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Friday, January 13, 2012

10k

Thanksgiving morning I ran my first 10k!

My brother talked me into it about a week before.

I only went running twice in preparation, and both times I realized just how out of shape I am!

For my two training runs I ran 3 miles each, and both times I was really struggling.

This was an unusual experience for me. I've never had trouble running that distance before.  My legs just couldn't take it. They got all numb and weak. It's really weird.

I was pretty nervous for the actual run, but somehow the 10k distance was much easier for me than either of those two 3 mile runs.  I don't get it...

Anyway...I finished in 1:04:something.  Not great, but not bad considering it was my first one and I hadn't really trained at all.


Note: I don't really like this picture. It makes me think that I am kind of an ugly dude.
I need to drop those pesky 15 pounds, lose the glasses, get a haircut, and not wear that awful green t-shirt anymore.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

There's...Too Many of Them!

It seems like there are way too many internet sharing/social networking options out there these days.

Look at this!


This was at the bottom of an article I read the other day.

Look at all that clutter!

I don't even know what most of those things are!

I think this may be getting out of hand...

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Anthem


I recently read my first Ayn Rand novel, Anthem.

It was fantastic!  Five Stars!

Ayn Rand's writing is so poetic and beautiful, I had to mark the book as I read.  I wanted to be able to go back and remember all of my favorite passages.
(For this post, I reread those marked passages; many of them gave me goosebumps.)

The beautiful writing made it enjoyable to read, but it was also deeply profound and symbolic.

This is a very short novel. Actually, more of a novella.
I read it in about three sittings, and probably less than four total hours.

If any of you are looking for an introduction to Ayn Rand's style and themes, or if you are just wanting a quick but excellent read, I would highly recommend Anthem.


Anthem takes place in England, sometime in the future.  Following a great war, society has been purposely rebuilt to a primitive pre-technological state.  All evidences of the previous society are made illegal, and every part of human life is tightly regulated. People are given designations and numbers instead of names, and are conditioned to think only in terms of the collective. The story focuses on one man who dares to explore beyond these confines.

Here are some of my favorite passages:

"It is forbidden, not to be happy. For, as it has been explained to us, men are free and the earth belongs to them; and all things on earth belong to all men; and the will of all men together is good for all; and so all men must be happy."

"The shoulders of our brothers are hunched, and their muscles are drawn, as if their bodies were shrinking and wished to shrink out of sight. And a word steals into our mind, as we look upon our brothers, and that word is fear."

"But we, Equality 7-2521, are glad to be living. If this is a vice, then we wish no virtue."

"There was no pain in their eyes and no knowledge of the agony of their body. There was only joy in them, and pride, a pride holier than it is fit for human pride to be."

"We do not know if we drank that water. We only knew suddenly that their hands were empty, but we were still holding our lips to their hands, and that they knew it, but did not move."

"...we ran. We knew not where we were going. We knew only that we must run, run to the end of the world, to the end of our days."

"I understood that centuries of chains and lashes will not kill the spirit of man nor the sense of truth within him."



Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Fancy Cheerios

I guess it has been a while since I took a long, hard, look at a box of Cheerios...

I had no idea they had gone all fancy.


Dulce de leche?

What the heck does that even mean? Yeah, I know the box says caramel flavored, but I wanted to find out for myself.

I read this.

...It turns out "dulce de leche" is Spanish for caramel sauce. Who would have thought...

Anyway, I think that sounds pretty delicious. Next time I go to the store I might have to pick up a box.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Before Age 30...

Recently I turned 29.  :(

I decided that I would set some goals for things to accomplish before age 30.

12 months = 12 goals.

I would like to do the following things:

1. Move out!
2. Pay off my student loans and be totally debt free!
3. Do a triathlon.
4. Run a half marathon.
5. Travel internationally.
6. Get my motorcycle endorsement.
7. Buy a decent road bike
8. Run across the golden gate bridge.
9. Buy another gun!
10. Take a cooking class!
11. Obtain a permanent position at work.
12. Get my weight back down to 160.

I think I will scratch these off as I accomplish them, so feel free to check back periodically.

*I reserve the right to alter these goals if some of them prove to be unrealistic.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

I Am Very Tempted...

The other day I saw something wonderful being advertised:

The Bob Ross Legacy DVD set!



That's right, every single episode of The Joy of Painting with Bob Ross!

It's only $1378.50...

Is it weird that I am so tempted to buy this?

I really want it! Bob Ross is great!



*Note: I should have jumped on this a few weeks ago when it was on sale for only $600. Dang.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

50/50


Yes! The 50/50 film review!

I don't want to go into a lot of detail, but I absolutely loved this movie!

4 Stars!

No wait...5 Stars!

How many do I usually do? 4? 5?...I think it's 5.

So...5 Stars!

I just saw it, so I haven't really taken the time to analyze why I liked it so much, but let me just say, this film had me weeping like a baby!  I can't remember the last time I was so moved by a film.

Family, friendship, love, life, death, disappointment, tragedy, fear, hope, relief...50/50 covers it all, and does it magnificently!

It is funny throughout, but also achingly serious, and genuinely moving.

This is one of the best films I have seen in a long time.

I am obligated to let you know that the language is pretty rough. R-rated for sure. I don't know why it needs to be that way, perhaps so that it feels more raw and genuine...I don't know. I would prefer clean language, but for a movie of this caliber, it is worth overlooking.

So if you are the type that can overlook some language, check it out! You won't be disappointed.

Friday, January 6, 2012

A Clockwork Orange


I was extremely surprised by how much I loved this book! It will probably go on my list of favorite books.

The first third is difficult to get through as you are learning the Nadsat slang that is frequently used, but the second and third parts are excellent! Very profound and thought provoking. It easily ranks up there with 1984 and Fahrenheit 451.
 I also think that the writing was genius! The writing style he uses makes the events of the story more matter-of-fact and less passionate, so the ultra-violence that is described doesn't seem quite so graphic or repulsive. Some people might not appreciate that, but I think it allows for us to better understand the importance of what happens later in the book, by understanding just how severe things were earlier. 

If you decide to read it, just make sure you read the original version with 21 chapters, not the American version with only 20 chapters. Anthony Burgess deliberately wrote the novel in three sections of seven chapters each.  The last chapter, chapter 21, is important because age 21 is the age of adulthood, and things happen in that last chapter that help to solidify the message and moral of the story.
Stanley Kubrick's 1971 film is based on the 20 chapter version, and while it accurately portrays the events of the story, it fails to capture the profound meaning of the story. Instead it appears to glorify the violence.

My suggestion would be to not see the movie and read the book instead.  I was very impressed!