Archive for May, 2008

2008.05.28

Kickin’ It in Geumchon

One of the greatest boosters for Seoul American High School is our old art teacher, Mr. Michael F. O’Brien. He’s kept an alumni contact page maintained, kept in touch with loads of people and recently sent me (and probably a ton of other people) this video that I have to say brings back a lot of memories. I was far more familiar with his wife, Mrs. O’Brien, who was my English teacher. I could probably still break down and diagram a sentence based on her lessons!

One of my few regrets is losing touch with my friends from back then, especially Scott Yustas, John Schafer (spelling on the last name?), Sean Stracinsky (spelling on the last name?) and Robert Reynolds. I also wish I had a yearbook from back then. Someday I’ll have to scan the few pictures I have and put them online… That’ll get Mr. O’Brien excited, I’m sure!

Anyways, if you’ve ever lived in Korea, especially as a foreign resident, I highly recommend watching the video. Kickin’ it in Geumchon, indeed!

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4 Comments | Catergorized: friends  korea  memories

2008.05.22

Sometimes We Forget How Small We Are

Sometimes we think we’re such big, important creatures in the scheme of things. Perhaps in some sense we are, but we also forget our literal size in the vastness of the universe. There’s a scene at the beginning of the movie Contact that I love. It starts with a shot of Earth and moves back and away, slowly at first, passing the Moon, and the Planets, then the Oort Cloud… Eventually the camera takes us through the Milky Way, out of the galaxy and past many others. It’s rather humbling. I found an animated GIF to which I had a similar, though less dramatic, reaction. It’s a large file (1.2MB) so give it a chance to load.

1 Comment | Catergorized: science  thoughts

2008.05.21

McCain’s Iranian Cold War

Senator McCain, I used to think you were a reasonable Republican candidate. I still wouldn’t vote for you, but I thought you had some common sense and that our disagreements were reasonable, unlike the current batch of neo-conservative idiots who seem to be running things. However, the longer the run for President in 2008 goes on, the more I’m seeing just what an poof you are. This is what sealed it for me.

The other day Obama said, “Iran, Cuba, Venezuela — these countries are tiny compared to the Soviet Union. They don’t pose a serious threat to us the way the Soviet Union posed a threat to us. And yet we were willing to talk to the Soviet Union at the time when they were saying, `We’re going to wipe you off the planet.'”

You, Senator, think this is inexperience and irresponsibility because Iran poses at least as significant a threat as the Soviet Union during the Cold War despite the fact that Iran has no nuclear weapons (yet). Are you stupid, Senator? Iran is only a threat to us so long as we keep fscking around in the Middle East. You think we shouldn’t talk to them? Tell that to Nixon who got the ball rolling with China, or Reagan who helped end the Cold War. Both of them were Republicans. Yes, there was more than talk involved. Economic incentives in the case of the Chinese and economic destruction (against an already weak economy) through military spending with the USSR.

Talking works, Senator McCain. Not always, but if you don’t start with talking with the one that hates you and instead yell at them, posture, be the bully, then you can expect a fight. Worse, if you throw the first punch you are wrong. It shows you are scared, frightened. It shows that you have not enough confidence in yourself, not enough restraint; you’re immature, not an adult. In school you would have been punished for such bad behavior. I can’t believe that for your all your years you haven’t learned this. It makes me sad. I never expected you to win in 2008 but I had hoped you would redeem -to some small degree- the corruption, debauchery, aggression, irrationality and general stupidity of the Republican party. I guess I was wrong.

6 Comments | Catergorized: grrr  political

2008.05.17

Amy and Bill Get Hitched

Speaking of marriage, congratulations to my good friends Amy and Bill… After 10 years they are finally married! I’m writing this after the wedding ceremony at Old Saint Mary’s here in the City. Just dropped off my motorcycle and will head off to the reception.

Yay, Amy and Bill!

2 Comments | Catergorized: friends  life  san francisco

2008.05.17

Gay Marriage… Again

The California Supreme Court just ruled that homosexuals have the same right to marry as straight couples. This has, naturally, led to passionate reactions from both sides of the proverbial aisle. Personally, I am for gay marriage. I believe in the expansion of rights granted by our many Constitutions, within reason, not the limitation of rights. So I won’t go too much into the reasons why I support this decision but rather into the reasons why some people are against it.

1: Same sex marriage will ruin the institution. This is patently false. I think we straight people have managed that all on our own. My own parents are still married, but nearly all off my friend’s parents are divorced. At one point over 50% of all marriages ended in divorce. If marriage is a pact for life, it has obviously failed.

2: Marriage is an institution to raise children within. Really? What about couples who don’t want to have children? What about couples that do have children and physically or sexually abuse those children? Who’s to say that gay couples couldn’t raise children just as well as any kind, loving straight couple? Besides, domestic partners can already adopt, so gay couples can already raise children.

3: This ruling goes against the will of the people. I can’t argue this one terribly hard except to say that often the will of the people is often wrong. For example, slavery, racial equality, religious equality, gun ownership, various forms of taxation, etc. I hate to bring up the Nazis because they are the worst, most extreme example and people hate reading about them when they justify someone else’s position, but the Nazi party did have the overwhelming support of the German people in their day. They were wrong.

If we ban same sex marriage, what’s next? Should we ban it for non-Christians, too? Should we ban certain types of convicts from being able to marry for fear that their criminal ways will ruin the idea of marriage? Should we ban marriage altogether as a violation of blending church and state?

3 Comments | Catergorized: political  rights

2008.05.13

Million Pirate March

Arrr… It’s pirate time! This Sunday, May 18th, be the Million Pirate March in San Francisco. It just so happens to be the same day and the same course as the famous Bay to Breakers faux-race; the more the merrier!

On May 18, 2008 history will be made when up to 1,000,000 pirates will
march forth toward the sea in San Francisco, California. This is a time to
affirm our love of pirates, parrots and even wooden peg legs.

Never before have pirates joined together peacefully in such large numbers
to celebrate… well… being pirates.

I won’t be marching, but I’ll be in the Rose Garden along the course cheering on me mates. Avast! Thanks to Molly McGee for alerting me to this auspicious occasion.

4 Comments | Catergorized: life  san francisco

2008.05.11

Mega Drive

I’m on the East Coast right now. There are two reasons. The main reason is because my Mom will be having surgery and I want to be here for her. The second is to move my Gramma, who my parents have been taking care of, up to Boston area to live with my Aunt. Yesterday morning about 10AM I left my front door. It took 13 hours. At approximately 440 miles, that averages out to just under 34MPH…!

OK, so who the hell in Delaware thought it would be a brilliant idea to close three lanes of traffic on 95? This was the first time in my life I experienced a traffic jam that spanned an entire state. It’s a good thing 95 crosses only a small part of Delaware. This brilliant idea by the road planning commission cost me 1.5 – 2 hours. Further, I knew NYC would be bad but it was worse than even I expected. What’s up with all the lanes on supposed “interstate highways” being too narrow to even fit a car? Hello Brooklyn! I’m talking to you!

Overall, though, the trip was alright. Long, boring (rental trucks need tape or CD drives) but bearable. I’m pretty proud that I managed to pull it off.

PS: Happy Mother’s Day all you Moms out there!

2 Comments | Catergorized: family  life

2008.05.09

Red Rover, British Bulldog and Smear the Queer

Yesterday when walking to lunch, Banana Boy and I passed Washington Square where a group of kids was out with supervision playing Red Rover. Two ragged lines of kids facing each other, arms interlocked, yelling:

Red rover red rover
Let (kid’s name) run over!

I remember playing this as a kid, too, and I also remember a few other games that were a little rougher.

Anyone remember British Bulldog? Everyone except one kid, the bulldog, lines up at one side of the yard. When the kid yells, “Bulldog!” all the kids run and try to make it to the other side. Meanwhile, the bulldog tries to catch (read: tackle) as many as they can. Whoever is caught becomes a bulldog in the yard, too. It’s the bulldog’s job to catch as many kids running across the yard as possible. It’s the kid’s job not to get caught. Let me tell you, it was hard being one of the last kids facing a yard of bulldogs!

Anyone remember Smear the Queer? Not the most politically correct name for a game anymore, but a fun game none-the-less. Get a bunch of kids together with one ball. We always played with a football. One kid (the queer) takes the ball and all the rest try to tackle (smear) the queer. Once they get him a struggle ensues to get the ball and escape getting smeared yourself. The only goal in this game was to avoid being smeared and to brag that you were the queer the longest.

All of the games were a lot of fun at different ages. Somehow I don’t think British Bulldog and Smear the Queer would be allowed in too many neighborhoods and schools in this over-safe world of ours. It’s a shame; I miss them!

1 Comment | Catergorized: games  memories

2008.05.08

Special Lazy Time

It’s been special lazy time for my and the blog for the past week. I would apologize, but I’m just not sorry. :)

Work has been busy. Since becoming a manager I’ve gotten to do things I’ve never done before… like spend $200,000 on equipment that will depreciate in value faster than a cheap American car.

The big distraction, however, has been my Mom’s cancer situation that I alluded to here. Although the most recent prognosis is better than the original, I still don’t know enough to feel comfortable about the whole thing. I’m not stressed or anxious yet. I suppose that will happen when I fly out tomorrow and get a chance to talk to my family in person.

Meanwhile I’ve found and not posted tons of things I thought would be interesting, like President Bush trying to blame Democrats for the housing crisis and rising cost of gasoline, a site with tons of pithy rules of thumb and, of course, the uno. At least 10 people have sent me that link now… I will post a few more, including a relative large “Who Is the Final Cylon” entry, sometime soon!

Comments Off on Special Lazy Time | Catergorized: family  life  work
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