instant gramming

October 31, 2008

Today is Halloween?

I just heard a sound bite of "Joe, Plumber" giving his surprise, out-of-left-field endorsement for "real American, John McCain." I've not been following Republican rhetoric too closely over the past week or so, but I've heard enough to piece together that Republicans have revived the lies that Obama is a terrorist and not a "real American."

On Wednesday, C and I watched Obama's prime-time television spot or uninterrupted "infomercial" of sorts. The best part--which C pointed out when it was over--was that there was not one mention of McCain. It was all very forward-looking and positive and full of solutions. I have a strong suspicion that a spotlight on McCain would have been very different, and focused on Obama.
And apparently, today is Halloween. I'm disappointed that I'm not prepared at all. I've been out of town all week, I have no costume, no candy to pass out, and no pumpkin! I have to even stop handing out candy early to get to my soccer game this evening. It's all quite a bummer. Hopefully I'll find some time this weekend to eat candy, carve a pumpkin, cook some seeds, and dress-up Alden. Maybe I'll make an Obama pumpkin...

Voting happens on Tuesday, for those of us who have not voted early. Coincidentally I am taking a "personal day" on Wednesday, and was pleased to realize I might be able to use the day to either (1) recover from a long night of celebrating or (2) pack and move to Canada. Ha. Just kidding America, I love you.

Signing off,
Dave The Scientist

October 22, 2008

Enjoy Life

I finally figured out the only reason to be alive is to enjoy it.
Rita Mae Brown

I hate being away from home because of work. Not only do I enjoy the good company of C and Alden, and the comfort of our house, but I also feel terrible when I'm away and am not able to help with the chores, forcing C to shoulder all responsibility. Monday I left town to go on two-day business trip, like I've done many times before. Sometimes, trips like these, or even long day-trips, really wear me out. The work can be rough, the conditions can be awful, and by the time I return to our doorstep I can be downright miserable. There have been many times when I walk through our door and expect C to run up to me, with all kinds of pity and sympathy and unconditional happiness to see me--as Alden does every time. But to expect that has been a selfish fault of mine--C's job is as physically and mentally taxing, and the job of taking care of Alden for an entire night and morning alone puts my efforts to shame. As much as I need it, C needs the same amount of excitement and enthusiasm and sympathy from me the second I see her. So yesterday, I made sure to go straight to her, with a huge smile on my face, and give her the biggest hug she could imagine. I thanked her for the great dinner she made and for taking good care of Alden and the house. I had even brought home Graeter's ice cream, knowing well that black raspberry chip ice cream is a great way to help swallow some of our daily frustrations. To come in the door with a smile and to give/get a big hug was much nicer than I had hoped.

Later in the evening C turned on some music and set off another one of our increasingly frequent dance parties. I'm not a big fan of participating in structured dance (e.g. ballroom style), but really can't deny C my cooperation. And fortunately I did start dancing with her because things got silly and, after getting kicked really hard in the head, we both enjoyed really good, uncontrollable, boisterous laughter. I love laughing with C. In fact, I would say that C laughing is my favorite thing in the world. It goes well beyond being satisfied, beyond being simply happy. Laughing so fully is the best indication that you are really enjoying life--the only reason to be alive.

So, I guess my lesson here is to get better about not wallowing in defeat, not expecting sympathy or pity, and to rise up with a smile on my face and give the love and appreciation I hope to receive. It's well worth the little bit of effort. If you want to enjoy life, you better expect to put some work into it and to stay positive.

Positive Mental Attitude

October 19, 2008

Buju Banton - Til Shiloh

Link to album Til Shiloh on

Updater [updated]

1. Great soccer game on Friday. I got a lot of props from my teammates about my game, which was really uplifting.

2. Saturday C and I traveled to KY (by way of Cincinnati) to experience my grandparents' annual "weenie roast" down on the farm. The set up was perfect, the food was endless, and the best part was hanging out with family I don't often get to see. My grandpa was in high spirits, despite the cold. Two memorable things he said were: (1) "The truth is better if you lie a little bit," and (2) when asked if he wanted to go home because he was cold he said something along the lines of, "No I'm okay, I'm not cold. I'm only freezing. I'll go in when I warm up and get cold." Oh yeah, when Grandma was looking for the switch for the headlights on his golf cart and a flashlight, Grandpa said he didn't have either of those. She said, "Well you just don't have anything then." And his response was, "I have a hot wife." [Apparently my language doesn't translate precisely what he said and how he said it--I've not managed to insert the amount of "cuteness" and enthusiasm with which he talks. But you gotta believe me] What a good time. Unfortunately C and I felt like we needed to get back to Columbus, so 7 hours of our 13 hour trip were spent in cars. The good part of that was 3 of those hours were with Amanda and Andy, and I've appreciated all the time I've had to spend with those two--getting to know Andy and see what their relationship is like. He's a good guy for sure.

3. Frost last night--not sure how that will mess with some of our especially young plants (kale, lettuce, cilantro...), but it seems to be okay.

4. Getting the house clean today--that's always worth the while. A clean house is very calming.

5. Gonna go on a long walk with C and Aldy to a nearby nature preserve. The sun is out and really warm--it could be one of the last really beautiful weekends we have left. Go enjoy it. PEACE!

October 17, 2008

"One good thing about music..."

"...when it hits you, you feel okay." - Bob Marley

Hey party peoples. How are you? I'm good. This week has been a busy one--hence the lack of blogging--and the next few will carry on the same way. Last Friday, during the midnight soccer game I rolled my ankle and wrecked it in a gnarly way. I blame it on the cleats I bought and had never worn. Also, I was getting pretty aggressive and playing my best game yet. Anyways, the whole team played well and we won.
At work, I've been in the field every day, wearing rubber boots with no support whatsoever, walking steep inclines and through rocky stream beds. Sucks. I have a soccer game tonight, and expect to play, but will take it all easy.
Last night, C bought a Sizzla album (reggae) and it's really making me feel good today. It's a sort of "greatest hits" album. Anyways, it's good music.

I'm not sure what it is about reggae music, but I always feel good when I'm listening to it. Whether it is slow and mellow, or up-beat ska/roots reggae, or a heavy dub mix, it fills me up. It's good to dance to, it can ease oppressive summer heat, and it can warm a Midwestern winter.

So, go find some good reggae. If you don't know where to start, I recommend Bob Marley, or Sizzla. It will make you feel good. Check out and create a Bob Marley "radio station." Actually, this is one I created: check it out.

[Brandi--I hope I don't sound like a total dork. You probably have a lot of insights about reggae. Feel free to school me on it. Say word?]

October 10, 2008


Yesterday was a great day at work--I traveled to southern Ohio, hiking around some impressive topography surrounding a landfill to check out stream quality. Fortunately, for us, the stream beds were mostly dry, so most of our time was spent looking for salamanders and we found four species (The photo above is of a tentatively-identified Slimy salamander). Plus we returned home several hours earlier than we expected and I had the insurmountable pleasure of eating Carlyn's homemade pizzas (Greek, BBQ, and sausage).
Right now I'm getting hyped on some good coffee and music by The Promise Ring after an eye exam I had scheduled this morning. Turns out my right eye cares to wander in certain ways (upward, that is), independent of my left eye. When my brain is tired, it stops trying to control this habit and then I have fun, late-night double-vision. Or "beer-eyes" as I should call it. It's like beer-goggles, but without the goggles. When the doctor was testing this, I was cracking up.
Tonight I have a soccer game at midnight. That should be a good time--hopefully I'm not much more useless than I have been during our earlier games.
I'm looking forward to a fun filled weekend of family, football, and fund raising. (We're participating in a Walk for Autism on Sunday). Cooolness.
In other news, I just learned about an interesting amendment/add-on to the $700b "bail-out plan" that was recently passed: inclusion of the Bicycle Commuter Act. This amends Section 132(f) of the IRS code of 1986 to include “bicycles” in the definition of transportation covered by the qualified transportation fringe benefit, thereby extending commuter benefits to bicyclists. More info is found here. Not sure if this helps me out much, but I might pass this on to my boss to see if he can do anything with it--he bikes too!
I'm out

October 8, 2008

True hope responds

"True hope dwells on the possible, even when life seems to be a plot written by someone who wants to see how much adversity we can overcome. True hope responds to the real world, to real life; it is an active effort." - Walter Anderson, American painter
+ listen: Mogwai