Thursday, December 30, 2010

New Coffee Shop

I tried out a new coffee shop today. The sign on the door says "Fusion Coffee & Company", but the web site says "Capana Coffee". Either way, very nice shop, nice big fire place in the middle, and friendly staff. They have a cool roaster out for display too. It's only a short drive, so I may have to frequent it.

Update: Their web site says they will be opening a new shop in North Liberty which is very close to my house (easily within walking or biking distance.) Nice. The wife is going to love the fire place!

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Traveling is Learning

A few observations:
  1. The ticketing agent told me NorthWest is going "green" by only printing one boarding pass, no matter how many hops there are on the trip. That seems to directly conflict with their "burn an ass-load of jet fuel" policies, but oh well.
  2. The pilot is sitting next to me waiting to board the plane... and he's reading the pilot's manual. Should I be concerned?
  3. Dramamine and Meclazine are not the same thing. Mental note: read the bottle before you put the pills and water in your mouth. Another mental note: it's very difficult to discretely spit out pills into an airport trash can. Pointers will be appreciated.

I'm off to a great start!

Thursday, April 02, 2009

15 Things That Make Me Blog

Time to brain dump. This is what happens when I don't blog for a while. I make no claim of immunity from my observations below.
  1. The economy is bad. It has been worse, much worse. We (as in the over-consuming, fat, lazy, intrinsically entitled people that we call US citizens) caused the problem. We need to fix the problem, which is proving difficult given our token characteristics I just mentioned. It isn't going to fix itself. The government isn't going to fix it for us. We have to dig in and get to work... all day... every day. If you have the chance to speak to or read about someone who lived through the great depression, you'll find yourself in the midst of a reality check.
  2. At what point does someone become intrinsically entitled to something, especially when it comes to money, work, status, cars, lawsuits, and the like? Is that possibly an oxymoron? It should be. Where did this idea come from. Unless you were born with an 11th toe or a tail, you pretty much started off on the same standing as everyone else. Whey you die, you have no entitlement, because there is no more you. Everything in between is what you make of it. You are not entitled to a job, a certain pay grade, health insurance, or even housing or food. What you are entitled to is the opportunity to play by society's rules to gain the things that society values. If you choose not to play by the rules, that's fine, but don't expect society to (and in pains me to even use this phrase any more) "bail you out." If you don't like your society, find another one. If you can't or won't, learn to deal with it. We all have problems.
  3. There is no such thing as a religious child. They don't grasp the concept of religion. By extension, there is absolutely no such thing as religious specificity for a child. It's absurd. Saying that he or she is a "Catholic child" or a "Muslim child" or was born a Hindu is simply naive. Claiming that children can somehow be born with a pre-defined religious view is highly unlikely, given that all children just so happen to believe in the same religion as their parents until they reach the age of high reasoning. This is true of biological or adopted children ... this kind of logic drives staticians crazy.
  4. Plastics suck. Plastics are the devil. Somehow they have been branded as a much cleaner alternative to glasses, woods, and metals. Where do plastics come from? Oil. Where do plastics go when we're done with it? A small portion is recycled, but most ends up in trash, landfills, and eventuall rivers and oceans. How long does plastic take to naturally bio-degrade? We really don't know, because it hasn't happened to any plastic that has ever been manufactured. The first plastic cup that was ever used is still with us, so is the first plastic grocery bag, plastic pen, plastic water bottle, and anything else that has the word "plastic" in the title. Sure, it breaks down into smaller pieces, causing issues for smaller and smaller forms of life, but it has yet to bio-degrade into its original components. How much is out there, well, see for yourself: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/22431379#22431379
  5. Buying water is quite possibly the closest we come to insanity each day. Municipal water is safer and cleaner than bottled water, requires no plastic bottles, no fossil fuels to transport, and is already paid for by your and my tax dollars. Do us all a favor and use a drinking foundain, or at a minimum, just refill your old plastic water bottle from the tap.
  6. Stop buying stupid shit. You know what I'm talking about. Just stop it.
  7. Our primary and secondary education system is unacceptable. The workload is far too light for most students. No Child Left Behind is so silly that I don't even know where to start. There is far too little emphasis on the fundamentals: math, science, and grammar. We do not reward teachers in our society. We do not have a common (as in national) curriculum. We aren't keeping up with global trends in education. Parents are not demanding enough of their children's or children's teacher's performances.
  8. This little love-in called "the healthcare system" needs to be squashed. Healthcare providers, HMOs, Insurance Companies, lawyers, and politicians are all part of one big gang bang while the patients and familes barely hold the rank of assistant fluffers. Patients that spend most of their time trying to kill themselves via tobacco, tanning, and french fries are part of the problem, as are patients that go to scientific health care institutions and expect miracles, but these really pale in comparison to the freakiness that's going on in the next room.
  9. Stop complaining about the cost of gasoline, stamps, milk, and other basic items. For what they actually provide, they are amazingly inexpensive. If the USPS suddenly disappeared, how much would you charge to deliver letters anywhere in the country for someone you don't know? Have you ever walked a mile carrying four full bags of groceries? Try it, and then reconsider the cost of a gallon of gasoline, which could carry you, your groceries, your family, and a half ton vehicle your original mile plus another 20 or so. That plastic bottle of water in your plastic grocery bag probably cost you as much as the gallon of gas anyway.
  10. If you're having trouble "making ends meet", perhaps you need to re-evaluate where you have placed your ends. Bitching about no money to ride the bus or buy bread doesn't say much when you have a cigarrette hanging out of your mouth. Ranting about gas prices doesn't have much affect when you're in the process of purchasing a lottery ticket.
  11. Does anyone else find it interesting that our congress had time to inquire into the deeply troubling and obviously endangering precidents set by the Major League Baseball steroids scandal in 2006, while minor issues such as the war, healthcare, social security, our education system, and our dependence on foreign oil were pushed to the side? Seriously!? Pause, take a deep breath, and think about this for a good 5-10 seconds. The lack of responsibility is staggering.
  12. Data access (internet, cell phone, etc.) in the USA is terrible. We have more unused fiber optic cabling than we know what to do with, but a significant portion of the country can't get anything better than dial-up networking with long distance charges. Here's an idea... put our tax dollars to work tearing out the legacy phone system and providing fiber to every house in the country. It creates jobs, provides free and open knowledge to the masses, and is sure to offer a much needed jump to porn sales.
  13. Think before you talk. Don't just think about the words that you're going to say, think about what they mean to you and what they will mean to the recipients of the words. In particular, think about the differences in what they mean to the two parties involved. If there are any differences, stop, and reconsider.
  14. To disagree with someone is not the same as to argue with someone. Just because someone holds a different view/belief/opinion than you do does not mean that they are assaulting you or that you need to defend yourself. Along these same lines, if you are arguing something that can not be proven, you need to re-evaluate your core reasoning skills, and/or quote possibly your medications. An argument that can be proven always trumps an argument that can not be proven.
  15. Stop spending so much time trying to conform. If it feels good, it's probably okay. Unless you're mentally deranged, then not so much.
Now that I have that off my chest, I can start blogging about happy things again.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

The Baby Has Arrived!

We'd like to introduce Collin Christopher Weis to the world! Collin was born on 9/1/08 at 11:46pm, weighing in at 9lbs 2oz and 21" long.

See him here.

Thanks to everyone for their ongoing encouragement and support. We (all three of us) very much appreciate it!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Conversational Beer

I find myself judging cities by only a few deciding factors, usually consisting of their airport quality, general cleanliness, and roadways. I used to judge cities by the general look of the people that inhabited them, but I found that far too depressing, so I moved on. Today, I've decided I'm going to start judging new cities by the conversations that I listen in on. It's probably just a phase, and I'm sure I'll resort back to something far more shallow and simple, like the smell of the hotel lobby, or the percentage of women with above-size tops, but for now, I'm sticking with my conversation idea. As a side note, I had a brief jaunt with using hotel room quality to qualify an overall city, but I found it to be far to disgusting to consider and unusually a-typical. One dark curly on a remote control, and suddenly a dream excursion in a mountain village became second rate to a Motel 6 in downtown Indianapolis. But, I digress....

The conversation methodology poses two problems for me:
  1. I have to listen in on conversations that I have no business hearing, and
  2. I have to explicitly not react to things that are said as part of this conversation
It ends up that problem 2 is far more difficult to overcome than 1. First off, given the right surroundings, 1 isn't a problem at all. Sit at any bar in any restaurant, and you'll quickly be able to pick up on several conversations, made audibly clear through the wonders of alcohol. I also have no remorse about being busted for listening in. After all, who the hell am I to the others involved? If they don't like it, they can shut their cake holes.

The second problem is far harder to cope with. People say some really stupid, but funny, things when they think no one else is listening. Here are a few gems I heard tonight.
  • Patron to bartender: "That cork is really stuck." Bartender back to patron: "Creme Brule?"
  • Patron from local geography: "Boulevard Wheat is an excellent local micro-brew." Patron from west coast: "Uh huh." (This one nearly made beer shoot through my nose.)
  • Patron: "Can I have one of your wings?" Other Patron: "I'm got burnt ends."
  • Patron: "Oh my god, you're so awesome!" Other patron: "I know, I know!"
  • Patron: "Why did this come with two spoons?" Bartender: "One of them is mine."
  • Patron: "I don't play any sports, but I know a lot about them. I just don't agree with how people stand behind their local teams... (long pause...)" Other Patron: "(pause...) (blink..., blink)"
Based on this, I'm going to write off my most recently traveled city as "drunkenly naive", which is a good rating in the grand scheme of things.