Monday, August 31, 2009

Hey Champer-Gamper

Cats... where do I start? Lets start with: I hate them.

{Also, we need to make sure that we are on the same page. When I say "cat" I am referring to a cat bread of the genus Felis, species Felis Catus; otherwise known as a typical domesticated house cat. A cat from the genus Panthera, or a jungle Lion ... they are hard core, they are totally different. Ever since Mufasa taught my little brother how to be a man, I have nothing but respect for Lions.}

Back to cats; I am sure they provide comfort and love to certain people. Those are not my people. As much as I love cats, I love cat ladies more.

Sometimes, because God knows how much I hate cats he offers me a peace offering. Something that says, "Mary, because you must endure those things roaming the earth along side of you, I will give you this, a special gift that almost, almost makes up for it"

Here it is:

I really lost it around 2:25

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Leaves Fall

The leaves fall, the fruits are harvested. Ah, I can't wait for Fall to arrive.

Now, Summer is full of things I enjoy: pool days, sunshine, lemonade, relaxed attitudes, baseball, and American pride. But that season has run its course and as the summer sun grows dim, I can't help but to get anxious for Fall. I am anticipating it daily; to feel a storm brewing, to see the leaves turn, to take a deep breath of the crisp air, to smell the pumpkin. I had an affair with Summer, but I am married to the Fall. I can't wait for it's return. I miss it.

Last year I came up with this little comparison to illustrate my love for the season, a refresher:

I like Fall as much as I like the color red... and that is a lot. Here is a list of colors I like, and the order in which I like them:
1. Red
2. (intentionally left blank)
109. Black
110. Purple
209. All other
colors- they all tie for two-hundred and ninth place.

The point is I like red that much more then all the others. Same with Fall.

I am also much easier in the fall. That's right, you heard me, easy. No, not that kind of easy... it's just that the fall evokes a sense of adventure and contentment in me that can't be found any other time of the year. It is easier to get me out, to try new things, to be complacent.

So, to Summer: I bid you farewell, at some point in the near future when the snow falls I will miss you madly, but in the meantime... to Fall: welcome, I have been waiting.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

That Mountain

So there we were, in the Shenandoah National Park prepared to camp. Though, all campgrounds within 50 miles in the park were full. There was one problem and many solutions. We could attempt to find a private campground (RV Park anyone?). We could cook our dinner at a day-use picnic ground and then go to a local hotel. We could camp anywhere along the famous Appalachian Train which we were not far from. All solutions viable. We chose none of these options. We chose to take the road less travelled; literally.

There were a few key conversations that led us into the night and to where we ultimately would end up...

Me: Where along the the Appalachian Trail would you suggest to camp?
Park Ranger: There are many venomous snakes in this area. I wouldn't suggest you to camp along the trail here.

Tyler: Any open spots?
Jellystone Park Attendant: No.

And finally the clinchers. The deal sealers.

At a nearby ice cream shack, along the side of the road, not far from Skyline Drive, this plays out:

Me: There are no campsites open, any suggestions on where we could go?
Teenage Ice cream Scooper Girl (in southern teenager voice): "Yeah, like go to the top of that mountain, when you get to the top there's a dirt road, turn left and that's where we go"
Me: (turning now to an older gentleman for verification and further details): Sir, do you have any ideas of where to go?
Old Man: (a long pause, Chase thought he was mute at this point) Top of that mountain (pointing) turn left on the dirt road and pitch yer tent.

These people were clearly locals. They should know. So to the top of that mountain we drove, onto the dirt road. Chase & Tyler found a great little campsite tucked off the side of the road.

Here is what ensued:

Jenn & Tyler & the best (only) tin foil dinners I have ever made.

Me & Jenn roughing it hardcore style

Breaking down the tent, Chase & me

Me by the roaring fire (I may look bored, that's because I was camping and everyone knows camping is boring).

The drive from DC to the Shenandoah park is a little slice of Americana. Shout out to Chase for driving all the way from NYC, that is a whole hunk.

NOT PICTURED: There was a moment driving along Skyline Dive... a thick mist had fallen at dusk & out of the mist of one of the cliffs flew a black crow. The crow flew slowly and deliberately and then perched atop a rock overlooking the valley. It was bewitching.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

U.S. Constitution, Article One, Section Eight

{Preface: This post is for my country, for my fellow man, and for freedom. It's no secret my blog is not only read, but when needed, listened to by the powers that be. Cough, pirates, cough, Cindy McCain Debacle 08, cough. I maybe a bit bold here, but I can only hope this blog entry is responded to with such swift actions as the ones before. Note: I am totally serious with this post.}

Our United States Constitution states, "To define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas, and offenses against the law of nations."

I'd like that to happen.

The pirates were dealt with (finally)... and now there are USSR(1) submarines trolling around off the east coast like it's no big deal. Read about it here:

U.S. control extends a short 12 miles off our coast line. Then it is International Waters... I don't think anyone should be comfortable with this. How can there be so much territory unclaimed? Let alone unruled.

The Ocean has a lot going for it:
1. It is lawless
2. It is massive. It is 71% of the Earth.

I absolutely love the constitution. And I am not just saying that, like how people say "I love music" and have an ipod full of crappy downloads, I mean in in the way Michael Jackson said he loved music. I love The Constitution. It was written by perspicaciousness men with gumption. Before we as a nation even existed we were throwing around claims of things we only dreamed of. It is a lesson in leadership: have a plan, carry it out. The Constitution was so far fetched, yet had people who stood behind it with conviction. And guess what? It worked. It was/is a comprehensive and exhaustive document that is ever changing. I would like this particular line, "To define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas, and offenses against the law of nations" to be reexamined. What is stated there is this: we rule the seas. Our country is in charge.

Now is the time and this is the place to implement the clause about the High Seas.

(1) As noted before, I am going to continue to call Mother Russia "the USSR" and refer to them as "Soviets" because ever since they decided to invade Georgia last August, they have been acting like they used to. Get out of our waters, out of your subs and go home.


For those of you who don’t know, Twitter is a site that offers users a chance to update their personal status with a one sentence “tweet” explaining what they are doing. (Note: Twitter is a catchy name, why the hell would they screw up their entire brand by not even conjugating their own words correctly. Why is it called tweeting? The site is Twitter. Shouldn’t that be called twitting? Or shouldn’t the site have been called Tweeter? And the obvious: a user of Twitter is a Twit.)

I just don’t get why anyone would care what I am doing right now? I certainly don’t care what you are doing right now. It would in no way help me stay connected to people. I have face book, blogging, email, texting, and good old fashion face interaction for that. I can stay connected to people and actually gaining real information from other sources. Twitter gives me absolutely nothing but a (typically self-promoting) snippet of a person, which is fine if it is accompanied by, say, something useful like a chat feature (gchat status) or by a wealth of personal information (facebook status). But now, Twitter leaves me with nothing.

The Evil Media likes to claim that news can be proclaimed instantly with Twitter. Part of why I hate twitter because of it’s users. I don’t want to get my news from the creepy guy down the street. I don’t want to get my news from some 16 year old drama-queen. I don’t want to get my news from anyone other then a trained professional, or an actual friend whom I trust.

People so desperately want Twitter to be the next "it" thing. They want to be able to jump on the bandwagon and be hip to the next online feature that everyone will use. They want something that will provide cooler talk and up their social prowess. They want something that they can integrate into their job; something that they can impress their boss with. It seems Twitter is the answer, after all the media is shoving it down our throats (but really, it is for the same reasons individuals have put our hopes and dreams into Twitter, the mass media has grabbed onto Twitter).

Others say that “everyone is doing it”… no, no, no. Everyone signed up to find out what all the hoopla was about, and most intelligent people realized it was a fa├žade. A Harvard Business School professor reported in June of 2009 that 10 percent of the service's users account for more than 90 percent of tweets. Current Nielsen research states that 60 percent of Twitter users do not return from one month to the next.

Let me set the record straight: Twitter is not worth it. Twitter is not a phenomenon. Twitter is a (bad) fad. Twitter is useless. Twitter is a microcosm of other, more popular/useful online tools. Twitter provides nothing more then cheap information; a sliver of the public whole. Nothing is insightful. Nothing is exciting. Twitter is the red-headed step child of Myspace (a now graveyard in social networking).

We were handed a huge innovation called The Internet (dun, dun, dun) in our lifetime that revolutionized we the way we live. It provided us with exactly what we never knew we wanted. After the internet bubble burst, we have been given short bursts of useful technology along the way: online banking, facebook, gmail, etc. These tools are not only fun and novel, they actually help us. As spoiled information-agers we continually are expecting the next breakthrough. That breakthrough is not Twitter.

I leave you with a quote from Kayne West (and if this guy can figure it out, then I have hope you will too) “Why would I use twitter? Everything that twitter offers I need less of.”

Afterthought: I would like to offer up a suggestion of a useful innovative idea of technology that would help everyone: voice to text. I need to text while driving. I would like to text you back, but sometimes I am just that lazy and can't be bothered by it. Talk to Text is the answer. Press a button. Talk your text, phone conversion and you hit send. Someone please, for the love, invent that.