Monday, April 29, 2013

Building a house is an Allegory for Building my Running Confidence

This weekend, while pet sitting my friends' dog Tuxxie, it was a weekend of growth and accomplishment.  While the dog silently stared at me, judging me condescendingly, I ignored her pleas for attention, and focused on my own personal growth.  For one, I learned that I can't handle the stress of pet ownership.  Tuxxie is a pretty well behaved dog, who can just easily lay on the couch all day as she could running free in the park chasing after tennis balls.  Unfortunately for her, I chose the former, and there she sat all day on my couch, staring at the TV.


 But while she wasted her life in forced laziness, I was out and about taking care of business.  First order at hand, my home.  No thanks to another lazy individual (sales rep for my builder), I found out my house has been going up at record speeds!  The framing is all but finished and the house is actually starting to look like something I could probably live in!  From the photos below, you'll see the clean lines, and beveled angles, and winched corners....hahaha ok fine i don't know what the hell I'm talking about but it's damn exciting either way!






It's been great watching the house grow into something wonderful, which as the subject of this post suggests....




In another attempt to grow as a person, I completed my first 5K over the week.  Notice I did not say I RAN my first 5K, because while some running was involved, and honestly more than I thought would be, I walked at least 2/3 of it.  But that means I did run at least a mile, which is something my 6th grade P.E. teacher never thought would happen.  Take that what's-your-face!

The Graffiti Run was a funfilled event of colored powder, crazy people, and general madness.  All the things I love in life!  The event was staged at Elitch Gardens, an amusement park in downtown Denver that claims some affiliation to Six Flags, although it looks more like a shoddy carnival that leaves kids haunted by the memories of what they saw behind the tent more than anything else.

The race winded throughout the park and the adjoining parking lots, with several stations that looked like massive color clouds.  My earlier analogy of a riot seemed most appropriate at those stations, but I definately got caught up in the thrill and excitement of it all.




The event ended in a massive party that reminded me of day 3 of Lollapalooza on it's hottest day.  With dust and colored powder being kicked into the air, and 10,000 strong people dancing the day away, it was quite the sight to behold.  And I beholded the hell out of it.











So that's me now, soon to be home owner, and guy who just ran-walked a 5K.  Nobody expected either of those things from me, most of all, me.  I'm still in doubt.  But at least there's picture proof that it happened!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Chicago....it's my kinda town....i mean food.

Back in Denver after a whirlwind few days in Chicago!  I had gone to Chicago for a training class called Crucial Conversations, although I find myself more confused now than I ever was before taking the class.  The training focused on how to act and react in order to effectively to come to some sort of mutual understanding in meetings with other people, and how to deal with those people when the conversation goes south.  That's what they referred to as a crucial conversation.  How did they accomplish this you ask?  Just as you might expect....through the use of idiotic jargon, giving new labels to the same stale ideas, poorly made video skits, and with a generous layer of cheesiness over all of it.  One of the main mantras of the class was, "if you don't talk it out, you act it out."  Of course I heard that as, "If you don't talk it out, you walk it out (Just walk it ouuuuttttt!)"  There was also a point where they were showing some guy with a lizard's head.  I don't know what ol' lizard head had to do with anything but that confusion was quickly replaced by the stupidity of the main theme of the class.  This was, the main point of a conversation is to constantly discuss the fact that you're having a conversation, thereby never having to discuss anything of importance or come to any decision. 

Sound advice.

But, all this was of course to be expected.  After finding out that the training classes I am taking will never be as cool as a hypnosis class (come on...Accomplishing More Through Others by Improving Your Influencing IQ.....what was I supposed to think?!?!?), I've stopped picking training classes based on their content, and more by their geography.  And what better way to spend a few days, than in the great city of Chicago!  And what does one do when they find themselves alone, in downtown Chicago for 3 nights?  Well Billy, they EAT!  So here's a run down of some of fine dining Chicago has to offer:

Tuesday night I braved the torrential downpours (read:  sprinkles), and made my way over to one of the best pizza places in Chicago.  Lou Malnati's has been serving great deep dish pizza since 1935 (don't fact check that date.) 
 
I did in fact get a small deep dish pizza, but for those of you that like thin crust pizza, this is the place to go when you're in Chicago.  Unlike most Chicago places that say they offer thin crust pizza, only to bring you a heavy, dense crust that's clearly the same dough as a deep dish, just smashed down by a heavyset man in Chicago (or is that redundant?), Lou Malnati's actually has developed a delicious thin crust sampling that will rival any other town's offerings of the same.


Wednesday night I made my way across the river to a small little trendy bar called Hub 51.  I don't know much about this place, except that it's trendy and the servers are really good at ignoring you.  Supposedly there's a night club underneath the bar called Sub 51, although the entire place could probably just be called Snub 51 (Heyooooo!!)



Anyways, I had a chipotle margarita there, heavy on the alcohol, so I was feeling pretty good.  In my inebriated state, I made the mistake of ordering a filet mignon at this only mediocre venue.  Oh well, at least the drink was good.



Finally, I spent my last evening with good friends and went to a Chicago staple on the north side of town.  Kuma's Burgers, a gut exploding, face melting, heavy metal blasting, colon cleansing amazing burger joint is a must try experience in Chicago.  It will also help explain my heavyset men comment I so subtly made above.  But this place, with it's insanely huge and packed burgers, and long wait lines which typically range from an hour or more, is well worth the trip. 




I had the Iron Maiden, named after the punishment you feel you deserve after eating the entire thing.  The iron maiden is a giant burger with chipotle mayo, cherry peppers, pepperjack cheese, avocado along with the typical LTO.  For good measure, I added a fried egg on top.  Hey, who wanted to live to 70 anyways?  It was as if God himself came down touched me as I ate that burger.  How else can I explain why my heart felt like it was going to explode?  No other explanation right?  Right?!?

Anyways, 3 heart attacks and 5 lbs heavier, I left Chicago and made it back to the city that never stops exercising.  Just in time for my 5K this Sunday!  Pray for me...

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Hey There Chicago!

Headed off to Chicago this week for some training.  And by training I mean meaningless "leadership and communication" exercises that accomplish only one thing:  Giving me a free trip to Chicago.  Sitting here in the airport, where people watching is at its finest, I am watching a cross section of Denver's culture.  Whether it's the "Sales" family.  Mother/Father sales combination force that travels the county with baby strapped on their backs....literally, to the hipster snowboarder who looks ready to smoke a bowl and "shred some fresh pow pow" at the same time, and at ANY time.  But today I was treated with a few bonus characters.

First, the Cowboy Businessman who's lost his marbles.  Seen walking at a leisurely pace down the terminal with an ipod connected to his amplifier roller bag, blasting country music as he looks straight ahead, as if he thinks the music is only in his head and not pervasivly confusing and annoying everybody around him.

Second, the dude-bro.  The dude-bro is a none to rare species of idiotic male, that is readily recognizable by his backwards sunglasses, imperfectly fitted ball cap, and a odd gait in his step where he sort of maybe has a limp but probably not.  It's mostly like a frisbee golf accident.  But just in case you are not familiar, the dude-bro typically will wear a shirt that personifies his favorite slogan or his general outlook on life.  In this case, the slogan was, "Cool Story BRO:  Tell it Again"

But no one single passenger will ever beat out my favorite airport warrior.  The old lady, who may or may not be your grandmother, who sits taking up 3 to 4 seats at the gate, especially when it's crowded and people are standing, who shifts her focus between her multitude of entertainment magazines and crossword / sudoku puzzles, and leering at every other passenger who she suspects is either a terrorist or a democrat.  She's probably the most fun to watch by somebody like me, who can only hope that while stealing a glance at her odd behavior, she notices me staring and changes her whole body language to become extra cautious.  I can only assume she has one hand on the pepper spray or rape whistle at all times.

My favorite aspect of airport travel is the astonishment that all these people can do 15 things at one time, but that none of those 15 things is ever watching where they are walking to and from the gate.  My impression of the majority of these people is that when they are in the comfort of their own home, they mindless stare at the TV for hours on end without the ability to accomplish anything; however, once you put them in an airport they are able to strap on a carry-on bag clearly larger than most checked luggage, drag their child in tow (or monitor him from 80 feet ahead), send text messages, drink their beverages, eat potato chips, scratch their noses, adjust their crotch, and walk in zig zags down the terminal so seamlessly! 

So next time you're in the airport, take a moment to appreciate the people around you for their extreme weirdness and fantastic oddity.  And preferably, take that moment while you are standing in the middle of the aisle blocking all the flow of passenger traffic. 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Viva Las Vegas!

Last weekend I went to Vegas and boy are my arms tired!  Wait I think I messed up that joke....anyways, last weekend we drove down to Vegas and back.  If that wasn't hardcore enough for you, we did it to see a band play on Friday night at the Cosmopolitan.  The Postal Service, after taking a 10 year hiatus after releasing one single CD, decided to go back on tour and play songs from that one single CD!  So of course we had to go!

For me this trip was about 4 things.  The music, the gambling, the food and the booze.  and not in that order.  So here's a little recap of some of the more interesting things on the trip.  Since these pictures are only from my cellphone, check out my facebook page for a more comprehensive album of the whole trip.

After about 14 hours of overnight driving (which included about 1 hour of sleep for me...) we made it to almost Las Vegas, also known as the Hoover Dam.  It's almost a cruel joke to have them so close together.  After driving that long all you want to do is get there, but stopping at something so huge as as the Hoover Dam is almost a must for any rube like myself.  Plus after seeing that documentary on the Dam, I was really interested to see how big it had to be to hold the leader of the Decepticons, Megatron.














Equally impressive was the bridge we drove over to get to the Dam.  A modern marvel of mechanical mystery.

The proper way to gamble in Vegas is to post yourself up to a slot machine or a table game that requires some but not much thought.  The reason is, your full attention should be on the cocktail waitresses walking by, ensuring that you always a full, free drink on hand while you are at the casino.  One might say that this is the sure sign of an alcoholic, but I say that really, it's the only way to ensure that you have won anything.  Because after a day of gambling, no matter what you have in your wallet, if you just drank an entire bottle of scotch for free, you sir, are a winner!

But one can't drink and gamble all day without the proper sustenance.  So take that gambling, and boozing, and all around mayhem-ery, and sandwich it between two big slices of breakfast and dinner.  Of course a trip to Las Vegas is not complete with an overstuffing of the face from a local hotel's buffet, as seen in this picture:

Why the 3rd World Hates America
To make up for the shmorgasbord of non-identifable breakfast food I ate that morning, I ended my day of debauchery with a meal claimed to be made by a famous chef.  Here's a picture of the ancho something something pork tenderloin with "sauce" from Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill.  It was pretty awesome:

Waterfalls of Bliss






But I've already digressed.  Of course the reason we braved 15 hours there and 11 hours back for a total of 1,778 miles (more than I've put on my car in the last year!), was to see The Postal Service.  If you don't already follow me on Instagram (That's right I'm blowin' up EVERYWHERE!), then you haven't seen these awesome pictures:



This trip ticked 3 more states off my list of this tour of the country I'm taking ever so slowly.  And while New Mexico flew by like a thief into the night, I saw some amazing vistas driving Sunday through Arizona and Utah.  So I'll conclude this narrative and allow you to enjoy the simple sights and magestic pageantry that is the Southwestern United States.  Oh, and please ignore the bug stains on the windshield.  Things happened.....
















I just realized I don't have one picture of Las Vegas here on my post about Las Vegas.  Typical.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Thursday Thumbs Up / Thumbs Down

Democracy is not a unique concept to the United States.  Several countries around the world enjoy the ideology that their citizens can voice their opinions and make a difference that effects change in their own society.  The United States differs, however, on the level of power and authority they allot to Legislative and Judicial Branches of the government, in that they are much more empowered in the US.  The idea is that no one Executive Power should be supreme, and giving a greater deal of authority to the other two branches will keep the US from ever having an elected king.  We are a country of the people, by the people and for the people.  As long as by people, you understand that I'm talking about small, but powerful gun lobbyists who have the entire US hostage at, *ahem* gun point.

A big THUMBS DOWN today the Senate cowardly not passing the gun laws today requiring universal background checks on anybody purchasing a gun.  Frightening by a small minority of people who were lied to by organizations like the NRA and GOA into believing that passing a bill that would make it harder for people to own weapons illegally would be some sort of infringement on their rights to own a gun and protect themselves in times of civil upheaval, the Senate did not get the majority vote it needed to pass the bill.  A Bi-partisan bill, which was favored by the President, the majority of the senate and oh yeah, 80% of the American public based on the last poll, couldn't pass.  That's the new America.  That's our "democracy" at work.  Hopefully that 80% comes to the election polls when it's time and gets rid of the jokers in Washington who are more concerned with who's going to finance their next election than they are about their, um, oh yeah, doing their job.

On the flip side,  I'm giving a big THUMBS UP to Wildwood, Missouri native Bart Cohn, who after somehow finding himself on the mailing list of State Senator Brian Nieves (R-Franklin County), desparately wanted off.  Why would he want off you ask?  Because Bart Cohn is a bat shit crazy Tea Party moron (I know, that's redundant), known best for appearing in a Tea Party movie about an armed revolt against the government, and for assaulting a staffer employed by his political rival.  That party really goes for only the classiest!  Cohn sent an email to Senator Nieves asking him to take him off the distribution list, by saying, "take me off your mailing list" before throwing in the word "freak" for good measure.  Nieves chose to respond directly to Mr. Cohn and a verbal assault ensued between the two men.  I think my favorite line came from Cohn who at one point said,

"I didn't threaten anyone, you tool. You are such a douchetard it's not even funny. Now go do some work on your insane conspiracy theories that everyone laughs about behind your back. You're a joke!"

For the full transcript, read here.

Well that's it for today.   I'll leave you with a quote from my favorite poet - 

"The genius of the United States is not best or most in its executives or legislatures, nor its ambassadors or authors or colleges, or churches, or parlors, nor even in its newspapers or inventors, but always most in the common people."

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Can't....Handle....It!

The excitement of road tripping to vegas tomorrow night, fighting with the stress of this never ending snow.  I can't handle it!  Here's some furry friends of mine who can't seem to handle it either.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/mattbellassai/animals-that-cannot-even-handle-it-right-now

We're going High Tech! (if this was 1997)

Just added RSS Feeds to my blog.  Just go to the pull down menu on the right hand side of this page that says posts, and pull down to your favorite RSS Feed reader to get these posts directly to your email.  If you use outlook, just select Atom, and it should re-direct you to your Outlook page and add the feed directly to outlook.

In other news, here's a random thought of the day:  What is it about fog covering the tops of buildings that makes you think you live in a future world where buildings are miles high and there's an evil empire dictating your life and enslaving you to do their evil bidding?  Is that just me??

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Thanks a lot God

#141 of stuff I hadn't prepared for when I moved to Denver:  Having trees, canopys, overhangs and basically anything else that's taller than me attempt to drop piles of snow on my head when i'm walking underneath.  Yesterday, in a completely unprepared for twist of events, Denver was slammed with a late spring snow storm OF EPIC PROPORTIONS.  Or just regular proportions that we just didn't see this winter.  But with that snow, came the perils of walking anywhere in town where snow is both underneath you and above you.  While trying to walk slow and not bust my ass falling, I was putting myself in semi-mortal peril at the risk of dying of hypothermia.

Ok fine that's a slight exaggeration, but it does bring me back to my original point.  If God exists, it's a jerk that's out to get us.  Here's 5 other things that prove that point:

1.  Bravo and The Learning Channel, and Teen Moms on MTV.  Please, like god's not having the last laugh on that one.

2.  Wiper blades that you hardly use, but don't work worth a crap when it actually rains.

3.  How I never have to pee UNTIL I'm in a long, neverending meeting.  Catholics would probably say that's a lesson in self control, but SHUT UP CATHOLICS!

4.  Speaking of Catholics, how about that last pope.  And maybe even this new one...considering his current stance on all those uppity nuns.

5.  NASCAR - never has a country been so duped into believing that left turns are that exciting.

And that's it for this edition of stuff I say that further ostracizes me from the rest of society.  Have a nice day.

Monday, April 15, 2013

House Update #2352672

Woke up this morning to some blowing snow....WTF?  This is some strange April weather we're having.....#EndOfDays.  Probably will NOT be using my Rockies ticket for tonight's game with this weather.  The Mets are probably freaking out considering it was like 90 degrees in NYC last week.  Take that East Coast!

Despite the weather conditions, my house seems to be coming along.  Per the pictures below, the basement slab has been poured.  Construction in Conservatory Green has been going gangbusters, with all six developers putting houses in record fashion.  I'm still not used to all this wood framed construction though.  In Florida, we build houses with solid material like cement blocks, to be more hurricane resistant.  Here they use wood, which we all know won't help when the hungry wolf comes over to blow your house down.  Also, with the expected dry summer conditions, a wood house seems like the wrong thing to have when the wild fires burn down Colorado.  I guess I'd die of the smoke inhalation first...speaking of smoke inhalation, did I mention how happy I am that i WON'T be in Colorado on 4/20?  Especially in the first year after passing the "Recreational Right to Be Stupid" Law.

It is fun seeing the houses in different stages of construction.  Now that they've built the alleyways, it's easier to get up close to the house without it feeling as illegal.  Still not quite sure what the rules are on that.  Whatever, nobody works on Sundays.  I also found out from the foreman last week that they're planning a really cool water feature for the courtyard area, with some benches and a trellis or other shade structure.  Really excited about that!

Garage

Basement Floor
Facing back of the house...view will be obstructed by a house they're building right behind mine.



Friday, April 12, 2013

Fist Pump Friday!



                    Happy Fist Pump Friday!!!  


My love/hate relationship with Friday continues.  When you work only every other Friday, you grow to hate the working Friday as the red headed stepchild of all the days of the week.  It’s….unnatural.  The absurdity is amplified by the fact that only half the small staff I work with, work on this Friday.  So here I am, sitting in a quiet office, with nothing to do, praying that the phone doesn’t ring.  Oh yeah that’s the other thing:  answering the phone here is like playing Russian Roulette, except after about 3 minutes of listening to some stupid question you start hoping your gun has the bullet.

Maybe that’s a bit extreme, but I do wonder sometimes how some of these people are able to dress themselves every morning and come to work, based on the sheer lunacy of their questions.  It’s one of the great mysteries in life, along with:


 - Why is everybody from Minnesota a giant?


 - Why does every medical marijuana clinic have a basketball hoop out back?  (come on, they’ve got to be too lazy to play basketball, right?)

 - How was drinking Bud Dry ever a mitigant to asking “why?" 

 - How come no matter where you live, you’re always supposed say, “yeah, we need the rain.”?


In other news, I did my first walk through of the house yesterday.  As you can see in the picture below, it looks exactly like it did when I posted about it like 4 days ago, except this time there seem to be some squatters living in my basement.  Good thing I haven’t closed on it yet.


Unfortunately, I have no depth, or spacial perception whatsoever.  So when I saw this big hole in the ground I started thinking, crap this is smaller than my apartment.  I’m sure when it’s framed over the next month, I’ll have a better idea of the space.  But, until then, I am assuming this is what my house will look like.



I just thought of another question!  

 - If buyer’s remorse happens when driving away from your future home site, and nobody’s around to hear the terrifying hyperventilating screams, does it still make a sound?

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Spring Cleaning

Despite the fact that we had snow on Tuesday, and the fact that it was 25 degrees walking to work this morning, it is in fact, Spring, here in Denver.  Springtime is a time of renewal.  A time to wake up from the winter funk, shed all the several layers of coats and breathe in the fresh air (not recommended in Los Angeles) and prepare yourself for a year of fun-filled outdoor activities, and the Greatest American Summer (GAS) of your life!  But to get ready for your GAS, you have to first shed the remnants of your past, the old dusty belongings hoarded in your basements, so that you can live this year unfettered of worries and old baggage. 

So in the spirit and hope of having the GAS, I too am participating in this Springly ritual, and dusting off my own old and worn vocabulary!  The time to rid myself of douchey words and phrases is now.  It's like I let my vocabulary's collar get popped, and never looked at it in the mirror until now.  So here's some of the worst offenders out of my mouth.  Please feel free to add to this list!

1.  Shit Show - Referencing a bar or club where everybody is so drunk, they are completely out of control and should have stopped drinking several, SEVERAL beers ago.  The word is almost idolized by douchebags everywhere as some sort of ultimate doucheZEN state of being.  "We have achieved shit show".  Sayanara shit show!

2.  Whatev's - While I do appreciate a good abbrev, I have to say this is one that bugs me even when I say it.  Whatever is already the most annoying word in the English language, but an abbrev of it is twice as annoying.  Well you know what?  It's GONE.

3.  Lame. - Not an overly offensive term, but definitely overused.  I feel like it's the most politically correct thing I can say in a situation when I have nothing else to say.  It's the negative version of cool.  "Cool" by the way, is the best thing to say in any text / IM / gchat conversation when you're trying to end it.  There is no response to "cool".  Once it's said, the convo hits an impasse.

4.  Dude. - I don't often say it anymore, but every once in awhile it slips out.  I don't think I ever liked this word, but the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles told me I had to say it frequently back in the day.  With this new, completely butchered version of the movie coming out, now is a good time to boycott everything I ever learned from them and cut this word out completely.

5.  WTF - I know, I know.  This one is highly controversial.  But in general, I hate saying acronyms exactly as they're typed.  I find myself doing it more and more, and it makes me angry every time I do it.  Sure, ok, fine, it's great to type.  But when you say, USE YOUR WORDS!!  Anyways, it's outta here!

So that's the short list of spring cleaning in my brain.  If you think of other annoying things I say, feel free to tell me.  Luckily nobody reads this so I'm safe.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Little Boxes, on the Hilltop....

Before I say anything else, let me just state that it was 9 degrees when I left my apartment this morning.  NINE DEGREES!  Even worse, the wind chill was a whopping 1 degree!!  So yeah, that was cold.  I also realize that even though I own 4 really nice scarves (one was made by my mom!)  I have no idea how to wear a scarf, or when i do, it just looks enormous on me and I feel the life being choked out of me.  So yeah, they make great hanger decorations.

So at PAH (Project Angel Heart) last night, one of the volunteers was telling me about her prejudice against Stapleton, which is the neighborhood where I'm building my new house.  She is self proclaimed, "a little White Trashy" although I think she's just really cool.  But she thought that everybody from Stapleton was a perfect white mom pushing her stroller talking about the next marathon she was going to run before their vacation to Hawaii.  I get it.  If that was my impression of those people, I'd probably never move there.  I mean, I do sort of suspect that the existing Stapleton air tower that's remaining as a remnant of the old airport could easily be used as a Sniper tower for anybody that doesn't maintain a lawn grass level of 2.3 cm.

But then she started talking about how she heard there was a big swinger population in Stapleton, and the way they identify or communicate with each other is by putting a big rock on their front lawn...or front porch.  But this raised more questions....what kind of rock?  is it a big rock?  white rock? Is it polished stone, and if somebody just kicks a rock up on to my lawn, am I going to be answering the door to half-naked 50 year olds who are looking to party?  And of course this means that every single person that has anything that even resembles a rock near their house, I'll assume they are a dirty swinger.  In every master planned community there is some high level of debauchery that goes on behind closed doors, so this rampant swinger society is completely plausible.  This also got me to thinking who my neighbors will be in this brave new world I'm moving to?  I'm hoping for diversity, although all the ethnic people in Denver live just south of Stapleton, in Aurora.  Mostly I'm just hoping that not every single one of my White, Midwestern neighbors don't ask me, in the most unintendedly ignorant way possible, "So, do you cook a lot of curry?"

Monday, April 8, 2013

Monday Morning Thoughts

So I'm sitting here in training today to learn how to use our new corporate applications tracking system (or CATS).  If i wanted to spend all day on the internet looking at cats, I could, well, just do my regular job.  Anyways, given the limited time I have to actually do a post this morning, I'll just still to another Top 10 list of things that I'm currently thinking about today....

1.  It's in fact not Monday morning anymore as I type this....sue me.

2.  There's nothing worse than getting training on a computer application from somebody who's completely inept at using a computer.


3.  After a wonderfully warm and sunny weekend, not looking forward to the blizzard that's supposed to hit tomorrow...(starts tonight.)  9-13 inches of snow and wind gusts up to 40 mph.  fml.

4.  The Denver District Office has some of the most anti-social people I've ever met, which is directly opposite of every regular person in Denver.  Just goes to show you everybody that works here is weird.

5.  I'm seriously worried about this blizzard tomorrow....

6.  This lady left her laptop unlocked when she went to lunch and there's a giant picture of a tiny rat-dog on the projection screen right now.  What I wouldn't give to change it to something even more horrific....unfortunately she doesn't seem to have a sense of humor (or humour if you're from England.)

7.  What's with all the extra letters in British English?  Maybe if you spent less time spelling and more time innovating, you wouldn't be so far behind in technology.  and fix your teeth!

8.  My house is coming along!  See picture below for the current stage of construction....So far the foundation and basement walls are up.  I also put a picture of the neighborhood as it will look eventually.  Notice all the great parks all throughout.  The different color plots correspond to the different builders that are in the area.

9.  Opening weekend for the Rockies was insane.  Or should I say, opening DAY was insane.  At least 100-120,000 people in the 4 block radius around the stadium, with my apartment building being the epicenter of it all.  More drunk people than St. Patty's if you can believe it.  The next day it was back to status quo, and by the time i went on Sunday, the stadium was half full. 

10.  Seriously, it's SPRING!  This is no time for snow storms!  It wasn't so bad in the winter but now that I've tasted warmth again, I don't want to let it go!!  Ah well, "we really need it" is what I'm supposed to say.

11.  Sike, you know lists end at 10.
Conservatory Green - Red Arrow pointing to my house
Standing in front of the Garage facing the front of the house. 






Thursday, April 4, 2013

I take it all back!

OK, in my last post I was definately doing a little USA bashing there...at least relative to the perceived advancement of the rest of the world.  And then I read this....


A man who has spent the past ten years in prison for stabbing his friend in the back and paralyzing him will be surgically paralyzed himself in accordance with a ruling reportedly handed down by a Saudi Arabian court.

Um.....WHAT?!  This is Hammurabi law to the most extreme sense of the word!  And while the idea of knowing ahead of time that you'll get your just punishment for the crime you commit has it's theoretical appeal, the actual idea of purposely paralyzing somebody for committing a similar crime does not seem a very humane way to deal with our problems.  We teach our children better than that....dont' we?!

I may never leave the country again.

America, you Beautiful Bastard!

I love America.  I love the freedoms that we have and the unlimited refills on soda and the super wide lanes on the highways (If you've driven in any other country you know what I'm talking about.)  But I have to say, that as great a Nation as we are, we do like to get in the way of our own progress.  Before you quit reading this page, this isn't going to be a huge rant, so just relax!

But I will say I was greatly disappointed in this story about a Georgia Highschool in Wilcox County that still has segregated proms for Blacks and Whites.  A practice, ironically, which started the school became integrated.  You might think, "oh, that's just some policy nobody listens to anymore that just hasn't been erased from Georgia's rulebooks yet."  And that would be plausible, considering how deeply engrained racisim has been in the Jim Crow South.  But tell that to the biracial student who, when trying to go to the "White" prom last year was turned away by the cops!   Now, as the story states, some students are trying to fund an integrated prom.  Maybe it's my own naivete, but i'm shocked when I hear such overt racist practices can exist in this country....but then, I still get jokes about curry directed at me all the time too, so maybe I shouldn't be so shocked....

Now let's compare that to some other other countries.  Like India, where their top court recently rejected Norvartis AG's patent on a cancer drug, citing that the company made only minor changes to an existing drug, therefore they were not allowed to patent the medication, thereby making it inaccessible to the majority of the poor people it was currently helping.  Sure, I recognize the arguments that if a company can't patent, and therefore charge a crap ton and make an exhorbant amount of money on any new wonder drug (now in Blue!!), there may be less motivation to innovate and fund new drug research.  I'm not so foolish to think that private enterprise can exist without making money, but let's be real here.  The company has existing patents on the drug in like 40 other countries, so they're not hurting here.  I think there needs to be at least some level of corporate social responsibility!  I wrote my honors thesis on that in college, but to be fair, I got a C, so what do I know.

But my favorite country is quickly becoming Norway, who's education system is leap years above the rest of the world.  Norwegian students have high graduation rates, post grad degrees, and better overall quality of education than most of the civilized world.  And what's more?  They are not stuck in some stodgy environment where whatever was good for them, is good for every new student entering the school system.  Case in point, listen to this headline:  "In anticipation of the chaos that will likely ensue when Justin Bieber returns to Norway later this month, several schools in the country have preemptively rescheduled midterm exams citing fears that students will cut class and miss the test."

Taste in music aside, that's pretty awesome.  Recognizing that children may not have the necessary focus to take an important exam, the schools are being flexible so that the needs of those students can best be served.  And isn't that the most important thing?  To make sure that their students have the best opportunities possible and best chance to succeed?  Isn't an easy compromise on the timing of an exam better than exerting a show of power that school is in charge and the students are mere fodder until they graduate?  There's a lesson in there!

HA HA HA I tricked you!! It WAS a huge rant!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The History of Our Future



Today is the 40th birthday of the cellular phone.  40 years ago, propelled by the technology of the car phone, some jerk somewhere invented a way for us to involve anybody within earshot in our daily affairs.  Now people at the bank, at the grocery store or even on the street could know what Jerry’s dog was doing on their neighbor’s lawn.  Yes, this form of charity, bringing your conversation to the masses, was progress!  And how we’ve advanced since then!  From the giant cancer boxes used in 80s television shows to the IPhone, we’ve come so far! 

I still remember my first cell phone, the Star Tak 3000.  I got it as a gift on my first day of college, as a way for my parents to become infuriated with me for never answering the phone.  I call this phone the original Razr, with its sleek flip top design.  Of course I still received ridicule for having an analog phone when all the rage were the new Nokias with their digital screen and cool Japanese sounding name.  PS – Analog phones were like those calculators where you can spell words like boob and hell.  And that’s pretty much all you could do with it.  But this ridicule sparked envy, and with envy, the race for having the best cell phone was born.

Now, 40 years later from the first cell phones, we are in a war of Apple vs Android, IPhone vs Samsung Galaxy, Brother against Brother.  This war has raged on for so long now, that the majority of companies making cell phones don’t even bother to check if people are actually talking to each other on them.  But with this competition, we will invent the next great leap in technology that allows us to shun face to face human interaction.  Maybe it will be Google glasses, or the UK version, as shown below:



Or more likely like this, considering how our current gun control debates have been going....

 

Regardless of what the future cell phone looks like, one thing is true.  Whatever you have right now is SO last year, and you should be ashamed of yourself for not having something better.