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Sunday, December 31, 2006
In Internet time, this is probably considered old news. But I just was in the supermarket today and I found out that I am Time Magazine's Person of the Year! Yes, according to that publication, "you" are the "Person of the Year".

For me, it feels great to be on the same list as such greats as Martin Luther King, Jr., John F. Kennedy, and Pope John Paul II. Of course, I also get to share the list with Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin (who made the list twice!) Finally, I have been properly recognized for my influence in today's world, and I can only say that - while it's taken long enough - it does feel good.

As for you, dear reader - perhaps you are with me in this, or perhaps you're simply a bystander in this feat. You see, I'm recognized for my part in the new revolution: the power of the individual as we discover and exploit self-publishing on the internet in so many ways. But more than that, "[i]t's about the many wresting power from the few and helping one another for nothing and how that will not only change the world, but also change the way the world changes."

I, for one, can simply say "Power to the people." You can simply say, "Congratulations."

Eve of an Execution

Friday, December 29, 2006
Well, it seems Saddam Hussein is due to be hanged in the next few hours. This comes after a trial rivaled in spectacularity and show only by O.J. Simpson's.

I'm not so sure that killing the man is a good idea, and I'm not so sure he got the fairest of trials. I think it's interesting that the Iraqi High Tribunal upheld the verdict, given much of the controversy that surrounded the trial. It's not that I think Saddam's innocent - I'm fairly certain he's not - it's just that I believe in a fair trial.

I'm also of the opinion that executing him isn't such a great idea. While he may be a catalyst for the opposition in Iraq, his death may trigger a wave of (even more) violence and retribution killings, as seems to be the policy over there.

Anyway, we'll see. Just let it be known that I'm skeptical.

Kings of the Hill

Thursday, December 28, 2006
On December 26th, while some people were fighting the huddled masses shopping at their nearest mall, my friend and I decided to hike up Larch Mountain. (For those interested, this is the same friend I took a motorcycle trip to San Francisco with back in 2004.) The idea was to drive up to the gate about 4.5 miles from the peak and walk along the road the rest of the way. (In the winter they close the road to the top, since it's frequently covered in snow and not cleared.)

Let me start by saying that it didn't rain like a bastard the whole way; it slowed down a lot once we were halfway down. But we were absolutely drenched from the beginning. My jacket is waterproof, but my jeans and hiking boots definitely are not. My friend's boots are waterproof, but his pants and coat weren't. We were soaked to the bone by the time we hit the snow-line, one mile from our start.

We didn't have a map or a GPS with us for this trip, so we didn't actually know how far the top was. We've ridden motorcycles to the top before, but all we remember is that there's a slow hairpin turn right before the parking lot. Since we didn't know what mile-marker that was at, this knowledge was only helpful in letting us know that we weren't, in fact, near the top as we hiked on, trudging through increasingly deep snow.

One of the things my friend and I agreed on is that if one of us feels that we should turn back, we will - no questions asked and no shame in it. (We can get a little competitive sometimes!) I was starting to think that we should turn back as we got several miles up in the snow and my boots were completely soaked through - as were my pants. But we both also wanted to keep pushing on, so we said, "well, let's walk to the next turn. If that's the hairpin turn, we'll continue to the top. Otherwise, we'll turn around."

We did that twice. Finally, we got to a turn and were going to have our meal, then go back. Peering ahead, I said, "Is that a mile marker sticking out of the snow?" My friend had remarked that we should find something to mark how far we got so we could check that in the summer." We decided to climb up to the mile marker - and there was the sign for the 15-mph hairpin turn! Despite being tired, wet, and cold, our spirits soared as we hiked up to the top of Larch Mountain!

Me and the sign for Larch Mountain.
We found shelter in front of the restrooms, where there was a small covered concrete slab that offered shelter from the pouring rain. (Not from the wind, however.) My friend had amazing purchased these wonderful self-heating meals, and we enjoyed hot food (and wine and cheese!)

A cold picnic at the top
Upon finishing our fine meal, we bundled up again to head down the hill. Despite the deepness of the snow, it was significantly easier than coming up! My friend's boots starts to fill with water that was draining from his pants, though, and my boots and jeans were twice as heavy as normal due to the water - so our quadriceps were getting quite the workout.

Just over two hours after we left the top we arrived at the bottom. It certainly help that the rain slacked off as we were coming down, but we were so soaked it didn't matter. It was a fun adventure that we had, and I'd certainly do it again... though I'd want better waterproof gear in the future!

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 25, 2006
Merry Christmas to what few readers I might have accumulated. (This is my second Christmas writing publicly on the internet!) It's this time every year that we get to sit back, enjoy a day off work, and reflect on the "meaning of Christmas."

What is that meaning? It's not "buy now". It's not even "buy now, pay later." In fact, it's nowhere to be found in the rampant commercialism that plagues our holiday.

It's a simple message, really, that's been passed along for over 2000 years now, and it goes something like this: "Love your neighbor, and please stop killing each other." Really, it's not that hard to comprehend but it's apparently harder than it seems.

And yet the message is so simple it seems to logically transcend any one religion. "Be nice to each other" seems to have roots in almost every major religion around the world. Why, then, do we have such a hard time doing it?

He felt good. Now, he feels dead.

In a tragic moment for our culture, the legendary James Brown passed away this Christmas morning. A moment of silence, please, for the Godfather of Soul.

Yes, I usually don't replicate links directly from Fark, but this warranted a mention.


Tuesday, December 19, 2006
One of my favorite cookies is the snickerdoodle. Since I'm now on winter break and blessed with an abundance of free time, I decided to try my hand at baking cookies for the first time in years. I chose the snickerdoodle!

I found a great recipe over on allrecipies.com that was simple enough that even I could follow it, and proceeded to make the best damn cookies I've ever made. It was truly a thing of beauty.

Of course, the recipe does claim that it makes 5 dozen cookies... somehow (and I'm not admitting that I'm a cookie dough thief) I only ended up with 4 dozen. What's up with that?


Sunday, December 17, 2006
So I found, fell in love with, and watched all of a new-for-2006 television series called "Heroes". Some of you might be wondering how this was possible without actually owning a TV, but I assure that - thanks to the miracle of teh intarweb - I was able to find and watch all the episodes online.

What a fun show! I describe it as "X-men" meets "Desperate Housewives". It's that serial drama that promises one actual interesting thing a week and threads in a billion different plotlines so that there's always a ton of things "in the air." Of course, they also have enough characters that there's something for everyone to identify with.

Of course, I actually like the show so I shouldn't spend too much time lamenting the serial drama format. The characters are actually interesting and one of my favorite things about the show is the multi-media-ness of it. For instance, on the official site, there are little comic-book snippets that can add a bit of background to each episode. All the characters have additional information online (some even have myspace pages!) and the site heroeswiki.com tracks all the characters and episodes.

Too much fun. I highly recommend everyone check it out.

Magical Blogger Mood Ring

Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Current Color: Topaz

I figured that's the closest I could reasonably get to the color of whiskey. Having just finished my last final for the semester, I'm caught in a terrible conundrum: sleep the sweet, blessed sleep I've been missing for four months... or get myself nice and schnockered.

It's a tough call.

I'm not dead, I swear!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006
Yes, I haven't posted here in a while.

No, I'm not dead.

School has been VERY busy lately, and now we're in finals week. I've been keeping the world abreast of progress over on my other blog. Fear not, though... I have plenty to write when it's over. I shall return!



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