Archive for May 2006

Running Update

Monday, May 29th, 2006

1. Runner’s knee: Unfortunately, my running hasn’t been what it should be, partly because I’ve been battling a sore knee for a couple of months. It doesn’t hurt much when I run, but it aches on and off when I’m not running. Maybe I’d better take a couple weeks completely off running, cross-train, and make sure it’s completely healed before taking up training again.

2. Team in Training: I’ve been debating as to whether to do it again this year, but seeing that Eric is pledging $1 per kilometer he races to me, that’s an offer I can hardly afford to pass up. Hoping and praying that my knee heals up before training in August.

3. Hood to Coast: Got an excuse to take a mainland vacation this year. A friend of mine from TNT has a daughter who lives up in Portland, and who’s participating in the annual Hood to Coast Relay…12 person teams running 197 miles from Timberline Lodge on Mount Hood to Seaside on the Oregon Coast. Turns out they needed another person to round out the team. An opportunity like that doesn’t come along everyday. So, Oregon, here I come… The relay is August 25-26.

‘Naked Guy’ Shuffles Off His Clothes Mortal Coil

Sunday, May 21st, 2006

The Baby Boomers can have the 1960s. I’m waxing nostalgic about the 1990s, when tech stocks were up, the deficit was down so much it was non-existent, and people ran around naked on college campuses.

Well, at least one college campus. I refer to the fall of 1992, when a young man at Berkeley by the name of Andrew Martinez decided to defy all social convention and attend all his classes in the buff, au naturel, in his birthday suit, in the altogether, or whatever euphemism for “naked” suits your fancy. So notorious was he that he earned the moniker “The Naked Guy.”

Unfortunately, those carefree days are gone, and even more unfortunately, so is he. Found dead on Wednesday of an apparent suicide. In a jail cell. While awaiting trial on assault and battery.

Whether he was naked or clothed when he died was not disclosed.

Such a waste.

And he suffered from mental illness as well; the articles never said what it was, but apparently over the past decade Martinez had been bounced around from mental hospital to halfway house to jail and back again. One of his friends said that he felt that we as a society had failed him. I tend to agree.

May the Naked Guy enjoy himself at that big clothing-optional beach in the sky. I can just picture the funeral. Definitely, an open casket one. And one where the family need not worry about what suit to put on him.

How Evil Am I?

Tuesday, May 9th, 2006

Not very…

You Are 20% Evil

You are good. So good, that you make evil people squirm.
Just remember, you may need to turn to the dark side to get what you want!
How Evil Are You?

I bet I’m making Eric squirm right now…

And the Verdict Is…Life

Thursday, May 4th, 2006

“This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.” –Deuteronomy 30:19

For all its shortcomings, our criminal justice system has triumphed yet again. The jury made its choice…life.

This day, we’ve sent a message to the world. The actions of our government notwithstanding, Americans are, basically, good people. As a whole, we are not vindictive. We are not petty. We are fair-minded individuals. You can knock down our buildings, but you can never destroy the freedoms on which our country is based.

And in the final analysis, the jury probably gave Moussaoui the worst possible punishment. Because, when it comes down to it, Moussaoui wanted to be a martyr. If not on board one of the airliners that took down the World Trade Center, then to be sentenced to death by the Great Satan, the enemy to Allah.

By sentencing him to life in prison, Moussaoui has probably suffered a punishment worse than death…to live out the rest of his days isolated from civilization.

And then face final judgment at the end of his days.

Say, Can You Sí?

Tuesday, May 2nd, 2006

At this time when immigrant rights are in the news, a British record producer puts out a record with a Spanish language version of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” However, that idea appears to have caused a backlash, as conservative bloggers and even the President have said, in effect, that the anthem was written in English and should be sung as such.

It actually turns out that “Nuestro Himno” is just the latest in a series. There’s not just one, not two, not three, but four versions of our anthem in Spanish. And that doesn’t even count the new “Nuestro Himno.” There’s even a version in French. I wasn’t able to find a version in Arabic, but some enterprising person who knows the language could probably write one.

Granted, the song may lose something in translation and not have quite the flavor of the original. But the ideas are there. Whether you call it liberdad, liberté, Freiheit, jiyu, or liberty, it’s the same the world over. It’s the same ideal that brings hundreds of thousands of people here, legally or otherwise.

On a related note, a Harris Interactive poll shows that nearly 61% of Americans don’t know all the words to the “Star-Spangled Banner.” Maybe we should establish a new requirement for the next presidential election. Whoever gets the nomination of the parties must be able to sing the “Star-Spangled Banner.” All the words, with perfect pitch, when he or she gives the acceptance speech. Given that it’s a challenge to sing, even for trained voices…I figure that if our next president can do that, he or she can do anything.

UPDATE: KnightErrant gives a very well-thought out essay, along with more translations.