Wednesday, December 31, 2008

3..2..1..Happy New Year!!!

To all my readers - I wish you a safe and happy New Year!
Bring in 2009 with a bang. Make it the greatest year of your life. Thus far that is.
Stay disciplined on the resolutions eh...

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Some Pics - Skiing and Shoveling





A Song


Hot Hot Heat
"Middle of Nowhere"

Don't get mad if I'm laughing
Blame the caffeine for all the 5 am phone calls
I haven't slept a single night in over a month
And not even once did you start to make sense to me
Well maybe I'm a little bit slow, or just consistently inconsistent
She said, "Unpredictability's my responsibility, baby."

But you're waiting at the door where everybody's hanging out just like they hung out before
You didn't have to do it but you did it to say
That you didn't have to do it but you would anyway

To give you something to go on when I go off back to the middle of nowhere
To give you something to go on when I go off back to the middle of nowhere

They chewed me up and then they spit me out
And I'm not supposed to let it bother me
But maybe I'm a little bit weak - I let my frailty take the wheel
She said, "Maybe there's a bit of me waiting for a bit of you. baby."

But you're waiting at the door where everybody's hanging out just like they hung out before
You didn't have to do it but you did it to say
That you didn't have to do it but you would anyway

To give you something to go on when I go off back to the middle of nowhere
To give you something to go on when I go off back to the middle of nowhere

But you're waiting at the door where everybody's hanging out just like they hung out before
You didn't have to do it but you did it to say
That you didn't have to do it but you would anyway

To give you something to go on when I go off back to the middle of nowhere
To give you something to go on when I go off back to the middle of nowhere
To give you something to go on - to go on back to the middle of nowhere

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Here we have my bro, Mom and Pops. And Goosey. Or the gooster. Who, was given a goose chew toy for Christmas which she absolutely devoured. I will take more pics of the snow. There's a lot of it :) -
Conor







Merry Christmas

To all my readers and their friends and family I wish everyone a Merry Christmas (whether you celebrate it or not). At least you get the day off ;).
Posted are some pictures from this morning in Durango. Our dog, Goosey (those of you know Jade passed away a few months ago) is absolutely adorable in the snow.
She has a beautiful brown and black coat and is playful and loving.
I will be posting many more pictures because I was happy to receieve a digital camera for Christmas.
Enjoy and have a safe and happy holiday!
!!! After an hour of attempting to post the pictures, blogger is not compatible with the new digital pictures. I will try and get this resolved so you all can see what southern Colorado looks like.
Thanks for your patience!!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A Song

"Season of a Lifetime"
by the Plain White T's

This year has been a good year,
Even Maria agrees.
She swears that in a few years,
She'll be the next big thing.
They don't believe her, but I let her keep dreaming.

This is the season of a lifetime passing you by.
The fat man is singing oh oh oh oh
The best things are always gone in the blink of an eye
The drummer boys beating oh oh oh oh

This year has been a good year,
I don't think Johnny agrees.
Christine the girl of his dreams,
Decided to cut him free.
He says he's fine, although his heart thinks differently.

This is the season of a lifetime passing you by.
The fat man is singing oh oh oh oh
The best things are always gone in the blink of an eye
The drummer boys beating oh oh oh oh

Next year we'll be better, they always say
Next year the sun will shine our way
This year has been a good year,
That's what their all telling me.
They swear that this is our year
we're going to make it big
I'd like to believe them, so I let 'em keep dreaming.

This is the season of a lifetime passing you by.
The fat man is singing oh oh oh oh
The best things are always gone in the blink of an eye
The drummer boys beating oh oh oh oh
Yeah, oh oh oh oh [x4]

Friday, December 19, 2008

Tinkerbell


Zeal and passion are things you posses,
Embracing the moment catapults your success,
A natural-born leader for others to follow,
My snarl weakens 'til I crack a smile,

You keep your gloves up courageously,
Demanding fair treatment - even outrageously,
Know that my bark is far worse than my bite,
My respect is lasting - even when I'm impolite,

Bringing some laughter into my world,
I appreciate - makes my mouth uncurl,
I prefer to have you around than not,
Through my gritted stubbornness and when things get hot,

The character behind your wide eyes,
Is honest and caring, passionate yet mild,
Reconcile and understand too,
Mutual affection at times makes things blue

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Primitive at Work


Busty and friendly is your facade,
The depth inside you is shallow and marred,
You claim to be crystal objectivity,
The reality's gullible - it's your proclivity,

When discussions don't progress your way,
You disassociate, dismiss, push away,
Do you not comprehend you insult in the process?,
Your hyperbole is hypocritical, pathetic, obnoxious,

I've done my best to come to the table,
With open ears, a smile, patience, no fable,
But when you dismiss with such haughty disgust,
Immature behavior makes our time combust,

I will no longer respect your charm,
For fear it will only do me harm,
Things can't always be on your terms,
So I will end it by standing firm,

And making you realize you're not what you seem,
Won't be manipulated by the pull of your strings,
I'm upset because there should be more to you than not,
In essence you're a southern religious nut,

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Hint...

I am prone to shattering when mistreated.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Riddle Me This - Can You Solve??? Part 4


Some say you can you use me to see your soul.
I disappear once I am opened.
The sun can make me shimmer.
What am I?

Friday, December 12, 2008

That's Me in The Corner


Losing my religion.

Often when I debate with liberals regarding religion - and violence in the name of religion, they 'side' with the perpetrators and not the opposition.

Liberal empathy overcomes their logical objectivity. Maybe they believe rampant oppression and subjugation in potential 'terrorists' day to day lives forced them into such poor decisions as joining a terrorist organization. Maybe they view American imperialism and past centuries colonization as the cause and therefore cut them some slack. Maybe, their cool-tempered yet obtuse arguments are built on the premise of strengthening their own arguments which, in reality, are precisely opposite. Devil's advocate, perhaps.

Or, maybe they just like a good underdog.

Before I went to Israel, and while I attended college, I was a vociferous critic of Judaism.
My rationale for such was what I like to call "Alan Keyes syndrome." To carve myself a niche that many don't have. To be the precise opposite of what people expect you to be.

A Black Republican.

A redneck from the south Democrat.

A Jewish, Muslim-Proponent.

I believed it would give me a platform. People would listen because I've proven I can place my personal bias behind and view any crisis objectively.

Riiiiiiiight.

My audacious concept was altered during and after my trip to Israel.

Now, I feel like I can be the spokesman for the IDF.

Why? What changed?

Some people talk of connectivity to the people. Maybe it was the stories I heard of the atrocities the Jews experienced as I listened to sobbing Jewish men and women lose it at gravesides.

Maybe it was my Zionist calling.

It seems now, that most every time I side with the Jewish people. My answer to the previous suggestions - none of the above.

If we can analyze current situations across the globe, which religion would be responsible for most of blatant, terrorism tactics? Which religion closely associates, and in some cases embraces, notoriety as a terror-run group?

Somalia, Sudan, Iraq, Afghanistan, Chechnya, to name only a few.

What religion is the catalyst and the impetus for the crimes against humanity the perpetrators exert?

Before I create a major fallacy, let me preface this by saying not all terrorists are Islamic. Many organizations and governments - including the USA, act as agents of terror across the globe.

What I reference here is the utter defense of malicious and brutal attacks against other human beings solely in the name of religion.

Which religion had major protests, death threats, riots, violence and mayhem over editorial cartoons? Which religion is defended while people are beheaded live on television? Which religion uses women as shields and suicide bombs on a day-to-day basis? Which religion breaches oppression and brainwashes so many young people not only to a religion but to utter domination and hate?

Surely, there are non-Muslim examples. Especially if we viewed this historically. But for sake of discussion, let's not view this historically. Let's analyze today. Right now. The world as we know it.

Surely the IRA are not Muslim. The crimes committed in Rwanda and Zimbabwe are not Muslim-related. American imperialism and our treatment of detainees is not Muslim-related.

My argument; is by and large, one could say 'most' of the current terrorist regimes are Muslim.
I am perpetuating a stereotype. But the stereotype has fact and it is real. There are major problems with the interpretation of Islam that has led to an influx in fundamentalism and terrorism presently.

The Jewish violence both inter-religion (nominal at best) and outside of the religion is insignificant and pales in comparison to Muslim violence, subjugation and oppression.

Yet, I keep having debates with liberals who claim my mind is clouded in bias and prejudice.

That because I'm 25% Jewish and went to Israel, I am the poster boy for the Star of David.

I don't think this is fair. My first love was a Muslim girl. My second and third were Jewish girls.

I'm an Agnostic.

I don't feel connected to Jewish people. Or any other group. I'm a human being and a citizen of the world. First, foremost, and last.

My goal is not to antagonize or sound bigoted. But it's troublesome to me when people disassociate the reality on the ground and extort what is. It's incredible how many Democrats and liberals I know who feed into this ridiculous notion that they have to defend Islam.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Moved in and Hearing Aids Installed


I'm a brand new man today. Earlier this morning I moved out of the place I've been living for the past four months and moved into my efficiency in Georgetown. I'm very lucky to have found a place within walking distance to bus stops, grocery stores, the University, nightlife and restaurants.

The place itself is spacious. It is completely furnished including two dressers, all utensils, cable TV, a bed, a desk and a few chairs.

The shower is small and old and the kitchenette is laughable at best.

But I'll be able to cook the simple meals I'm used to I presume. I won't know how much I like/dislike the place until I've been there for a week or so.

My mind is also bugging with the new trade (my team, the Phoenix Suns, acquired Jason Richardson for Raja Bell and Boris Diaw), the potential Heisman winner, my work party tomorrow, my buddy's new job and how that will change the office dynamic and of course the Illinois toolbag Governor.

But on to my ears.

I can hear finally.

Walking to work from the audiologist appointment was an out-of-body experience. I felt like everyone was talking to me and I could hear things I never knew existed.

The hearing aids fit mostly in my ear but are visible from a profile stance.

I haven't decided how often I'll be wearing them, but I will surely use them at work and on job interviews.

Also, when I watch movies ;).

She said it's not good to yell with these on, therefore playing basketball and exercising is outta the picture.

The first thing I said when I got the aids on was: Damn, my voice sounds so loud!!

And she responded: Conor, that's what you sound like to most people.

So I said: Wow, I really gotta shut the f@#$ up.

I'm sure I'll have more to type about regarding my experience listening to the world.

Just wanted to give you a heads up that today is a new day. A new Conor.

One I can hear clearer.

And one that needs to tone it down a notch.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Moving...

Either today or tomorrow I will be moving into my new place in Georgetown.
Before I move, I took a few pics last night of the mansion I've been living in.

This is the kitchen. I'll miss the cooking space.


This is the view from the window of my room looking in. (Note the fire hat, it's not a costume, my buddy who used to live in this room is a firefighter.)


The view looking out of my window. 'Tis the National Cathedral.

Turned the other way from the kitchen. Here is the living room.
The flat screen on the wall to the right is where I watched Barack accept.

The view as soon as you walk in the door. My room is on the second floor (of 4 stories). To the right and left are two rooms each for study/dining.

My shower. I'm really gonna miss having a shower that big.

The view once you open my door. The window is out of the picture to the left and the bathroom and closet to the right. MNF is on, go Panthers.

Finally, my bed. This is the view when you first open the door of my room to the left. I actually slept the other way, so when I hit the alarm it's a chore and not a simple slap.
Hey, whatever works right?

Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes


For those of you annoyed with the slight changes in my blog format - I feel you. I have received a couple complaints that my posts can be difficult to read, hence the modifications.
I don't know html that well, which poses a bit of a problem.
I hope to tweak it just a bit (possibly by highlighting the posts in white with blue text). I don't want to go overboard and make it look distracting, so I'm open to any suggestions.
If not, bear with me.

Monday, December 8, 2008

A Poem - Peripheral

Cocksure and armed I walk the line,
An arsenal of ideas consumes my mind,
The rose I scoff as I walk past,
The world's a nuisance that's in my path,

Day after day the field I graze,
Never pausing to embrace the day,
That's what life's like with blinders on,
Driving in reverse with the side mirrors gone,

My focus leads to finite exception,
It's my law of practice, my predilection,
But where'd the days go when I once could,
Take your hand...stroll through the woods,

I've rid my sense of certainty,
And began to ignore my feelings,
Errors mount in giant clouds,
No turning back, I'm much too proud,

Do I take a grand step back?,
To analyze the muddled track,
Is this what I've been living for?,
Surely not, there must be more,

Broken days slip through my fingers,
Threading the current like a singer,
I can be in two places at once,
Where I am and where is lunch,

This is not to say that I am wrong,
What if I were always thinking long?,
That shade of gray fades like a fraction,
Hybrid living is ridiculous to mention,

So I've marched and made my choice,
Even if it has come forced,
This band won't stop for anyone,
If it changes tune it won't be done.

Answer to The Riddle

I am a birthday. Congrat's to the people who got it!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Riddle Me This - Can You Solve??? Part 3


Everyone has one of me.
I don't happen very often, but at least I'm consistent.
Some people love me and some people dread me.
I'm not relegated to just people.
No matter what, there's no going backward for me.
What am I???

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Change We Voted For???


It would surely be premature to gauge President Obama's (I love typing that) successful transition from Bush cronyism to Obama governmental transformation.

The man hasn't been sworn in yet.

However, the grip of change that Obama bear-hugged during his campaign is slowly loosening day by day. I can't help but ask myself, "Is this the change we voted for?"
In his defense, Obama faces a catch-22 in this circumstance.

If he appoints fresh, new faces to his cabinet, he's chastised for entering a time of crisis with inexperienced personnel. If he appoints familiar faces, he gets criticized for same ol', same ol'.

It seems to me that Obama has erred on the side of experience.

So the question then becomes; can the people he surrounds himself with be the catalysts of change?

If past is prologue, soundly no.

Obama has promised that change begins with him and that ultimately it will be his policies that his cabinet implements.

Let's hope.

But retaining Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, is not change.
Especially...especially, when this election (along with the economic crisis) was a resounding rejection of the United States' foreign policy.

Gates will keep us in Iraq longer than Obama wants to get us out. He'll talk about tactics, leaving with a sense of honor, etc. which undermines the mandate of withdrawal Obama was elected upon.

Secondly, and this is not solely Gates' fault, the new Obama team will likely increase troop levels in Afghanistan (the ignored war). Many have considered this to be the, "good war," and necessary.

What?

The American public is on the brink of being duped into supporting another quagmire. Again!
The United States should never go to war with a nation. It was horribly wrong to drop the bombs in Japan, it was wrong to invade Vietnam, it was wrong to invade Iraq and it will be wrong to exacerbate problems in Afghanistan.

Don't get me wrong. I hate terrorists as much as the next guy. But the only way to reduce the affects of terrorism is through dialogue and negotiation. Not troop escalation.

Side note: Special ops in terrorists provinces inside these countries is something I support. But a nation should not be considered an 'enemy.'

Think about it. We may not negotiate with terrorists under many scenarios (when they have hostages, direct threats, etc) but to ignore their rationale (as ridiculous as it may be) is a monumental blunder.

Terrorism is an idea. Terrorism is not Afghanistan. It's not Iraq. S@#$ it's not even Al-Qaeda.

Terrorism is a practice used by people who are brainwashed and miserable.

So let's stop curtailing the symptoms (living breath to breath in anticipation of future attacks) and engage these people.

Why do they hate America? Is it because of American imperialism (along with support of Israel and other factors)?

If that's the case, doesn't invading a soverign nation heighten their rage?

I'm not siding with terrorists. I believe they are almost always irrational and their acts of violence disgusting and pathetic.

But no progress will be made if we don't hear them out.

A conservative estimate of Iraqi civilian casualites in the War in Iraq is over 100,000.

100,000!!! That number is too big for us to put into perspective, so we muddle it as a statistic. But I'm outraged. Those 100,000 had family and friends that I can only assume aren't too pleased of the deceased by the hands of Americans.

What kind of efficient 21st Century tactics are we using when the number of civilians dead outnumber the amount of dead terrorists?

My overarching point is, there is no right war. That is an oxymoron. As a pacifist, I don't support any violence, however I'm not naive to think we can exist without self-defense and national security.

Opening up a line of dialogue with terrorists (even just to keep them at bay) would do more for this world than sending American troops to kill thousands more civilians.

I've been feeling an eery deja vu feeling lately. I'm holding my breath.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Truthiness or Honesternation?


Is there a difference between telling the truth and being honest?

If so, what is it?

Does honesty necessitate a question? Does telling the truth mean unsolicited forthrightness?

For sake of argument, let's say that the previous two sentences are indeed true (even though they may not be in your book).

Clearly there is a fundamental difference between the two. One is volunteered. One is not.

I would find it morally reprehensible to condone lying to another. Save for when your children ask about sex or Santa Claus, or other rare circumstances, lying to another person is theft.

It's stealing another person's right to the truth.

However, how far should one go volunteering information that can be damaging to another?

Let me give you a specific example.

Two people have met a couple months ago and are starting to fall 'in love'. Is it the responsibility of either party to volunteer their past sexual encounters to their new boyfriend/girlfriend?

To me, there is truly little to gain from hearing about this, even when you want to know everything about the person you're with.

But what if they volunteer it? Do you hold it against them?

Not if you care about them, of course. But doesn't it still change your outlook, even slightly?

So ignorance is bliss in some circumstances.

However we can't apply this standard across the board.

Let's add a wrench into the equation.

Say for example your girlfriend goes out of town to visit friends in, hmmm, Las Vegas. While she's in Vegas her friends get her hammered and she makes out with some random man on the dance floor.

She comes to her senses quickly enough and realizes she made a mistake and feels terribly.
Her friends tell her not to say anything to her boyfriend because, well, using the utilitarian perspective, it will serve more harm than good.

So she faces a conundrum. Live with the guilt of infidelity. Or volunteer the information to her boyfriend (who for sake of argument trusts her enough not to ask if she hooked up with anyone on her trip.)

Lest I remind you here of the, "What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas," commercials.

What would you do?

I've had this debate with quite a few people and it's interesting how different people react to this scenario.

Does don't ask don't tell don't work?

Or is it the best we got?

My friends have always marveled at my pure 'altruism' when I deal with girls in relationships.

Anytime I've done anything with another girl I've always come clean and told the details. It's not because I want to hurt the girl I'm seeing. It's because I respect her enough to divulge what happened.

Or is it that I can't live with the guilt, so I clean out my mind and burden her with it?

I can only answer for myself, but for me it's surely a combination of both.

But does a tree make a sound if it falls in the forest and no one hears it?

What do we gain from hearing hurtful things save for the truth.

Can we handle the truth?

Hopefully, we find people who don't place us in this predicament and things are great from the get-go.

But life has a funny way of sneaking these scenes into our lens.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Political Punching


During Thanksgiving dinner, I had a discussion with a Republican about whether or now we are in a recession. She told me we weren't. I asked if she's watched TV in the past 10 months.
Go look at any channel, any station and they'll tell you the grim reality we're in, I said.

She scoffed and said that the "media" is nothing but a bunch of looney toon liberals.

I paused.

I consider myself to be a part of the media I told her, and I wanted to know of whom she specifically referred.

Silence.

We then got into a discussion on a controversial bill that President Obama supported as a State Senator. I heard vaguely about this sometime during the campaign, but she brought it up and immediately seethed with anger.

The bill had to do with outlawing late term/partial birth abortions. Barack voted not to limit them.

Sensing her emotional outpour per this issue I took a more subtle approach.

Me: Politicians have to vote on many bills each term. Sometimes their personal rationale for voting for or against a certain way isn't clear. Certainly if Barack votes yes/no, it doesn't necessarily coincide with his feelings on a particular issue. In fact, many times politicians vote the opposite way of how they feel because the funding isn't allocated for it, or the bill was too much of a compromise. Therefore, because life is not in black and white, you should listen to the reasons for a vote and base your opinion on that.

Her: He wants to kill babies.

Me: Barack said the bill would set a poor precedent (this was my assumption) and would lead to a slippery slope - eventually promulgating the closure of women's choice altogether. I'm confindent Barack doesn't support partial birth abortion.

Her: He kills babies.

Me: He doesn't kill babies anymore than you've killed your remaining brain cells.
Well, I didn't exactly say that.

But hey, pass the turkey :).