August 2009

July 2009 -- 2009 -- September 2009

August 1, 2009

First post in the month of August, in the Gregorian year of 2009 (date will be different in different calendars obviously). I'm currently watching Tivo'd VH1 music videos at like 2:30 in the morning and decided to ramble on here a bit. Music video shows are definitely something that I like, but at least in the US, it's only tolerable if you've Tivo'd it. When overseas where they actually have multiple music channels that play lots of good (and a mix of old and new) songs, you don't have to fast forward near as much through crappy songs or annoying commercials. It's actually one of my favorite things about non-US-ian TV. Even MTV Europe plays lots of music.

Last weekend we had a family reunion on my Dad's side, here in Austin none-the-less, at my Uncle's house. It was nice to see that side of the family, and my parents came up to stay at my place, so I got the privilege of sleeping on the couch. Hence why when I bought aforementioned couch, I specially made sure it was comfy while laying down on it, since I figured that would probably happen.

Unsurprisingly, there are still crazy people who, a year later, are trying to maintain that Obama was born in Kenya instead of Hawaii, despite objective proof that he was born in Hawaii. But to them, the exact same document that the state of Hawaii gives you when you say "Hey, I lost my birth certificate, can I get a replacement?" just doesn't count if your name is Barack Obama, despite that it's used as legal proof of US citizenship for a passport, for a driver's license, for being hired for a job, or for any other purpose that a birth certificate is needed. Considering people still think we faked the moon landing or that Elvis is alive, it's to be expected though I guess. They wont' believe it until they get the birth certificate they're looking for. Obviously he had to be born in Kenyatown, Kenya.

I had broken the case of my 50mm f/1.8 lens on the trip to New Zealand back in June, and now it's completely falling apart. I literally have to hold it together as I shoot with it. It still takes great photos, but it's kind of funny when it comes apart if I'm not squeezing it together.

My phone is acting all weird tonight, it keeps buzzing at me to say I have new email, but when I check it, I don't have any new email. Come on phone, you can do it!

3 more weeks until I see Kara again! Doing long distance over 8000 miles apart sucks.

August 9, 2009

Regina Spektor's new album is fantastic. i particularly like the song Eet.

Does it really take 4 pages to say that if you eat well and keep up some physical activity that you'll lose weight? That article talks about how people reward themselves with bad food (or taking a cab instead of walking) after going to the gym, thus leading to weight gain instead of weight loss. Well duh, the formula for losing weight is very simple: For every 3500 calories you use as compared to calories than you consume, you lose one pound of fat. So if you burn 200 calories running for a bit, and then go eat a doughnut, then you've completely negated all that running.

Speaking of health care though, the rhetoric about the health care bills in Congress are getting absolutely ridiculous. Palin even went to a level of crazy I didn't think was possible by claiming Trig would be killed by "death panel". Never mind that there's absolutely nothing about that in any bill, and that back in reality land 22,000 people die a year from lack of insurance. Or the lies that the bill funds abortion, or will force seniors to take a pill instead of a pace-maker. It actually makes me a bit worried about our country when you have such an important topic, and the debate about it is filled with so many incredibly blatant lies and distortions. And of course the mass emails that claimed Obama was a Muslim are back again, this time with health care instead. It amazes me what people will believe just because it was forwarded to them in an email, regardless of the fact that it can have no basis at all in reality.

I haven't written too much about the health care bills yet, though I've been following the issue pretty closely. I don't think the plans go far enough or make enough of a change to really fix our system, but on the other hand it is better than doing nothing and with the ridiculousness of the arguments with just this half-baked bill, I can't imagine what people would claim if we actually put in a single-payer system to really fix things up.

It really comes down to that in our current system we pay twice as much as any other country for health care, but without better results, and still end up with 45 million uninsured and with a lower satisfaction rate than UHC countries. All the people I've talked with in my trips overseas just can't believe we put up with our system, where if you lose your job you lose your health insurance, or where people go bankrupt (60% of bankruptcies are caused by health problems, with most of those people actually being insured) because they get cancer.

But nope, we just can't have a public option, because that would be socialism. Never mind the fact that Medicare and Medicaid are government programs that are incredibly popular and successful, or that the military health system is a completely government run system that has lower costs, better results, and higher satisfaction than private insurance. Of course when given the chance to vote on getting rid of Medicare not a single Republican voted to do so. Or the small little detail that it was under Bush and the Republican congress that they passed a $400 billion expansion to Medicare for prescription drug benefits. Didn't have an issue with government involvement in health care then, I wonder if it might have been because they were in power then and not now...

July 2009 -- 2009 -- September 2009