Posted by: schmoffly | November 22, 2009

Sunday Reflections

I have had difficulty coming up with things to write about and I really enjoy writing so I decided to take a page out of Portout’s, er, blog and do a Sunday Reflections of what I have felt this week.  Whether you are interested or not, I don’t give a hoot, it’s fun to write.

Right now I am watching the AMA’s.  A-Rod just presented Alicia Keys and Jay-Z so they could do a medley.  There definitely were some boos in there.  Oh, A-Rod, dumb steroids ruin everything.

Had a good weekend, my cousin got married and I enjoyed the wedding and the dessert reception afterwards.  Somebody made some kind of striped peanut butter and fudge chocolate things (Maybe called Tiger stripe Fudge?) that was my grandmother’s recipe and I nearly ate my body weight worth of it.  A few years ago that would not have implied much eating, but I weighed in at 209.5 last week, so that it is a decent amount of fudge.  I stayed after to clean the fondue fountain…man, I will never own a fondue fountain!  It took longer to clean it than it was set up to dispense fondue!

DANG IT.  Greenday just won the best “Alternative Rock” category.  Shinedown was nominated and they are my alltime favorite band.  They should have won if the award was actually based on music.  Greenday is such a sellout.  After American Idiot in 2004, I lost all respect for them.  I know, I know, free speech, First Amendment and all that, but you don’t say that kind of stuff about your President.  Watch the following video and tell me Brent Smith could rip the Bilie Joy Armstrong a new one with his vocals!

Shinedown- 45

On a seperate note Caitlin and I are preparing our home for Christmas.  We got a few trees- Christmas trees.  We also have purchased other trees to put up outside, but I am referring to Christmas trees.  Looks good.

Today, on the way home, we got stuck in some traffic and the Subaru in front of me thought it was appropriate to turn on their blinkers.  I nearly lost it.  Why someone would think it was ok to turn on their blinkers when you are stuck a foot and a half behind them going no faster that 10 mph is beyond me.

Wow, Black Eyed Peas are terrible live.  I think I could sing better live.  Will I. Am is not so good without an army of synthesizers.  Ok, they closed with the opening riff to It Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana.  Nice.

Caitlin and I have been making a lot of stuff on our own to save money.  We recently bought an old dresser and built it into a media center.  The finished product is below.  The doors on the left and the right were actually three drawers.  I gutted the drawer infrastructure from the inside of the cabinet, cut off the back of the drawers and attached all the drawer faces.  I filled the cracks in with wood putty, sanded it smooth, painted a crackle finish (the light part) used a satin black paint for the central drawers and doors, and stained the top black.  It was originally red.  The left side contains a custom dvd storage design and the right side stores various audio/video components.  It’s about 6 feet long.  Hope you think it looks good!

That is it for my week.  Maybe some more stuff will happen next week.  Or maybe I will remember some more things next time.

I will leave you with this quote, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”

Posted by: schmoffly | November 17, 2009

Squat

Way down this road, in a gym far away, a young man was once heard to say, “I’ve repped high and I’ve repped low, No matter what I do my legs won’t grow.”  He tried leg extensions, leg curls, and leg presses, too. Trying to cheat these sissy workouts he’d do.

From the corner of the gym where the big men train, Through a cloud of chalk and the midst of pain.
Where the big iron rides high and threatens lives, Where the noise is made with big forty fives. A deep voice bellowed as he wrapped his knees, A very big man with legs like trees.

Laughing as he snatched another plate from the stack, Chalking his hands and monstrous back, said “Boy stop lying and don’t say you’ve forgotten, Trouble with you is you ain’t been SQUATTIN!”

Posted by: schmoffly | October 29, 2009

Cool Quote

“No man has the right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training. It is a shame for a man to grow old without seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable.”

– Socrates

Posted by: schmoffly | October 23, 2009

Frustrated

I read an article today on ESPN.com where the Ole Miss band leader at football games has been instructed to take out “The South will rise again” from the end of their fight song.  It seems that part of the song comes from the Confederate army’s fight song, “Dixie.” It has been made official by the chancellor of Ole Miss that the phrase will no longer be used. A couple of quotes from the article that is found here.

“You take back on that slave mentality,” said Moss, who is black. “I know the South won’t rise again and the South can’t rise again.”

“I said the chant one day and there was a black family sitting in front of me and they turned around and gave me this look like I hurt them,” McNeill [former ASB president who is now in law school at Ole Miss] said.

The University of Mississippi has shortened one of its fight songs to discourage football fans from chanting “the South will rise again” during part of the tune, which critics say is an offensive reminder of the region’s intolerant past.

I get so frustrated when I read about stuff like this.  The Civil War was not started or fought because of slavery! Why don’t people read history.  The war was over state’s rights and economic and governmental oppresion from the North to the South.

Consider this fact: In July 1861, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution, by a nearly unanimous vote, that affirmed that the North was not waging the war to overthrow slavery but to preserve the Union (Klingaman, Abraham Lincoln and the Road to Emancipation, pp. 66-70).

I recently read the following paragraphs online here  and I agree 100%.  I copied and pasted them over because they are solid as-is without me having to rewrite them.

“The war was fought over secession, not over slavery. If the South had not declared its independence, Lincoln would not have launched an invasion, and there would have been no war. The only slave states that were charged with insurrection and then invaded were those that belonged to the Confederacy. Would Lincoln and his fellow Republicans have accepted secession if the Confederacy had announced it was abolishing slavery as the first official act of its existence? Would the Republicans have allowed a peaceful separation if the Confederacy had started an emancipation program right after the First Battle of Manassas (Bull Run)? Any serious student of the Civil War will agree that the answer to both of these questions is no.  I don’t think anyone who has studied the subject believes the Republicans would have allowed the South to go in peace no matter when the Confederacy would have started to abolish slavery.”

There were important economic and political differences between the North and the South that were major reasons for the South’s desire for independence. Prior to secession, the South had complained for decades about unfair, unconstitutional Northern economic policies, especially tariff policy. One of the seven ordinances of secession and two of the Declarations of Causes of Secession of the Deep South states mention unfair Northern economic policies. Jefferson Davis mentioned the South’s complaints about Northern protectionist tariff policies in his first message to the Confederate congress (he cited the North’s imposition of “burdens on commerce as a protection to their manufacturing and shipping interests”). In his famous speech on secession to the Georgia legislature, Robert Toombs spent the first half of the speech listing some of the South’s economic complaints against the North, and he cited these complaints as reasons the South needed to be independent. Historian Frank Owsley discussed some of the reasons for these complaints:

The industrial North demanded a high tariff so as to monopolize the domestic markets, especially the Southern market.  It was an exploitative principle, originated at the expense of the South and for the benefit of the North.

The industrial section demanded a national subsidy for the shipping business and merchant marine, but, as the merchant marine was alien to the Southern agrarian system, the two sections clashed. It was once more an exploitation of one section for the benefit of the other.

The industrial North demanded internal improvements–roads, railroads, canals, at national expense to furnish transportation for its goods to Southern and Western markets which were already hedged around for the benefit of the North by the tariff wall.

So please, please stop thinking that the South stood for slavery and the Confederate flag is a symbol of Southern oppresion.  Study on American history instead of listening to heresy!

 

Posted by: schmoffly | October 22, 2009

Earth

We shall pass this way on Earth but once,
if there is any kindness we can show,
or good act we can do,
let us do it now,
for we will never pass this way again.

Stephen Grellet

Posted by: schmoffly | October 21, 2009

The Great Competitor

Beyond the winning and the goal,
Beyond the glory and the fame,
He feels the flame within his soul,
Born of the spirit of the game.
And where the barriers may wait,
Built up by the opposing gods,
He finds a thrill in bucking fate
And riding down the endless odds.
Where others wither in the fire
Or fall below some raw mishap,
Where others lag behind or tire
And break beneath the handicap,
He finds a new and deeper thrill
To take him on the uphill spin,
Because the test is greater still,
And something he can revel in.

-Grantland Rice

Posted by: schmoffly | October 14, 2009

TOday

“We are not born winners or losers, but choosers.”

-Anthony Clark

Anthony wast the first man to bench 600 pounds raw (raw means without the aid of a bench shirt, etc.) and did it while having chronic asthma which he would eventually die from. Pretty impressive, huh?

Posted by: schmoffly | October 9, 2009

You Gotta Be Kidding

U.S. President Obama is a surprise winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.

President Obama has won a Nobel Peace Prize. 

 “For what!?” You might ask and I agree.  What in the world for?  The official reason is: “Peace keeping efforts, fight against global warming, and fight against nuclear weapons.”

I think one reporter summed it up quite well when he said, “Still, the U.S. remains at war in Iraq and Afghanistan, the U.S. Congress has yet to pass a law reducing carbon emissions and there has been little significant reduction in global nuclear stockpiles since Obama took office.”

You have got to be kidding me…this is ridiculous!  The Nobel Peace Prize was rigged!!!

Posted by: schmoffly | October 8, 2009

People You (I) Should Know

Been hard to get into blogging lately for some reason.  Work, softball, the new house, cutting down three trees, Caitlin getting her Master’s, just can’t seem to get into it.  So I have decided on a new segment or two.  One is going to be “People You (I) Should Know” and will be about certain figures in history a well educated person should expect to have knowledge about, and the second will be, “My House Has Taught Me,” which will be something that I have learned about houses, yards, lawnmowers, etc. 

The first People, er, Person You (I) Should Know is…

Name: Ernesto Guevara
Aliases: “Che”
Years: June 14, 1928 to October 9, 1967
Place of Birth: Rosario, Argentina
Why He His Famous: Marxist revolutionary and guerilla leader in the Cuban Revolution.
Brief Bio: Was an Argentine, Marxist revolutionary, physician, author, guerrilla leader, military theorist and major figure of the Cuban Revolution.  As Che traveled through Latin America as a young medical student, he observed the rampant poverty and terrible living conditions of the indigenous people.  He blamed these conditions on capitalism, imperialism, and neocolonialism.  His beliefs led him to support the socialist reforms of Guatemala’s President Jacobo Arbenz Guzmán who was later overthrown in a CIA assisted movement.  This involvement by the CIA solidified Che’s beliefs that capitalism was the downfall of Latin America which would lead to him meeting Raul and Fidel Castro.  He joined their movement, was promoted to second in command, and was a major player in the Casto’s overthrow of US backed Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista.  After the Castro’s victory, Che became Cuba’s national bank director and leader of Cuba’s military forces.  He was instrumental in the strategy that repelled Kennedy’s Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961 and was the driving force in bringing the Soviets to Cuba which precipated the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962.  On October 7, 1967, Che and a band of guerilla soldiers were captured and taken hostage by Bolivian special forces led by Felix Rodriguez, a CIA Special Activities Division operative.  On October 9th, Bolivian President René Barrientos ordered that Che be executed.  In the moments preceding his execution, Che was asked if he was thinking about his immortality.  “No”, he replied, “I’m thinking about the immortality of the revolution.” Che Guevara then told his executioner, “I know you’ve come to kill me.  Shoot, coward, you are only going to kill a man.”  Che was shot nine times across his body to imitate gunfire taken in open combat. 

Time Magazine named Che one of the 100 Most Influential People of the 20th Century, and the photo above, taken by Alberta Korda titled Guerrillero Heroico, has been proclaimed the “most famous photo in the world.”

Since his death, the photo above has become a powerful countercultural symbol and a global recognized within pop culture.

I learned a ton writing this.  I had always thought of Che as a revolutionary leader for the downtrodden people of Latin America…which he was, I guess, but I had no idea that he had such a hatred for America and for capitalism.  I find it odd that as I walk through the mall, I see Che likenesses on clothing in stores such as Journey and Buckle when the man was directly responsible for our defeat at the Bay of Pigs and almost precipated a missile strike on US soil from Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis.  Really changes my mind on stores that will run his merchandise and the people who wear it…

Posted by: schmoffly | September 28, 2009

Rut

Sometimes, the only difference in a rut and a grave is depth.

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