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Archive for May, 2008

So, I don’t watch or go to see a lot of baseball. Even less, you may imagine, do I think about Minor League. However, my friend Nicki invited me and some others to go to a minor league game with a local team, the Potomac Nationals.

Turned out to be a lot of fun, and pretty inexpensive, too. And–I didn’t have to go all the way up to D.C. That was a big turn-on too, as far as I was concerned. I would definitely think about doing it again.

The big highlight of the night turned out to be that Erik Estrada (of CHiPs fame, if you remember) was going to be there doing his bit to raise awareness of internet security practices for children. He looked great and ended up being a great sport about it–apparently, it’s his gig nowadays.

Nicki’s week was made–she stalked him ( πŸ™‚ ) at the restroom and he ended up signing two of her pix of him she brought, and got a hug and a kiss on the cheek and some conversation. That was all before I got there. She was practically beaming.

Good on ‘er. And good on Mr. Estrada, for helping all those kids and making my friend smile.

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So–I did see the new Indiana Jones movie this weekend. Twice. It was a fun movie, so it didn’t bother me to see it again. I ended up going twice though so I could experience it with two sets of friends, and I was glad to do so.

I’m not up to much of review for the movie right now, except to say that it was, indeed enjoyable, and that I’m in love with Cate Blanchett’s lips. πŸ™‚ That, and I still like Raiders best.

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Isms…

You like red rocks. I like green rocks. We good-naturedly argue about the virtues of each, but we respect each other and know we simply have different tastes in rocks.

Capitalism.

A fellow sees that some of us like red rocks, so he comes up with a way to make red rocks, and sells them. Excited–you buy one. It’s a little more than you’d like to pay, but you do okay, what with your own business of delivering rocks giving you enough to afford your beloved rock.

Another girl sees that some people don’t have rocks because they like green, so she comes up with a way to make green rocks. Beautiful! I buy one as soon as I can. Mine starts chipping immediately, however, so I take it back. She exchanges it with quickness, because she knows that sooner or later somebody else will make green rocks, and if word gets out that hers suck, then people will go elsewhere to get their rocks, and she won’t be able to buy her own blue rocks, which she loves so dearly.

We are all happy with our rocks. This is free-market capitalism.

Socialism.

The government owns the only way to make rocks. You can have a rock, but they’re in shorter supply. We each buy a rock. They only come in yellow, so we each have the same color rock. And they chip and the color goes away quickly.

We both complain; we want different color rocks, and ones that don’t suck. We are told that having any other color rock is unpatriotic, and traitors will be imprisoned or sent to make sucky rocks, or shot. After that, we are told we will go to Hell for liking rocks of unauthorized color.

We both have rocks, but we are not so happy with them.

Communism.

“The People” own all rocks. And “The People” own all means of production. Apparently “The People” aren’t enough to make many rocks, of any color. So “The People’s Army” comes and takes our other rocks, to give them to… “the people.” Apparently those people need them more.

We both complain that we are “the people” too, and deserve some rocks. We are convicted, tried, and hanged (in that order) for being dissidents and traitors and conspirators. At least the communists are atheists, so we can’t go to Hell.

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Spent all morning on the bike with these shady characters:

Shady Characters

We went from Fredburg up to Front Royal via mostly highways, stopped at a nifty little shop and bought some “apple” donuts. Then we headed back down to 17 via a bunch of back roads. At the Sheetz we stopped at on 17 heading back to Fredburg, we talked to the guy riding this:

Trike spotted at Sheetz on 17, 20 miles from Fredburg; 20080526.

We stopped at an antique car show in Goldvein on 17. I was starting to get a bit crispy, so I let them stay and I headed on home. All in all a bee-yoo-tiful day, and a nice ride.

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I mentioned below that I was reading the Ayn Rand book, Atlas Shrugged. Finally finished it, and really enjoyed it. It has flaws, but very inspiring, nonetheless.

I sent a brief review to my friend Nicki, who suggested reading it in the first place. Below is the email, lightly edited.

Yes–I’m finished with The Book. πŸ™‚ Yes–it’s now one of my favorites. Challenging, yes, and I don’t necessarily hold with everything she says, but… I must say that she brought me back to my early youth, and reminded me very strongly of my core values and how much I shared her “romantic” view of how man should be.

I find it interesting that I came to almost the same view through MY particular writer-hero, Robert A. Heinlein. C.S. Lewis was a close second, by the way.

But Heinlein, in contrast to Rand, was accessible to kids through his “juveniles,” books such as “Have Spacesuit–Will Travel” and to adults through, for example, “The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress“.

Like Rand, his main themes are competence, self-determinism, and individualism. In contrast, he often emphasizes compassion and tolerance for self and others, and tolerance for mistakes–if one learns from them. Otherwise–it’s out the airlock for the offender. B-bye…

Also in contrast to Atlas, you’d be “astonished” to find that Heinlein’s writing is sparkling, witty and dialogue is very interesting and colloquial. (Although I loved the way Rand used the silliness and illogic of her villains to create laugh-out-loud humor). πŸ™‚

Alrighty–I’m feeling like I might have to pick up The Fountainhead pretty soon. I figure it’ll be another motivational book.

I got to thinking about whether there were other Rand/Heinlein comparisons out there on the Web, so I did a Google search. Very first hit was a good one: Altruism: Rand Vs. Heinlein

In fact, last year I had read an article about Heinlein in Reason Magazine, celebrating Robert’s 100th birthday. In it, they do mention Rand as well. Good article, and a little bit of compare/contrast there as well, and it’s also on the web, as I linked above.

Enjoy!

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Good little PT tonight. Five minutes “warm-up”/martial arts striking and moving practice, followed by 15 minutes of “High Octane Cardio (HOC).”

As I have discussed before, this version of HOC is basically an interval training session that mixes weights (bodyweight and kettlebell) with a bit of running as a cool-down between high-intensity sets.

In this case, I started mixed various push-up modes with two-handed kettlebell swings. It looked something like:

– Start off with 10 “dive-bomber” push-ups
– Running/walking/movement recovery set
– Two-handed kettlebell (24 kg) swings until breathing heavily and heart rate up
– Running/walking/movement recovery set
– 10 “triangle” push-ups
– Running/walking/movement recovery set
– Two-handed kettlebell swings until breathing heavily and heart rate up
– Running/walking/movement recovery set
– 10 standard push-ups
– Recovery set
– Rinse and repeat until 15 minutes are up

Finished off with five minute cool-down/stretching session. Good session, sweaty–got the heart going, got some good pump on the arms.

Nice. Now it’s shower time!

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So, since the Pyrates from my previous post asked so nicely, we did go to see them at the Virginia Renaissance Faire yesterday. πŸ™‚

It was our usual raggedy crew of longsword fencers, plus some other old friends. We showed up before 1100, whereupon we immediately went to the pub tent for breakfast (in my case, hard cider πŸ˜€ ) and to listen to the Pyrates.

They were fun as usual, with mayhem breaking out particularly bad when during a song where Captain Moone tried to demonstrate the loss of a leg. Hysterical.

For a relatively tame version:

This was the one weekend they were going to be there, so I’m glad we got to go then. The fiddler of the Pyrates, Chelle Fulk (aka Molly Stubbs aka the Cute Blonde With The Big Smile πŸ˜‰ ) will be returning the last weekend of the Faire with another group of hers, Keltish. I’d like to see that, but I think I’m helping some friends move that weekend. Ah, maybe some other time…

Apparently, they were also the first band to perform live in Second Life. Hunh.

The Virginia Ren Faire is a much smaller version of the Maryland one. We had a fun time, nonetheless. We wandered about, looking at this and that, and I even bought stuff this time, including a nice, but (very) expensive cotton shirt, and a pre-publication fiction book signed by the author, Lynn Hardy.

It spitted rain at us a few times, and sun came out a few times. But overall a pleasant day, neither too hot nor too cold.

Afterwards, on the way home, we ran into some major stormage on 95N. Later that evening, most of the crew met up at Bailey’s, a restaurant in Central Park (Fredericksburg, not New York City), and proceeded to have dinner.

A long, but good day.

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