Thursday, December 16, 2010

Dr. Fung


Every week I tutor a retired economics professor at the University. This is a video that he shot this past summer in San Jose. He is a really nice guy and some of the time I wonder if he pays me to tutor him in Spanish or just to show up and chat with him.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Friday, November 5, 2010

Monday, September 27, 2010

You know it's bad...

...when the roaches start killing themselves!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Gabe at the zoo

I took Gabriel to the zoo today and he spent more time looking under rocks and trees for bugs than he spent looking at the animals. These are just a couple of the photos I got of him today.
me

Friday, August 27, 2010

in the recycling

These were never my cans but I think they are the butterfly's now. I have seen a lot more of these little butterflies during the end of the summer. I 'caught' this one during a walk up my street.

Friday, August 20, 2010

reminder

I came across this online the other day. I really like it. It is a good little reminder of things.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Once upon a time, there was a little blue bug who lived on a flower

I went for a walk and saw this little feather of a bug. I have no idea what it is but it looks like lint that just crawls around the flower.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Had his cake and ate it

My good friend Jason just celebrated another birthday. The good news about that is that he let me eat some of the cake. It was delicious!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Waiting out a storm

I know it is hard to see in this photo but there is a torrential down pour happening outside. When I came into the gym the weather was clear and hot and this was waiting for me on the way out. I don't have anywhere to be right now but I was planning on going into the office so I am just waiting for the rain to let up so I can go in dry.
me

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Stayin’ alive: That’s what friends are for

Stayin’ alive: That’s what friends are for

According to a study by researchers at Brigham Young University
social connections – friends, family, neighbors or colleagues – improve our odds
of survival by 50 percent. Here is how low social interaction compares to more
well-known risk factors:
- Equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes a day
- Equivalent to being an alcoholic
- More harmful than not exercising
- Twice as harmful as obesity

These comparisons are shocking. Not surprisingly pen pals and social networks don't count as "social connections".

An unrelated study that was in the news this week from the University of Chicago suggests similar things about feelings of loneliness as well.

Moral of the study: keep real friends around you, stay in touch with people, and reach out to others.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Violently friendly

There is a woman who I come into contact with from time to time. I often eat bean burritos with no onions from the Taco Bell near the University and this woman works there. Her customer service cannot be faulted: she is polite and could even called friendly. She mans (or would it be womans in this case) the first window at the Taco Bell drive through; it is her job to take my money and give me change. Each time I pull around to the first window after placing my order she greets me with a beaming smile. She is not an attractive woman. She is somewhat overweight nothing like the supermodels Taco Bell hires for its ridiculous commercials but very typical of the people that actually work in most fast food restaurants. That being said, I would like to add that she is also not an ugly woman; in fact, if it werent for just one thing I would say that she is a completely unremarkable person. The exception is in the way that she greets me. As I already stated, I can always expect her beaming smile but it becomes more than a greeting really, feeling almost like an assault. She always yells, Hello, there, Good morning, or Good afternoon, or whatever friendly thing she says that day. Why the yelling? She is so loud when she greets me that it makes me want to cringe. So violent are her hellos that I feel like I am being attacked every time indeed, I dont think that it would be all that different if I was actually being attacked by her. It is almost as though she is invading my privacy when she says anything to me at all. Your order is $2.16. What kind of sauce would you like? It crosses my mind Am I an animal to be barked at like this? as I shake my head no without saying a word. Have a nice day, she shoots the words out like a cannon firing missiles in my direction. I grimace and drive on no different than a person unpleasantly surprised by the popping of firecrackers unexpectedly going off nearby.
But, boy, do I like those bean burritos sans cebolla.
me

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

the zoo

A few weeks ago I took Gabe to the zoo while Becky and a friend went spelunking in western Arkansas. Here is a tiny smattering of photos that I took while Gabe played in the fountains at the zoo.

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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Tracking the Rise of Childhood Obesity in America

Tracking the Rise of Childhood Obesity in America

More bad news for the South -
At the top of the obesity scale was Mississippi, Arkansas and Alabama, while at the other end of the spectrum is Oregon, a state that seems to be fighting childhood obesity effectively and experienced a reduction in childhood obesity from when the study started in 2003. Also of note is that children in Illinois, Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia, Georgia, and Kansas had more than twice the adjusted odds of being obese than children in Oregon.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Apples and other apples

Next month makes four years since I moved here. In that time only one member of my family has ever come here to see me, her nephew, or her sister-in-law. We have received a visit from my sister Ari and her family when she was on a road trip that went through here.
I am not playing a blame game here - just stating some facts; I am not so good at staying in touch myself so maybe it runs in the family. Or maybe it is just me. But my take on relationships is that it is rarely just one sided when they work and when they don't work - relationships don't have to be two way streets but they really should be.
It was also about this time six years ago that I moved from Nevada to Arizona in an effort to get closer to my family. Unfortunately, I didn't really feel like relationships were really restored when I finally moved away. But the fact is I have moved to be closer and I have spent money and vacation time to go see my family members. Still, I would like a visit and I have made invitations from time to time only to hear excuse after excuse - money is tight (my money is tight too), we don't have the time (nobody ever 'has' the time), we can't travel (in parentheses 'to see you' because the people who say that make trips when they really want to), or the 'it's your fault we don't come' excuse -- "we don't know what your situation is" (all I can say to that is LAME - that is why you SHOULD visit). I have my excuses as well but, mostly, I would just like to get visited a few times before I go out of my way again. It makes a person feel important or even loved - precisely because visiting tends to involve going out of a person's way.
But families are what they are and any time you start looking for things that you think they should be you are bound to be disappointed - mostly because that sort of looking for usually involves comparing one family to another. Even if that is like comparing apples to apples there is the problem of only seeing the skin of most other apples - we rarely know all the worms that some other family is or has been dealing with out of view of other people. All a person can do is take them (or leave them) for what they are - just accept the situation and decide if it is something you want in your life. If you know you're living on a one way street you just have to accept that fact because fighting it doesn't turn a one way street into a two way street. My therapist (don't pretend you don't need one yourself) has told me that if experience has shown me that I have to make all the visits myself to have a relationship then the only question I should be asking myself should be whether I want a relationship or not rather than stressing over reciprocation. Perhaps not the answer I would like, but it is what it is.
All of Becky's immediate family and many members of her extended family have come many times to see her and Gabe in the last four years. Both her parents work and deal with health problems themselves. They have to make arrangements to have other people watch their animals as well. That sort of loyalty (call it love?) just runs in her family though. I am glad Gabe is learning that from them.
The one good thing about not hearing from everybody in my family (it is a big family, afterall) is that it saves me cell phone minutes. Becky and her mom both go over their minutes on a regular basis because they talk too much to family.

Kisses

from a big, "scary" pitbull.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

... sittin' on the dock of the bay

Navarre beach, Florida

Today's news says that the gulf oil spill will be reaching this beach sometime in the next week.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Hunitng Trip

I went hunting in the backyard - the sun was already low in the sky so the light wasn't as good as it could have been had I gone out earlier but it got me out of the house on a day that I have felt really frustrated already. My vehicle broke down this morning and I have no way ($$) of fixing it right now. It has been a really frustrating day trying to figure out how to take care of it. There is no solution though. I just have to take it to a shop and ... and walk everywhere? I don't know.

So here is what my camera-phone and I found in the backyard:

This photo of the whispy white flowers is my favorite of the group.

It seemed like all three of these ladies where watching me take their picture.