Sunday, December 14, 2008

Even something as simple and non sexual as making Christmas cookies turns porno when you through 4 adult best friends into the mix, introduce some wine and beer and presto!



In fact, Margaret was so happy with how the night went, we have a whole photo spread on Facebook.

When you link to see the photos, make sure to read the phrase below each photo, it's a Christmas poem that Margaret came up with to walk you through our cookie experience!

And it starts like this: "‘Twas the week before Christmas and the economy was slow.
“I’ve got an idea,” little elf ‘M’ said. “Let’s bake some cookies – that’ll save us some dough!”"

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Energy Independence Needs to Be a Top Priority.

Just in case you are becoming comfortable with the newest pricing in fuel costs, than have fear because your "dealer", I mean OPEC and specifically "Our Friends" in Saudi Arabia have deemed that despite the current collapsed state of the world economy (that by the way they helped tank through stifling high crude pricing over the last few years) , that they are looking to make sure crude raises to their "deemed" floor price of $75.00/barrel.

OPEC has approved cuts totalling about 2 million barrels a day since September as world oil consumption falters, but the moves have so far failed to put brakes on oil's slide from historic highs above $US145 a barrel.

The group's secretary-general, Abdalla Salem El-Badri, told reporters the group would cut production by a "good amount" in December. Over the weekend, both Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah and Saudi Oil Minister Ali Naimi described $US75 a barrel as a fair price for crude oil.


Don't get me wrong, it's their oil and they have every right to aim for any price that they want, but you can see the mentality here. But in this time of serious struggles for just about every world market, they want to further add to the slowing of it's rebound by getting oil prices to raise by 50% (currently $52/b).

For all those that say it's all about supply and demand, what part of "demand" works when demand is down so pricing becomes artificially bolstered by over tightening of supply. This is the main flaw in the "free market" when it comes to goods and services as they relate to our "needs" vs. wants.

So I plan to keep up with my current course of actions:
~ Buy less fuel by driving less and less & carpooling.
~ Buy Petroleum free products.
~~ Currently here we are: using material shopping bags, using all natural soaps for hands, shower, dishwashing, laundry, shampoo, toothpaste, etc.
Yeah, it's actually pretty disgusting how many "oil" derivatives find their way into our daily lives & products.
~ Shop locally when possible. Avoid buying products that are "not" locally made or grown.

In the end our solution hangs in the balance of our resolution to get off the worlds largest "drug dealer", the "oil cartel".

Sunday, November 30, 2008

AER

Today on a news channel someone posted a clip of Eleanor Roosevelt from of an interview that I found particularly interesting.
While her quotes from this interview are in the context of the US vs USSR, don't they still fit in well today?

Eleanor Roosevelt, Oct 20,1957
"there is no use in belittling your rival, there is now use in putting you head in the sand and saying I don't want to know; I want to know. "

Eleanor Roosevelt, Oct 20,1957
"what we have to prove to the neutral world or the world that is judging between us all the time, is with Freedom, we can actually do more for the lives of people, then they can do with their system.
That's the important challenge, that's what we have to meet. "


It appears that our notion of the US has us under a changed notion than that of 50 yrs ago. Somehow our notion is that US = Capitalism which is an override our key way of life which is based on "Freedom with Capitalism."
When in fact if you can do as she indicates with in here 2nd quote, if we strive to succeed in showing the world and ourselves that leaving a life of Freedom in a better system, the rest will fall into line without issue.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy T-day.

By 9:30pm I was completely food drunk and bored, so I took to the internet in search of something fun. So did I find anything of interest you ask?
Nope, but I did actually find the End of The Internet. Sad to say, it was nothing exciting at all.
I guess I can at least say that I've been there though.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

It seems that life always throws you a curve ball and it's up to us to deal with it. And...
depending how we take on that challenge shows a lot about our character, resolve, and our general outlook on life.

I've been one to normally be a "realist" and not in the classic sense of the word, but rather that I view things usually in a more balanced worldly view, one that IMO doesn't lean prematurely as pessimistic or optimistic, but usually a little more middle ground w/a hoping for the best and prepared for the worst.

So now that I've once again gone deeper into my incite than you asked for, out with my issue(s). For the past few months my issues have been more medical than anything else. Not too serious, but serious as in migraines seem to be creeping into my life more and more and they are so bad at times that life comes to a screeching halt sometimes.

Some even effecting my vision to the point that I can see dark spots which makes it not only hard to concentrate, but even do work. They've been bad enough that riding has been hard to do also. Mountain biking really takes so much more focus than you think, and riding with a migraine is flirting just with disaster. I've tried and each time I almost wrecked or did, coming away with nothing more than a than a bruised ego.

Trying to look at this as the glass is half full, I've simply tried to modify my need to ride to a need to exercise.
So I've tried to stay off the bike and at least walk, or do indoor exercises like push-up, stretching/power moves (IE not quite Yoga) and it was working out pretty well. I was still able to maintain my weight loss and I was increasing strength and even gaining some muscle back in my arms, shoulder, legs, chest, etc.

So where am I going with this? Two weeks ago I went out on a ride since it had been 2 weeks and I really needed one. The new bike that was a month old had only 3 rides on it. So I hit the trail knowing that I had a "slight" headache, but not too much more.

Shortly after taking to the trail the headache became worst. Ignoring my 1st thought of just head home, I opted for, "Hey, you're out, keep going." "Maybe the fresh air will help if I just stick it out."

About 2 miles in I crashed, and boy did I crash hard. I put my front tire into a whole along side a step and I before I could even think about what was happening I was picking myself up off the ground. With the tire stuck I had superman'd over the bars and had tried to catch myself on the fence in front of me. Well that didn't quite work too well. After picking myself up and collecting my thoughts, I had to tweak the stem and bars as they had twisted a little.

I decided to keep going, just ride it off.

Fast forward to today. While all the scrapes and bruises have gone away, I'm still unable to resume exercises like pushup, pullups, etc. My right shoulder is in pain and it's the type of pain that can't be massaged out as you can't touch the place of the pain itself. It feels deep in the shoulder, like somewhere near the joint itself, it's an ache of sorts until I try to stress it, than it's simply a sharp pain.

So now my indoor exercising has become close to a halt, and this weather continues to pile on the migraines a few times a week. I finally was able to get out for a ride yesterday and the shoulder put a stop to that w/in about 5mls.

This is point in which my frustration is piling up. Not exercising for a few days has me feeling tight in the muscles and actually very cloudy in my thinking. While some people need sleep for clear thoughts, I need exercise. But this lack of being about to do much of it for the last 3 weeks is just killing me.

It just seems that I'm either in pain from migraines &/or my shoulder day in and day out for the past 20 days and I'm going crazy, Today was the worst as my migraine had me in so much pain I literally slept all day long. I went out for about 20 minutes to get some fresh air, but other than that I slept until 6pm and now at 9:30 I'm ready for more sleep.

Something has got to give. My should has got to heal & the weather has got to stop with the cold followed by warming rains, it's that pattern of weather that wreaks havoc on my head and for about 2 days out the pressure builds until the wham!

And to top it all off, the need for using heat lately has the air drying out beyond belief in which I'm having some sinus issues now too.

Ugh!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Legless

My legs just aren't what they used to be as my riding has become so sporadic since Sept.; even with a new bike sitting in the dining room.

It started out just being plain worn out by each days end of classes and work, to the point that my mind is so tired that concentration is almost impossible. Then recently I had my hours at work reduced and I though, "great! more time to ride." But nope, by this time I'm just too disinterested to even bother.

By this time my legs are so far beyond the tightening and cramps of not riding that it just feels right to sit around the house during my feel time. My guilt from not riding is only because of the vast amounts of money that I have recently spent not only building a new bike, but also in preparing for winter by purchasing new winter clothes, lights for riding at night, etc.

I did have some comfort in the fact that I was able to exercise via push-ups, squats, etc at home, but since my bike accident 2 weeks ago (I did a superman on the trail) and my shoulder still in pain, I'm unable to really do the push ups 1/2 the time now too.

In the meantime, I've since reestablished about 3 of the 13lbs that I've lost since mid summer which become further depressing to me.

I need to find a way out of this rut, I know once I do it'll really help me mind, body, and soul. It's just a matter of doing it I guess, but...
Yup, there's always a but that I have. I'm always famous for the "why I can't's" instead of the "Yes I can."
They say knowing is 1/2 the battle, so now to trick myself into doing something about it.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

That rocks.

Nothing like being a "spontaneous" buyer in the beginning a long depression, right?
Well, for a long time now I've been wanting to learn to play the guitar and the other day I was just like, "let's go look at them." 24hrs after Lisa and I both own guitars!

Lisa went Classic acoustic. A store brand named guitar from Guitar Works here in Richmond, Va. Me, myself, I ended up with a Fender Standard Stratocaster HSS. I'm very excited to simply create noise, let alone maybe be able to produce just the right amount of noise in such a way that it's actually music to one's ears.

So I've been talking about this on CCVA and here is what came out of that conversation. Thanks John, your stuff is always good for a good laugh.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Today was a glorious day for Lisa. While grocery shopping at Kroger tonight I spotted some Coke in glass bottles, but not normal Coke. It was Coke from Mexico which is a much higher quality Coke than found here in the US.

(Ironically most other countries get to enjoy the better Coke, but here in the birth place of the wonderful soft drink, we get the crappy version which is filled with corn syrup instead of real sugar cane.)

Anyhow, it's been 8yrs since Lisa had any Cola products, but today in light of this wonderful find, she nominated to use a partial truce so that she could enjoy 1/2 the bottle with me. I must say, the taste was pretty fabulous and just like the days of old, glass bottle and all.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Amiss all the chaos in the financial world is a small ray of shimmering light.
The US Dollar is actually gaining on the British Pound/Sterling!

What was close to a 2:1 ratio at £1 Brit = $1.97 US just a few short weeks ago is now down to £1 = $1.50 US!

That's a 25% gain, that's huge!

And the Euro (€) is now trading at € 1 Euro = $1.26 US.
While not the same % gains as on the Sterling, it's damn close!

To bad that nothing (meaning prices) don't seem to indicate/reflect the new value of our Dollar. In fact just the opposite. Most European stuff seems to have increased by 20+%.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Than vs Then

I like many still make the occasional opps when using Than and Then.
So I'm hoping that this will help me to remember the difference.

Than is a conjunction, is used to compare things.
Then is an adverb, is used with descriptions of time.
Then, suddenly, Mr. Bike shouted, “I'm a better comuuter you’ll ever be!”
• I think that I am a better commuter than you.

Friday, October 31, 2008

It's sorta funny when I read these "debates" that we and others have.
At first I felt "less" politically intellectual than most; because honestly a lot of people spew out huge words that each party uses to sound smart yet in the end simply end up as a simple insult.

"Dems, Libs, Reps, Conseratives, Blues, Reds, Bloods, Crips"... Yada, Yada, Yada!
Really?! It's name calling at best. Each invoking a vision of the other that is nasty and in disgust.
I mean really sit back and read it aloud, listen to you, me, us!

When I take my step back it appears that (from our arguments) we actually believe that each party wants to see the country fail! :lol: That is when it hits me, It's simply the most stupid thing I've ever heard of or read.

What truly disgusts me is that anyone even questions the other as "patriotic" and that I, you, they even tolerate such nonsense. I'm sorry, no one gets elected to any office in our country without having some sort of patriotism or at least "perceived" patriotism and ANY government official / representative that suggests different needs to look in the mirror.

Debate after debate, no one ever sounds any different except for a few of us that have no real ties with a party.
Is it so important for people to feel that they "belong" that they are unwilling to actually "listen" when it's truly needed?

Sure, I admit it, I'm a swing vote and most of you can talk me under the table with politics. Does that make me less of a voter?
Actually NO. In fact I think I am lucky to be were I am as I think I have a vantage point from which I see things a tad more clearly.
Each party must "earn" my vote through words and actions and not through an expected loyalty.

I am forced to look, listen and decide to make the best decision for both my country and me, both now and for the future; which is direct contrast to others who may appear to follow a particular party without ever considering other courses of action.

Now I'm not professing that my way is superior in the least, but when reflecting back on my what leads to my final decision; I can rest assured that what I thought was in initial weakness (my lack of political intellect) has given way to has in my opinion become a strength (my willingness to listen, evaluate, and decide based on being open to everything).

My point is that I only hope we all enter the booth on Tuesday making sure that we have really given each argument and information provided it's just dues and that we make our decision without "prejudice" through allegiance.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

With so much to drive you crazy these days, why not some cool images that play all kinds of mind tricks.

I swear these were created by a woman!

For best results, click each to enlarge.



Tuesday, October 28, 2008

First an update to my Rotten Apple post. So it turns out that the sensors are still on the fritz, like they might fix themselves. LOL I guess I'll be needing to make an appointment soon to get it fixed, but I'll try to wait until the semester is over so I can use it and I'll just leave the backlighting off for now.

I swear that the more I hear McCain speak the more I can't stand the man and his party. Until just recently I was still in the "undecided" category. What has essentially robbed McCain of my vote is note so much what Barack is saying or doing, but it's wat McCain is saying and doing that is swinging the vote.

Just like our current El Presidente, the man is sticking to his guns despite the overwhelming evidence around him speaking to the contrary. The man faces elimination from the Presidential race and still is failing to adapt to his surroundings to win the fight.

This "My friends" is more of "the same" of what this country has been going through for the past 8 yrs!

My examples you ask? I only have time for one right now.
He continues to pursue the avenue that his tax plan vs. Obama's will have Obama increasing our spending by $1 Trillion while independent studies have been done on BOTH plans and they both look to have spending up by the same amount of debt, approx. $350 Billion. McCain is aware of this as during one debate the host offered this information to both candidates giving them a chance to respond.
While Obama adapted by acknowledging the finding and then hitting on the points of difference between the two plans, McCain went into his speech of Obama's plan to hit $1 Trillion, ignoring the question.

How is that being a Maverick? How is that being agile and ready to lead? A good leader is strong, determined, but most of all has to keep his/her cool under pressure and be able to see through the fog that placed before them.

I think debates need to be just that, a REAL debate. You know, the type questions are not screened so that we can see what kind of leader we'll have when they are "backs to the wall". This is how I want to be able to judge my next leader.

I mean come on Palin won't even stick to a script or answer a question. She has actually preceded a question with, "I'm not going to talk about that, I want to talk about this..." Come on, really?!

Ugh, what a terrible, terrible time to be in the Republican Party, Win or Loose!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Rotten Apple

Well maybe that's a little harsh. In now 4 yrs of owning Macs and now on my 5th, my latest MacBook Pro had the first issue of any of my Macs to date.

It turns out that my Bluetooth card took a dump and while it was in for service, they also replaced my keys since of of the "command" buttons had a broken tab. Word of warning, turn to EBAY for keys if you only need one or even a few. They can be had for $1-5.00 ea there while Apple only sells them in a complete set for about $60.00!

Apple did have my MB back to me in 3 days, so that was cool.

So tonight was my first night since it's return to use it and now I have more issues. :(
It seems that my light sensors are having fits and the keys and monitor will just pulse for minutes at a time. Then when I try to control the lighting via F8-F10, they are jamming with the ugly "not" sign. I think something is a miss for sure which will mean another few days without my trusty sidekick.

Oh, if you never thought about an ext. warranty, consider that for a second that my MBP would have cost me $190.00 to just get fixed and that was only for a $38. BT card, $60. keyboard, and $85.00 labor.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I'm so pissed!

Ya know, I have to preface with:
it doesn't get much more cycling friendly than someone that not only has a cycling background, but also a motorcycling background.
I'm always trying to avoid such situations yet idiots like this exist and actually believe on some level they have the right away regardless of the situation.

The story:
Tonight Lisa and I were heading to Kuba Kuba and while approaching the light at Lombardy & Park to turn onto Park(crossing over in a left turn) I noticed a cyclist coming up the right side of on coming traffic.

I slowed up a little and judged that I had plenty of time to make the turn, so I proceeded as I would've if the cyclist was a car since I was well into the intersection while the said cyclist was still 50-75' out.

Parking was on the immediate right side after turing on Park (just on the corner), so I had to slow up as soon as I was on Park and pulled right into the space.
Once in I was starting to back up when I saw a flash of something dark zoom past my mirrors. I stop and as I'm looking around I see that it's the cyclist and he is now on Park and in on coming traffic almost crashing into a parked car on the other side of the street.

He sorta stopped and glared at us, but soon moved on meanwhile looking back every now and again.

I was pissed at this point as I'm sure this idiot believes that I did something wrong and in fact Travis was sitting in the back seat and swears the guy tried to kick our car as he was swinging wide around it.

This might have been avoided if the guy would've done two things:
1) Actually had a light on his bike so that I(& others) could have seen him well beyond the time to turn and when I was parking.
2) He actually slowed up while making a turn so that he could have proper time to react just like any other vehicle needs too when on a roadway.

If someone would've been on the on coming traffic, this guy would've been like a splattered bug on a windshield!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

It's interesting to me that so many of us in the local mountain biking community are so outgoing and desire the same goals, but yet someone seem to isolate ourselves, goals, and agendas.

In the 4 years of running CCVA.org, I've found few far and between that are willing or wanting to make a real "community" for mountain biking.

Somehow we remain polarized as group while other areas that have mountain biking band together like long lost brothers.

I've tried time and time again to gain interest, help promote, poke & prod, but rarely to any avail and and I'm simply stumped.

I often hear from people that they visit CCVA, but don't post.
Or they ride, but stick to their own, etc. And while I sort of understand that point of view, why is the Richmond area so much less "involved" as a whole vs. other groups that I know about.

For instance, getting folks to do group rides in NOVA, Ch'ville, or in the Triangle area is far from impossible, but in Richmond seems to be all but impossible these days.

Yeah, we have Anne's "Ride Like a Girl" Tuesday rides, every Fall-Spring the PSP night rides, and new for this year the Thursday Downtown rides, but when compared against the sheer number of riders and areas to ride, we are seriously lacking.

Now I'll admit that I'm not riding like I used too, so I'm unable to post the Sat, Sunday, and weekday rides that I used too, but it seems that all those folks who turned out in the 10's & 20's have all but vanished.

How can we get these people back? How can we get them to put out that "Call to ride?"

I fear for the opportunities missed in terms of the "brotherhood & resources" that could be gained from just a little more involvement from our local cyclists, especially when Mountain biking is supposed to be the "friendly" sport of cycling.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Cooking up a plan.

With things slowing up a little at work (read: compared to the constant pace Rowlett's has been since I've been there, I actually have 2-5 min blocks of free moments at a time) ANYHOW, I had just enough time to set my sights on something new, something different than I might have thought possible only a few months ago.

We'll see I guess.
Anyone have a idea of what I'm thinking? Feel free to comment...

Friday, September 12, 2008

Missed Connection.

Can I buy a 'C'? That is a 'C' for comment, connection or both.

While most people search Craigslist for their "Missed-Connection", mine can be be aimed more accurately that simply throwing out words into the vast internet in the hopes that someone else who happened to be be within viewing distance of me ( not only by chance, but also more times than not secretly) will also just happen to repeat that encounter online on CraigLists in "MissedConnections" all while hoping they possibly remember details of an event that pretty much only happened in your head.

So to my point:
I'll be the first to admit that my banter isn't cutting edge or curiously witty, at times it's got to be worth a comment or two.

And even though I'm no ego maniac, there is a small part of me that desires to see some sort of commentary on a post time to time. While most of my yapping is merely a way to vent or self heal or promote a topic of interest, that missing element of commentary seems to have me consider that maybe I'm an isolated sole.

In person I tend to easily get along with people through conversation, so maybe through the medium of writing my talents lack that needed zest to attract a reader's attention enough to feel compelled to respond.

Please don't confuse my post with a someone who has a bruised ego as again I'll never profess to be a literary genius who can turn opening a can of soup into a novel that delivers an "emotional roller-coaster."

My desire is more basic, a simple reply of a "connection made."

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Why is that there always seems to be a slight bit of "discomfort" when we sit at an intersection in a car along side a friend who is in their car just along side us?

It's weird dynamic to see him/her, wave, and just turn away as if they aren't there at all. You want to continue to look their way to acknowledge them, but it's not like you can talk throw windows or yell 12' away to have a meaningless conversation.

So instead you give a wave or nod then pretend to have something important to do when all you're doing is scrambling to do something that looks important.

Come on, how many of you spend the whole time just thinking, "light change, please change." "Damn nothing on the radio." "We are my cd's." Or the famous, "Completely bored/uninterested" in life look."

We are such strange creatures, one's that simply can't even stand to sit quietly when we think we have even the slightly chance to chat it up.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

An Original Idea

" An idea itself is neither good nor bad
simply because it exists;
It is only when and where the idea
applied that creates the distinction. "
~Jay deBellonia 9/08

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

...AND DON'T COME BACK ANOTHER DAY!

For the last 3 nights I've been having the absolute weirdest dreams ever.
For some reason every time someone speaks in my dreams, they are speaking in Arabic and it won't stop. Funny thing is that I have no clue how to speak Arabic, not much more than a word or two at best. So how is it that everyone in my dreams can speak it?

I mean while I can't understand it even in my dreams, how does my mind know how to even pump in the Arabic wording?

And to boot, somehow this one girl (faceless) keeps walking around in a little Plaid micro-mini skirt. And... Don't even go there as I see nothing in appropriate, all I see in front of me this skirts waving forward and back as this person walks a few steps ahead of me.

Crazy, crazy, crazy...

Friday, August 22, 2008

Little Birdy

So it appears that we have a house guest, but Lisa and I are scared for the little guy/gal.

All summer long this little brown bird comes and hides either in the corner of our porch ceiling rafter or in one of our hanging plants.



Anyone have any clues? What will he/she do for winter?

Loud Silence

On the morning of a new day I certainly feel a better sense of relief and a greater release of my sadness for having to put Terra to sleep yesterday.

While it's only been 24hrs since we brought Terra to the VRCC; (Who I must say have been nothing short of fabulous to work with in terms of options and support) Perhaps the most difficult part of not having Terra around is the Loud Silence that is now filling the house.

Terra was always on the move, always needing to scratch, drinking water, clip clopping with her nails across the wood floors, sneezing, nudging you, or letting out a little bark to let you know she wanted up on the couch, bed, or needed go outside.

The irony is that these very things that filled the house with all things Terra now speak volumes to us that we've always done our best to give her a great life and keep her comfortable, yet despite our best efforts the Silence left in her wake sums up all that led up to our decision to do what was best for her.

On a side note, Sidney seems to be acting a tad out of sorts by wandering every once in a while with her nose in the air and looking around the house and yard. We'll be watching her closely as my brother's dogs recently lost about 10lbs each after they lost one of their own and after 8months, one has returned to it's original weight while the other still remains down by 10lbs.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

I was once told...



... that there are only two types of dogs, "those who will bite and those who have bitten."

I guess this person never met my Pitbull Terra.

Today around 5:30 she was put down due to tumor on the spleen at the age of 12yr, 3months.

...And to until her last moments, she never laid a tooth on a single sole.

She was so kind, so trusting of me and anyone that I trusted. Terra lived every breath with an "Give everything 110%" attitude.

My regret is that I wasn't able to be there when it was time, but Lisa was so at least there was family with her.

We will miss her, I will miss her.

She was more than our pet, she was our kid, child, family!


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Well, since my last post this morning I'm able to be a little less "emotional" and more level headed when weighing my options for how to take the best possible care of Terra.

More than money or anything else, my decisions need to be based on Quality of Life. In some cases, being a dog has many more perks than not because when you are down and ill, it's legal to actually put you to sleep instead of keeping you alive and suffering.

So my dilemma starts with actually finding out just what is wrong with Terra. The vet thinks she has a tumor on the spleen which for Terra at age 12yr could cause a problem simply due to age alone as a dog of her age simply might not be able to wake from the surgery.

So here's the low-down. Terra took to being weak and weary this past Friday. Since then she has snapped back and gone back to sick, but nothing quiet as sickly as Friday or as normal as usual.

So today we got an X-ray which clearly shows something in the abdomen, but actual size is still to be determined.

My options are:
~ more X-rays of the chest to see if there is more to be found still farther up in the body at about $170.00, but will still deliver little info to size and complexity.

~ A sonogram which will give more details of the mass(es) of size and location, but will cost $250-500

~ Exploratory surgery which will be the best to see what is going on, but will obviously be the most invasive & costly starting around $500.00.

With the surgery, if something is wrong they can do one of 3 things immediately, close her up, remove the tumor(s), or if it's really bad simply not wake her.

Anything less than starting with surgery will end up with surgery, putting her down based on a hunch, or simply letting her live out her natural life.

The problem in lies there, if the vet is correct and she does have a mass on the spleen, it seems that there is a 50/50 chance of recovery, a 50/50 chance of the mass being cancer, and a additional life span of 0- 15mo with the mean being 3-4mo. in which most dogs end up dying from another cancer since the spleen is no longer in place to help filter out all nasties.

If I let her just be, she will bleed to death, slowly!

And if I pick the time for her to go, well I simply have to live wondering if I made the correct decision.

Unfortunately unlike other illnesses, there doesn't seem to be a a black and white time for debate or threshold that maybe once she passes, it's best to let her just go.

My decisions will either find me acting on natures behalf prematurely or once the process of suffering begins.

So how do you put a happy dog down?

Life for Life

So what do you do when it's all about the money? I mean lack there of.
I'm faced w/a situation where I'm being forced to choose between trying to save life or live mine and money is the common denominator.

How can I sleep with thoughts of, "I could have done more."

Today confirmed my fears that Terra has tumors, but the money that needs to be spent simply isn't there unless I give up a semesters worth of schooling and even then the money is only thanks to Mr. Visa.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Now here's a great picture.
A healthcare travel bus for heart & lungs at the EXXON next door to where I work.
Note that the 3 ladies are not just a little over weight, but they are also all smoking while waiting for the bus to refuel and are soon joined by a forth lady (not shown)

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Premiere

I almost felt cool tonight as the same Q94 guys that scored us me the Richmond-Kickers tickets also scored us some "Sneak Preview Premiere" tickets to the "Pineapple Express."

And I gotta say that it didn't disappoint!

Friday, August 01, 2008

Well thanks to the guys at Q94 who were at Rowlett's today doing give-a-ways. With some extra tickets in hand and no more stops, I was able to snag 3 seats for my first Richmond-Kickers who took on the Willington Hammerheads.


I called Lisa and Travis and we arrived a little late(7:20pm) since the game started at 7pm and I worked until then, but we found seating easy enough.

The game was pretty cool to see and even though the Hammerheads were winning 1-0, by games end the Kickers had taken control of the game scoring their second unanswered goal with only 6 minutes left.

So a huge thanks for to the guys for hooking me up with some tickets.

Leader follow...

It seems that our "Leaders" need to be renamed "Followers". I mean isn't it true to say that "Leaders lead, and followers follow."?
If it looks like a duck and acts like a duck, it must be a duck, correct?

So you may be wondering what I'm Yapping about today, well it's about the inability for us to have any real LEADERSHIP (per Wiki) within our country these days.

It seems that while we are in the middle of a huge crisis in terms of self sustainment with energy, and our government has left us for dead. I mean hey, sure they are bailing out companies bankrupt for billions, or helping those who are about the loose their second homes via the mortgage crisis, and giving tax breaks to those who can still afford vehicles that cost up to 100k and weight over 6k pounds; but what about giving a tax break to those who can't afford to fill their tanks, or health insurance.

How about an Eco-Stim. package/tax breaks for those who covert to alternate transportation like buses, trains, &/or cycling?

Opps, sorry that can't be done!

Now step in the melting Arctic where about 13% of the world oil "may" (being the operative word) reside, and now increasing tensions between even our friendly neighbors to the North (Canada) & us. All while Russia, Norway and Denmark all try to stake their claims too.

It's sick! We used to be a strong and proud country, a people based on "Nothing is too difficult" and being the first and best as something.

Why can't our government be as strong as the government that got us to the moon before the USSR? What happened to the days when PRIDE was worth more than lining the pockets of special interest groups.

At days end, we're blowing it yet again. Instead of striving to be the first Super Power off of fossil fuels, we take the easy route and join chase for more oil and sadly even this in a clear distant second or third.

And We can't even get that right. (head hung in shame)

Friday, July 25, 2008

Jason.

Today marks year 13 since the passing of my brother Jason Andrew DeBellonia.
Even after 13yrs it never gets easier to think that I'll never see him again.

The human mind is simply too fragile to handle the concepts of forever or infinity.
People say that time heals, but it doesn't; at most it helps you forget long enough to move forward.

This year I want to share with everyone the song that we played at Jason's funeral.
It's from the soundtrack of the Crow and is called "It can't rain all the time."

Below are the lyrics and the video.

I love you little brother and I miss you.



Artist: Jane Siberry
Song: It Can't Rain All the Time

[SPOKEN:]
We walked the narrow path,
beneath the smoking skies.
Sometimes you can barely tell the difference
between darkness and light.
Do you have faith
in what we believe?
The truest test is when we cannot,
when we cannot see.

[SUNG:]
I hear pounding feet in the,
in the streets below, and the,
and the women crying and the,
and the children know that there,
that there's something wrong,
and it's hard to belive that love will prevail.

Oh it won't rain all the time.
The sky won't fall forever.
And though the night seems long,
your tears won't fall forever.

Oh, when I'm lonely,
I lie awake at night
and I wish you were here.
I miss you.
Can you tell me
is there something more to belive in?
Or is this all there is?

In the pounding feet, in the,
In the streets below, and the,
And the window breaks and,
And a woman falls, there's,
There's something wrong, it's,
It's so hard to belive that love will prevail.

Oh it won't rain all the time.
The sky won't fall forever.
And though the night seems long,
your tears won't fall, your tears won't fall, your tears won't fall
forever.

Last night I had a dream.
You came into my room,
you took me into your arms.
Whispering and kissing me,
and telling me to still belive.
But then the emptiness of a burning sea against which we see
our darkest of sadness.

Until I felt safe and warm.
I fell asleep in your arms.
When I awoke I cried again for you were gone.
Oh, can you hear me?

It won't rain all the time.
The sky won't fall forever.
And though the night seems long,
your tears won't fall forever.
It won't rain all the time
The sky won't fall forever.
And though the night seems long,
your tears won't fall, your tears won't fall,
your tears won't fall
forever.

Cross Talk

Well, it was only a matter of time before the two blogs crossed paths (I'm referring to my Daily Yap & the CyclingCentralva blogs) and now I'm having a difficult time posting what to where.

The idea for the Daily Yap is more about Daily commentary on anything really, while the CCVA blog is more edged on cycling related goodness. Where I'm having difficulty is determining where some cycling related stuff might fit into both categories.

Example(s):
Lately I've been taking up commuting by bike, this has been more "thought" than actual "doing", but my intent has me researching and finding some cool info. & sites worth sharing and commenting about. And while the info. would be great for the CCVA blog, it's also more of the commentary type posting so it would fit this style of blog best.

So this blog may start to sit idle while I work on getting the CCVA blog up and running with richer more quality content, but I'll be doing my best to not let this happen too much as there is a lot to say.

IE: My continuing education is looking to STILL be a fight to the end!
More in a little bit...

Saturday, July 19, 2008

After 4 weeks I finally caved to the pressures of being around all the different bikes and added another to collection.

But, maybe not what you are thinking. I went road, and I went OLD SCHOOL!
In the spirit of going green, recycling, and simply being plain cool I adopted an 25-30 yr old Motobecane.

This goldy oldy will be turned into my "Retro-commuter" bike. My plans will be to restore what I can, where I can, and replace & add a few pieces where needed. I also intend to install a pannier, pack, lights, and fenders.

From some of the little research that I've done so far, it seems that most of the parts are all original, minus the grips. But from the Shimano 600 shifters, to the dérailleurs, to the Motobecane stamped cranks, this looks to be a fun restore!


More photos and updates to come...

Monday, July 14, 2008

Simply disgusting!

My weekend rant.

So yesterday we visited a local marker known as "Fresh Foods" grocery store. It was our first visit to the store since learning about it about 4 years ago, mostly because it was our understanding that it was extremely expensive.

Well, as it turns out while some items are costly there, they have some great specials and in fact some items were actually cheaper than other places that we shop. And they have a pretty interesting selection too boot, definitely worth checking out.

Now to the rant. So we were hungry and we had been craving Sushi, but our favorite Sushi joint is closed on Sundays, so while in Fresh Foods we notice the sushi people (found in all the local stores) making some sushi. We debated and debated finally settling on what to buy.

Fast forward... Shortly after getting home and eating the sushi, our neighbor comes over (his was shopping with us) and with a disgusted look says, "do you know what we just ate?" I reply, "Sushi." And that's when the informs us of fact that the sushi contained corn syrup and hydrogenated oils.

I asked how would they even fit that in the sushi and going back to read the label I see they did and where.
In the rice. When cooking the rice they add HFCS and oil and I ask you what the fuck?!

PEOPLE, I MEAN REALLY! THIS IS RICE! WHY LITERALLY POISON IT WITH CRAP LIKE HFCS & HYDROGENATED OILS.
Just simply disgusting!
Rant ended.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

So last week Lisa commented that Macy's was having great sale on mattresses, on which we could really stand to replace.

So Sunday we head over to Macy's to check them out. First, there really isn't any way to compare or price shop a mattress, even Consumer Reports doesn't really rate them.

What you won't find in Consumer Reports' article is ratings or recommendations. Even after three different types of exhaustive tests, editors found themselves no closer to determining the best mattress. Editors say that's because no matter how many thousands of people test mattresses, the results still wouldn't address your own particular comfort preferences. Many credible articles repeatedly give the advice that in order to select the mattress best for you, you will need to go into a store and test the mattress you like by actually lying on it.


So as soon as we start heading towards the mattress dept, Lisa and I both eye some great leather sofas! We speed over and with weighted intent slam our butts right into some super comfy (yet modern) soft leather!

Wow, this stuff is just what we've been looking for and really wanted last year when we ended up buying some EQ3 stuff instead. The EQ3 stuff while nice, just isn't cutting it since Lisa has allergies and it was strongly suggested that leather replace any cloth possible in the house.

Quickly Lisa and I take notice that the set is on sale and at about 1/3 off retail. I know, I know, that's a joke, but still it seemed like a fair price for the quality of the leather and the overall build.

So off to mattress hunting we go, but I have to admit my mind was still on all that awesome leather. So flop on this, flop on that, each mattress felt the same with those crazy 6" quilted pads that any mattress over $500 seems to have.

Speaking of $500.00, you really don't get squat for $500 any more. Those mattresses felt like a T-shirt tossed over a box of springs.

Then finally we both found one mattress that simply felt great. I was really thinking, this is it! Then the sticker price was viewed and I almost fainted. $1700.00!!! Yeah, I know to some it's no biggy, but it's a damn mattress! So my first thought was screw the mattress, let's buy some leather for that money. At least we get 2 or three pieces of furniture.

Lisa and I we beginning to waning about the mattress and then what sealed the fate of buying the mattress was the fact that the "test" mattress was doing exactly what our el-cheapo is doing, sagging on the sides and in the middle.

So I ask you, if a "test" mattress is already sagging, what's it gonna be like after 6mo of real use!?!

So we decide to give it some further thought and walked away, but only as far as the leather sofa's that we were sitting on earlier.

Long story short, as soon as we learned that the matching chair was also a recliner, we we sold. After about 30-40min of sitting on each piece, I was ready to leave before I bought.

Unsure of the brand name, Lisa immediately did some investigation and found out it's really some quality stuff, so within about 30min of being home, Lisa was on the phone with Macy's placing an order for our new Almafi Leather Living Room Furniture Collection. Yup, we did it.

So the question was, how do we pay for it? What about the 12mo old EQ3 stuff we already have?

Answer to both, sell it! Step in Craigslist. I was totally surprised, but rather than the usual tire kickers and low ballers, CL actually worked and w/in 24hr we had someone view it and Ok the buy, within 48hrs a deposit and 72 hrs cash in hand and couches gone!

So Stella, it was nice having you and no heart feelings, but on Monday we'll be welcoming Almafi home.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Recycling that old bike. Wow, the bikes folks are dragging in to Rowlett's so that they can leave the car parked!!
Today a man approaches the door with a dusty tangled pile of green tubes, hissing and scratching noises leaching everywhere as the frozen wheels drags its limp carcass of what used to be a tire across the surface of the ground. Seatless and handlebarless; the rusted chain resembles more of an sculpted art.

"Good morning" I said to the man as I opened the door for him, with a short smile he looks up and replies, "Hello", "I need to get this working again."

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Today made it day 7, one full week of work at Rowlett's Bikes and I have to say, time has flown by like a whirlwind.

So many things impressed or have struck me about this new job. The first and foremost is the sheer volume of work that actually comes through the doors. I'm busy from the second I walk in, until the second that I leave the door. In fact, I'm usually so busy that Fred usually has to remind me to grab lunch or that it's time to leave for the day.

I sold my first bike on my 3rd day and I have to admit that while I was waiting for that to happen, I was beginning to question if it would ever happen as others around me simply appeared to be rolling streams of bikes out of the door each day. This past Sat though, the flood walls opened and 6 ro 7 of the 15 we sold I wheeled out the door. This streak continued first thing Monday morning as I actually rolled one out by 10:00am,

Perhaps the most surprising part of the job is that closer to 75% of our total sales are coming from people looking to commute; either to & from everyday errands, to jobs, or both. IMO this is simply a wonderful transformation happening within the communities we live, now the interesting notes to take will be how local governments take to the new cyclists and how they will respond to the new needs of the traffic on the roads.

Will local governments adjust road structures to create more bike friendly roadways? We have plenty of roads in Richmond that parallel each other, so maybe some of the less travelled roads should be remarked and managed to allow for cyclists so that interactions with cars can be "limited" until a riders nears his/her destination.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Endearing memory

With a silent stir;
And a mindful blur;
Two ancient sprigs crossed one another's path.

And from there is was set;
Not in stone, but no less;
A union of earth's own kind.

Intertwined, they are strong;
The rustling of leaves, their own song;
This union of the Earth's own kind.

And over time they have remained;
Alone in spirit and souls the same;
Two ancient sprigs into one became.

Monday, June 30, 2008

I'm very excited to now be part of one of Richmond's finest and coolest bikes shops!
In about 2hrs I'l be walking through the doors of Rowlett's as a customer, but also as an employee and I can't wait.
I've got a lot to learn in terms of making myself "intimately" familiar with all the different bikes we carry, but my main focus for the sales floor is knowing the mountain bikes side of things. I'm stoked to being able to help get both my friends and soon to be friends on some great equipment!

And now worries, no commission sales here, so come on in and visit, stop in to buy some parts, a bike, etc.

And as our good friend CEd says, "'Nuf said!"

Friday, June 27, 2008

The last week has been nothing sort of a whirlwind!

Since the last blog:

I'm not much in the "wordy" blog ways, so here are the short versions of what's been going on this week.

On Tuesday we laid my Oma to rest. She looked so peaceful; so for her I am happy that she is in a better place free of suffering and pain. My mom and aunt are planning to fly to Germany to spread both her and her late husband's ashes. I think it's fitting that she gets to return home after 50yrs, but I admit that it'll be sad too.

I didn't mention last week, but a great opportunity came up also last Thursday. Shortly after receiving word of my Oma's decline, I really needed a way to release some energy, so I went for a ride. On that ride I came across Jared and Mike. Mike until yesterday was the goto guy for mountain bikes at Rowlett's, but he is now on the way to Cali. and wasn't having much success finding someone to take his place. Enter Jay!

After speaking with both Mike and Fred of Rowlett's, it I got the job and will be starting full-time as of Monday, June 30th!
I can't wait, more than selling I simply love helping to match up people with bikes based on fit, function, and form. It's an art to help get people on the right bike and I love just chatting up bikes too!

So if you read this, feel free to come in a see me, I can't wait to make my first sale and no worries folks, I'm not on commission!

Friday, June 20, 2008

It was only a few weeks ago that we as a family all gathered to celebrate my Oma's 88th birthday. While her age has been getting the best of her mind, on that day she was all together and full of joy and smiles. But only 12hrs later she suffered from a fall in the bathroom that left her with a fractured hip, eye socket, and finger. After a weeks stay in the hospital, she was back in the home but now with a 24hr a day nurse.

The pain was incredible for her and the pain alternate pain meds made an already exhausted mind more weary.
Then yesterday I received the call that she has taken a turn for the worst. Her breathing became very shallow and her blood pressure was almost non-existent.

It was only a matter of hours or days, so I made my business to get up to Fred. today. Upon arriving just about 9:20, I found my way to her room. As I approached the door opened and out hurried my aunt to the nurses station. My heart immediately sank, I just knew. Just as I approached the door my aunt turned and saw me and she gave me the nod. It seems that only 30 seconds earlier my grandmother had taken her last breath. We walked back in; followed by the nurse who had to check for a pulse.

There she laid just a fragile shell of who she was even only 2 weeks ago. A sense peace was in the room as she passed before being able to see just one my sunrise. At least she passed quietly and with family at her side.

Rest in peace Oma, I will miss your sassy wit and smile, but now you can join Opa, Werner, & Jason in a better place free of suffering from physical and mental aliments.

Monday, June 16, 2008

It's one thing to think your fat, it's another to even admit it on the conscious level, but it's completely degrading to see yourself as "that" person.

Yes, it happened to me this weekend. Lisa was snapping some photos of me just innocently sitting in a chair after a ride. Low and behold when the photos were imported, there it was in all it's splendor and glory.

Ugh! It was my spare tire!
This has got to go, hopefully this will be the motivation I need to loose some weight.

Here's the photo with the culprit circled in red, not that it needs it.
So how did you feel in a like situation?

Monday, June 09, 2008

28 days later...

Okay, you got me! It's been about a month since I last blogged and tons have happened, yet not much too report.

Essentially it went like this:
~ School ended and beer & wine poured fast and furious.
~ My birthday came and beer & wine poured fast and furious.
~ We've brewed 5 batches of beer over the last month during that time beer & wine poured fast and furious.
~ Virginia has been nothing short of amazing this year in terms of having real spring time in which we have hosted 3-4 times a week bbq's, fire pit fires, and of course beer & wine poured fast and furious.
~ We went to NJ & NYC for a few days last week in which Lisa and I walked & ate throughout our travels and and beer & wine poured fast and furious.

Now Va's summer heat and humidity has arrived and the beer & wine consumption will be replaced with a lot of good ole water in an attempt to just remain hydrated.

Up coming at weeks end we'll be heading to the mountains for a few days to enjoy some of way is Douthat State Park.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

I'll take that...

Half way through the semester and it was all looking pretty, A's and B's in all classes. Then came spring break and more finals only a day(s) later in each class. Why they do this I have no clue!

Either way, it's too late to drop a class and just enough time to really pull something out of your ass if you find yourself almost SOL.

My grades took a hit but I tried hard to right the ship and while I always think I could've tried harder, the result ended up like this.

It was down to the wire for 2 classes and imagine this, they both were heavy in math! I'm finding that it's not as hard as I once though, but my issue seems to be I wait a little too late to make it happen.

Hopefully I'll have learned my lesson for next fall.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Finals Week 1

Well at the end of week 1 and while I'm not sure of the grade on the final in DB Mgmt, the final grade was a 'B', so I'm OK with that, should've been an 'A' though. I got lazy somewhere along the semester.

Final 2 was much, much harder which was on Friday (5/2 8am). I was in there for the full 2.5hrs and while I was able to actually answer about 85% of the questions (containing formula's) without needing to rework stuff and make it fit one of the given answer choices, I'm still nervous! Usually I excel in MC type questions, especially when dealing with definition/terms, but this exam was exceptionally hard there too. While I only need a 'D' or better to pass, a 'B' would be nice but due to a horrible exam 2, I think that might be incredibly difficult to achieve.

2 more exams and time to find some summer work...

Friday, May 02, 2008

Even though finals start tomorrow, one professor found it easier to give us a final on the last day of class (IE past Monday!) Yippy, 1 down!

And another gave us an option to use our final project (also a group project) to stand up and present it to the class for 10min, by doing so we avert needing to take the final exam! Again, YIPPY!

Tomorrow is my actual first final of the year and it's in Finance Mgmt so I really gotta get some sleep ASAP as it starts at 8am. This one will be tough, but I've been studying and took some great notes. You know you're in trouble when you can have a full size 8x10 cheat sheet!

And next Friday is my logic exam which is cumulative!! OUCH!

Anyhow, I just thought I'd catch up on the blog and look forward riding tomorrow after the exam is over.

Also, here is a link to my latest beer brewed! IPA 08

Monday, April 14, 2008

NJ spring in Va.

Now this is what I'm talking about, a real spring time. One that actually leads the cold of winter into the warmth of summer. Having grown up in NJ, the weather that we are experiencing here in Va this year is much welcome change for me. I can't stand the On/Off of Va weather, were it's 30* today and 90* tomorrow with the humidity going through the roof!

There is also nothing like everything turning more and more green each day. The bareness of winter is something that I've always found depressing. While I am enjoying the green of the leaves, needless to say roads, sidewalks, and cars that are turning green from all the pollen is a little less than desirable.

But worst than pollen is the ever so much fun Poison Ivy! Lisa and I have both suffered for the past few years from Feb -> Dec. In fact, I've already had bout #1 just this past Feb. with poison and I'm sure it won't be the last time. Unlike some things in life, your body actually becomes more susceptible to poison ivy the more you get it.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Today I was the fortunate recipient of 3 separate flats within less than a 5 mile span. Every group ride has at least one of those "that guy" people and today I was him.
The first flat came soon after bombing a hill that was recently turned into a long rock garden. We folks on my wheel I decided go full bore and just before hitting the end of the garden the guy behind me yells out he flatted.

We made it down the trail about a 100' or so and pulled to the side so he could change it out. While doing so I sitting there just leaning on my bike and out of the blue we hear of loud hissing. I'm thinking, "dude that sucks" as Kenny was just installing the wheel back on his bike, but as luck would have it the sound was coming from my rear wheel!

Completely flat in seconds, the group of us were all perplexed by the sudden flat. Hey no problem I think, I just flipped the bike over, removed one side of the tire bead, pulled out the tube and located the hole. I tried to add a patch but when i tried to inflate the tube a tad but the air was rushing out too fast. I finally work it out and get the patch installed only to realize that I had a second snake bite. We get it fixed and 5 minutes later we are on our way again.

Well, for about 500', then flat again. This time I'm going for a new tube, I can feel the pressure building as our group of 10 is getting a little antsy. Hey no problem, I try to get them to continue and I'd catch up, but they were having no part of it. After checking the rim & tire and finding nothing, I install the tube and now the rim, only to be reminded that I'm running an ENO rear hub. What's that mean? Well the hub uses an eccentric axle to apply tension to the chain on my singlespeed conversion. The problem is that I forgot about this special hub and the wrench that it needs to be adjusted.

"Oh well I though", No this after 2 flats and with so much slack in the chain I decided to cut my losses and head home. I tell everyone to go ahead and as soon as they do I came up with a plan to get the bike operational again. While I'm working on it a few people pass by, all offering help. So thanks if you were one of those folks.

Tire inflated, wheel installed, now it's time to play catch up! They only have about 10min on me, so I was pressing to catch them. About 4 miles later into the ride, apparently only about 1 ml behind them I flat yet again!!

Now pissed, I resign myself to simply walking it home. Then after about a quarter mile I simply think FuckIt! I decide to ride the bike as is for the remaining 3 miles home and to do this I'll jump off the trail ASAP and take the road home.

Can this damage my rim? Sure, but by now I simply can care less. I was home in 20 min. and to my surprise the rim and even the tire we no worst for wear.

Monday, April 07, 2008

So today I am so excited to announce that I am 7 classes away from walking down the isle and graduating from full time student to full time employment!!

While my time in scholastics has seen it's fair share of success and failure and at times has reduced my self-worth fitting for a mouse. The growth and realizations that I have come to learn about the world and myself will have me feeling unbelievably proud when I am able to accept my diploma.

A personal goal, a personal triumph and all while being only the 2nd person in my family to complete college. But that is too far into the future and now I need to make sure I remain unwavered through what is bound to be a very trying next 12 months.

More to come on that last comment...

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Let's Go Caps!!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

While Lisa and I try hard to recycle any materials that the city will take, I've been thinking of this question lately. "How good is recycling?"

Don't get me wrong, I know it's good to recycle goods like plastics that will not biodegrade, but how about paper and wood?

My point is that by recycling stuff like paper and wood I know that we are "limiting" to some extent the amount of trees that we'll need to use to keep making more wood based products, but what about the effects of removing crucial organics needed in the landfills.

My thought is that by recycling too much of the organics that it may create a "super dump" of sorts. On that is twice(Okay, some % higher) as toxic as normal simply because of what is being buried is now more concentrated. If I am not seeming to make sense, I mean to be saying that if we have a normal amount of garbage that contains 10lbs of organics and 10lbs of plastics and recycle a higher majority of the organics, it will create a more concentration of polution.

Another confusion is which to buy, paper wrapped or recyclable paper wrapped goods. While I want to lesson the promotion of oil based products; air quality keeps becoming a larger concern so wanting to reduce the amount of paper wrapped products is important too. It's sometimes hard to know the lesser of the two evils.

We do try to buy products that are wrapped the least. Nothing bothers me more than having to go through 3 layers just to gain access to what I just purchased.

I'm also super bummed about Richmond's non recycling of #5 plastics. It seems that I would be recycling a good 100% more plastics if Ric. just went that route. And virtually nothing comes in glass these days, which maybe needs to change in the future. But then again, glass weighs much more than plastics and is more likely to break, so you'll have to pay higher costs for breakage loss and shipping weights through higher fuel consumption and bills.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Humane

Are we really as humane as we consider ourselves?

It's funny to me that the core word of humane is "human", yet we usually use this word in sentences referring to the treatment of wounded or caged animals & occasionally prisoners that are being refused 180 cable channels.


http://www.wordreference.com/definition/humane
humane
A adjective
1 humane
showing evidence of moral and intellectual advancement

2 humane
marked or motivated by concern with the alleviation of suffering

3 humanist, humanistic, humane
pertaining to or concerned with the humanities; "humanistic studies"; "a humane education"


But what ever happened to being humane for humans who are suffering?

In a very moving and sad turn of events, I bare witness to a family member suffer a up until the point of death just a few days ago. Diagnosed with only a few hours to live 2 weeks ago, she clung to life for another week and a half. In & out of consciousness, all the hospital could do it feed her plenty of morphine to make sure she was "comfortable" until she passed.

So while I am not trying to get into a religious debate, how is it that we have our sense of "decency" to lay to sleep a pet that is suffering, yet a family member or friend is honored by simply "keep them comfortable" until as we put it, "they choose to go."

We use terms and phrases like, "poor thing", "Little kitty was scared", "suffering", or "had no idea what was going on, so it was best to put him/her down."

Yet for humans, I guess we don't get "scared", or "suffer", or well, "we know what going on, so we should understand the idea of keep'm going as long as possible." I mean heck, we're being feed damn good meds right?

My point is that I NEVER want to have to experience what I have seen some have to endure prior to passing and I hope that someone would find it in their hearts to treat me with the same "humane" attitude that may keep me from suffering like they would a common pet.

** I want to stress that this topic is simply a thought based on acceptance in society and not a questioning of family values.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Reset the clock!

While most people were aiming to reset their clocks this past weekend, I was aiming to reset my internal clock and there is no better way than getting away!

Lisa and I headed to Douthat to celebrate the week's freedom from classes that so many refer to as "Spring-Break!" Unfortunately, since being at VCU, 1/2 of my professors each semester seem to find it fitting to give a butt load of homework or have a major exam the day that we return to class. This hardly creates the break that so many of us are dying for by mid-year.

Anyhow, Douthat seems to have a way of helping me restore all that's natural in life, like the ability to listen to your body instead of clocks and schedules to guide you through life. After only a few hours after arriving, I was feeling the positive effects of the mountains already.

Feelings of freedom from everyday crap like phones, TV, clocks, cell phones, computers, & internet were such a relief!! I will admit that there was a small issue of withdraw from the internet, but that was quickly over and done with before any severe shakes or cold sweats broke out.

The weekend gave rise to some interesting thoughts, like what it would be like to live in a "tribal" community, or be a loner in the wilderness. To wake and sleep on a whim, to gather food when needed, to just be able to walk into the woods and hike for the days adventure.

The longer I spend in wilderness, I can't help but to think how well mankind has screwed up mankind. While our intent was most likely good when developing a modern society that protects us from illness, famine, and the elements, we have also created a host of byproducts that not only can kill us faster, but also make our lives a lot less enjoyable. While most of us never take the time to consider it, we have constructed our lives in such a way that we are no different than a caged animal at a zoo.

Don't worry, I'm not about to grow out a beard and my hair, stop showering & start to chant, but there has to be a better way for humans to live their lives. One with a focus on a healthy balance of actually living and not being a drone that works on avg. 10hrs per day(includes travel and getting ready for work), watches TV for another 3 hrs a day on avg.

How can we take back what should be a natural given right, to enjoy the basics of life?

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

I finally got off my duff and sold off some of my bike frames that I've been talking about selling for I dunno, years now!

I guess I simply getting tired of having crap everywhere and it's not like the bills will pay themselves off, right?

So I sold two in less then 24hrs which was pretty exciting. My old Titus Switchblade and my spare Salsa El Mariachi both now reside in new homes and will be well ridden.

Of course, nothing works out that smoothly, right? About 5 days after I sent the Titus to Az, I got an email saying that the buyer took the bike to the LBS for some work and they spotted a crack in the chainstay. SHIT, that just sucks! I finally sell it and it comes back to bite me in the ass.

I was lucky that the buyer was really cool and because this was a complete overlook (honest mistake) on my part, we settled us splitting the cost to fix it, but with me paying a slightly larger share as the seller. I was very happy with that and so was he , even though we both had to spend more than we wanted too.

Now to right out some checks.

Some helpful hints when selling anything. TAKE PHOTOS OF EVERYTHING!
I always take digital photos of everything that I sell, tons of them from every angle.
I mean why not? It costs nothing and can save your ass. It did mine. One reason that the person was willing to accept my offer to split the cost of fixing the issue is that my shear effort that he said I made to cover all the bases convinced him that I was nothing short of being 100% honest.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Oh, Hello!

Ever have one of those moments where something just doesn't feel quite right?

Well, that's the feeling that I had as I was walking out the door to head to dinner on the 25th of Feb.

My eyes caught what was a synchroness harmony of headlight dancing down the pothole filled street known as Moody Ave. Like a scene from a movie they approached in a perfectly choreography, while my gut said "oh shit", my mind tried to convince itself that this could be something more innocent, more logical. Like a funeral precession from the corner church.

3 seconds later I learned that my gut was correct; I can now see that this was a convoy of minivans approaching and as they began so slow down as they approached my neighbors house (not quite in front of ours yet), side doors opened and men came rushing out from all sides wielding huge back shields labeled "Police".

At the moment we are standing on our sidewalk wondering, go back in? stay and watch? or go to dinner? Lisa asks with a soft & quivery voice to a group of men perched to launch out from the side of front van, "can we go?"

Someone looks over, but nothing is said as a group of 10-15 men run up the sidewalk across the street, as they make their way to the house in question, the group of police hiding behind the van next to us just out and storm the gate and porch of the house.

Lisa and I decide to jump into the car and get out of dodge. As we start to pull away, we only heard, "Open up, Police!", "Police!, Police!" and heard the ram as they banged in the door.

It was interesting to say the least, something Lisa and I fully expected to witness living in the fan with all the crap that always went on around us, but to see it here was a little different. We like everyone else knew that the the person was up to no good, but it was what it was and no one bothered each other, so there was almost like a "checks & balance" system installed on the block. Meaning, while you knew they were up to no good, so did everyone else and therefore nothing else that was "no good" would really happen in the area.

Anyhow, we came home around 10:30 that night to find a very quite street and as for house across the street, all the lights were on and a huge hole in their front door. ,but no one was home.

It's been about 2 weeks now and all is ubber quiet...

Monday, February 25, 2008

My action word for the day, well more or less for the way I will spend money in the future is Ethical consumerism.

Ethical consumerism per Wiki. is the buying things that are made ethically. Generally, this means without harm to or exploitation of humans, animals or the natural environment. This can take on the following forms:[1]
Positive buying — favoring ethical products, and businesses that operate on principles based primarily on benefit for the greater good rather than self-interest, allowing for business self-interest only for the perpetuation of doing general good outside of self.
Moral boycott — negative purchasing and company-based purchasing.

Seeing how so much of the corporate activity these days seems to be surrounded by UnEthical situations, I find that it's becoming increasingly more important for me to vote with my dollar &/OR my Legal Vote itself. Like the movements of change during the late 60's and 70's, I really think that we are going to see a major shakeup within our culture again within the next 5-10 years.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

It seems that my attempts to do more of everything this year are working in both directions so far.
While I am indeed doing more schoolwork, everything else is falling to the wayside.

You wanna know how bad programming is for you? Look at this pic after a few hours of programming.
Just look at those nasty ass bags under my eyes!! However, thanks to selling my other laptop and also so help from the ever giving mom, I am able to take photos like this one and type this blog on my new Apple MacBookPro! It's so freakn'n sexy. For a laptop anyway.

Oh come on now, an all aluminum chassis, Intel Duo Core 2, loads of ram, New OS X Leopard & XP Pro, life is good computer wise.

Also to suffer is my riding, I haven't seen my bike in weeks and to be honest, I think that just about any ride will simply kill me now. And, as luck would have it, every day that I make time to ride ends up being a rainy day or the day after. It's getting to the point where I am about to say F-it and find a place to ride anyway because my legs are starting to cramp a lot lately. They are just begging for some sort of exercise.

Hopefully soon...

Monday, February 04, 2008

The day after...

... my worst ride in years. For SuperBowl Sunday a local group of us were planning to make a 2nd Annual trip to Sherando Park for a 20 mile ride in the mountains.

As luck would have it ice and rain poured in abundance earlier in the week all over the state of Virginia and definitely at Sherando.

Sherando isn't a place that I take lightly when it comes to foul weather, it's well known to be a temper metal mountain and I've experienced 20+ degree differences riding there between the starting point to the East and top from the West with only 2000' of elevation change to boot.

So anyway, we all agreed to head East instead and ride some of the well draining Williamsburg area trails. Well, good thing for me.

Every pedal stroke of the 6 ml loop was shear hell. I don't think that I've ever suffered so much on a bike and it was a casual ride pace too.

I swear that this ride took more effort to keep going than the Xterra event that I raced last summer, and that was my fist Tri ever, and I didn't train for it!

By the trailhead I was ready to head to the car, by mile 1 I gave up a mid-pack position for last, by mile 2 I was ready to stop and sell my bikes off as soon as I got home, and by mile 3 I knew that I had 3 mls left since it's a out& back loop.

I kept thinking that I could sell off my bikes and buy one hell of a nice comfy couch, leather, recliner, maybe even with a fridge built in and holders for a cup and the remotes!

Today I feel a little different about selling everything for that dream couch, but luckily I didn't see a furniture store on the way home yesterday.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

When faced with riding or doing something indoors during the cold months, it appears Lisa and I like the warm indoors more.

So far this year of 2008, I've ridden my bike a whopping 3 times, maybe 4 and haven't been on it since classes began on the 14th.

So today the sun was shining and temps warmed a bit, but Lisa and I voted movie instead.

We headed out to see "Cloverfield. " I didn't have too much knowledge of the movie's premise, but it seemed to be like it would be entertaining enough, so I thought, "why not."

I think we made a good choice, it was pretty entertaining and exactly as someone in a review described. "Cloverfield does for green monsters what Blair Witch did for haunting movies."

While I must admit that the first 2-3 minutes of fumbling camera shots made me a little dizzy, once the movie got moving along that same camera work really grabbed you and brought you into the action.

The first 10-15min where a little tedious to get through (read slow) the rest was all action and scare!

IMO, definitely worth the $7.00 matinée price.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Stress Test

So far 2008 has been a test of the heart, physically and mentally.

During the past few weeks, I've been on pins & needles waiting for word as to my FinAid @ VCU, do I clear for it, or do I not? If I do, how much and when will it come? If I don't how will I make this semester work?

I've been trying to not think about it and focus on school work, but an impending total of close to $3700 for just classes & another $700 for books is a little much to have looming, especially when you still need to eat & keep a roof over your head.

Most days I literally felt like I was carrying a 300lb gorilla around. My back and neck felt as tight as leather drying in the desert's sun. Tension headaches seemed to rise and set with the sun, while never really completely diminishing.

While it's true that Lisa always has my back, it something that I have never come to rely on or expect. And even if we were married I would still feel this division of financial and personal responsibility. In fact, I simply didn't even want to talk about this until I knew one way or the other. I mean Lisa and I both knew what the possible outcomes would be, so we weren't going to be blindsided, so instead of taking about it for 6 weeks straight, I took to silence and tried to brunt the bulk of the worrying.

Well, it's catching up to me now. I am tired from morning 'til night, but when I try to sleep all I can do is lay awake hoping to doze off into a forgetful slumber.

I have recently found out that I did get approved and $$ is on the way and what a relief that was to hear. I'll be short compared to semesters of the past, but I'll be able to make it with a little effort and less spending.

I can honestly say that I took a leap of faith and landed on all fours! Something I rarely do in life. People always say that to succeed you must be willing to fail. I guess it took being backed in to a corner for me to have enough faith to say why not?
At least I didn't just completely cower and give up.

This was the closest thing I've ever done to placing a bet and I have to say that the rush when it came together was pretty intense.

Now to continue with the gaining momentum...

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Fat for life?

So it seems that every year I hope to loose a few more pounds, but every time a year goes by and not much has changed.

Perhaps January isn't the time of year to be measuring one's weight. Just after 2 major piehole stuffed holidays and cold weather mixed with short days make for a wonderful fat growing season.

Maybe that's it, instead of loosing fat, I should consider growing it. Would then the opposite happen and I might loose a few?

I complain, but really I'm not too sad about my weight. It's something that most might not think I really do control. By my age my father was moving in on 300+ lbs, so since I was a teenager I've always made sure not to just eat whatever came within arms length; and what does is usually done in moderation.

At 208 lbs today, I sadly wonder what I'd be if I did eat nothing but junk and fast foods. I often remind myself that despite my weight at this moment, I know it can be so much worst.

So hopefully I won't be fat for life, but only time will tell.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Change is needed.

For the longest time I've used the phrase, "When in doubt, bail out", but lately I'm thinking that is wrong.

Maybe it's too generic and leaves too much room open to quit when things look tough.

So now I think it's more like, "When in doubt, bail out; but once committed, stay strong to succeed!"

New Resolution(s)

More...

More time studying.
More time riding.
More time being productive.
More time saying, "I can, I can".

Less...

Less time wondering what I could be doing.
Less time watching TV.
Less time spending money I don't have to spend.
Less time saying, "I can't, I can't".