Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Thune Amendment, I'm torn

I can't decide, I know this has already been shot down, but I'm trying to figure out which of my senators (Lugar, a republican who's getting a lot of credit for shooting it down, or Bayh, a democrat who voted for it, crazy) to send the angry letter to. On one hand I personally would like other states to recognize my concealed carry permit. On the other hand, I don't want the federal government meddling in state affairs.

Federal standardization of permit requirements was a fear of opponents, who stated that the amendment would essentially allow non-residents to carry without meeting the visited state's requirements. The opponents also cited extreme cases of criminals with guns, child molesters, etc. Ok, we get it, your rare exceptions to the rule and crazy examples are valid reasons to oppose this amendment.

So what do I think? I was surprised to learn that 48 states allow concealed carry, only my two neighbors Illinois and Wisconsin do not (they're 'special'). I like the idea to be able to carry into other states, but not necessarily at the expense of state sovereignty. I believe I'll take the Star Trek way out, and propose a third option. Expand on what already exists. Several states have already figured out on their own, without any federal legislation, how to identify other states that share similar permit requirements, and have decided to acknowledge them. Indiana requires a background check to obtain a permit, if Virginia requires a background check and a training course, Indiana should happily recognize their permit. So if the Fed wants to do something, create a voluntary group of which participating states meet a set of minimum permit requirements.

One last comment, it's pretty absurd to allow visiting residents a pass on any law just because it's law in their state. Would that ever slide with gay marriage, tax rates, um, uh, gun laws? Next time I visit Illinios I'll just tell them, "Well we don't have a county tax back home, I'll just go ahead and not pay that here either."

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Pandora is cutting me off, noooo!

I just received an email from Tim Westergren, the friendly exec at Pandora. Apparently Tim thinks I stream too much of his kickin' tunes. They're setting a cap of 40 hours as a result of the great internet radio debaucle of 2007, and he says of me, "Most listeners will never hit this cap, but it seems that you might."

Ok, so I listen to internet radio a LITTLE bit.... but I am resolute, just like traditional radio, I WILL NOT pay for internet radio. I've used Live365 and Slacker in the past, but found Pandora to be my favorite. So far the options are to pay $.99 after you reach 40 for unlimited songs the rest of the month, or pay $36 (too much!) per year for unlimited.

So here's the real question, is it 40 hours per ISP address or per user account? As soon as I run out this month I'll find out!

USB Powered Chainsaw

I want this. I want it right now.
Be sure to watch the video, it shows you how to saw your coworker's Ikea bench in half!


I hate this... much.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Wet and Wild Wombat Action

(He's "special")

I hereby want a pet wombat. I would name him Wario, because I name all my pets after Nintendo game characters. Wario the Wombat would burrow in my backyard and we'd be best friends.

One thing I found very interesting is that a wombat's pouch, unlike other marsupials, opens backwards. I guess when you're scurrying around underground a front-loading pouch might be counterproductive.

Check out the blog post and satiate your hunger for wombat knowledge.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Eat Sweet Potatoes, Live 147 Years.

"Sweet potatoes are one of the highest ranked vegetables on the nutrition scale. They're essentially a perfect food; what can be termed a "superfood." They're high in fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, potassium and manganese. They can also help stabilize blood sugar, which means
they're a good choice for diabetics. They're relatively low in calories for all of the nutritional power they pack, at approximately 95 calories each."

Sweet potatoes will cure the common cold, extend your life, and curb your pretentious nature. Eat them, live longer, and annoy your friends by relentlessly badgering them to follow your example. Stare in silent discrimination of those who consume lesser foods, yours are 'super'. Sure, you'll admit fried potatoes are enticing, but you've seen Super Size Me. Even though you don't consider yourself an elitist, you know you're healthier than most, I mean, who else do you know that purposely doesn't put dressing on their salad?

So eat that potato skin, reveal that sinister smirk when you see them uneaten on others' plates, drink that glass of red wine with dinner, just one piece of dark chocolate for you, please. You'll outlive all those white bread eating, non-diet soda drinking, MSG abusing neanderthals.

They will die young.

You were right. You are better off. You are alone.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Backpacking the Manistee River Trail

Plenty along the River Trail.

Lots, and very clear. (on the River Trail)

Suggested Route:
If you can't tell, I have a thing for the River Trail, it's really beautiful, hike it through to one of the other parking lots, or hike in and turn around to hike it back out.

Plenty of places to eat in Cadillac, mostly chains though. If you're taking 94, stop in New Buffalo, MI for a Redamaks world famous burger, their site is annoying, but the burgers are pretty good (and the messy fries, or chili fries, whatever they're called, are pretty amazing).

Trail map

Manistee River Trail

Don't worry about carrying in too much water for your trip, the trail is along the river most of the time, and there are tons of creek and stream crossings along the way flowing with crystal clear filtering water. Along the trail there are several campsites, some with great views, just be careful if it's going to be cold out, the sites with the best views also tend to be windy.

There are several 'hiker made' campsites that aren't marked on the trail map, so if one that you want is full, don't worry, the unmarked sites are easy to spot from the trail. The sites are primitive (duh), most have makeshift benches around a fire ring, and are situated close to good filtering water. Sites can be accessed by trail and by water, so if canoeing or packrafting is your thing, this is a great place for that.

North Country Trail

This trail is not nearly as scenic as the River Trail, it doesn't follow close to the river and there are no designated campsites. Also, access to filtering water is limited. I'd suggest hiking in on the River Trail, and then turning around and hiking out. Another option if you're bringing two cars, would be to park on both a southern and northern trailhead, and simply hike through. Either options makes for a good weekend hike.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Crazy Celebs

Ever notice how a celebrity or comedian's obscure social disorder will be twisted into their most endearing feature after they're dead?
"He'd fling his own fecal matter in crowded restaurants and would sometimes spit in my mouth when I wasn't looking, and its that willingness to do anything to get a laugh that I'm really gonna miss about him."

Monday, February 23, 2009

Health Ledger

Nope, that's not a spelling error, I got that right from Hulu, it's even in their URL for the video, "". Finding spelling errors is intensley satistfying for me, it validates the tfact that I'm better then you.

Mountain Biking in the Gym

Check out this very well written article that discusses the different types of mountain biking, suggests a gym workout, and breaks down training techniques by riding style.

Oh, and if you're in the Northwest Indiana area, join my Mountain Biking Facebook group!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Painted Video

This short film was made from 6,000 individual paintings, and appeals to my incredibly underdeveloped artsy side.

Khoda from Reza Dolatabadi on Vimeo.

Link to some of this other stuff.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Cancer Rate by State

Check out the cancer rate for your state (ha, rhyme!) on this interactive Cancer Map, I've preset it to include all races, age, and gender, but you can customize it to more accurately reflect you. Also, you can adjust to include all incidents of cancer, or only mortality.