Archive for November, 2010|Monthly archive page

The day I became an adult

In Drink, Health on November 30, 2010 at 12:33 am

I became an adult today.

No, not the time I moved out on my own. Not the time I lost my v-card. Nor the time I bought my first vacuum (which I still have, btw – a sweet little red Dirt Devil).

I became an adult TODAY because I found out I have a problem with my triglycerides.

Triglycerides? Another word for “fat in your body” and I’ve got a lot of it. A healthy guy my height should be between 10 – 140 mg/dl (milligrams per decilitre). Where I’m at is 273. Yeah, yikes.

The point of adulthood was further pounded in to me when my wife (another sign of adulthood, perhaps?) told me to not only watch how much orange juice I drank (sugars!) but to also avoid eating a snack so late in the night. Sure that snack was bacon that my father left over, but…

So, what’s a boy, er, man to do? Eat healthy, look good and try to beat all the other healthy bastards at doing it?

That and take a page out of Courage Wolf’s Guide to Life.

Wine has grapes in it, right? And grapes = fruit. So, that means I can have a lot of it and it’s still good for me, yeah? Photo by Jeremia Schrock

To remind us of warmer days

In Photography on November 22, 2010 at 10:56 pm

An Alaskan sunset while the sky was still blue and the trees green. Summer/2010. Photo by Jeremia Schrock

Denali National Park as seen from the Eielson Visitor Center (66mi into the Park Road). Summer/2010. Photo by Jeremia Schrock

The Spit (Homer, AK) as seen from Diamond Ridge. Summer/2010. Photo by Jeremia Schrock

The sun overlooks a 1930's-era cabin in the Livengood Mining District (90mi N. of Fairbanks). Summer/2010. Photo by Jeremia Schrock

The Kesugi Ridge trail in Denali State Park taken during a summer hike in 2010. Photographer Jesse Hoff can be seen in the foreground. Photo by Jeremia Schrock

The hills around the Tanana Valley (Alaska) as seen from Ester Dome. The sun and smoky horizon mean only one thing to Alaskans: summertime. 2010. Photo by Jeremia Schrock

Joe Miller: GOP candidate, egotistical cry-baby

In Political on November 22, 2010 at 5:09 pm

I’m gonna try and make this short and sweet, but no promises.

Joe Miller is pissing me off. Not just me, but the Alaska Republican Party as well. To save my Facebook friends’ news feeds from my periodic bitching I shall do the aforementioned bitching entirely in one place using the article linked above.

The Associated Press last week called the race for Murkowski, who had a 10,328-vote lead over Miller. Her total includes 8,159 ballots contested by Miller observers. Excluding those, she had a 2,169-vote lead.
Okay, first things first. Even with all of those “contested” ballots, Joe. Murkowski still has a lead over you. A 2,000 vote lead. Enough to win.

State law stipulates that write-in ballots must have the provided oval filled in and the candidate’s last name or name written as it appears on their declaration of candidacy.

“Defendants nevertheless have decided to ignore the statute and create ‘exceptions’ to count ballots that do not satisfy these clear requirements,” the 21-page lawsuit filed in Fairbanks states. “By so doing the defendants have violated the mandatory legislative requirements and fundamentally altered the election.

No, the defendants haven’t altered the election. Even if the Division of Elections stripped Murkowski of those 8K contested ballots she’d still will. The election would not have been fundamentally altered as she would win anyway. Remember those 2K votes?

The state, however, cites case law in counting Murkowski ballots containing misspellings or those phonetic to her name. Lt. Gov. Craig Campbell, who oversees elections, defends the procedure and says the state doesn’t want to disenfranchise any voters.
Thirdly: The way they are counting the ballots isn’t new. The stated they would do so prior to the election. If you had had a problem Joe, you should have whined sooner.
The complaint maintained that write-in candidates like Murkowski have a substantial advantage because of the state’s practice of hand-reviewing write-in ballots to determine voter intent. Ballots for other candidates went through automatic machines.
An advantage, to say, having your name on the fucking ballot? People had to write in her name and fill in the oval. All your supporters had to do was fill in the godforsaken oval. No, that is not a substantial advantage. You had the substantial advantage by being on the ballot. You are thwarting the will of the people, Joe. Those same people you claimed to be running for and listening to.
Speaking of your supporters:
The Alaska Republican Party has urged Miller to concede.
Dude, your own supporters want you to stop. When did this Alaskan Senate Race become the Joe Miller Power Hour? You lost. Your party lost. The only difference being they know it and you don’t. Give it up, Joe.

The Tea Party: Deconstructed

In Political on November 20, 2010 at 4:38 pm

I’m not a fan of pilfering information from other people’s blogs or websites, but this is good. Good enough that I think it should be shared.

This is a quote from the Nov. 2010 editorial by Jim Nelson, editor of GQ:

What I want to know from Tea Partiers RE their hot simmering rage is, Where was it before? When it was called for—when your country needed it. Why weren’t you fired up and out in the streets in your colonial britches when President Bush drunk-drove the country into the hell of the Iraq war, which not only put our troops in harm’s way but has cost us—and here’s where I thought you might relate—possibly $900 billion (!) of your tax money? (More if you count the cost of caring for our soldiers, and please do.) Tea Partiers! Compatriots! We could have used your rage, your rabid hatred of taxation, and your Magic Markers in that fight. But you were nowhere to be found, because your anger had not yet been funded by corporate interests.
He encapsulates the Tea Party movement beautifully. Thank you, Mr. Nelson.
For the entire editorial, please go here.

A cinematic prophylactic: “Antichrist”

In Cinema on November 20, 2010 at 12:43 am

There is a film by Lars von Trier called “Antichrist.”

If you watch it you will not have sex for days afterward. Even masturbating will be difficult. Sleeping will be impossible. Every waking moment in bed will be spent thinking about it. If you do manage to fall asleep you will dream about it. Those dreams will not be pleasant.

The film will leave you mentally scarred, emotionally distraught and physically drained.

Consider this a dare. I dare you to watch it. Hell, you can even borrow my copy if you want.

Good luck. If you survive the film, feel free to steal this badge I made just for it’s survivors.


Why I didn’t see Harry Potter on opening night

In Alaskana, Cinema on November 18, 2010 at 11:33 pm

I didn’t see Harry Potter on opening night for two reasons:

  1. I know how it ends.
  2. I don’t really care about it anymore.

But, I should qualify that last one.

I used to love it with a fiery passion of a million burning suns. I helped man Gulliver’s Books opening night party for Book 6 and attended a book opening party in Vancouver, B.C. for Book 7. I’ve seen 4, 5 and 6 on opening night in costume. I’ve gone to Potter-themed events dressed as Remus Lupin, Rodolphus Lestrange and Regulus Black. I also went to see one of the films as Dorian Grey-ala-The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen but that’s beside the point.

In my opinion, it’s tired. Nothing new in the Potterverse has come out since Book 7 (no, the Tales of Beedle the Bard don’t count). The films are not “new”. Nothing new occurs; the books are simply rehashed via film according to David Heyman’s vision. Which is okay.

I guess really it comes down to boredom. I’ve read the books, written fanfiction, laughed at the parodies, listened to the music (both OST and fan-made), obsessed over finding display pictures for my MSN Messenger, played the video games (PlayStation 1, Gamecube and Wii) and seen the films. Potter is no longer my bottle of butterbeer, I suppose. I guess for me Potter has simply jumped the Quidditch Pitch. Oh well, it was a fantastic Portkey-of-a-ride it was while it happened.

We’ll always have Hogwarts, Harry.

Adventures in blogging: Coilhouse

In Blog Culture, Culture on November 17, 2010 at 10:04 pm

I am loquacious. However, my tongue falls short in describing Coilhouse. As such, I can do so only by reinterpreting lines spoken in the film Kingdom of Heaven.

What is Coilhouse?
Nothing…and everything!


Who: Coilhouse was founded by Nadya Lev, Zoetica Ebb and Meredith Yayanos.

What: “COILHOUSE is a love letter to alternative culture, written in an era when alternative culture no longer exists. And because it no longer exists, we take from yesterday and tomorrow, from the mainstream and from the underground, to construct our own version. We cover art, fashion, technology, music and film to create an alternative culture that we would like to live in, as opposed to the one that’s being sold or handed down to us.” – From their Mission Statement.

When: October 2007.

Where: Coilhouse.

Why: Because you need a break from watching re-runs of The Daily Show and from scouring the Huffington Post‘s comment section. Yes, that is all well and good but sometimes you need something a little bit different. Which is to say: better.

Better? Yes. Here’s why: Go to their main page and scroll through their list of categories. What do you see?

If you’re going to be lazy about it I’ll give you my favorite five (which is an arbitrary number): Better than coffee, Crackpot visionary, Cthulhu, Grrrl and Testing your faith.

The number of topics they cover within those awesomely-worded categories are also impressive: documentaries on this death cult in Mexico, Islamic fashion, a food fight photo shoot (NSFW), William Shatner mouthing “KKaaahhn!” on an infinite loop and a list of the top ten most preternaturally beautiful men.

I’m not even chuckling wryly. You need to check the site out NOW.

Adventures in blogging: SCOTUS Blog

In Blog Culture, Justice on November 15, 2010 at 11:48 am

Who: Allow me to dork out for a moment on this: a blog dedicated to the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS). It’s name? SCOTUSblog.

What: It’s a blog that lets non-poli-sci majors like me keep track of Supreme Court decisions. It also provides a reference resource, a list of case histories and even has a detailed calendar of what the SCOTUS has planned for each day. For example, did you know that on Nov. 29, a petitioner’s brief is due in Ashcroft v. al-Kidd? Can you believe that? That’s amazing! At least I think it is…to be honest, I have no idea what Ashcroft v. al-Kidd is, but you know what? SCOTUSblog does. And they’ll tell you…FOR FREE.

When: It was founded in 2002 by Tom Goldstein and Amy Howe, a married couple who are also lawyers. Lyle Denniston, a journalist, joined them a few years later. As of 2010, more than twenty people either work on the blog or write for it.

Where: SCOTUSblog.

Why: Because it’s just cool and also bloody helpful. If you want to keep an eye on the Supreme Court this is the way to do it. What’s the coolest feature? “This Week at the Court.” It’s on the main page, next to the calendar. Because of SCOTUSblog, I now know that the court will not be hearing any oral arguments this week.

Cool? Cool.

Politicians and Journalists: Never the two shall meet

In Blog Culture, Journalism, Political on November 14, 2010 at 6:42 pm

I was invited to join a group called the UAF Campus Democrats. As a liberal individual I heartily accepted. I was excited. For those of you who have been reading this blog for a while now, you know with what frequency I engaged this blog into the political fray. I wanted more. I wanted to do more. I wanted to both comment on politics and help influence them.

Except that I have a problem. Not with the clubs members, the club, or it’s principles. The problem is me.

As a journalist I feel being affiliated with any political organization is seen as a bias. As a matter of fact, I am an Undeclared voter. Just like 37 percent of all Alaskans.

And let me tell you something. It sucks. As one of my oldest friends used to say: “this sucks large unpleasant things.” Attempting to maintain objectivity is exhausting and impossible. I have my own opinions…I have my own bias. The real challenge is being aware of them and acknowledging them. However, acknowledging them and limiting them is not the same as indulging them. As a news writer there has to be some ethical line that cannot be crossed. This is that line. Stepping over it may only be seen as a breach of ethics to myself, but I am my toughest critic and I expect perfection.

So, to my friends in the club-that-I-cannot-participate-in-due-to-that-pesky-thing-called-“ethics”: I apologize. I wanted to join you so much that I almost compromised my ethics to accompany you. Take that as a compliment. My philosophical inclinations support you but my sense of journalistic neutrality stops me dead in my tracks. Go on with out me and know that I’m rooting you on from the sidelines.

Adventures in blogging: An introduction

In Blog Culture, Culture on November 10, 2010 at 6:59 pm

A new web series

I’m starting a new series were I look at blogs and personal websites that I feel deserve to have a wider audience.

I will discuss them and rate them.

If you have a website or blog you would like me to review just send me an email or post in the comments section at the bottom of the page.

As such, this will be a series about people doing fascinating and noteworthy things on the web. As I said before, if you have a recommendation please send it my way!