Thursday, February 26, 2009

personal responsibility

I like this guy. Basically, he's a state worker who makes $93000 a year, but his cost of living raise was withheld this year. So, instead of complaining, or looking for handouts, or reneging on his promises to support charities, he took a...gasp! Low paying job at Wendy's.

My favorite part:

Stokely was asked whether he might be taking a job away from someone who needs the money. Stokely said he can't take responsibility for something like that. "I'm sure Wendy's didn't hire me just to give the solicitor a $7.25 supplement. That door is open for them to go and apply just like it was for me," he said.

Yeah dude! It sucks, but you did the right thing. And no one should say anything bad about you, because you're actually taking personal responsibility to make your life what you want it to be. And therein lies the root of my anger towards the stimulus, bailouts, new government budgets...America has forgotten personal responsibility and the power of individual freedom. I want the responsibility to make my life want I want it to be. I don't want the government to take it from me. I'm so sick of the mentality that SO many Americans have these days. That they are entitled to handouts, that they don't have to take responsibility because the govt will always be there to bail them out, that the world will end if we don't entrust our lives to the government's care. That is not the answer. Why don't we want to take our lives back, and take our freedoms back? If you want a better life, don't look to the government to make it for you, do it yourself. And do it responsibly, aka don't buy a $1 million dollar house when you only make $50000 a year.

You with me?! Ok, that is my rant for the day.

Does the Boston Tea Party of a couple hundred years ago ring a bell?

Check out our very own Atlanta Tea Party going on tomorrow at the Capitol. Our founding fathers revolted and warred with England over ridiculous taxation. Now here we are with our leaders saddling us and future generations with debts that cannot be paid back. A $3 trillion budget comes to mind. This seems like change for the worse. Time for a revolution??

and props to ryan for the Stokely article :)

the highlander

I'm not going to do a full post about The Highlander. I just wanted to say that their chili rocks! Oh my gosh, it is soooo spicy. I feel like my mouth is burnt, but not in a bad way! It's chock full of beef and beans and bonus! Guy Fieri visited and you can watch him & Chef Ice make the chili together here. Really, really entertaining. And makes me totally comfortable ordering the chili again, knowing everything that's in it!

Friday, February 13, 2009

love you tom price, part 2

disney marathon: miles 1-8

Looking back on it now, I can't believe how fast the first 8 miles went. It feels like a blur now. After the split start, we reunited with the other runners around mile 4. Before reuniting, we ran on a highway behind Epcot before finally coming back around to the parking gates.

Of course, as we were running around Epcot, I was wondering, when are we going to go in?! I was so stoked. After running through the parking gates, we ran straight up the middle walkway toward the ball. And there were spectators cheering us on, on either side. Lo and behold, as I was thinking, aw I wonder if Holly & Ryan are here...there they were!!! There wasn't enough time to snap a picture, but I saw them all bundled up in the dark cold cheering for me :) So then I was really stoked!

Then we ran under the monorail, and the cheers were echoing so loud. I started to get emotional! Just amazed at all the fans and all the runners.

And then...on into Epcot! The course significantly narrowed at this point and there were race workers guiding us through the area right in front of the ball. But once we got past it, the course widened and it was a spectacular sight. All of the nations around the lake were lit up, and there was fire in all of the torches. It was so beautiful, still and serene. And yet, here we were, this huge wave of runners. There were characters to greet us, I can't remember all of them but I do remember seeing Mulan and some guy yelling over if he could see her after the race. Funny. We ran in there for such a short time before exiting through a back entrance and back onto highway roads.

These roads were...boring. No characters. But there were DJs, marching bands, the works every so often to keep the energy going. There were also Sharpie sponsored billboards at every mile with funny pictures and/or sayings. And eventually, the sun came up. I remember coming down on road ramp, curving towards the next park. At this point, I really started getting excited because the next park was...the Magic Kingdom!

link of the day

I have often wondered to myself...what if we achieved victory in Iraq, but the press never reported it? That seems entirely plausible to me, since I have rarely heard a positive story come out of Iraq from the mainstream media.

Well today, your link of the day, courtesy of Charles Krauthammer and the Washington Post, is a victory in Iraq. Not the be all, end all victory, but a big victory nonetheless. Have you heard anything about it yet?

This is what our President had to say:
This important step forward should continue the process of Iraqis taking responsibility for their future.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

take the time to laugh

Even in the hard economic always helps to have a laugh. thanks Ryan :) You may have to click on the image if it doesn't show up all the way, not sure why blogger isn't formatting it correctly. You should see 16 boxes in the strip.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

generational theft

The generational theft bill aka stimulus bill passed the Senate, which really wasn't a big surprise. But still. Disappointing. Not exactly the birthday present I was hoping for. Haha.

And a tip from Raegan, who talked to Rep.Tom Price's office today. At this point, all there is left to do is email/call/write letters to Speaker Pelosi and the White House. So do it. I just did!

Also from Raegan - good article on how the stimulus bill is literally bad for your health.

Friday, February 6, 2009

disney marathon: the start

These are Ryan's pictures from the start. He & Holly staked out a spot along the road. Unfortunately, there was a split start, so one group of corrals started down one side of the highway, and the other corrals started on the opposite side of the highway. Of course, I was on the opposite side of the highway. Which was cool for me, because I was the first corral to go under the big start line with the fireworks. But bad for Ryan & Holly because there was just no way they would see me. Not that they would have anyway because there were thousands and thousands and thousands of people running by.

And then, the start. Oh my goodness. If I could only convey the feeling with words. I staked out a little piece of pavement, and I was amazed to find that I was in the first corral on the starting line side. At this point, I started to get really nervous and excited, because I couldn't believe my luck! How did I get so close to the start? And then I thought, oh man, these people around me are probably really fast. Another cool thing is that I was in spitting distance of the official starting stage, where Mickey & crew came out in their tracksuits and wished us all a good race and then started the countdown to the start! Everyone else got to watch on big TVs along the median of the road, but I saw it "live" right in front of me. Some dude near me also got interviewed, I was sitting right behind him. So yeah...a pretty exciting build-up to the start, and I had butterflies fluttering around the whole time!

Then of course, the moment I had been waiting for a almost a whole year.

And we were off...well not really. More like a walk-jog-run start, but that was to be expected! And it was such an emotional rush! I was so happy, screaming "yeah!!!", smiling, waving...we were all doing that.

There was a big riser after the start with photographers, videographers etc, and these are their pics:

And this one is my absolute favorite start picture. Can you spot me & my purple shorts on the right side of the pic? #7499

disney marathon: to the start!

Around 3 am, I woke up from a pretty restful night of sleep. I guess I wasn't that nervous after all! But I got dressed, and Holly & I met Ryan to catch the monorail out to the start.

We walked from the Epcot station over to the family reunion area, where we chilled for as long as we could together. I brought a banana for breakfast and tried unsuccessfully to eat an energy bar. It was just gross eating peanut butter & chocolate with a texture of cardboard at 4:30 am. But, I regretted it later, I got really hungry about 3/4 of the way through the race. So if I were to ever do this again, I will definitely eat something more substantial before the start!

The family reunion area in the wee hours of the morning:

Mapping out where the family should try to see me run by:

Pre-race photo ops with my 2 biggest fans:

Entertainment stage where there was an 80s band getting us pepped up:

Time to say goodbye...walking through baggage check tents. I didn't check anything, but after the tents, there was a ~15 minute walk to get to the back of the start, followed by a 5 minute walk to my starting corral. Who knew there would be so much walking? Haha. It was good though, nice warm up since it was pretty cool at this point. And it was good to get my nerves down.

links of the day

MUST reads for today! Tell your senators NO on the stimulus bill.

top 10 reasons to oppose the stimulus

stimulate economy, not government
- commentary on CNN by Mitt Romney

beware the politics of fear - Krauthammer in the Washington Post

Thursday, February 5, 2009

link of the day: No Stimulus!

Go here and sign the petition. It's not too late to put pressure on those Senators who are wavering in their support of the bill! There are useful links with more facts, contact officials, media etc. Check it out!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

disney marathon: The Wave

For pre-race dinner, we went to The Wave. It's located on the first floor of The Contemporary and it's relatively new. I really like the entrance tunnel, felt very swank and non-Disney. We checked in and were promptly seated.

Our server was really nice & funny. My sister ordered hot tea (she was sick) and all the tea was organic and in silk sachets with a cute little pot. So, she started a trend and almost all of us got hot tea. It was good!

Being the runner, I was on a semi-strict diet, and the restaurant was really easy to work with when modifying menu items. Most if not all the menu items were organic and/or local products. For an appetizer, I got mixed greens, which was a step above your standard salad. Holly & Shane got the crabcakes, which had a nice spice to them. Ryan got a hazelnut soup which was very...interesting. Don't know if I could eat a whole bowl or cup, but it was a different taste/texture - fun to try.

For entrees, I got the sustainable fish of the day, unfortunately I can't remmeber what kind of fish it was. I subbed out the sides for whole wheat pasta, which I asked for but was not mentioned anywhere on the menu. What luck, right? The fish & pasta was only ok. My dish was definitely the least colorful and boring of the party. The other entrees were chicken pot pie, lamb, seafood pasta, and a flank steak. Everyone enjoyed the entrees, I don't know that I would characterize them as spectacular.

What was really spectacular was the desserts. 5 kiwis all the way here! There are 3 or 4 different dessert trios to choose from, and they also have a selection of sorbets (that I would love to go back & try!). The trios are very well thought out, awesome mixtures of flavors and textures. Really a delight for the senses. And just the right amount so you're not over-indulging. We tried:

Creamy indulgence - raspberry cheesecake, coconut panna cotta, chocolate passion-fruit mousse
Winner: tie between cheesecake & panna cotta - both were perfectly textured and very fresh on the fruit
Loser: Passion-fruit mousse - I didn't like the flavor combo here

Crispy/crunchy - braised pineapple, baklava, zucchini carrot cake
Winner: all 3. This was my favorite trio as a whole. Who knew braising pineapple could taste so sinful?
Loser: no losers here!

Decadent flavors - salted caramel chocolate mousse, blueberry on yogurt gelato, lemon cornbread with panna cotta
Winner: salted caramel chocolate mousse. My absolute favorite of all the desserts. I am starting to shed a little tear right now just thinking about how good it was and how long it will be til I taste something as amazing.
Loser: no losers here, the gelato and cornbread were also good.

Debbie's birthday was the next day, so she got special treatment :)

After dinner, we all headed to bed! I layed out my marathon outfit (my favorite race day shirt & lucky socks - wore those socks at every race last year), tied my commemorative championchip to my shoes, and pinned my bib on to my shirt.

And the next morning...



First there was Geithner who failed to pay back taxes...and is now Treasury Secretary.

Then we had Daschle, who also owes taxes...and is still in the running for Health Secretary.

Now we have Killefer, who just stepped down from Performance officer nomination because guessed it, failure to pay taxes.

Should I stop paying taxes now? Maybe I can get an awesome appointed high profile government job.

Maybe now that Killefer stepped down, Daschle will follow suit. Even the NY Times is asking Obama to pull the nomination.

Change we can believe in?

Monday, February 2, 2009

stimulating links of the day

Man there is so much good stuff out there on how bad the stimulus package & our elected officials are.

First from CNN/Rubin Navarette Jr., commentary on the now stripped funding for birth control.

"You know the nation's cupboard is bare when politicians propose limiting the number of births as a way of improving the economy. That's a conversation we shouldn't be having.

There is nothing more private -- that is, none of the government's business -- than the personal decision that a family makes about how many children to have. Besides, Pelosi's comments had an ugly ring to them."

Navarette goes on to compare Pelosi's comments to Margaret Sanger's ideas of birth control eugenics, social engineering, etc. Scary right? Good thing that funding is not in the bill any more, but it shocks me that it was even there in the first place. That we have politicans considering that kind of encroachment on the family unit as a solution to our economic crisis. Why don't we try tax cuts first? Give the American taxpayer a break.

Second, from U.S. News: Less than 25% of the bill is actually stimulus. Compare that to 40% of the bill that is actually agenda-relating.

Third, from Flip, a nice graphic that can help us grasp how much $1 trillion really is:

Share photos on twitter with Twitpic

And last, yet another list of excessive spending and our politicians turning a blind eye:

"New York's Charles Rangel and five other Democratic members of the House enjoyed a trip to the Caribbean sponsored in part by Citigroup (see above) in November - after Congress had approved the $700 bailout for financial firms (including Citigroup)."

Anyone got some good news for me today??? Anyone?