28 October 2006

Silly season...

And by silly season, yes I mean it is election time again. Which means there are ads, and attacks flying to a fro all over the place. I can't even believe some of the things that are out there this year. This makes the old Willy Horton ads of the Bush-Dukakis campaign seem tame in comparison. No wait, not seem tame, the Horton ad is tame compared to some of the corkers we have rolling around out there these days. Especially in the 13th District of North Carolina. Now, the guy who is running for office on the Republican side of things is a fire-brand. And that is putting it lightly. He is what some may call a hard core conservative racist bigot. OK, that's what I would call him. His name, Vernon Robinson. He puts himself out there as "The Black Jesse Helms". Now, that should tell you something right there. He's anti homosexual, he's anti immigrant, he's anti democrat, he's anti liberal, he's very pro war, and so on and so forth. He is actually what I might call a bad parody of someone from the right hand side of the political spectrum. In one word, he is "awful". That is the only way I can describe him really. Now I can't remember if I've written about him before or not, but he irks my ire so much, that I have to write more about him if I have written about him before. There is little or no chance of him getting elected, which makes me feel that much better, but to know that there is someone out there like this, makes me worry about the state of the country as a whole, and that there are a lot of people in North Carolina that appear to agree with him on his outspoken issues, makes me worry a whole lot more. Check out his website Dipshit for Congress, and make sure you take a good look at some of his ads that he has up there, and how he characterizes his opponent. It makes one sit there and stare in wonderment at how someone like this could even walk the face of the Earth, let alone actually get to run for Congress. The other thing that I can't believe about this guy is that somehow, some way, he got into the Air Force Academy. So somewhere in his little pea brain, he must have some brains, but he chooses not to use them at all, or so it appears. For instance, one of his character assassinations he puts out on his opponent, Brad Miller, is that he's middle aged, and doesn't have any children. This is made with the inference that if he is that old, and doesn't have any children, he must be gay. Sad, but true. That's how he put it. Vernon Robinson is a circus clown, who will never be elected to anything higher than a city councilperson, I hope. If the good people of North Carolina find it fit to plop his dumb ass down in an office in Washington, I might just have to move in protest, but this isn't going to happen (knock on wood). Actually, the latest polling numbers have his opponent, Mr. Brad Miller, running a good 18-20 points ahead of Robinson, so I think he is secure in his seat. If you happen to live in NC 13, and are reading this, please go out and vote this coming week, so that Vernon Robinson doesn't get into office.

There was another end to another sort of silly season this week. The fiance passed her final exams (orals) in order to start writing her dissertation. Needless to say, this is a load off of her shoulders, and has made her feel very good once again, about what she is doing in school, and the progress being made on her PhD. It has made her very happy, and I love seeing this, because her being happy is really what I like the most in this world, and what I want for her the most. Now, she is known as, The Fiance, ABD (All But Dissertation). I think she has started signing off on her e-mails like that, which in my opinion is pretty cool. I'm proud of her for sticking it, working hard, and getting what she wants. There was a lot of effort put forth on her part, and a lot of struggle, pain, and doubt that crept into her mind, but she worked hard, and here she is now, looking down the barrel of her PhD. It's pretty cool, and a delight for me to see. So, good work baby, you deserve it. After he oral exams this past week, we had to go and celebrate. A bunch of her friends, and myself rolled into a local watering hole in Chapel Hill for drinks, polite conversation, and food. It was good to see a bunch of her peeps come out to wish her well, and congratulations. Again, she has been working very hard on this stuff for a long time. Then, we got to go and have sushi the following day in continuing of her celebration, overall, a very good week really.

The work front for me, I am burned out, and have been, let's just say, apathetic at best the last couple of weeks. I'm sort of like Peter in Office Space. Just really doing enough right now to not get fired from my job. Next week, it's time to buckle down, and actually do some work next week, but for now, this weekend, going to enjoy the nice weather, and go out for a ride here shortly. I had a hard time sleeping last night, so needed to sleep in a touch this morning. I hate it when that happens. But it does.

13 October 2006

It's that time of the year again...

And by that time of the year, I mean, the North Carolina State Fair time of the year. This year, as opposed to last year, we decided (we meaning the fiance and myself) to go on Friday morning/afternoon of the opening day instead of the night of the closing day. This was a much better idea. Much less crowded for certain, and we were actually able to walk around, see lots of things that we didn't see last year, and in general had a pretty damn good time at the State Fair. Of course, within the fair, there was some good food. We didn't go hog wild though this time, just a few good things, which included, but was not limited to the following items:

1. Corn dog with mustard for me.
2. Country ham biscuit from a local church group.

3. Italian sausage with peppers and onions (for me).
4. One roasted ear of corn dunked in butter (for the fiance).

So really, when there were delicacies around such as deep fried Twinkies, deep fried candy bars, deep fried cheeseburgers, deep fried cheese curds, and many other things battered and dunked in extremely hot oil and then mostly served on a stick, we got off pretty easy actually. We did get a 1/2 pound of fudge though, which we're currently, as I am writing this, working our way through right now. Rocky Road, and just plain old peanut butter on the fudge front, which ain't too damn shabby I must say.

When we first got there, we did spend a lot of time wandering around the botanical gardens at the fair. Lots of flowers, and displays, and things like that. All very nice, and kind of interesting really. We spent actually the first hour walking around there checking things out. Many many different plants, many many different flowers, and other such things probably grown by all very nice North Carolinians and then entered for the fair. Of course, the big topper was for me, the big pumpkin (600+ pounds), and the big sweet potato (8+ pounds). That pumpkin, that was one large assed gourd. Now, the sweet potato, doesn't sound all that impressive, but at 8 pounds plus, that's a damn big sweet potato that's for sure. There was no venturing onto the rides this year, nothing there looked super interesting, but there was a carnival freakshow, but we didn't go in there either, but the signs looked good for it. I'm betting there were some weird things in there, probably most of them were dead, or pegged together from other dead things, and then sewn together to make something that looks weird, or strange, and then they pass it off as something that once existed. I'm thinking probably not. It's always a big attraction though. People love a good freak show. Of course we had to go and see the livestock, it's a State Fair for crying out loud. I'm always interested in seeing the kids raising and showing large cattle animals. And I did see something that I had never seen before. Yes indeed, a kid was grooming his cow, getting ready to head into the show ring, and he was hitting up said cow with some hair spray. Yeah, I said it. Hair spray. He was working on the heifer's coif. I can't make this stuff up I swear to God. Sometimes, OK, most of the time, I do love living in North Carolina.

Since it is a State Fair, and is centered around agricultural things (livestock, large vegetables, flowers, and things like that), there was an awful lot of Real Tree and or Mossy Oak camouflage walking around the fair site as well as a lot of sharply peaked baseball hats, oh, and Carharts, lots of Carharts. And just a lot of "cow pokes" in general, or farm folks. It appears that this might their time of the year to come into town for the big gathering. Don't get me wrong, I'm by no means some city slicker, but these folks are straight outta Johnston County North Carolina, I shit you not. What they did have in the house though that was really interesting was Lord Stanley's Cup. Yes, THAT Stanley Cup, you know, the one the Carolina Hurricanes won this year. It's smaller than I thought it would be actually. I pictured it, in my head, as being much bigger than it really was, but there it was. First time I had seen it in the flesh.

Another year, another fair. I'm always glad to have gone, but I'm always glad to leave as well, and being that we were there on opening day, the going and the leaving was nice and easy this year. We might have to do the same thing again next year. I do recommend going, it's definitely good cheap entertainment (only $6.00 for entry). Hell, even if you only went and watched the people walking by, it would be worth the price of admission.

10 October 2006

Sad, but true...

OK, yeah, I know. No updates for quite some time now, but hey, things have been busy really. And the real reason that I haven't updated much lately, I have been riding the bike again. Yes indeed, riding. Imagine that? Been getting out consistently for between 1.5 and 2.0 hours now for the last few weeks, and of course longer on the weekends when possible. Unlike last weekend, when it was raining cats and dogs out there on Saturday and Sunday. Of course, we went and rode on Saturday like some hard core assholes, but come Sunday, nobody was going back out into the rain again. Once over the weekend is fine, but 2 days, when you're not racing, and fast approaching the so called off season, well, that's just silly. It's much easier to sleep in a little bit, go to a nice breakfast, do some chores, and then kick back and relax on Sunday, instead of riding in the rain. Now come say, January or February, when training is really going to count, and it's raining, we'll bust out the trainer, pop in a movie, and do the miles. But in October, when it's just riding for some fun, and to gain a little bit of base fitness, well, rainy days are non riding days. But the weather we've been having lately in NC has been incredible. Sunny most days, 80, or near 80 most days, and still a little bit of daylight out there. Once again, enough to get out there by 5 in the evening, crank out a couple of hours, or close to it, come home, have a light dinner, and then hit the rack. It's a good time of the year, that's for sure. The weekends, when the weather is nice, is even better. Cool mornings, and nice afternoons, means good riding. Time to get in the miles before the sun starts setting earlier in the evening. And then when it does set earlier, it's time to bust the lights out, and ride in the dark. I kind of dig riding in the dark for some reason. It's sort of "zen" like really. Pedaling around in the night, it's pretty quiet, not many cars around, and you get to see different things than you normally would. And it teaches you how to "feel" the road I think. Teaches you to use your other senses, and feel the road under the bike, and teaches better bike handling skills. This is what I think. Do I have empirical data to say that this is so? Hell no, just personal experience is all.

The road season is winding down, and we had the old world championships a few weekends ago. Mr. Paolo Bettini won the race this year, which means the Quick Step gets to keep the jersey that Mr. Boonen won last year. And of course with Bettini winning, this means one thing is for sure. Some bad fashion on the bike. Don't get me wrong. Cycling clothing is not very flattering most of the time anyway, and not very stylish for the most part, but Bettini takes it to whole new levels really. Combine this world championship with his Olympic gold medal, and we have what looks like a gold lame rainbow vomit going on. Anyway, he won, he might as well pimp it if he can, and I'm sure that he will. I'm sure that he will. Yikes!