My Town – My Motorcycle

On Monday, January 6th a group over on Google+ is having a special internet event. The idea is that you jump on your bike and go take some pictures of places that best represent your town with your bike in the picture. It’s kind of a fun thing to do in order to both promote motorcycling and promote your town. Besides, I always think it’s neat to see where other people live. So here are my shots! Enjoy!

You can also see these over on the G+ event page. [ Event Page ]

 

Old Blog Entries Restored

Well, I spent some time this morning getting my old blog entries back into the database. They go all the way back to 2007! I actually had blogs going all the way back to 2002 but I seem to have misplaced that data. Bummer. That’s the biggest risk of the electronic age.

It’s interesting going back and looking at old entries though. So much has changed with me in terms of maturity, political views, etc. On the other hand, so much is exactly the same. It’s very cool to have this history to look back on.

Who will tell your story? Might as well be you!

I’ve been reading a pretty cool book about the Jewish people called “The Gifts of the Jews: How a Tribe of Desert Nomads Changed the Way Everyone Thinks and Feels” [ Amazon ]. It basically talks about the origins of the Bible and the stories within it. And what I find fascinating about it is how it talks about how people recorded their history back in the day.

As I was reading this book I started to think about my family’s history. Who’s recording it? How will my grandkids or great-grandkids know who we were? I don’t really know anything about my grandparents and honestly very little about my parents when it comes down to it, and that’s a shame because it’s history lost.

Now I have been blogging for years so I have a somewhat public record of certain thoughts on issues of the day or accounts of family events, but what happens to that when I die? It’s all electronic. When my account becomes inactive some program will just delete this blog and everything in it and I will cease to exist.

The Standard MemorandumI find that sad. Very sad. So this year I started a few new projects. First, I bought a little notebook called “The Standard Memorandum” [ Website ]. It’s basically a tall, thin notebook where you just jot down a few sentences about your day. You also record a certain amount of personal information like what you’re driving, your measurements, where you work, etc. Nothing anybody could use to steal your bank account, just information that somebody in the future could use to form a picture of who you are. You use one for each year, just jotting down highlights. Then you store them in a box and someday when you are long gone, somebody will find this box and read through them and see what was going on.

The second project I’m doing is starting to write an autobiography. I’m not a great writer so I’m not going to worry about structuring it all nice and stuff, but I’m just going to go back as far as I can remember and just talk about my experiences. I’ll print the pages out as I make progress so I have a physical copy.  I think some day when I’m gone, my daughter and whoever comes after her will get a kick out of it.

And yes, I’m leaving all the bad stuff out.

Reboot!

Well it’s a new year! That means the holidays are over and we can finally have a full day in the office without being offered cookies, or cakes, or cupcakes, or fudge, etc. I honestly did pretty good this year. I weighed in at 211 today, which is definitely a lot heavier than I want to be but still exactly where I was before Thanksgiving. So I haven’t gotten any worse!

Today though we start our 5 day juice fast and I’m pretty excited about it. It will be good to shed a few pounds and flush out all the holiday toxins. Now that things will be less busy it will be easier to work out as well. I’ve been running 3 times a week on average and that’s good, but I’d like to get back up to 5 and 6 day runs and workouts. I can always tell when I’ve been lazy because my joints start to get stiff and achy and stuff. Getting old sucks! But I’m fighting it like a boss.

Anyway, if you want to do your own reboot, check out Reboot with Joe [http://www.rebootwithjoe.com]. It’s not hard, the juices actually taste really good, and it really does help fix up the body chemistry.

Authenticity

Well then… I posted a whopping 4 times in 2013. Let’s try and change that for 2014 shall we?

So it’s new years day and, as many do at this time of year, I’m sitting here nursing my hangover and thinking about life. And I’m thinking the usual thoughts… what about me sucks? Yes, that’s exactly what I’m thinking. What about me sucks so bad that I need to change it this year?

There’s a lot of things actually but as I was sitting here thinking about the real deep things that are wrong with me I realized that these things are the same things I’ve been fighting with my whole life. My friends and family don’t always see these things of course. They think I’m freaking awesome! But I know they are there. The problem is I can’t really talk about them because well…. do we really want to air our dirtiest laundry to those who think we’re freaking awesome?

Of course not. That would spoil the freaking awesomeness, right? And I like being freaking awesome. But that causes a problem. And that problem is that we have to put up a front to maintain the image of freaking awesomeness. And maintaining that image causes stress and inner discouragement.

So what’s the cure? Well who knows? I’m not a therapist. I guess we come up with resolutions and stuff, right? So I’m doing a resolution this year. Only one. And that resolution is to simply live an authentic life.

What does that mean? Don’t worry I’m not going to just become a total a-hole and just be cool with it. I think it just means doing the right thing and being a good person, all the time, In mind, body and soul. In public, but also in the privacy of your own mind. It means a lot of self examination and really changing daily thought patterns and habits. But I think that goal creates a positive daily exercise for the heart and mind.

Now I could have just picked a few things that suck about me and focuses on those, but I think focusing on the whole person is more productive and actually a better approach. If you want to be a great drummer you can learn to play songs, but that means you can only play those songs. But if you learn technique and structure and styles, that allows you to play any music. So, I’m going to try and focus on being truly authentic and by doing that I hope that the parts I have to hide eventually just cease to exist.

So that probably sounds like a bunch of nonsense but it is what it is. We’ll see how it works out. Oh, and I ‘m also going to try and blog more.

Happy New Year everyone!

The Key to 25 Years of Marriage

20131105-070049.jpg
Celebrating 25 years together

Today my wife and I celebrate 25 years of marriage. This is a real milestone. 25 years is an insanely long time to do anything. It’s an even crazier amount of time to actually live in close contact with somebody and still get along, much less love that person.

After we reached our 15 year anniversary people started asking every year; “How do you do it.”. And honestly I think that’s a dumb question. Does anyone go into marriage not expecting to be together forever? I think Michelle and I started with the assumption that we would be together forever. Period. No exceptions. Failure is simply not an option. This was never a spoken thing, but it’s ingrained in both of us. It’s part of our core beliefs, and I think that’s one of the attractions I had to Michelle to begin with. So that’s first. Expect that you are going to grow old together, and push every other option out of your mind. You can’t just give up when it gets hard. And you can’t just have something new when you get tired of what you have. Don’t be jerks.

The next part is the part people seem to have a hard time with, but it’s so simple; Just treat each other well. I think that means different things depending on the couple. Some of the things Michelle and I have no problem with would drive other couples crazy. We give each other a lot of personal freedom and honestly we spend quite a bit of time apart with our various commitments and interests. For us that works and is necessary for us to get along and not smother each other. For others that might not work. But the key is to identify what works for both of you, and do that more! Then, Identify what causes stress and don’t do that at all! It’s really not that complex. Don’t be jerks.

1391826_10151974281252427_1525862357_n
At the alter in 1988

Lastly, extend some grace to each other. So many couples spend so much time trying to “fix” each other. Forget it! Know that your partner is going to be screwed up in some ways. And realize that you are screwed up too. Together you’re a screwy pair, and that’s what makes your relationship unique.  Respect each others wishes. Sacrifice for each other. Don’t be jerks.

So I could go on and on about marriage, but I think you can see I prefer the simple approach. Don’t be jerks!

So here’s wishing a Happy 25th Anniversary to my wife, Michelle! Thanks for hanging in there! I love you!

Independence Day

Happy Independence Day! This is a special day of remembrance for Americans. Despite what Facebook says, it’s not about BBQ, or fireworks, or “the troops”. We didn’t even have “troops” back in 1776. No, it’s about something that took an incredible amount of courage to do. This is the day our country wrote a letter to the King of the most powerful country on the planet and told him to bugger off (that’s English for “get screwed”), and we weren’t going to take his crap anymore. We were starting our own country.

When you think of the magnitude of that action, it’s pretty frightening. We were a country of farmers and business men. We didn’t have an army of any kind, no fighting ships to speak of, and we were picking a fight with a world superpower. That’s freaking scary. I could not imagine all the hand wringing and debate and prayer that must have gone into making that decision and actually writing up the document, knowing that signing it was going to result in a full on war with England. And you can tell they put some serious thought into it. This wasn’t a pissed off mob. These men were smart, and thoughtful and moral, and you can see that in the writing of the declaration.

So today, take a minute to get past all the cheesy cliche’s, the gluttony, and the bad photoshop images on Facebook and read the declaration for yourself. I’ve provided a link below. And then stop and thank God for our forefathers and their courage.

The Declaration of Independence

 

Nexus 10 vs. iPad Shootout to the Death!!!!!

IMG_2733

I really despise these whole “this versus that” arguments, especially when it comes to tech. C’mon people, why are we so damn competitive? Why does there have to “be only one”?

I got a Nexus 10 tablet this week, provided by my awesome employer, Community Medical Centers. See, I’m a web developer and so we need to make sure our sites look reasonable on all devices, or at least the popular ones, and after a few days of using it I realized a few important things; everything I’ve read on the Apple fanboy blogs is complete garbage. This is a dang good tablet! I’ve also realized however that the Android guys are also full of crap because owning this tablet has not made me a stud with the ladies, nor has it made me hate my iPad. Let me explain…

There are similarities and differences in the tablets. I mean, there’s a ton of patent battles going on so there are slight variations in how you do things between the devices, but honestly these things are just minor things that require a bit of retraining. Now I know that people get all bowed up about who created this or that first, but I don’t give a crap about that. Every creative endeavor starts with copying somebody else. Take music for example. There’s only 12 notes people! Are you going to criticize T-Pain because he first used a C chord 30 years after Iron Maiden? Artists steal, and improve. That’s how it works. So what I want to do here is point out some things I’ve noticed about the Nexus using my previous iPad experience as the baseline. There is no “winner” here, it’s simply a different way of doing things.

OK, so here are some things I really dig about the Nexus:

I love the launch screens. You have 5 screens and each can have any combination of info widgets which show weather, mail messages, etc, app icons, or “folders” that contain multiple icons. You can also arrange your icons with spaces in between them rather than having to have all your icons flow to the top left like on the iPad. You also have the standard launch bar at the bottom of the screen. In addition you have an “all apps” button that pulls up a screen of all your apps in alphabetical order as well as all your available gadgets. All this is very handy and customizable.

I like the notification window. Its a small pulldown window in the top left of the screen. Not all that different from the iPad but I think its more purposeful and less cluttered than the iPad equivalent.

I like the setting window. Its a small pulldown in the top right that gives you access to your settings rather than having to find the settings icon in one of your many launch screens.

The Nexus has a rubber back which I thought I would hate until I set the tablet down on my lap and it didn’t slide into my crotch. Very handy.

I absolutely love the integration of Google apps. Honestly I think Apple’s iCloud apps suck. I’ve always used Google apps but on the iPad they are second class citizens.

OK so there’s the main things I like. Now here’s the things that suck:

The keyboard! In writing this on the Nexus and its a pain. Honestly, the iPad keyboard sucks too but this one is giving me fits. It just feels like getting to numbers and special characters is a pain. And the fact that the home button is a software button rather than a hardware one, I’m constantly returning “home” when I go for the space key.

It crashes more than I would expect it to. I’ve already had two hard lockups in the 10 or so hours that I’ve used it.

As a whole, and this is very subjective, the OS feels stiff and rough around the edges. It’s just not as forgiving or polished as IOS.

Several apps that I love are not available on this device and others are clearly not as good as their IOS counterparts. This is not an issue with Android as much as it is with individual developers but still, it’s an issue.

So there you have it. Pretty minor annoyances eh? And that’s my point. This is a darn good tablet and I like it a lot. All in all I think if you took a complete noob and gave them one or the other they would have no problem using either one. So which would I buy if I only had $500 of my own money to spend? I can’t say yet. To me its a wash. If you had real specific needs such as controlling you prosthetic leg or running your Mackie mixer, I’d say iPad all the way, but if you’re just checking mail, browsing the web and playing some games, honestly you could go either way and, after a bit of getting used to the quirks of each OS, function just fine.

Son the moral of the story is to not buy into the fanboy hype. The differences are minor and mostly related to user training, not core defects in design. I would definitely stay away from any of the third party Android tablets though. Pure Google is the way to go.

Well, that was quick.

I decided a few weeks ago to kill this blog. I’ve been blogging for over 10 years and this is the third or fourth iteration of the blog and it had just become stale. So I killed it.

But a few days later I suddenly decided I had something to say but nowhere to say it. I had originally figured Facebook was where everyone posts these days, but quickly realized nobody wants to hear anything serious on Facebook. Facebook is like Christmas dinner with the in-laws. All small talk and smiles. The people who bitch about stuff are quickly sent to the back porch to hang out with that pimply cousin who smokes pot 24/7 and are not invited next year. Yes that my best analogy for Facebook filters.

So I fired the old blog back up. I thought about adding back all the old posts, but I figured screw it, it’s not worth the effort. I might dig out my Africa diaries since people seem to like that series of posts. But for now I’m starting fresh. A clean slate. A blank page. An empty canvas in which to split my head open and fling my brain goo onto. I hope you’re not eating spaghetti right now.

One thing I’m not doing this time is allowing comments. I’m so sick of spending time deleting fake handbag and viagra posts from my blog. So if you have an opinion about what I’ve written, you’re just gonna have to keep it to yourself.

Talk to you soon.

Happy New Year!

I’ve been on vacation for the past two weeks and while I got a lot of stuff done around the house, I feel like I’ve just been spending most of the time sleeping. Winter makes me lazy anyway. It’s cold. There’s less sun. It just makes me feel like hibernating. Sometimes I think that’s why we put the start of the year in the middle of winter. The excitement of a new start gives everyone a little boost of optimism and energy to make it to spring. That’s how I’m choosing to look at it anyway.

So what’s new for this year? Well, first off, I’m doing my annual post-Christmas detox. Now I know I should never let go like I do during the holidays to begin with, but it’s done, and so my only option is to detox and hope I do better next year.

This year Michelle and I decided to start juicing. I know, it sounds very “new age” and all that, but seriously, the older I get the more I’m learning that all that hippy crap like yoga and juicing and whole foods we made fun of in our 20’s is actually good for you. Who would have thought you can’t really be healthy drinking beer and eating Domino’s every night?

So we’re starting the year off with a juice fast, and after that’s over we plan to make juicing a regular part of our diet. So here’s the greatest thing about juicing: It’s the fastest way to get a LOT of veggies in your diet without having to eat a lot of veggies. Let’s face it, veggies suck. They don’t taste all that great and they are hard to prepare. I mean, how many dishes do you know that use kale or bok choy? The other problem is that to really get enough veggies in your diet, you have to eat platefuls of them. Well, with juicing you can reduce literally a mountain of veggies into a 16oz drink.

Now you’re probably thinking: It’s gotta taste like dirt, right? Actually, no! I was super surprised at how non terrible it tastes. Now I’m not gonna lie, it’s nowhere near as pleasant as an ice cold Sam Adams, but it’s not bad at all. The secret is to throw something sweet in on the tail end, like an apple or even a lemon or an orange. That takes the “green” off the flavor. The other cool thing about juicing is that you don’t get all that nasty texture like you would if you blended your veggies or just ate them strait. It’s just liquid, and if you serve it over ice, it’s even better. And what’s cool is you can mix and match all kinds of fruits and veggies for various flavors.

So, I’ll be posting more information as Michelle and I become more experienced with juicing and if you want to see an amazing documentary about the power of juicing your vegetables, fire up Netflix and watch Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead. You will be amazed.

%d bloggers like this: