seeking knowledge and laughter, putting a bullseye on inaccuracy


Miscellaneous topics

December Outside

I just read the Dec 2008 Outside magazine [no access to stories]. It had some great stories but I don't think any of them are available online. So check newsstands to read these.

Bryant Urstadt's "The Missing Rink" alerted me to the U.S. Pond Hockey Championships which are played right here (sorta here), in Minneapolis on Lake Nokomis in January. I had not heard of it previously, but I hope to get out there in two months and get some fun photos.

"No Bachcheh Left Behind" updates the story of Greg Mortenson's efforts to build schools in Central Asia. He started as a mountaineer but has gone far beyond that, working to help the communities that so many other climbers just pass through - or never even hear of.

He has a book that looks interesting - Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace ... One School at a Time. I'm gonna check Half Price Books for it on the next trip, it is the kind of book that they often have because it flies through book clubs.

What I found most interesting in the story is how he has partnered with whoever he must over there in order to get shit done. Local warlord? In some cases, apparently yes. You have to do what you have to do - to build a school for young women. This is a well known phenomenon - you have to educate young women to really improve an impoverished society. Educated men don't offer the same multiplier effect - real change comes from educating women. Unfortunately, it is not always easy in these areas - where the Taliban is at war with any female empowerment.

But mostly, it is interesting what can happen when a person chooses to act. He could have said, "what do I know about building schools in Central Asia?" and moved on with his life. But he tried. And he accomplished. Change is made by people who do stuff, not people who have ideas. Most of us have ideas - you need to actually do something with it.

You might just become a hero to thousands and meet with Generals Petraeus and Musharref in the same year. Interesting story.

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

In these difficult times, I know that I am thankful for all that I have - despite some setbacks, I feel like I'm on a pretty good roll. Listening to the Franti album, he reminds us that the smart people count their blessings, not their misfortunes.

I just read a good Newsweek article that seemed fitting for this day - noting that not all subprime mortgages are created equal and not all subprime lenders were out to get rich quick by setting people up for failure. Daniel Gross' "A Risk Worth Taking" highlights some of the problems with the rhetoric around the housing crisis.

This is well worth reading because it highlights how these programs can work when administered well.

Franti - Hey World

New Franti album out - downloading it from Amazon now.

Still Kickin'

I'm still around - just too busy to write lately. Sorry for that, but sports photography hasn't finished winding down, and I'm swamped with work from my policy work. Michelle has been crazy busy too with work, so it isn't just me.

Still happy though - better to be stressed with stuff you like doing, right? Gophers play Notre Dame on Friday evening in the sweet 16 of the NCAA women soccer tournament, so I wish them the best. Sorry I won't be there to see them upset #1!

Thanks to daddYman for this bit:

Kimmi in Ireland

Kimmi has finally posted from Ireland - where she is on vacation and having a great time.

Living la Vida TiVo

My parents had an old TiVo that had lifetime programming updates but were not using it so I've long wanted to use it... but Michelle and I do not have a phone line. Without a phone line, the TiVo cannot stay updated.

So I finally put a network card into it and spent the weekend trying to get it working. Last night, we finally finished it! So we now have a TiVo - which is awesome for the programs we currently watch on the laptop - like the Daily Show. And I can record football!

But most importantly, I can set it up to record Almanac - and other local programming that I never remember to watch. I hope to be better tuned to local politics now. We'll see how that goes.

Thanks Mom and Dad for the TiVo!

Fast and Furious

Ugh. Got bad news over breakfast - looks like I'll have to fight the insurance company to get them to cover my dumb ankles. Not entirely sure if this is a result of typical confusion or if I will have to mount a full scale battle to get coverage from the injections. At any rate, if I ever meet Sean Hannity - who claims we have the best everything in the U.S. - I'm gonna punch him in his fucking teeth.

The American health care system is a pile. I've had many good experiences because my old employer offered good insurance. Now I have a different employer with different insurance and suddenly I have to present my case for why I should be able to walk with only a little pain rather than tons of pain. How is this a good system? At least I have health insurance - I'm luckier than tens of millions of people. What a pathetic joke.

At least I got good news over lunch. One of my (not so) guilty pleasure movie series is bringing all the starts from its initial offering back for the 4th incarnation. Michelle Rodriguez! Paul Walker and Vin Diesel! I may have to put a countdown on my blog til the movie comes out....

Gallery Borked

This was a good weekend. I had no gigs to shoot. Mostly stayed home and accomplished lots of little things I'd been meaning to do for too long. Like breaking the gallery on this site. Check.

I hope to have it fixed soon - and maybe even upgraded!

Today started off well enough - family brunch at Dixies on Grand (quite tasty). Then I was responsible and got some more work done (after doing a fair amount of programming yesterday). Then I started upgrading the gallery site. Went without a hitch. Then I tried to get rid of the spam that had accumulated. Fail. Boom.

Now watching Major League with Kimmi and Michelle - a good end to the evening. I sometimes wish we could cross this movie with Bull Durham for some odd reason.

Jerry Reed, RIP

Why didn't anyone tell me that Jerry Reed was taken from us? Apparently, the GREAT co-star in Smokey and the Bandit has passed on. I never got to see him live.

Ankle Progress Report

After a day with lots of work done on the couch with my leg elevated and often iced, I'm feeling much better. Still moving slow and my ankle is sore, but I was just able to slowly walk across the room without a crutch. I'm sure it won't last - whenever I stop elevating it, it gets a bit worse.

Maybe tomorrow will be my day??

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