Donate to Obama!

written by treybean on February 7th, 2008 @ 07:57 PM

Wow, if you really want to feel cool, go donate to Obama’s campaign. They place a little video on the page on one of his recent speeches backdropped with a sweeping inspirational orchestra. As you type in your details, you feel like you are player in an epic film about to launch the winning surge. It’s great.

Go donate!

The Cow Goes Meeeew. Stop Eating Meat!

written by treybean on January 31st, 2008 @ 04:25 PM

Mark Bittman write in the New York Times about the state of the meat industry. Granted, none of this is that new, especially if you read a lot of Michael Pollan, but it is so many of the reasons to not eat meat—or dramatically cut down on your consumption—are outlined here.

Now, neither Pollan or Bittman are vegetarians, so they don’t completely advocate going completely veggie. When considering the numbers in this article, though, I think it’s either going to take everyone to change their consumption, or a lot of us to make up for other’s laziness by doing more. Me? I think the second option is more likely. But, hey, if you just want to cut down, by all means, do, but keep in mind that you can always cut down a little more. (until you’re all-veggie like us). woot!

Weepfest? WTF? Hillary Clinton is No Bawler

written by treybean on January 8th, 2008 @ 05:31 PM

Errol Louis, for the New York Daily News, headlines his opinion article “Weepfest won’t help Hillary Clinton. For crying out loud. “Weepfest”? Watch the video.

I don’t even see tears. Do you? I see someone who, possibly for the first time in this campaign, displayed the genuine and heartfelt reasons why she’s running for president. This, along with the passionate speech defending her experience in creating change during Saturday’s debate, was also one of the first times I thought, maybe I should vote for her.

Until now, I’ve been an Obama/Edwards supporter. I like the idea and symbolism associated with Obama. It’s not just seeing the first black president, but also the idea of bringing this country together, working diligently to affect real change, participating against all odds and succeeding.

Today, though, I saw many of the same things in Clinton. It didn’t seem like some calculated move to try to pick up a few more votes. It reminds me of the first time Erin told me about how she felt about Envirocare (now Energy Solutions), our local superdump outfit. I want a president who is so passionate about the issues that they do get choked up about when talking about things happening that they see as bad.

Further, when the media, like Errol Louis, characterizes this as a weepfest, I further empathize with her and think maybe it would be a bigger deal for us to see the first woman president than seeing the first black president.

Veganism and Consistency

written by treybean on January 3rd, 2008 @ 10:32 AM

I’m a vegan and I’m inconsistent. There, I said it. While no one has directly confronted me on this, I know I’m open to the attack. For example, I don’t eat honey, but nearly all of my vegetables that I eat depend on captive bees. In the process of transporting these hives across country to bring me my tomatoes, up to 10% of the hives’ queens will be destroyed. Not even going into the problems of insecticides on these bees, how can I claim that “no animals were harmed in the preparation of this meal”? I can’t.

The same goes with my very grey line about liquor. Many wines and beers are filtered using isinglass, a substance made from the swimbladders of fish. While Erin and I try to always keep a good supply of vegan booze on tap at our house (vegan booze list found here), it become problematic when at other people’s houses. I want to portray veganism as a conceivable lifestyle choice for others. Refusing a glass of wine at the in-laws doesn’t seem like the best way to achieve this.

Anyway, today when I was thinking about this, I came up with this little quip: “I’d rather be inconsistent doing the right thing, than consistently do the wrong thing.” So, that’s where I’ll leave it. And whenever I dig into a delicious veggie plate, I’ll pour some liquor out to all of the fallen bees that helped bring it to me—vegan liquor, of course.

The Standard New Year's Post

written by treybean on January 2nd, 2008 @ 04:37 PM

Reading everyone else’s new year’s posts, made me decide to join in. Aside from that perennial resolution to blog more often, I wanted to share some of my new year’s resolutions.

  1. Stay Healthy On the whole, I would consider myself a pretty healthy person. However, the last part of 2007 seemed like various illnesses were lined up outside my door. It first started with mono—talk about “shock and awe” to my immune system. With my body’s defenses leveled, sickness after sickness made its way in and set up shop. I attribute most of this to taking on too much between work and returning to school: too much stress and not enough relaxation. So, this year, I’ve committed to not taking a class every day of the week like last semester and, overall, put my health at the top of my day-to-day concerns. Salut!
  2. No More Meaningless Distractions Well, at least not as many as were filling up my days towards the end of last year. With the sicknesses mentioned above, at the end of the school/work day, Erin and I would all too often spend the evening watching episodes of King of the Hill, The Simpsons, House, The Office. Once the writer’s strike hit and everything went to re-runs, it became painfully obvious what crap we were spending our evenings watching. House? I’m almost embarrassed to admit it. So, now, in 2008, we plan to take back that time and spend time relaxing in ways that we might actually be able to remember in a week. What we’ll do is still kind of up in the air, but admitting you’ve got a problem is the first step, right?
  3. Blog More Yeah, yeah. I think it every year—and many times in between. Well, I guess we’ll see if this year will be any different. There’s lots of exciting things slotted for this year. Hopefully, with all of that time saved from the hypnotic boob tube I’ll be able to dedicate more time to thinking and writing about those thoughts. It sounds reasonable. Erin and I have decided to have a blog-off, too. Be prepared for many more posts.

There’s plenty more on the list—writing our representative once a month, reading more books (for fun), finally getting that 5-ball juggle down—but these are the big three.

What are your resolutions?

"Kiss My Muffin Top"

written by treybean on December 1st, 2007 @ 08:51 PM

Erin and I were watching 30 Rock tonight and they played a kick-ass song over the credits (see below). I had forgotten it was from a previous episode and immediately wanted to go grab it from itunes. Erin reminded me that it was from the show, so there probably isn’t a full recording, but there should be.

Get those writers some money before this stuff goes away. Maybe they should go write some tunes like this while the studios hoard the money from this online content.

Yes, I realize I’m helping the studios by watching it online. Or am I making a stronger claim for the writers. Whatever the case is, this is what I’m rocking to this week.

Date a Feminist—It’s Better

written by treybean on October 16th, 2007 @ 08:41 AM

This morning, I came across a study done by Laurie Rudman and Julie Phelan, from Rutgers University, about some of the stereotypes about feminists. Are we really a bunch of ugly, single lesbians? Shockingly, it turns out we’re not.

Well sure, but dating a feminist, you’ve got to be crazy. With all of that constant harping and biting your tongue, you’d have to be cuckoo to put yourself through that. Besides, don’t feminists think all sex is rape? That doesn’t sound fun.

Wrong again.

They found that having a feminist partner was linked to healthier heterosexual relationships for women. Men with feminist partners also reported both more stable relationships and greater sexual satisfaction.

It’s not really that surprising—who wouldn’t want to be in a relationship founded on equality and filled with open-communication. It’s just always nice to see things backed up with studies. Thanks Laurie and Julie.

Jumpin' Jetpacks

written by treybean on August 8th, 2007 @ 03:41 PM

After reading about the 2007 Rocketbelt Convention on This Modern World, I had to see one of these things in action.

That is too cool!

Herzog's Jungle

written by treybean on July 13th, 2007 @ 06:01 PM

Happy Independence Day—Sheesh!

written by treybean on July 4th, 2007 @ 04:19 PM

Rejoice. Rejoice. Light those fireworks. We’ve done it! We’ve managed to take back the title of the world hot dog eating contest. Woo-hoo! From CNN:

“Not since Joe Frazier defeated Muhammed Ali in the 1971 bout coined the “Fight of the Century” have two contestants battled so hard. Perhaps.”

Yes, tonight when you are staring up at the bombastic bursts of fiery display, don’t reflect on the history of this country: the struggles it has been through, and the ones it continues to go through. Don’t think of the 160,000 troops in Iraq right now, wondering what the hell they’re doing. Don’t let your mind wander to the graves of the 3,583 people whose lives were taken —no one gives their life—in the name of something we as a country still can’t pull ourselves away from NBC’s Thursday night lineup long enough to define.

I know I don’t have to worry about your mind being confronted with the 66,807 or more Iraqis whose fireworks were all too real—in fact, the last sound they heard was just one big firework. Think about that tonight each time there’s a loud “boom” ringing out overhead. Using Boston as an average, “each “boom represents more than 6 deaths.

Don’t think about the poor in our country—life is too good for you to be brought down by the suffering of others. Don’t worry about your own financial enslavement—you had to have that Prius, it’s just soo cute. Mmm, Prius, earth. Please, please don’t think about that.

Some day I hope we’ll wake up and decide it’s time for another Independence day. An Independence from a system of government that excludes people from participating by allowing only those that can raise millions of dollars to play. The rest of us are too busy trying to figure out how we’re going to pay our ever-increasing health care costs to go out and raise the $32 million Obama raised in the last 3 months.

I could go on: racism, sexism, the direction of the supreme court, political insiders getting let off the hook for lying, while another american’s plea to appeal a 15-to-life sentence was denied because it was filed three days late

No worries, though. We’ve secured true symbol of a free and independent nation—a hot dog eating title. Thanks Joe.

Happy 4th.

Frantz Fanon was a badass

written by treybean on June 14th, 2007 @ 10:59 AM

It’s been a while since I’ve posted—I’ve been slammed with all this ‘back to school’ business. To get me back in the swing of things, I thought I share a sweet little quote I came across today by Frantz Fanon. In the introduction to his first book Black Skin, White Masks, he writes:

I do not come with timeless truths.
My consciousness is not illuminated with ultimate radiances.
Nevertheless, in complete composure, I think it would be good if certain things were said.
These things I am going to say, not shout. For it is a long time since shouting has gone out of my life.
So very long….
Why write this book? No one has asked me for it.
Especially those to whom it is directed.
Well? Well, I reply quite calmly that there are too many idiots in this world. And having said it, I have the burden of proving it.

And as near as I can tell, he did just that. I plan on spending some time with him after this class wraps up. Two more weeks!

"Bush Resigns"

written by treybean on May 12th, 2007 @ 10:08 AM

I guess I wasn’t the only one who wished that Blair wasn’t the only one resigning this week. Apparently, the person in charge of titles at CNN International “mistyped” Blair and wrote “Bush” instead, giving the world 12 seconds of joy.

Rubik's Cube Goes Down

written by treybean on May 1st, 2007 @ 08:25 PM

And spin

I’ve been baffled by the mysteries contained within that colorful cube for too long. This evening, I sat down with Tieg’s and refused to get up until it revealed all of its secrets. Well, I think it opened up more than it revealed, but at least I’ve learned enough to put it in its place.

Like so many, this success didn’t come without help; if you are interested in taking the first steps in becoming a rubik’s ace, check out Jasmine Lee’s awesome write-up of a beginner’s rubik’s solution. With it, you can’t go wrong—I didn’t.

And after you’ve made it through that, you can watch a video surely designed to put us beginners in our places. I still have lots of practicing to do.

Stop Woman hatin'

written by treybean on April 30th, 2007 @ 12:01 PM

There’s a story in the washington post today about how women are much more likely to be the object of harassment online.

This shit has got to stop. What is it about someone’s sex that requires people to respond in such a hurtful way? I mean, it’s not like women are writing more incendiary posts, at least not the ones I read. And even if they did, no one ever invites the kind of responses Kathy Sierra received hell, Kathy wrote about making people happy. Her posts were smart, well-written and always left you trying to makes people’s lives better in each tiny decision you were faced with that day.

But, it’s not just Kathy Sierra. Her story brought out many other stories from other women; stories that make your stomach turn. And what did all of these women do to deserve this? Simply participated. I repeat, this shit has got to stop. Not just in the chat rooms and comment threads, but everywhere. So, next time you hear any sort of hateful speech or act, speak up, say something. It might not be something as overt as some guy hitting his girlfriend, or saying “all women should die”, but we’re all confronted with more subtle examples that help perpetuate the underlying disrespect and hatred of women. It’s easy to simply keep walking, or give a hearty chuckle at a party, or move on to another blog, but doing that, not speaking up, makes us complicit.

And me, I’m tired of contributing to this. This shit has got to stop.

This is the High Life

written by treybean on April 26th, 2007 @ 08:23 PM

Being car-free makes late afternoon beer runs tough. Sure, we can walk the half-mile to the 7-11, but we wouldn’t be getting the best deal possible on our champagne—and nobody likes overpriced suds at the end of a hard day.

Erin and I chose instead to mount our trusty steeds and make the trip over to Costco—not the easiest place to shop without a car. But give us a few bungees and a bike rack and beer’s never tasted as sweet.