Archive for April, 2007
If you want to be successful you need to go to college. Without a college degree youâ€™re destined to work at an unsatisfying, low paying job the rest of your life and will never be able to live the American Dream.
Does that advice sound familiar? It should.
Thatâ€™s the mantra of success preached from the time our children enter school. Theyâ€™re told that a college education will be the best investment they can ever make. Educators tell them if they donâ€™t have a college degree, theyâ€™ll end up digging ditches or performing other menial jobs and live in poverty and misery for the rest of their lives.
Parents reinforce this message by prodding their children to get good grades so a university will give them a scholarship. Popular entertainment depicts numerous stories of a brilliant kid growing up in a working class neighborhood with less-than-successful parents who tell their kid the only way out of the hell hole is to go to college.
The problem with this assumption is that itâ€™s wrong.
A college degree does not ensure that anyone will be successful or have a comfortable lifestyle. Conversely the absence of a degree does not mean that one is destined to low-paying, menial work. Yet the importance of a college education has been drilled in our heads often enough that seven out of ten high school students will enroll in college not because itâ€™s in their best interest to do so, but because theyâ€™ve been told (and in some cases pressured) by parents, educators, and councilors that college is the only way to obtain the American Dream.
This advice is often backed up with the statistics that show that college graduates earn more over their lifetime than their non-college counterparts. Pope Center Researcher George Leef notes in The Overselling of Higher Education, such statistics are not only misleading but assume that those without college degrees would secure better, higher-paying employment if they obtained a college degree. Leef writes:
Instead of looking at average earnings for each group â€“ which inflates the earnings of the college-educated by including many fabulously wealthy professionals and business executives, while depressing the earnings of those without college degrees by including many individual who are scarcely literate â€“ it is more sensible to focus on the workers at the margin. The right question to ask is this: For high school graduates who might have gone to college but did not, is it the case that their earnings would be significantly higher if they had instead enrolled in college?
Leef concludes that students who decide not to attend college are better off not going because they can hone their skills in a non-college environment as opposed to wasting their time doing things such as studying or writing papers when their interests do not lie in that direction.
Even among those with college degrees a well-paying, satisfying job never materializes. Again Leef writes that many college graduates find themselves with no marketable skills upon graduation and only marginally employed.
Services must be rendered. Some of those jobs demand a high degree of knowledge and skill, but most donâ€™t. With burgeoning numbers of college graduates, we should not be surprised to find that many of them â€“ especially those who obtained easy, low-effort degrees in soft subjects â€“ can do no better in the job market than delivering pizza, selling coffee, or taking theater tickets.
No doubt many of these people are disillusioned after being told that their college degree was their ticket to success.
Not everyone is college material. This isnâ€™t a bad thing. Just because someone opts not to attend college doesnâ€™t mean theyâ€™re stupid or unable to become successful. Yet we tend to look down upon those who havenâ€™t jumped through enough hoops to obtain a college degree. Someone may be able to understand the complexities of an automobile and quickly diagnose and fix the problem but because they have a technical certificate rather than a college diploma, we donâ€™t view them as intelligent or successful as someone who works in a small cubicle staring at a computer screen all day.
This condescending view of some professions has led to the gradual decline in interest in technical training and a void in such professions as auto and aviation mechanics, electronics, and trades such as construction.
Fortunately, vocational schools and other training have received somewhat of a resurgence in popularity. And theyâ€™re focusing on more forward-looking careers than their traditional wood or metal shop days. Technical education can now provide careers in high demand and specialized fields like robotics, 3-D animation, and industrial maintenance technology.
Many of these jobs pay very well. The Christian Science Monitor tells the story of a savvy student who pursued specialized computer classes in high school and landed a $52,000 a year after graduation. The student is doing something that he loves and being paid well to do it. No college degree required.
We do our children a profound a disservice when we reflexively assume that college is the only way to achieve success. Rather, parents and educators should help children and students focus on their interests, talents, and unique abilities in order to decide what kind of post-high school education would be most beneficial. College is a good path for many people, but others would be much better off attending a vocational school, learning a trade, or starting their own business.
Continually obtaining knowledge and skills are important and necessary to do what we love with our lives and to provide for ourselves and families â€“ if we have them. But assuming the only way to obtain success is through college merely encourages many young adults to waste years of their life pursuing something that will ultimately be of no benefit to them.
April 30th, 2007
Is it just me, or is Phil Spector one creepy looking dude?
I thought when you went on trail it was the job of lawyers to make you look presentable so the jury wouldnâ€™t judge you by your looks. Maybe they thought the big hair he used to have was a big distraction. His new look is something between death warmed over and the Emperor from Star Wars with a girlish haircut.
Were I on the jury Iâ€™d be tempted to vote to convict just on the fact his new look makes him look like a creepy killer. His big hair, although weird, at least seemd to fitÂ the image ofÂ musician/songwriter/record producerÂ – not a killer.
April 26th, 2007
*** Spoiler Alert ***
Did anyone really thing that Sun was carrying someone other than Jinâ€™s baby? If women who conceive off the island live, then whereâ€™s the tension about wondering when Sunâ€™s going to die? And having viewers wonder whatâ€™s going to happen to Sun is much more dramatic then seeing how Jin would react to Sun telling him that the baby wasnâ€™t his. Now the writers have something they can tease not only through the end of this season but probably through most of Season 4 too.
Sun and Jinâ€™s flashbacks are still my favorite. To me their relationship has the most depth and emotion off all characters on the island. They could do a whole spin-off series on them before they came to the island which I think would be absolutely fascinating. The writers do a great job making their characters real and believable.
In an episode that was full of three twists, I think the biggest one was the fact that Mikhail (eye patch guy) was still alive. Maybe he knew the sonic barrier wouldnâ€™t kill him and that was part of the reason he thanked Locke for pushing him into it. Now that I think about it, his body wasnâ€™t lying around when Kate and Juliet fended off the smoke monster a couple of episodes back. (And speaking of the smoke monster, Vickie asked a couple weeks ago why the smoke monster couldnâ€™t just go over the sonic barrier fence. If you listen to the official LOST podcast from April 16 the executive producers hint that the smoke monster canâ€™t leave the ground through they didnâ€™t explain any more than that.)
In any case I think the eye patch guy is going to play a major role in future episodes. And I have a good idea where he was going at the end of the episode. While helping save Naomiâ€™s (the parachute lady) life she said something that Mikhail incorrectly translated at â€œThank you for saving my life.â€ According to one source she was speaking Portuguese with a Brazilian accent really saying â€œI am not aloneâ€ or â€œIâ€™m not the only one.â€ Dollars for doughnuts heâ€™s off to find the other person who was accompanying her. (Penny, perhaps?)
As for why she believes no one survived Oceanic flight 815 â€“ well thatâ€™s a puzzle Iâ€™d really like to know the answer.
Season 3 is getting better and better. Iâ€™m really looking forward to the remaining episodes.
April 26th, 2007
Itâ€™s been interesting to watch the â€œastonishmentâ€ and â€œoutrageâ€ of journalists once the learned the State of Virginia couldnâ€™t force Seung-Hui Cho to receive treatment until he hurt himself or someone else. They generally seem to be of the same opinion that something should have been done 17 months ago that might have prevented the slaying of 32 people.
Well something was done.
A few Virginia Tech students and faculty tried to intervene on Cho’s behalf 17 months ago, when they reported incidents of stalking, bizarre classroom behavior and a threat of suicide to campus police. Virginia Tech security took Cho, voluntarily, to an off-campus mental health agency. A counselor there recommended commitment and a temporary detention order was signed, indicating that Cho presented an “imminent danger” to himself.
According to official court documents, however, after evaluation at Carilion St. Albans Psychiatric Hospital, a doctor wrote that Cho, although mentally ill, “denies suicidal ideation (and) does not acknowledge symptoms of a thought disorder.”
Under Virginia law, anyone seeking to forcibly commit someone to a psychiatric facility must appear before a special justice. Because St. Albans did not believe Cho presented an imminent danger, the magistrate declined to commit the Virginia Tech English major, and he was released with the understanding he would get outpatient treatment.
Maybe if they had found a gun on Cho at the time or had evidence that he was suicidal (like slashed wrists) he could have been committed and more properly evaluated. For better or worse, you canâ€™t lock someone up just because theyâ€™re acting weird.
My late wife was (most likely) mentally ill. A few days before she died, her brother realized something was really wrong with her and took her into be evaluated. Though the person who evaluated her agreed there might be some mental health issues, he could find no reason to involuntarily commit her because she didnâ€™t pose an immediate risk to herself or others.
The following weekend she killed herself.
After tragic events itâ€™s easy to point fingers and with self-righteously proclaim, â€œYou should have done something to stop this.â€
Though there are times when people sit on their hands and do nothing to stop acts of evil, I donâ€™t think thatâ€™s the case with my late wife or Cho.
I donâ€™t hold the doctor or the mental health system responsible for my late wifeâ€™s suicide. I believe the shrink who evaluated my late wife did the best that he could under the circumstances. Iâ€™d probably say the same thing about the doctor who said Cho wasnâ€™t an imminent threat â€“ especially considering it took 17 months for him to pull off his murderous rampage.
Before the Virginia Tech shootings if Cho had involuntarily committed without proving he or she was some sort of threat to public safety, no doubt these same journalists who are wailing about our flawed mental health system would have been calling for due process and for him to be released. We would have watched or read stories about how most mentally ill arenâ€™t a threat to anyone and how most of them can lead normal lives with the proper treatment. (All true, BTW).
Instead weâ€™re treated to stories about how the mental system is broken and how this tragedy should have been prevented back in December of 2005.
I donâ€™t know how to fix the system.
Maybe some sort of compromise plan can be reached where people are thoroughly evaluated for 48 hours to see if theyâ€™re really a threat before deciding whether to commit or release them.
In a free society thereâ€™s a fine line to walk between encroaching on someoneâ€™s liberties and public safety. These issues are debated all time when it comes to laws that have been passed to fight terrorism.
My personal opinion is that if someone is bent on killing others or committing other acts of evil, no law or mental health evaluation will stop them. Theyâ€™ll figure out how to answer the questions and slip through the cracks and do whatever it is they want to do.
Itâ€™s not a fatalistic view, just one grounded in reality.
The best thing we can do is be vigilant. When we see friends or family behaving oddly or suspect their up to something, then we should take proper action instead of sitting on our hands.
While every act of evil or tragedy resulting form someone whoâ€™s not thinking clearly canâ€™t be stopped, we can be watchful and observant and take action when itâ€™s appropriate to do so.
April 24th, 2007
Marathon Girl: I set a new record on my eight mile run today!
Me: Did you finally run it in under seven minutes per mile?
Marathon Girl: No. I received a total of seven catcalls.
April 22nd, 2007
If I have any fans in the utmost reaches of northern Utah, Iâ€™ll beÂ giving a speechÂ at the Producer Revolution forum in Logan, Utah Thursday, April 19 from 7:00-8:00 p.m.Â
The speech is open to the public and there is no cost to attend. The forum will be held at the Kimber Acadamy building at 3125 N. Main.
April 18th, 2007
DearÂ News Media:Â
I donâ€™t know whyÂ you’re soÂ obsessed with pointing out that the Virginia Tech killer, Seung-Hui Cho,Â was an English major unless it has to do with that violent stuff he wrote for a short story class.
One doesn’tÂ have to be an English major to be a writer orÂ to even write disturbing one-act plays. Even non-English majors are capable of writing sick stuff and killing innocent people.
So you know, the majority of English majors are normal people who have a strange like to read and write. Some people would call us bookworms. Most of us have no desire to kill or harm others.
Thanks for listening,
(An English major)
April 18th, 2007
As a kid I never had allergies. Now that Iâ€™m an adult, I get them every spring. After five years of this youâ€™d think I realized that be able to more quickly diagnose a stuffed up head as allergies instead of â€œa head cold that wonâ€™t go away.â€
Marathon Girl is always happier after long runs.
Chicago Joâ€™s recent marathon experience reminds me of my own experience and why I stick to short runs.
With two boys who always want to play with me as soon as I get home from work. One of their favorite activities is to have me swing them both around in my arms. I donâ€™t know what Iâ€™m going to do once Molly gets old enough that she wants to play with dad too. Last time I checked, its impossible to grow a third arm.
Nothing makes my boys happier than taking them to the park.
Writing fiction is much more difficult than writing non-fiction. With non-fiction you already know what happened and simply have to artfully retell those events. With fiction, even if you know what you want to happen, sometimes you realize itâ€™s not going to work and have to either rewrite an entire chapter or simply start over.
The bad thing about spring is that I have to start mowing the lawn again. I hate mowing the lawn even though I like the way a freshly mowed yard looks.
Why is it politicians want to bail out people who were stupid enough to take out mortgages they couldnâ€™t afford? Do they really think that eliminating consequences for bad decisions will actually do these people any favors?
One of the people I admire is a sister-in-law whoâ€™s never afraid to do the right thing no matter what the consequences.
Sometimes I wonder if Iâ€™ll ever watch TV after LOST goes off the air. Itâ€™s going to take a show with excellent writing, strong characters, and a great plot to even make me consider trading my time for the boob tube. The good news is that LOST will be back for a fourth season.
Iâ€™ve noticed a lot more people wearing Detroit Tiger hats since they went to the World Series. My guess is Iâ€™ll be the only one claiming to be a Tiger fan if they tank this year.
I need more sleep. Six-and-a-half hours a night isnâ€™t enough.
The one thing I wish I had more of was time. Thereâ€™s just not enough of it to accomplish everything I want to do in a day.
And speaking of time, whoever returned my watch to the gym’s lost and found has my eternal gratitude.
April 17th, 2007
Responding to Lisaâ€™s tag…
Three things that scare me:
â€¢Â The Ring movie
â€¢Â Those who blindly follow others
â€¢Â Media hysteria
Three people who make me laugh:
â€¢Â The Marx Brothers
â€¢Â My kids
Three things I love:
Three things I hate:
â€¢Â Wasting time
â€¢Â Watching TV (except LOST)
â€¢Â Going a day without exercising
Three things I don’t understand:
â€¢Â Why people go on killing sprees
â€¢Â Why it takes the state so damn long to build new roads or fix existing ones.
Three things on my desk:
â€¢Â A stack of unread books
â€¢Â The latest issue of The New Yorker
â€¢Â Photos of my wife and kids
Three things I’m doing right now:
â€¢Â Blogging (duh)
â€¢Â Drinking lemonade
â€¢Â Writing a speech Iâ€™m giving Thrusday night
Three things I want to do before I die:
â€¢Â See my kids grow up and have kids
â€¢Â Publish all the novels that are bouncing around in my head
â€¢Â Meet Supreme Court Justices Antonin Scalia and Clearance Thomas
Three things I can do:
â€¢Â Keep up with Marathon Girl on short runs
â€¢Â Ghostwrite books, essays, etc.
â€¢Â Read all day without getting tired
Three things I can’t do:
â€¢Â Throw away books
Three things (or people) I think you should listen to:
â€¢Â Thomas Sowell
â€¢Â Matt Drudge
â€¢Â Books on tape (for long drives)
Three things (or people) you should never listen to:
â€¢Â Don Imus
â€¢Â Global Warming activists
Three things I’d like to learn:
â€¢Â Spanish (itâ€™s more useful than Bulgarian)
â€¢Â How to cook Chinese food
â€¢Â How to change my carâ€™s oil
Three favorite foods:
â€¢Â Meditranian Pizza
â€¢Â Marathon Girlâ€™s fried chicken
Three shows I watched as a kid:
â€¢Â Battlestar Galactica
â€¢Â Knight Rider
Three things I regret:
â€¢Â This will all be detailed in my book, Room for Two.
Three people I tag:
â€¢Â Mrs. Ronk
April 17th, 2007
Emilio Gonzales is terminally ill.
The 17-month-old boy has been diagnosed with Leighâ€™s disease â€“ a rare illness that is characterized by degeneration of the central nervous system.
Heâ€™s been in a pediatric intensive care unit since December 28. According to doctors his condition is irreversible. He canâ€™t breath on his own. Heâ€™s fed through a tube. He rarely opens his eyes. He does not have a gag reflex. He shows no real purposeful response or movement.
Without life support, Emilio would die.
Emilio is at the center of a growing controversy surrounding a 1999 Texas law that allows doctors and hospital administrators to decide when to end life-sustaining treatment in medically futile cases. If thereâ€™s no hope that a patient will recover, hospitals can give a 10-day notice to the family of their decision to discontinue care.
Even though the lawâ€™s been on the books for eight years, hospitals have rarely had to send notices because doctors and family members usually come to an agreement about when is the best time to end treatment.
However, Emilioâ€™s mother, Catarina, doesnâ€™t want life support removed without her consent. She says she understands the condition of her son and that one day sheâ€™ll have to say good-bye but wants to be the one to decide when her sonâ€™s life will end.
I feel for Catarina and the decision sheâ€™s facing. Taking a child off life support is the hardest, most difficult decision anyone can ever make.
Five years ago, my daughter, Hope, came into the world three months early. Though she wasnâ€™t suffering from a disease like Emilio, she was dependant on a ventilator for breath, tubes for food, made no purposeful movements, and had no higher order brain functions. Four days after intensive testing by doctors and specialists, I was informed that Hopeâ€™s condition was irreversible.
Since Hope was too young to speak for herself, I was the one who had to make that life and death decision for her.
Coming to the conclusion to remove my daughterâ€™s life support was utter hell.
On the outside Hope looked fine. She had ten fingers, ten toes. Her skin was a healthy pink color. Even though she was three months early, she had a thick mat of brown hair.
Inside, however, her body wasnâ€™t working. His lungs couldnâ€™t function. There was severe brain damage. Her nervous system was shot.
None of that mattered; not to me anyway. She was my daughter. And like any parent I was hoping for a miracle â€“ one that, as it turned out, would never arrive.
Many agonizing days and sleepless nights passed before I came to the conclusion that being dependant on machines for basic life functions such as breathing, isnâ€™t really a life. Lying in a hospital bed, unable to communicate with or even be aware of who was around you isnâ€™t living. There was no chance that Hope would recover. She could never come home with me. Her life, so long as she lived, would be in a sterile hospital room surrounded by life giving machines.
I didnâ€™t want my daughter to live like that.
Nine days after she arrived in this world, Hope was removed from life support and died in my arms.
I understand Catarinaâ€™s hesitancy to remove Emilio from life support. Theyâ€™re the actions of a parent still holding out for a miracle. Theyâ€™re the actions of a parent whoâ€™s not ready to say good-bye.
All life is precious but there comes a time when a life ceases to be worth continuing. Sadly, Emilio has reached that stage.
Catarina is right when she says the Texas law needs to be changed. Family members are the best ones to make the decision when or if to remove life support. No one â€“ not doctors, nurses, or state legislators â€“ should force their hand.
But sheâ€™s wrong to prolonging a life â€“ and, possibly, the suffering â€“ of her young son.
When another personâ€™s life hangs in the balance, a choice must be made between selfish compassion and loving compassion. The only endurable and principled choice is love.
Loving compassion is choosing â€˜rightâ€™ over â€˜want.â€™ It is the willingness to take upon oneâ€™s self the extreme burden of life-and-death decisions for the benefit of the miserable, and to be willing to absorb the personal cost of anguish and heartache that follows. It might be said, â€œThere is no greater love than a mother who lays down her heart for the sake of her child.â€
If I could impart any words of advice to Catarina it would be this: let your son go to a better place. Itâ€™s the most loving thing you can do for him.
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This essay was originally published on FreeCapitalist.com. You can read all of Abel’s FreeCapitalist essays here.
April 13th, 2007
For all those who have been complaining about LOST not giving any answers to some of the mysteries surrounding the Others and the Island, I hope you watched last night episode.
*** Spoiler Alert ***
Last night we learned more about the Others, why theyâ€™re taking children and are interested on some of the castaways, a possible reason why Claire was â€œkidnapped,â€Â how they (used to) communicate with the outside world and how they know so much about the passengers.
Donâ€™t start complaining that it raised even more questions than it answered. Be patient. In the remaining episodes this season, I wouldnâ€™t be surprised if we see many more long-standing questions answered while other mysteries are opened. Save your complaints until season three is over.
Even though Juliet seems to be working with Ben to deceive Jack and the other passengers of flight 815, Iâ€™m not convinced sheâ€™s completely aligned with them. Sheâ€™s wanted to get off the island for years and Ben hasnâ€™t let her. I think sheâ€™s following along with them because she believes Ben will find a way to get her off the island â€“ something sheâ€™s wanted to do for three years. One of the things her flashback illustrated is how important getting of the rock is to her. Donâ€™t be surprised if she opens up to Jack and fills him in a little on what is really going on if she sees that as the best way to get her off the island. Her loyalty lies with those who can help her the most.
Iâ€™m wondering if the â€œincidentâ€ Roseau referred to back in Season 1 has to do something with women on the island not being able to carry their pregnancy to term. Ben said he was born on the island so we can assume that at some point women could safely carry their babies to term. Maybe the mysterious Dharma Initiative did something that messed with the islandâ€™s mysterious properties. Of course the real question is what are the Others going to do with Sun once they find out sheâ€™s pregnant?
Finally, interesting that the Others seem to have different names for some of the passengers. Juliet refers to Kate as â€œAustinâ€ when sheâ€™s talking about their plan to infiltrate the survivors. (This isnâ€™t the first time theyâ€™ve done this.) Anyone have any theories as to why?
Also of interest is when Juliet told Sayid heâ€™d kill her if he knew what she knew. Many of the Others, when caught, have preferred death to captivity. Makes you wonder whatâ€™s really going on.
April 12th, 2007
Each year the city my family lives in holds an Easter egg scramble. About 10,000 of those pastel-colored, plastic eggs are scattered throughout the cityâ€™s largest park. The eggs are filled with candy, toys, or prize coupons. All children 12 and under are welcome to take part.
After watching my two boys participate in it for the first time last weekend, Iâ€™m wondering if weâ€™ll do it again next year. Instead of a fun-filled event, the scramble turned in to an ugly display of the consumer mentality â€“ the idea that thereâ€™s never enough and one has to get what he or she can before others take it.
Our two boys arenâ€™t old enough to understand the finer points of an Easter egg scramble which, last time I checked, is to gather as many eggs as fast as you can.
My oldest son, almost three, gathers eggs at a pace that makes a sloth look like a cheetah. He needs to proudly show Mom and Dad the egg heâ€™s found then shake it to make sure thereâ€™s candy inside before he moves on to the next one.
My 18-month-old is more likely to pick up one egg, open it, and devour the candy inside and forget about the other eggs. One Easter egg filled with treats is more than enough to bring a smile to his face.
Our two boys fell in the three-and-under section of the scramble. Parents were told they were allowed to aid their kids in gathering eggs. My wife and I assumed this meant accompanying our boys and pointing to an egg and, perhaps, giving one to show them how it was done and encouraging them to pick up another one.
It seemed like the other kids in this section were as clueless as our boys as to why they were there. Though a few three-year-olds wanted to run out and grab some eggs early most of the kids clung to mom or dad or ran around on the grass, playing. A two-year-old girl with dark red hair standing next to us seemed more interested in trying to play with our boys than going after Easter eggs.
Then the horn sounded and chaos ensued.
The parents in our section descended upon the candy-filled eggs, dragging their children behind them. From the way many parents acted youâ€™d have thought these were the last Easter eggs on Earth or that one of them held a million dollar prize. Theyâ€™d pick up an egg, throw it in the childâ€™s basket, and quickly pounce on the next egg before the kid knew what was happening.
In less than 30 seconds the several thousand eggs in our section were gathered. Most of the kids still had dazed looks on their faces when it was over. They seemed to be asking the same question as my wife and I: â€œWhat just happened?â€
We thought the Easter egg scramble was for kids, not parents. The event should have taken ten minutes â€“ not 30 seconds. It should have been a chance for the kids to have fun and learn how to compete with each other, not with adults.
Sadly, the parentâ€™s fear or loss overpowered what should have been a fun event for children. Instead of letting kids enjoy gathering eggs according to their own ability, it turned into a depressing spectacle of parents pushing each other out of the way for a plastic egg filled with a few pieces of candy.
Our experience on Saturday showed that our children are too young to fully understand and appreciate the purpose of an Eater egg scramble.
Unfortunately, most parents didnâ€™t seem to understand the purpose of it either.
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This essay was originally published on FreeCapitalist.com. You can read all of Abel’s FreeCapitalist essays here.
April 10th, 2007
For the last 18 months Marathon Girl and I have been ordering our running shoes online. Since we both prefer running shoes that happen to be hard to find in regular sporting good stores, itâ€™s been much easier to click the mouse a few times and have the shoes delivered to hour house as opposed to spending an afternoon shopping. We found a good, reliable store in Maryland, Holabird Sports, that not only sold the shoes we wanted for less than what we could pay for here, but were always delivered them promptly to our house.
Then Runnerâ€™s World had to go and mess everything up.
In October they listed Marathon Girlâ€™s favorite running shoe as a Best Buy. Since then it seems like all the runners in the world have jumped on the I-must-buy-this-shoe bandwagon and suddenly shoes in Marathon Girlâ€™s size have been notoriously hard to find. Yesterday Marathon Girl mentioned her current shoes were feeling a little worn so I went online to buy some for her. Instead of the usual three minutes it took me to place the order, I spent 30 minutes just trying to find a pair.Â Finally I was able to find a pair at Zappos.com. Even though they were more expensive than Holabird, overnight shipping was included in the price so Marathon Girl was able to break in her new shoes the next day.
The thing with any shoe, running or otherwise, is that is has to feel good to your foot. Just because a magazine or Web site recommends shoe doesnâ€™t mean itâ€™s going to feel good when you use it. For example, Iâ€™ve never been able to wear Doc Martins because they never felt good to my foot. Their sole was always felt too hard for my tender feet.
Iâ€™ve even had to find new running shoes on occasion. Soon after Marathon Girl and I were married, I bought a pair of Nikes that I had been using for several years. But this new version of the shoe didnâ€™t feel right. It started rubbing my foot the wrong way. So after only eight miles of use, I gave the shoe to one of my brothers to use. (It worked great for him.) Meanwhile I had to find another type of shoe that felt good when I ran. (Thankfully Marathon Girl knows enough about running shoes that she told me to try Adidas who, in her opinion, make the best athletic shoes in the world. I now agree with her assessment.)
So to all runners who are jumping on the Runnerâ€™s World recommendation bandwagon, please find a shoe that you, not the editors of some magazine, are comfortable with. Recommendations are nice but that doesnâ€™t mean it will help you run faster or feel good on your foot. Find a shoe that worksÂ for you andÂ stay with it, please.
April 8th, 2007
Itâ€™s been said that weâ€™re no more than six â€œstepsâ€ away from each other â€“ that we are all in some way connected to each other. This connectivity we all have brings about those small world moments when we meet someone and discover we have a common friend or acquaintance, went to the same school, or have some other connection to each other.
One of the things I enjoy LOST is they way it shows how everyoneâ€™s lives on the island are in someway intertwined with each other. Itâ€™s not just the fact they shared an airplane that crashed on the island, but that many of their lives are connected in more personal ways. For example, Anna Lucia knew Jackâ€™s father in Australia. Jack and Claire are (thought they donâ€™t know it) are half-siblings.
This week we saw how in her past life Kate met up with Cassidy, a woman who was conned by Sawyer and is pregnant with his child. It was a sad connection. Both of these women felt betrayed by people they loved and Kate was determined to know why her mother turned her into the police.
In a heartbreaking but realistic scene Kate finally has a chance to talk with her mom wondering why she wasnâ€™t glad her abusive husband was killed. “You can’t help who you love, Katherine, and for good or bad I loved him,” she tells Kate. Kate then tells her mom that she killed her stepfather for her (Kateâ€™s mom). But her mom replies that Kate did it for herself.
Cassidy feels the same way about Sawyer as Kate mom feels for her deceased husband. Even though he conned her out of her life savings, Cassidy was still loves him and still hopes heâ€™ll come back to her which is why she has yet to call the police.
I donâ€™t think the writers are making these connections haphazardly. I think at the end of the show a lot of the characters are going to realize the connections they share and that many of them were brought to the island for a specific purpose. (This is something I actually think Locke understands better than any of the characters on the island.)
I love it when the black cloud (a.k.a. the security system, smokey) is on the show. And after yesterdayâ€™s episode thereâ€™s an interesting theory over on LostEasterEggs about the black cloud that pops up occasionally.
â€¦as Smokey approaches the fence, there are three large â€œheadsâ€ that are very noticeable. Could the it be confirmation that Smokey is indeed the â€œCerberusâ€ mentioned on the Blast Door Map? It is possible that Smokey is comprised of three separate entities that are capable of joining together, or working independently?
To see an image of the three heads, click here.
April 5th, 2007
Mitch Albom has a great column yesterday on the Detroit Tigers. An excerpt:
Not too long ago, you â€” me, we â€” were all blissfully done with this habit. Not too long ago, April was just the month that came after March, as it was in the years before Detroit had a baseball franchise.
That’s because over the last decade, for all intents and purposes, Detroit didn’t have a baseball franchise. Oh, there were men in uniforms. Oh, they took the field and they came to bat and they sold hot dogs and people paid for parking.
But it wasn’t much to watch. Some years the Tigers were bad, and some years they were really bad. Occasionally, they were truly awful.
Now they are good.
Now they are the defending American League champions.
Now they are the guys who did everything but win the World Series.
And here you are again, all revved up with someplace to go.
Too bad the Tigers lost their opening day game to Toronto 5-3. Still, this is a season to look forward to. And instead of hiding my face in shame,Â I’m quite proud to wear my baseball hats with the old English “D”
April 3rd, 2007