Archive for month: March, 2019

Friday Quote – Thomas Sowell

22 Mar
March 22, 2019

It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong.

First Evaluation

21 Mar
March 21, 2019

Last night at Toastmasters, I did my first evaluation. I must have done a semi-decent job because I came home with a ribbon. My biggest challenge with evaluation is separating the speech from the content. Or to be blunt, not telling the speaker where his logic is faulty and why his position is wrong. It’s one of the reasons I joined the club. I needed to meet people who were not like me and thought differently from me. I think it will make me a better person.

Wedding AAR

20 Mar
March 20, 2019

In case you didn’t hear, I got myself hitched over the weekend. We did it here, and were one of the last who could do the ceremony and the reception at the park. For a pair that love old Florida, this was a wonderful place to celebrate our marriage.

The Wedding Ceremony & Reception – Or Proper Planning Prevents Piss-Poor Performance

The venue had a bunch of restrictions about decorations and time available. We had to do a lot of pre-planning, pre-work, and contingency planning. I will admit, The Wife did some amazing work and coordination. We were able to set up everything fast, and had time/planning for when the rain started.

Fortunately, the rain was just for a little bit before the ceremony, and the rest of the day was gorgeous. As I told folks, it was just enough rain to knock the pollen down.

The ceremony went off without a hitch. The Wife suggested we write our own vows since we were doing a secular service. After hearing me speak at Toastmasters for the first time, the suggestion became a requirement. Since we didn’t have a videographer, I decided to include our vows for posterity. It’s my blog after all.

The Wife

Derek- It’s amazing how one day someone walks into your life, and suddenly, you can’t remember how you ever lived without them

*I wish I could stand up here and promise you the world, but the world isn’t mine to give. What I do promise is my world, and all it entails. My love, support, passion, compassion, and enthusiasm. *

I wish I could promise you smooth sailing, but just like hurricanes, & as much as I’d like to be able to, the winds aren’t mine to control. What I do promise is a ship built to carry you to safety, and sails to weather any storm.

I wish I could promise you forever, but unfortunately, no one has figured out immortality yet. What I do promise is every second of this sliver of eternity I’ve been blessed with.

I wish I could promise you riches, but every vault has its end. What I do promise you is a life of abundance—An abundance of love and support, of strength and vulnerability, of sharing and drive, of passion, and of adventure– oh, and cats. I promise you an abundance of cats

I can’t even promise I’ll never hurt you, because even the best of intentions sometimes fall short. What I do promise is to always reach for you over my pride; to hold you, to heal you, and to seek forgiveness.

Derek, You are the Han to my Leia . . . the Wash to my Zoë . . . the Rick Hunter to my Lisa Hayes It’s said that marriage is like getting to have a sleepover with your best friend, every single night of the week. So let’s get this over with and start our forever sleepover.

Me

*Vow. A sacred promise. Inviolable. Immutable. Lasting until the end of time and space. Not to be undertaken lightly or without deep consideration for what is being asked and offered. These are my vows to you. *

*First, a Vow to love you. Unconditionally. Eternally. Without hesitation. Further, to demonstrate my love to you in both big and small ways. *

Second, a Vow to walk the path of our lives with you. Sometimes in front, to be your shield. Sometimes behind, to be your cheerleader and to catch you if you stumble. Sometimes right at your side, to be your comforter and confidant.

*Third to be your partner in all things. To make your goals my goals. To make your dreams my dreams. To take your counsel when you give it and give you my best counsel when we are facing a decision. *

*Vows are sworn on what is most precious. So, to borrow the famous phrase, I swear this on my life, my fortune, and my sacred honor. *

I’ll admit she surprised me with the sci-fi geekery bit. Especially the Robotech part. The Brother helped her with that. (And was also responsible for a veritech included in the decorations around the cupcakes). We decided on cupcakes instead of a traditional cake for both ease of production and transport. The Wife and her mother made almost a hundred gorgeous cupcakes for the reception.

One little thing that was a big hit was a picture frame The Wife picked up at Goodwill and painted. People used it as a prop for all sorts of photos. I can’t wait to see them all.

We ran ahead of schedule, and the reception broke up organically without us having to kick anyone out. Which was a relief to me. Also a bonus, the venue’s organizer loved our table decorations, so we donated most of them to the park so they can use them for future events. We got home a bit earlier than planned, which allowed us to head up to St. Augustine earlier than planned.

Honeymoon

We both love history and St. Augustine is just a four hour drive north. Waze ended up taking us through a lot of back roads due to I-4 being a mess around the Orlando Megaplex. We stayed in an AirBnB that was within walking distance of pretty much all of the historic district. The location was perfect for our needs. The room, while lovely, cured any temptation for trying the “tiny house” lifestyle. Also, accessing the room meant going through a gate with a low trellis covered in greenery. And by low, I mean walking through the gate to our room, I had to crouch like I was running up to the choppers at the beginning of MASH.

Small SNAFU – we watched the weather for the wedding relentlessly for the week leading up to the ceremony. Forgot to do so for St. Augustine, and apparently a cold front was coming through when we came up.

We saw a lot, shopped a lot, and walked a lot. Which was good, because we ate a lot. This was a bye week for me where I still record my calories, but I don’t worry if I’m over. Even way over. I’m really glad I went below my goal weight before the wedding. We’re both on strict diets to get back down to goals.

Metal Tuesday – Brother’s Choice- Insomnium – Winter’s Gate

19 Mar
March 19, 2019

So my dearest brother got himself happily married last weekend and asked if I could supply a Metal Tuesday for him. I, of course, agreed. To mark such a momentous occasion, I decided to go with a momentous song: Winter’s Gate by Insomnium.

The album Winter’s Gate is a single, 40-minute song (though if you look at it on iTunes or Spotify or where-ever it is frequently broken up into “tracks”).

Based on a short story written by vocalist Niilo Sevänen, Winter’s Gate tells the story of a group of Vikings who set out to find a fabled island west of Ireland, despite the treacherous winter drawing near. The song/album wanders through multiple styles, from soothing, Anathema-like passages to raging black-metal-style riffs and drumming; but always with an Insomnium sensibility and style.

Winter’s Gate, despite being the band’s seventh album, may be their best work.

Well, That Happened

18 Mar
March 18, 2019

Friday Quote – Col. Jeff Cooper

15 Mar
March 15, 2019

The media insists that crime is a major concern of the American public today. In this connection they generally push the point that a disarmed society would be a crime-free society. They will not accept the truth that if you have take all the guns off the street you will still have a crime problem, whereas if you take the criminals off the street you will not have a gun problem.

What Happened to Mighty Orbots?

14 Mar
March 14, 2019

I always wondered why such a cool show only ran 13 episodes. Of course the answer lawfare.

At least it gave us a great theme song.

There Are No Bounds For Government Avarice

13 Mar
March 13, 2019

Two stories to prove that revenue starved governments will stoop to remarkable levels to squeeze every last dollar.

First, comes a story of New York taxmen chasing people leaving the state to wring whatever they can. The story says New York is examining not only public records, but private records as well, such as airplane and hotel costs. The kicker is the auditors conducting “in-home” audits. I would have a dim view of anyone trying to look inside my home to see if they can tax me more.

Before you think they’re just going after the rich who aren’t “paying their fair share” (another time, another post), we find Chicago is seizing and quickly selling people’s vehicles. At least with civil asset forfeiture, there’s the pretense of a trial. This is quickly ticket, boot, impound, and sell. A scheme that is aimed at the lower income folks who can’t afford the time and money to fight city authorities.

Metal Tuesday- I Prevail – Worst Part of Me

12 Mar
March 12, 2019

Kind of like a mix between Amaranthe and Skillet.

Thin Privilege

11 Mar
March 11, 2019

ShoeOnHead put this video out:

Is life easier for thin people? In so many ways. Is it privilege? Nope. Any more than being mainstream is privilege compared to being a geek.

Weight loss is hard. It’s easy to get discouraged. It’s easy to get frustrated with all the looks of disdain,and not finding clothes that fit, and not finding chairs that fit, and the unasked for advice. And what do most of us heavy people do when frustrated? We eat. We eat because it’s a pleasure. It’s a moment of bliss in a sea of agony.

But Derek, why are you calling yourself heavy? Didn’t you lose a bunch of weight?

Yeah. I did. It was hard work for TWO YEARS. And the moment I stop doing the hard work of counting calories, I will balloon right back up. So, no matter how “thin” I get, I know there’s a heavy person screaming for me to just eat all the chocolate.

Could society be better towards heavy people? Maybe, but society could be better towards everyone. Does that let heavy people off the hook? No. We got dealt a hand of slow metabolism, which means we have to work harder to stay fit. It sucks. It took me more tries than I want to think about to find a plan and mindset that worked for me.

I won’t condemn someone for being heavy. I will condemn someone for blaming others for their problems without evidence.

And thin privilege has less evidence than acupuncture.