Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Coffee with a view, eew!

Coffee is somewhat of a cultural thi9ng here in the Pacific Northwest, home to such companies as Tullys, Starbucks and Seattle's Best (now owned by Starbucks). Although it's busting out everywhere else. When I vacationed outside of Atlanta last year, I found a Starbucks to go to, though not as easy as I do here in Seattle. Here, you can have two Starbucks in the same building, on opposite corners one would server 4th avenue, while the other served 3rd. Both would have lines in the morning and be busy all day long.

However it doesn't stop there, here we also have many little coffee stops, you can't drive 2 blocks without seeing a drive-thru coffee stand. Although I guess from now on I better be careful where I stop with the family for coffee. A recent article in the Times has served notice that some people are expecting and getting a little more than coffee in the morning as an eyeopener. A few coffee stands have taken to serving their drinks in their underclothes. I will accept the title of old fashioned here, maybe even a prude, but I want my coffee barista to be fully clothed when they serve me my drink. Heaven help us!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

The demise of twenty-four

Is 24 doomed? Maybe I see something different than everyone else in the show I enjoy so much. In the wake of 911 and the days that followed, I enjoyed seeing the representation of someone acting on patriotism, ready to do what was necessary to keep me and my family safe. Now in reality, I hope the things that go on in the show are substantially fictitious, I would have trouble sleeping if they weren't, as would anyone living in Southern California. It seemed to me the show drew on my desire to believe at least in the basic tenets of the show. Are those days of needing reassurance over with the convening of the 110th congress, perhaps we should renew the Monroe doctrine.

I believe in our right to privacy, but I also believe there are times when such rights should be subject to the safety of others. Personal experience of mine, outside of television viewing experience, has lead me to believe that there are in fact circumstances where time is an issue and the red tape we as Americans both love and hate only gets in the way. Those lengths of tape are there to protect us in 'normal' circumstances, it is however the exceptions that concern me.

If my children or a family member were in danger or anyone for that fact, I want the government to have the right to do whatever is unnecessary to prevent or minimize that danger, not have to sit and watch as people die, buildings collapse or cars explode waiting for a judge to finish his breakfast before he/she deigns to answer his phone.

I am talking in extremes, but it's the extreme I am worried about. Or should we just assume that in a Jack Bauer moment, the law we are being so paranoid about will simply be cast aside anyway in favor of the greater good?

Anyway, let's get about the business at hand, Senator. How much travel money do you REALLY think you need?

Have a safe day!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

I guess you can make me

Why is it that I could care less about something until someone says I can't do it or that it's no longer available. I know basically what trans-fats are, and I know that they are bad. I am somewhat amazed by a society that would take to outlawing them because they are bad for your health. Starbucks has just announced that they will remove all items from the menu which contain trans-fats. Now, in the back of my mind I know this should be OK. I am part of the growing number of Americans that are overweight (I dare not use the term obese as it scares me), and can only benefit from eating healthy. Yet somehow I find it disturbing that some items are being forced off of my menu. Why is that?

Why do we gravitate towards things that are naturally bad for us? I could understand the desire for danger, but if I was wanting to tempt fate, I could find quicker ways then eating unhealthy. "Here, take that Death, I'll show you I'm not scared" while shoving another donut in my pie hole just doesn't show the defiance I was craving.

At least they are not yet illegal here in Seattle. I still think that New York will soon have fat dealers, ready to give you your trans-fat fix for a price, in some side alley of a major borough. Some one opening their coat to a collection of baked goods in little zip-lock baggies. Or maybe not.

Good-bye trans-fats, my mind will miss you, but for the good of the body this has to happen. We are no longer right for each other.

Now if we could just convince someone that cigarettes and alcohol are bad for your health.

Later ...

Monday, January 01, 2007

Blessings in the New Year

Like my friend Jess, I also crawled into bed at about after only 20 minutes of the new year had passed. Ideas of blogging long faded (along with the knowledge that I can simply timestamp my blog for midnight, if I wanted). Normally I am a night owl, staying up until I have only 5 or 6 hours left to sleep. I thought I would try something new and not push myself to the limit on the first day of the new year.

During church yesterday, my Pastor asked two questions: 1) How many people made new year's resolutions last year?, and 2) How many people kept them? Of the 100 people in the congregation during that Sunday School session, 3 people raised hands to the first question and none to the second.

I guess that's why I don't make resolutions, I've yet to follow through. If I am to start, the first resolution should be to keep my resolutions, or at the least make a whole bunch of resolutions and play the percentages. Math has to be used all through your life to be sure it doesn't go stale.

So here I sit, looking (again) at code wondering where to dive in, watching the now traditional Twilight Zone marathon on SciFi, trying to think of some resolutions. Mind you all resolutions are good, but I think we know ahead of times which ones we make actually have a chance.

Jess made a good start:
  1. Get to know God and his path for me, better and better each day. The one requires a conscious effort but I think the effort is well worth it.
  2. Spend more time with my family. My wife Tiffany and I have four kids: Kat(13), Toph(11), Kassidy(4) and Caeden(2). Unfortunately I am a work-a-holic. I tell myself that to give my family the things I believe they deserve, I have to work harder. I need to strive more to giving them the time they deserve as well.
  3. I need to complete my Bible reading. For three years straight I have tried my church's Bible-in-a-year program. In fact I maintain some web features to help people go through it, and yet I always find myself "too busy" to complete it. Yet I have time to read 10 or more novels in a year. I need to straighten the priority there.
  4. I need to write something. This is the hard one, and therefore pretty high up on the list of things. Like many others, I continually have stories running through my head yet I never put them to paper. I need to try harder.
  5. Most Important, keep the above resolutions.
2006 is gone. Good and bad, it's now the past. And I will try to make a better future for my family, my friends, and any other person I may encounter. Everyday is new beginning, but also a possible last time or last day to see or talk with someone. Enjoy them and leave behind the impression in them that you did.

I am grateful for many things this year, not least of all:
  1. I have a loving family. We has suffered many hardships this year, though God has made us stronger because not in spite of those hardships.
  2. I have reconnected with friends of the past. Those old friendships have become new friendships. I am not sure where they will lead, but I eager to find the purpose in them.
  3. I have dived further into God then ever before and even though it hasn't been easy, it has been encouraging an keeps me wanting more.
May God bless your new year and you.