Friday, December 30, 2005

Technology!

WOOT! Pictures... what an amazing concept.

So, I graduated earlier this month... finally.

I received my Bachelors of Science degree in Construction Management from Colorado State University, so that's kind of exciting; and it has an impressive sounding name.

So does my job title: Project Engineer, Special Projects Division.

Which only means one thing: I have an entry level job at a mechanical contractor in Loveland (U.S. Engineering Company). But it is a job, and I like the people there, and they pay me decent, so I can't complain too much.

But the thing that ties the pictures and graduation together is the gift that my uncle gave me. I received a very nice digital camera, a Canon SD550, 7 Mega Pixel, bad-ass, super compact, so easy - I can use it - camera.

It takes pretty good pictures, even if the operator (or the subject - see the picture at left) has no idea what's going on. (But doesn't David have nice eyes?)

The top picture is of myself and my kick-ass-guitar-playing friend Valerie. She came all the way from San Francisco to visit us. Or at least that's what I'm going to pretend. Her hair is normally dark-blond, but I like the red. It's hot. She's going to school for accounting. That's hot too.

And while I'm rambling, and totally in to this multi-media thing, I saw the most awesome video the other night. It's some kid doing this little dance thingie to the "Numa Numa" song. That is apparently not the real name of the song, but it's some french dance song. Good song. It's also somehow gotten into the mainstream pop culture as of late. He was on Good Morning America with The Perky One, and I hear it was funny stuff. Anywho, the video is here, at it's original site.

Okay, enough crap for now. More pictures will (eventually) follow, as well as a report from/on the Utah Lindy Exchange in Salt Lake City.

Update: I guess I don't know how to do the picture thing as well as I thought. But click on them, they work. And Hi-Res, too!

mmm... NSA Cookies...

For once! A news article about the NSA placing cookies on your browser that is free of communist propaganda!!!

Roanoke Times writer Andrew Kantor wrote this article for today’s edition of his paper. It is available here.

Cookies don't threaten privacy, experts explain

The National Security Agency can't track your Internet use with them, several experts said.

By Andrew Kantor 981-3384The Roanoke Times

The National Security Agency is using “cookies” on its Web site. It's a story that's circulating through the news and on blogs after a news item from The Associated Press ran in The Roanoke Times and other newspapers.

Despite initial concerns -- and recent revelations about other NSA activity within the United States -- cookies do not present a privacy issue.

Cookies are small text files, usually only a dozen or two characters, that a Web site can place in a special folder on your computer.

They identify you to the site, something like a visitor's badge. There's no personal information in them; an NSA cookie looks like “8030ad0e9041$3F$C9$0.”

And most importantly, one site cannot read a cookie left by another site -- cookies can't be used to track your travels on the Web. They can only tell a site that you've been there before, not where else you've been.

Still, said the AP story yesterday, “Privacy advocates complain that cookies can also track Web surfing, even if no personal information is actually collected.” It could have given readers the impression that the NSA could track anyone who visited its site, following their every movement across the Web.

But can cookies be used that way? Can the NSA -- or any organization -- use them to track your Internet travels?

The short answer is: No. As one computer expert put it, “It's much ado about little.”

“Except for some advertising companies, sites can't use cookies to track where you go outside their sites,” said Marty Martin, owner of CroakingToad, a Roanoke Web-hosting company. “So the NSA knows where you go on its site, but once you leave, you disappear.”

An important exception that Martin noted: Advertising networks such as DoubleClick have ads on many sites. Those ads can leave cookies that can be read by other sites in the DoubleClick network. The NSA site does not have advertising.

Some cookies only last as long as you're visiting the site. Called “session cookies,” they're useful for online stores that have shopping carts -- they make sure your cart follows you as you view different pages. They can also be used to remember information you filled out in a form so you don't have to re-enter it.

Other sites use “persistent cookies” that remain on your computer even after you leave a site.

The Roanoke Times' Web site, Roanoke.com, uses persistent cookies so registered users don't have to enter their user names and passwords every time they return to the site.

In the case of the NSA, the site was setting persistent cookies instead of session cookies, which is against federal government policy.

Those cookies were used simply to remember whether a visitor wanted to view the NSA's home page as a standard Web page (HTML), or with animation (Flash), according to NSA spokesman Don Weber.

It's a practice used by thousands of Web sites. As Weber put it, “The use of cookies for session management, specifically ease of navigation, is an industry standard.”
The NSA uses software from San Jose, Calif.-based Adobe called ColdFusion to deliver its public Web pages.

When it upgraded to a new version, the agency's staff did not set the cookies' behavior properly, Weber said, but has since fixed the error.

The cookies still serve the same function -- remembering visitors' preferences -- but now they are erased when users shut their Web browsers.

Angela Gunn, editor of ComputerWorld's security Web site, and who made the “much ado about little” comment, said that even if the NSA used persistent cookies there's no privacy concern.

“Online privacy is important. But it's also important to know that even the most persistent cookies can't deliver that much information -- they're not a wiretap, they're not able to maintain a log of what you type in,” she said.

Still, the organization was deciding whether or not to remove the cookies entirely because of the ruckus.

Although Gunn said that “there's no excuse for the NSA's sloppy Web construction,” she didn't see the need for the agency to stop using cookies.

“People are panicking over something that's low-tech and low-yield in terms of what it can actually find out,” she said. “The public thinks cookies are a problem and, because it's the NSA, inflates the problem into a crisis. It's not.”

Or, as Martin put it, “There are much better ways for the NSA to spy on you. They're not going to use cookies.”

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Facts

And now, a simple statement of fact.  

David researched and confirmed the following:

“Nationally, approximately 27 percent of persons arrested are black, while black people make up roughly 12.7 percent of the population.  

“These numbers come directly from the FBI statistics website and the US Census Bureau statistics website.”

Andy Rooney


The following is attributed to Andy Rooney “60 Minutes” a while back:


I don't think being a minority makes you a victim of anything except numbers.  The only things I can think of that are truly discriminatory are things like the United Negro College Fund, Jet Magazine, Black Entertainment Television, and Miss Black America.  Try to have things like the United Caucasian College Fund, Cloud Magazine, White Entertainment Television, or Miss White America; and see what happens...  Jesse Jackson will be knocking down your door.

Guns do not make you a killer.  I think killing makes you a killer.  You can kill someone with a baseball bat or a car, but no one is trying to ban you from driving to the ball game.

I believe they are called the Boy Scouts for a reason, that is why there are no girls allowed.  Girls belong in the Girl Scouts!  ARE YOU LISTENING, MARTHA
BURKE?

I think that if you feel homosexuality is wrong, it is not a phobia, it is an opinion.

I have the right NOT to be tolerant of others because they are different, weird, or tick me off.

When 70% of the people who get arrested are black, in cities where 70% of the population is black, that is not racial profiling, it is the Law of Probability.

I believe that if you are selling me a milkshake, a pack of cigarettes, a newspaper or a hotel room, you must do it in English!  As a matter of fact, if you want to be an American citizen, you should have to speak English!

My father and grandfather didn't die in vain so you can leave the countries you were born in to come over and disrespect ours.

I think the police should have every right to shoot your sorry ass if you threaten them after they tell you to stop.  If you can't understand the word “freeze” or “stop” in English, see the above lines.

I don't think just because you were not born in this country, you are qualified for any special loan programs, government sponsored bank loans or tax breaks, etc., so you can open a hotel, coffee shop, trinket store, or any other business.

We did not go to the aid of certain foreign countries and risk our lives in wars to defend their freedoms, so that decades later they could come over here and tell us our constitution is a living document; and open to their interpretations.

I don't hate the rich.  I don't pity the poor.

I know pro wrestling is fake, but so are movies and television.  That doesn't stop you from watching them.

I think Bill Gates has every right to keep every penny he made and continue to make more.  If it ticks you off, go and invent the next operating system that's better, and put your name on the building.

It doesn't take a whole village to raise a child right, but it does take a parent to stand up to the kid; and smack their little behinds when necessary, and say “NO!”

I think tattoos and piercing are fine if you want them, but please don't pretend they are a political statement.  And, please, stay home until that new lip ring heals.  I don't want to look at your ugly infected mouth as you serve me French fries!

I am sick of “Political Correctness.”  I know a lot of black people, and not a single one of them was born in Africa; so how can they be “African-Americans”?  Besides, Africa is a continent.  I don't go around saying I am a European-American because my great, great, great, great, great, great grandfather was from Europe.  I am proud to be from America and nowhere else

And if you don't like my point of view, tough.



I Pledge Allegiance To The Flag, Of The United States Of America, And To The Republic, For Which It Stands, One Nation Under God, Indivisible, With Liberty And Justice For All!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Cars Are Better Than Women

Now, not all of the following are entirely true, but most are at least pretty accurate.  


Why Cars Are Better Than Women...
- Cars will start no matter what time of day it is
- Cars don't have to have a shower every morning
- Cars are always ready; you don't have to wait on them
- Cars cost less
- Cars rarely stop working
- Cars don't mind if you stay in the garage all day and work on them
- Cars are always in the mood to have fun
- Cars don't complain about how loud the music is
- You can live with cars a lot longer than women
- Cars don't get tired of traveling
- You can always make cars look new again
- Cars can carry more stuff than women
- Cars don't buy new tires everyday like women buy

Monday, October 24, 2005

Baby, It's Cold Outside!

I really can't stay - Baby, it's cold outside
I've got to go away - Baby, it's cold out there
This evening has been - Been hoping that you'd drop in
So very nice - I'll hold your hands, they're just like ice

My mother will start to worry - Beautiful what you're hurry
And father will be pacing the floor - Listen to that fireplace roar
So really I'd better scurry - Beautiful, please don't hurry
Well, maybe just a half a drink more - Put some records on while I pour

And the neighbors might think - Baby it's bad out there
Say, what's in this drink? - No cabs to be had out there
I wish I knew how - Your eyes are like starlight now
To break the spell - I'll take your hat, your hair looks swell

I ought to say no, no, no sir - Mind if I move in closer?
At least I'm gonna say that I tried - What's the sense of hurtin' my pride?
I really can't stay - Baby don't hold out
Baby but it's cold outside

I simply must go - but Baby it's cold outside
The answer is no - but Baby, it's cold outside
The welcome has been - How lucky that you dropped in
So nice and warm - Look out that window, at the storm

My sister will be suspicious - Gosh, your lips look delicious
My brother will be there at the door - Waves upon a tropical shore
My maiden aunt's mind is vicious - Gosh, your lips are delicious
Well maybe just a cigarette more - Oh, never such a blizzard before

I've got to go home - Baby, you'll freeze out there
Say, lend me your coat - It's up to your knees out there
You've really been grand - I thrill when you touch my hand
But don't you see - How can you do this thing to me

There's bound to be talk tomorrow - Think of my lifelong sorrow
At least there will be plenty implied - If you caught pneumonia and died
I really can't stay - Get over that hold out
Baby but it's cold out side

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Corporations

Ya know what really gets on my nerves?  At this day in age, the year 2005, whiny liberals still see corporations as the enemy.  Huge, faceless, evil entities that are only there to rape and pillage whatever they can get away with.  

But being a corporation, or even being in business, does not have any logical and reasonable connection with being evil.  

Let me tell you something.  Why do you thing business are *in* business?  It’s not to be nice to you and donate to their favorite cause.  Businesses are in business to make money.  To turn a profit.  To bring in revenue.  Whether it’s a huge company like IBM or General Motors or GE, or a small, local business like Mug’s, or the Great Harvest Bread Company, if they cannot make money doing what they do, they will do something else.  This is the purpose of business.

Those who rail against Corporate America are really just hiding their fear and hatred of Capitalism.  

Green Building


Green building.  It’s the new catch phrase in the construction and development industries.  But what is this being Green all about?  And where is it actually being done?  And furthermore, why is it not being practiced everywhere?  

The concept of green building and sustainable design has been around since the early 1970s.  It started when the energy crisis forced oil prices through the roof and some folks started looking for alternative sources of energy to power their homes.  At first it was solar water heaters, geodesic dome houses, and houses built into the sides of hills.  These early concepts only went over well with a very small minority of the population.  For most, the additional cost and headache of these ideas outweighed the benefits gained.  Then energy prices stabilized and people didn’t care so much anymore.  

Things stayed that way for quite some time until the 1990s when the U.S. Green Building Council started to assemble the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program.  From 1994 to 1998, attempts to formulate a standard were first based on the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), but were then moved under direct control of the USGBC.  The two most important decisions of the USGBC members developing LEED was that green buildings should be marked-driven and that the building owners would be the ultimate judge of the program’s success.  Basically, this means that green buildings would have to distinguish themselves in the market by having higher resale value than comparable buildings.  

The LEED program is structured to that owners, architects, and constructors can follow certain design and construction principles to end up with a building that is certified by the U.S. Green Building Council.  It is also designed to be a standard measuring tool for owners, builders, and consumers to gauge how Green a particular building is.  The levels of the program – Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Certified – directly correspond to the number of Points that are obtained in the building’s construction.  LEED is currently in version 2.1, with version 2.2 slated to be unveiled early next year.  

The concept of Green Building is based on sustainability.  Sustainability is the concept of providing for the best for people and the environment both now and in the indefinite future.  In the words of the 1987 Brundtland Report, sustainability is, "Meeting the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs."  These days that involves making appropriate use of land, using resources efficiently, enhancing human health and productivity, protect agricultural and cultural resources, and making a building nice to live or work in.  This is accomplished in many ways, including better site selection, energy efficient equipment, and high-performance insulation.  

There are currently many more buildings being built green than at any time in the past.  This is due, at least in part, to the LEED program’s added publicity from government and institutional projects.  LEED registered and certified projects represent a diverse cross-section of the industry, but government entities make up the majority of the buildings.  There are currently 2,164 LEED registered projects and 285 LEED certified projects.  Of those, 25% are owned by for-profit corporations, 24% are owned by local government, 22% are owned by state & federal government, and 19% are owned by nonprofit organizations.  

The federal government, many state governments, and large institutions, such as universities and health care facilities, are currently the most established proponents of green building.  This is likely the result of the combined need to own the highest performance building that can be built, and having the capital to build it.  The additional costs commonly associated with making a building green, however, are normally far outweighed by the benefits.  In a report to California's Sustainable Building Task Force dated October 2003 and based on LEED buildings in the State of California, it was found that an upfront investment of 2% in green building design results in average life cycle savings of 20% of the total construction costs.  But that 2% upfront cost can and apparently is tough to sell to a building owner or developer that is only interested in the cost per square foot of the finished building.  But to put this increased cost in perspective, the average annualized costs for employees amount to $200 per square foot, compared to $20 for bricks and mortar costs, and $2 for energy costs.

The majority of green building is currently occurring being done on the East and West coasts, while Texas and Pennsylvania are also high on the list.  However, along the Front Range of Colorado there are several good examples of green building.  Fossil Creek High School in Fort Collins, and the North Boulder Recreation Center in Boulder are both LEED certified buildings that were finished recently.  

Green building has likely not been embraced by the general design and building population because of the added upfront costs mentioned above.  There is also the added complexity in the design of the building and in the administration of the project if a LEED rating is being sought.  It is also new and unfamiliar territory, not only for the construction team, but for building owners as well.  Just by being alien, this outstanding concept pushes some away.  

All in all, the LEED program and sustainable design practices look to be the way of the future, and it would be wise to get to know them now.  

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Crazy in Texas

In an open letter and full-page ad ran in last Sunday's Waco Tribune-Herald, Foundation for the Defense of Democracies President Clifford May offered an open invitation to Cindy Sheehan, the cryzy lady encamped outside of president Bush's Texas ranch, to meet with Iraqi freedom fighters, victims of Saddam's torture chambers and Middle-Eastern democracy activists and to discuss what is at stake in Iraq.

Here is the full text of the letter:

An Open Letter to the Mother of a Fallen Hero

Dear Cindy Sheehan:

I know you want to talk to President Bush about the conflict in Iraq, the war in which your son, Specialist Casey Sheehan, was tragically killed. I also know that while the President met with you previously, he is not eager to see you again – not now that you are affiliated with Moveon.org and supported by David Duke and handled by slick public relations professionals.

So let me suggest an alternative: Come visit with me. Our meeting probably won't get much publicity, but I can promise you an interesting discussion. I'll invite to join us some of the many Iraqi freedom fighters with whom I've been working for the past several years – many of them women -- as well as democracy and human rights activists from Syria, Iran, Libya, Egypt, Lebanon and other countries.

You say you want to know, “What is the noble cause that my son died for?” They would answer: Your son died fighting a war against an extremist movement intent on destroying free societies and replacing them with racist dictatorships.

The Iraqis will want to tell you what life was like under Saddam Hussein – the mass murders of hundreds of thousands, the women and girls who were gang-raped by Saddam's cronies, the creative forms of torture that were ignored by the “international community.”

I know several Baghdadi businessmen whom Saddam suspected of disloyalty. He had their right hands amputated. Want to meet them? The doctors who were forced to perform these amputations are worth chatting with as well.

It's true, as you and others have pointed out, that we did not find Saddam's Weapons of Mass Destruction. But don't be misled into believing that Saddam never had any. Indeed, he used chemical weapons against the Kurds, slaughtering thousands in villages like Halabja, where mothers laid down in the streets and embraced their children in their final moments. We can show you pictures. We can introduce you to survivors.

Like you, I wish America's intelligence agencies had known more than they did about Saddam's capabilities. But Saddam's intentions were never in doubt.

Cindy, you've been calling for the U.S. to get out of Iraq at a time when our enemies in that country include the most aggressive and lethal branch of al-Qaeda, led by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. Can you not see that if we were to retreat from Iraq now, it would be a historic defeat for the United States?

And it would be a huge victory for al-Qaeda. Zarqawi would view himself – not without justification – as a giant killer. Recruits would flock to him for the many battles that would, inevitably, follow. We could not expect to do better in those battles than we did in Iraq.

We will never be able to make ourselves inoffensive to the racist death cults that have declared war on us. When these barbarians kill brave Americans like Casey Sheehan we can't run and hide. Or rather we can – but that only invites the terrorists to hit us again. For years we didn't understand that. The consequence was Sept. 11, 2001.

Remember: We fled from Somalia in 1993. We left Saddam in power after the first Gulf War in 1991. We did nothing much after the Hezbollah bombing of our Marine barracks in 1983. Our response to the taking of American hostages in Tehran in 1979 was toothless.

In each of these cases – and too many others – we demonstrated to our enemies that there would be no penalty for humiliating and even slaughtering Americans. In each of these cases Osama bin Laden saw evidence that Americans are irresolute and weak; that America's military – for all its sophistication and technology – would prove no match for determined hostage-takers, decapitators and suicide bombers.

One more thing: Your slogan has been “America out of Iraq!” and also “Israel out of Palestine!” I wonder if you understand that you are calling for the ethnic cleansing of Jews from their ancient homeland. I wonder if you understand that more than half of all Israelis fled from places like Tehran, Cairo and Tripoli – and they are not welcome to return. I wonder if you understand that there is no way for Israelis to get “out of Palestine” that does not include genocide.

If you and your supporters are not, in fact, arguing for another Holocaust, would you be so good as to clarify your remarks?

Again, Cindy, I hope we can discuss all of this and more in my office with my friends–fighters for freedom who count on the support of freedom-loving Americans. Will you join us for lunch?

Sincerely,

Clifford May
President
Foundation for the Defense of Democracies
www.defenddemocracy.org


*****
I think it is very thoughfull of Mr. May to extend this offer to Ms. Sheehan so that she may see and hear first hand "the noble cause" that her son -- and many other people's sons and daughters -- died for. However, I do not believe that she will take Mr. May's offer, nor will there be any responce whatsoever from the Sheehan camp. Now that she is surrounded by sympathetic libral media types, wacky far-left supporters, Neo-Nazis, and a slick public relations team, she has vastly more to loose by opening her eyes to the realitys of Sadam's former regiem and the horror that accompanied it.

Ms. Sheehan has become a poster child of sorts for the fringe of the American political system. If it were only the regular Blame America First and Hate Bush crowds, I would have a much clearer understanding of what is going on in Crawford, Texas. But now you have the "main stream" MoveOn.org folks and the super fringe Neo Nazis coming to her aid. Even if Ms. Sheehan had some sort of breakthrough and realized how silly and futile her attemp is she would not be able to back out of this stunt now. Far too many people have tossed their hats into the ring to allow her to break all of their credibility by backing out now. How would the kooks in the mainstream media look then?

Now, some try to defend Ms. Sheehan by saying that she in "a greiving mother" and everyone should be supportive of her. Her son died over a year ago. Her son was in the U.S. Armed Forces in a hostile environment. He was not flipping burgers at the local burger joint. He knew that he could die in Iraq. It was his own choice. I feel that we should treat Ms. Sheehan the same way we treat most crazy people when they do something outragous: back away slowly, don't make eye contact, and watch from a distance.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Starbucks Cup Wisdom

The Way I See It #22

"Everywhere, unthinking mobs of "“independent thinkers"” wield tired cliches like cudgels, pummeling those who dare question"enlightened"” dogma. If "violence never solved anything,"” cops wouldn'’t have guns and slaves may never have been freed. If it'’s better that 10 guilty men go free to spare one innocent, why not free 100 or 1,000,000? Cliches begin arguments, they don't settle them."
--Jonah Goldberg

(Read the whole thing and an interview here, and visit the National Review Online here.)

So, I went to Starbucks the other day, and got the "Enzyte" sized Mocha. And partially hidden behind the environmentally friendly unbleached recycled paper java wrap was the above quoted conservative quote. How did a thing of such beauty and reason end up printed in soy ink on the side of a paper cup in this haven of Birkinstocks and half-caff-soy-light foam-chia-lattes?

Sitting in the fuzzy 6 a.m. Starbucks bubble with a friend of mine musing on this thought, I nearly made myself, and her,
late for work.

But, back to my quick discussion: Aside from being a clever quip, Mr. Goldgerg makes a very good point. These saying and
cliches do nothing to further any kind of discussion or argument, unless it happens to be about how stupid the statment it was. I like to argue and duscuss things; with those to argee and those who disagree with me. But when the person I am talking with either lacks the knowledge or wherewithall to defend their position without resorting to pedi attacks and silly quotes, it just doesn't seem worth my time.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Birthday and Surgery

Welp, it's summer. Time for my fourth annual hospital visit! Yes, that's correct, for the last four years, I have been to the hospital every summer for one reason or another.

Here's a brief run down of my past visits:
  • In 2002, I had a "Viral Super Infection" in my throat, just behind my tonsils. That was gross. I spent three days in "the Hotel," Longmont United Hospital's new bed tower with IVs in both arms.
  • In 2003, I had my tonsils removed. Finally. I had been getting strep throat and other assorted infections since I was little, and they finally decided to do something to prevent any further BS throat sicknesses. Relatively minor procedure. They actually use a "laser beam" (tee hee) to basically burn them out. Quick recovery, no overnight stay required.
  • 2004 was a doozy. I tore my ACL in my right knee playing basketball on campus. But of course, the emergency room couldn't tell that. I had to wait over a week for an MRI to find that out. So, four weeks after that, I had surgery to repair my ACL with a chunk of my hamstring. By the time it was over I had no calf or quad or hamstring muscle left, and it's taken a full year to get that (mostly) back to normal.
  • And this year, 2005, I turned 23 and got dropped off of my parents' insurance. So, three days before my birthday, I decided to have a two year old hernia fixed. That is a good time, let me tell ya! Not only do the three incisions the surgeon made hurt, but you pretty much can't use your abs for a while. So, if you sit down, don't plan on getting up on your own. And if you cough, make sure you physically hold your gut together with your hands and prepare for pain. But, I hear the surgery is a ton better than it was five or ten years ago. And now, less than a week later, I can get around on my own pretty good finally. The worst part, at this point, is that my left nut is swollen, sore, and starting to bruise. Not happy about that. But, I snuck in under the insurance deadline.
Well, that's my list of summer hospitalizations thus far. I'm gonna try to keep it that way for a while.

Oh yeah, and it was my birthday on Friday, the 24th. Would have been excellent if I hadn't just had surgery. I just sat around my parents' house (which really isn't all that bad) and downed Ibuprofin. This post was supposed to have happened then, but alas, no internet.

Enough for now!

Sunday, May 08, 2005

I Like Big Balls

...kinda like the ACDC song, except better.

Just got home from the Wild Asparagus Ball put on by the Fort Collins Friends of Traditional Dance at the LSC Ballroom. What a time that was! Three hours of really fun dancing with people in really neat outfits.

For those of you who are uneducated in the ways of the Wild Asparagus, it's a huge, annual waltz dance with the Mostly Strauss Orchestra from Denver. (They are excellent, by the way.) Lots of fancy clothes, tuxes, big poofy dresses, big hair, the occasional sequin and glitter, etc. I, of course, was just in my black suit. Cuz that's how I roll.

But anyways, it was amazing. Waltzing around a huge hardwood floor to primo music and trying not to trip over your partner's huge dress is my idea of a good time. Mostly an older crowd though. And that's a little bit sad. There are the children of some of the dancers there, and several of our swing dance people, but mostly in the 50-plus category. There needs to be some younger blood involved to make sure this wonderful tradition lives on. Timeless dance and timeless music deserve to be experienced by more people.

I've realized that I have done a terrible job thus far of expressing just how much I enjoyed this evening. But I think I can sum it up with this way. About half way through the third set of songs I recall thinking to myself, "I wonder if this is what heaven is like." Dancing and twirling with your favorite dance partner, all night long. It was a little profound. I think maybe it looses something when I try to convey it, but that's about as good as it gets. Everyone needs to experience that at some point.

And my favorite quote:
Dance is not an answer. Dance it a question. And the answer it "Yes."

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Turn the page

I guess it's like Old Arty said.

"You just feel the way you feel. And you just gotta deal with that."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Bob Seger / Metallica said it well too:
Here I am, On the road again
There I am, Up on the stage
Here I go, Bein' star again
There I go, Turn the page

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Senate Frustration

So, does Ken Salazar not have any spine? Or maybe it's just that he flip-flopped on a major issue, just like his party likes to do. Or maybe he's just a flat out liar.

Of course, I am referring to Colorado Senator Ken Salazar's position on the appointment of judges to the Federal Court of Appeals. We all know the senator's current oppinion on this issue. And that is to follow the other liberals in the Senate and filibuster President Bush's court appointments and not allow an up or down vote on the senate floor. Apparently this has not been done for 214 years, so presidents is not exactly on their side.

But since we all know that, does anyone remember what Mr. Salazar said to the people of Colorado when he was running for Senate? He looked us in the eye (or camera) and told us that he would not filibuster judicial appointments and would vote up or down, just as Senate is meant to.

So that raises my initial question: is Ken Salazar a liar? Or does he just bend whichever way the Beltway wind blows?

I am sure that Senator Salazar is a fine person, a good man, etc., but as a Senator he seams to be lacking. But, Colorado, that's what we get for electing a so-called "moderate" democrat to the United State's highest deliberative body, the U.S. Senate.

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But if we go beyond Ken Salazar for a moment, and on to what may be the much bigger issue here, we find what may be the underlying issue. I am not referring to the "anti-Christian" sentiment of liberals in positions of power, because I am not going to question the convictions of many good people. But I am referring to the lack of gumtion that the republican party, at least republican senators, are currently demonstrating. The prevailing attitude of this party seems to be compromise equals victory. They start with something they want (and legally have the power and votes to implement), let liberals and special interests whittle away 50% of it, and call it a victory for conservatives.

This half-assed attitude, I have no doubt, will alienate their "republican base" and cause a loss of the senate to the democrats. It sure tickes me off, and I am pretty sure I am less reactionary than a lot of folks.

Monday, April 25, 2005

I don't understand

Just a quick post-let tonight...

I'm so confused. Why is it that the things I like the most cause me the most angst and depression?

See? Confusing, eh? I love dancing, but I question my ability to a point that it makes me not want to try anything new for fear of fucking it up. And cars, and girls (I do like girls!), and basically everything that I enjoy makes me feel less than adequate. Oh well. Gives me something to thing about.

Oh yeah, and no sympathy postings! It's not like I'm distraught here, just confused. Luckily the 80's stream at sky.fm lifts my spirits. (currently The Gap Band - You Dropped A Bomb On Me) Yea!

Sunday, April 24, 2005

In the Poudre!

Went campin' this weekend.

Now, glance at the date, and remember that I'm in Colorado. Add 7,800 ft elevation, and what do you get? COLD, that's what!

Actually, on Saturday it really wasn't bad. Probably in the mid 50s in the afternoon. It was just a one night trip with Katie (who had been "camping" two times previous) up the Poudre canyon, north-west of Fort Collins. We pitched our borrowed tent at the Big Bend Campground (nine sites) at around 12:30 and proceeded to go on about a six mile hike up the Roaring Creek Trail. After returning at around 5 with a huge blister on my heel :-( we started a nice little fire, drank a few beers, grilled dinner, and hunkered down for the cold to settle in.

What a beautiful night though! Some late afternoon winds whisked all of the clouds out and a super-bright full moon rose out of the east just after sundown making for a very scenic night. The moon was so bright that it never really got dark. But without cloud cover, and remember the 7,800 ft elevation, it got really cold.

This may be a good time to mention to those non-campers among you: When you're camping, you get tired earlier than in the city. Especially with just a couple of people, cold weather, no TV, no radio, no artificial light, etc, you end up turning in somewhere near 10 o'clock. But I think we were still the last ones in the entire campground to turn in.

So, by the time 8 o'clock rolled around and it was still frigging cold (it had gotten really cloudy overnight, so no solar gain), my back couldn't stand being on the ground much longer and I slowly got dressed and ready for the day. When I put my shoes on, I realized that another hike was probably not a good idea, so I went for a little wander around the campground and down to the river. From our site (in which, by the way, sat my '67 Fairlane - campin' machine!) you could hear some little rapids, and I wanted to see them. When I got a couple hundred yards down stream I found them, and it was less impressive than previously indicated. But still nice. So I wander back to camp, Katie's still sleeping, and I get my camera, head back to the river and squeeze off a few frames before heading back and starting a fire and breakfast.

So, this is getting obscenely long (hehe :p )... I'll summarize: Start a fire; Katie gets up; make breakfast; clean up; break camp; yada yada yada; re-pack the car; head home; unpack; wash all of the now campfire-scented stuff, including myself.

Yeah, good times. Very successful weekend, especially when you consider how bad things have the potential for being when you are camping.


On another note; I have $55 worth of Borders Books gift cards. Any suggestions?


And another, completely unrelated note, click here if you have fast internet and Winamp or here for Windows Media. Enjoy!

Monday, April 18, 2005

Tonight's Near Death Experience

Ok, so it's not really that near death. Mmm... so not even close.

Monday night's are practice for Blam, CSU Swing Society's performance troupe. Since we are nearing the end of the school semester (only one more practice this year) we were reviewing some of the choreography that we had learned thus far. After a painful hour-or-so of the Big Apple (which I didn't learn so well b/c my knee was still too bad to do it) we moved on to "The California Routine." It's a good time. There are two aireals involved that we don't know yet, so we were going to learn them. I practiced the first move, a Lindy Flip, with one of our peoples and it was going pretty well, but then I attemped it with my regular dance partner... who we'll call "M"... and it was kind of a failure. So, try it again. And again... But to no avail. So, because we're stuborn, we've got to try it again... back-step, down-push! And M doesn't make it all the way around, comes down half on top of me and manages to step on my hand which I had put down to avoid falling over. Good times.

So that was tonght's near death experience. Really not that bad, but my hand is still a little red. I'm sure I'll survive.

Living to Blog another day!