May 17, 2008

Big Brown Domination

Preakness Destruction
Ah, the Triple Crown, the pinnacle of horse racing, was run today in Maryland. I missed the Kentucky Derby two weeks ago and since then, the industry has been in a myriad of troubles surrounding the death of Eight Belles. With her death, the Derby was not remembered for Big Brown's convincing win, but the death of another race horse on the biggest stage (Barbaro being the other).

Horse racing held its collective breath today as the start of the Preakness began, hoping that no repeat of the Derby would be had. Much of the race was a positioning race for Big Brown and he (and his jockey) handled the shuffling well and coming into the homestretch he was in good position. With a few small prods from his rider, Big Brown decided it was time to turn on the jets and walked away from the field in a convincing manner. No other horse could manage to keep pace and the pure breakaway power that propelled Big Brown into the lead was really impressive. Can we say Triple Crown?

I think Big Brown has a convincing shot, more so than the few horses that have won both the Derby and the Preakness in the past few years. Three weeks will tell us if Big Brown is a legit horse, or one that has been running against inferior competition. I know I will be watching, I hope its a great race, and a splash of history would not hurt the sport after it tumultuous past few years. Good luck Big Brown!

Big Brown in Convincing Win

May 16, 2008

Playin Uncle

Today, while working from home (perks of the job) I got to play uncle! Its rare that I get to see my nephew and niece so I was happy to play as long as they wanted me to. Though I do not look good playing dress up, we did have a blast :-)

It got fairly warm so we, including grandpa, decided to play with water balloons! I, being the one to want to get the action shots, decided pulling out the camera was the best thing to do, as everyone should do around young kids throwing water filled devices! Jadynn decided it would be funny to soak Uncle Zachawii's foot with a water balloon as I was trying to capture the Kodak moment.

Kasey (the youngin) first thought that these things were the grosses, most hideous form he had ever seen. He would not throw it, but only hold onto the end of the water balloon like it was toxic. After we made him realize that when you throw them they will pop and burst, did he realize the amazingness of the water balloon. After that, it was all down hill. We ended the day by throwing a Frisbee and chasing them down. Basically it was my excuse to run them into the ground so they slept good that night. Being an Uncle is great!

May 15, 2008

Little Sis's Graduation

The younger sister graduated from the local community college tonight, hence the reason for the trip home, and all went without a hitch. Minus the usual BORING speeches telling them to go forth and spread their knowledge to the world, not much exciting was happening. I was in charge of the photography side of things, so I shot to my hearts content.

Oh, there was this one girl who went through every emotion possible in the span of the hour. She was drunk of course, but the list of actions include:
  1. talking on cellphone during commencement speech
  2. texting during commencement speech
  3. waving at her 'interesting' looking boyfriend during commencement speech
  4. talking to her neighbor (who looked agitated) during commencement speech
  5. dropping her mortar board during commencement speech
  6. nearly falling during walk up to get diploma
  7. talking on phone yet again
  8. and finally crying her eyes out because of something said during #6 (just my guess there)
So my words to the class of 2008, please please please, do not do many of the above items, or you may just end up the butt of someones blog. Have a good Friday!

May 14, 2008

Airport Sprint Workout

So today I flew home to the great state of Kansas, _______ (insert Wizard of Oz Statement here). Just as I was supposed to leave "The Rouge" the mother of all rainstorms decided to sweep in and just DUMP water on the city. I knew I had to arrive in Memphis (my layover) by 7:00pm (cst) to have a shot at making my connecting flight. This meant that I must be in the air from Baton Rouge no later than 6.

The severe weather delayed the incoming plane by a couple of hours and as the minute hand ticked closer and closer to 6, I started to sweat a little bit. Finally, in the downpour to end all downpours, we boarded the plane and took off, right at 6pm...I have a chance.

Get to Memphis right on time and as we taxi to the gate (B36 above) we have to wait for equipment to be moved out of the way of plane. Tick tock tick tock tick tock.
Finally the Tug is moved, we taxi up.

I push my way through people with some groans but I really don't care, and let the sprinting begin. I had to get from B36 (see above) to B20 in about 5 minutes. Thank goodness I can run, as I made it in 3 minutes...but you must visualize me running. Moving sidewalks...check. Luggage bouncing around as I pull it along...check. Panting and sprinting to the ticket counter...check.

Luckily I made it, just as they closed the door. Got some unpleasant looks from those on the plane, but I really didn't, I had made it! Kansas here I come!

May 13, 2008

'Oiling' the 'Strategic' wheels of politics...

SPR Debate
As much as I would like to stay out of the oil topics, I keep getting sucked back into the fray. Today, Congress passed a bill to suspend shipments of oil to the United States Strategic Petroleum Reserve to help ease the pain at the pump. Why now and not earlier when prices started jumping above $100?

The most obvious is that there are several seats up for election this year and these congressman (and women) need to appear that they are doing something for their constituents in their home districts. A congressperson appears to be in favor of these high oil and fuel prices would certainly destroy their chances of getting reelected. This is also evident from 2 of the 3 presidential candidates were proposing suspending the federal gas tax for the summer to help ease prices.

What this all amounts to is just another bandage on the open gash that is our addiction to petroleum. I, along with countless others, have said that we will have to fundamentally change the way we live in order to adjust to this new era of 'expensive' oil. Reducing shipments to our Strategic Petroleum Reserve is NOT going to be the fundamental change. The SPR is currently at around ~700 million barrels of oil. This suspension will divert 70,000 bpd back into the oil stream flowing to our refiners. That's about 0.3% of our total petroleum consumption per day (based on 2007 data). Will that help? Doubtful...Its mostly political rhetoric to get elected and maintain the status quo.

So what is there to be optimistic about in these troubled times? For me, its the concept of close knit neighborhoods and a sense of local identities rising again. Since the disappearance of the front porch, which was a result of air conditioning and the invention of the television, the closeness of communities has been falling ever since. We crave interpersonal communications and relationships, why do you think that social networking sites are so popular. But, they still leave a sense of emptiness that makes us crave real interactions with people. Maybe a side result of closer knit communities, brought together because of high energy prices could alleviate some of the social ailments, poverty, crime, and poor education among our nations schools. Grand dreams...probably...optimisitic in a time of dire pessimism...sure. But instead of doing nothing about the current situation, change, adjust and move on. If not, you might just get left behind...

May 12, 2008

Random Pic of the Day

Today was a very slow day, not much happening on any front. Run was warm and difficult, but other than that...zilch of excitement. Hope your Monday was better than mine, though I get to travel this week again, going home. That is exciting!

May 11, 2008

Mother's Day 2008

Happy Mother's Day to all moms out there. I called my mom, did you? It was a gorgeous day here in "The Rouge." There was NO humidity (which is rare in May) and I tried to enjoy it as much as possible. This week is another busy week so I was glad for the relaxing weekend. I get to head back to Kansas this week, K-Dog graduates. Wahoo. The last time I was there was when I started this blog...go figure! Haha. Anyways, I hope you all have a great week and please keep checking in for new updates.