This year, however, between Facebook and attending a Catholic school, there's a large difference. With all the status messages, notes and links concerning Holy Week and Easter coming a week too soon, I felt out of synch with large portions of the world. Not that I'm complaining, mind you. It's an odd feeling rather than any real discomfort. Something that I find observationally interesting.
Running and lifting proceed in fine fashion. I did a two mile stretch in 17:18 which is decentish time given that I've only recent added the second mile back to my routine on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Boy do I feel that second mile, too. Some muscle that I don't know the name of ached most of the week.
I can now do a full three sets of lifts at 25 repetitions each save, you'll never guess, shoulder lifts. Today there was notable progress of a sort. With regards to the shoulder lifts, I've been breaking the sets into as many mini sets as I needed to in order to actually do 25. Today, all three sets were done in batches of 2 which is a nice improvement. But also, I didn't feel like I was going to puke at the end of the lifting. Adding those five extra repetitions really made the whole thing harder and by the end, I was really wiped out. So I'm building stamina and endurance. Which is part of the whole point.
Weight wise, I've been hitting 172/173 all week. Save for Monday. On Sunday we went to eat with some friends to celebrate Palm Sunday. I ate too much. I didn't eat so much that I got sick. For that matter, I didn't even eat enough to be uncomfortably full. But after finishing the tuna steak with salad greens and anchovies that I ordered, the left overs of my wife's fish and chips, the left overs of my eldest daughter's fish and chips, two beers and some fake ice cream after coming home, I probably did eat more than I ought to have.
Over at dKos, a really nice Good Friday personal meditation on crucifixion as a stress position by a former Eastern Orthodox Christian. I think he takes his analogy more than a little too far. As morally repugnant as torture is, there is are differences both in extent and in kind between torturing someone and killing someone by means of torture.
Vehicle crash test pr0n in the NY Times auto blog. Not satisfied with the ramming cars into a barrier at 40mph, they send small cars (Yaris, Fourtwo, Fit) head on into the mid-sized vehicles from the same manufacturer (Camry, C Class, Accord) with both vehicles at 40mph. ``After it struck the front of the C-Class, the Smart became airborne and turned around 450 degrees.''
Coverage of The Tea Party in Cincinnati by the local alternative paper. Cincinnati does me proud. The reporter interviewed a by-stander as the crowd of 2000 marched from Fountain Square in the city center to City Hall, ``I didn’t see any of these people when the last president was fucking shit up for eight years.''
Speaking of tax revolts, the Ny Times also had a nice piece on the history of tax revolts. Populism sure isn't what it used to be.
But let me give the last word on taxes to Robert Reich who puts forth the most pertinent facts on income taxes in the US. My only complaints are that he's a bit too polemical and that he conflates federal income taxes with local income, property and consumption taxes when its to his benefit but doesn't when it isn't. I don't know that the latter would make a significant difference but it's something to keep in mind.
A review of Fresh: A Perishable History covers the massive changes in the way we not only consume food but the way we think about food because we now have refrigeration. Living in a ```permanent global summertime' in which all fruits and vegetables are made available all of the time.''
The Washington Post covers the five strands of conservatism in the US. I usually only break it down into three strands, corporatist, libertarian and classical. I also don't care for some of the jibes Westen slips in. But it's a good discussion of how a political movement in the US that many people take to be monolithic is really a coalition of various groups that have some interests in common.
On why Eisenhower ended the Korean war. These days, he'd get charged with cutting and running.
There is a reason that I needed new socks a while back. I can't recall exactly when I bought them but I do recall wearing them absolutely no later than spring of 2005. They were Carhartt brand boot socks.
They were good socks. They will be missed.
But this brings me to my new socks by Thor-Lo. I have the steel toe boot work socks. They are fantastic. I ordered three pairs because they were relatively expensive for socks. I wish I'd ordered more. The days I wake up and find a clean pair sitting in my sock drawer, I involuntarily smile. On days when they're all in the dirty laundry pile, I am sad.
One thing that surprised me is how much easier they make running. I've run in all sorts of socks: running socks, boot socks, dress socks, casual socks. I've never really noticed a different save perhaps for how well sweat was wicked away from my feet. The Thor-Lo's actually make running a good deal more comfortable.
The news that the Obama administration released the infamous ``torture memos'' to the general public has been all over the place. In some regards, this is a good thing. But it is incomplete. With the release of the various documents also came word that the Obama administration will not be prosecuting any of the agents that used ``harsh interrogation techniques'' when under specific direction that said techniques were lawful. If Barrack Obama were more like Al Gore, I suspect that prosecutions would be gearing up. But he's not and the US of A has to be led by the president we have and not the president we wish we had.
While I'm not a lawyer, I can't see the legal rationale that was presented working anywhere else. ``I'm sorry your honor, I thought that this ploy was a legitimate way to pay less taxes. My attorney told me so.'' Of course there are some differences. My tax lawyer is not above me in the chain of command in the armed services. Nor was I ordered by a direct superior in the armed services to try to use a specific method to reduce my tax liability. Nevertheless, I'm not convinced that those are significant distinctions.
If they are significant distinctions, then much of international jurisprudence that the US takes part in is wrong. For example, we routinely extradite people to be tried for being guards at concentration camps. I suspect that those guards were explicitly told that not doing so would result in their court martial.
I can still hope that the bastards that drafted the legal opinions and the technical guides can be sent up the river but I don't have my hopes up.
I have far too many books checked out the library. I also have more to come. I should stop writing this and start using them.
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