Monday, February 27, 2012

There Was Never Any Doubt

UWM Panthers are the Horizon League Swimming and Diving Champions! Men: 3rd title in a row. Women: 1st championship after finishing Runner-Up for at least the last three years.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The 20th Debate

I'm not watching every minute of this debate. I gave up on them a long time ago, but I do read Sullivan's live blog of the events. This bit from his reaction about the Iran issue is great:
9.40 pm. Santorum really does seem to be implying that Obama has some kind of secret agenda vis-a-vis Iran. And he pretty obviously would launch a massive war on Iran. We're hearing the kind of language we heard after 9/11. Exactly the same language; exactly the same arguments; exactly the same paranoia.
There seems to be no memory of the Iraq war at all. It never happened. There was no error. There is nothing to explain. And yet they do not seem to realize that that catastrophic war is the reason Barack Obama is president. It's like an etch-a-sketch party. Shake it one election cycle - and the past disappears completely!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Santorum on Climate Change

The takeaway here, God gave us the Earth. It's ours to do with it what we want. We manage the Earth because the Earth is stupid and can't take care of itself. Honestly, read this from TPM.

Money quote:

The surging presidential hopeful fleshed out this argument further this Sunday on CBS Face The Nation, when asked to justify his recent controversial claim that President Obama has a “phony theology” that’s not “based on the Bible.” He said the President sides with “radical environmentalists” who don’t understand what God intended to be the relationship between humans and the planet. 
“When you have a worldview that elevates the Earth above man and says that we can’t take those resources because we’re going to harm the Earth; by things that frankly are just not scientifically proven, for example, the politicization of the whole global warming debate — this is all an attempt to, you know, to centralize power and to give more power to the government,” Santorum said. 
And the former Pennsylvania senator doubled down Monday, declaring that, “Unlike the Earth, we’re intelligent, and we can actually manage things.”

Monday, February 20, 2012

Side Project

Here's a little side project I started with the new year. It's a blog called The Year of the Diner. I thought it would be fun and challenging to write a review (short form) of every meal out I have in 2012. Kate liked the idea too, so she's offered to contribute when she can. So far, it has been fun and challenging as I expected, but also a little boring at times. Like, how many spins can one put on eating at Chipotle? When writing reviews of Chipotle I have tried to say more about that specific location than the food itself because there isn't much variance with the food. And sometimes I fall behind, like I'll be eating somewhere and think, I've already got three blogs to write about other restaurants.

I'm still working on the appearance of the blog. Six Hours on Sunday looks much better than The Year of the Diner. I owe the name of the blog to Kate. I did come up with some, but most of the names were taken and the name I went with flows a little better than other options. 

At the end of this, I think it will be pretty cool to see how many times I had a meal out in 2012. Where I dined the most? What month was a heavy dining-out month? Etc.There is one post (for P.F. Chang's) which takes the place of two meals. So far, I've dined out 15 times in 2012. I feel like that's fairly low compared to some dining out binges I've had and the number is very low for people who dine out every day for lunch, for example. 

Friday, February 17, 2012

Worries About Iran

John Mueller has a good comment on Iran published on The Guardian's website on February 16. For all those people getting their panties in a bunch about Iran's nuclear program, this is a good read. So much of the talk about Iran is exactly like the talk about Iraq in 2002 and 2003. Have we forgotten how that turned out for us and thousands of Iraqi people? Never get involved in a land war in Asia. Haven't all the saber-rattlers in the US seen The Princess Bride:
Money quotes:
Iran would most likely "use" any nuclear capacity in the same way all other nuclear states have: for prestige (or ego‑stoking) and to deter real or perceived threats. Historical experience strongly suggests that new nuclear countries, even ones that once seemed hugely threatening, like communist China in the 1960s, are content to use their weapons for such purposes. 
Indeed, as strategist (and Nobel laureate) Thomas Schelling suggests, deterrence is about the only value the weapons might have for Iran. Such devices, he points out, "would be too precious to give away or to sell" and "too precious to waste killing people" when they could make other countries "hesitant to consider military action".

There is also an uncomfortable truth. If Iran wants to develop a nuclear weapon, the only way it can be effectively stopped is invasion and occupation, an undertaking that would make America's costly war in Iraq look like child's play. Indeed, because it can credibly threaten invaders with another and worse Iraq, Iran scarcely needs nuclear weapons to deter invasion. This fact might eventually dawn on its leaders.
Air strikes on Iran's nuclear facilities might temporarily set them back, but the country's most likely response would be to launch a truly dedicated effort to obtain a bomb, as Iraq's nuclear weapons budget was increased twenty-five-fold after its facilities were bombed by Israel in 1981. Moreover, Iran might well respond by seeking to make life markedly more difficult for US and Nato forces in neighbouring Afghanistan.

Atypical Bachelor Party Photo

I was just going through some August 2011 photos this morning. A lot happened that month and there are so many pictures I would like to share on here. Here is just one of them from Kyle's bachelor party. Kyle is on the left. Erik is to the right and above him. And Aaron is standing on the ledge to the right of Erik. Cliff jumping into the Cache la Poudre River.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Bon Iver for the Win

In light of Bon Iver's Grammy win last night, it is worth going back and reading this excerpt from a New York Times interview he gave last year before he received his nominations in December. I was pretty happy to see him win. Do I think he was? Yes, despite what he says in the interview below. Plus, how often does Eau Claire, Wisconsin get a shout out on national television? Go Bon Iver. And go Wisconsin. Here's the interview.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

NY Times Missy Franklin Article

There's an interesting article in The New York Times about Missy Franklin, the 16-year-old swimming star from Denver. Franklin competes this weekend in the girls high school state championships. Here's an interesting quote from the article about that:
When Franklin won two individual events at last weekend’s league meet, the state meet felt the ripple effect. Tickets for the preliminary and finals sessions at the Edora Pool Ice Center, which seats roughly 1,000, quickly sold out. A line for the remaining tickets is expected to form outside in the freezing cold several hours before Friday’s 4 p.m. preliminaries and Saturday’s 2 p.m. finals. The meet will be televised by ESPN3 and covered by state and national media outlets.
And I literally was just thinking, oh, gosh, I should try to get a ticket for that before I read this paragraph. 

I had a random encounter with Franklin at my last job. I sold her a power adapter for an iPad and I think I embarrassed her a little when I just called her by name. I had instantly recognized her when she walked into the store. She's one of many swimmers I'm excited to watch this summer in Omaha and in London. Can't wait.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

the War of Art: Redux

I first blogged about The War of Art on April 1, 2009 after reading it because this man recommended the book. Well, I’ve just been hit by a wave of anti-resistance. The resistance I write about in the older blog. You can read about it there. But I just wanted to share some passages that still rock my world. Thank you, Pressfield.

“Late at night have you experienced a vision of the person you might become, the work you could accomplish, the realized being you were meant to be?”

“Resistance will bury you.”

“If you take Resistance at its word, you deserve everything you get. Resistance is always lying and always full of shit.”

“The more important a call or action is to our soul’s evolution, the more Resistance we will feel toward pursuing it.”

“The most pernicious aspect of procrastination is that it can become a habit. We don’t just put off our lives today; we put them off till our deathbed.” Pressfield brings it with this one.

“Anything that draws attention to ourselves through pain-free or artificial means is a manifestation of Resistance.”

“Instead of applying self-knowledge, self-discipline, delayed gratification, and hard work, we simply consume a product.”

“What makes it tricky is that we live in a consumer culture that’s acutely aware of this unhappiness and has massed all its profit-seeking artillery to exploit it.”

Man, I hope one of these quotes just came up into your life and tossed things about like a little tornado in your soul, especially that last one. Read this book. And go do what everyone is telling you, you can’t do.

Colorado Caucus

Santorum wins Colorado. What the?

Friday, February 03, 2012

29 Years Old

Lots of happy birthday wishes today. Thank you! One of them was posted by one of my former swimmers to Facebook last night and I've shared it below...

"29 years ago today the world had no idea it was going to change forever....and be a bit taller."

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Movie Endorsements

Not much time to blog right now, but I’ve been meaning to write about a few movies I’ve seen recently that were quite good. Instead of reviewing them at any length, I am just going to list some good ones and some not so good ones and a sentence or two about each.

I endorse:

The Descendants - Dark, sad, but at times funny and George Clooney does a great job.

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo – A great film adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s book one of the Millennium trilogy. There are three rape scenes, two that go on for a very long time. It was easier for me to read than to watch these. If you can’t handle it, don’t go, but I would say this adaptation is much better than the Swedish version.

Bill Cunningham New York – A documentary. I’m not really into fashion, but this movie really must be seen to be believed. Bill Cunningham is crazy motivated and extremely good at what he does. This is a fascinating look into an extraordinary life and career. (On Netflix instant watch.)

Another Earth – Great acting and a sci-fi element that keeps things mysterious. It’s also quite sad in a way, thus continuing the theme through other movies already listed.

Downfall – A German movie with subtitles about Hitler’s last 12 days in his bunker in Berlin, but the movie focuses on those living with Hitler in the bunker and the citizens of Berlin as well. I highly recommend it if you love historical movies. (On Netflix instant watch.)

Sophie Scholl – Another German movie with subtitles about activists taking a stand against the Nazi cause. It is inspiring, but there are no happy endings here.


Blue Valentine – The 2011 movie that got so much buzz. Or maybe it was 2010? It doesn’t matter. Avoid this like curdled milk. It’s about a very shitty marriage and nothing ends well and this marriage didn’t even get off to a good start.

The Rise of the Planet of the Apes – This should have been obvious to me. There’s never been a good planet of the Apes movie. Never. I don’t know why this one got my attention for so long. I blame it on the trailer. The trailer for this movie was exceptional. The movie, however, was a cheese-ball disaster.