Archive for the 'General' Category

My Phone and Me

I <3 my Centro + EVDO + PocketTunes + AudioGateway + a Jabra BT8010 + QuickNews + a good selection of podcasts. It's like wireless streaming podcast heaven.

Obesity and Voting

I came here tonight to post cute pictures of my dog sleeping in awkward positions. As I scrolled down the page to get to the link to write the post, the 2008 obesity map from a post back in July came on the screen. Something about it caught my eye. I stared at the map as my brain slowly clicked the pieces together.

I’ve spent more of my energy reading about and paying attention to the 2008 election than any previous one. One part of that is watching the polls every day and looking at maps where shades of blue and red become lighter and darker. As I looked at the obesity map, it struck me that it doesn’t look too different than the current 2008 electoral map. Let’s take a look.

Here’s the obesity map:


And here’s the 2008 electoral map prediction from as of October 20, 2008:


Now, I know it’s not perfect, but there definitely is some correlation:

  • 90% of the ten most obese states are leaning Republican (MI, WV, AL, LA, AR, SC, TN, KY, OK)
  • 80% of the ten least obese states are leaning Democrat (CO, HI, CT, MA, VT, RI, DC, NJ)
  • 70% of the twenty most obese states are Republican, 20% Toss Up and 10% Democrat
  • 75% of the twenty least obese states are Democrat, 10% Toss Up and 15% Republican

I don’t purport to imply that the correlation means anything, but it’s fun to think about.

The leanest of them all!

Yah, that’s right. Colorado wins:

I say it’s because of all of the Ethiopian restaurants around here.

From here.

State Pride

I would venture that people think there’s something unique about their state that may not really be that unique. “We have THE WORST or THE MOST AGGRESSIVE drivers here.” Or the one I want to talk about today: “Our weather is THE MOST unpredictable — it’s sunny in the morning and snowing at night!”

I lived in Michigan for 28.75 of my 29 years. I thought the weather in Michigan was very odd. People blamed it on being surrounded by lakes. It would be 30 degrees and 80 degrees in the same day with sun, clouds, rain and snow at almost the same time. I thought that was a claim to fame for Michigan. When I traveled, I would exclaim, “You don’t know anything! Michigan weather is craAaAAzy!!” But I’m not so sure anymore.

Colorado weather is as unpredictable as Michigan’s. I’ve experienced it go from mild and sunny to freezing and snowing in an hour. It’s windy and cold when you get home and then sunny and sweaty hot when you go back out a few minutes later with a jacket on. Wednesday it was 83 degrees. Wednesday night it got down to the 30s and snowed by morning. The high on Thursday was 43 degrees.

It’s just as crazy as Michigan. I can’t imagine Colorado and Michigan are unique. Are there just a few areas that have unpredictable weather? Or do all states claim they do and think it’s unique to them?

Update: The “Michigan Left”! There’s another thing that I’m sure doesn’t happen in just Michigan. It’s where you have to turn right and then U-turn to make a left turn.

Peanut Butter

Have you ever had natural, unsalted peanut butter? If not, you should. The transition may be rough at first, but it’s worth it. It tastes like.. well.. peanuts. And that’s it. I don’t understand JIF peanut butter any more; it’s overly salted and smooth. It makes me feel like something good was ruined. I’m a peanut butter snob. When I get my Blendtec, I’m going to make my own.

Most Amazing Food

I just came up with the most amazing food. Here it is. I’m going to eat it now. Are you jealous?

Best Food Ever

My Organic Milk is Sad

I think that pouring locally produced organic milk into a bowl of Fruity Pebbles is a bit ironic. And possibly asinine. And that leads to …

You should read The Omnivore’s Dilemma. It’s a very eye-opening look at our industrialized food chain (although it needs an update to account for the recent biofuel craziness). Also, you should get it from your local public library. They are free and convenient (you can request books from across your state and have them delivered to the library down the street) and you don’t end up with piles of books all over your house/office/car.

Hiking at the Flatirons

We went hiking with the boys at the Flatirons in Boulder on Saturday. We went just about the distance we wanted to, but the hike was sprinkled with times where we weren’t sure where we were or where exactly to go so it seemed a bit farther/longer. I made a wrong turn once, and we ended up climbing down a fairly steep decline for a bit until she made me turn around. Good thing, too; it really wasn’t the right way, and it was the one time when the dogs didn’t pull us forward. They sort of just sat down unhappily in the dirt and pebbles that were sliding down the rock and didn’t want to move.

When we started the hike, it was fairly sunny:

By the time we left, it was snowing:

There are some more pictures here.

Unhappy Michigan Democrats

A good acquaintance of mine recently wrote a letter to the Democratic National Committee describing his displeasure and confusion at essentially not being able to vote for the democratic candidate but at the same time being asked to donate money to the DNC. He’s not alone in his feelings. While I don’t claim to support or not support his views or any political party, I felt inclined to post his letter (with his permission) simply because I enjoyed it. Here it is:

March 13, 2008

Democratic National Committee
Membership Records Dept.
430 South Capitol Street, SE
Washington, D.C. 20003

Dear DNC,

I’m writing to request that you call me discuss a most puzzling matter, and for your convenience, I have enclosed funds to offset the cost.

As I understand your solicitation letter, which I have received annually since 2002, you want me to support an organization that is determined to deprive me of my vote this coming November. You want me to help fund an effort to disenfranchise me (and untold millions of others in my home state of Michigan as well as Florida) in this one of the most historic opportunities for Democrats since FDR stood at the helm of our nation.

I am proud to say I have supported the Democratic Party with either my votes or financial support since turning 21 and voted for the first time for Lyndon Johnson in 1964, and, yes, for George McGovern in 1972 when hardly anybody else took that courageous step!!

So I am mystified as to why you want, first, to deprive me of continuing this rich history of citizenship and second, to actually help provide money to do it!!

I’m sorry for being so thick-headed, but something just doesn’t feel right, you know?? Granted, I’m going on age 67, and probably won’t have that many more opportunities to support my Democratic candidate for president, and the Democratic Party to which I always subscribe and for which I so proudly cast my presidential vote every four years, and every two years for our Democratic state and national congressional leadership.

But I just don’t get it…

I hark back to the day when we were known as “yellow dog democrats,? the kind of solid party supporter that would even vote for a yellow dog, as long as he/she was a Democrat. Now — well, I just don’t know…

Please call me at <number omitted> any workday evening after 8:30 P.M. when I return home after working 11 hour days and explain to my most befuddled mind how – and why — you want me to help deprive myself of this quadrennial privilege. Many thanks in advance for the courtesy of your response.


<name omitted>
<email address omitted>

I have not included the $.35 that he included with his letter.

Water with Calories

My water has less calories than your water. You have to do 200 extra sit ups to burn off the extra calories in your water. You’re stupid. I’m smart. WTF. The commercials for the flavored water with hundreds of calories vs the flavored water that only has forty calories are silly. DRINK REGULAR WATER. Imagine how smart you’ll be then.