Google’s re-branded itself to Alphabet. This is like Comcast calling themselves Xfinity and trying to pass themselves off as a different, better company. It doesn’t. Much like Facebook, Google, sorry, Alphabet will always be that company that tracks, catalogs and harvests your personal information all in the name of making money; because they think they have that right. Of course that all depends on what all you put on such sites; common sense goes a long way, but Google banks on that not being the case. People get all in an uproar about the NSA; what do think Google and like companies have been up to all these years that track your movement with your cellphone, location tagged images, facial recognition, etc.?

And that’s all I have to say about that.

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Trophy Hunting

Recently there’s been a lot of news about trophy hunters; the most recent tragedy being what I will call an ambush and torturous kill (assassination really) of Cecil. I use those terms to describe this magnificent animal’s demise because strapping a slab of meat on a vehicle to lure Cecil out of his protected sanctuary only to be shot with an arrow, is not very sportsman like in my opinion. The arrow, sadly enough, did not kill Cecil right away, causing the lion king to suffer for 40 hours to be finally put out of his misery with a bullet. To add insult to injury, this so-called sportsman, Walter Palmer, beheaded and skinned Cecil, leaving behind his headless corpse.

Now I’m not a hunter, but I do understand it if it’s a matter of survival or part of an ever-growing trend of "Eat What You Kill"; I get that. Actually, the latter is probably a lot healthier than the packaged meat you get at the super market with all sorts of steroids, antibiotics and who knows what else. What I don’t get is killing some animal just for the sake of killing it; to stick its head on a wall; bragging rights; posing with it and posting on the Internet; etc. Like Sabrina Corgatelli who thought it necessary to kill a giraffe. According to her, giraffes “are very dangerous animals that could hurt you very seriously.” I suppose if you startled one, yeah, you might get a (well deserved) kick in the head, but I have not heard a lot about herds of giraffes arbitrarily attacking. As far as I know, and I could be wrong, giraffes are fairly docile animals, usually minding their own business, but if you startle them, they’ll liable to react; much like horses do.

I might have more respect for these sportsmen if they did their hunting the old fashion way. Early on, before the development of weapons that could kill an animal from hundreds of yards away, we humans used to track down animals on foot and had to get up close and personal to take them out. This to me would be a more praiseworthy fight than what’s done today (like constructing a platform fifteen feet up a tree and killing an animal from above; yeah, that’s fair).

And that’s all I have to say about that.

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The Dukes of Hazzard

The Dukes_of_Hazzard Today, TV Land pulled reruns of The Dukes of Hazzard because the main character, the General Lee, has the Confederate flag on its roof in response to the tragic events that occurred in Charleston, South Carolina a short while ago. Now I understand the justification of taking down that flag from government buildings, properties, etc. since it does represent, among other things, a traitorous action against the United States of America, but for a TV network to stop airing a show because of the same thing is, in my opinion, going a bit too far with the political correctness bandwagon. Those that watched the show 30-plus years ago (mostly males from the ages of 10 and up), watched it for 3 reasons: 1) fast cars; 2) car chases and 3) Daisy Duke. Viewers certainly did not care about what was on the roof of the General Lee. To be honest, I always thought the flag looked dumb because the colors (red background, white stars, blue x) of it were in contrast with the rest of the orange color of the car. With technology today, they could remaster the shows and edit out the flag; if they can’t figure out how to do that, they can get in touch with George Lucas when he bastardized episodes IV, V & VI of Star Wars (he even managed to paste in Jaba the Hutt in Episode IV). This reactionary behavior is bordering on the ridiculous, where everyone is afraid to potentially offend someone or some group. TV Land’s action today is on par with Amazon’s move to remove the Confederate flag from their “shelves”. The ironic (more hypocritical) thing about Amazon is that while you can’t purchase the aforementioned flag from them, you can still order Nazi paraphernalia from them; I’m not even sure what to say about that. Please do not misconstrue this as me supporting the Confederate flag or what it stands for. I’m just pointing out the hypocrisy and over reaction by some all in the name of Political Correctness.

And that’s all I have to say about that.

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Hello Skora, Good-bye Altra

skoraI’ve been a longtime fan of Altras for a number of years, but lately they have seemed to lost their way. They seemed to change their focus from a minimalist style to how much cushioning can we add. This started with the Instinct 2.0s and on from what I can tell; I have, or had, a pair of 1.5s that lasted a good 2000 miles, but finally had to retire them. I did briefly have a pair of Torins, but they had too much cushion (for my taste), were not wide enough and actually injured my left foot last summer that put me out of [running] commission for approximately 2 months. Even the Instincts weren’t wide enough, as was evidenced by the weak material that my 4E wide feet broke through within a couple of months of wearing them.20150301_142120 In case you’re wondering, a 4E wide foot is like 5 inches or more wide. My problem has always been finding a wide running shoes; the usual suspects (Nike, Brooks, New Balance, ASICS, etc.) can’t seem to grasp this concept, or if they do, it’s not in my size (12). And while the Altras do have that (what some would view as ugly) “natural foot” design, they’re still not wide enough for me. I mentioned the weak material earlier, so I won’t go over it again, but the other main gripe I have (and a common complaint by others too) with the Altras is their sizing. Seems like ever model (and iterations thereof) has different sizing guidelines and they are not “standard”. I normally wear a size 12, but need to get 13s if I’m getting Altras or my toes will look like someone smashed them with a ball-peen hammer. OK, that’s enough bashing of Altra; maybe if they get their act together by using some quality material, make a wide enough shoe (for us giants that like to run too; I’m only 6’4″) and stop making Sketcher like shoes, I might give them another go.

In comes the Skora. To be honest I sort of discovered Skoras by accident looking for winter running gear; somehow these showed up in the search results. After reading about them and doing some research, I pulled the trigger and got me a pair of Cores.20150301_145458 First off, Skoras are a bit on the pricey side, but I have to say, they are best constructed running shoes I have ever seen. The upper is not some weak fabric that other shoe manufacturers use but instead goatskin. One might think they don’t breathe well, but you’d be incorrect on that could. They have a 11mm sole and are zero-drop. And, most importantly, are wide. As far as minimalist shoes go, these would probably fall in between the Altra Instinct 1.5 and Vibrams; Altras having a bit more cushioning and the Vibrams having almost none ( just enough sole to keep from ripping your foot apart). The Skoras have just enough cushioning to protect your foot but not so much that your feet can’t feel the ground beneath them and react and adjust accordingly.

And that’s all I have to say about that; time for a brisk, 30 degree run in the mile-high country.

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Obituary of Common Sense

Found this in the comments section of some news post …

An Obituary printed in the London Times…..Absolutely Dead Brilliant!!

Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as:

  • Knowing when to come in out of the rain
  • Why the early bird gets the worm
  • Life isn’t always fair
  • And maybe it was my fault.

Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don’t spend more than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in charge).

His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.

Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children.

It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or an aspirin to a student; but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.

Common Sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims.

Common Sense took a beating when you couldn’t defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.

Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.

Common Sense was preceded in death:

  • by his parents, Truth and Trust
  • by his wife, Discretion
  • by his daughter, Responsibility
  • and by his son, Reason.

He is survived by his 5 stepbrothers:

  • I Know My Rights
  • I Want It Now
  • Someone Else Is To Blame
  • I’m A Victim
  • Pay me for Doing Nothing

Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone.

If you still remember him, pass this on. If not, join the majority and do nothing.

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