Friday, August 29, 2014

The Ice Bucket Challenge

I've seen a bunch of people take this challenge, but at the same time, I've seen a bunch of people trying to douse the whole thing with a cold wet blanket, saying 'just shut up and donate money' or 'look at all the water being wasted'.  That shit kinda pisses me off.  If everybody would 'just shut up and donate money', do you know what we get?  We get last year's results, whch frankly suck when compared to this year's.

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and why it works - I've seen several posts where people are wondering how a bunch of people pouring buckets of ice water over their heads can possibly help cure ALS. I'm here to help.

The actual act of pouring a bucket of ice water over your head does absolutely nothing. However, when you take that act, record it and put it on social media in a challenge to your friends, family and whatnot, it becomes a powerful tool. If you challenge others to do the same and/or donate money to ALS, it engages your social circle, putting something in their head that wouldn't normally be there. They in turn could ignore it, in which case, no harm done. They could, however, pour a bucket of ice water over their head and/or donate to ALS. If they pour a bucket of ice water over their head and post it to social media, the social circles expand and more people at least THINK about donating to a worthy cause. Some of those people, who wouldn't otherwise, actually do. Enough people do that it's spiking donations for ALS.

The numbers bear it out. Last year during this same period, the ALS Association's donations during the period of this Ice Bucket Challenge amounted to approximately 1.5 million dollars. Over the same period this year, over ten times that amount has been donated and it's climbing. So, people pouring ice water over their heads IS making a huge undeniable difference, whether they personally give money to the ALS Association, or manage to cajole others to do it. The water being 'wasted' is just a drop in the bucket.  People, who are posting video of themselves pouring buckets of ice water over their heads and not donating anything, are being criticized by judgemental assholes for getting to feel good about helping without actually donating to money the cause.  So what?!?  First of all, you're assuming they didn't donate money.  You don't know, nor is it any of your business, if they did or how much.  Good stuff is coming out of it.  If it's working, don't knock it.

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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Thank You For Your Service

"Thank you for your service."
I hear this more and more often these days, especially around Memorial Day and Veterans Day, and I'll admit it's gratifying. It's nice that people recognize, not only the sacrifice I made for our country, but that of so many more like me. Some were called to give more than others, but all stepped up and said they were willing to do whatever it took.
My issue is, how do you respond to that? I'm thankful that people recognize it, and I'm thankful more and more people appreciate veterans and their service to our country, so "thank you" seems appropriate, but just sounds wrong..
"Thank you for your service."
"Thank you."
See what I mean? How many thank you's can you fit in a conversation?
"You're welcome" seems grammatically correct, but doesn't work for me either.
"Thank you for your service."
"You're welcome."
It sounds like I'm taking credit for something far greater than me, if not downright smug. Perhaps I feel that way especially on Memorial Day, when some gave all, and I walked away relatively unscathed (yes, believe it or not, I was the way I am before the Navy got a hold of me). I don't know. It just doesn't sound right.
So I guess it's more of a poll question, especially for my veteran friends.
"Thank you for your service"
What do YOU say to that?

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Can't we all just get along?

"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."
~Albert Einstein

I understand the supreme court upheld Michigan's ban on Affirmative Action and justice Sonia Sotomayor is being lauded for her dissenting opinion. Allow me to respectfully disagree.
I won't debate whether or not there is racial inequality in our country. There is, and that's unacceptable. Here's the rub though. Affirmative Action has been the government's answer for OVER FIFTY YEARS. It was signed into law (through the infamous executive order) by JFK in 1961. You would think, if this really was an effective solution, it would have worked by now. But no. If you ask anyone who supports the policy, the answer is we still need it because we still have racial inequality. Has it really not dawned on these people that this isn't the answer? I don't dispute that we need an answer. We do, but we need a better answer. After FIFTY YEARS of failure, do we continue a program whose staunchest supporters admit hasn't worked? Can we maybe come to the conclusion that a government solution isn't the answer? Isn't this a prime example of our government sticking its nose in social engineering, an arena where its record is pretty much 0-fer? Can we now stop lazily handing the problem to a bunch of washed up trial lawyers in Washington and saying, "Here, you figure it out."? They have proven they can't.

If you hand anyone an opportunity they did not earn, you do two things.  You set them up to fail.  They can overcome that obstacle, but it exists nonetheless.  You also earn the ire of anyone who did earn the opportunity but has been denied because they were displaced (or those who also didn't earn the opportunity and were denied, but now look for something other than themselves to blame).  How far do you think that goes toward changing attitudes?
 I don't know the answer, but I'd be willing to guess for it to be truly successful, it lies in we the people, and not we the people's government. It's we the people's attitudes that need to change to combat the issue, so we the people need to own the issue. We the people need to get off our asses and figure it out, and stop expecting congress to do it for us.  More effective mentoring programs, both for young people and their parents, would be a start, combating an attitude that says some goals are unreachable and providing paths to legitimate success through real achievement as opposed to positive discrimination. That's not a solution, but it's a start, and it's an improvement over anything that's going to be legislated. People who know more about racism and its causes might come up with better solutions, but those people aren't in congress.

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Obamacare - there has to be a better way

"Seeking to regroup from his health care law's disastrous rollout, President Barack Obama on Tuesday insisted that the sweeping overhaul is working and warned Republican critics that he would fight any efforts to strip away its protections."

"Protections."  That's what he's calling it.  While most of the news stories involving the great lie that went "If you like your health care, you can keep it." concentrate on those who lost their coverage because it didn't measure up to what the government thinks we all need, my personal case is just the opposite.

There's this nifty thing in the Affordable Care Act called the Cadillac Excise Tax.  It says, if your employer offers you what they deem is a Cadillac policy, the government is going to tax them for 40% of the value of the plan.  What that means is, if your employer offers a plan that Obama thinks is too good for you, that's not fair to everyone else.  To stop that, he's going to penalize them for that and make them pay this tax.  We didn't know anything about this tax until the wife's employer, which happens to be a hospital, informed their employees that the plan they had was one considered too good for Americans, and they were being forced to cease and desist.  Well, that's not entirely true.  They were ordered to stop allowing the plan or be taxed at such a rate that making that plan viable anymore wasn't an affordable option.  The result of all this is we now get to pay more for less coverage.  Yes, Nancy Pelosi, I'm so gald you passed it so we could find out this piece of crap was in it.

Next it'll be, you make more money than we think you need, so we're going to tax you more so we lower that bar.  Hello Karl Marx and "From each according to their ability.  To each according to their need."  We saw in the old Soviet Union how that works.  If you don't give people some incentive to excel, they don't.

We never realized our health care plan was all that.  We did know the wife's plan was better than mine, which is why we always use hers.  We just chalked it up to the fact that a hospital was offering it, like I get other perqs for my job, better health care would make sense to be one of hers.

Instead, we're finding out it's a "Cadillac" plan, so we can't have it anymore.  The bad news - our health care budget just got "Obamacare"d.  The good news - if I get pregnant, I'm covered now, where I wasn't before.

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Friday, October 11, 2013

in the pink

It's Breast Cancer Awareness month, so pink is showing up in a lot of places.  If you watch football on Sundays, you've seen it on shoes, gloves, towels, and even penalty flags (though I've been told that last one is going back to yellow to eliminate confusion). Pink is showing up a lot more in a lot of places.

On the heels of this month, actually in early November, there will be a local fundraiser for breast cancer research.  A local retired newscaster Donna Deegan, has beat breast cancer three times.  She's a runner, and several years ago started a marathon to raise money for breast cancer research being done at the Mayo Clinic.  That thing has grown and now, 26.2 with Donna is a nationally known marathon that runners travel to J'ville for each February.  Thousands of runners participate.

About 5 years ago, she started a different event in November to involve bicyclists, called Bike 26.2 with Donna.  It  It started as a 26.2 mile ride.  After the first year, she realized 26.2 miles on a bike really isn't all that for cyclists.  Anyone who rides regularly can do that without breaking much of a sweat, especially in November.  The next year there was a 52 mile option, lapping the 26.2 mile route twice.  Last year the 52 mile route was completely different from the 26 mile route and this year a 110 mile trip has been added, along with the shorter options.  Most of the fundraising is done though registration fees.  It costs $110 to do the 110 mile ride.  You do, however, have the option of asking friends/neighbors/family to sponsor you to raise more money for the cause.

I started a fundraising page and it just sat there, so I let people at work know I was doing the ride to benefit breast cancer research.  The silence was deafening.  No reaction at all.  I told them I would ride 110 miles for the cause.  Some stifled a yawn.  Some didn't bother to stifle  it.  I think I could say 1000 miles and it wouldn't faze them, even though there's no way I could do that in a day.  They know I ride a lot, and if I mentioned any distance, it would go in one ear and out the other.  I stepped up my game and told them, IF they manage to raise a thousand dollars, I'd do the 110 miles in a pink tutu.  All of a sudden there was movement.  Lumberyard John in a pink tutu?  SURE!  We'll chip in to see THAT!  It's not showing up on the fundraising page yet, but one person has started a cash collection in our department, and they stand a fair chance of meeting the goal.  Big winner, even if they don't get there, will be funding for cancer research.

Full disclosure.  The folks at work have never seen this ride (or for that matter I'm guessing, any other breast cancer fundraising event), and this works in my favor.  People dress up in all manner of pink-ness for the occasion.  I belong to a bicycle club that participates in this ride.  The week before, the women of the club get together and make a bunch of pink tutus and everyone in the club wears one.  I wore one last year.  I will this year regardless of the money raised.  That's just a bonus.  Many people of both sexes wear pink bras over their bike jerseys.  There are lots of pink feather boas and pink sunglasses, and pink....just about everything.  By comparison, I'll actually be conservatively attired.  The fact that I'm wearing a pink tutu not only isn't outlandish, it's pretty much expected.  What the work folks don't know not only won't hurt them, but will actually do some good.  Yes, I'm exploiting their ignorance, and their perception that I will be somehow disparaged if I wear a pink tutu, but I'm pretty proud of it.


Thursday, May 02, 2013

lead, follow, or get out of the way

This post comes out of my frustration with the White House on several levels.

We'll start with the health care panecea.  The wife works in health care, and at the moment, I feel a bit lucky to still be able to say that.  The hospital she works for recently went through what it supposedly the first wave of job evaluations, stemming from their evaluation of what Obamacare means to them financially.  I have heard people say that Obamacare means more jobs in the health care industry because more people will have access to it.  Well, I'm here to tell you, where the rubber meets the road, that's not happening.  This hospital, one of three in the country in an organization named after a food on the condiment aisle at your local grocer, has determined that they can't afford Obamacare as they have analyzed it, and jobs have to be cut.  They released several employees and gave others the option of finding another job in the organization in the next 6 months.  If they are unsuccessful, they too will be gone.  Some were allowed to keep their job and absorb the workload.  If that can be called lucky, the wife is.  She's hopelessly behind though, because she was already busy and now gets to absorb the work of two others that were let go.  She's now looking for something else, because of her frustration in being unable to keep up with everything expected of her.  The best part - that's only the first wave of cuts.  More are coming.  Oh, but everyone has the right to quality health care.  Sure they do.  The question is, what country are we going to have to travel to, to find it?

Next, and bigger, is the absolute lack of leadership being displayed by this president, especially with the whole sequestration deal.  I get that you're liberal and have an agenda, but that isn't my beef.  It's the gridlock.  Sequestration was designed (by the president, I might add) to be so insanely terrible that nobody in their right mind would actually let it happen.  Yet, here we are.  You have idiots on both sides of the aisle in government that are sitting on their asses and not budging on their positions.  The president is supposed to DO something about that, and doing something doesn't consist of joining the idiots on one side or the other and complaining that he can't do anything because the other side won't help.  We have plenty of idiots in congress for that.  He can't be one of them.  He has to find some compromise position that works.  I'm so tired of the 'I can't because they won't..." excuse.  If you can't, why did you ask for the job?  TWICE??  Let someone in there who can, or at the very least, if you're admitting failure, let someone else try.  Heck, let Joe try.  I'd even be willing to let Hillary give it a shot.  I may not like everything that gets done, but maybe something more than excuses will come out of Washington.  Someone has to be able to lock the idiots in a room and work with both sides to come up with something workable, and NOT sit with the idiots on one side and say THEY won't budge.  If you're president, there is no THEY in your government.  You don't get that luxury.  You own it.  All of it.  None of the idiots are a THEY.  They're all part of WE, and WE need to get things done.  Your JOB is to make that happen.  Please start doing it.


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

the transition is complete

I'm not sure exactly when it happened, but this weekend, I realized (or maybe confessed) that it did.

In the spring of 2007, I started bicycling to stay in shape, and I set a goal for myself.  I wanted to complete the local Bike MS ride that September - a two day 150 mile trip from St. Augustine to Daytona Beach and back.  I didn't know if I could do it, but I was damn sure going to try.  I had a road bike I bought in 1984 and rode back then.  The plan was to dust that baby off and go for it.

I bought the spandex clothes that made me look fatter than I thought I deserved to look, and pretty much fit in with the crowd.  I was all kinds of proud of myself for actually being able to ride in one of those lines of cyclists and kind of know what I was doing.

By May of that year, I was riding every weekend and decided I needed a new bike.  A few years later my son grew into that bike and I bought a newer bike.

All through that though, especially in the winters, I'd see people out riding when it was damn cold out.  They'd have special clothes for that and I'd think, "What flipping idiots!  It's cold out there.  Couldn't you find something else to do so you aren't freezing your ass off on a bike?  I'll never be one of THOSE fanatics."

Well, I bought the newer bike in April of 2010 and it's now getting close to its 9000th mile.  I'm not sure exactly where it is, but it's over 8800 miles.  It got over its 8800th mile this weekend, when it was 40-something degrees out and I was on my bike, being one of THOSE people.  I'm not sure when I became one of THOSE people, but riding up A1A from St. Augustine to Ponte Vedra Beach into a 20 mile an hour headwind in the cold in a line with other people I used to consider fanatics, it hit me.  I've definitely become one.


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

tattooed love boys

I'm not a tattoo fan.  I'm fairly apathetic about them.  If that's what you want to do to yourself, fine, but I have no desire to permanently mark myself with anything.  Whether it's 'art' or not is debatable, but really, 'art' is in the eye of the beholder.  Whether it's attractive or not, again, in the eye of the beholder.  I guess I just prefer flesh tones.

Nobody in my immediate family has ever had a tattoo, at least that I know of.  None of my siblings have any. None of the wife's siblings have any.  Two of our nieces do - my brother in law's daughter has a small one, and my brother's long lost and now found daughter is at least twenty percent covered in them.

Today, the youngster is getting one (a cross, on his upper arm) and I'm not happy about it.  I know some of that is my personal bias.  I grew up in a world where tattoos were something drunk sailors surprised themselves with the next morning after an episode in the dirty back rooms of bars in Toulon, France.  I know it's way different now.  I still don't like the idea of permanently marking yourself up.  I never cared if other people choose to do that, but I don't want it for me, and I'd prefer my son feel the same way, but he doesn't.  I know how the professional world looks at people with tattoos.  I know they are way more acceptable with younger people now, but still, if you want to be a barista at Starbucks, fine.  If you have dreams of 6 figure salaries in the professional world, at least in the one I live in, don't go there.  Sure, you can put it where it won't be seen, but then, what's the point?  It's an instant check in the minus column.  Fair or not, that's how it is.  I don't like the idea of him saddling himself with an instant handicap in his looming career hunt.

Yes, he's doing it over my very vocal objections.  Yes, I'll get over it.  Yes, I did what I now consider very stupid things when I was young, sometimes over the very vocal objections of my parents as well, although none of them were quite this permanent (and therein lies my biggest objection...the permanence.  If you could do tattoos on an annual subscription basis, where once you tire of them you just stop paying and it disappears, I'd be much better with it).  No, it won't make me love him any less.  I just wish he wouldn't...


Thursday, November 15, 2012

The fall bike season slowly comes to a close

Some posts come out of a need to say something.  In fact most do.  This one though, is more of a..."I'm still alive and kicking" thing.  Nothing's really new except the Presidential election results and I'd rather not go there..  I'd kind-of like the President to define the word "Forward" for me, because it was his election slogan and nothing in his performance to this point looked anything like how I define the word.  I'm thinking he's not going to comply with my request, so I'm letting all that go.  When life hands you lemons, grab the tequila and salt...and just deal.

The last official fairly large local charity ride for this year came and went last weekend - Bike 26.2 with Donna. Donna Deegan was a local newscaster (she 'retired' to focus on her charity - the Donna Foundation) who is a 3 time breast cancer survivor. I did the ride as part of the North Florida Bike Club team, a group I started riding with in April. the ladies of the club made pink tutus for everyone to wear for the ride and while I'm not really the tutu type, it just sort of fit the day. When I rode up to the bunch of them, a woman declared "You need a tutu!" and it was all over.

That came after the 6th annual Bike MS weekend.  It's not their 6th annual, but it is mine.  I've found that over the years, while my enthusiasm hasn't waned all that much, that of my contributing sponsors has, which is understandable.  The first year there was a huge curiosity factor.  Most of my relatives questioned my ability to finish 150 miles on a bike over a weekend.  Now, having successfully done it a few times, they've come to view it as routine...easy for them to say.

So given all this, you could assume I've been spending a lot of time on the bike and you'd be right - so much so that I've started saddle shopping.  I boght my current (and probably last) road bike in April of 2010, and it now has a bit over 8,000 miles on it.  After the Donna ride, as I was wiping the road grime off it, I realized my current saddle is getting awfully worn.  The leather is starting to peel and pull away from the metal, so it's looking like time for a replacement, which is new for me.  I've never worn out a bike seat before, but hey, there's a first time for everything.
I might also have to actually buy some cold weather bike riding clothing.  In the past I just refused to get out there if the temp was under 50°, mostly because it doesn't get that cold here too often, but now I'm getting less willing to buy that excuse.  Maybe I'll have to ask Santa for some gear.
More TV season than bike season:
Best show currently on TV: Big Bang Theory
Second best show currently on TV: Duck Dynasty


Monday, September 17, 2012

Expectations? What expectations?

For several years now, being a Jacksonville Jaguars fan has been difficult.  It's been especially difficult if you buy season tickets and go to the games.  The easiest answer for why is...we have SO sucked.  Yet I buy tickets, every year with a sense of optimism.  It's not only that.  I feel a little bit of civic responsibility.  Having the team here does a lot for the city, and if we don't support them, they'll go elsewhere.  I can afford to support them and want to, but that's a very small part of the equation.

I enjoy the game day experience.  I enjoy seeing the people I've grown to know that sit around us at games.  I enjoy the roller coaster of emotion that comes with being there, and sharing it with them.  I really enjoy it when we win.  Usually, even in a loss, we can find hope for next week, and we just hope it doesn't happen all that often.

For several years now, though, that hasn't been the case...the winning part.  It's like I keep handing them my money and coming to support the team and I get nothing but disappointment in return.  It's a bit like paying taxes.  This year appeared to be different.  The preseason looked promising.  Last week the team started the season with a loss, but looked like they had taken steps forward.  They gave me hope for a decent season.  They were progressing.  All that came crashing down yesterday.  The Jacksonville Jaguars looked as inept as I have ever seen them, and I've been there, in those same seats, since 1995, when the team made its debut.  I mean ever.  That was right there with the first season, when the Detroit Lions actually took a knee to run the clock down so they wouldn't run the score up anymore.  I had some expectations for this season, but after yesterday....sorry, I just needed to vent a bit.


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Penn State - haters gonna hate

Watching the news tonight, I listened to some woman comment about removing the Joe Paterno statue at Penn State, and she said, "They're letting the haters make all the decisions."

Let me help with that. I spent some of my youth (about 10 years) in Pennsylvania, but I never grew to love or hate Penn State. I really just never cared much either way. I admired what Joe Paterno stood for, or what I thought he stood for, but that's about it. I don't hate Penn State. Nor do I have a love that blinds reason. I DO hate child abuse. I hate an attitude that knew it was happening and kept silent about it for fear it may stain a school's reputation. I hate that this was allowed to continue, day after day, year after year in silence, by a man who prided himself on football player graduation rates and contributions to a school. I don't hate the school. I don't hate the man. I hate what he did. I hate that he ruined his reputation, because America needs heroes, and he could have been one. He's not. It wasn't one decision. He made that same decision every damn day, and allowed it to continue every damn day. I hate that. If that makes me a hater, then OK. The haters NEED to be making the decisions.


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Obamanomics. Didn't work then. Doesn't work now. Will kick in...when?

OK, I'm frustrated.

I'm frustrated by a President who keeps saying he can fix the economy, but hasn't.  I'm frustrated with a President who says, "I'm doing everything I can and it's not my fault.  It's Bush's fault.  It's the Republicans' fault.  It's all someone elses fault."  I'm sorry, but after three and a half years of it being your show, it is your fault.  If you've been "doing everything I can" for three and a half years and the result is nothing, you need to change "everything I can",'s not working.

I don't know if Romney's a better answer.  All I know is you aren't one at all.  Please, don't give me this "the Republicans have my hands tied" crap.  If that's the case, explain health care.  You got that passed and not a single republican managed to stop you, and they tried...hard.  I have neighbors in forclosure.  I have one that has twins in their early twenties.  Both moved out and had decent jobs.  Now their both living back at home, one with her husband, because they're unemployed..but on the good side, they've got health care. For dinner tonight, they're having health care...medium rare.  Others are jobless and homeless, but they've got a health care over their heads.  Thank God for that!  The buzz word now is "insourcing".  Where's that been the last three and a half years?  Is that something new we made up because we want to attack Romney, painting him as someone who will do more "outsourcing"?  If it's not new, how's that been working?  I'm looking for results, and I'm not seeing a whole lot.

My issue is when you're arrogant enough to think you're doing it all right, and it's always someone elses fault, but it isn't working, you don't see a reason to change.  Everyone else needs to change.  You, after all, have all the answers.  After three and a half years of not getting better and you're the head guy, I think it's time to reassess.  The worst is...I think he might get another 4 years. That's another 4 years of ineffectiveness and excuses, and staying right where we are economically.  Economists are saying the economy will still be in the tank until 2016.  Is that because they're predicting another 4 years of Obama?  I'll be needing lots of that health care crap.


Tuesday, May 08, 2012

the need to know...or not

There's a lot of stuff out there in the information age that's considered too much.  The only thing is, most of the time I hear "TMI", it's relegated to personal issues or things that conjure up mental pictures I could really do without.  While I agree with most of those, there are some things outside that realm that really fit the category.

One example of things I could really live without knowing is the number of days Kim Kardashian was in a state she referred to as marriage.  Actually, anything involving the name Kardashian fits the bill.

On a more important topic though, is anything involving how we thwart a terrorist.  Why does the news media insist on telling us how we managed to stop some terror threat?  Why can't we just let the world know we stopped it, and leave it at that?  I take for example, the recent successful thwarting of some new and improved underwear bomb in Yemen, that targeted a flight bound for the United States.

The news media is quick to tell us that somehow the CIA infiltrated a terrorist cell involved in the plot and we knew all about it before the attempt started.  Why do we need to know that?  Couldn't they just leave the details out?  Couldn't we leave the assholes guessing what they did wrong?  Now they know.  Now some poor guy got exposed as an informant.  Now he has to disappear.  Now they know the technology still has a chance if everyone keeps their mouth shut.  Wouldn't it be better if they were guessing about how detectable the bomb was?  Wouldn't it be better if they then wasted time/money trying to find a different way to get the bomb past security, not knowing that the current way probably works just fine?  I'd be just as happy just knowing the whole thing was stopped, without any idea how.


Monday, April 09, 2012

and the beat goes on

The world as I know it is changing...rapidly, and pretty much all of it has to do with the youngster.

His seasonal job disappeared with the Christmas season.  We hoped it wouldn't, but so it goes.  In the end, that part may be for the better.  He was unemployed for a few months, but now has two part time jobs.  They're both in essentially the same place, but different areas of the same place.  They aren't supposed to have people working in both.  They told him he had to choose.  One job requires very little effort, but also has less hours to offer.  The other requires him actually doing work, and offers more opportunity to make money.  He was weighing his options when they decided to make an exception for him and let him do both.  Since his old employer has been in the news for financial difficulties and shutting down stores, he may be in a better place now.

The bigger, well, adjustment, is his love life.  He has a girlfriend now.  She's in college, but not the same one he's enrolled in.  She's a year older than him and lives in an apartment with 2 roommmates.  Well, you can imagine where the youngster spends the vast majority of his time.  I can't fault him for that.  If I was him, I'd be doing the same.  If he had gone away to college, he'd be doing the same thing.  I'd just be more blissfully ignorant about it all.  Up until this weekend though, he always got back home to go to sleep, or spent the night at a friend's house....a male friend's house.  This weekend though, we finally crossed that elephant in the room boundary.

She lives closer to his place of employment than we do, and he was working Saturday, and very early on Sunday.  He thought it'd be much more convenient if he just spent the night at her place.  He'd get more rest that way.  Uhhhhh, yeah right.  What do we say though?  He's old enough to move out if he choses to.  Again, if he had gone away to school, he'd be doing the same thing.  We just wouldn't know.  So I just tell him to be careful.  Make sure they're being smart about whatever they might be doing.  As for the extra rest part, he came home from work yesterday, ate dinner, and declared he was tired and going to 8:00.

It's not really that I want to stop him.  I'm not sure what I want.  It's all part of growing up, but I guess he's just doing that too fast for my liking. It's just strange, seeing the kid I was watching cartoons with yesterday, being somewhat open about the fact that he and his girlfriend are horizontally engaged..


Thursday, February 23, 2012

What a Croc

There are some very polarizing topics out there.  Some I get.  I understand abortion is a polarizing issue.  I believe we're killing kids, and no matter how many 'yeah, but's you put on that, it's still murder and it's wrong.  Other people see it completely different and we're not changing each other's minds.

Some I don't get.  The first is the popular sports topic of the 2011 NFL season, Timmy Tebow.  It seems everyone either loves or hates, or hates and actively mocks the guy.  I'm fairly apathetic.  I like him.  I think he's a good guy and a great role model for kids.  He's got a great competitive attitude and is a pretty humble man.  He's certainly no diva, which we see way too much of in professional sports.  As an NFL quarterback, I don't think he's all that good, but sure, he could get better.  I suppose he could be very good.  I was relieved when the Jaguars didn't take him in the draft, despite a ton of pressure from the local fan base, because he's a local kid.  I think there are better quarterbacks out there to be had.  Gator fans are STILL upset that we didn't draft him, and would love to see the Jaguars trade whatever it takes to get him here.  Then there's the haters.  A lot of that comes from his very open Christianity.  It's very genuine (as opposed to an act), but a lot of people are put off by it.  Others think he got handed a starting job he didn't deserve because of hype, but once he had the job, his team started winning - granted, with a bit of luck, but it happened.  I don't get either extreme.

The next I don't get is crocs.  They are those plastic shoes with the holes in them.  I own a pair.  They don't get seen a lot, because I don't wear them often.  About the only time I do is when I'm home and barefoot, and I need to go outside for a minute, like to walk the dog.  Instead of getting some shoes and socks, I'll slip those things on, walk the dog  and take 'em off.  I don't think they're all that comfortable, like some proponents say.  They're convenient, like flip flops but with less flipping and flopping and slapping and all that mess.  I don't wear them out in public, like to a store, restaurant, or church, but I see them there, and just sorta shrug.  Not for me, but, OK..  On the other hand, I can't see the side that says, they're never OK, andd how can people think they are?  What surprises me is that I hear that a lot, and in a very passionate way.  Who really cares?


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Me and the Weinermobile

That's a lie.  It can get better than this, but this ain't bad - hanging out at the Winn  Dixie Jacksonville Open at the turn, where the Oscar Mayer Weinermobile is on display today.


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

just an update

Another year. Another 170+ miles. This is the first time I paid attention to the ride time. According to the little odometer thingie on my bike, I spent a total of 9 hours, 22 minutes and 51 seconds on the bike over the weekend, getting to Daytona Beach and back.
The trip down was wonderful. The weather was fairly cool and sunny. Not even a hint of rain. The wind was fairly strong out of the north, so it was a tailwind most of the way.
The trip home was almost as nice. The wind was still out of the north, but not as strong, so while it was a headwind, it could have been worse.
I have to admit, this has become a weekend I seriously look forward to. It's hard. It's something you have to train for. Doing the ride is a challenge and sometimes, it really hurts (especially in the thigh and butt area). Still, the comraderie along the ride, and knowing you're doing something really good make the pain more bearable. The atmosphere is more party and pride than pain.
Other good news - the youngster has a real job. It's seasonal. He's been hired by Best Buy, part time, for the holiday season. He's hoping (and so am I) that if he does a really good job and impresses a few people, they'll keep him around. We'll see.
On the wife/cancer front, no news is good news. So far followups haven't revealed any new concerns, so we're moving forward with fingers crossed.
Hope everyone/anyone out there is doing well. I'll say more when I think I have more to say.


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

You're waiting for government to raise your taxes to do something good? Seriously?

Dear Doug Edwards, former Google Director of Consumer Marketing who asked Obama to raise his taxes - Dude, be proactive. Why wait for an inefficient government who doesn't have a clue what to do with your money? Have you not seen these people in action...or inaction as the case may be?  You want to help the homeless? Grab a hammer and help Habitat for Humanity build houses. Donate money to them for materials. You want to help medical research for curing cancer, multiple sclerosis, muscular distrophy, any number of diseases? There are plenty of charities for that. Write checks. You want to help fund education? There are plenty of after school programs and mentoring programs crying for your help. Stop crying to Obama to raise your taxes, waiting for a government that can't get out of its own way and get involved.  You don't need them.  Hell, you really don't even WANT them.  Get yourself busy.


Tuesday, September 06, 2011

early morning update

There's something eerie about being at work early, before anyone else gets here. I have to get some stuff done on the big computer while nobody else is on it, so now's a good time to do that. Once I set it all in motion though, there's not much to do except monitor it, and make sure it's all doing what it's supposed to do, and fixing it if it doesn't.
I figured...good a time as any to do something I haven't in a while - update this place.
First, the wife's condition is good, we think. She's got to do checkups with her doctor, but we're thinking things are looking a whole lot better. She felt good enough to road trip to Pennsylvania the last part of last month/first part of this month.
The trip to Pennsylvania was fun. Spent a few days around Harrisburg, did Hershey Park, and rode bikes with an old friend I hadn't seen in 32 years around Elizabethtown. Then we went to Philly. The youngster had never been to center city to see all the historical stuff - the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, etc., so we enlisted the help of my siblings as tour guides for trains and how to get around. We did center city one day, and they indulged me on another to go tour the old alma mater. Villanova still has all the buildings that were there when I was a student, but there's a whole lot more now. The place has grown a lot. It was great to spend some time with the family. Trips like that make me wish we all lived closer, but I'm not moving north and they aren't moving south, much for that.
They day after we got back, we lost our dog. A neighbor was keeping her while we were gone, and when we got back, she asked if the dog always breathes really heavy, because she had been the last few days. We said no, and thought after a few days back home, she'd be fine. Well, the next day she was still doing it, so the wife and youngster took her to the vet. While there, she had heart failure and died. The youngster took it really hard. He cried for most of the day...literally. And I mean literally. He didn't stop. We ended up going to the animal shelter and getting another one. It is by no means a replacement, but it is helping deal with the loss, and so far he's a pretty cool little dog. He's very different from our old dog, but he's a keeper.
Now, I'm just making sure I'm ready for this year's MS ride. It'll be my fifth, which is a bit hard for me to believe. To think this all started with me wanting to work off some chubbiness. Four and a half years later, I've turned into a bike fanatic. Of course, I don't see myself as a fanatic. When I talk about it with others though, especially those that don't ride at all, they let me know I am. When you casually talk about going out in the morning for 50 miles, people look at you funny.
The youngster started college last week. Amazing when I think about it, and yet not really. I have to qualify the statement a little. Anyone who read here through the years knows he has, and still does struggle with ADD. When he graduated from high school, I wanted to see the diploma to be sure it really happened. His test scores weren't good enough to get into most schools, so he's at the community college and taking remedial math, english and writing classes. Still, I think he'll be OK in the end. He's actually doing well, so far (I mean, it's only been a week) and even helping some of the other students (and by students I mean girls....cute girls) with homework. We'll see.


Thursday, June 30, 2011

moving along

Surgery was Tuesday, and it was an extremely long day. It wasn't long because of what we had to do. There were complications with the procedure in the operating room before the wife got there, so we had to wait.

Then there was a longer than normal wait (if there is a "normal" wait) in recovery because her oxygen level kept dropping and blood pressure kept rising. For a while we thought they may insist on keeping her overnight. All in all, we got there at around 9:30 a.m. and left around 8:45 p.m.

After it's all said and done and it's been a day at home with some perspective, she's doing well. Still home and resting on pain meds, but she's up and around. The doctor said he is pretty sure they got it all, but she'll have follow up visits to check. All we can do now is wait and see....and start smiling and enjoying life again, because worrying gets you nowhere.