Monday, April 27, 2009

Time Out

I think it is clear that I haven't had much time to devote to blogging or writing lately. That's sad, but some time away from both will be healthy. 

Don't expect anything until after this Thursday. 

Thursday, April 23, 2009

7 Days

Next Thursday at 1pm is my date with the GRE. I find out my scores right after I finish the test. Thusly, I’ll be in one of two moods on Thursday night. Slightly buzzed to drunk with an ebullient disposition or slightly buzzed to drunk with a don’t-talk-to-me-because-I’ll-kick-your-ass disposition.

Pray that it’s the former.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Cheney Schmeney

Why should we care what Cheney thinks about the way the president is running the country? The media are sort of drooling over this guy right now like he was some sort of success over the last eight years. Correct me if I am wrong, honestly, but I’m pretty sure most everything about the United States has gone to hell in the last eight years. Cheney manipulated Bush like a puppet and, in turn, the American people.

I’m pretty sure a majority of Americans feel the same way. Oh wait, yep. I am sure about that one. See November 4th.  Enough with Cheney. How can anyone determine the efficacy of an administration’s policies in roughly 100 days? And if one were so bold, what honorable decision by the previous administration qualifies them for a commentary at this point?

And Sullivan always has the coolest videos. This one of some bike stunts around Edinburgh. Amazing!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Free XBOX 360...seriously

Remember this? You know, the raffle you may or may not have entered to win an XBOX 360. Congratulations to you if you didn’t enter the raffle. You didn’t waste your time.

My condolences to everyone that did enter this little raffle. I was trying to tell everyone I would win, but still, people signed up like they had a chance. Let’s face it, you never did.

My new, used XBOX 360 arrived in the mail today. Thanks, Jarrod.

Sunday, April 19, 2009


Maybe you don’t know this about me, but I’m not a big fan of guns. Actually, I see no use for them in our society. I wasn’t under any illusion when I voted for Obama. I couldn’t possibly have hoped that he would get rid of guns, but I had hoped that the Senate, under Obama’s guidance, would reinstate the assault-weapons ban that expired in September 2004.

I feel there are more pressing issues for Obama than getting right to the assault-weapons ban or at least to stricter laws making it harder for a man like Richard Poplawski to get an AK-47. However, I do expect Obama to move on these issues sometime soon and by the looks of this article in last week’s Newsweek, that doesn’t look like it’s going to happen.

I thought this reader comment left at the bottom of the Newsweek article summed it up best:

"Damn, you Americans sure are difficult to understand. How can you love a tool for killing?"

Saturday, April 18, 2009

YouTube + Ayn Rand

Found on YouTube, Mike Wallace interviews Ayn Rand in 1959. Very interesting. Wallace even lights up a cigarette in part II. Parts II and III.

Friday, April 17, 2009

The Fountainhead

For the third classic book of 2009, I went with The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand. This book is a new favorite of mine. I didn’t expect it to become one. Actually, I didn’t know what to expect from this book and I didn’t know that much about Ayn Rand other than that her philosophy doesn’t quite match up with mine.

A lot of the books I love, I love because they reaffirm my values and way of life. But The Fountainhead undermines it and at times it is the antithesis of my beliefs, but that’s why I loved it. I found myself disagreeing and agreeing with bits of Rand’s philosophy. The Fountainhead challenged me and made me contemplate the impossible complexity of the human existence more than any other book recently has.

I’ll probably write more about it later, but I just had to say, Ayn Rand believes differently than I do, but damn, she could write a book.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Go West, Young Man

What I wrote last summer as we drove back to the Midwest through Wyoming:
The West is great. There is nothing like it. It’s been one year. That’s not long, but it remains home. This land is blessed and I am blessed by its unpredictability, staggering beauty, and its ability to effect my decisions even after I leave. Seeing the West again has been like pulling an old childhood book off of the shelf. When I see the book on a shelf I recognize it as one of my favorites, but it isn’t until I open it up and look inside that I realize this is the book that shaped my life. This is where I have been built…in these pages or, in this case, on this land. The book represents the purest form of life I know and even though I may not be around it right now or return to it very soon, it is something that needs to be opened, read, looked at, felt, and smelled on a consistent basis or else a huge part of me is going to die.  

Tea Parties

Exactly what I was thinking…

Does the lack of any actual tax increases undercut this anti-tax rebellion?

- Josh Marshall

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Five Guys

A Five Guys Burgers and Fries recently opened up in Milwaukee. We went. I reviewed. I posted it here. Check it out.

Friday, April 10, 2009

To the Dells

I am going to Wisconsin Dells this weekend, a town of 2,500 people (2000 census data as reported by Wikipedia) with 18 indoor waterparks. I am sure they call themselves the waterpark capital of the world. I am always skeptical of statements like that. I don't know if it is true or if it is hyperbole. We will be coming back to the city for church, but we'll be spending most of our Easter weekend at the waterparks.

Happy Easter to you.

And happy birthday to this blog. Six Hours on Sunday will be four years old on Sunday. It's my little baby.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Best commercial on TV

There are so many beer ads these days that it is hard for one to stand out from the pack, but each time I have seen this Heineken commercial I've gotten this irrepressible laughter. Maybe it's just a stupid ad, but it strikes me as a creative, hilarious juxtaposition.

Monday, April 06, 2009

This is a competition, right?

How can a championship game be so lopsided? I'm watching the basketball game right now and there is still 7 minutes left in the first half and UNC has a 20-point lead. 
I'm glad I picked UNC to win the championship, but I think a million others made the same pick on ESPN, where my bracket currently ranks 1,248,671. Not so good, but it's doing better than Obama's bracket. 

Friday, April 03, 2009

Can I see Dr. Benton punch the air one last time?

Besides The Daily Show, there are three shows I watch on a regular basis, all because I am married to Kate. The shows are House, Grey’s Anatomy and ER. When I started dating Kate she was already an ER devotee. She’s been watching House from the beginning and was slowest to warm to Grey’s Anatomy. There are brilliant aspects of each one of these dramas. The characters and ongoing plot twists can make for an addicting show. However, I could stop watching altogether tomorrow and be okay with that. I don’t think Kate could.

Kate is a professional in the field of medicine. The interest she takes in these shows is not comparable to mine. I watch them more for Kate than for any other reason. Stories told in the shows and the hours spent watching them constitute a fairly large gap of time every week. I might be doing something different with that time if I was single, not necessarily because I am married to Kate, but because I love her. And, in a way, (this may sound weird) when I married Kate, I married her favorite TV shows. I married her interests. No matter how inconsequential a TV show may be, it is valuable to me because it is time I can spend with Kate.

After all that time watching TV shows, because someone else is invested in them, one becomes hooked as well on all the peculiarities of character and intricacies of plot. So, it was a little bittersweet last night when ER signed off for the last time. Kate and I have been watching this show for as long as we have been together (the last six seasons) and before that, ER was the preferred television show of Thursday nights at my childhood home, going back to when I was 11 years old. That’s a long, damn time. I’m not trying to gauge what kind of role a TV series has played in my life. The answer would probably be vague and the task a bit shallow, but I know it has played some role and because of that it was a little sad to hear the ER theme music one last time last night. 

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

the WAR of ART

On a friend’s recommendation, I read a book over the weekend. The book is called the WAR of ART and it is by Steven Pressfield, author of The Legend of Bagger Vance and other prominent works of fiction. The subtitle of the book reads, “Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles.”

Pressfield offers copious amounts of wisdom for aspiring artists of all kinds in this short work of nonfiction. He spends most of the 163 pages of this book writing about Resistance. Resistance is anything that “prevents us from achieving the life God intended when He endowed each of us with our own unique genius.” Quite convincingly, he proves the existence of Resistance and he reminds us that Resistance is a formidable opponent. Resistance is “harder to kick than crack cocaine.” “You think Resistance isn’t real? Resistance will bury you.”

If you have strived to create anything, to stay in a relationship or marriage that is falling apart, to achieve a lofty goal, you know what Resistance is. And those in the business of creating things know most intimately the disgusting shades Resistance can wear.

“Resistance will bury you.” Reading this was like a stake through the heart. It is so damn painful, yet wise. I lament for the times in my life that were buried by Resistance. This sentence, and this whole book, worked as a motivator for me because I don’t want my life to be won by Resistance. There is no life if Resistance wins. The flame is snuffed out and all one will ever know is commonality, a truly boring existence.

Pressfield writes, “The more important a call or action is to our soul’s evolution, the more Resistance we will feel toward pursuing it.” We all have to face important calls and actions, and this book made me ponder all types of Resistance in my life. I am going to sit down and make a list. I hope to share some of it on here, but I encourage you to do the same. Make a list of things that are keeping you from your dreams. Get them down on paper. Strike a line through them. Strike them from your life.

After writing all that, I thought of another quote, but not from the book. There are plenty of good quotes in the book. I recommend you read it, but this quote is from a movie, from The Shawshank Redemption, from Red (played by Morgan Freeman):

Get busy living or get busy dying. That's goddamn right. For the second time in my life, I'm guilty of committing a crime. Parole violation. Course, I doubt they're going to throw up any road blocks for that. Not for an old crook like me. I find I'm so excited I can barely sit still or hold a thought in my head. I think it's the excitement only a free man can feel. A free man at the start of a long journey whose conclusion is uncertain. I hope I can make it across the border. I hope to see my friend and shake his hand. I hope the Pacific is as blue as it has been in my dreams. I hope...