Calm instead of the Storm 
...pretty much sums up Atlantic Hurricane Season 2009. After Katrina, I thought the US was supposed to be pounded relentlessly annually with big and bad storms similar in magnitude of Katrina that numbered into the teens because of Global Warming Climate Change <insert flavor of the month impending doom scenario here>.

from USA Today:

"The 2009 Atlantic hurricane season ended Monday without a hurricane landing on U.S. shores and with the fewest named storms in 12 years, according to the National Hurricane Center."

Whew. Luckily, scientists can be wrong sometimes. (Or make up data too, but that's another topic **cough** **cough** climategate **cough** **cough**). Speaking of which, if the media spent just 10% of the effort researching the allegations of Climategate that they put into A**m L*****t or Tiger Woods or their constant bleating of adoration for BHO...but maybe they're afraid of that the data really has been fudged.

Tiger Beat media strikes again!

(and let's not forget snow in Houston today. Earliest snowfall on record there. lol)

Update (12/08) - is it me or does it seem like there are more doom and gloom news stories about climate change lately? It could just coincide with the large carbon footprint going on in Copenhagen or, more likely, this is the media's coordinated response to the Climategate emails.

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Still Going Strong 
A panic set in the other day when our 10 year-old HP Deskjet 895Cse printer stopped working. It would power up but the lights would flicker and then nothing - just the blinking orange light indicating a problem. I saw no paper jam and the printer was clear of toys and small objects that the kids sometimes stick in there. Convinced it was something simple, I unhooked it and proceeded to take it apart. I took the back panel off and there was my problem: a small piece of paper jammed under one of the rollers. I took it out and hooked the printer up and the printer worked.

We bought that printer ten years ago this week when we bought our Gateway 600Mhz PC (running FreeBSD today) and I think the printer was around $200.

They don't make them like that anymore. Something tells me that if I were to buy a comparable HP today, it would be junk within three years.

I refuse to replace it; best printer I've ever owned. Someone gave me a newer one last year and it was about two years old but I never hooked it up. I gave it away.

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One Revolution 
One year ago today I started running. What started as a light jog that took me about 12 minutes to cover a mile, has turned into running regularly and having no problem getting out doing four or five without thinking twice about it. I now expect myself to run three comfortably under 30:00 and hit mile one on a fast run comfortably under 9:00. I have plans on doing a 10 miler in May and *gasp* a half-marathon next September. While I'll never be a Ryan Hall, I can still be proud of myself.

One key was starting a few years ago with changes in diet and exercise BEFORE things got too out of hand. My BMI was in the high 20's - not a point of no return - but absolutely unacceptable. Another key, and, more importantly, I finally realized that there was a problem.

This is a three-year project still in the making. Consistency is important. Nothing is going to happen overnight. No one is going to wave a magic wand and put your body into the shape it's supposed to be in.

Less than eight months ago I ran my first 5K. It took me just over 35 minutes. I have since trimmed seven minutes off that. I may not get much faster than that, but that's alright.

I've come a long way. I've learned a lot. Just as the earth has completed another revolution, I am into my own.


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Nine Things 
I am the cook of the house. I cook dinner about 20-23 days out of the month. My wife might make a meal or two and the rest of days are either leftovers or other plans like being invited somewhere, going out, etc.

When the topic comes up, people who don't know us assume that my wife is the cook and seem surprised when I tell them that I am. My wife can cook but our roles in the house have made it easier for me to the cooking. We're at the point where I insist on making it. I am not afraid to boast either; I am a good cook.

I also do the grocery shopping so I always have what I need and I plan the menu a week ahead.

Nine things you'll always find in my kitchen:

1. onions
2. crushed garlic (big refrigerated jar)
3. Lawry's seasoning salt
4. Tabasco
5. black pepper
6. bread crumbs
7. worcestershire sauce
8. butter
9. canola oil

Onions and garlic - you can't cook without them. Lawry's is a must for ground beef, even though we eat it only about once every two weeks. Tabasco is a must and I used to buy it by the gallon. I've re-discovered ground black pepper as good seasoning for many things. Bread crumbs and worcestershire come in handy for many things too. Butter and canola oil are essential.

For a few years now, we've been using ground turkey or ground chicken instead of beef in items like sloppy joes, lasagna, tacos, et al, even though we only buy 90/10 beef. You can substitute ground poultry in just about anything that traditionally calls for ground beef and you can make it taste just as good.

I like being the cook.

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YAKAD 
Yet Another Kool-Aid Drinker

It appears that the Nobel Peace Prize committee now has some competition for biggest Kool-Aid Drinker of the year:

Obama 'Most Powerful Writer Since Julius Caesar,' Says NEA Chief

Despite Rocco's bizarre statement, I would still give the award to the brainwashed dolts who gave BHO the Nobel Peace Prize for having the ability to read off of a teleprompter. Good try, Rocco, but not quite.

And speaking of Fox News - isn't BHO's war on them Fascism? In fact, isn't BHO pointing us towards that path? With, of course, help from idiots like Barney Frank, Christopher Dodd, Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi. Huh? um, ok, you're right; the real idiots are the ones who pull the lever.

Fascism (n) - "a political philosophy, movement, or regime that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition" (m-w.com)

Economic and social regimentation - health care, pay czars (and lot of other czars - one leader with many czars reporting directly to him and him alone), control of the automakers, etc. If Dubya was a Fascist like many on the Left believed, he wasn't very good at it. BHO has him beaten hands down in only nine months. But, let's be fair, the supporting cast has been in place for a long time. They finally got their guy in office.

Sinclair Lewis once said: "when Fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross." His prediction was a little off. Since many Americans dismissed patriotism and religion years ago, we can amend Mr. Lewis' statement some:

When Fascism came to America, it was wrapped in hope and carried a check.

Handouts always come with rules. If you're willing to sacrifice something for a quick fix, then you deserve what you get. However, by doing so, you ruin a good thing for everybody by ceding all your power to those who should serve us; they end up not serving, but controlling.

Drink up, people. Soon it will be mandatory.

/rant

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Unix 


Someone took the time to etch their OS of choice onto to the plate of this hand dryer at a McDonald's in Carlisle, PA. It's been there for at least a few years too.

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Disembowelment 
The Phillies didn't just beat the Dodgers, they completely tore them apart. A friend of mine who lives in Long Beach has been telling me that all the talk on the sports radio shows out there was about how the Dodgers were going to pummel the Phillies blah blah blah blah. lol. The DUDgers were totally outplayed and outclassed (Manny in the shower, 'nuff said).

The sentiment was also that a freeway series was guaranteed. <Alex Trebek voice>Sorry</voice>

I don't see the Angels as having a chance to come back and beat the Yankees so it's likely going to be a Philly-New York series; a Jersey Turnpike Series. The Yankees aren't going to be a pushover like the Dudgers were though. It should be a good series and I think it will go to seven games.

Phillies fans have been spoiled of late as they've won 16 of their last 20 playoff games; they've only lost one game in each playoff round going back to last season, coming in at 18-5 in that span. The Yanks may very well give them three more - and hopefully no more than that.

Re-peat. Re-peat. Re-peat. Re-peat. Re-peat. Let's go Phillies!

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Last Saturday's 5K 
The 5K I ran last weekend timed me at 28:26 but I timed myself at 28:16; either way a PR. I always start my watch when I begin running and the race, while it utilized chip timing, did not have a sensor at the starting line. So, I'll take my reading as my official time and now that's the number to beat for my next 5K. However, I was disappointed to see that I finished 6/7 in my age group. The previous 5K I ran I was 16/21. I need to goad more of my friends into running these races with me so I can have a shot at finishing in the top half for my age group.

The race itself featured a major hill for most of the first mile. I hit mile one at a dismal 9:53 but, again, I blame the hill (and the rain too, the rain stopped about halfway through the run). Mile two I crossed at 18:40 so I picked up a nice pace after that. Not a bad race overall, lots of goodies beforehand and afterwards, including coffee! I go light on coffee before races and limit myself to about 12oz. Afterwards, I catch up and imbibe my usual gallon or so.

My next goal is to get these things done in under a 9:00 pace. I'm getting closer. Getting under 10 was easy, nine should come soon, but eight looks like it's going to be tough. But, I take pride in knowing that my practice and training are paying off.

No excuses. No bull. Just do it.

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Get Your Nobel Peace Prizes Here 


Just remember to wait your turn. Everyone gets one not based on deeds or accomplishments, but just by showing up.

The committee has forever tarnished this once prestigious award. Hey, good intentions are all that matters now, not actually doing anything. What a bunch of maroons.

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Consolation Prize 
BHO has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Maybe this is a consolation prize for not being able to land the Olympics for war-torn, poverty-stricken Chicago.

From the BBC:

"In awarding President Obama the Nobel Peace Prize, the Norwegian committee is honouring his intentions more than his achievements"

What a joke. What a joke. So much for any credibility that organization may have once had. On the bright side, it appears that US Congress isn't alone in being run by knuckleheads and buffoons.

What a joke, a bad joke at that.

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Well, That was Easy 
A 5K in under 30:00? No problem. My watch timed me at 28:55 in yesterday's 5K. I couldn't stay to see the official results but maybe they'll be posted online. Nonetheless, I eclipsed my first goal of doing a 5K in less than 30 minutes.

The numbers: 9:19 pace, 6.44 mph. (5:47/10.37 metric)

Now, the hard part - I have to run every 5K now in under 30 minutes and, the next goal: getting that pace under 9:00. Everyone has their limits but I don't think I've hit mine yet. Maybe it's 9:00, maybe it's 8:00. But, showing improvement is the key. Eventually, it'll get to a point where my improvements aren't as great but I think that's some time off. In less than one year I've gone from not running at all to running a 5K in under 30 minutes and also trimming almost 6:30 of that first 5K time recorded back in April.

My other goal - longer runs; I am doing a 10 miler in May which means I'll be running 10 at one point or another, probably multiple times, as I train for that.

No excuses. No bull. Just do it.

Update - Official results posted online have me at 28:52.9


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The Next Goals 
I am now at the stage where I can call myself a 10-minute miler, which isn't bad for running less than one year. Two years of proper eating coupled with biking as the core of an exercise regimen has enabled me to become a runner - something I never thought I'd be or ever really desired to be until about 10 months ago.

Six months ago I ran my first 5K race and now I have trimmed almost five minutes off that first finishing time. I am close to being able to finish one in under 30 minutes. I have a 5K route mapped out through my neighborhood and did that in 30:47 this morning. Mile 2.1-2.6 are uphill so I am thinking that on a flat course, I may be able to beat 30. I have registered for two 5K's in the next three weeks. Let's see what I can do.

Getting up and doing a four or five miler isn't that difficult either - I don't need to prepare for those distances. I am toying with the idea of doing a 10 miler in May. That would require some training to get up to that distance but I can do it if I can fit the training in.

I'm taking it to the next level; finishing the short ones in under 30 and building myself up for longer runs.

Talk the talk. Walk the walk.

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