Archive for July, 2010

Lael and I decided not to run the Sprint For the Spill 10k this morning as we originally planned.  One, this race came at an awkward time on our half-marathon training schedule.  We had a planned week off from our long weekend run scheduled for next week, and didn’t want to go shorter than planned this week.  So we were going to run an extra 3 miles either before the race or after the race anyway.  Then there is the fact that Alabama is hot.  Really hot.  The race started at 8 am, which means a lot of our run would include the bonus of the sun beating down on us.  At least at 5:30 am, the weather is almost reasonable (almost).  So it didn’t really make a whole lot of sense to run a race in the heat, but not really race since we are training, and pay for the privilege.  But I figure what the heck, I will blog a progress report anyway!

You know, it’s a funny thing.  I always hear how unhealthy Birmingham is supposed to be.  But we get up, run at an ungodly hour in the morning, and there are literally dozens and dozens of people out on the trail running, walking, and cycling.  And the cool thing, it’s not just young uber-athletes.  It is a highly diverse demographic out there.  Young people, middle-aged people, old people.  Men and women, boys and girls.  White people, black people, Asian people.  It really shows that if you build and create places for people to go to have a more active lifestyle, people WILL use them!  We are really fortunate that many communities in this area have realized the value of such things and have made the investments (no small feat in Alabama, considering the general attitude is that nobody wants to pay taxes and nobody wants to spend anything on anything).

Another thing that struck me this morning, I am so amazed at the marvel that is the human body.  I go 7.5 miles one week and don’t think I can go any farther.  The next week I ask my body to go 8, and it does.  But still, it doesn’t seem like I can go any further than that.  But here we are this week, I ask my body to go 9 miles, and it does once again.  Even more crazy, I go more miles and I go at a FASTER pace.  OK, maybe the lack of hills on today’s route helped, but still.  When I started to run a year ago, I would run for 1 minute and then walk 4.  And trust me, I could not wait for that minute to be over so I could walk again!  Now I running 100 to 110 minutes?  That’s insanity!  You can have your TiVo’s and iPad’s, but nobody is going to beat God’s creation!

I am feeling very, very confident that we are going to reach our half-marathon goal.  Training is right on track.  When we reach beautiful Apalachicola, Florida, we will be ready to run and have fun!  I am considering running a 5k next weekend on our “off” week.  My last 5k time has left a bad taste in my mouth.  Hey, after 9 miles, 3.1 miles is nothing, right?  Probably after that, we may do Race For The Cure.  But probably not so much racing as just participating since our company is involved with that.   Then it will be half-marathon time!  I can’t wait! 🙂

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Tennessee voters, I have found your version of Alvin Greene.  His name is Basil Marceaux, Sr.  Ironically, like Alvin Greene, he also has a military background.  I am sure he is well-intentioned and a nice guy.  But please do not vote for him for governor.  Oh, and while you are at it, don’t vote for him for U.S. House either.  Yes, he’s running for both.  But don’t just blindly take voting advice from me.  Here’s a video:

Yes, I have replayed it several times and he did say “I’m Basil Marceaux dot com”.  🙂

Still not convinced?  Here’s a link to his website:

http://politics.freesitenow.com/basilmarceauxforgovernor/

Some of his..er…platform:

VOTE FOR ME AND IF I WIN I WILL IMMUNE YOU FROM ALL STATE CRIMES FOR THE REST OF YOU LIFE!

OK, maybe if you’ve committed a state crime, or plan to, you should support this guy!

1. Can a higher court say no to 2nd traffic stops  And a county court say yes overruling the higher court, No they can not! But they everyday in Tennessee.Are you duly convicted? No I would take 12 stuns’ to protect a citizen . Would a lawyer?  No they will not! They do not even read Knowels vs. Iowa? Tenn vs. Pucket

Wow!  I don’t even know what that says.

3. I would like to update the monitory car insurance to match the federal insurance act where they say if you do not know the name and address of the person who will get the check when you pay you money to your agent it is gaming and we can not gamble in Tenn, right now we are gaming. My plan would lower car insurance by 45% . With this plan to follow federal act is too insure your our car and nobody else because the only name we will know who will get the check is ourselves who pay the money to agent. We have no insurable interest in any other person

Granted, it’s hard to read, but did he just compare having car insurance to gambling?

4. My friends a beer stores say they must check 200 D/L a day that 400 minutes a day per clerk which is over 6 hours at $ 7.00 a hour that $ 42.00, with it mandatory then we must pay them.

So you drink?  Never saw that coming!  I must say your beer store friends are very thorough if they are spending two minutes to check a driver’s license!

8. Education ,let us put phonics back in school if you can not read you can not do History, Math, English. And that where we are now. Let make it mandatory in high school to read the minutes to the U.S. Congress , the Congressional Globe the real history of the U.S

There isn’t ANY amount of phonics that is going to help somebody read your writings!

So that’s who to NOT vote for, you are going to have to figure out who to actually vote for on your own!  Oh, while you are at it, don’t vote for Marceaux’s son either, Basil Marceaux, Jr.  He is running for state representative, and let’s just say the apple doesn’t fall very far from the tree.  Here’s his website:

http://politics.freesitenow.com/basilmarceauxjr/

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OK, for goodness sake, can we all just recognize Andrew Breitbart as the fraud that he is?  Why oh why would the Obama adminstration let freakin’ Fox News (or any media outlet for that matter) push it around.  Really, after all the phony bologna with those supposed pimp videos and ACORN, you would think everyone would take a Breitbart/Fox News story with a grain of salt.  But instead everyone at the Obama administration just took it at face value.

In case you don’t know what I’m talking about, Breitbart started parading a video of Shirley Sherrod, the director of rural development for the U.S. Agriculture Department, appearing to show her making racist statements about a white farmer at a NAACP event.  Of course, it’s only a snippet of a larger speech (as a bonus, the video is literally 24 years old).  Good enough for Fox News, they take it and declare Sherrod, and by extension Obama, big ol’ racists!  The Obama adminstration, apparently believing folks like Bill O’Reilly and Laura Ingraham only have their best interests at heart, decide to force Sherrod’s resignation.

But a funny thing happened.  The NAACP had a crazy thought to post the WHOLE video.  And guess what?  The point of the story in context was the exact opposite of racist.  She helped that white farmer.  In fact, the white farmer’s wife is now on record saying that she considers Sherrod a “friend for life” and “worked tirelessly” to help them.  The White House:   Oops.  Yeah, sorry about that.  We took your job away for nothing.  Hmm, maybe we should reconsider letting Fox freakin’ News make our personnel decisions for us!

Hilariously, the same Fox News that criticized the Obama administration for hiring her and demanding her resignation turned right around and started criticizing the Obama administration for rushing to judgment and forcing that very same resignation that they were demanding in the first place.

Obama, let that be a lesson to you.  Fox News is not going to like you no matter what.  Stop trying to appease them.  After all, even they say “We Report, You Decide”.  Obama, you and the folks that work for you are the “you” in that equation, not Fox News!

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Memento, The Dark Knight, and now this.  OK, Christopher Nolan, you officially have yourself another fanboy!  Because Inception definitely brings the awesome!  I read somebody describe Nolan as doing a great job of introducing blockbuster elements into his films without sacrificing any of the film’s intelligence.  I think that’s a very good description of this film.  It has all the action, explosions, etc. that you expect to see in your typical Hollywood popcorn senseless fun flicks, but has a very clever story driving all the action.  The ending is one of those that will be discussed and debated all across the internet I’m sure.  This is one of those rare films that I am looking forward to seeing a second time to try to catch the stuff I missed on the first viewing!

I don’t want to give too much away, but here’s the basic premise of the film.  Corporations now have the technology to enter people’s subconscious when they are in a dream state.  Hired guns are used to take advantage of this technology to steal corporate secrets, which is called “extraction”.  But there is another idea, the idea that you can also plant an idea into the subconscious mind.  This is called “inception”, and if the protagonist can pull it off, he will get his life back.

If you haven’t watched this yet, then you need to go.  Meanwhile, I need to add Nolan’s other films to my Netflix list!

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I really love stuff like this.  Check this video out:

If you have seen that video before (or not), here’s a follow up to that video:

And here’s a slightly different test for the same phenomenon:

This time, we see a similar experiment performed on someone else:

So all of those videos are related to something called inattentive blindness.  How did you do?  Hopefully better than me!

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Just going to post a few miscellaneous items of interest to me:

Rick Barber Too Crazy Even For Alabama:

Rick Barber, friend of dead people on U.S. currency, got trounced in the Republican run-off for an Alabama U.S. Congressional seat 60%-40%.  Now there is no doubt that the Tea Party has some influence.  But if a Tea Party candidate cannot even win a nomination nod in one of the reddest of red states, you have to wonder how much influence this movement really has.

TIME Magazine Also Says New Palin Commercial Is A Difference Maker:

TIME has also decided that Palin’s latest advertisement is enough to make her a legitimate contender for President.

Sarah Palin in ’12? Why She’s For Real

If you haven’t seen the ad, it is posted right here in this blog in my previous entry.  I still don’t see it.  Funny enough, the article mentions a poll from TIME itself that shows if an election was held today, Obama would bury Palin 55% to 34%.  But they just brush that aside.  After all, her new commercial shows that she “can adapt quickly” according to TIME. I guess adapting means adding montages and music to one of her tired old speeches.  Watch out Obama!  There’s a new “change” candidate in town!

BP May Have Finally Contained The Leak:

It appears that BP’s new cap may actually be working.  Oh please, oh please, cap keep working!  It was going to be hard to make progress as long as oil kept gushing into the water.  If this thing can continue to work, at least the amount of oil needed to be cleaned up becomes finite.  Interesting that the one idea that they didn’t give some cool name to, like “Top Kill” or “Junk Shot” may actually have been effective.  Maybe for once they spent more time on the actual idea than the marketing of the idea!

Utah List Creepy:

OK, we get it.  Illegal immigration is a problem.  But I do not think the solution is a witch hunt.  In Utah, a list of 1,300 folks who purportedly are illegal immigrants was leaked to the press and legal enforcement agencies.  The list contains a scary amount of personal information, including social security numbers, addresses, workplaces, phone numbers, etc.  It even goes as far as listing due dates for pregnant women on the list.  Of course, the list appears to only include those of Latino descent because apparently if you are European and breaking the law, it’s not as much of an issue.

The lesson that U.S. legislators need to take from this is that they need to deal with this issue NOW!  Because if they don’t, it’s going to start to get ugly (or uglier).  It is their responsibility to deal with this and it’s time they stop shirking their responsibility.  (I don’t think they will though.  Legislators are mostly incompetent.  They are also cowards.  But mostly, corporations are happy with the status quo, so legislators are happy with the status quo.  Not a good combo.)

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So I am half watching a news program this morning and they have a story about a new commercial that Sarah Palin has made.  They are interviewing a supposed senior political analyst about this new ad.  And he says that while he has been a Palin skeptic, that this ad was so great that not only could he see Sarah Palin running for president, he believes that she would be the front-runner.  Really?  One advertisement is enough to move somebody from someone who can’t win to a front-runner?  Well, let’s see the ad:

First, I see Sarah has her own PAC now.  Yay?  Second, this ad is going to make Sarah Palin a front-runner?  There is absolutely nothing of substance in this commercial.  Nothing.  Nada.  Zip.  A big fat zero!  It’s everything we’ve come to expect from Sarah.  Talk about pit bulls, grizzlies, and pink elephants.  Talk about how moms “kind of just know when something’s wrong.”  Talk with her odd way with words  which is supposed to be “folksy” (“…to do something adverse toward their cubs…”?).  But anything of actual substance?  No, not from Sarah!

So this political analyst thinks ads like these will make Sarah a favorite to win in 2012?  Because her campaign platform is going to be ‘I kind of just know when something’s wrong, and I am going to stand on my hind legs and growl like a grizzly’?  It’s just the same kind of stuff we always her from Sarah, with some shots of Palin’s fans and inspirational music tacked on along with a little implication that all women are on Sarah’s side, since she is one.  I’m not a political analyst, but I just don’t think this will make a difference.  Can you really see somebody who doesn’t believe Sarah is qualified to run this country watching this commercial and changing their mind?

For all the talk of liberal media, they sure do fall over themselves to try to compliment Sarah anytime she does anything that manages to rise above the level of retarded (for you Palin fans, I mean that in the Rush Limbaugh sense of the word, not the Rahm Emanuel sense of the word. 🙂 ).

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