Tuesday, February 26, 2008

My Drink

The Irish Car Bomb is one of the most popular drinks in the world, and it also happens to be my alcoholic beverage of choice. The ingredients are quite simple and widely available. Oddly enough, beer lovers and haters will almost certainly enjoy it alike! It has a very bitter-sweet taste that I absolutely LOVE!

3/4 pint Guinness stout



1/2 shot Bailey's Irish cream



1/2 shot Jameson Irish whiskey


Add the Bailey's and Jameson to a shot glass, layering the Bailey's on the bottom. Pour the Guinness into a pint glass or beer mug 3/4 of the way full and let settle. Drop the shot glass into the Guinness and chug. If you don't drink it fast enough it will curdle and increasingly taste worse.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Return Of The Crazy Quizzes







Which Lord of the Rings character and personality problem are you?




Congratulations! You're Haldir!
Take this quiz!



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Inigo Montoya

Which Princess Bride Character are You?
this quiz was made by mysti

Coming Soon To A Theater Near You!

Marvel Comics has a nice assortment of comic book movies coming to the big screen in the near future. Here are some of them that I’m particularly excited about!

Iron Man (2008)


The Incredible Hulk (2008)


Punisher: War Zone (2008)


X-Men Origins: Magneto (2009)


Thor (2009)


Spider-Man 4 (2009)


Silver Surfer (2009)


The Avengers (2009)


X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)


Captain America (2009)

Friday, February 22, 2008

What Hurts The Most - Rascal Flatts


I can take the rain on the roof of this empty house
That don’t bother me
I can take a few tears now and then and just let them out
I’m not afraid to cry every once in a while
Even though going on with you gone still upsets me
There are days every now and again I pretend I’m ok
But that’s not what gets me

[Chorus:]
What hurts the most
Was being so close
And having so much to say
And watching you walk away
And never knowing
What could have been
And not seeing that loving you
Is what I was tryin’ to do

It’s hard to deal with the pain of losing you everywhere I go
But I’m doin’ It
It’s hard to force that smile when I see our old friends and I’m alone
Still Harder
Getting up, getting dressed, livin’ with this regret
But I know if I could do it over
I would trade give away all the words that I saved in my heart
That I left unspoken

[Chorus x2]

Not seeing that loving you
That’s what I was trying to do
So I’m nearing the end of my annual post-inventory vacation. I don’t ever really do anything particularly interesting on these vacations as they’re really not planned far in advance. The purpose of these vacations is simply some down time to recuperate from the very labor-intensive physical inventories that my managerial position oversees immediately following the holiday season.

Now all that being said, on these vacations I typically just sleep in late, sit around the apartment, and watch dvd’s or tv. One of my favorite channels is the History Channel. So many wonderful programs on that channel (yes I’m a nerd!)

While I was watching the History Channel today, an episode of Mysteries of the Bible came on featuring the story of Joseph from the Book of Genesis. Joseph was the favorite son of Jacob, whose older brothers sold into slavery… as a slave, he was sent to Egypt and eventually became one of the top advisors to Pharaoh. Before being an advisor to Pharaoh, Joseph spent several years in prison on false accusations of sleeping with his master’s wife.

Anyway, to the point... one of the historians on the show talked about how Joseph was completely broken while in prison. He quoted a teaching from Chasidic Rabbi Menachem Mendel who taught, “The only whole heart is a broken one.”

“The only whole heart is a broken one.” What a profound statement! This song by Rascal Flatts, "What Hurts the Most," certainly reminds me quite vividly of a time in my life when I felt broken beyond repair. I think at that time, had someone told me that “the only whole heart is a broken one,” I would have definitely thought them be on some kind of hallucinogenic drug. Grief is love not wanting to let go. How could painful grief make one’s heart whole?

Author David Wolpe offers an interesting answer to this question: “No awake spirit can move through this world without enduring a broken heart. There is nothing real that makes life painless. Accepting the pain of living, knowing one's heart will - and should - be broken, is the beginning of wisdom.” This reminds me of the book, Gospel Days by Sister Joan Chittister where she states, “Grief is a sign that we loved something more than ourselves. . . . Grief makes us worthy to suffer with the rest of the world.”

In retrospect, I can affirm the truth of the statement, “the only whole heart is a broken one.” I certainly would not want to experience that broken pain and grief again, but I do feel like a more complete and better person because of it.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Great Debate

What a great debate tonight at the University of Texas at Austin! Overall, this was a great night for both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Although we had the opportunity to actually hear a debate on policy and issues which is very rare in a debate, I think it was pretty clear that both candidates are essentially in agreement with 95% of the issues. Their primary difference is the manner in which they plan to implement their similar ideas.

I am still a very adamant Obama supporter, but as a long time supporter of the Democratic Party, I am still a very big fan of the Clintons. I have no malice or harsh feelings towards Hillary Clinton; I think she’s a wonderful candidate and very deserving of the Office of the President. I simply feel that Barack Obama is our best choice.

I think that all of the bitter hatred that most Republicans and conservatives have for Hillary Clinton are completely baseless and without merit. Their hatred of her began with her “standing by her man” and forgiving her husband’s marital mistakes… acting as a true “Christian.” They slammed her in unison in the early nineties when she attacked one of their major lobbies, the healthcare lobby.

All that said, the fact of the matter is… Republicans hate her, whether it’s fair or unfair. If she were president, she’d have even more divisive partisanship working against her than Bill Clinton did… and that’s hard to imagine. How can she get all of these wonderful ideas passed through Congress when Republicans will be united against her every minute of every day? How can she pass universal healthcare? How can she end the war in Iraq? How can she help fix the economy? The sad answer is that Republicans will do everything in their power to obstruct everything she tries to implement. She may possess the experience in fighting Republicans, but that’s not what we need. We don’t need more division, we need national unity.

Not only does Barack Obama preach and promote hope, he has the ability to overcome this divisive partisanship. He not only appeals to Democrats and independents, but also to many Republicans. The Republican Party is not united right now. This gives him the unique ability to bring a lot of them over to his side on critical issues. It gives him the ability to end the last few decades of a divided country. When Democrats and Republicans can finally put aside this vicious, divisive partisanship, I think that we truly have a hope of actually solving the major issues facing our nation and world. This is a hope that has been absent entirely too long.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

I Support Barack Obama

Why I support Barack Obama: The divisive partisanship that I’ve been witness to my entire life has made me very cynical to genuineness of our republic. Barack Obama is the first and only candidate in my life time that appears to have risen above the partisan fray and can actually bring the country together in a manner that has been lost for decades. Above all, he gives me hope for the future of this country and this world.

I'm trying to raise about $100 for the Barack Obama for President campaign. If you wish to help, please visit my fundraising site at:


http://my.barackobama.com/page/outreach/view/main/lordvalek

Any contribution of any size would be greatly appreciated.


The Early Vote

I’d like to consider myself a pretty active voter. Being such, I always try to participate in early voting when it is offered. The reason I like early voting is the speed at which I can get in and out… there are typically no lines. This was certainly not the case today!

Today marks the 2nd day of early primary voting in the state of Texas. As I stood in line, I was first off quite amazed that I was in a line to begin with, but even more surprised that nearly 75% of the people in line were 1st time voters. I was just completely astounded!!!

Not only that, but out of the 45+ people in line, only one of them voted in the Republican primary. Yes, Austin is a liberal oasis in the big red state of Texas, but even that is pretty sad for the Republican Party.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Rock Star Politician

As many people are well aware, I am a pretty enthusiastic Barack Obama supporter. Anyway, I got a huge kick out of this yesterday when I saw this on Hardball with Chris Matthews!

The Worst

What makes a president great? This is the question of many historians and political scholars. To me, presidential greatness is clear and decisive moral leadership in the face of national crisis and an open-mindedness and willingness to question traditional values and try new ways of doing things. A great president must be progressive! No great leader in the history of the world was great because they took their people backwards; rather it’s their willingness to evolve and progress!

At a time of national crisis, Pierce and Buchanan, who served in the eight years preceding the Civil War, and Johnson, who followed it, were simply not up to the job. Stubborn, narrow-minded, unwilling to listen to criticism or to consider alternatives to disastrous mistakes, they surrounded themselves with yes-men and shaped their policies to appeal to retrogressive and conservative political forces. Even after being repudiated in the midterm elections of 1854, 1858 and 1866, respectively, they ignored major currents of public opinion and clung to flawed conservative policies. Whose presidency does this bring to mind?

Harding and Coolidge are best remembered for the corruption of their years in office and for channeling money and favors to big business. They slashed income and corporate taxes and supported employers' campaigns to eliminate unions. Members of their administrations received kickbacks and bribes from lobbyists and businessmen. "Never before, here or anywhere else," declared the Wall Street Journal, "has a government been so completely fused with business." Again, whose presidency does this bring to mind?

Nixon is mostly associated today with disdain for the Constitution and abuse of presidential power. Obsessed with secrecy and media leaks, he viewed every critic as a threat to national security and illegally spied on U.S. citizens. Nixon considered himself above the law. Whose presidency does this bring to mind?

George W. Bush embodies the failures, corruption, and unlawful natures of the entire sum of the worst presidents in American history. I don’t know how it could be possible for history to look at Bush as anything but the worst and most disastrous president.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Star Trek Quiz

Your results:
You are Jean-Luc Picard
































Jean-Luc Picard
80%
Will Riker
70%
Data
66%
Spock
62%
Geordi LaForge
60%
Mr. Scott
60%
Uhura
55%
Chekov
50%
Mr. Sulu
50%
James T. Kirk (Captain)
50%
Worf
45%
Beverly Crusher
45%
An Expendable Character (Redshirt)
45%
Deanna Troi
40%
Leonard McCoy (Bones)
35%
A lover of Shakespeare and other
fine literature. You have a decisive mind
and a firm hand in dealing with others.


Click here to take the Star Trek Personality Test

Monday, February 04, 2008

New For 2008

I realize that it is now February, so I’m a bit late for the common “New Year’s” resolutions. Speaking of which, I hope that anyone who has made any “New Year’s” resolutions are still holding steadfast on their personal commitments! I have a lot of respect for those who want something better for themselves, and then put for the commitment and sacrifice to make it actually happen! It’s certainly not easy. So I commend those still working on it, and I hope those who have stumbled a bit over the last month with their resolutions don’t lose hope and keep trying!

I do have a few resolutions myself, however I apparently won’t be starting them at the beginning of the year. Rather, I plan on starting them at the beginning of Lent which starts this Wednesday, February 6th. Here are a couple of my top personal resolutions in no particular order:
  • Get back in shape: I used to be pretty damn physically fit. That’s not the case anymore. I’ve been just plain lazy for about a year and half, and it shows… not to mention I can certainly feel it too! I don’t have nearly the amount of energy I used to. The good thing about this resolution is that I know with just a little discipline, this shouldn’t take too long to accomplish.
  • Stop Wasteful Spending: Sounds like Republican rhetoric (even though Bush has wasted more than any ruler in the history of the world), but it’s something I need to do. I am quite impulsive, and sometimes it hurts me in the long run financially. I waste money on a wide array of things from eating-out a lot, buying crap I really don’t need, etc. I foresee this being the toughest resolution for me to maintain.

Off the topic of resolutions and into other news, Jimmy and I are in the process of having a new house built. Currently it is scheduled for completion in late May or early June. We’re extremely excited about it! I can hardly wait!!! These next few months are going to be excruciating as I want to get the hell out of this little apartment!


This is essentially what our house will look like.



It's a pretty large house, at least by my terms it is. It's about 2515 square feet.
Here is a floor plan of the first and second floors of the house. (You may need to right-click the following two pictures and select "View Image" to get a better view of the text descriptions of each of the rooms on the floor plans.)



This website has more info on the house (virtual tour / interactive floor plan): http://centexhomes.com/Austin/355136_Plan.html

To go with the new house, we've selected some new furniture for some of the rooms.
This is the Breakfast Area furniture.



This is the Formal Dining furniture.



And this is the furntire for the Upstairs Living Area.