace down a little enabling me to finish stronger, and she paces up a little helping her shave time. It hasn't worked yet. In a 5K race (3.1 miles) I just can't let myself start out at an 8:15 pace, there isn't enough distance to make that strategy work in my mind.

But yesterday I had dedicated my first 3 miles to her, deciding not to worry much about my own time. I was going to kick it up hard and see what kind of time I could pull out for myself, hoping that she would be in good shape to finish strong by herself. Finishing strong is one of her strengths as a racer.

As I said before, she had set a goal of 56:00 minutes for herself. Ambitious for someone's first ever 10K maybe, but we'd spent most of the last month training for this. Taking long runs (7-8 miles) with me pushing the kids in a stroller and trying to maintain a 10 minute pace. About a week ago we ran 11 miles at a 10:00 minute pace, so I knew that the distance wasn't going to be a problem for her, but our best training time had been about 57 minutes. She was worried.

I was not worried. I knew that not only could she make her goal of 56 minutes, she could be minutes faster. So we ran together. I decided at the beginning of the race that my goal for the day was to get her to run the 10K in 52 minutes. I knew that she could do it, maybe not without considerable pain. But we don't race to feel comfortable do we?

So we ran. The first mile in 8:25, comfortably within her goal pace, not mine but we were just getting warmed up. Half way in 26:30, we had blown her pace away, but that would mean a 53 minute finish at that pace and she was getting tired. So I pushed her. I encouraged her. I yelled at her. I told her she was not this slow. I pushed her harder. I ran backwards and made fun of her. And she ran faster.

We crossed the finish line at 51:13. I was happy, she was thrilled. Who is the best coach ever? Perhaps I have a future as a motivational speaker or something.

Also, the second half (5K) of the 10K yesterday was run in 24:43. Not only was that 1:47 faster than the first half of the race, it was 20 seconds faster than her fastest 5K time (25:03).

Next year she's going to run it in under 50 minutes.

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Morning Run

My Battle To Get Out Of Bed In The Morning.

It's raining outside. I'm sitting at the computer rationalizing why I'm sitting at the computer. My running gear (shoes, flashlight, reflective vest) is all ready to go, resting in a pile by the door. Waiting on me, right where I put it last night when this run seemed more important. I didn't run yesterday either. It was a rest day, I trained hard the day before. As a matter of fact I've gotten in exactly three morning runs in the past three weeks. That's when I decided that I was going to start running every morning, three weeks ago.

Just a quick morning run. I'm not looking to replace my regular training, but rather to supplement it. I've got a nice three mile route with only a couple of hills laid out. Even with leaving the house half asleep in the dark of the morning I can run it and be back in 24 minutes.

But it's raining. Or it's too cold. Or it's too dark. Or I'm tired or sore.

Three weeks ago I reset my alarm to 5:30 am. In theory that gives me plenty of extra time to get my run in. In reality it gives me the opportunity to hit the snooze button three times, and get out of bed five minutes earlier than I used to.

I like to run. I really like to run. I feel good after a run. After I run, I want to run more. The problem is this: from my comfortable vantage point in bed, curled up beside my favorite runner in the world, with my soft pillow and warm blanket, I have a hard time understanding that I like running more than laying in bed, and that I'll feel better both physically and mentally if I get up and run. I just can't see the need for a morning run.

I don't know why this is such a struggle for me. I'm usually a 'morning person,' and this is something that I want to do. It's not like work, which I've managed to wake up for every morning for about ever. I'll be hard on myself all day for not running this morning, and tonight, before I go to bed I'll check and make sure that everything is ready for my run in the morning. But in the morning am I going to run?

I'm beginning to frustrate myself, and if I'm not careful I'm going to give myself a pretty harsh talking-to. And I'll deserve it.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Lost Symbol

Let me just start by saying that there really isn't anything wrong with this book. It is just as good as The DaVinci Code or Angels and Demons, which were both enjoyable books. As a matter of fact it is not only just as well written as those two books, it follows the same basic formula. I find it unfortunate that writers of series find it necessary (or just too easy) to stick to the same formula that worked for their first book over and over again.

If this is the first book by Dan Brown you've ever read then I think that you may enjoy it. Or, if you thought that Rambo III or the Police Academy movies were good, then you may be able to overlook that blatant use of a cookie-cutter formula and really enjoy this book.

I, however, feel that reading a book is a significant time investment, and I want to get a little better return on my investment than this. Because I've read the other books in the series, I knew from the beginning that our hero was going to solve the puzzle, but just in the knick of time. I knew that some secret society that had been working on the fringes of society for centuries was going to be under attack by a madman bent on exposing their secrets. I knew that the timeline was going to be short and tense. I knew that several characters were going to be killed off throughout the book. I knew that the bad guy was going to have another motive than the one that seemed so apparent. I saw the 'twist' coming twenty pages out, and I wasn't shocked at all. And, the ending was a bit of a let down (formula or not).

All in all I think I have to give this book only 2 STARS. Sorry Dan Brown, you just don't do it for me.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Chatroulette anyone?

I mean, Chat with Anyone.

O.K., this may sound slightly hypocritical, considering the fact that I'm writing this blog for everyone and anyone out there to stumble upon and read, but what kind of people are going to be drawn to this.

Chatroulette will let you talk to people. Random people. Random. People. Is it just me or does this just seem a little weird? Not to mention possibly dangerous and at the very least uncomfortable. I know that I may be a little more Anthrophobic than most, but do people really just want to talk so bad that they're willing to talk to ANYONE?

Just click a button and talk to a total stranger. Where is the upside to this? I mean just take a city bus or ride the subway if you want to talk to some desperately lonely sociopath.

I think I'd rather play with the Killer Whales at SeaWorld thank you very much.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

LLBean Boycott

African-American Boycott of L.L. Bean Enters 80th Year

Until theses wrongs have been redressed, I too am now boycotting LLBean.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

When Your Life Looks Back

"When your life looks back

as it will, at itself, at you - what will it say?

Inch of colored ribbon cut from the spool.

Flame curl, blue-consuming the log it comes from.

Bay leaf. Oak leaf. Cricket. One among many.

Your life will carry you as it did always,

with ten fingers and both palms,

with horizontal ribs and upright spine,

with its filling and emptying heart,

that wanted only your own heart, emptying, filled, in return.

You gave it. What else could you do?

Immersed in air or in water.

Immersed in hunger or anger.

Curious even when bored.

Longing even when running away.

"What will happen next?"

the question hinged in your knees, your ankles,

in the in-breaths even of weeping.

Strongest of magnets, the future impartial drew you in.

Whatever direction you turned toward was face to face.

No back of the world existed,

no unseen corner, no test. No other earth to prepare for.

This, your life had said, its only pronoun.

Here, your life had said, its only house.

Let, your life had said, its only order.

And did you have a choice in this? You did

Sleeping and waking,

the horses around you, the mountains around you,

the buildings with their tall, hydraulic shafts.

Those of your own kind around you

A few times, you stood on your head.

A few times, you chose not to be frightened.

A few times, you held another beyond any measure.

A few times, you found yourself held beyond any measure.

Mortal, your life will say,

as if tasting something delicious, as if in envy.

Your immortal life will say this, as it is leaving."

-Jane Hirshfield

I know this isn't the usual kind of stuff I put out here, but I heard this poem on the radio the other day (yeah that's right on the radio, I listen to NPR) and it just kind of hit home. Anyway, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. And if not, well, you probably can't help it.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Ah, More UFO Lore

The British Government just un-classified over 6000 pages of UFO reports from 1994 - 2000. That seems like a lot of pages for little island, over 1000 pages per year. Perhaps they enjoy a pint or two over there a little more than we do on this side of the pond. But still, 6000 pages of reports in six years. What do you think Fox Moulder have to say about that: "I want to believe."

I'm not saying that I believe in an imminent alien invasion or anything. In fact, scientifically I believe two things. First is that the universe is so immeasurably large that it would be extremely arrogant and self-centered to believe that there is no other intelligent life out there, somewhere. Secondly is that the universe is so immeasurably large, nearly (if not) infinite is size, that the chance of intelligent life out there being able to get to us is highly improbable. And lets face it, if you're really going to travel millions of light years to get here, are you going to be satisfied flashing your lights over a couple of drunk longshoremen and then leaving mysteriously without making legitimate contact?

But then again, maybe they're just keeping an eye on us. Checking in from time to time to see how we're progressing as a civilization. I would assume that we are either very amusing to them, or a source of great frustration.

But I digress. The reason I found this story interesting this morning is this: The other day I was riding in a friends car, and she was listening to gospel music. Well, a song comes on (with full choir and everything) about Ezekiel seeing a flaming wheel in the sky. "Hmmm?" I thought, "what in the world is this all about." Not willing to risk offending this friend, I decided to seek answers on the internet (people can be sensitive about their religious views).

You see, I am no Bible Scholar, but there are plenty of them on the Web. Some of them are of the opinion that all of the UFO references in the Bible are referring to the great Heavenly battle between Angels and Fallen Angels. Some even go so far as to say the the word Angel really refers to aliens, who are also created by God and sent to populate the Universe. Some think that aliens are responsible for many of the great accomplishments of early man, and that all of the references in the Bible are simply proof that Extra-Terrestrials have visited us frequently in the past.

Whatever you choose to believe, there are over 730 references in the Old and New Testaments about flying vehicles. But this is what good old Ezekiel saw:

Ezekiel 1:4

"And I looked, and, behold, a whirlwind came out of the north, a great cloud, and a fire infolding itself, and a brightness was about it, and out of the midst thereof as the colour of amber, out of the midst of the fire.
A rushing, windy, great, thundercloud-like flying craft flew out of the north. The vehicle had the appearance of brilliant
, glowing fire all around it. The center of the illumination, the vehicle, was like polished metal."

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Finally, A Politician Worth Voting For

What's that old saying? "All the good guys are already taken."

Well I think that sentiment holds especially true in politics. In a manner of thinking anyway. I think that I heard a quote once that said something like: "I wouldn't vote for anyone who WANTED that job." That's exactly the way I feel. Unfortunately, the people that we need in Washington running this country are exactly the ones who don't want to go anywhere near that snake-nest of corruption and deceit.

Obviously this could just be a political ploy by Senator Bayh from Indiana. I'm not so naive as to not see that coming. But wouldn't it be nice if this was not only a genuine act of decency, but if it shook a few people back into seeing things a little more clearly (voters as well as politicians).

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The President's Wife vs Fat Kids

Michelle Obama has declared war on Childhood Obesity. Today she is scheduled to release the details of her public service campaign, and evidently it's going to be more than: "Hey kid, put down that Twinkie, turn off the TV and get your chubby little butt outside!"

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and nonpartisan government surveys say that one out of every three children in America is overweight or obese. One out of every three. ONE OUT OF THREE, WOW. Also, that number has more than tripled in the last 30 years. So, when I was a kid only one in nine kids were obese. One in nine seems to high to me. I have three kids now, so statistically speaking one of them should be a little porker.

Another study, which included 8,550 4-year-olds from around the United States, found that children who ate dinner with their families more than five times a week, slept for at least 10.5 hours a night, and watched less than two hours of TV a day were 40 percent less likely to be obese than children who did none of those things. They also found that each of those three things was effective by itself, and that their benefits were cumulative.

Now you see, this is where Mrs. Obama's troubles start. That is just a whole lot to ask of parents. I mean, who has time to actually waste on raising these slobbering heathens? Is it not enough that we took three minutes to conceive them? My wife personally gestated every one of our kids for almost nine whole months. Does our commitment to the little buggers extend past that? Alright, O.K., sure we should put a roof over their head, and throw some Doritos in front of the TV for them to gnaw on while they veg out. I mean most of us parents ARE willing to provide the basics. But past that?

Americans are too busy and important to be bothered with things like Quality Family Time, Structure, or Nutrition. I mean we have much better things to do than to take an interest in our children's well-being.

Cable is expensive, why do you think TV costs so much if it's not a qualified baby sitter?

Monday, February 8, 2010

Football, I Guess It's Not For Everyone

Several years ago we were hanging out with a group of people who were all rather enthusiastic about football. We were not. In fact, we didn't watch football games (this is back when we used to watch TV), we didn't keep up with the season, we didn't even have a favorite team. Basically, we treated football just like every other sport out there. We couldn't care less. Well, our friends told us that this was fundamentally unacceptable. That we simply MUST have a Team. Everyone HAD to have a Team. It seemed that our apathy towards professional sports was poised to upset the delicate balance of the universe.

So, we thought about it. I was born in Indiana so I should obviously be a fan of the Indiana based team, the Indianapolis Colts. Alexis was born in North Carolina, so I suggested that she be a fan of the Carolina team, I believe they are the Panthers or Jaguars or some sort of fierce jungle cat. She chose differently, siting that her dad had always been a Redskins fan, and that she could do whatever she wanted, paying no mind what-so-ever to my logical system for discovering your personal favorite team.

In the end, she chose the Colts because we should be a unified house. She can be sweet like that.

So now that we had our favorite Team things really got rolling for us. This was several years ago, just as the Colts were starting their rise to the top, during the Patriots Dynasty, where it seemed that at every turn we were thwarted by the dastardly Tom Brady. But it was a fun struggle. It was fun to cheer against the Team that everyone knew was going to win, and hope (but never really expect) that your team might beat them and make it to The Big Game (someone told me that I'm not allowed to say Super Bowl without the express written permission of the NFL) (Oh, damn, I said Super Bowl).

Anyway, it seems that everyone is a football fan. We started getting Colts things (hats, shirts, scarves, blankets, pillowcases, Christmas Tree Ornaments, calendars, scented candles, and even dog leashes) for Christmas. In all honesty, our friends and family were bigger fans of us being fans, than we actually were fans at all. It seems some deep mystic bond was opened up that only happened when people got together to cheer for opposing sides as they beat each other senseless in an attempt to get an elongated ball from one end of a field to the other.

Don't get me wrong, we enjoyed it. We got caught up in it. I mean we choose well (sort of), the Colts are good. For the past several years they have had winning seasons. They played in the Super Bowl, oops, I mean the Big Game, last night for Christ's sake. We cheered, we cringed, we hoped, and we sighed that deep sigh of resignation that comes from deep down inside when YOUR team makes it to the Super Bowl, I mean Big Game, and plays like a bunch of Nancy-Boys.

And then I realized that it doesn't matter.

I don't mean that in a 'We'll get 'em next year, kid!' kind of way. I mean it really doesn't matter. When I think about it, the closest friends of mine still don't give a crap about football. We have actually become stand-out sports fans within our little social circle. Where did all of those football fan friends go? As we grew up and grew apart from those people, I guess we still clung to this football thing, as if it were somehow inexorably tied to who we are.

But who are we? We're not Football fans. We don't care who wins the Big Game, I mean Super Bowl. We wouldn't even have watched it if the Colts weren't destined to lose. We didn't watch one, that's right, not one regular season game this year, and only ONE playoff game. We're not Football fans. We're just posers. And the thing is we don't enjoy or benefit from being posers. We showed no interest at all this season. Our friends and acquaintances who know who our favorite team is thrust their projected enthusiasm upon us. "You having a Super Bowl Party?" "You watching the Big Game?" "Want to bet on the Game?"

I guess what I'm saying is that I'm looking for a way out. How does one stop being a Football fan. Obviously it would be bad form to call it quits after the big loss, and Heaven knows I don't want to exhibit bad Sports Fan Etiquette. Do we try to lower our enthusiasm gradually throughout the next season? Do we just quit it cold-turkey like we did when we kicked heroin? Or is there some super-secret-sports-society way out?

I made it twenty-some-odd years without being a sports fan at all. Ah, how I miss the innocence of youth.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Race Day

We've got another race today. This time it's a 5K trail run through an apple orchard. The race starts in about four hours, and I'm up trying to figure out what to eat for breakfast.

I've been having a little difficulty finding the right Fuel formula that will work for me. Two months ago I ran a 10 miler, and not having run much for years, I was nervous about cramping and what-not, so I didn't eat anything. Well, I dragged myself across the finish line in 96 minutes and change totally out of gas. In fact, the last three miles of that race I had no energy.

So, the next race (a 5K street race) I ate a banana before hand. That race was better, but I still didn't feel properly fueled. The next race (the 5K for the Thai Sex Slaves) I fueled with energy gels. Not the result I was hoping for either. I finished that race with a terrible muscle cramp in my side.

This morning I've decided to explore another avenue. I'm eating a fried egg sandwich: that's two fried eggs on toast with mayonnaise and cheese, and a big 'ole cup of Earl Gray. So maybe later I'll be posting pictures of me puking up my fried eggs at the finish line.

Wish us luck.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Get up and VOTE

Even though I don't really like either candidate for Governor of Virginia, even though I don't really know what my local Board of Supervisors even does, even though I'm tired to the point of physical illness of hearing political attack ads, I'm going to vote today.

If you don't try to change the system every time you are offered a chance, then you're wasting you freedom. We still live in a democracy, even though it does usually seem broken down.

I hate our two party system. Democrats and Republicans seem to be working together to polarize every issue. Working together to not work at all it. But still, it is election day. One more chance for me to upset the applecart.

I urge you all to vote every chance you get. And to throw away you Party Registration Cards. And to vote outside of the established parties whenever you get the chance. And you seem to get the chance a little more often in local politics.

And remember, everything starts at the local level. Most of those losers in Washington started in local government, where a few thousand dollars and a couple of influential friends can still pretty much buy you an elected office. I say we make them earn it. Hold 'em accountable. Make them tell us what they mean to do, not just how they assume the other guy is going to try to screw us.

Let's all pay attention and pick better leaders. It's not too late to fix things.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Thursday, October 29, 2009


This is some pretty cool footage.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Ran 5K for Sex Slaves this weekend

My wife and I both ran in the Run For Their Lives 5K race on Saturday, from which all the money raised was used to help free Thai Sex Slaves, and help stop human trafficking in general. I thought it was a good cause, most of can agree on that.

A friend of mine (who hates to be mentioned on the Internet in any fashion) thought that we were actually racing for Sex Slaves. You know, like to win one. Well, I'm still not fast enough to win a sex slave, but I am slowly getting my time down to a respectable level. 24:15, which placed me 36th out of 439 runners.

In two weeks we're running a 5K trail run through an apple orchard, and I'm really looking forward to that. Wish us luck.

Bunnies - Not Always As Much Fun As You'd Think

I got an interesting phone call from my sister this evening, asking me to try to dissuade her daughter from pursuing the idea of getting a pet bunny. Evidently my niece has a friend who has a couple of pet rabbits, and what do you know they have some new bunnies or will shortly. Unfortunately rabbits, either because they are totally unaware of the stereotype attached to them or because they really just don't care, are quite the little breeders.

Well I did what any responsible brother and uncle would do, I told her that rabbits are the BEST pets you could ever have. I told her that you can teach them to do all sorts of tricks (like hiding in a hat for a magic show), and that they were super cuddly. I mean what little kid wouldn't love a pet bunny.

I know, I shouldn't have. I should have told her that rabbits look a lot friendlier than they actually are. That they really don't want anything to do with you. That you can't teach them tricks, take them for walks, or expect them to curl up at the foot of the bed and keep your feet warm. That really all they're good for is turning vegetables into organic fertilizer, and making more little bunnies.

But here's the thing. I had a bunny when I was a little kid. I don't even remember why. I think that I won it in some sort of raffle or something. Anyway, it doesn't matter where it came from, it was my first pet, and it was my first real responsibility. Oh yeah, and it was completely boring. It took me about a week to get completely tired of this poor bunny. And then he started spending more and more time in his cage which got cleaned out less and less frequently. And sometimes I would forget to feed it. And one time I forgot to feed it for over a week, and when I did remember to feed it it wasn't hungry anymore. It was dead.

So for some sick reason my sister used this as her rational for getting me to give the Bunny Talk to her daughter. She enjoys torturing me obviously. I mean that's a horrible guilt-ridden memory that I really enjoy reliving. "Remember that time you starved that cute little bunny to death like it was in a Nazi concentration camp? Do me a favor and tell my little girl that rabbits are bad."

Rabbits aren't bad. They just don't make great pets. If anything, that story only shows that I was just a horrible pet owner. Thanks for that stroll down memory lane Sis. Next time just poke me in the eye with a sharp stick, OK.

P.S. Ivy, you don't really want a pet bunny. They're a lot of work and very little pay off. Just get a kitten, or one of those silly little puppy-poo dogs, trust me on this one honey.

The Truth About Facebook

A friend of mine posted this Youtube video on Facebook, ironically enough. And you people think that I'm paranoid.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Sounds Like Someone Needs To Get Off Of The Couch

It's always sad to hear stories about neglected children, so this obviously brought a tear to my eye.

A fourteen year old boy's Mother has been charged with Medical Neglect in South Carolina. Not because she left him in a stifling hot car while she went grocery shopping in July. Not because she locked him in the basement for months at a time. Not because she dressed him in his sisters clothes and forced him to play with Barbie Dolls. But because the fourteen year old boy weighs 555 pounds.

I know what your thinking. 'Did he hit the 5 key one too many times?' No, you read correctly, Five Hundred Fifty pounds. I did the math (with some help from my wife) and our entire family (five people) only add up to about 360 pounds. Thats right, he out weighs our whole family by nearly two hundred pounds.

Her story is that he has gained all of this weight at school. Evidently all of his friends have been donating their lunches to the Lets See How Much Tubbo Can Eat Before He Explodes Foundation, a noble cause indeed. I'm pretty sure that unless something has changed drastically in the past 20 years, school lunches really aren't so good that you'd want to eat a dozen or more of them everyday. Maybe South Carolina Public Schools are the exception to the rule, and if so shame on them for offering those kids such irresistible goodies.

But seriously, is this woman at fault for her child growing to such gargantuan proportions so early in life? Is our society? Is McDonald's? I'm a big believer in Personal Responsibility, but at what point is a child's health not the responsibility of the parent? And lets face it, 555 lbs is a serious health risk.

Friday, October 23, 2009

But what about James?

Yesterday, I was telling my sister that I was done with this whole blogging thing. I mean no one wants to listen to me rant and rave about the idiots who run our government, or hear me go on and on about NASA this and NASA that. I just wasn't feeling it anymore.

"But I want to hear you," she said. I was talking to her on the phone mind you, giving her my opinion on this and that, live with interactive capabilities. So I explained it to her like this: "We can just talk on the phone," I said. "You can get live updates whenever you want them."

"But what about James?" She asked.

'What about James', I thought. I quite enjoy reading his blog. Maybe he stills checks in here every once in a while. Maybe, just maybe I'll give this blog thing another go. If two people out there in cyberland want to here what I have to say, then maybe I should tell them.

We'll see. But I've got a race in the morning, so I need to rest.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Money well spent.

So, congress just passed a new war funding bill for $80 billion, bringing the grand total spent in the past 8 years in Iraq and Afghanistan to a measly $950 billion. Shall we do some math?

That's $118,750,000,000.00 dollars a year, or

$325,342,400.00 per day, or

$13,555,933.00 per hour.

There are 301,621,157 Americans (according to the census estimates, 2008)

So then, if everyone in this country contributed equally to the tax burden,(which we all know is not the case, less than 50% of Americans pay any federal income taxes) then your personal contribution to the war would be about $3,200.00 so far.

Just for fun, can you think of anything better to do with $13.5 million/hour?