Tuesday, December 28, 2004
Saturday, December 25, 2004
Tuesday, December 21, 2004
The plaque reads: In 1902 a notorious killer named Harry Tracy shot his way out of an Oregon prison and high-tailed it into Washinton. A posse caught up with him near the present-day location of the Wayne Golf Course. In the ensuing gun battle Tracy killed deputy Charles Raymond and wounded deputies Karl Anderson and Jack Williams before jumping off a cliff and escaping into the under brush below. Tracy's trail of terror ended two months later in Eastern Washington when, surrounded in a wheat field with no way out, he took his own life.
My walking partner enjoys local history and had a good time reading all the boulders. We also walked through the campus of Cascadia/UW Bothell and visited the bookstore. The campus was very pleasant to walk through, even if it was dripping wet from the earlier downpours.
If you'd like to donate to the cause, please click on the logo to go to my donation page. I'm currently up to $110 of donations, with a goal of $4200.
Friday, December 17, 2004
As usual, I urge you to donate a little money to Breast Cancer research, and it'll be even cooler if you can do so by clicking on the logo and helping me to reach my fundraising goal.
Sunday, December 12, 2004
Despite losing to the Boston Celtics last night (their first home loss of the season), the Sonics are still doing well. They're currently 17-4 and 3 1/2 games ahead of Minnesota in the division. Only Phoenix has a better record in the league right now.
In hockey, both the Seattle Thunderbirds and Everett Silvertips are still doing well, and are essentially tied atop the division standings. Everett is 17-8-5-2 with 41 points, while Seattle is right behind them at 20-8-0-0 and 40 points.
And let's not forget some of the college teams! The Seattle University men's soccer team won the NCAA Division II national championship. And the University of Washington women's volleyball team won the regional tournament, and will be competing in the Final Four next weekend. They've had an outstanding year, and the icing on the cake would be an NCAA title...
He’s no better than those people who pretend they’re hardcore Christians when they’re really preaching Satan Triumphant. I mean the ones who think that after years and years of weekly church services, with hymn-singing and Bible-reading, the least little exposure to some kind of encoded Satanic reference—seeing pictures of rainbows or Ganesha, or taking in the afternoon matinee of the latest Harry Potter movie, or hearing a rock song with muddled lyrics they can’t make out anyway—is tantamount to throwing open the door to Satan.
What they’re saying is that Satan is much more powerful than God, and that nobody who was even glancingly acquainted with Satanism would ever want to stick with Christianity. They might as well don the robes and start sacrificing goats, because they believe in the mighty power of Satan as much as any declared Satanist out there.
Go and read the whole article. It's quite amazing how this section jumps out at you, though.
Thursday, December 09, 2004
You'd think that whoever wrote the ad would do a bit more research to make the call after "out of bounds" a little more logical and normal. Or maybe they want people to say, "Huh?"
Tuesday, December 07, 2004
The first was on Sunday afternoon, just at dusk. I worked at the shop for a few hours then walked over to the pug house of horrors from there. It was about a mile and a half, if I read the odometer in my car (a few days before the walk) correctly. In any case, it wasn't a tough walk at all, and I arrived at the pug house invigorated if tired. It was a little too dark for me to get any good pictures, though I considered attempting to take some shots of Christmas displays. Maybe next time.
After resting yesterday (except for work) I walked down to the library with Eric today. There was a book I really want to read a story from, so the motivation was there. Again, it was a short walk compared to what I need to be doing, but it wasn't hard and the rain was actually quite refreshing to walk in.
I did stop for a moment to snap a picture of this sign on a grocery store on the way. I couldn't help but grin at the nice little editorial on the sign:
And I thought I was paranoid.
In other news, I got another donation! Thank you Robin and Arlene! The contribution is much appreciated. It also put me up over $100, which makes the goal seem possible suddenly. If you want to contribute, click on the Logo:
To finish up my report, let me tell you that the socks are working really well. In fact, I'm going to go so far as to say that if you have a job in which you have to stand a lot, you ought to get yourself a pair and try them out. I got them from The Sock Company, who as you may recall from previous blog entries were extremely good at getting back to me when I had a problem with my order. The brand is WrightSock, and they seem to work as advertised, although I'll be putting them to a much bigger test over the next few months.
Sunday, December 05, 2004
Saturday, December 04, 2004
Monday, November 29, 2004
It has meant that I dropped the attempts to keep on the training schedule entirely, and instead I'm focused on continuing to get better. When I'm at 95% or so I'll start training for real again.
In the meantime, I felt good enough today to walk down to the grocery store after work, a decent little jaunt, and snag some stuff Eric didn't know to get when he went to the store because I forgot to put them on the list. I wore the new socks, which are WONDERFUL, and was only a little winded when I got back.
Saturday, November 27, 2004
Tuesday, November 23, 2004
Ok. I'm impressed. I didn't ask for anything or expect anything, but a refund on the shipping is very nice. And, since the socks aren't actually damaged, I don't have to go through any hassle of returning anything. And hopefully no one else will go through a problem with their box being half-open. All told, a win.
The company that sent them got a nice (I hope) letter from me regarding their packaging and lack of ability thereof. See the box was completely trashed, and not just from UPS handling. The tape wasn't secured to the box, none of the corners of the box were taped, and a side of the box was completely open. It's a miracle all the pairs of socks arrived intact. As much as I hate packing stuff (and I really hate packing stuff), I would never have done such a poor job as whoever packed this one.
So I wrote to the company, and I hope to get either an apology or at least an acknowledgement of the poor job. If I don't, well... they use BizRate and I'll have to be honest in my evaluation of them.
Monday, November 22, 2004
Sunday, November 21, 2004
Making sure you know the basis for my choices after the incident is as important to me as knowing how the incident went down. I did not in any way feel like I had captured some kind of "prize" video. In fact, I was heartsick. Immediately after the mosque incident, I told the unit's commanding officer what had happened. I shared the video with him, and its impact rippled all the way up the chain of command. Marine commanders immediately pledged their cooperation.
We all knew it was a complicated story, and if not handled responsibly, could have the potential to further inflame the volatile region. I offered to hold the tape until they had time to look into incident and begin an investigation -- providing me with information that would fill in some of the blanks.
For those who don't practice journalism as a profession, it may be difficult to understand why we must report stories like this at all -- especially if they seem to be aberrations, and not representative of the behavior or character of an organization as a whole.
The answer is not an easy one.
I knew NBC would be responsible with the footage. But there were complications. We were part of a video "pool" in Falluja, and that obligated us to share all of our footage with other networks. I had no idea how our other "pool" partners might use the footage. I considered not feeding the tape to the pool -- or even, for a moment, destroying it. But that thought created the same pit in my stomach that witnessing the shooting had. It felt wrong. Hiding this wouldn't make it go away. There were other people in that room. What happened in that mosque would eventually come out. I would be faced with the fact that I had betrayed truth as well as a life supposedly spent in pursuit of it.
When NBC aired the story 48-hours later, we did so in a way that attempted to highlight every possible mitigating issue for that Marine's actions. We wanted viewers to have a very clear understanding of the circumstances surrounding the fighting on that frontline. Many of our colleagues were just as responsible. Other foreign networks made different decisions, and because of that, I have become the conflicted conduit who has brought this to the world.
Saturday, November 20, 2004
Wednesday, November 17, 2004
I took a few pictures along the way. This first one is of one of the many, many rodents hanging from trees in Ravenna Park. I tried to get a picture of one tree that was covered with them, but they all scooted around to the other side of the tree before I got the shot off. This guy was just watching the pugs closely, even though the pugs don't usually show any interest in them.
As we walked over the ravine on the bridge, I saw a couple of spectacular trees showing off their autumn colors. Sadly, the picture doesn't nearly show how brilliant it was in real life, and according to Nancy the trees were far prettier only a couple of days ago. Still, you can get a tiny concept of how beautiful the view from the bridge is from this picture.
I've gotten another donation, this time from somebody who doesn't have a website I can link to. Thank you Maggie. Every donation keeps me going a bit longer.
Let me finish up today's report with news about my socks. Namely, they are on the way and due to be delivered to me next Tuesday. Not perfect, but I think I'll survive until then. I don't normally wear pink, but I guess I'll get used to wearing socks with a pink ribbon on them.
Tuesday, November 16, 2004
I went 3544 steps, down to the library and back. Nothing special, nothing hard. A bit over a mile and a half. I feel absolutely awful. Hopefully some hot cocoa, water, and rest will fix it, but I can't believe how bad I feel right now.
Anyway, mission accomplished, and here's today's rainy picture. This is the boulder at 183rd and SR 527, also known as the corner by the Ricketts building.
The plaque reads: Bothell High School's first State Championship came in 1927, when the boys basketball team upset highly favored Yakima. The whole town celebrated the feisty cougars' victory, continuously ringing the school bell (which now hangs at the Park at Bothell Landing) and dancing around a roaring bonfire.
Not much more to say to that one, except that I'm really thinking the animal representing Bothell is a cougar, not a lion. After all, it doesn't have a mane.
On the donation front... nothing new. I need to start making some serious efforts, but I don't like asking for money. I just have to remind myself that it's not for me, it's for breast cancer research. And anyone can get breast cancer.
If you feel like helping out, visit my donation inspiration page to put your money where my feet are.
Monday, November 15, 2004
Sunday, November 14, 2004
The Seahawks didn't do so good. I watched part of it, but not the end. It just wasn't that interesting a game.
The Thunderbirds also won another one last night.
Overll, not a bad weekend for Seattle sports, surprise, surprise.
At the Orientation, the coach suggested WrightSocks. One reason to get these socks in particular is because they sell pink ribbon socks in which a portion of the proceeds go to Breast Cancer research. I went off and ordered some after a quick check of prices. I'll mention when they arrive. In the meantime, I expect to go through my old pairs of socks fairly quickly. I don't have any socks that aren't already nearly worn through. Will my old socks last long enough for the new ones to arrive? Or will I wallow in despair as I stumble around town with holes in my socks... tune in next time for the answers...
Sorry, went into cheesy TV mode there. As I mentioned, we walked the other half of the Loop today, and I got a couple more pictures of boulders. We actually have visited every boulder now, all nineteen that are installed. I've only covered three of them here... because I want a reason to do the loop repeatedly. Once that fun is over, though, I wonder what I'll do for entertainment on long walks?
This is the boulder near City Hall, at 183rd and 101st. I think this is actually the first boulder I stopped to look at, and the first one I ever paid any attention to.
The plaque reads: Bothell Ordinance 1, dated August 4, 1889, prohibits apes from using the streets of Bothell during July and August. No, I don't know why apes are prohibited in July and August, but it sounds like you could get an interesting story out of it without even knowing the facts. The "ape" on the plaque is the owl that represents the school, acting very ape-like.
I also took a picture of the sidewalk in front of the police station, which has a painted on notice of the loop:
There are several places around Bothell where you can see the words and arrows. They don't quite tell you where to look for the boulders, though, and without the map I don't think I could find most of them even with the help from the sidewalks.
Nothing new on the donation front. It would be nice to get more, but I don't expect anything more until I start pleading again, and I don't feel much like pleading yet. I will tell you how much I've spent on this so far, though. The registration fee was $90, and I paid that when I signed up. I just bought six pairs of special socks for $45. So my total out for this so far is $135. I still need to get new shoes, which won't be cheap. I plan on using my current two pairs as long as I can stand them before buying new. I may end up having to get as many as four more pairs before The Walk, depending on a lot of factors. In any case, I'll have to have two pairs of shoes with me during The Walk itself.
If you want to donate, it will help a lot. It's easier for me to justify buying shoes and socks... and eventually other clothing like shorts... if I've got the donations backing me up on the walk itself.
That's all for now. Tomorrow is crosstraining Monday, and if I go, it'll be swimming.
Anyway, I was reminded of politics by a self-righteous torture-supporter who decided to apparently make a Blogger ID just to harass me. What a complete dope! What an utter moron! Does anyone really think that they can change my mind by spamming my comments?
Since this person clearly wants me to respond, I will go against my usual policy of not feeding the trolls with some political commentary. All of those people who aren't idiots because they didn't vote for Bush, or voted for Bush out of ignorance instead of sheer evil, can just skip this entry.
First off, I will NEVER apologize for my opinion. I'm entitled to my opinion, and if you don't want to read my opinion, you don't have to come to my blog. I don't force my opinion on other people by spamming their comments. I don't harass people through e-mail. I've kept my opinions on my blog, and even further removed them from the public eye by moving them to this blog, which isn't as well-read as my other.
The person who is harassing me has decided to do so anonymously. This person has come to my blog repeatedly, and posted comments on blog entries that had absolutely NOTHING to do with politics. Instead of writing his/its/her opinions on his/its/her own blog, this person has choosen to come to mine and force me to read his/its/her vile language and stupidity. I have news for you, scumbag, I don't CARE about your opinion. I might have, once upon a time, if you'd presented it politely, logically, and with a real name to go with it instead of nastily and anonymously. But now? No. All you've done is confirmed what I thought of many people who voted for Bush. All you've done is made me hate your kind (Rethuglicans) even more. You're a self-righteous idiot, and I hope that you suffer dearly under Dubya's thumb, since you asked for it.
Now, a couple more thoughts on politics:
Fourteen Defining Characteristics Of Fascism, 14 of which match Rovian politics. So maybe I should be calling Dubya fans Fascists instead of scumbag idiots? For the record, I don't think America is becoming Fascist, yet. I think we're definitely on that road, though, and anyone who continues to support Bush knowing what he's done might as well call themselves Fascists.
The Problem With Electronic Voting Machines by Bruce Schneier.
Walking the walk on family values... guess what state has the lowest divorce rate? Massachusetts, that horrible liberal state. Oddly enough, most of the "red states" are full of hypocrites who claim to be moral but when pressed turn out to not even come close to living up to the standards they hold the rest of the world to. See, they are completely "do as I say, not as I do" like Rush Limbaugh the drug addict.
Dubya is going to purge the CIA. Is he getting rid of people who gave him bad advice and wrong information on Iraq? No! He's getting rid of anyone not loyal to him. Is that the actions of a democratically elected official? Tell me again, are you stupid enough to believe Dubya?
Lastly, I've turned off comments again. This is to keep the troll from bothering me. You see, I don't want to hear from it. I'm not interested in the opinions of a torture-supporting pendejo. To the troll: Since you can't take a hint, I'll tell you flat out: Go away. Leave me alone. I think you are stupid and sick in the head, and I will ALWAYS believe that. You aren't even brave enough to use your name. You're just another hypocrite. Go Cheney yourself.
Saturday, November 13, 2004
During the short walk, I hit four of the boulders on the Town-Gown Loop, and took a picture of the one at 102nd and 183rd, which is actually the same boulder you see in my third training report.
The plaque reads: Every Christmas season from the 1930's through the 1970's an immense fir tree at the corner of main street and 102nd Avenue NE glowed with lights strung by community groups. The December, 1962 issue of Life Magazine recognized the 112 foot tall, nine foot diameter fir as "The World's Largest Living Christmas Tree." Disease attacked the tree in the late 70's, and the top section had to be removed. The image is of the Lion/Cougar that represents Bothell tangled up in Christmas lights.
The Orientation was a bit of a disappointment, as I had heard most of the news and information from Eric already. There were some new bits, like the level of commitment needed from the Crew, and the ratios of donations that actually go to the Cancer foundations. They also made it absolutely clear that all donations are tax deductible. In fact, if somebody donates this year, then donates again next year, they can get two years of deductions out of the one walk. There was a lot on fundraising, and people's worries about getting enough money.
For the record, at least 70% of what get raised goes directly into Cancer research, the minimum amount to raise is the level at which it goes to 30/70, with the 30% needed to support the walk itself. If I raise more, the ratio will get better and more money will go to Cancer research. The ratio can only get better.
Well, much more to do... I need to concentrate on getting healthy now.
Friday, November 12, 2004
After yesterday's walk I decided to e-mail the city of Bothell and ask about where the various hills are, not to mention what happened to the missing boulder. To my surprise, I got a response first thing this morning!
Nike Hill, listed as the tallest on the boulder I wrote about yesterday, is the same hill that I stupidly climbed in my Dodge Caravan during a winter storm. You see, I wanted to get home, and as the storm started I thought to go the alternate route, forgetting about the very large hill along the way. Had I been smart, when I got to the bottom of the hill I would have turned back and tried the other route, but I'm stubborn and was already stressed from driving that far in the icy snow. The streets were getting slicker by the moment, and I didn't want to end up in a ditch somewhere, so I aimed the van up the hill and kept up a steady acceleration. To my immense surprise, considering the condition of the tires on that poor thing, I slowly but surely climbed to the top. While I climbed, other cars attempted the hill. Some made it up, but most of them would get a bit up the hill then slide back down. That was how slick it was.
When I got to the top of what I now know is Nike Hill, I thought the hard part was over. Foolish me. I still had to get down the hill. As I started down, it quickly became apparent that down is much, MUCH harder than up. I spun out constantly. I was really lucky that there was no other car in front of me, and no ditch... just a wide shoulder. I have often stated that I believe I had a guardian angel stopping my van while I went down that hill... and I still believe that. There were several times that I knew I was going to crash into somebody's retaining wall, but I stopped just in time. I eventually made it safely to the bottom without hitting anyone, and was able to continue home. Ironically, it was on a much more gentle hill on the way home that I finally got stuck thanks to someone who couldn't push their car out of the way so people could go around. Luckily, there were enough people there to give the van a gentle shove that I managed to be stuck for only a minute.
The e-mail from Bothell said that the hill was named for the military base at the top, which I've passed many times, that housed Nike anti-missile batteries during the Cold War. I admit to being curious as to what it was called before the Cold War.
Norway Hill is the hill just South of downtown. It was the one I suspected it to be. I don't have a fun story to go along with Norway Hill. I do think the name is appropriate for me and Eric, though.
As for the missing boulder, it hasn't been installed yet! There was a construction project going on when the boulders were placed, and they were waiting for the project to be finished before installing the boulder. Now it's on the city's "to do" list, just waiting. At least I know now that I didn't miss it, it really isn't there.
Thursday, November 11, 2004
I had vague hopes of being able to do the entire Town-Gown Loop, but that was not to be. In addition to feeling ill, I needed a restroom badly before we'd gone halfway, and everything was closed because of the holiday. So we did about half the loop and came home. The pedometer says 3562. A bit less than two miles.
I didn't take pictures of all the Town-Gown Loop boulders because I wanted a reason to go back and revisit. We found and read nine of the boulders. One of them appeared to be missing from its spot on the map.
This one is the one at the corner of 103rd and 185th.
It reads: "The highest point in Bothell is 506 feet on the top of Nike Hill (the summit of Norway Hill, at 480 feet, is second-highest). The lowest is 19 feet, where the Sammamish River leaves Bothell and enters Kenmore." The image is of an Owl (which on the other plaques that show the City and School together represents the school) holding a flag that says "Bothell" on top of a hill.
No, I'm not sure where Nike Hill or Norway Hill are. I've been living here for five years and still don't know the landmarks.
Wednesday, November 10, 2004
I downloaded a map of the Bothell Town-Gown Loop, and if I'm not seriously sick, I'll walk it tomorrow sometime. It looks like a very solid 3 mile route with plenty to look at and take pictures of along the way. It also visits some spots in Bothell that I've never been to, like the Pioneer Cemetery, despite living here for a few years. There appear to be 20 boulders, each with a unique fun fact, so I'll try to get pictures of all of them for the page.
Tuesday, November 09, 2004
I thought the Sonics were really bad this year, as I've even heard people saying the coach was in danger of losing his job, only three games into the season. I looked up Seattle's record to figure out why, and still couldn't see it, as the Sonics are 2-1. And they seem to be handling the Nuggets ok. I finally thought to look at their pre-season record, which was awful. I thought the pre-season didn't matter, but that's the only reason I can see for people making a fuss about how bad they are.
You want a Seattle team that's doing well this year, though, check out the Thunderbirds. They've only lost four games out of sixteen so far this season. Not bad at all.
And, despite their three-game trip up, the Seahawks aren't doing all that badly, either. Halfway through the season and they've got a five and three record. Nothing to sneeze at.
My feet did fine this time, the only pain was in my shins, and that was from walking a bit too "smartly". I think I went into marching band mode and was actually using the glide step. Not bad for when you are playing an instrument, but terrible for distance walking.
When I realized my camera was out of battery power, I lost a lot of energy. It really is helping me to have a goal of taking a cool picture somewhere along the route. I need to keep my back-up batteries fully charged, or risk being depressed again.
I came back home on a slightly different route, through the Bothell Landing Shopping Plaza, which is across the street from the park. I was hoping to find a public restroom, actually, but didn't spot any. I did get the feeling that I can learn a lot more about Bothell by walking around it than I have in the last few years of living here.
The library really is a heckuva lot closer to our house than I'd realized. I need to walk to it more often. We really did luck out on the location of this house.
Tomorrow is my scheduled rest day, no walking or crosstraining. Thursday is another walk, Friday is crosstraining, and then walks on Saturday and Sunday. In addition, my orientation meeting is on Saturday, and maybe I'll find another local to walk with. I need to remember... the meeting is in the morning, at 10:15 am. It's at the library, so I can walk to it. I must remember... meeting is in the morning...
This is a boulder on the City of Bothell Town-Gown Loop. In addition to having this bit about the City of Bothell and the college joining together (represented by a lion and an owl), every boulder along the route also has some "fun fact" about Bothell. As I was about to take a picture of the fun fact for this boulder, the camera gave up. However, I did find out that the Loop is almost 3 miles... so I've got another route to try.
Today's walk was longer than the first two, and a bit chilly when I started out. I'm not sure I quite got in three miles, because my pedometer kept stopping. When it did work, however, I discovered that 2000 steps is indeed very close to one mile. In the end, it showed 5070 steps. I think I did go the full three miles, but I won't count it as such.
I had some brief pain in my lower legs, mostly in the shin areas. Nothing serious, and when I relaxed and stopped trying to march it made a big difference. Some small part of me wants to make a big production out of this.
Monday, November 08, 2004
The big news is that I got a donation! My friend and fellow comic book fan Elayne Riggs is the first one to actually register a donation at my donation site. THANK YOU, Elayne! That got me fired up for this week's walks. I went from wondering if I could actually make the minimum to raring to go out and do this.
Ok, more tomorrow after I get a walk in. I'll try to get a picture of something other than a fowl.
Saturday, November 06, 2004
Friday, November 05, 2004
The walk was a bit shorter than 2 miles, it was 3532 steps according to my cheapie pedometer. The claim is that 2000 steps is a mile, roughly. I'm still well short of the 3 miles where the training schedule starts at, but I think I might be able to do it, I just need to find a few good routes that are about that distance.
If you want to give me some inspiration, I could use a donation. Just one donation, even just $5 would make me feel a lot better. Click here to donate, or on the image:
If there's a lack of money, you could also leave me a comment to help inspire me.
And yes, I still feel the need for new socks/shoes. I think that's going to be one of the highest priorities for the first couple of months. I'm not too terribly worried about a lot of this, but taking care of my feet is important.
In the meantime, Mike Hargrove was announced as the M's new manager some time ago. I'm looking forward to seeing what, if anything, he brings to the team.
I won't say that the M's have nowhere to go but up, but it would be hard for them to do much worse than this year...
Thursday, November 04, 2004
Wednesday, November 03, 2004
Monday is always listed as a rest day, which might work for me. I do plan on continuing my Monday swims, though, so I have to consider those. The swims are generally not high impact, but they might replace one of the "cross training" days.
Tuesday is listed as an "easy walk" day, topping out in the later weeks at 6 miles, and never going below 3 miles. I'll have to work up to 3 miles, but I've got a few weeks to do that. One mile today wasn't a big effort, and if it hadn't have been getting dark I might have managed another mile. The river park is at the 9 1/2 milepost on the trail, so if I went in either direction to the next milepost and back, that's two miles (from home and back). That will definitely be my next goal.
Wednesday is listed as "Moderate Crosstrain", starting at zero minutes for the first four weeks (making it a second restday) then gradually working up to 45 minutes. I'm thinking "exercise bike" for Wednesday. I could also do the Wednesday swim, depending on what happens.
Thursday is listed as "Moderate Walk", and again has the three mile minimum.
Friday is another Crosstraining day, this one going from 30 minutes to 45 minutes. More exercise bike, unless I switch it with the Monday swim.
Saturday and Sunday are the big walking days, with distances topping out at 30+ miles for the weekend. Four weeks before The Walk, I should be able to manage two back-to-back 15 miles days, according to the chart.
For this week... I'm not sure what I should do. Today's walk was nice and mild, and maybe I should just plan on duplicating it tomorrow. Or, if Eric wants to get into the act, I can bike tomorrow, then walk with Eric on Friday. I don't think I'll try to fit into the regular suggested schedule until next Monday. All of this could change if I find another Bothell walker who wants to join me, or if I learn something important at the orientation meeting Saturday next.
"Training for what?" you ask? Well, hey, I've just signed up to do the Seattle 3-Day Breast Cancer Walk, and I need to get in shape. I've got about 37 weeks to get ready to walk 60 miles in 3 days.
After signing up today, I felt obligated to start out with a small walk to kick off the training. I wasn't sure where to go, since I don't really like the walking options in our neighborhood. After some thought, and some false starts, I decided to walk from our home down to Sammamish River Park, about a half mile away. Originally I was going to drive down to the park then walk along the trail, but that seemed... wrong, somehow.
I don't know how long it took me, but it wasn't a bad walk at all. The last time I walked that far was with Eric, and I think he set the pace too fast for me because I didn't have any of the problems I've had when I walk with him. When I got to the park, I was surrounded by ducks almost immediately... sinister ducks... and had to pull out my camera for a shot. Of course they scattered, so I only got one. See... sinister.
I suspect I'll be taking my camera along quite a bit on my training walks, both because I intend to have it with me on the 3-Day itself and because it will give me a goal within a goal for my walks.
The walk back was a little more difficult, and I found that I'm going to need new shoes and, particularly badly, new socks long before I expected to need them. But on the other hand, it's good to find out now, when the walk is so far away. But that's another worry. In addition to the money I need to raise to participate, I'm going to need to raise a bit of money to outfit myself with another pair or two of shoes and some good socks. If I can find it, I intend to wear my Legoland hat during training and the 3-Day, and T-shirts are just not a problem for me. But socks... I'm going to need some really good socks.
Fortunately, I'll probably be way too old to be of interest to be drafted myself. I hope...
As for Bush, the best I can hope for now is that he will choke on his own ego before he does any more serious damage. I'm not confident in that. In any case, Bush will never be president in my eyes, if for nothing else than for the horrors of Abu Ghraib that Bush not only approved of, but made possible by his actions. In my opinion, any person who voted for Bush voted for Abu Ghraib. Anyone who voted for Bush this year is an accomplice to prison torture.
And I hope the young'uns enjoy the draft. I know that if I'm called to wage Bush's war, I won't go. I don't believe in wars based on lies. If he wants to draft me to actually go after real terrorists, that's one thing, but to go invade an unrelated country? No way. I will never take up arms for a madman like Bush. And anyone who chooses to join the military now, knowing that Bush is a scumbag traitor, is also scum. Wait until the madman is gone, then join up.
Tuesday, November 02, 2004
Monday, November 01, 2004
Republicans say Democrats are trying to get more people to vote, including people who can't vote for various reasons.
Apparently, the more people who vote, the worse off the Republican party is. So which party believes in a true democracy, I wonder? The one trying to get people to vote, or the one trying to stop people from voting?
Sunday, October 31, 2004
Saturday, October 30, 2004
Thursday, October 28, 2004
1. Make sure you are the correct voting precinct. You can check at My Polling Place or call 1-866-OUR-VOTE for assistance.
2. If you are at the correct polling place and officials claim you are not registered, request a provisional ballot. It's your right under the law.
Please pass this on to as many people as you can. Lifted straight from Political Wire.
Wednesday, October 27, 2004
Tuesday, October 26, 2004
Strap him with AK-47
Let him go
Fight his own war
Let him impress daddy that way.
No more blood for oil!
We got our own battles to fight on our soil.
No more psychological warfare
to trick us to think that we ain't loyal
If we don't serve our own country
we're patronizing a hero
Look in his eyes
It's all lies.
The stars and stripes
They've been swiped
Washed out and wiped,
And Replaced with his own face!
Mosh now or die.
If I get sniped tonight you'll know why, because I told you to fight..."
-from "Mosh" by Eminem
Watch the video. Links in this thread.
Monday, October 25, 2004
Oh, wait, there are lots of political ads being shown during the World Series, and any other show we want to watch... (Jeopardy! is becoming almost unwatchable for all the political ads running during it.)
Of course, those ads won't have any affect on us. We voted already!
I wish I could send it to my family.
Via Life, It Is A Travesty.
Sunday, October 24, 2004
You wonder where the Iraqi insurgents are getting their materials for bombing? Wonder no more.
Bush's inability to allow proper planning has resulted in an unthinkable disaster, and then the Bush Administration, who knew about the thefts, hid all information about it in a vain attempt to prevent the American public from learning about it.
How can anyone support Bush? How can anyone with even a tiny shred of decency cast a vote for Bush and his corrupt and murderous administration? The answer is: you can't. Only people who are morally bankrupt or completely ignorant will be voting for Bush.
What does Bush think our troops are? A bunch of plastic pawns to push around a table at need? These are human beings! Sending them on a mission when: "their trucks lacked essential armor, vehicles were broken down, there was no plan for adequate combat support and, finally, the fuel shipment was contaminated (and thus unusable)" seems like something only a military berift of brains would do. Where's the common sense? If the stuff they were supposed to delivery wouldn't even work, why send the men on a suicide mission?
Saturday, October 23, 2004
And if they do, and there is a suitable Republican candidate in 2008, I will consider voting Republican again. But as long as Bush remains in power, no Republican will ever get my vote.
Since Bush has been completely ineffective for his entire administration, this doesn't come as much of a surprise.
Friday, October 22, 2004
It's also an Alex Ross piece, which ties it into my comic book fandom. Sadly, I don't dare post it on Bloggity thanks to rethuglicans. The title piece in The Village Voice, the source of this cover, has an interesting quote about politics:
Ever since the days of Joe McCarthy, the claim that a made-up charge by one side is no longer an outrage if the wronged party gets a chance to refute it has been an easy refuge for journalistic scoundrels. When Republicans accused someone of being a Communist, newspapers reported it, true or not; then they reported the victim's outraged denials, the day's work done—no matter that the person's life might now be ruined by the merely invented accusation. With a setup like that, the side willing to say anything to win will win every time.
Rethuglicans will say anything to win. They are the enemy. Terrorists may threaten our lives, but the Bush Administration threatens our very way of life.
As if that weren't bad enough, they are also delusional:
The Sept. 11 Commission found that there were no substantial ties between Hussein and al-Qaeda, and Charles Duelfer's report states that Iraq had no significant WMD program. Nevertheless, the overwhelming majority of supporters of the President take comfort in pretending that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, and pretending that there were significant ties between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda.
In addition, the University of Maryland's Program on International Policy Attitudes' survey also found that a majoroty of supporters of President Bush mistakenly believe that the President supports the Kyoto global-warming treaty, the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, the International Criminal Court, and the treaty banning land mines, when he in fact opposes them. A majority of Bush supporters also think that most of the people on the world hope the President is re-elected. This is not the case.
They lie to us, they lie to themselves... if you vote for Bush, you are an idiot.
I have been, and will continue to be, a Republican. But when we as a party send the wrong person to the White House, then it is our responsibility to send him home if our nation suffers as a result of his actions. I fall in the category of good conservative thinkers, like George F. Will, for instance, who wrote: "This administration cannot be trusted to govern if it cannot be counted on to think and having thought, to have second thoughts."
I am not enamored with John Kerry, but I am frightened to death of George Bush. I fear a secret government. I abhor a government that refuses to supply the Congress with requested information. I am against a government that refuses to tell the country with whom the leaders of our country sat down and determined our energy policy, and to prove how much they want to keep that secret, they took it all the way to the Supreme Court.
Those of you who are fiscal conservatives and abhor our staggering debt, tell your conservative friends, "Vote for Kerry," because without Bush to control the Congress, the first thing lawmakers will demand Kerry do is balance the budget.
The wonderful thing about this country is its gift of citizenship, then it's freedom to register as one sees fit. For me, as a Republican, I feel that when my party gives me a dangerous leader who flouts the truth, takes the country into an undeclared war and then adds a war on terrorism to it without debate by the Congress, we have a duty to rid ourselves of those who are taking our country on a perilous ride in the wrong direction.
If we are indeed the party of Lincoln (I paraphrase his words), a president who deems to have the right to declare war at will without the consent of the Congress is a president who far exceeds his power under our Constitution.
I will take John Kerry for four years to put our country on the right path.
Many thanks to Trash Heap, where I spotted this first.
Thursday, October 21, 2004
From all the outcry over Mr. Kerry's invocation of Ms. Cheney, with the attendant rhetoric about the evil of exploiting a candidate's "child" in a campaign, you might never guess that the child in question is not Chelsea Clinton at age 12 but a 35-year-old woman (two years older than Andrea Mackris). Or that she lives openly with her partner, Heather Poe, whom she brought onstage after the vice presidential debate. Or that she is the paid director of vice presidential operations for the Bush campaign, and that her mother is the author of a notorious potboiler ("Sisters," 1981) that drools over the prospect of lesbian coupling with O'Reilly-like glee. (For choice excerpts from Mrs. Cheney's fiction, go to whitehouse.org/administration/sisters.asp ).
Emphasis mine. She's part of the campaign, has been openly gay for many, many years, and the comment Kerry made was completely respectful. Not only that, but Dick Cheney HIMSELF mentioned her orientation, and many other Rethuglicans have not only mentioned it, but condemned it. Let's not even get into what Keyes said about her. I'm surprised Dick Cheney hasn't challenged him to a duel over it, considering the reaction to John Kerry's respectful and totally on-topic remarks.
Via Mark Evanier.
Wednesday, October 20, 2004
The main street was lined with people gathered to witness the event. Many supported the president. Many did not. Some came because they were simply curious. There were men, women, young and old. The mood was somewhat festive. Supporters of John Kerry sported signs, as did supporters of George Bush. Individuals, exercising their rights of free speech began chanting. On one side of the street, shouts of “four more years” echoed in the night air. On the other side of the street, chants of “three more weeks” responded. The chants were loud and apparently could be heard by President Bush. An order was issued that the anti-Bush rhetoric be quieted. The local SWAT team leapt to action.
It happened fast. Clad in full riot gear, at least 50 officers moved in. Shouting indecipherable commands from a bullhorn, they formed a chain and bore down upon the people, only working to clear the side of the street appearing to be occupied by Kerry supporters. People tried to get out of their way. It was very crowded. There was nowhere to move. People were being crushed. They started flowing into the streets. Pleas to the officers, asking, “where to go” fell upon deaf ears. Instead, riot police fired pellets of cayenne pepper spray into the crowd. An old man fell and couldn’t get up. When a young man stopped to help, he was shot in the back with hard pepper spray balls. Children were hit with pepper spray. Deemed “Protesters” people were shoved and herded down the street by the menacing line of armed riot police, until out of the President’s ear-shot.
The president abused his authority to silence a crowd of people, some of whom supported him, because he didn't want to hear it. What a scumbag. Why hasn't this one made the national news???
See also KATU 2 in Portland. Via BOPnews.
Tuesday, October 19, 2004
Always nice to find more local sources for opinions on politics now that I'm getting interested in them.
What the heck is going on? What inning is it? Why did the police come out in force? This is one of the strangest things I've ever seen.
Ah, finally. It's the top of the ninth, Sox are up 4-2... I think I may understand the caution. Maybe. It's still very odd.
From the first moment, from Jon Stewart's first words, he's clearly serious. Despite his normal ability to be funny while acting serious, from the first moment on Crossfire I could tell he was going to say something he really wasn't looking forward to saying.
It's really painful to watch a good comedian be serious when the audience doesn't realize what he's doing. The dude with the normal tie seemed to be laughing at completely inappropriate moments in the beginning, but then realized Jon was serious. The guy in the bowtie clearly wasn't getting it. And didn't want to.
Watching these guys attack Jon for not asking John Kerry hard-hitting questions when Jon doesn't claim to be a newsman... while they do claim to be serious newsmen and are really just complete partisan hacks... as Jon pointed out... it was sickening.
This wasn't a pleasant show to watch, but it was definitely Jon Stewart telling the media off, something which needed to be done by someone. I was not impressed by the CNN guys, who seemed desperate to avoid actually answering Jon's accusation and his plea, and the one in the bowtie in particular who seemed simply incapable of understanding what Jon was trying to say and determined to get Jon to insult him by insulting him first, repeatedly.
And he looked utterly ridiculous in the bowtie, by the way. Like a little boy playing dress-up. The other guy at least clued in to what Jon was saying and managed to avoid making himself look worse. But then, he was wearing a normal tie, so he already appeared more intelligent... and both of them looked like morons compared to Jon.
The women said they were angered by reports of peaceful protesters being thrown out of previous Bush-Cheney events. They said they chose the phrase, "Protect Our Civil Liberties," because it was unconfrontational.
"We chose this phrase specifically because we didn't think it would be offensive or degrading or obscene," said Tania Tong, 34, a special education teacher.
The women got past the first and second checkpoints and were allowed into the Jackson County fairgrounds, but were asked to leave and then escorted out of the event by campaign officials who allegedly told them their T-shirts were "obscene."
Just how is "Protect Our Civil Liberties" supposed to be obscene, unless you don't believe in the constitution of the United States of America? Bush Republicans are really really sick in the head if they find that message to be a threat.
Via Digby and Brown Equals Terrorist.
Friday's Link - "An editorial from the Lonestar Iconoclast" - Friday's Strip
Saturday's Link - "a prescient piece from conservative columnist George Will!" - Saturday's Strip
"We're all God's children, Bob. And I think if you were to talk to Dick Cheney's daughter, who is a lesbian, she would tell you that she's being who she was, she's being who she was born as."
How the rethuglican hatriots reacted:
"Kerry's third attack is the whole Mary Cheney thing. That's been hashed over enough. But remarkably, Kerry has not apologized. You use somebody's daughter to attack the father and his running mate."
Exactly how is that first statement an attack? Seriously? Kerry didn't even out her, she was a lesbian activist for years before this election cycle. Why are the rethugs so upset at this minor comment? What does Kerry have to apologize for? HE SAID NOTHING WRONG. Apparently, treating your opponent's daughter (who is actively involved in the campaign, and therefore a legit topic of discussion) with dignity and respect is an attack in whatever world the Bushies live in. If there is any sanity in this world, the Bushies won't be in power much longer.
Via This Modern World.
Sunday, October 17, 2004
Thursday, October 14, 2004
Wednesday, October 13, 2004
No votes for repubs until they take their party back from the extremists.
Tuesday, October 12, 2004
I miss the ABL.
Anyway, two items of note.
First is from Daily Kos. Regarding voter registration fraud: GOP firm shreds Dem voter registrations. That's right. If the party marked was "Democrat", the voter registration firm ripped up the forms so the Democrats will not be officially registered (even though they think they are) and won't be able to vote on election day. This is a sick tactic from a sick group of people, and I hope all the people behind it are punished to the full extent of the law. Since the action is a felony in Nevada, hopefully they will get punished.
The other item is the October surprise. It's apparently been sprung by Homeland Security, which is warning law enforcement of an imminent attack of 9/11 proportions. If I actually trusted the rethuglicans, I might be worried... but the thugs have shown that they are completely incompetent and only care about staying in power, not protecting the people, so I have my doubts that this is anything other than an effort to scare the populace before election day. The only false note here is that when they've raised the terror alert before, it's only led to an increase in Bush's ratings for about a week, and we've got three weeks to go before the election.
If it is real, it may well be the only thing the administration has done right since stealing the 2000 election.
Monday's Link - "An overview of how well Bush has served Republican principles by Dwight Eisenhower's son!" - Monday's Strip
Tuesday's Link - "This astonishing letter from Baghdad was written by a reporter from the archconservative Wall Street Journal!" - Tuesday's Strip
Why can't Republicans show the same sort of restraint this year, and write polite letters instead of death threats? Oh yeah... rethuglicans don't believe that anyone who disagrees with them is human. I forgot.
One reason I tend to suspect rethuglicans for those attacks is the number of attacks on Democrats recently. There is a fairly large minority of the republican party that seems to believe that free speech is illegal. They attempted to threaten the Crawford paper that endorsed Kerry into retracting the endorsement. They are trying to take down the Electoral Vote Predictor: "The site has had technical problems repeatedly in the past several days and has been down several times. I didn't want to discuss this, but I don't want anyone to think the problem was an incompetent hosting service. Just the opposite. The site has been subjected to a full-scale, well-organized, massive attack with the clear intention to bring it down. The attackers have tried repeatedly to break in, but the server is a rock-solid Linux system which has stood up to everything they threw at it and hasn't crashed since I got it in May. While our troops are fighting and dying to bring freedom of speech to the Iraqi people, there are forces in America who find this concept no longer applicable to America. I don't know who is behind this attack yet (although we are working it), but it is too professional to be some teenager working from a home PC. Given that all the hate mail and threats I get come entirely from Republicans, I can make an educated guess which side is trying to silence me, but I won't say. And I won't surrender to cyberterrorists."
Again, I hope the attackers are caught and punished.
I guess the republicans shouldn't be surprised at the escalation, even if they aren't behind it. After all, the tactics of the rethuglicans recently are pretty scummy... and they've been steadily getting worse and worse. Amazingly, even though they are technically in power, they still find it necessary to use smear campaigns and baseless attacks against Democrats. The amount of sheer bull being produced by the rethuglicans is amazing... enough to fertilize the entire breadbasket region of the United States if you spread it around.
Sunday, October 10, 2004
It's the curse of being a Seattle fan.
I'll try to write a bit more on this later, but in short, the Seahawk defense apparently stopped playing, leading to the Rams pounding the crap out of them at the end of the game. The game went into overtime, sudden death overtime (which is a pretty stupid concept for American football) and the Rams won. Boom.
Now I'm sort of watching the Seattle Storm, who are in a must-win game. I may not watch the end. Endings have been very disappointing lately.
I'm keeping an eye on Johnny's Predictions. Except for the Minnesota/Houston game (which is tied with less than 2 minutes to go), the first chunk of games are finished, and Johnny is 4-2 so far this week.
Anyway, because of this stupidity, the blanket primary is gone forever. The major political parties have managed to pull one over on the voters and take away voter choice in the primaries forever.
The question now is what will replace the primary. Unfortunately, there is no option that allows voters real choice. All the options either involve being forced to choose a party (and thus support the very scumbags that took away our choice) or with I-872, to narrow down the choices in the general election to an unacceptable level.
There are also options for "instant runoff" elections, but the nature of such elections makes them difficult to implement and unlikely to be understood by the average voter.
Perhaps we should just outlaw political parties in Washington State. Say you can't belong to a party, but you can have the endorsement of one (or more). None of those crappy "R"s and "D"s after somebody's name, just the name of the wannabe politico. As tempting as that is, it's a really stupid idea too, isn't it?
I don't like the initiative to go to a top two primary... but it does seem like the least objectionable of the options currently out there. We already would have that for our primary if we didn't have a moral wimp for a Governor. I don't know if I'll be voting for it... but I know what we have at the moment is crap.
A very large part of me is for abolishing primary elections entirely. If the political parties are so intent on hijacking our vote, then maybe we should just take the ability away from them entirely. It would save the state a lot of money... and with this awful Bush economy that's nothing to sneeze at. Some people fear that it would limit Washington State's voice in the decision-making processes of the parties... so what? If I believed that the internals of the parties weren't already rigged beyond redemption, I might care. But they are already so screwed up, not having our input simply makes no difference.
And for a final note: As far as I'm concerned, being forced to register for a party in order to vote - to have your affiliation be made part of the public record - is unconstitutional and ought to be banned throughout the United States. It's immoral to insist that people belong to a party. It's contrary to the very idea of having a secret ballot. It values the political parties over the individual voter. It's wrong.
Now there are some reporters being told to reveal their secret source for the information, and being threatened with jail if they don't.
I've got mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, I think the whole "secret source" thing is very important in reporting, and forcing a reporter to reveal an anonymous source seems to me to be very wrong. I can't help but respect a reporter who is willing to go to jail rather than reveal a source.
However. The crime the reporters committed by printing that information was severe enough, I think the reporters, and their editors, who reported that information should go to jail for endangering American lives. They should all do hard time for their crime. And don't get me wrong, revealing a secret operative out of petty revenge is a horrible crime.
Maybe if they are faced with hard time for their immoral and illegal act, they might be more inclined to name the name of the scumbag who gave them the illegal information so he can spend some time in prison with them. It also might make some reporters think twice before printing information that can hurt people. But I'm absolutely convinced that no matter what they say or who they implicate, the reporters who reveal Plame's name should spend time in jail for their crime... but not for protecting their source.