Friday, August 21, 2009

Bikes and Bees

I bought a bike. It's pretty sweet. For those in the know it's a Cannondale CAAD 8 Optimo 1 Triple. For the rest of us - it's a cool bike.

I've been out for a few rides and really enjoy it! Don't worry - the picture is from when I was looking at it at the store - since then all of the reflectors have been removed. I also didn't know that "real" bikes don't have kick-stands. "I can't spare the weight!" Who Knew!

Now for the random story. After a good 15 mile bike, Molly and I returned to her parents and had pizza. About an hour later I was putting my shoes on and something in a shoe stung the top of my foot (which hurt!).

Meghan and her Dad bagged the shoe and were able to get the culprit out of the shoe. Was it a Wasp? A brown recluse spider? It was both. It was a Spider Wasp. And here's a picture:

The one that stung me had blue wing like this guy!

I had never seen one before - so I was sure surprised to find one in my shoe! It had been a long time since I had been stung, and I have my fair shave of stories about swarms of bees, but it is still amazing how these things can do a number on you.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The moral roots of liberals and conservatives

Since politics is heating up with the Health Care debate - I found a great speech discussing how and why Liberals and Conservatives differ (BTW he uses these labels for anyone left or right of center where as I would usually use these lables for people FAR off of center - but you'll get the idea)

Who doesn't love If you haven't found it yet you are missing out!

Psychologist Jonathan Haidt studies the five moral values that form the basis of our political choices, whether we're left, right or center. In this eye-opening talk, he pinpoints the moral values that liberals and conservatives tend to honor most.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Health Care Scare Part 2

I wish I saw this before I posted, but Jon Stewart and I are apparently on the same page:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Healther Skelter
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorSpinal Tap Performance

And this one!

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Healther Skelter - Obama Death Panel Debate
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorSpinal Tap Performance

Health Care Scare!

If you've followed my blog - it will come as no surprise that I am an Obama supporter (at least when given the choice between him and McCain/Palin).

But let me criticize him for a second. And then blast the American public in general.

Obama has left it to Congress to pass Health Care reform, which is a nightmere and stupid, which is fine - but there is no clear plan with talking points. No wonder so many people are confused and even scared about Health Care reform. But just because the message hasn't been clear - it doesn't mean that there will be a "Death Panel" to decide who lives and who dies (are you serious Palin?) nor will we be euthanizing our seniors. Maybe she should have checked her facts.

Not that anyone wants to talk about what the Health Care reform is about (they just know that they are afraid) - For what it's worth The Administration believes that comprehensive health reform should:
•Reduce long-term growth of health care costs for businesses and government
•Protect families from bankruptcy or debt because of health care costs
•Guarantee choice of doctors and health plans
•Invest in prevention and wellness
•Improve patient safety and quality of care
•Assure affordable, quality health coverage for all Americans
•Maintain coverage when you change or lose your job
•End barriers to coverage for people with pre-existing medical conditions

But enough about the politics of it all, because let's face it the Democrats in control will want to push legislation through that many Republicans (even if they would benefit from the plans) don't want on the basis of not wanting Government in any way involved in Health Care (except for Medicare, don't touch their Medicare, or Social Security...)

Anyways what all of the ugly shouting and hate speech in these town halls says to me is: Most Americans are Ignorant and that's as polite as I can be about it. And it works for both sides (if you are an extremist on either side you are probably dangerous to the majority), though Health Care is giving us some great examples today.

My favorite quote from this article is:
...members of Congress have recessed now so they can go home and "listen to their constituents." An urge they should resist because their constituents don't know anything. At a recent town-hall meeting in South Carolina, a man stood up and told his Congressman to "keep your government hands off my Medicare," which is kind of like driving cross country to protest highways.
It's like when those Sunday morning political shows decide to go to various restaurants across the US and talk to real Americans about hot button political issues. You quickly find out that most real Americans have no business discussing anything requiring intelligent thinking or complexity (but that's for another blog). It's like going to a random person in Walmart and asking them how you should raise your kids.

I was forwarded an ugly fearful email about people who believe Obama has some hidden double secret agenda like the Manchurian Candidate or something (I have not seen the movie).

Here are just a few of the things in this email:
- Obama has a ruthless quest for power. He did not come to Washington to make something out of himself, but rather to change everything, including dismantling capitalism. He can’t be straightforward on his ambitions, as the public would not go along. He has a heavy hand, and wants to level the playing field with income redistribution and punishment to the achievers of society. He would like to model the USA to Great Britain or Canada .

- His three main goals are to control ENERGY, PUBLIC EDUCATION, AND NATIONAL HEALTH CARE by the Federal government. He doesn't care about the auto or financial services industries, but got them as an early bonus. The cap and trade will add costs to everything and stifle growth. Paying for FREE college education is his goal. Most scary is his healthcare program, because if you make it FREE and add 46,000,000 people to a Medicare-type single-payer system, the costs will go through the roof. The only way to control costs is with massive RATIONING of services, like in Canada . God forbid.

- Obama doesn’t really see himself as President of the United States , but more as a ruler over the world. He sees himself above it all, trying to orchestrate and coordinate various countries and their agendas.
I'm not including this email to fight for Obama - you are smart enough to figure out you own opinions about him, rather I am pointing out that there are enough really ignorant people in America passing along stuff like this and shouting at town halls with very little info to back up their fear-minded statements. I love the part about wanting to dismantle Capitalism. There is also a line that says Sarah Palin is intelligent - but you'll have to read the link above!

The people who believe these emails are people who:
- think Obama wants to turn the Whitehouse into a Pyramid (like Egypt)
- Think we are close to socialism (as if they even knew what that meant)
- Think Obama's still pallin' around with terrorists as I write this

In the end I think it's funny because Bill Clinton was called a socialist and I don't remember capitalism coming to a grinding halt - at least not until George W was in office (but I'll save that for another blog). In the meantime I am glad my retirement accounts have clawed back 1/2 of their losses and look forward to making a stronger middle class because I think the point the wealthy Republicans miss is that when the middle class has money - the Republican business owners and the wealthy make money - and when the middle class is broke - we all lose money!

Nevermind the fact that the sentiments of "If more Americans can get health care then I might have to wait longer for care" are the most self-centered me versus you scarcity of resources mindset you can imagine (and it assumes that supply and demand doesn't mean anything in an economy continuously graduating more Doctors). I guess we should cut health care for more people so the top 51% of Americans can have even better care... now that's reform that might get a slim majority to agree to.

If you are interested in Abundance thinking versus fear bases Scarcity thinking there are numerous blogs and while this one strays across many topics - it is one that I find myself keeping an eye on - I'm too tired to find an even better example of her writing but poke around.

PS - I hope to keep my blog up and running when we become a socialist country - but I am not sure if I will be allowed to so this may be my last post...

Thursday, August 06, 2009


I hate to say it but I kind of still like the movie "You've Got Mail". I like how cheesy they made email look, I like seeing people dial in to AOL (throwback!) and as an added bonus - Parker Posey is in it! The story is kind of cute - a survivable "chick flick".

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Funny License Plates

I saw these around town. The first one is obvious if you've seen Superbad.

This next one is a little more subtle:

So FF0000 is the programming code (hexadecimal) for the color red! Thank goodness I knew that so I could get the joke and snap a picture! Also this is my first blog generated by sending an email with pictures from my iPhone dirctly to my blog - hope this works!

Sent from my iPhone