Jack and Coke with a lime

Sorta Southern, sorta' yuppy, with a definite fruit component - odd how one drink sums me up pretty well! (Or perhaps that I compare myself to my favorite alcoholic beverage...)


Still kickin

...despite the fact that lately I've sounded like a one-man TB ward surrounded by a bunch of irritiable, snorting rhinos. Yes, I know I bring it on myself; I need to get smart and quit the smoking. I haven't had any for the past few days, and despite the cravings, I think I've done pretty well. I just want to be healthy again - and maybe, just maybe, this will help me to at the least cut down if not finally kick this damn habit. Wish me luck - I'll post something more interesting (and undoubtedly long-winded) soon.


What drives technology?

A great article in the Post (sorry, I've been sorta' busy last week, so I'm just catching up on my postings, and my news e-mail): Technology's Seamier Side. I definitely got a laugh out of this one - but it's also very true. I remember my first company talking about their hi-tech clients back in 2001; web hosting for adult entertainment was a good chunk of the DC market interestingly! I can only wonder where that number is nowadays....


Words of wisdom...

from The Onion (I love the horoscopes!):
Gemini MAY 21 - JUNE 21
With winter on its way, keep in mind that sex is like snow - you never know how long it will last or how many inches you will get. (CTC - Or how deep it will get!)


Just amusing... (though it gives new thoughts to the word synergy)

So my bit of amusement from the FT: two conventions/trade shows are going on in Las Vegas right now, apparently right next to one-another. First is the International Consumer Electronics Show (aka CES) - highlighting the latest in hi-tech toys for the home. And next door, during the same week (how - by some genius of scheduling? by random, ironic fate? by the machinations of tech dorks of the world?) is the Adult Entertainment Expo. I just wish I could be there to watch the interactions.... though you can only imagine what sort of "deals" could end up arising!


One Nation Under God

So as is natural for a news junkie, this post is driven by a Washington Post article I've just read. The confirmation hearings for Samuel Alito Jr. to join the Supreme Court will start next week - initiating what looks to be a fairly lively DC political media frenzy (we're just not sure whose blood is in the water to get the sharks agitated...).

Now, I'll preface this with the statement that I personally opposed Alito's confirmation, for a number of reasons - mostly due to the fact that I align on the liberal side of the fence, and Alito's fairly well opposed to my views in a wide range of areas. However, that's not really what I'm writing about.

Instead, this article mentioned how Rev. Robert Schenck had consecrated the room in the Hart Office Building where the hearings would take place, in the hopes that "[b]y dedicating it to God, we look to God to orchestrate and direct the activities that take place at that location."

I have no problems with individuals possessing and expressing their faith - usually. However, there's something about this that seems to cross my own sense of where the line lies. One of the core sentiments of our nation - a source of pride for centuries - was our religious toleration. At the time the first colonies of what became the United States were settled, they gave various Christian sects (usually hard-line Protestants) an opportunity to worship freely, away from the European governments that sought religious homogeneity within their nations.

Yet despite that, there's a lingering paradox: most of these future states sought to impose a form of religious standardization of its own, denying the validity of any other form of religious expression. Most of the New England colonies were established as offshoots of dogmatic disession! And that paradox seems to echo in this article.

Schenck's hope that God will direct the hearings seem to contravene the very concept that the nation should be blind to religion. To consecrate the room... So many in America either continue to believe, or have come to believe, that God (and specifically, their God - but that again depends on the perspective!) should be a guiding force in our society. As Schenck's actions suggest. But in doing so, isn't there an implied rejection of that openness to religious diversity and freedom of worship? I'm sure if someone asked Rev. Schenck that question, he'd deny it - but how can his actions be seen otherwise?

I only hope that I'll live to see the day when American society learns to accept that faith and religion, although related to morality, should remain separate when discussions of morality move into the public sphere. I'm not sure that will happen, but I can definitely hope. Or else, perhaps America will begin to see its own flow of individuals seeking freedom to worship and live as they choose - except this time, they'll be leaving this land.


A grain of truth...

that really proves pretty frickin disturbing when you think about it. The Onion has an uncanny way of highlighting thoughts like that; this article isn't any different: "Important Christmas Lessons Already Forgotten".


The truth... ?

Sorry for the obscure title - in going through my news e-mails (yes, I'm a bit of a news junky - about 6 FT.com every day, GovExec since I work w/the Feds so much, Washington Post, and a few random others) I came across a great article that I wanted to post an excerpt from. One of the things that I've discovered frustrates me immensely (although I'm guilty of it too I know - I'm working on it!) is an attitude of infallibility. And unfortunately, the web is FULL of that. I love the access to information that we now enjoy - but have we lost some of the certainty of knowledge that we used to possess? (I'll go into more depth on that sometime... reminds me of the intro to a great book I read several years back.) So, my choice of great thoughts for the day, excerpts of an article by David Bowen (FT.com, 12/23/05 publishing date):

All these sites provide raw viewpoints. There is no attempt to be balanced or objective, so it is up to us readers to make our own judgements. How do we know if what we are reading is fair, accurate, or complete rubbish? One way is to find a spread of sites that cover all views. Another is to buy a newspaper, though this may provide just another spin. A third, probably wise, route is to develop a deep sense of scepticism about everything we read – to act as our own editors.
This has all become much more relevant with the explosion in our midst of blogging, and also the increasing profile of Wikipedia. We no longer have to know how to set up a website to get our opinions out there – blogs are easy to set up on a standard template, while Wikipedia (www.wikipedia.org) lets us contribute to or edit any encyclopedia entry we want – there are 850,000 so far, and the only editing we might get comes from other users. Is this freedom, or madness?



So do folks really care what my New Years' resolutions are? Probably not... but hell, I've always heard that it helps to write them down, and as it's what I've been thinking about lately - this seems as good a place to finally put them all together as any.

The biggest one - sort of the summation of most of the rest - actually arose after listening to one of my friends talk at a birthday a few weeks ago. He was saying that his goal in 2006 was to get a boyfriend. Now we all gave him grief at the time, saying that you can't plan on finding someone - and I still believe that's true. I think you just wait for luck, fate, chance, whatever it is, to bring you together with someone in a way that something sparks.

But upon reflection, maybe what he meant (and even if he didn't, it's how I'm looking at the whole concept) is that he wanted to be ready for a boyfriend. And that is more where I stand; emotionally, I think I'm there, but I want to be a catch again. I don't think I've been able to say that for a while, especially as work's kept me insane for the past few months. So in 2006:

1) I want to get myself to that point of confidence and contentment with life where I'll be ready to share it with someone else and hope for the best.

2) In order to get back some of that confidence, I want to get back to, and stay in, good shape (preferably without the massive depression that usually gets me down to a 30" waist!) - so that means eating healthy and hitting that gym 3-4 times each week (rather than the 1-2, if it all, I've managed the last few months). Oh, and remembering to take my vitamins every day (that part should be easy, right?)

3) I also want to take better care of myself - namely in the area of my 2 main vices. So, pacing it out when I'm drinking (I've got a damn solid tolerance, but can it really hurt to mix in a glass of something non-alcoholic between?) and getting this damn smoking under control so that even if I don't quit, I can hit a stressful moment and not want to light up.

4) Another other big thing - and worthy of its own theme almost - it's time for me to settle in DC. After 5 years, many of which I've talked about going away (new job, law school, whatever), I think I'm finally accepting that, for a long while at least, this is home. DC has definitely grown on me; much as I hate the traffic, this is where I want to be. So time to save up and finally take the leap into home ownership, first off. Secondly, since I want to stay here, it's time to get serious about getting back to school - hell, my company pays for continuing ed, why am I NOT taking advantage of it?

5) Finally, a resolution that really goes even into 2007: to get the experience under my belt so that, come my 2007 assessment at work, I stand a good shot at a promotion. It'll take some serious work on my part, because it's really competitive on my team - but hell, I tend to perform pretty well under stress (LOL or hungover, but that's a different story...). The commitment for this may seem to conflict with some of my other hopes, but hell - if I can just manage my time, I'm sure I can fit it all in!

So yes... now that I've gotten these down I think I do have a good idea of the path I'm aiming for. We'll see how these first few months go (especially fighting the hordes at the gym.. ugh!)

On the bandwagon

So I've finally jumped on the bandwagon and created a blog (woo-hoo!). For a long while I've been reading ones written by other folks and found it exciting to get these insights into their lives, hopes, frustrations... So what the hell - I'll take my own shot at this and see what arrives.

And now, the initial disclaimer: I tend to be way too blunt as it is. I suspect that won't change in working on this, so if I put anything in here that offends.... well, sorry, but this is largely a stream of consciousness for me - so you're getting my true thoughts. If you don't like, well, just move on and ignore. Or just send a comment back; I'll see them at least, and as long as it's not glaringly offensive, they'll go up. (I'm definitely not afraid of a different opinion, but c'mon, there are limits!).

So on those notes - happy New Years to everyone. We'll see what 2006 brings along... it looks like it'll be as crazy a time as 2005 at least!