Friday, May 27, 2011

Friday Thoughts 5/27/2011

1. Well no rapture last Saturday, but wait, Harold Camping says he got it wrong (again) it's supposed to be October 21, 2011. Sometimes I just can't help but feel sorry for some people.

2. I've been debating all week whether to write a post about this or just include it in a Friday thought. I figured I've already droned on enough about my choices in clothes and current battle to get back in shape, so I decided on the Thoughts list. Anyway, I'm trying to decide whether I'm happy or sad, that I'm just a bit too large to fit into the suit I wanted to wear to my reunion. The suit is easily 10 yrs old and from a size standpoint, I'm just out of range on the pants, where the shirt fits fairly well and the jacket is just a bit tight. Considering that's 10+ years of maintaining, I'm thinking it's not bad. However, that may just be me rationalizing things. I don't think three weeks is going to be enough time to get into the shape I need to be in to fit in it, so it looks like I'm shopping this week.

3. More metrosexualish issues. In my new townhouse, I've found that the air conditioning and the heater are extremely dry, to the point, where I think my face maybe snakeskin. While I'm not quite at the point where I'm obsessing about it, it was starting to bother me. I have a rather high level of disdain for lotions, they always feel oily and seem to clog up my pores rather then moisturize them, even the branded Vasoline Mens lotion stinks, in my opinion. While stumbling over stuff for summer, I noticed a bottle of Aloe Vera. Voila, works perfect to moisturize, no clogging of pores causing me to relive my teenage pimple years, and it's not oily. I swear I look 5 years younger already a week after use. I swear it was about the dry skin, not the fact that I continue to age before my eyes.

4. The Indians lost a rough series vs the Red Sox this week and have another 9 tough games coming up. Sorry Dad, who has been chastising me for my posts on them, but this is going to be a rough stretch for them. The schedule has laid out perfectly for them so far this year. Although they are building a big enough lead to ride it to the end of the year, forcing other teams to play under a bit more pressure, I can't see this team making much noise if they make the playoffs.

5. My daughter started reading this week. I should say my daughter has been reading for my wife this week, every time I sit her down and see how she does, she pretends to not know what she's doing.

6. I still need to find a new hobby, I'm back playing poker once or twice a week and through 6 months, I have a very small negative amount invested. It's nice in that it takes my focus away completely from other things while I play, but I really only enjoy the tournaments for the way the area is made up and an early crash from a tourney means either play cash (which on some nights is nice, others not so much) or find something else to do.

7. I'm hoping June is a fantastic month for a lot of reasons.

8. I may have shared this before, but here's a nice sunny day cocktail. Cut and puree 4 mangoes (make sure they are soft and ripe). Add a bit of sugar to the puree. Freeze puree in ice cube tray. Take cubes and blend with vanilla ice cream and rum. Add ginger ale after initial mixture is blended.

9. I've found the choices in ice cream in Columbus to be woefully behind Cleveland's choices. This is very disheartening news for a hot summer.

10. This weekend marks the opening of our complexes pool, I intend to take advantage of it, if for no other reason then the fact, that I needed to do nothing in preparing it for use. (as opposed to the countless hours I spent prepping our pool for use in Cleveland.

Have a great holiday weekend!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Friday Thoughts 5/20/2011 *Rapture edition*

It's been awhile, so here are my latest Friday thoughts.

1. The Indians continue to win games, but I'm starting to get real concerned that they have an issue beating good teams.

2. Spring is about 2 months old and for here in Ohio that's meant about 60 straight days of rain. 30 more days, and I'm heading to Home Depot in order to get supplies to build an ark.

3. I'm highly disappointed that Columbus seems to be surrounded by farm country, yet we seem to have no type of farmer's markets or stands that have quality produce. It's bizarre.

4. If you watch "Fringe" and haven't seen the season finale, you may want to skip this one, but I'll try and talk without providing any spoilers.

If you watched the finale, what are your thoughts on it? I will say this, if the character that appears to be gone from the show truly is, then I think the show loses it's essence.

5. So Rapture is tomorrow 5/21/2011. As a heathen I'll either be remaining behind or sent to some fiery domain. It's definitely something that I could get upset about but then I realized I'm likely to be with a fairly large amount of family and friends.

6. If you actually believed it was Rapture tomorrow, what would you do tonight? If it was me, I'd be worried that I'd oversleep and miss the 'event'. I'd also be a bit pissed in not knowing what time it was supposed to start tomorrow. It's no different then the guy who never sets the time for his party to start "Oh man, come over any time it's cool" you know it pisses you off for a simple party, think about what it means for end of times.

7. One tip to Kirk Cameron. If you are going to argue with one of the greatest minds of our century in the media, then it's probably a good idea to think about what you are going to say to the media prior to doing so. Your emotionally based incoherent response to Stephen Hawking's statement that included obscure references to John Lennon was magnificently idiotic in it's content.

8. If the Rapture actually happened and 200 million just up and disappeared tomorrow. I don't care what this articles says, the economy would benefit. Evangelists would be all over the place selling things. Also think of all the food and gun sales and all of the advertising dollars talk radio, CNN, and Fox News would get. If it does happen, I'm starting my new job as an Evangelist on Monday. I may be doomed to hell but if I am, I'm going out in style.

9. For the next cool world event, I'm hoping Velociraptors make a comeback.

10. Just in case my sarcasm hasn't come across in my writing, I don't actually believe tomorrow will be the end of the world or any Rapture event. And in closing, I hope everyone has a great weekend.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Things I think about: Outfit choice for 20 year reunion

I'm a shade under 30 days until my 20 year high school reunion. I've already documented my new work out plan that I've been on for the past month, which is still going very well; however, I have a new dilemma.

What the hell do I wear? Anyone familiar with my blog or me, has probably noted that I'm a bit of nutcase when it comes to clothes. It's not that I have to have designer brands or anything, it's just that I'm very particular in my style.

The reunion is stressing me out for a number of reasons.

1. It's in the summer, and I really hate summer clothes. Due to the fact that I have monkey arms that appear exaggerated when I wear short sleeves. It is a semi-casual event and it's at night, so I can probably get by wearing long sleeves and will, but my choices are still limited due to it being summer, my favorite clothes are best fit for fall and winter.

2. I'm guessing that this is a semi-formal affair (what the hell does that even mean?). The invitation doesn't seem to specify, but I remember reading it somewhere. I have no doubt that many will show up in business casual attire. My business casual style is typically a bit heavier then average, and my semi-formal is likely to be as well. The key here is trying to refrain from going over the top with things. I'm used to and comfortable being 1 level above others, the potential here is to be 2 levels above though, which is not what I want to do.

3. I know the reason I'm stressing about this. I've documented it before, but to say I was a nerd in high school would be putting it mildly. I remember my outfit choices being decided on what was least likely to get picked on and what I was most comfortable in. (I was 320lbs at that point and a late bloomer, so in truth there was very little I was comfortable in). I know there is a pressing desire to be a bit extravagant in this case. Extravagant isn't really my style, so I need to guard against it. This adds to the pressure of striking the right chord.

In truth, I have very little concern for what everyone else might think of my outfit, but it matters to me. I want it to convey a message of who I am now and I want to be comfortable in the outfit. It sets the right tone with me and should allow me to be comfortable in having discussions during the evening.

So what am I going to wear? I have one outfit that I'm hesitant to try on at this point, which is a dark blue sport coat and matching pants, that I can pair with a dark shirt (sort of a signature). I'm hesitant to try it on, because it's been awhile since I wore it and if it doesn't look right, I'm back at square one. It's also potentially a bit too formal, although it's nice enough that it can appear a bit more casual (if that makes any sense).

I'm likely to try that outfit on today to get a feel for it and make a decision. If it's adequate, I have half of the issue solved, the other half will then be what to wear to the casual mixer the night before. (Crap!!!)

I should note if I haven't already in another post. This reunion isn't really important to me in the same manner it probably is for most of those attending. I only knew most of the people in my class for 4 years due to us moving prior to my entering high school. I don't have the same emotional investment many of my friends have that grew up with some of these people and spent 20 yrs with them and then lost contact. I also have kept in contact with a fair number of people over those 20 years. The reunion itself is more of a milestone for me, almost a transition or a rite of passage, to hopefully let my mind wrap itself around the fact, that I'm not 20 yrs old anymore.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Personal Nature: Thinking about tattoo(s)

I've been looking over some tattoo designs lately. I currently don't have one, but I can remember wanting one since high school. I'm getting very close to finding the design that I want for it.

I realized something as I was looking over designs, it happened when my wife mentioned that she was ready for her second tattoo. I realized that our processes on deciding tattoos was extremely reflective of some of our personality traits.

Let me explain.

My wife got her first tattoo a couple years ago, it's a small symbol on the side of her back. It's a small conservative tattoo; however to my wife it's her pushing the envelope. I should note my wife doesn't entirely agree with me, to her, the size of her tattoo is relative to her size, and I'm not disagreeing with that fact. I did point out to her, that she did choose a basic symbol about the size of the quarter in a spot where she can't ever view it without a mirror. If you know my wife, it's what you would expect from her. It's my wife's attempt at being 'edgy', however much like her personality it still comes off as cute. She can't help it, she's cute and doesn't really have the mentality to be 'edgy'.

So let's move to me. I've been thinking about this for years, however I've only gotten serious about it in the last couple years. There are a couple reasons for this:

1. There is a real possibility that this is the only one I will ever get or want.
2. It needs to be almost perfect, meeting all of the things I want it to express.
3. It needs to be fairly large and bold.
4. I'm expecting it to be fairly intricate.
5. I'm almost 40, if I'm going to do it, it needs to be done now.

As I've looked at this, I realized that this is exactly how I go about large decisions to which I would consider 'risky'. (Note I use the term risky for this situation due to not knowing how I'll feel about having one, so for it being my first, I assign it risk)

Since there is very little time pressure on the decision, my decision making process for something that's a big deal (to me) is exactly how I would expect it to be. A slow, comprehensive process, with the end results expected to be perfect, bold, complex, and noticeable. Now whether that actually comes through or not, will depend of course on the tattoo. It should also be pointed out, that this whole discussion just adds fuel to the argument that I can elevate a seemingly simple decision into something epic. I'm well aware of this character flaw, but as you can see I rather enjoy indulging it.

Going forward, I'm considering this a fairly useful tool to apply in my thought process in meeting people and trying to understand how they approach things. It's certainly not an exact science, but as a student of human nature, I find it a potentially valuable piece of information, that I maybe able to utilize someday. I also have a reference point in comparison to myself and my wife, that I didn't have from basic stereotypes for those with tattoos, which is the reason this is something I could potentially utilize going forward. Without that reference point, I probably wouldn't use it at all, as stereotypes tend to be far too general to apply to understanding of an individual, in my opinion.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Just for the re-clickers

One of the problems with having a blog that has a format of day in the life, is that updates suffer when either there is nothing to talk about or there is too much to talk about. I'm sort of in between both of those things right now. There's a lot going on, but not much to write about. I also hate going to long without posting something, since I know as a regular reader, I'd much rather read random updates then see nothing new.

So for all of you who follow, here's what's been happening lately.

I'm just beginning week 6 of the workout challenge. I'm at 22 workouts at the moment, about 1 ahead of pace of what I had planned (4 workouts per week for 11 weeks). I was ahead by 3, but ran into a sinus infection last week and a trip up to Cleveland that threw me off schedule. Luckily I had a little cushion. The workouts are going well, but not exactly seeing the results I hoped for at this point, which means I was worse off then I had anticipated, hopefully I'll be un rounding into shape here soon. I did scrap the 10 workout before shave criteria. The stubble was bothering me after about 5-6 days and since I was on schedule, it seemed like an unnecessary motivator.

The family received some good news this week, the wife had her contract renewed for the 2011-2012 school year, so for at least another year, we'll be here in Columbus. We are still working out whether we are going to stay in the townhouse or try to find something different, my bet is we stay in the townhouse. It's not the biggest place, but we do have some room to breathe here and the neighbors are entertaining, although not as much as my former street in Cleveland.

Car troubles seem to be the biggest current headache, still trying to find enough time to get our car that was hit an run on the driver's door into the shop for repairs. On top of that, my wife hit a pot hole (trench) last week, that destroyed the tire and rim. Since I decided not to take it to the dealer, due to the ridiculous prices I saw from them on last tire replacement, I now have 1 new rim and 3 factory ones on the car. (I seem to be adjusting to life in Grovetucky very well. It should be noted that the term Grovetucky is what residents of Columbus, proper, have told me that my current city is called by most) (The good news is that the new rim looks great on the car and once I have the money to get the other three put on, I may force the wife to drive the older car :) )

The news that I've been keeping 'secret' for some time now and that has been consuming a large part of my daily life (and anxiety) is the fact that we are in negotiations with our bank on our house in Cleveland for a short sale on the property. If it gets completed, it will be a huge deal for us and I hope to write more about it at the conclusion of the process.

That's it for now, the weather's starting to turn nice, which will likely correlate with the number of posts I manage to get to, we'll see how things go.

Monday, May 2, 2011

My thoughts on the death of Osama Bin Laden

5/1/2011: The president of the United States comes up to the podium and announces that United States military forces, stormed a compound in Pakistan and killed Osama Bin Laden and took possession of the body which was confirmed as Osama Bin Laden.

We are close to the 10 year anniversary of the September 11th attacks on the United States in New York and Washington. (I put flight 93 under the Washington column, but that's a topic for another day). Within days after September 11th, Osama Bin Laden was pointed too as the leader of Al Qaeda and the person who ok'd the September 11th attacks. It was the first time the average American became aware of who Osama Bin Laden was or Al Qaeda for that matter.

Over the course of the next 9 years, we put a 25 million dollar bounty on his head, had rumors of close captures (Tora Bora), and a variety of other news related stories, but we failed to capture or kill him during that time.

I'm very happy that the US Military was finally able to kill Osama Bin Laden. The fact that they recovered his body and did it with troops on the ground is also a testament to an understanding that PR was as important in this case as was the mission itself. It's the best scenario the US Military could have hoped for outside of killing him in the same manner 6 months after the September 11th attacks.

I'm watching the news coverage and I see a huge crowd outside of the White House celebrating the news and I'm a bit concerned. Osama Bin Laden was a face of terrorism, but a large part of him being that face was due to the American Government's interest in him, in many senses we assisted in creating this 'legend' of sorts. (I won't go into the details of Bin Laden being trained by American forces for the guerrilla fights in Soviet occupied Afghanistan). My concern is that the average American thinks of this as a bigger victory then it is. This isn't like killing a leader of a nation or ending a war with atomic bombs (like Japan and WWII). Al Qaeda itself is a loose based organization that takes direction from different people, Bin Laden just happened to be their most famous member. My fear is the average American doesn't realize this and thinks something has ended.

It hasn't, while it's a victory for sides against terrorism, it doesn't stop it and might even provoke more acts of terrorism in retaliation. Maybe I'm just difficult to please. Maybe it's the fact that I feel like we as Americans don't pay enough attention to things like this before they happen in a situation like September 11th. The fact that the US Cole attacks were associated with Al Qaeda, the previous World Trade Center attempted attacks were Al Qaeda driven, or the fact that Osama Bin Laden was fairly infamous already before the 9/11 attacks. (President Clinton authorized at least one missle attack against a compound where they believed Osama Bin Laden was).

As I said, maybe it's just me over worrying things, it wouldn't be the first time I did something like that, but there's something about seeing people jump up and down outside of the White House like WWII just ended that sits wrong with me. I feel like there is too high a possibility that in the days that follow they are ultimately going to be disappointed as in the scheme of things, I don't think this is going to have a big impact on terrorism, Al Qaeda, or any other terrorist organization. I hope I'm wrong in this case.

I'm happy about the news, and I'm glad other Americans are happy too, a lot of things over the past couple years are directly and indirectly related to that day, so it is nice to have something to 'celebrate', I just don't hope people realize that this is only a small part of things that still need to be done (in relation to terrorism, I really hope they know the other things need a lot more work)