Friday, March 23, 2007

Miscellaneous Thoughts

Can you smell the seasons change?

Yeah. Sounds a bit cheesy. But as the snow melts and the daytime temperatures inch up into the 50s, the smells that are masked by the harshness of winter are released from their slumber slowly permeating the air. Just the other day when we had a fluke 65 degree day, I could smell the saturated topsoil while simultaneously hearing the snow on the roof melt and the resultant water flow down the gutter. You don't realize how energizing an experience that is until you go five months without it.

It is these sensory experiences that accompany spring that make this part of the year my favorite. Keep in mind that I write all this at the expense of it sounding like a sappy Robert Frost poem. Nothing against Robert Frost but poetry and me don't get along. I'm really bad with stanzas especially that 5-7-5 rule for Haiku.

March and early April is that time of the year that shows promise both meteorologically and in the amount of daylight we enjoy late in the day. (The earlier start to Daylight Saving Time thanks to the Energy Reform Act of 2005 is responsible for this). The one disheartening early spring fact of life is the color of the lawn. Snow mold as a result of a heavy snow pack seems like a cancer that only dissipates with time. Patience is not a virtue that I am blessed with when it comes to regaining my lawn's radiance. Even as the grass grows in April and May, the vestiges of this "cancer" remain. Around April 20th, I plan to bust out the garden rake and forcefully remove these "tumors". Whether or not they come willingly is entirely up to them.

As the weather improves, my indoor activities are slowly being phased out in place of more favorable things to do outside in the fresh air such as landscaping. But before I complete the switch, I need to finish a few books. One of which is a great book by a John Spanier, a current or past professor of Political Science ( I can't find him on The Web to find out for sure. Hell, he might be dead seeing that he wrote this book in 1973) at the University of Florida. I'll not go into a lengthy diatribe describing specific citations from the book. Let's just say that up through page 165, he has discussed the psychology of Cold War foreign policy from the third person point of view and how it changed from the end of World War II to the end of the Vietnam War. In essence, the Cold War political chess game dissected for your enjoyment. Sounds like a read for academic types but trust me, its pretty intriguing. At the rate that I'm going, this book, all 400+ pages of it, won't be done until August.

That brings me to my outdoor projects soon to begin once the permafrost softens up in the backyard. I've got a set of outdoor walking stones to put around the steps of the deck. And, the old outdoor basketball hoop is ready to go into the ground shortly thereafter.

Honestly, there was no real reason to write about any of this other than to post something as a transitionary essay to a topic that is really good. What that topic will be is any one's guess.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Global Warming - A Different View

Those of you who know me know that I HATE politics. I am, however, fascinated in how ideals, whether from the left or right, are conveyed then twisted and molded to fit a certain political paradigm and that there are common everyday folks dumb enough to believe these edicts as the archetype of ultimate thinking.

Since we all hear about Global Warming through the media, which only provides the side of the argument that has "shock value" and thus higher ratings, I offer another side of this debate through this video.

Keep this in mind: I am a scientist so I look at science related topics with an unbiased eye. When I formulate a scientific hypothesis based on unbiased scientific data, the political ramifications of such a result don't even enter into the picture. For a more balanced perspective, I recently saw the Al Gore documentary. Again, I kept an open mind.

However, after close inspection, I found that Al Gore's documentary on Global Warming is filled with incomplete truths of it's own as illustrated in this video. In my opinion, this video gives the most scientific, unbiased look at Global Warming.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Expanding My Interests

For those of you who don't know, I used to play the drums. Yes, its been a while, quite a while in fact. But over the last couple of years, I've been rekindling my interest in playing. So, through relearning the basic rudiments with a drum book that I've had since I was a kid, it's slowly coming back to me. Not that I was all that good to begin with but what I had way back when is coming back...slowly but surely.

I found some really cool videos on YouTube showing the best drummer (in my opinion) of all time: BUDDY RICH. Even if you're not a drum fan, they're pretty mind blowing.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

My Birthday

As the title implies, today is my birthday. As I write this around 6PM in the evening, I can only recall maybe 3 times today when I reminded myself that it was indeed my birthday. Two of those times were when a family member called to wish me a happy birthday. I am grateful for everyone remembering but in the grand scheme of things, it's just another day at the office which is fine with me. While I was recently promoted at my job, it didn't actually occur on my birthday so technically it doesn't count in breaking the monotony of my birthday workday. The time of the promotion was close--27 hours close.

Awe hell, it counts. Who am I kidding?

Another reason that this birthday doesn't seem like a big deal is that my age--33--isn't a real sexy number. For starters, I'm not a big fan of odd numbers past 9. 11, 13, 19, 21, 27...not a fan of any of them. I don't know why this is. It just is.

Age number 32 was good. 30 was equally good. 34 will also be a memorable birthday simply because it's an even number. 33? Nope, it really doesn't represent anything. It's not a 21st birthday filled with drunken activities. Its not the 30th which ceremoniously signifies that you are an adult and that you should grow up and accept your move to adulthood even though your reluctance to do so becomes the driving force behind your behavior for the first few months afterward. (Was that a run-on sentence?)

I had a nice breakfast with my wife and son so we had quality family time which amounted to about 55 minutes but quality time nonetheless. Nathan drew me a nice birthday card which he was very proud of. A good time for all.

But what would make me forget that my age will be an odd number at 8:58 EST? Lots of cash. So just go ahead and back up the Brinks truck to my doorstep and just let the C-notes flow right into my living room. A beer will do in the mean time.