Tuesday, October 23, 2007

90 Feet to Free Tacos!

Don't forget to roll over to Taco Bell next week for THIS promotion! It's gonna be sick! Remember to pick up a cheesy beefy melt while you're there.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

We Need To Travel

I'm feeling like a trip is coming on soon... Perhaps you should too? I heard this read for the first time by my friend Ari in the Wind River Range at night.

We need to travel. If we don’t offer ourselves to the unknown, our senses dull. Our world becomes small and we lose our sense of wonder. Our eyes don’t lift to the horizon; our ears don’t hear the sounds around us. The edge is off our experience, and we pass our days in a routine that is both comfortable and limiting. We wake up one day and find that we have lost our dreams in order to protect our days. Don’t let yourself become one of these people. The fear of the unknown and the lure of the comfortable will conspire to keep you from taking chances the traveler has to take. But if you take them you will never regret your choice. To be sure, there will be moments of doubt when you stand alone on an empty road in an icy rain, or when you are ill with fever in a rented bed. But as the pains of the moment end you will be much richer, so much stronger, so much clearer, so much happier, so much better a person that all the risk and hardship will seem like nothing compared to the knowledge you have gained.

-Kent Nerburn

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Product Recommendation: Moleskine Notebook

Dear Readers, I have an amazing product to recommend! After my latest trip to the Wind River Wilderness, and after having it suggested to me by my friend Kenneth that I write down more stuff, I decided (finally) to act! Once I had returned to the Noble Hotel in Lander after the trip, I walked across the street to the bookshop to see if they sold Moleskine Notebooks, not feeling very optimistic. It turned out that they did, so I thought about it for about five minutes and then purchased one. Two members of my NOLS expedition in the southern Winds had such notebooks, and they're really cool. It doesn't really matter what kind of notebook you get, but this one does seem handy. So I've started carrying it with me in my pannier most places I go and then borrowing a pen from someone whenever I want to write something down. This might include phone numbers, thoughts, plans, feelings, or other things. I also taped a note from someone else into it. Pretty cool. I also plan to use it to write sections of my book when my laptop is not around. It is becoming apparent that it is much easier to transpose from the notebook than it is to do so from a copy of the New York Times.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Friday Random Ten: Back To The Blog (After 8 Months) Edition

In God's Country U2
Somebody Told Me The Killers
How Soon Is Now? The Smiths
Silver and Gold U2 (From B-Sides 1980-1990)
Dani California Red Hot Chili Peppers
Stretch Out And Wait The Smiths
All I Want Is You U2
Damaged Goods Gang Of Four
Lucy The Divine Comedy
An Cat Dubh U2

That's a lot of U2! Appropriate, as I watched The Wind That Shakes The Barley last night with my (mostly) Irish-American boyfriend. Too bad I haven't tracked down the necessary USB cable for my "new" digital camera, otherwise I'd be sharing a photo of the cat dubh ("black cat") from my neighborhood.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Gypsy's Maiden Voyage

I took my new sailboat out for her first voyage today. It was a beautiful day in Santa Barbara with light air - the perfect day for Gypsy's first sail. It was a bit of an adventure, but I guess that's what sailing is all about. My friend Gustavo, who is a Brazilian I met at the Hostel, and friend of his named Dom came along. There were 3 of us. We towed the boat over with Dom's truck which was interesting because his ball hitch was too big for the trailer, so the trailer was just sort of perched on the hitch. Fortunately it stayed put. We managed to launch the boat without event and only had one scary moment when we almost ran into the spinning propeller of a very large inflatable harbor patrol vessel that was parked on the dock. fortunately we were able to push off of it with the whisker pole and use the paddle to get away. Then we caught the wind and were on our way. We had an educational experience that lasted for fifteen minutes or so when we pointed the boat into the wind, stopped, and debated amongst ourselves the best way to get going again. This we still haven't figured out, save to say that it's best to not leave the boat pointed into the wind in the first place. Maybe my friend John can explain it to me... We did make a long series of tacks coming back into the harbor which was a lot of fun. Initially we started out just using the mainsail, but then decided to put up the jib after an hour or so. Once we put up the jib things got quite a bit faster. It was around that time that Gustavo suggested naming the boat Gypsy. I liked the name and it stuck. Once I got back to the Hostel, I put the name on the transom with electrical tape. After returning to the launch ramp and pulling Gypsy out of the water, the three of us walked over to Stearns Wharf and drank a couple of bottles of Champagne to celebrate the beginning of this next adventure.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Why Bush's Health Care "Plan" Sucks

I have not seen this mentioned elsewhere on the blogs, but it is just one reason our nationwide health care system, run as it is by profit-driven corporations, is fatally flawed. Some of us cannot purchase our own health insurance due to preexisting conditions. (I have asthma.) I am fortunate to be on a group plan through my employer, but I have tried unsuccessfully to buy my own policy in the past. The President's suggestion of tax breaks for people buying their own health insurance would do fuck-all for someone like me.

The more obvious problem is explained well by Stephen Colbert. If you are already getting all your withholdings refunded because you earn next to nothing, you can't very well get any more money back than what was already withheld.

Despite being the sort of person who gives others the benefit of the doubt, I've always suspected this administration was all about spinning the media coverage while doing very little in the way of actually governing. How could anyone possibly think the State of the Union healthcare proposal (or any GWB proposal ever, for that matter) was good policy? How?! It is my opinion that very little thought went into this proposed "reform." The President needed to pad out his speech and "domestic agenda," so his people spent maybe five minutes coming up with a few (really stupid) ideas. This administration simply does not give a shit about Americans (much less anyone else). The alternative explanation for the administration's suckitude is that the President and his advisers are simply unaware of how pathetically inadequate their policy proposals are. I find that hard to believe, given that these people appear capable of dressing and feeding themselves. My father holds this more charitable view, but I think these people are moderately to highly intelligent and cynical as hell. They know damn well how worthless their policies are.

This country needs to guarantee health care for everyone, no exceptions. Frankly, it is the only civilized thing to do. Deductibles could be determined by income. I would propose that private insurers still be permitted to sell their services to those who feel additional insurance is worth the additional expense. I don't think we need to worry ourselves about ballooning costs, given that our health care expenses are completely out of control already.

It would be wonderful if no one were ever again trapped in a job because she needed the insurance benefits. Economic hardship is a huge limitation on the freedom of many - if not most - Americans. More freedom would be a good thing.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Pure Nerd
73 % Nerd, 21% Geek, 26% Dork
For The Record:

A Nerd is someone who is passionate about learning/being smart/academia.
A Geek is someone who is passionate about some particular area or subject, often an obscure or difficult one.
A Dork is someone who has difficulty with common social expectations/interactions.
You scored better than half in Nerd, earning you the title of: Pure Nerd.

The times, they are a-changing. It used to be that being exceptionally smart led to being unpopular, which would ultimately lead to picking up all of the traits and tendences associated with the "dork." No-longer. Being smart isn't as socially crippling as it once was, and even more so as you get older: eventually being a Pure Nerd will likely be replaced with the following label: Purely Successful.


Also, you might want to check out some of my other tests if you're interested in any of the following:

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Professional Wrestling

Love & Sexuality


Thanks Again! -- THE NERD? GEEK? OR DORK? TEST

My test tracked 3 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:

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You scored higher than 99% on nerdiness

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You scored higher than 99% on geekosity

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You scored higher than 99% on dork points
Link: The Nerd? Geek? or Dork? Test written by donathos on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the The Dating Persona Test