Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Some Thoughts On Guantanamo

Let's think about this rationally, shall we?

Gotta love Jon Stewart : )

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Kayaking Update

I had an awesome time kayaking last night at Open Pool. I am really starting to get the hang of my roll finally. I did over twenty solid, smooth rolls and it hardly even tired me out. If you are doing the roll incorrectly, you can get tired very quickly because your body is straining so hard to get out of the water (plus, you could easily injure yourself). Gordon had me doing several in a row, no stopping in between, which helps to build muscle memory and also prepares you a little bit for the disoriented feeling of a combat roll (an unexpected tumble on the river). Also, Gordon is teaching me how to do plowing enders and lean cleans. It is really delightful to be hanging out in a warm pool in the middle of frozen winter, too. Feels like a little taste of summer each week, which we could all use right about now : ).

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Speech

Yes, I loved the inaugural speech. It was everything that we needed it to be: honest, open, inspiring, respectful, brave. President Obama (I loved typing that!) reminded us that we can “choose our better histories” and make a new way for America in the world only if we are willing to return to our old ideals and principles about freedom, liberty and justice. He acknowledged that we live in a dangerous time, but reminded us that when this country’s founders wrote the Declaration, Constitution and Bill of Rights, they faced challenges we can scarcely imagine. Yet, they didn’t throw aside civil liberties or bend the rules for any temporary benefit; we won’t be tossing aside those ideals and rights in the name of today’s threats, either. The president boldly changed the course of our public policy in just a handful of sentences. He announced to the world that we will now be friendly, respectful and helpful instead of reactionary, brash, disrespectful, and dishonest. We will not continue to tread on weaker, poorer nations but will offer them what assistance we can, because it’s the right thing to do, it’s the moral thing to do; it’s what we say we stand for as a country and as individuals. Oh, how I hope we can live up to those words!

On domestic policy, President Obama further delivered on his campaign promises of change by speaking of sweeping changes in healthcare, energy, and retirement. To the naysayers and critics who say it can’t be done, he said, “What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them – that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply. The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works – whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified. Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end. And those of us who manage the public’s dollars will be held to account - to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day – because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.”

So, here we go into the next chapter of American history. President Obama likened it to putting childish things behind us. We are a young nation and are still reeling from the turmoils of our adolescence, but now it’s time to grow up. Now it’s time to be mature, to do the right thing, to make reasoned and reasonable choices and to act in a rational, dignified way. We can’t keep throwing tantrums and behaving foolishly if we want to continue to be on top. Time for a new day.

Thank you Mr. President.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Star Wars: Retold

Star Wars: Retold (by someone who hasn't seen it) from Joe Nicolosi on Vimeo.

Here's Joe Nicolosi on the making of this masterpiece:
My friend Amanda had never seen a whole Star Wars film. When I asked her if she wanted to watch the original trilogy she said that she would, but that she already knew what happens. So I took out my voice recorder and asked her to start from the top. I then created some very basic animation in Final Cut to go along with her narration.

Monday, January 12, 2009

The Rickshaw Run

Though it may seem we never want for adventure here in Spokanistan, in fact...we long for adventure. So, here's the latest hair-brained plan:

The Rickshaw Run is a charity event that takes place in India about twice a year. Teams of three raise money for charity (MercyCorps, Frank Water Projects and SOS Children's Villages are the official charities) then take off in a hired rickshaw and race for about 4000 kilometers from southern India to the north. Here's how the website describes it:

The Rickshaw Run is pretty simple. With no preparation and less luggage one flies to the Indian Subcontinent and does one's damndest to force 150cc of Indian engineering over thousands of miles of questionable terrain in around two weeks.

Upon arrival we pause briefly for a game of cricket followed by tea and cakes before revving our engines and setting off. We stop only to wet our whistles on the occasional gin and tonic at specially selected refreshment points.

Sounds awesome, right? Gordon and our friend Bill are trying to put at least one team together, plus raise the necessary funds for charity (part of the entrance fee).

Here's a small taste of the action:

Totally. Awesome.

Thursday, January 8, 2009