So I bought my first road bike last week. I owned a dirt bike when I from ages 15 until I blew it up when I was 17, but never a road bike. I have taken a couple rides, of no more than a couple miles, on a couple different road bikes in my life, but never owned one before. I found a 1985 Honda Rebel 250 for sale for $200. The bike was listed incorrectly and horribly, but I took a leap and a 45 mile drive to check it out. I ended up bringing home a motocycle in the trailer. It didn’t start, but it turned over. It had tabs from 2009 and the owner, who apparently loves JB Weld, lol, admitted he hadn’t driven it in years. It’s not a pretty bike, but I have been in the mood for projects lately. I recently purchased a 1983 Kawasaki KLT 250 for $100 dollars as well. I replaced the fuel pump on that and got the ugly beast running so I felt I needed something else to work on apparently. Anyway, I cleaned the carbs and drained the old gas and got the old Rebel running. The maiden voyage lasted about 3 miles when I found myself on the side of the road. I totally lost power. I called my wife, luckily my POS cell phone got reception, and she agreed to come pick me up. I tried to put the bike in first and all I heard was the sound of metal grinding. I’m not sure yet how these transmissions work, but I was pretty sure this one was shot. I got off the bike in disgust and looked at it shaking my head. Then I noticed the rear sprocket was naked. The chain was so loose it fell off. I quickly put the chain back on and babied the bike back home, tightened the chain and hit the road again. Of course I let my wife know which way I was heading so she could come get me if the bike didn’t make it. Well, she made it just fine. What an awesome time, I only took her about 20 miles, but it was great. The freedom, the air blasting me as I become one with the machine, I can’t believe I spent the last 17 years without one of these. What was I thinking? Although, as I look back, it may be a good thing I waited until 33 to get a bike. I have no urge to see how fast I can get it going, although this little bike would be screaming at 70 I’m sure, I just want to cruise. When I was young I would’ve immediately tested it’s limits, see the blown up dirt bike above. I am way to large for this bike, but I have the itch. I put on about 80 miles this weekend and can’t wait until wednesday when I can get back out there. What a blast.

Last night I was watching the local news cast. This is not something I normally do as there is usually something much more interesting to do and I can get the news I’m interested in on the internet whenever I want. Anyway, it was a 9 o’clock newscast and they had a teaser that looked appealing to me, so I stuck around. A few minutes into the newscast they say Obama is going to make an important announcement at 9:30 our time, but they can’t say what the announcement will be about.

My interest is peaked again so I hang around. I’m now switching back and forth between the local news and CNN and FoxNews. 9:30 comes and goes with nothing and a few minutes later the lady on my local news cast says her sources tell her this may have to do with Bin Laden. No other news agency had any wind of this fact for at least fifteen minutes after the local lady from Minneapolis had got it from her source. How the hell does that happen? First of all, the President obviously wanted to break the news. The President could’ve done that had he been able to scrape together a few words in the time leading up to 9:30. It blows my mind that with all the staff at the White House someone can’t whip up a little speech while the President makes his few calls to other world leaders and then get him to a podium with a speech by a time that was announced by the White House. Then staffers and congress people can’t keep thier mouths shut for more than 10 minutes after the deadline and let the word out to a reporter in Minneapolis. Then ten or fifteen minutes after that everyone in the free world knows. Now I’m rooting for the President to announce something different, contact with aliens, his wife is getting a sex change, something other than what every reporter on the planet has now told all the viewers. Finally, at 10:30, actually I think it was even later than that, the President comes out with a speech that, in my opinion, could’ve been written in a few minutes. Basically, the President tells how he okayed the strike and under his direction the military pulled off the strike. How about next time you just give credit only where it is due Mr. President? The strike team did the work, they and some intelligence team did the homework and some naval crew dumped Bin Laden into the ocean. Thanks for approving that Mr. President, how would things ever get done without you. For christ’s sake you couldn’t even give a speech on time and I’m supposed to think you’re some criminal hunting mastermind.

So Bin Laden is dead; good riddance, don’t rest in peace, see ya in hell and all that fun stuff. It took ten years to find and kill this guy. Is it just me or is that a little long to finally get him and then celebrate in the streets. The guy committed the biggest attrocity on American soil and we couldn’t find him for nearly ten years. Not to mention he was wanted in connection with other terrorist acts before 911. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad he’s dead and I’m proud of the military men and women that killed this bastard, but I think it’s a little late for a celebration. There were people gathering at the White House screaming and putting up one finger like the United States just won the Super Bowl or something. Maybe I’m underreacting. Perhaps I’m not as in tune with the American Spirit as other people. I think I’m a pretty patriotic guy. I pay my taxes and sing the star spangled banner at ball games with my hat off. I even tell service men and women how much I appreciate what they do for us. However, I had no feeling or drive to leave my house and go gather and cheer at some spot because some douchebag, granted he may be one of the biggest douchebags ever, was killed by our service men and women.

I don’t think gathering and cheering for things really ever helps. In fact it almost always leads to more problems. I am fully aware that Americans love to make problems for themselves, but perhaps we could find other less positive things to ruin other than a victory. At the very least there is lots of litter, grass is trampled and trees and shrubs get abused. This leads to man hours and taxpayer dollars to clean up a mess made because a bunch of people thought it was a good idea to gather and scream about something good that happened. In other cases this behavior has lead to riots, damage to property, arson and assaults. I am not aware of any of this last night, but that doesn’t mean it was a good thing to have these people gathering and cheering like a bunch of drunks at a football game. To me this is a little more serious than that and a very minor victory in the grand scheme of things. A minor victory that took ten years and will probably not change anything as far as terrorism is concerned. Perhaps we as a country need some better, more constructive outlets to appease us when we are happy, sad, depressed, etc. What do I know though, I’m sitting here expressing pride, happiness, disapointedness and probably a little apathy here in the exciting medium of online writing.

So taxes were due the other day. It’s a mystery to me why so many people wait until the last minute. I understand if you owe the government money you would want to hold on to it as long as possible before sending it off to them. Considering the government doesn’t pay interest to those who get a refund I think you should hold on to your payment until the last day. That doesn’t mean you have to wait to fill out the paperwork until then. I do my taxes early in the year, usually within two weeks of getting my W2 in the mail. I got a refund this year, but when I owed taxes in the past this gives me two months to save up to pay Uncle Sam.
I was reading over my last post about the government paying for health care and schooling for everyone. I did a little research on the national debt. It is a little over 14 trillion dollars currently, and growing every day. The words 14 trillion sound like a lot, because it most certainly is, but it is really hard to fathom just how much 14 trillion dollars is. So I took the population from the 2010 census, nearly 309 million people. Divide the national debt by 309,000,000 and you come up with approximately $45,300 for every man, woman and child in the United States. Holy crap that is alot of debt.
So now I am torn again. Should the government be providing health care and schooling for everyone when we are already strapped? I guess I think we should. Yes, we should pay down our debt and stop racking it up, but we should still take care of our middle class too. In all reality I pay over $300 a month for insurance anyway, so if taxes went up by $3600 a year I would still be ahead because I wouldn’t have to try to pay to put my son through school. This may all sound selfish, and it is, but by me getting what I want a very large number of people in this country would also be helped out tremendously. Yes, the government would have another way into our lives and yes people would probably overuse some services if they were free, but for a large portion of our population these things are free already. So I am still stickin with my socialistic feelings on this one…but that’s only because I’m not rich, lol.

I have been having a sort of fight within myself lately. I have always associated myself with conservatism and viewed liberalism as a kind of nanny wanna be. Lately, however, I am feeling a little bit betrayed by whole concept of this two party system. It seems to me that niether the conservatives nor the liberals really want to help out the middle class and both are pandering to the rich and the poor. I work hard and have always had a decent job and made a liveable wage. Yet, because of this, I am entitled to zero benefits of this society. I am expected to fully pay my way while the poor get subsidized housing, food, medical care and college educations. Meanwhile the rich, who can afford all this stuff anyway, get tax break after tax break so they end up paying less of a percentage of thier income compared to me.
I realize I was part of the problem perpetuating this and now I am regretting, statements, feelings and votes I have had in the past. Then I think about it and no matter who gets elected nothing really changes anyway. It’s just a bunch of rich folks helping out other rich folks while giving the poor just enough to keep them from revolt. Meanwhile, the middle class has just enough to make it unwise to rebel. Seems to me like these rich folks in power have got this all figured out. Tweak a little here, give a little there, make a slight adjustment on this tax rate or send the people on the bottom portion of the social ladder a check to shut them up for a while.
Here are a couple statistics I pulled off of the census bureau’s website. The top 5% of income earners in this country earn 50.3% of all income earned. The top 10% earn 73.5% of all the income earned in this country. The threshold for the top 10% is only $137,632 per year and is by no means rich in my opinion, but the fact that almost 74% of all the money earned in this country is earned by households making more than $137,000 and over 50% of the income earned in this country is earned by households making over $180,000 a year leads me to believe there is a very small portion of people making a very large portion of the money in this country.
So, with our current system poor people are taken care of and given a modest life, compared to other American lives, while rich people get to keep making more and more money while the middle class gets to keep doing the things that drive this country. The middle class, while driving and building this country, also gets to scrape and scrounge to pay medical bills, put our kids through college and pay our mortgages. This doesn’t seem fair to me.
America is the only first world nation that does not have universal health care. Education is very important to the advancement of our civilization and I believe this should also be paid for. I’m pretty sure with fair tax laws and smart spending this country could easily pay for these for it’s citizens. Instead the status quo gets pushed forward no matter who gets elected. Why do we elect a guy who runs on “change” and then say nothing when nothing changes?
I think we should have a middle class political party. This party would represent the largest portion of our country and make decisions that would benefit the middle class. And then when some moron stands up and says, “you should give rich people tax breaks because they drive this country” we should be able to reach over and slap that idiot across the face. The middle class drive this country and without the middle class the rich people lose all the ways they make money. Rich people should want to take better care of the middle class and help it to grow. This shrinks the poor class and helps everyone. Instead there is a tolerace for hedonistic greed that only help the people at the top and I’m sick of it.

Decisions…decisions

Posted: September 16, 2010 in Uncategorized

I was reading my new favorite book today “Physics of the Impossible” by Dr. Michio Kaku.  I really enjoy this book because it makes my mind wander into areas that I have fun just thinking about.  While reading the chapter on robots I started to think that before I die I would like to have my brain implanted in a robot so that I could hence live on.  This would enable me to see the continued growth of my son who is now 7, but hopefully by the time I die he would be much older, and his potential children.  I was imagining what it would be like having my brain, and thus all that I am, implanted in a robotic vessel to continue living.  How it would feel, or not feel.  Would I still be able to taste and smell?  How would I see my future son and his family?  Would there be a camera wired into my brain or some new robotic eyes?  Would my eyes come out with my brain and then see the world through a fantastic lens that could focus and do all sorts of things to help my hopefully old eyes see better?  Then the book went on to discuss artificial intelligence and the process of getting computers to think with common sense and emotions.  Basically, to make decisions.

To me making decisions is the basis of what makes us human.  That got me to realize how many bad decisions I make on a daily basis.  I smoked a cigarette today, for some reason I was craving one.  I also ate a Double Baconator from Wendy’s today.  I’m not morbidly obese or anything, but I could stand to lose about 50 pounds, and I do have high blood pressure as well.  These two decisions are bad decisions that could potentially shorten my lifespan.  If I would be willing to implant my brain in a robot to live longer why do I make stupid decisions that could lead to a shorter lifespan?  I work in a jail and as a police officer so I deal with people who consistently make bad decisions.  There are also those who made a bad decision once and got caught, I realize that.  Why?  Why do we, as humans, consistently make poor decisions?

I was thinking that maybe it was just me, but every person I can think of has made a poor decision at one point or another and not learned from it, or knew the decision to be poor while still making it.  I would understand this behavior from children as that is how they learn, but adults make bad decisions all the time.  Almost everything that we consider an accident can be attributed to a bad decision.  I was thinking that accidents involving acts of nature could be exempt, and many of these types of accidents are exempt from our decisions, but many accidents involving acts of nature also involve the poor decision to interact with that act of nature.

The book talks of the all too common cliche of robots with a developed AI being smarter than humans and eliminating the race all together.  I think if robots developed artificial intelligence and they decided the humans were a threat they could easily make it so difficult for us to affect their agenda that they would hardly have to worry about us.  Once they callously killed a bunch of us I think we would eventually stop fighting them, at least overtly.  Why would they then continue to exterminate us?  It would be a waste of energy and resources to do so. 

There was also talk of a scientist trying to develop the rules of common sense.  The rules of common sense could then be used to make decisions.  The problem is some decisions we as humans, as well as many mammals and other complex organisms, are based on a preference or “like”.  This is an emotional response, or a biological response seeking to fulfill a biological or emotional want or need.  Even so, I think artificial intelligence could be designed to make a decision or choice between two or more options based on energy use vs. payoff or something like that.  If a robot could make decisions not based on emotions, but on logic and reasoning alone, that could still be artificial intellignece to me.

I’m reading this over and it seems like the ramblings of a confused idiot, lol.  I assure you that I am not an idiot, but this thought process is probably not complete.  It is late at night after all.  Anyway, it seems wierd to me that I make decisions based on such a short term payoff when I want to be the guy who thinks ahead, plans for the future and is ready for it.  Thinking of my son and seeing his life progress is a huge motivator for me and I am going to use that to try and stop making so many bad decisions.  Even while I write this I laugh at my use of the word “try”.  I leave an out for me to continue to make bad decisions because I know I can’t stop all of them.  I know that even if I stopped making all the bad decisions that I know are bad decisions I will still find new ones to make.  Hopefully, for the sake of my family, myself include, the bad decisions that get made don’t hurt anyone I love.  Reading “Physics of the Impossible” is not a bad decision, however, and I recommend it to anyone interested in science.

Posted: June 2, 2010 in Uncategorized

So last weekend was good. I shot a 53 on the front nine and a 44 on the back nine on saturday. The back nine was good for me the front was not, lol. I was nursing a terrible hangover all day on saturday though. We did a 25 man ICC run on Friday night. That is Wine Friday for my guild, One Knight Stand on Undermine server. I drank two and a half bottles of some good wine and don’t even remember downing sauerfang, which we did apparently. The other tank and I were bombed. I bought a new pool for my son on saturday evening and put that together. I filled it all day Sunday and all day Monday and for two hours on tuesday. It should be full after a couple more hours. It is pretty big, but I’m glad I didn’t get the bigger one I was thinking of. I got to watch my son graduate kindergarten today, that was cute. The sang songs and did little actions while they sang. He got a little diploma and everything. We’ll do it again in 12 years lol.
The next weekend I have off were going camping for my buddy’s bachelor party. I know, I tried to warn him, but he seems dead set on getting married. I looked up the lyrics to one of my favorite family guy songs and we will sing that while gathered drunk around the campfire. It will be fun. We will do some drinking, fishing, swimming and prolly some puking. Anyway, here are the lyrics to the song we are gonna sing, I think it will be great.

In God’s eyes,
everybody’s hot,
This world has beauty all through her,
Picture the fattest chick you know,
God would totally do her,
He’d do her all the way,
even call her the next day,
to see how work was going.

I’ll tell ya how it went.

Posted: May 28, 2010 in Uncategorized

So this is my first blog. If you’re reading this that seems weird to me. Reading a blog isn’t wierd, it’s just that why would someone read this blog. Of course I am writing this because I am bored at work, so perhaps you’re bored and are wondering if I’m going to say anything productive or enlightening. Probably not, but you never know, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
I’m looking forward to this Memorial Day Weekend coming up. Not for any particular reason and it will probably just end up being a pain in the ass, but I’m going golfing on saturday. That should be good as long as I’m not incredibly terrible. Family will be up from out of town and I’m sure I won’t get to relax for a minute, but I’ll probably just get hammered one night and spend the rest of the weekend in a hungover haze. It’s great to be an American, lol.
I feel like Doogie Howser right now and in my head that music is playing as I type. I even hear little Doogie reading to me as I type. The nice thing about Doogie’s typing, aside from the fact that it was short and sweet, is it always seemed to have a nice coming of age message at the end. So, if you’ve stuck with this far here is my attempt at a Doogieism.
This weekend will be busy as hell, but if I separate it out into moments I bet I’ll have a helluva lot more good moments than bad ones =)