Friday, October 29, 2010

Aggie Catholics: An Open Letter To Politicians

So yeah, what he said...

Marcel is a good guy. I didn't know him as well as I should have when we were at A&M together. He puts together a really cool blog and he has this to offer today.

Aggie Catholics: An Open Letter To Politicians:

"We are Catholic and we are American. You will be in our prayers and we promise to pray for you as you serve us."

I especially like his first bullet point:

We are Catholics first. We may be Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Green, etc. Many of us do not claim a political party. Regardless, we will never abandon our faith for the purposes of politics. Being Catholic is not defined by political party affiliation.

As Mark Shea would point out, we won't support the Party of Evil and we won't support the Party of 30% Less Evil. So quit being all Evil and give us someone we can vote for.

I also enjoyed

We will look past the rhetoric, the slogans, and the ads. We will look for integrity, character, ethical behavior, and honesty.

I'm sick of the standard rhetoric on both sides. It's tired. They all repeat the same crap that they are told to say by their respective party. Unfortunately, with only two parties, they only way to get elected is to "motivate the base." This is done by demonizing the opponent and demanding that the electorate vote to keep the other guy/gal out of office. It's all about being 30% Less Evil than the your opponent (Sorry Mark if you have a copyright on that).

Marcel added some other points that are important. Go check it out.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Big Families and the Small Questions that folks ask

This reminds me of this.

Actually, it was harder to go through the grocery store with 5. With 7, folks are moved beyond pity and curiosity to shock and awe. Plus our oldest is about six feet tall now.

Feel free to discuss. My favorite response to "Are you going to have more?" - I'm not afraid.

And no, we don't have another bun in the oven.

Update: I forgot that I had written about how a number can be judged in other ways here. Of course, that was three years ago. Did they have blogs back then?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Icebreaker Review

OK, so the other day I get an email from Icebreaker. They're an outfit from New Zealand that makes high end clothing out of Merino wool. If you haven't worn anything made with Merino you really should give it a try. This is not your father's wool. It isn't itchy. It's super soft and very comfy. It still retains heat like just about nothing else, even when wet. Best of all, it breathes, and even better than best of all, get this, it doesn't take on odor. So real merino wool socks don't stink when you take them off. Seriously. In fact, I have a few sets of wool socks (from another maker) that I think have a bunch of other material in them. They do stink when I take them off. But the high-wool versions I have I prize highly. They ain't cheap. Awesome doesn't come cheap.

So back to Icebreaker. Their stuff is high priced. Obsequiously good looking models grace their webpage showing off how active sporty their active sportswear is. I will never look that good, even while wearing that $110 wool long sleeve base layer. Did I mention that Merino wool tends to run expensive? But I had seen their stuff advertised somewhere and probably signed up for a promotional giveaway a year or two ago. Even after I discovered that I wasn't a winner, I still got emails from time to time and just deleted them. Then I got this one. It started off with "Ewe are a winner!" (funny!) and said that the prizes ranged from free shipping to free socks to $50 off. OK, I wouldn't mind winning a free pair of socks. So I clicked on the link and got an email saying $50 off. I figured it would be $50 off of a $200 purchase. But no, it was $50 off of a $50 purchase. Free stuff? Was I finally a winner?

Then I discovered that I really had ascended to that mythical realm inhabited by "the winners." The "Sheepstakes" had an option to post a link on Twitter. Anyone who clicked on it got their own code and, of course, you got another. I posted it on twitter and boom! I got another code for free 2-day shipping. Meh. You can't combine coupons so it was only going to be a discount if I actually bought something. Then another shipping coupon, then a free shirt coupon worth, in my case, $110. Yes, a free $110 shirt. So there's two parts to that statement that just scream "winner!' Someone actually sells a shirt for $110*. And someone came up with a contest to give a free $110 shirt to yours truly. You can now refer to me as "Your Winnerness." (not to be confused with what the other 3rd graders used to call me, "Your Weinerness." Fortunately I'm not still bitter about that.) More coupons for free socks, free $20 off purchase, and free $50 off purchase followed. I've reached nine out of the ten codes they allow, but it looks like I'm having Christmas early. If you still want to get in on this, feel free to click here. I can't guarantee that you get what you want, and in fact, I can't guarantee that it will actually work for you. But, you don't have to forward any email to 500 of your co-workers to see if you really are a winner.

Oh, yeah, review? I guess us "winners," have to show off how winner-y we are to do some reviews of how active and sporty we are in active sportswear from time to time. So I've received one BodyFit 150 Short Sleeve Atlas base layer and one BodyFit 260 Long Sleeve Tech Top. I've only worn the Tech Top long enough to judge the sizing and it fits OK on my freakishly huge frame. It sports extra long sleeves with loops for your thumbs. I'm looking forward to real winter before I get to wear this for a while. It's not at all thick but I can tell that it's really warm. I can see it will be a necessity on cold-weather bike rides. I've worn the base layer a couple of times now and it's pretty nice. It's a bit short on me, which isn't so surprising as they list the height for their XXL sizes as 6' 2" and at a bit over 6'5" and with a healthy case of Dunlop's Disease it rides up a bit. I haven't worn it while riding but I think it will be fine with bibshorts on. As a base layer on the relatively warm October we've had so far? It's warm, really warm. And it's soft. And it doesn't stink after I take it off. All in all, I'm stoked. And I'm a winner.

Please note that nobody sent me anything with the understanding that I'd review them nicely. I don't do that. I did pay just $8.25 each for shipping which is paltry compared to what I got, but that's their "sheepstakes." I doubt they even know I or this blog exist.
* Please note also that $110 is about the going rate for a merino wool cycling jersey.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

No rest from parenting

Lots of parenting activities this week. Every night. Monday night it was an event for Band. Tuesday night was a parent's meeting for Gymnastics. Wednesday night was Religious Ed at our church. Tonight is Choir Concert, and tomorrow night is a HS Football game.

Oh, and in case someone's saying "that's what you get with seven kids," please note that all of this is for two kids. All but Friday is for one kid. This parenting business can make one, well, busy. But oh how it's worth it. My oldest (not the one that almost all this is for) has really shown a great streak of gratitude lately, recognizing when we are going an extra mile for him and thanking us for the effort. That one "Thanks Dad" text message can go a long way.

On the other hand, it's not the constant go-go-go nature of this that's so tiring, it's the moving-of-the-herd when different members of the herd get out of school at different times and some members of the herd have to stay in their car seats for all-to-long.

Coming up this weekend --> State Road Race, and a party for a fifth birthday at McDonalds!