People are pretty great

So a terrible thing happened yesterday. Someone decided to hurt a lot of people with some improvised explosive devices near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. I’m here to tell you, that’s not the story.

The real story is that many marathoners, still in thier space blankets, ran – not from the scene, not from the horror, not from the danger, but to Mass General Hospital to see how they could help. A friend of mine relayed this to me from a friend of his who was there.

Let’s celebrate this amazing capacity for good that exists in humanity.

The real story is all the people that ignored thier sense of self preservation and just helped one another.

I’m not suggesting we forget the evil, I’m just saying we need to celebrate the good in people and the good that people do. It’s all around us; All the time. We need to celebrate it as an example for others to live up to… If you need to be in the spotlight, do something good, and we will shine it on you. 

Let’s not become consumed with the desire to fight anything; Let’s try to become consumed with the desire to cooperate and build.


Water is impro


Thank you Pro-Brewer! I was looking for information about water filtration for my house; in part because I brew beer, but also because I brew coffee, both of which occassionally taste really bad with unfilter


So, yesterday was a terrible day in history. A 20 year old murdered his mother 7 other adults and 20 young children… 5 year olds.

The news is filled with stories of tragedy and examples of the worst behaviour of people, and I confess I usually consume this information with indifference. A tsunami kills thousands, eh, that happens. Bloody conflict around the world isn’t even interesting enough to anyone to bubble up in our media outlets.

Somehow this was very different. I’m not ashamed to say I cried, Hell I’m still crying. But beyond crying I’m trying to think about how I can change. What can I do to prevent this from happening again. This is not the beginning of a post about gun control. It’s about people control.

I suspect there will always be the occassional individual that defies all logic and prediction that does some horrible thing but I have to believe that most incidences are preceeded by something we could notice. But, even more than that, there are millions of less sensational transgressions that hurt our friends and neighbors. Each of these chips away at the foundation of our society.

I’m guilty of a behavior of indifference. It has many masks: None of my buiseness; beyond my control; that’s life; etc.. but no matter what I’ve called it, it’s indifference to the plight of others. In another case, I really did feel as though it wasn’t right to be “nosey” or to “gossip”. I still agree with this, but suggest that I could demonstrate genuine interest in peoples lives, especially my neighbors who make up the community in which I live. Maybe if I can learn to genuinely care about them and thier lives, I can positively contribute to thier lives… and they to mine…. maybe it will catch on, maybe people with care about and for each other, maybe this will help avert another tragedy or many tragedies perhaps not so newsworthy.

I hope my neighbors are patient as I learn to be a busybody. I’m sure I’ll be akward at it, since I spent my whole life avoiding it.

I ran across this… I think I wrote it… maybe not… I like it.

It’s far easier to earn your disdain than your affection…


For too long, we are of the mind that our love must be earned… this may be true of respect, but it is not of love.

I have missed it in the teachings. It has been there since the very beginning of my learning.

As a child is born with his mother’s love, so are we born with the love of God. And it has been His teaching that we love one another. We must embrace one another as we would our own children… with patience, compassion, and love.

A tall order, I know. One that I must write, because I have yet to demonstrate. However, this must be our goal. We must strive to love on another. If not, we are doomed to extinction.

Revenge begets revenge and hatred begets hatred. Feuds last generations beyond the reasons for them…


Great Divide Hibernation Ale

Bottom line: Yum.

 This is a big brew. It’s nice a malty, with a punch you can taste. Well balanced, erring on the side of sweet. Full in the mouth. Just the right thing on a cold winter day. I should have been drinking it on the deck of a ski house slopeside….

This is a good beer to keep on hand all winter.

 My tastes are influenced by weather. Winter is for me, a time of hearty meals, and even heartier brews.

may he who is without fault cast the first stone…

Ok… so at the risk of being an absolute hypocrite I’m writing about Tiger Woods, and his current public problems.

 There are a few things about it that perplex me.

 1. I can’t believe its such a big story… if he were a preacher or politician, I kind of get it, but he’s a golpher… What is the big deal? Personally, its a big deal… but why is it getting so much public attention, why does it capture the attention of the public? I suspect that if it were Tommy Lee (or some other Rock star), it would not be a story… Johnny Damon wrote a book, where apparently he detailed his truly awful attitude and actions (unless I was duped, I did some searching and couldn’t really find enough info. to believe what I read)…

 Now, I’m not going to go buy “Idiot” to see if Johnny Damon really did write about that stuff… I don’t really care, it’s his problem. But I bring it up, because there wasn’t much uproar about that… now Johnny Damon is not the face of baseball, and clearly not the baseball equivelent of Tiger… also baseball has all kinds of other distractions (steroids), which golf doesn’t…

You’ll have to forgive me for being predjudiced, but I’ve always thought that golphers were womanizing playboys, and that only those that couldn’t handle it were outed (guys like John Daly).

 2. I like to think that I’m an empathatic person… and while I’d love to sit here and judge the man like everybody else, I simply can’t. I’m a little afraid to say then next thing,  as I’d like the world’s view of me to favorable. More importantly, I’d like my Wife’s view of me to be favorable.  However, I will never be confronted with the temptation that someone like Woods is, and to be at least a little frank, I’m glad. As much as I’d like to believe that I have the moral fiber and the character required to keep my integrity, I feel fortunate knowing that it will never be tested as much as if I were outrageously rich and famous. I don’t offer this as an excuse… It’s not my place to offer excuses, or to even suggest that there need be an excuse… it’s none of my business… but I would ask this… think about all of the things that you desire and lust for, and think about, and just imagine that they were all within reach, nearly all the time… and I know that some of those things are things you shouldn’t have, for one reason or another… how well would you do in avoiding the temptation?

Oh… wikipedia, how I love you….

So… here is an example of wiki wandering….

 I was doublechecking a quote from the Gettysburg address to make sure I got it right… I am writing a blog about the Constitution. In particular about the 2nd ammendment. So, I was also looking for State Constitutions, many of which predated the US Constitution, and I came across a page showing the Massachusetts Constitution.

 On the page about the Massachusetts Constitution, it says that Chapter 5, Section 1 is specifically about Harvard College. So I clicked on Harvard College. The Harvard College page says that Harvard University is a private college founded by the Massachusetts legislature… confused about how a private anything could be founded by the public government, I read on.. (I have to admit, I was secretly hoping for an angle that would guarantee acceptance to the Kennedy School of Business, and free tuition to boot).. so I read on…  It talks about the College and later the University, and John Harvard, and Fancis Eaton of the Mayflower… At this point I became bored with the founding of Harvard, and interested in the Mayflower… how many people were on it? Would I recognize the names? So I went to that page… I wasn’t on the page very long… long enough to find out that it to 66 days to cross the ocean, and that it was almost half crew members… when I noticed a notation for the dates… Old Style and New Style… I followed this to a page that explained the transition from Julian Calendar to Gregorian Calendar. The Julian calendar had too many leap years, basically… Portugal lost 10 days in October the year they converted (went from Oct 4 to 15th in one day)… I wonder if that had a big effecton payroll and taxes? Anyway, so this led to some information about non-european contries and thier use of lunisolar calendars, which led to the discovery of the Japanese use of eras… now is the era of Heisei… in Japan it is Heisei 21 now… Heisei is the name by which the current emporer of Japan will be know after he has died. For some reason, it’s not socially acceptable to call the emporer by this name while he is alive.

 So, basically, if you want to find out more about social graces required while in the presence of an emporer in Asia, just look up constitutional law, and follow where it leads…

9/20/09 Long Run

Cash for Clunkers

So, I’m in the market for a new ride… even more so since my existing ride, the family’s only ride, came up lame on a trip yesterday, with my wife at the healm… This is causing a considerable amount of stress, as any event that requires a husband and wife to sit and discuss preferences, priorities, and budget… (hint: throw pillows will ALWAYS be a high enough priority to ignore any budgetary constraints preventing thier purchase.)

 So… I’ve been looking for cars…,, (not at work because no one wants the seedy dealings that go on there to come back to an office computer – oh yeah and also because I’m an honest, hard working individual who is loath to conduct personal business in the office.) I looked in the paper, researched in consumer reports,, and the manufacturers websites… I even visited dealers… ok, I visited 1 dealer, did I mention we only had 1 car?

 There’s a buzz in the auto industry! CASH FOR CLUNKERS!!!! The new government incentive that gets you a whopping 4500 for your vehicle.* (*certain terms and conditions apply)… Awesome! the government is now in the slightly ambiguous, narrowly applying, here’s the best case scenario Auto incentive game…. Seriously, this is a great deal if you have a car that is about to die, and happens to be a real gas guzzler, AND you are looking to purchase a subcompact… if any one of thos isn’t true, then it starts to become less of an incentive… Which is fine… the intent was to get the high emmissions vehicles off the road. So, as big a fan as you are of Who’s the Boss, maybe its time to turn in you’re sweet van with grandma’s old couch bolted down in the back and the trail of smoke billowing from the tailpipe (amongst other places). You’re never going to get another offer for 4500 for that thing (even if you throw a spoiler on it and paint it just like the A-TEAM’s van.)

 But for the rest of us, its rather alarming that our government is complicit in what amounts to an advertising campaign… perhaps its not the classic bait-n-switch… but it sure is analogous to the standard MO of auto advertising. As in: BMW 325i convertable for only $199 /mo. * (*for qualified buyers)… come to find out, that you can only qualify if you are so rich that you wouldn’t be caught dead in a cheap ass BMW… your strictly a Bently man, and if they don’t have what you want right now, you’ll just start your own damn car company. Oh yeah, and even if you are qualified you still have to put $6k down plus tax, title, and fees. Oh yeah, and also only if the dealer you go to is a participant in this offering.

 So, its a good deal if you can get it, which you can’t, but please don’t leave, we have many exciting offers just for you….

 So, I’m looking for a car… and I’m sorry, but I have some pretty high demands…. has to go from Point A to B with my whole family (with room for 1 more) and the stuff we need whenever we get where we’re going… I’m not too worried about gas mileage, though I prefer not to be a huge contributor of pollutants to the environment, or cash to oil companies…. I care about style, but want to be able to tell people I don’t… comfort is key… and I want to be able to see pretty well while driving (so I don’t run people over or smash into things… read this closely Jeep Cherokee designers you current offering stinks in this category.) If I could get some fun bells and whistles, cool… I like the nav system with back up camera and entertainment systems, but I can live without em too. But here’s the deal… I don’t want to lay out more than $200 a month… I’d be willing to part with a couple of grand down… and I want everything about the car covered under warranty (I’ll change the oil)….  I guess I’m perusing the fine print again.

Run 12:27 pm

Around mile 2 I ran into a guy, who hit the gas as soon as I was next to him. He turned around before I did, but I passed him eventually, he stick with me and passed me back, and I stayed on him until I finally got by him, and he just stoped at that point, before I could encourage him to keep it up. I don’t know who it was, but i’m greatful to him for pushing me, and keeping it interesting. I love nyc!

Route: Elev. Avg: 9 ft
Location: New York, NY, Elev. Gain: -3 ft
Date: 04/10/09 Up/Downhill: [+59/-62]
Time: 01:02 PM Difficulty: 1.7 / 5.0
Weather: Cloudy
  54 F temp; 51% humidity
  54 F heat index; winds ENE 8 mph
Distance: 4.39 miles Goal: 7' 30 min/mi pace

Time: 0:32:56
Speed: 8.0 mph Attained: 100%
Pace: 7' 30 /mi
Calories: 665

Elevation (ft)

Pace (min/mile)

Mile Pace (min/mile) Speed (mph) Elevation
actual +/- goal actual +/- goal
1 6' 59 -0' 31 8.6 +0.6 -39 ft
2 7' 34 +0' 04 7.9 -0.1 +4 ft
3 7' 39 +0' 09 7.8 -0.2 0 ft
4 7' 17 -0' 13 8.2 +0.2 +20 ft
end 8' 54 +1' 24 6.7 -1.3 +13 ft
Versus goal of 7' 30 min/mile

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