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It is so refreshing to listen to someone speak who understands the grammar and syntax of the modern American English language.  There are a few more vocal pauses than I like to hear, but it is refreshing to be proud of the guy who represents me.  He's not saying too much more than what he did in his campaign, but in saying it he appears more serious, less polished but equally as intelligent. 

It is refreshing to see a good, if not jovial, relationship between the President-Elect and the press.  I hope he can maintain this style of relationship for a long time.  
I want to post something, but I'm speechless.  Everything has been said.  I love the USA.  I love the world.  If only this wonderful evening weren't tainted by the California Proposition 8 and South Carolina Proposition 11 (which didn't pass!). 

I don't doubt that America is a place where all things are possible, but I'm tired of waiting for true, honest equality to become a reality.

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Even better?

As though I weren't excited enough about the election tonight, now they're calling for up to 18 inches of snow in the mountains and even some down here in Denver!  Unemployed + Colorado Pass = 20 days of skiing before December!

GOBAMA

I voted absentee and dropped it off last week, so I'm good, but my Mom called me at 7:01am to tell me about the problems at her polling place.  Nothing too serious, resolved within 15 minutes, but it gave me a bit of a scare...since it's been so long since I posted, my last electoral experience is documented just a page or two back from here.  Overall, though, it appears that things are running smoothly.

There is much being made on some of the online news sights about the lack of long lines at Denver polling places; however, they all seem to be overlooking that over 56% of registered voters have already voted.  If, by some miracle, we were to have 100% voter turnout that leaves less than 44% left to vote; realistically, we might have 70%-80%, meaning that only 14%-24% of the voters are left.  That doesn't spell long lines to me.  I guess we'll see.

Went to Starbucks for my free cup of joe (NOT the plumber) where there were representatives from the Colorado DA's office trying to shut it down - apparently it's illegal to do anything to encourage/discourage voting on Election Day.  I won't go into the ruckus that was caused by some of the more exuberant customers, but the DA's people backed down when it was explained to them that Starbucks wasn't requiring proof that people voted so they are effectively just giving coffee away in a celebration of democracy.  Case closed.  It's great to see so many people excited about voting and really getting worked up about it.

Seven hours until my Election Party at the house of some friends from High School.  I can't believe that I'm counting the hours - I've been more excited about tonight than I have been for the Broncos or Avalance lately (though given their records, it's easy to get distracted).  Happy Election Day!  GOBAMA!

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I can't believe my last post was in June 2007...17 months ago.  Things really were going well, I suppose, so I didn't need to do a lot of blogging - I started when I was at the bottom of the barrel and feeling pretty badly about myself.  I shouldn't say "were going well," because in the Grant Scheme of Things they still are.  I won't attempt to cover all 17 months but I will sum it up as much as possible.

When I last posted I had just received the job at Johns Manville.  Over the last 17 months I found that I despised the job itself and many of the people I worked with, but stuck with it 'cause at this time a job's a job.  I was laid off three weeks ago along with the rest of the Canadian Team - they moved the Sales Center back to Alberta to save money. 

I was actually dating the same guy for a long time (for me) - March 2007 until last month, ended by my choice.  It was a good time, but we just weren't made for the long haul.  In that time we went to Iceland Airwaves, 18 Widespread Panic shows, got in 57 days of skiing with bunches of great weekends in the mountains, a fantastic Disco Biscuits show at Dobson Arena in Vail, and had a whole bunch of "fun."  I really can't complain.

Now I'm single and unemployed, with lots of thoughts about what I want to do, but I want to be sure I take a job that's right for me, not just to have a job.  It's rough - my severance got eaten up by my 401(k) - but I think it's the right thing to do.  Time to be happy in my work. 

I'm sure the creative juices will start flowing again as I start to write a bit more, but for now I'll leave my return to LJ at this.

Birthday Wish List

From The Great Courses:




My preferred courses:

* Economics, 3rd Edition (DVD)

Great World Religions, 2nd Edition (DVD)

* Questions of Value (DVD)

A History of England from the Tudors to the Stuarts (DVD)
    Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know the history, but I love it in all forms!  Can skip this one...it's fluff...

The Great Ideas of Philosophy, 2nd Edition (DVD)

* The Joy of Thinking: The Beauty and Power of Classical Mathematical Ideas (DVD)

Change and Motion: Calculus Made Clear, 2nd Edition (DVD)

History of Russia from Peter the Great to Gorbachev (DVD)

* Herodotus: The Father of History (DVD)

* American Mind (DVD)

Philosophy as a Guide to Living (DVD)

Will to Power: The Philosophy of Frederik Nietzsche (DVD)

* Those with an asterisks are my top choices.

Yep.  Between travel gift certificates, beer, and adult education, you've got my list!  Oh, and socks.  Always need socks.

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Gifts!

Yeah, it's my birthday soon.  A $5 (or more...much more!)  gift card/certificate on Qantas, Delta or American would be appreciated.  Or $1,000 for Bedroom Expressions.  I need furniture, unless I move to Japan.  Then I need a chiropractor.

Yes, for those of you who know me, I've dropped BA.  The new "easier" baggage policy has me pissed off.  Don't fly British Airways when you can avoid it.  From Denver go United via Frankfort or Delta via Atlanta (they have great buffets and massage chairs in their lounge!!!).  BA is charging over $200 per bag over one checked piece of luggage...who goes trans-continental with only one checked bag?

Granted, I shipped mine, but I was over there for 10 months, but for the average two-week to four-week US tourist, do you think one bag is really adequate?  (Yes, it should be, but that's another discussion.)  How did BA do it before and survive?  And how do they think that most of their passengers are going to react to such an increase?  US airlines are learning the trans-continental game, and will be rivaling BA and Lufthansa and others in international quality - can BA really afford to be perceived as a discount airline by charging "extras" like People's Express or Spirit while charging full-service prices?

London is expensive.  BA is unfriendly to passengers' wallets (and their flight attendants LOVE to remind you of how much more authority they have than you).  Find a new way to connect to Madrid, Rome, Paris, Moscow, or other places.  Otherwise, fly United and BMI.  Just as a birthday gift to me.

I'm sorry to see BA go the way of the cheap and pathetic.  But I'd still accept a birthday gift certificate on BA, too.

I have no shame.
Town scraps traffic signs

A German town has scrapped all its traffic signs as part of an EU backed project to encourage responsible driving.

Dutchman Hans Monderman, who is managing the "shared space" project in the German town of Bohmte, said: "A rural town should look like a rural town and not like the Nuerburgring racing track."

The town, which has 13,000 inhabitants - also now has no traffic signs.

Monderman added: "We divide traffic into cars, bikes and pedestrians, and believe that by removing the signs we raise awareness among road users for each other. The less rules there are, the higher the risk of accidents, but also it means drivers take more care."

The only two rules are to drive on the right, and the right-before-left priority at junctions.

"The only thing that I need to know when I drive to a city, is that I am in a city," Monderman said.

But Then There's Something!

I entered a raffle at work about a week ago sponsored by Alpino, a group that helps youth "of color" to get into the mountains and experience all of the activities on offer.  They were raffling off two Colorado Ski Country USA VIP passes, which allow the holder to visit 25 different ski areas in Colorado.  Alright, so I already have the Colorado Pass (a season pass for Arapahoe Basin, Keystone, Breckenridge, Vail and Beaver Creek) and a four-day pass for Crested Butte and another for Aspen, but this gives me 18 other ski areas to visit this season!

It's exciting, truthfully.  Wolf Creek has received more snow than any other area this season, and I am excited to try it out.  There are so many great, small places that I haven't ever been that really deserve to be given a chance.  Granted, many of these areas will require a lot of gas money and an overnight stay, but it might be worth it.  The VIP Pass sells for over $1,550 - I got it for a buck!

You won't find me complaining.

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