Wednesday, August 29, 2007

My Most Embarrassing Moment. Ever.

Yesterday, on my way home, I was walking through an Orange Line Metro car looking for a place to stand, when the train suddenly lurched forward and started moving. Naturally, I was in mid-step when this happened, so when the car moved forward my center of gravity pulled me backwards (and away from the handrail I was trying to grab with an embarrassingly flailing hand). To keep from falling backwards, I over compensated and threw my weight forward. Well, wouldn't you know it, the train slowed suddenly at the exact same time causing me to completely lose my balance and face-plant (with my glasses and all) into the wall map on the side of the train. I hit my right cheek and forehead on the wall, and went down onto one knee.

A Good Samaritan rushed to see if I was OK, but I knew there was nothing he could do for my bruised and battered ego, so I dismissed him rather offhandedly. At this point (the whole affair lasted no more than a second or two, mind you) I gracefully stood up, opened my book and tried to read so as to ignore the fact that whole train was probably trying to hold back their laughter!

In retrospect, I should have taken a bow.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Virginia's Ridiculous Vehicle Laws

I've been avoiding this topic for far too long, mainly because it enrages me to the point where any reasoned discussion on the subject is impossible for me. However, when I found out about Lindsay Lohan being charged with 2 DUIs, driving under the influence of cocaine and reckless driving, then read that all of those crimes only amount to misdemeanors, I decided to say something.

Virginia's antiquated motor vehicle laws have got to go.

Now, before some people get their feathers in a ruffle. I'm not saying that we should reduce the fines and penalties for serious traffic offenses like DUIs and hit and run. I would suggest that those become more stringent, actually. No, I'm mainly talking about speeding laws here in the Commonwealth - a place where driving 75mph on the Capital Beltway will land you in jail for felony reckless driving. And now, thanks to this bonehead, will also end up costing you $3500 and a criminal record that lasts 11 years. Are you starting to see my frustration here?

OK, after reading some of the links I've posted for you here... I've decided that I still can't talk about this subject rationally. How is it that driving 75mph can be considered a felony when in other parts of the country people are able to drive under the influence of addictive narcotics and get a slap on the wrist? Where have our legislative priorities gone? Since this post has come unglued and gone off the rails, I'll instead point you instead to Big Stupid Guy's post on the subject. He pretty much encapsulates exactly what I'm trying to say. Grr....

UPDATE: VA Residents! You can petition to end the excessive fees HERE.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

The Eastern Shore

Livin' the good life!

Outer Banks, NC - Trip 1

We've started our first of two vacations to tin Outer Banks today. Here's our house. We'll be back for Labor Day week and be staying in a house 4 times this size!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Some People Are So Brave...

You've gotta hand it to Bear Grylls, survival-man extraordinaire. I mean, this guy is a bonafide daredevil! Wow.

To steal a quote from a funny gossip-rag, "Thank goodness Bear Grylls didn't fall into that terrifying crevice in Hawaii. He would have had to hike dozens of feet to get to help. Literally ... dozens!"

All I have to say is, LOL.

Monday, August 13, 2007

My Simpsonization

This picture is worth a thousand blogs. What do you think? A dead ringer, no? Go here to join in the fun!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

An American Terrorist Handbook

The New York Times is asking people to submit their best and brightest ideas for killing Americans. "Think like a terrorist for a day!" Wow, what fun! And hey, we can help Uncle Sam prepare at the same time - goes the logic.

For a plausible terrorist scenario, read Orson Scott Card's recent book, Empire. Beyond that, I'm not quite sure what I think about this "public service" of Mr. Levitt's.

For starters, these types of black exercises, while interesting and thought provoking, have the potential to cause great harm in a public forum. I understand the altruistic logic of playing these games, believing that the government should be aware of every type of scenario possible. However, the feds cannot possibly prepare for every single incident imaginable. By giving rise to a forum where people are free to let their imaginations run wild about ways to kill our fellow citizens, the NYT is essentially setting up a "cookbook" of sorts for those who would do us harm. Tell me, does the NYT think students should be able to list ways in which they can kill their classmates online in an open forum like this one? I doubt it.

I'm all for tabletop exercises, but there are sanctioned forums and think-tanks for this particular task. And while some readers may stumble upon an attack scenario that hasn't been conceived of yet - one that actually has the potential to be carried out - the potential recipes that are listed here already far outweigh the government's ability to effectively prepare. So, what's the point? I mean, besides tabloid tactics to draw readers, what is the point?

It's a tough call to make, because I love creative thinking and writing. But when it comes to authoring what will amount to another Anarchist's Cookbook or Columbine Journal, I have to draw the line at common sense. This is a bad idea.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

How Am I Supposed to Ride in This?

I'm home now. Back from a way-too-short vacation (see pictures in previous posts) out west visiting the in-laws. Yep, that's right... I enjoy spending time with the in-laws! Anyway, since I'm not on vacation anymore, I've been excited to get back to the trails with my newly repaired mountain bike. Unfortunately, I have to deal with this (also see picture at left - keeping in mind it's almost 5 pm). What you don't see is the humidity level - hovering right at 50%. It feels like Caribbean Mexico. Hot and nasty - only without the great beaches.

For those that don't know, riding mountain bikes in the mid-Atlantic in August is a bit like sitting in a sauna with a sweater on. It's brutally debilitating and a tad bit retarded. However, it's manageable with plenty of water and a slower pace. Why do I do it? Because, it's that much fun. Kind of like writing mindless posts like this...

Sunday, August 05, 2007

View of the Tetons

From the top o' the mountain.

Headed up the Mountain

Riding the Alpine Slide at Jackson Hole.

Jackson, WY

Beautiful day, too!

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Nowhere Idaho


Only in Idaho

Walking down the street.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Video of Minneapolis Bridge Collapse

This is absolutely shocking video taken by a security camera of the bridge collapse in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Just awful.