April 5, 2008

Mini Fat Saturdays

Its that time of year here in "The Rouge" that signals the start of the 5k racing season and with it comes the annual return of the Fat Boy 5k. I have been here in "The Rouge" for nearly a year, but unfortunately I arrived a couple of weeks to later for the 2007 running of the Fat Boy 5k. This is not your standard 5k, well distance wise it is, but not in terms of the typical running crowd. The motto for this race is....large and in charge.

The prized categories for this race are not the overall male and female winners (like most races) but the fat boy categories...Clydesdale, Super Clydesdale, and ultra Clydesdale divisions. These are based on the entrants weight before the race and the fastest one in gets the top prize. Also, the team category is a top prize getter. Team must weight in at 650 pounds (295 kg) and the fastest combined time wins. Great race, atmosphere, and people, by far one of the funnest races I have ever been a part of.

I had a good feeling for the race when I woke up today...cool temperatures and clear air courtesy of a late night rain. The only problem was a light upset stomach, mostly nerves though. Ran an ok first mile, right on the time I should ideally be at, but then was out classed by the first runner in the second mile. I ended up finishing third and in my opinion, a disappointing performance. But the performance did not hamper the good times and good companionship of the Varsity Sports group I joined up with. Overall a fun race, disappointingly performance...

Mini Zac
I have been looking for a new car for awhile as the old G-Am was starting to get some age on her. 106,000 and a few nickels and dimes were starting to float out of the pocket for her. I had test drove a MINI a couple of weeks back and it was down to either a Saturn Astra and the Mini Cooper. As you can see...I chose MINI.

I had my eye on my favorite color of MINI but it was an 05 Cooper S with only a tad amount of warranty left. This was a big turning point as I wanted to awesome BMW warranty, but didn't want to shell out the money for the extended warranty. For the same amount as the 05 with an extended warranty I was able to pick up my Chili Red MINI Cooper. It no S, so no supercharger, but I'm more for the mpg and fun than speed. MINI's aren't known for speed, but for their agility anyways. I'm excited and hopefully on Monday I can report that I am the "official" owner of MINI Zac.

KU - UNC Final Four game is tonight...heading over to K&A Wags for the big game. Rock Chalk Jayhawk KU baby.

Our Father, who art in Lawrence,
Hallowed be thy Game.
Thy tourney come,
Thy championship will be done,
In San Antonio as it is in Allen Field House.
Give us this day our deserved victories.
And forgive us our turnovers,
As we forgive Roy who double-crossed against us.
And lead us not into defeat,
But deliver us from East Coast bias,
For Kansas is the basketball kingdom,
And the tradition,
And the glory,
For ever and ever.

April 4, 2008

40 Year Fridays

Happy Friday to everyone, not much happening, so this one will be short. Today marks the 40th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. It gives an opportunity to examine our race relations here and abroad. We (the US) has come a long ways, but still have a long ways to go. We have our first African American running for president, but we have also seen an upswing in violence and rhetoric from the likes of the KKK and Aryan nation. Room for improvement, yes, but progress has occurred, let us celebrate MLK legacy and continue to work towards a more perfect nation! Have a great weekend...Cheers!

April 3, 2008

Kwags, RAC and Carolina Blue

Saturday is the Big Day...KU -vs- North Carolina. I have since found out that RAC and Kwags which is the K in K&A Wags are traitors. We can even throw my mom into the mix. What is this craziness I speak of? They all have UCLA beating KANSAS in the championship game of their brackets. If they happen to beat North Carolina this weekend and then play UCLA in the championship game and then loose. All friendship is off. It should make for some interesting tension in the office over the next couple of days. I'm just teasing, but how can you vote against my boys? haha

Parrains is a Star
My friend Sigle was back in town for the night on his way around the south selling college apparel. He said he wanted to try some authentic sea food and what better place to do it than in "The Rouge." I suggested Parrains, knowing that he would not be disappointed. If you do happen to stop by, be sure to try out the fried alligator and the list of sea food options is pretty good, you will not be dissapointed.

Afterwards we headed down to Red Star bar for a few drinks and call it a night. Wednesday nights are Karaoke night and have "the champagne" of beers on tap for free till 10 (Miller High Life). Red Star will also be hosting the upcoming Yuri's Night party for "The Rouge."

Yuri's Night, April 12th, celebrates the first man in space, Yuri Gagarin in 1961 and the first launch of the space shuttle 20 years later. It is a world wide party to celebrate space and the exploration of space. "The Rouge's" party will be a celebration of the artistic expression of space by local artists as well local music. If you're around, be sure to check it out. Details can be found here.

April 2, 2008

Trucks, Protests, and Islands

Raising Hell about Rising Fuel
Truckers around the country yesterday joined in a protest to demonstrate against the recent surge of diesel fuel prices. The average price per gallon of highway diesel tops $4 (US) and independent owner operators are feeling the pinch.

Trucks in various locations parked outside of state capital buildings and blared their horns, while others drove at 20 mph to slow traffic to a crawl during rush-hour commutes. With nearly everything that is consumed in the US brought to us by truck, the trickle effect is and already has kicked into gear. Prices will continue to climb as it becomes more expensive to haul all of that 'stuff' that we need. The rate at which freight is charged has not kept up with the cost of fuel, squeezing any profit that a owner operator may have had. There is also the issue of huge insurance premiums that many small owner operators struggle to pay. Maybe they need Optimus Prime (see here) to come and save the truckers from the wrath of the Decipticons...aka Big Oil and Big Government. :-) I can see it now, his new quote will be: "Trucking is the right of all sentient truckers." __________________ (insert nerd quotes here)

Packin some Punch
Dominica announced that the U.S. has delivered four new vehicles for the countries police force. The delivery was part of a plan by the island to make sure that every police post has a vehicle that it can deploy. In a small ceremony, the four vehicles were revealed as well as the upcoming arrival of the US Pre Deployment sector of the Military Reserve. They will be in Dominica in June to provide free health care to Dominicans. Reymond Blackburn also answered the criticism of recent that has surfaced about Dominica forming part of an armed alliance against the United States. This is undoubtly due to the close ties with Venezuela and its leftist president Huge Chavez. Mr. Blackburn stated,

"This country is the most beautiful country in the universe and never before have we seen that strength of the alliance that we have forged, dating back to 1983. So the alliance is strong, I want to say to you again that Dominica will never be part of any alliance, military or economic against the United States of America."

I doubt Dominica would pose much of a threat anyway, as there is no armed militia or military presence on the island. Unless you count cutlasses, then you have an army of ~70,000 strong. Not to worried, not to worried at all.

April 1, 2008

April Fools Day

I love my Nintendo Wii, and now have my world record in Mario and Sonic Go to the Olympics down to 9.60. But I just found the next must have game for my system! Check it out here. Be sure to pull some amazing pranks today!
Happy April Fools Day everyone!

March 31, 2008

Bass Pennies

Penny earned is a penny wasted
Recently the US Mint released for circulation the new and more colorful $5 bill, I talk about that here. Today, I take a different look at our money, those pesky pennies ($0.01 US). Recent debate has flared up again as to whether or not the penny should remain in circulation as legal US tender. This is not the first time this issue has come up before, but with the rising price of commodities, the debate has heated up.

There is some disparity about how much it costs to manufacture a penny, but it is clear that it costs more to mint a penny than the penny is worth. Most peg the cost at 1.7 cents per penny to mint with nearly 8 billion pennies minted a year. This nets the Treasury Dept. around a $50 million (US) loss per year. Is it really worth having something that most people simply throw away?

I for one would rather end the use of the penny and at the same time remove the dollar bill in favor of the dollar coin. Many people fear that the removal of the penny will increase prices as most retailers would round up than round down. There would likely be the initial shock, but with modern retailing practices, how many of us actually pay with pennies on a regular basis? Credit and debit cards make up the majority of transactions and pennies are relegated to the black world of our penny banks. It would be a shame to loose Abe Lincoln on the penny, but I think its time to change, move on, and stay modern, instead of holding onto the iconic legacy of the penny. The utter uselessness of the penny was made apparent to me yesterday when I toured the new Bass Pro Shop store that opened up in Denham Springs, crush your penny and get a souvenir for visiting the store...talk about a good use of our money.

Louisiana: Sportman's 'Outdoor Retail' Paradise
Most of the state licenses plates of Louisiana have a white background, blue numbering and the phrase "Sportsman's Paradise." But now, I like to call the area around "The Rouge" Sportman's Outdoor Retail Paradise. Both Cabela's and Bass Pro Shops now have a major store within 20-30 minutes of "The Rouge." For those of you not familiar with these stores, they are large retail chains that offer a variety of products that one would use in outdoor activities; camping, fishing, boating, hunting, and hiking to name a few.

RAC and I visited the newly opened Denham Springs store and I will say that I was quiet impressed. Not with the selection, as its the same for nearly every store across the U.S., which is subsequently made in China and ALSO sold at Cabela's, but for the interior decorating that was done in the store. You enter in and you are greeted by towering (though concrete) Spanish Moss covered trees, making it feel as though you are shopping in the bayou. Taxidermy of various native species was integrated within the design and it was really impressive. Live ducks, fish and even a raccoon can be found in the store. If you're around, check it out, its worth the stop if you're an outdoor enthusiast.

March 30, 2008

'Dying' for a Final Four

Get your PAAS off my Eggs!
Yes, I know that Easter has come and gone. I successfully found all of those eggs that my parents had hid in my apartment, but its just not 'Easter' without dying some eggs. Its been a family tradition for as long as I can remember and it is something that RAC and I have done for the past two Easters. We wanted to continue that tradition, albeit a tad bit late, but nonetheless we did get to dye.

The results were not bad, but in my cheapness I bought the PAAS egg dying kit that did not come with the 'magic' crayon in which you can write things and the dye does not stick. those that you see with the white lines were created using rubber bands. Makes for some interesting looks and I give credit to RAC for keeping me focused on the dying task at hand, because KU was playing this years NCAA Cinderella story, Davidson.

Four, the Final Four
The game, Kansas -vs- Davidson was an ugly, frustrating game for 39 minutes and 59 seconds. Davidson took my team to the brink causing much angst and cursing throughout the game. In the end, Davidson struggled to get an open look and for the first time all four #1 seeds are in the Final four. KU will play North Carolina next Saturday, Rock Chalk Jayhawk, KU!!!!