Friday, October 31, 2008

ready to deploy

So today I am driving on down to Tampa, Florida, to volunteer night & day for McCain/Palin. I'm pretty darn excited! I've never done anything like this before, and being in such a hotly contested state will be crazy! Wednesday, McCain was just around the corner from the Victory Office I'll be stationed at. So I hope he or Palin comes back through while I'm there! I am bringing my camera and I hope to have updates every day for you loyal readers. Maybe even some videos! We'll see how much free time I actually get. I had so many other things to blog about from the past weeks that I also hope to catch up on.

Also, I love Charles Krauthammer. I think I've referenced him before on here and in conversations, but really he is one of my favorites. This is from his article "McCain for President, Part II":

McCain is who he always was. Generally speaking, he sees government as a Rooseveltian counterweight (Teddy with a touch of Franklin) to the various malefactors of wealth and power. He wants government to tackle large looming liabilities such as Social Security and Medicare. He wants to free up health insurance by beginning to sever its debilitating connection to employment -- a ruinous accident of history (arising from World War II wage and price controls) that increases the terror of job loss, inhibits labor mobility and saddles American industry with costs that are driving it (see: Detroit) into insolvency. And he supports lower corporate and marginal tax rates to encourage entrepreneurship and job creation.

An eclectic, moderate, generally centrist agenda in a guy almost congenitally given to bipartisanship.

Obama, on the other hand, talks less and less about bipartisanship, his calling card during his earlier messianic stage. He does not need to. If he wins, he will have large Democratic majorities in both houses. And unlike Clinton in 1992, Obama is no centrist.

What will you get?

(1) Card check, meaning the abolition of the secret ballot in the certification of unions in the workplace. Large men will come to your house at night and ask you to sign a card supporting a union. You will sign.

(2) The so-called Fairness Doctrine -- a project of Nancy Pelosi and leading Democratic senators -- a Hugo Chávez-style travesty designed to abolish conservative talk radio.

(3) Judges who go beyond even the constitutional creativity we expect from Democratic appointees. Judges chosen according to Obama's publicly declared criterion: "empathy" for the "poor or African American or gay or disabled or old" -- in a legal system historically predicated on the idea of justice entirely blind to one's station in life.

(4) An unprecedented expansion of government power. Yes, I know. It has already happened. A conservative government has already partially nationalized the mortgage industry, the insurance industry and nine of the largest U.S. banks.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

augusta half marathon

Ok here we first half marathon - the inaugural Augusta Half Marathon.

First, I slept on an air mattress at my parents' house. Bad idea. It deflated in the middle of the night and I got pretty crappy sleep on the floor. Rise & shine at 5 am, out the door around 5:30. We got downtown, picked up my packet and timing chip. The chips were on a velcro ankle band. That thing really hurt me in the end, I have little cuts on my ankle where the velcro rubbed it raw :( I warmed up by running around a couple blocks, stretching etc.

Here I am with Dad stretching before the race:

It was very cold! My fan club had to bundle up:

And we're off! Ryan made sure the first song on my Shuffle was S.O.S from Mamma Mia. Perfect song to start with :)

The race started at the Augusta Common downtown, wound around through Downtown, then started up a long, gradual hill up Central Ave around mile 3 & 4. This hill was really not fun, but I trucked up the whole thing. It was a little sad too, to see this part of Augusta. I wondered what other runners were thinking while running this stretch. Run down buildings, burned down buildings, overgrown lawns...mostly at the bottom of the hill. By the time we got to the top, we were in the more prestigious Summerville area around Augusta State University.

It was around mile 4 or 5 that I heard faintly "purple shorts" - I was wearing purple shorts. Then a man comes up running next to me and I pause the music. His name is Ron and he says "I just wanted to say that you're an inspiration to me. I just keep trying to keep pace with you." Then I say "well we can be running buddies!" So we end up running the next 5 or 6 miles together, and they flew by!! It was an awesome, awesome time. He had some really great stories to tell about his past ultramarathon days, military time, what Augusta used to be like...I just thank God for him. I couldn't believe how fast & easy the race became after Ron started running with me, he was such an encouragement. Had I been by myself, I may have slowed my pace, but Ron challenged me to keep it up! I told him later that he was the real inspiration: 62 years old, with multiple surgeries and a hip replacement. Around mile 10 or 11, Ron had to walk, so we agreed to meet at the finish line. Here's a picture of Ron & I post-race with our medals:

After running through Summerville, the race took us around Lake Olmstead, which I really enjoyed. It was still early morning, and a mist was floating off of the lake. Looked so cool! Then after the lake, it was onto Calhoun Expressway. Ugh. A couple more small hills and the sun shining directly in my face. I closed my eyes a couple times because it was giving me a headache. Yikes. But I finally made it off the expressway, wound another mile or so through downtown and on to the finish line! At this point, there was a small group of us that were running together and encouraging one another. "you got this!" "you're an inspiration!" "keep going!" As I rounded the last corner, "We're All in This Together" came on my Shuffle, and I couldn't have been more energized. I sprinted to the finish line :)

I love this shot, if you could see my face, it would be pure joy:

Medal time!

All in all, it was a great race. Great weather, great fans (yay family!), great company, and really greatly organized, considering it was the first event. I ended up with a chip time of 2:19:22, which I couldn't be happier with. I don't know that I would do it again, but I would if Ron was! Hehe.

getting in touch with my filipino side

I'm so behind on posts! Too much going on!

So a couple weekends ago, my dad visited and we had some great time eating bbq (Jim & Nick's), watching the Wings Over Marietta airshow at Dobbins (soooo cool), and then checking out Manila Mart and Ranch 99. It was a great time getting in touch with my Filipino side, not to mention it was quite an adventure!

By adventure, I mean treasure hunt. It was extremely hard to find Manila Mart. We later found out that the store is in a transitional time right now and will be opening at its new retail location on Nov. 2. But until then, they are tucked away in a warehouse in a confusing office park. We drove around for 30 minutes trying to find dad called a couple times trying to get directions.

We finally found this sign tape on the back of a van in a parking lot:

Whew! Finally there...we walked up into the warehouse and strolled 1 back to back aisle of dry goods and several freezers with meat products cream!!! Yummmm.

The frozen items I got were ube (purple yam) ice cream, pork & shrimp lumpia (eggrolls), siopao (pork buns - my filipino grandmother peels them like onions and eats them), and pandesol (dinner rolls). I tried the ube the same day we bought it, and it was very interesting. Not quite what I remember and a little on the salty side. It was still good, and I may have to buy some beans, fresh coconut and shaved ice to make some halo halo with it. A couple nights ago, we steamed the siopao and fried the lumpia. The siopao was very good. I can't believe it was frozen! The bread was so soft and the pork was really juicy and tender. Yum! The lumpia was good, but it just doesn't compare to my dad's. I may try a different meat in the future. I have not yet tried the pandesol. Honestly I forgot I had them because I was so enthralled with the other stuff. I can't wait til they move into their new store, because then they will carry Goldilocks bakery goods. I have only been to Goldilocks a couple times out in LA but oh man, is it tasty!!!

After Manila Mart, we went to Ranch 99. This is a huge Asian supermarket on Buford Highway. My dad LOVES their tamarinds. For $2.99 you get a huge box of them, and he eats them like candy. I'm not a huge fan of them, but he thinks they are a great deal and great quality. He also got some great looking baby bok choy and some other produce I can't remember. But the best part was that everything he bought total was way under $10. You can find some amazing deals here. Just be wary of the meat & seafood dept. I'm sure the food is fresh & good, but I totally freaked out when I saw soft shell turtles for sale to eat. They were still alive, just swimming around in a plastic tub of yucky looking water. Ughhhhhhh :( I will never walk by that case again.

Monday, October 27, 2008

links of the day

Two interesting political links for ya today:

CaucusAnalysis - this is a website put together by a Hillary supporter, Dr. Lynette Long. She has a master's in math and has been studying the data from the Democratic caucuses. Basically, she has amassed a wealth of information on voter fraud in connection to the Obama camp. Amazing stuff really. If you don't want to pore over the whole site (although I recommend it!), you can get a .pdf summary here. In her own words:

This site represents the fruits of my research. It's a work in progress, obviously, and also a central repository for a vast array of data: articles and blog posts from around the web, personal emails to me, interviews with witnesses, affidavits and testimonials, campaign communications, and videos of the caucuses themselves.

I have elected to make this information public. I hope that it sheds light on the caucus process and inspires reform or total elimination of the caucuses. I also hope it gives pause to those Democrats who believe that Barack Obama is the rightful nominee and that Hillary supporters should just "get over it." I have been a Democrat my entire life, but I will not support the Democratic Party at the cost of democracy.

"Almost Everyone Would Do Better Under the McCain Health Plan" - a great opinion article from the Wall Street Journal on how good McCain's health plan is. I like these words - "highly progressive" - doesn't that sound like change to you?

my first half marathon

I don't have pictures to upload...yet. But I wanted to do a quick post on my first thoughts of my first half marathon! Yippee! I did it! :)

It was so fun. I know I've been saying that after pretty much every race, but seriously. It was fun. Click here to read a quick recap of the event written by one of my friends from high school.

So appropriately, my first half marathon held a lot of other firsts. This is the first race I've run that started before the sun rose. Yeah. Starting a race in the dark was verrry interesting.

This is also the first race where I've had a running buddy. His name is Ron and he's 62 years old. On top of that, he's had numerous surgeries and a hip replacement! Wow! Amazingly he comes up to me and says that I'm an inspiration and that he's been trying to keep pace with me. After getting to know him, I said "you're definitely the inspiration, not me!" It was GREAT having a running buddy. The miles really flew by after Ron joined me. We didn't finish the race together, but he was right behind me. I really really really wish I had a running buddy for the next half and then Disney next January.

And this race is the first one that any of my family could attend. I had a little tear in my eye after running past them at the start, screaming my name and waving hands in the air. Awww!!! It means so much to me having family there! And then later, coming down the finish line, I kept wondering, where are they?! And there they were, a foot away from the line, cheering me on! Such a great feeling!

And...I got my first medal. I didn't even know you got a medal for finishing. But I've got one! You'll see pictures :)

And my goal was to finish in 2:30 or less...I'm not sure my exact time but it was around 2:19. Yaaaaaay!!

awww man

Palin was in Tampa yesterday with Elisabeth Hasselbeck. How fun! In less than a week, I'll be in Tampa too...I hope they come back!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

are you smarter than a 3rd grader?

Guest blog from Ryan (Dad I'm still waiting for your pictures & guest blog entry! hehe):

So a friend of mine who is a teacher in Macon told me about an experiment that some of her teacher friends held. The two friends (Teacher A and Teacher B) are 3rd grade teachers in Macon, GA. They teach classes of lower-middle class black children.

Teacher A told her class that they were going to make campaign posters for the candidates of their choice. The children got to choose between McCain and Obama. Every one of the children made an Obama poster.

Teacher B told her class that they were going to make campaign posters for the candidates of their choice. The children got to choose between Candidate A and Candidate B, not knowing who was who. The only thing they found out about the candidates was their policies. The policies were explained in a non-bias manner to the children. They then chose their candidate and made their posters. 50% of the class went with candidate A and the other 50% with candidate B.

The children in Teacher B's class were "polled" before the project. 100% of the third graders indicated they would vote for Obama if they could. After they were told who candidates A and B were, the children kept with their findings, and 50% of the children, who had blindly liked Obama, decided they would vote for McCain if they could.

50%? Doesn't sound like that big of a number does it? That still means 100% of the other class AND 50% of this one would be voting for Obama. Think about it though. If 100% of the Obama supporters in this nation sat down and listened to the issues and policies, and 50% changed their mind, we would have a landslide of an election for McCain.

If only people would think instead of following blindly.

links of the day

Fun link - a list of possible places to live if Obama becomes President. I'm personally favoring Australia/New Zealand. Ireland could be cool too.

Serious link - the best, most thorough article I have read yet arguing against Obama for President. Really a must read. It goes through each issue with supporting material from Obama videos, links to other articles etc.


So my next race is this weekend! In Augusta, my hometown. Check out the map. It has a big hill that is several miles long right smack dab in the middle of the course. I am SO excited. Not! I wish I had seen this map before I signed up. Oh well. It will be fun right?

Monday, October 20, 2008

peachtree city classic 15k

I went on down to Peachtree City, Ryan's hometown, to run a 15k race on Saturday. I'm not much of a racer. I like to start slow & take it easy. It's not really about winning as much as it is about having a good run and finishing strong. But I am starting to think this may be a problem. It took me almost a whole mile or 2 to really get warmed up, even though I had warmed up before the start. And my left lower leg was hurting again. There was a long, gradual uphill at the beginning, so I took it slow and everyone was passing me. Yeesh. But after mile 3, I started passing everyone that had passed me, so I felt better. But still...I need to rethink my race days. How can I ramp up faster without burning out later? And how can I kick the pain in my leg?

All in all it was a fun race. I always like new scenery. The course went through some residential areas and families had woken up to cheer the runners on. Too cute! Oh and golf carts...everywhere. And get this - the women's overall winners for the 15k were a 40 and 45 year old. Woooow! And - Ryan is no longer my only present fan - his dad braved the morning and totally surprised me at 2 points along the course. So I had 2 different Gerald Duckworths at my race & in my fan club. Hehe!

Before the start, flexing my guns, har har:

Off I go!

Everyone else at the start line

Oh, the golf carts! Everywhere!

Ryan's dad took this picture of me near the end:

Check out this cool cemetery in someone's backyard:

Finish line!

Re-energizing after the race with some free nachos from Gezzo's:

sunday morning

So, I am sitting in Goldberg's with my dad on Sunday morning (great bagels, by the way - try the sourdough! mmm), and I look up at the TV, which is on CNN. Before the break, the tease is about finances and they say, you might have all the answers in a book you already have. Ohhh interesting right? Then lo & behold, they come back from break, and I see my pastor...and then, hey that looks like the sanctuary...well wouldn't you know, CNN's Betty Nguyen interviewed my pastor about money matters. He had a lot of good stuff to say:

scary times a-comin'

New ad about Obama's plan to give drivers licenses to illegal aliens:

from the Wall Street Journal. Read this. There are serious changes ahead of us with an Obama presidency. Changes so big that they will be hard to ever reverse.

And finally, something that hits a little closer to home for do conservatives make it in the entertainment industry? I'm really looking forward to Breitbart's "Big Hollywood" blog.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

review: Seven Sushi

Seven Sushi
date of visit: 10/10/08

taste: 3
service: 2
ambience: 3

So Seven Sushi replaced Fune Sushi in the Spire. They have a lunch buffet for $11.95, and it's much better than Fune's buffet. More selection, better tasting. But their regular menu is not as good as Fune's. So I will probably only go here for lunch, but that's ok since it was only ok.

I understand that they are "new" and this particular day, they were down a server who called in sick. But man, the service was horrible. We waited soooooooo long to get something to drink. That was very frustrating since we were gobbling up food off the conveyor belt with nothing to wash it down with.

Oh yeah...the conveyor belt. So so so cool. I love watching the food come & go around. We were luckily seated right in front of the sushi chef so as soon as he put something on the belt, we snatched it right up. Haha!

There was no nigiri or sashimi on the belt, only rolls, but they were good rolls. Rainbow, california, tuna, salmon, shrimp tempura (my fave!), super crunch. There was also a large selection of non-sushi items: potstickers (deeeelicious), teriyaki chicken (grilled & fried), fried rice, noodles, crab salad, salad with ginger dressing, desserts. I DO NOT recommend the cream puffs. I popped one into my mouth and it was FROZEN. Big no no!

But yeah, it's your average sushi place that gets bonus points for a cool conveyor belt and negative points for service. I definitely prefer it to RuSan's sushi buffet.

Senator Government

I thought McCain had an awesome last debate. Looked like Obama was on the defensive for most of the time, and McCain got some good lines in. Especially the unintentional (or was it?) moment of calling Obama "Senator Government." Oh man, I laughed so hard! And can we say thank you to Joe the plumber? I was discussing with a friend that we should make "Joe the plumber for Pres!" tshirts. At least this guy knows socialism when he sees it! I'm glad the debates are over, and I'm really glad that McCain had a strong finish. I was disappointed that he didn't push harder on the Ayers/ACORN connection, especially since Obama was straight up lying about the full extent of his associations. (check the facts here and here.)

Watch if you missed it:

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

obama socialism & taxes

Obama: "It's not that I want to punish your success. I just want to make sure that everybody that is behind you, that they have a chance for success too."

This article is a MUST READ. A great analysis of the Obama tax plan. If you think you are getting a tax cut from Obama, think again.

Select quotes, emphasis mine:
All but the clean car credit would be "refundable," which is Washington-speak for the fact that you can receive these checks even if you have no income-tax liability. In other words, they are an income transfer -- a federal check -- from taxpayers to nontaxpayers. Once upon a time we called this "welfare," or in George McGovern's 1972 campaign a "Demogrant." Mr. Obama's genius is to call it a tax cut.

As the nearby chart illustrates, the marginal rate for millions of low- and middle-income workers would spike as they earn more income.

link of the day: Sukkot

Today is Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles, the last and most joyous feast of the Jewish calendar. Mart DeHaan talks about this day on his blog here. It is a great read, as it is not only about Sukkot but also an overview of all the Jewish feasts.

I like this link so much, because I got to the end and said "yes!" in my heart. I feel the same way Mart feels about the feasts & Jewish history/culture. Just so cool!

"I find the story of the Holidays of God as compelling as it is provocative. What a picture of provision, of history, of the work of the Messiah. Seven holidays. Seven reasons to stop, to think, and to remember that everything we have comes from God...

...Seven reasons to deepen our confidence in a Provider God, to take us back to our spiritual roots, and to prepare us for days which will come to pass."

Monday, October 13, 2008


So I mentioned in my previous post that I went down South this weekend. It was awesome! One of my friend's family lives down in Perry, and she invited Ryan & I down for the weekend to go with her and some other cool peeps to the Georgia National Fair. Um, awesome!!! I love fairs. I love the country. I love good friends. So what more could I ask for in a weekend?

Well, how about a 13 mile run?

Yeahhhh! The weather was on the stinky side, drizzly and gloomy. But the air was cool, so that was good. The roads were long and flat, but there was a lot to look at and appreciate: pecan orchards, cows, horses, McCain-Palin signs, pick-up trucks, dirt roads. We're talkin farmland here people. Definitely a new experience for me. I can't say that I've ever run around farms & orchards before. I did 2 6.5 mile loops, and took 1 water/gel break in between. Phew! I'm still not very fast, but I'd say I'm not worried about finishing the 15k or half marathon. Weird that I can say that now! 13 miles...pshaw.

The only problem I had while running was the first 2 miles, my left lower leg was in excruciating pain. It felt like a dead, throbbing weight that I was dragging along. I probably should have stopped running. But I just slowed down and kept going, and the pain eventually subsided. I'm not sure what's wrong with me. It happened last week on a run too :( Maybe I just need to stretch more, or warm up more.


First, from CNN, commentary on 20 ways Obama agrees with Bush. Who is "more of the same" now?

Then...I've been having lots of political conversations lately. I haven't done much of the talking, just more of the listening. I love listening to people, especially in such a tumultuous time. What are people thinking? How do people really feel apart from what the mainstream media is telling us?

At a Young Republicans social, I heard a lot from an "angry conservative" about healthcare. He brought up a good question. Why does your employer pick your healthcare for you? Why is that a good idea?

Over the weekend, I spent some time down South, where McCain-Palin signs abounded and I ran 13 miles around beautiful pecan orchards and farms (more on that later). But I had the privilege of meeting a real Southern boy who is also a big Obama supporter. Thankfully we were able to have a civil discussion over a wide range of topics. What I thought was cool was our total agreement against the bailout. Isn't that crazy? From such different viewpoints of the world, but we both oppose the bailouts. And we also agreed that McCain would do what needs to be done, if Obama were to lose. I was just amazed how similar we were, for being so different.

Then coming home yesterday, I had a good talk with my aunt. She had lots of questions...why isn't McCain making a bigger deal about ACORN? When is McCain going to turn up the heat? What is he waiting for? I didn't have any answers for her. I have many of those same questions. With the homestretch in sight, I feel like McCain's just not going in the right direction.

Anyone else want to share?

Friday, October 10, 2008

marathon update/link of the day

So! I haven't had much to say lately on the training front. Training is going well. I scaled back near the end of summer (combo of being lazy, hot weather, and not wanting to peak too soon), and now I'm hovering at long runs of 12-14 miles on the weekends. In November, I'll move up to 16-18 mile runs. 18 is technically the longest run I'll do in the training, but I think in December, I may try for a 20 or longer, just to break that mental barrier. We'll see!

Not this weekend but the next, I'll have my first race since the Peachtree. It's a 15k (~9 miles). The weekend after that will be my first half marathon. So October is really ramping up! =)

Let me know if you want to come along to any of the races, I always appreciate the cheering & encouragement pre/post race.
10/18 PTC 15k
10/26 Augusta Half Marathon
11/27 Atlanta Half Marathon
1/11/09 Disney Marathon

Speaking of Disney, I booked a room at the Contemporary for 1/10 & 1/11. Should be fun! We will probably transfer to a cheaper hotel the other days and hang around the parks after the marathon. Anyone want to come?

Which leads me to today's link: for 2009 you get free admission to Disney on your birthday. How cool is that?! Click here to register! And if you're lucky like my aunt, your birthday happens to be the same day as the marathon. So no excuses :)

sweet 100 update

My little sweet 100 tomato plant continues to grow & produce tomatoes! They're so tasty & juicy too :) Yummm. I picked off 10-20 tomatoes the other day:

21 days til I head to battle!

So it's official! I used my last days of time off (I had already taken off all the holidays & vacation that I had planned for the year...and still had leftover), and I decided to put them to good use by volunteering in a battleground state for McCain-Palin. Since I've voted already, and I had those days to take, and I'll be in Florida anyway after the election for Epcot Food & Wine...I figured, why not? I'm young & mobile & this is a HUGE election. Why not go to a battleground state?

I'm going down 10/31 and requested to be stationed in Tampa (free place to stay with my aunt! who is also a Republican. So she's really proud of me :)). I also requested Jacksonville for 11/1 for the Georgia/Florida game. Hehehe. Ulterior motive?? Nahhhh.

Anyway, I am really, really excited! I can't wait to get down there. I promise to take TONS of pictures. Who knows? I may get to meet McCain and/or Palin!

have we reached the bottom yet?

I saw a trader today in a breaking news "special report" as the market opened, and he said he thinks we are reaching the bottom. Apparently a violent downturn will clear out all the sellers and make room for the buyers. Makes sense. Are we really at the bottom? I hope so. I watched my tv intently as the market fell several hundred points and dropped into the 7000s this AM. yikes!

Bailout??? Talk to me about the bailout. What good has it done besides freeing up credit? Bush is going to speak soon. What is he going to say? "Don't freak out, don't sell!" Like that is going to help. What a mess. I've started looking at one-way flights outta here...also at sailboats.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

yom kippur

For the Jews, today is Yom Kippur or the Day of Atonement. I talked to one of my Jewish friends today who went to temple to observe the day, and I didn't really get much info on it. So if you are Jewish or have been to Yom Kippur services, I would love to hear about it. What is it like? What do you do to observe this day that was instituted by God so very long ago? My friend told me most Jews just fast today, go to a service/hear a sermon of sorts, and then after sundown, have a big feast. Is this the normal observation of the day everywhere? Since the day started as a day of animal sacrifices, prayer & has it changed & what do practicing Jews do?

I am fascinated by Jewish culture. I think the Jews are so cool! I know that sounds funny. But much cooler can you be than God's chosen people? I have a book called Harvest Festivals by Hugh Downie that outlines all their feasts and is absolutely fascinating! I spent an hour or so last night just poring over his book, and Leviticus, and William MacDonald's commentary, and my A Woman's Heart workbook. I couldn't stop reading. It's amazing how it all comes together!

How perfect God's plan is in detail and time, how perfectly He orchestrates the past to shadow the future. How much He loves His chosen people. Amazing stuff.

So the Day of Atonement as it was first instituted was the one day of the year that the high priest could enter the Holiest of Holies, where the Ark of the Covenant and God's mercy seat were located. He did so to make atonement for the sins of the year for the children of Israel.

From Downie:
"The great lessons of this day were the heinousness of sin and the holiness of God. It would appear that the high priest entered into the Holiest of All three times on that memorable day: with the incense (Lev 16:13); with the blood of the bullock for his own sins (Lev. 16:11, 14); and with the blood of the first goat, the sin offering for the people (v. 15)."

What I really love is the picture of the two goats. Two goats were brought to the tabernacle this day, but only one died. The goat that died had its blood sprinkled over the mercy seat, God's throne, to atone the people's sins. Then the high priest layed his hand on the scapegoat, confessed the people's sins over it, and released it into the wilderness.

Why two goats? Again from Downie:
"The reason was that one goat alone was not sufficient to represent the mystery to be revealed. Christ both died and rose again, but the same sacrifice could not die and live again without a miracle.

Christ was delivered for our offenses, and was raised again for our justification (Rom 4:25). It takes both the death and resurrection of Christ to meet the claims of God and the necessities of the sinner.

In the slain goat, we have the atoning power of the blood; in the scapegoat we are to see our sins put away forever. Nothing could more graphically set forth the full and free forgiveness of sin than the sending away of the scapegoat into the wilderness to a land not inhabited."

So beautiful...the atoning work of Christ. Once and done forever. No more sacrifice needed.

danger will robinson!

Just something to think about...The Democrats already control Congress, and they're looking to pick up enough seats in the Senate to reach the filibuster-proof magic number of 60. If Obama is elected, the Democrats control the White House. In addition, Obama would be able to appoint judges of the activist type rather than judges who strictly interpret the Constitution. See where I'm going with this? If Obama wins...the Democrats will control everything.

Is anyone else seeing the danger of this? Even if you are a Democrat, you have to think about this. Our founding fathers created our government with a system of checks and balances to make sure government didn't get out of control. What would happen if the Democrats controlled every branch of government?

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

gel taste test

One of my running necessities is the energy gel. I always pack one for runs of 8 miles or longer. These are basically little packets of carbs, electrolytes, protein, nutrients etc that your muscles need to keep going. The actual formula varies by manufacturer, but they're all basically the same. I don't know everything about the science behind it, but what I do know is that it works. And it works pretty quickly. There are other things out there like jelly beans and gum, but I think the gel is the most effective. I also try to get the gels without caffeine. Caffeine gives me a headache and it also can dehydrate you.

The only bad thing about the gels is that they have a very funky texture and sometimes a very strange taste. And there are so many kinds, it can be daunting figuring out which flavors are actually going to taste good. So I thought I'd let you all in on which gels I've actually enjoyed slurping down this year. The last thing you want to do on a long run is gag because the gel tastes so bad. (which I have done...keep reading.)


Haha, I like their picture! So intense! I think out of all the gels, this one is my favorite. Especially the Plain Energy flavor, which I can't even really describe. But it's really tasty. The texture is not too thick, not too thin. Goes down easily! I've also tried the Green Apple and Vanilla. Green Apple has caffeine in it, and I could tell the difference. I was more alert for the last half of my run, but I also had a headache afterwards! :(

Accel Gel

I really like the Accel Gel. I'd say it's my 2nd favorite. These gels work pretty fast and they don't taste too bad. The texture is more fluid than gel. My favorite flavor is the citrus orange. The strawberry kiwi is ok, but it kind of tastes like yogurt to me, and when it gets hot on the run, it's kind of a gross sensation to be slurping down something like hot yogurt. So I would stick with the citrus orange here. I have not tried chocolate yet...chocolate and running just don't go together for me.

GU energy

GU gels are interesting because they have a lot of protein & other nutrients...more than a lot of other gels. However, I didn't really like the flavor as much as some of the others I've tried. Plus, it seemed just about the same in effectiveness. I tried the lemon sublime, and it was pretty good. They have a really wide variety of flavors as well. I'll probably try more in the future.

Clif Shot gel

YUCK. I do not like Clif's Shot gels. I tried the vanilla flavor. It was really thick and looked like poop when it came out of the wrapper. It stinks because out of all the gels, I thought I wanted to like Clif the best, because it's all natural/organic and sustainably-produced. But yuck. I gagged while trying to slurp it down, because I couldn't slurp it down. It was so solid. And the taste, I could barely stomach it. But I have to say, even though I hated it, I might try again, but a different flavor. I think apple pie and mango sound really good...maybe vanilla was just too earthy of a flavor.

So those are all the gels I've tried this year...there are more out there, so maybe I'll have an update next year. And let me know if there are any gels/other forms of energy that you recommend!

oh no, he didn't

He did. He said those two words that make me cringe: right and fair.

Now these 2 words are not bad in and of themselves. But how does Obama use them?

"Healthcare is a right." Oh no, it's not! Is it a right for someone to get healthcare when they haven't worked for it? Is it a right for them to be able to get coverage because I end up having to pay for them? It's not a right. I'm sorry. In a perfect world, we would all have healthcare. But this isn't a perfect world, and if you can't get coverage, yes it sucks. I have friends that don't have health insurance right now. But they deal with it. And they're trying to make their situations better on their own. No government intervention. Who in their right mind actually thinks that the government can do a good job providing & managing healthcare for every American? And just how much is a universal healthcare plan going to cost? I don't want to know. And what about my rights? McCain's answer was much better on this: healthcare is a responsibility. Personal responsibility people!!!

And then fairness...the way Obama uses it, he wants everything to be "fair." Well, let me translate that for you. "Fair", in light of Obama's answers in this debate, equals socialism. Redistribution of wealth. He doesn't think it's fair for CEOs to have so much money, or tax breaks. I'm not a CEO and will probably never make that much money, but I don't think it's fair for the government to tax them any more than the next guy, the average Joe 6-pack ;). What is fair is that every American work as hard as they can or want to, and for them to be able to keep what they have earned. That's why this is America, the land of opportunity, where anything can happen. What happens when that homeless guy off the street starts working and makes a better life for himself, moves up in the world, becomes a CEO. Then what? The government under Obama's plan is going to say "Well done worker! Now give us a big old chunk of your income. That's your reward." What is "fair" about that? Nothing. It's not fair for the government to increase the tax burden on so many of us in order to give away more money to worthless programs that don't benefit us directly. Plus, the more money we keep, the more we can spend, and the better off our economy will be.

Anyway...that is my rant for the day. I don't think McCain had a very stellar performance either, and hello! What is this about the govt buying up bad mortgages? Horrible idea.

Here is a great play by play from Michelle Malkin that I think captures the essence of the frustration I felt while watching last night.

And here is the whole debate, in case you missed it:

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

i'm vomiting now

This is what the bailouts get us...AIG executives going off on a retreat at a luxurious hotel a week after the government bailed them out. Gosh, I wish I could do that on my tax money.

Monday, October 6, 2008

weekend restaurant round-up

Maru Sushi
date of visit: 10/3/08
kiwis: taste 4, service 4, ambience 4

Thanks to a friend's review of Maru Sushi, I was totally craving sushi all last week. Then voila, Ryan got a full time job, so we had reason to celebrate and go to a nice dinner. Thank goodness he was feeling sushi too!

I would never have stopped here on my own. It's on the end of a little strip of stores in South Cobb. But the service is awesome, everyone is so nice, and the sushi chef is incredible. The fish is so fresh, and the attention to detail is impeccable. The prices are so reasonable too. I really liked the neighborhood feel to the place. It seemed like everyone that came in knew the owners, or knew someone else in the restaurant. I would love to become a regular here.

Taco Mac
Perimeter location
date of visit: 10/4/08
kiwis: taste 3, service 4, ambience 4

I love Taco Mac...some are better than others though. This location is great! This is my 2nd visit to this Taco Mac, and I went with a couple friends for lunch/GT football. We started with the queso, which I have talked about previously, and we quickly wiped it out and ordered a refill. Our server was really good for a busy game day. It was almost like she could read my mind...I would think "we need more chips" then 2 seconds later she would appear and say "do you need a chip refill?" It was awesome!

The only thing I was disappointed to find out was that there is essentially no difference between Mild, Medium, and Hot wings. They all have the same sauce, they just put a different amount of sauce on the wings. I felt kind of cheated. Shouldn't they always put the same amount of sauce on the wings, and the sauce varies in intensity or amount of peppers in it? That's how I would do it...not putting less sauce on the wings. But the server was nice and brought me some extra sauce when I found my wings only half covered.

Other than that, it was a great visit.

OK Cafe
date of visit: 10/4/08
kiwis: taste 4, service 4, ambience 4

There's just something strange about OK why is only OK? And not good? Or great? I could never figure this out...

The food is always pretty good. It depends on what you get. This particular visit, everything was delicious. Especially the pot roast and mashed potatoes, which my mom ordered. I loved my strawberry milkshake (I can attest that it is made purely from milk and ice cream), and we also got strawberry shortcake for dessert.

But to let you in on what is always good:
pancakes - huge & melt in your mouth, no need for syrup!
hamburgers - they were reeeeeally good when Van was still the burger cook
grouper sandwich
french fries - they have a really addictive seasoning on them
veggies - I'm a big fan of the veggie plate, especially with fried green tomatoes (the veggie of the day on Mon & Thurs) and a baked sweet potato with all the fixins - brown sugar, walnuts, butter
corn muffins
carrot cake - I don't even like carrot cake. This is soooo good though.

Here are the foods I usually avoid:
chicken pot pie - really hard, tasteless puff pastry on top
meatloaf - dry
rotisserie chicken - also dry
squash casserole - sometimes has a weird taste to it

But it's a good place to go for average comfort food & really nice service. Saida is the coolest host! If she's your cashier, you'll feel like you've known her for years. And if you're in a hurry, Ok Take-away is a great option. Beware the pay-per-pound - you may not think you're getting that much food, but the pounds really add up!

Also it's a bummer that they don't serve breakfast all day :( But they do have brunch on the weekends :)

an american carol

Who wants to see An American Carol with me? I heard it was only so-so, but it's not often you see a movie like this.

Plus, it beat out Bill Maher's Religulous. Thank goodness.

stuffing bags

So, when I was in college, I was a campus Tour Guide and also a Host for Connect with Tech. As a result, I got a lot of experience stuffing packets & folders full of literature about all the different majors, programs, services, student orgs etc. for our prospective students. It actually became one of my favorite things to do. There's something about mindlessly putting together colorful pieces of paper that I enjoy.

So imagine my delight when I volunteered at the Fulton Co GOP HQ on Saturday and was assigned the task of...stuffing bags!!! Yippee! :)

Of course, that wasn't all we did. There was a free breakfast, and Julianne Chambliss stumped for her husband. A bunch of other candidates were there stumping as well...the one that sticks out most in my mind is Chris McFadden, running for Appeals Court judge. He wrote the book on appeals in Georgia, so I don't know why anyone is bothering to run against him. He obviously knows his stuff! I kind of tuned out everyone, since I've already voted.

There were a bunch of older cute ladies with pink McCain-Palin tshirts on. They came on a charter bus and after breakfast went riding around campaigning. I hope when I'm old, I still have that energy and desire to serve.

Once everyone cleared out, we started our bag stuffing assembly line. We had a pretty good system going, and then teams of 3 would grab 100 bags and go out to the neighborhoods "stampeding" (going door to door). We were really campaigning for state Sen. Dan Moody that day, but we also packed literature for McCain, Susan Edlein, Tom Price, Perry McGuire, Mike Rary, and the Victory Dinner featuring Oliver North.

Here's my first 50 bags stuffed!

A glimpse of the assembly line:

Friday, October 3, 2008

review: carver's

date of visit: 10/2 & 10/3/08

taste: 5
service: 5
ambience: 5

Oh. my. goodness. This place is heaven. Everything I love about Southern food. I don't know why it took me 6 years to finally go to this place. And now that I've gone, I want to go all the time. I can see this turning into a bad addiction.

Sorry I don't have pictures of the food. I couldn't restrain myself from eating once I sat down. And then once I started eating, I couldn't stop eating and take a picture.

But here are some pics of the outside, and then right inside the door. On my Thurs visit, we went around 1:30 and there was no line, but less veggie choices. But today around noon, we had to wait in line. Many more choices for veggies, and I got the last fried chicken breast! :) The thing wtih Carver's is that once they run out of food, it's gone. And even though they say they're open til 3, if they run out of food, they close. So it's always good to go early!

So I've tried the veggie plate and then fried chicken. Perfect. The veggies I've tried & loved every bite: green beans, mashed potatoes with gravy, cream corn, broccoli souffle, sweet potato casserole, potato/ham/cheese casserole, mac n cheese, sliced tomatoes, fried okra. There are probably 10-15 more vegetables that I have yet to try. The possibilities are endless! You also get a bread: cornbread, mexican cornbread, biscuit, hush puppy, or cheesebread. I've tried the biscuit and the cheesebread - again both are perfect. Oh and don't even get me started on the sweet tea. Nectar of the gods. With awesome crushed ice you won't find anywhere else.

The ambience is just right for this kind of joint. The owners are Robert & Sharon Carver, and they are so nice! You can tell how much they love their restaurant and the food they make. You sit at big tables with people you don't know, but that's kinda fun! And the pictures & funny plaques & art on the walls are great. This is such a unique place and a treasure of Atlanta. I could happily eat here every week. Maybe Mrs. Carver can give me cooking lessons.

darn right it's the bailout

I'm going to start talking like Sarah Palin now. haha.

Anyway, sad day. The House passed the bailout bill. Can you believe it started as 3 pages...went to the house and became a couple hundred pages...and ended up 400 pages long? You know it can't be good when a bill gets that long. And you know it can't be good when it's virtually the same bill the House shot down...just with more "sugar" on top.

Well I hope this thaws the credit freeze and helps our economy. But God help us if this is the moment our country irrevocably turns to socialism as the answer to our problems.

vote early!

I voted early today! You should too. It was pretty crowded and I got there right when they opened at 8:30. I wasn't planning on voting early, but I had to go down and straighten out my registration (transferring it from another county, long story). And then they were like, "do you want to vote today?" And I said, "uh, SURE!"

So do it if you can. If all the rumors in the air are true, election day is going to be looooooooooong lines everywhere.

And as if it were any question...I voted McCain-Palin. :) It feels so good to say that!

vice presidential debate

Watch the full debate if you missed it:

Full transcript here.

I don't know why people think these debates are boring (cough cough Lauren! hehe), this one was so entertaining. Especially when Palin says things like "Say it ain't so, Joe, there you go again pointing backwards again...Now doggone it, let's look ahead and tell Americans what we have to plan to do for them in the future." or "Darn right it was the predator lenders." It's so fun to see a "regular" American go up against this veteran Senator and hold her own.

I don't think Palin won though. I think she won in the sense that she really put herself out there. This is the real Palin, real straight talk to the American people. No editing, no gotcha questions. I think she won over a good part of America's heartland last night. But Biden was also really good. He had a lot more substance going on (but that's not necessarily in his favor. Check out his 14 lies from last night here). I think he won at saying what America wants to hear right now...a lot of people want the war to be over, want the economy fixed. Hey I'm all for that too! But I don't agree with the way Biden & Obama want to fix those problems. I want victory in war. I want less government intervention in the economy and in my paycheck. But I feel like a lot of Americans today are just tired, or lazy, or want the government just to do everything. We forget that freedom & prosperity come at a price, and the government is not the answer to all our problems.

These are some of my favorite Palin quotes:
"In fact, too often you're the problem so, government, lessen the tax burden and on our families and get out of the way and let the private sector and our families grow and thrive and prosper. An increased tax formula that Barack Obama is proposing in addition to nearly a trillion dollars in new spending that he's proposing is the backwards way of trying to grow our economy."

"Unless you're pleased with the way the federal government has been running anything lately, I don't think that it's going to be real pleasing for Americans to consider health care being taken over by the feds."

And as usual, we were at the Fulton GOP HQ to watch. We got there around 8:15 and all the seats were already taken! Crazy crowded! There's a breakfast & volunteer activities on Sat...anyone in?

Check out this awesome cookie cake & cookies:

Special guest GA GOP Chairman Sue Everhart was there talking before the debate:

Thursday, October 2, 2008

can you see into the future?

I can't. But Glenn Beck has an idea of what it might be like with this bailout passing. Check out his "time-fax" from Worker 2744A here. It's a really good read.

"In closing, remember this golden rule and you should be fine: Your Constitution will never fail you, but your leaders will. Be wary of anyone who tries to convince you that it's the other way around."

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

gas is back

Ha ha ha ha! The last time I filled my tank was at the cusp of the gas crisis...last Monday. I filled up my tank after waiting for ~30 minutes and paid $3.97 a gallon. Then that night and for the next week or so, every gas station had lines and prices over $4. I waited it out & conserved gas as much as possible. And tonight, I filled up my tank while waiting in no line, and paid...guess what? $3.97 a gallon. Oh the price you crazy people paid to top off your tanks! I feel so good right now. And I still resolve to try the MARTA bus :)

links of the day

Links of the day...

From Fox/via Ryan...if you took a US citizenship test today, would you pass it? It was recently updated, and you can check out the 100 questions here. Just thought you might want to brush up on your United States 101 while Biden & Palin brush up on their foreign policy :)

And here are some more links to help you communicate with your elected officials:

A one-click site to tell your leaders to vote no to the bailout - Vote No Bailout!

If you want to talk to your officials on any subject, check out the easy process on Congress's website. Just put your zipcode in and it will list all your officials, from state to federal to president. You can select which ones you want to write to (all of them if you want!), and fill out the form. Click send and you're done! Easy peasy.

And one last link for today..."As in a Bomb Going Off" by King Banaian (via Hot Air). This a pro-bailout article that conservatives should consider. When I say pro-bailout, I don't mean the bailout that is being voted on tonight. The government can (and should, since a lot of this mess is caused by previous bad govt decisions) take actions to help the markets, but do so without meddling so much with them & our money.

I like this paragraph:
"Free markets do not mean always private markets. Free markets mean markets with an absence of coercion. It is possible for government to step forward for a missing market and not be coercive. A bailout that did not consume taxpayer dollars would be one example. Forcing banks to alter their lending standards would be coercive and unfree. "

letter: vote down the bailout, senate edition

Here is a short & sweet letter, via Ryan, to email to your Senators. Look your Senators up here. Let them know how you feel!

I urge you not to vote for the proposed $700 bailout hitting the Senate floor today. Senator, there is no reason that the US taxpayers (even with tax cuts) should have to bail out any private business. Though the DOW dropped over 700 points in one day, it had its third largest gain in history the next day.

Please do not use legislation to attempt to retard the normal economic wave of recession and expansion. The economy goes into recession so that we can appreciate the great promise of expansion to come.

Please do not consider passing any bills with legislation in them to assist ignorant homeowners and lending companies who were either out to live above their means or make a quick buck.

Senator, I urge you to keep the constitution in mind when you vote today.

getting ready for the next debate

So the VP debate is tomorrow, check out Palin preparing in Arizona (from the Fox Embeds Blog):

I heard Laura Ingraham this AM thinking that this might not be good for Palin, because this setting is nothing like what she will be in tomorrow night. But I think she should do whatever helps her study the best! I could never study in quiet during college...give me headphones and my favorite music, and I can really get my study on. Studying outside or in front of big windows also helped me. So maybe being outdoors in a calm environment is what helps Palin clear her head and then cram as much info into it. We all have our pre-test rituals, right?

In other VP debate news, the moderator for the night is Gwen Ifill, and she is releasing a pro-Obama book next year. Do you think this will impact her objectivity during the debate? Something to think about.

And, Palin is giving talk radio interviews while out in Arizona, the first of which happened Monday on the Hugh Hewitt show. Read the transcript and/or listen here.

I thought she did really, really well. I don't know why she struggles so much with the mainstream media interviews. Below are some of my favorite parts:

Hewitt asks if Palin follows the attacks on her...
"Americans today who are worried about losing their home and figuring out how in the world they’re going to pay their fuel bill next month, and send their kid to college, and may be worried about losing a loved one that they’re sending off to a war zone to protect our rights. Those are the shots that Americans are taking, so all this political nonsense and the lies, the rhetoric that is spun out there about someone just trying to offer themselves up in the name of service to this great country, I’ll take it."

On the financial crisis...
"I know what Americans are going through. Todd and I—heck, we’re going through that right now even as we speak, which may put me again kind of on the outs of those Washington elite who don’t like the idea of just an everyday working class American running for such an office. But yes, there’s been a lot of times that Todd and I have had to figure out how we were going to pay for health insurance...We understand what the problems are. It’s why I have all the faith in the world that John McCain is the right top of any ticket at this point to get us through these challenges. It’s a good balanced ticket where he’s got the experience, and he’s got the bipartisan approach that it’s going to take to get us through these challenges. And I have the acknowledgement and the experience of going through what America is going through."

On her religion and the "mocking" of it...
"And you know, so be it, though I do have respect for those who have differing views than I do on faith, on religion. I’m not going to mock them, and I would hope that they would kind of I guess give me the same courtesy through this of not mocking a person’s faith, but maybe perhaps even trying to understand a little bit of it."