Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

I’m thinking of getting back into the swing of things and writing some more fun blogs. I have fun topics, such as Music, and Photography, and Technological toys… So I will probably blog about the same crap everyone else is… So leave a comment here if you’re interested in hearing my fun tales of buying too many CDs and taking too many pointless photos!

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

For every question you answer ‘yes’, you get one point:

1. Are you from New Jersey?

2. Do you own a Motor Home?

3. Did you hit a piece of wood, having it fly into my car damaging both the windshield and the passenger’s side window, along with the A pillar?

If you scored 3, I hate you

If you scored less than 3, I may not hate you.

Bonus Questions:

Does your license plate end with NX68G?

Are you a member of the Family Motor Coach Association?

Posted by & filed under Food, Music.

The Scotch:
Around 6ish tonight, I decided I’d embark on my adventure to purchase Diageo products. One of my good friends, Sheila, has some sort of deal where she can get me a discount on these products for this week only.

With this in mind, I had my parents pick up a case of Guinness, I know they like the drink, and this discount thing is sweet. I decided for myself I would have to pick up some Baileys Irish Cream and Johnnie Walker Black. So far, it seems like a good choice.
scotch

Pretzels:
So I realized as I was driving down the PA turnpike that I was rather low on gas, with this, I thought about the gas stations that are on my way. My route is mostly made up of highways, and I wouldn’t have encountered a gas station until I hit Ridge Ave.

I decided to get off at the Fort Washington exit, and head toward Bethlehem Pike. I passed two Lukoil stations, but since they required left turns, I decided I’d keep heading forward. I recognized the area, as I have biked it once before. With this memory, I also remembered that there would not be any gas stations until I entered Flourtown. With my gas light already on for a while, this began to concern me, so I decided, the next gas station I see, be it on the right or the left, I will stop and get gas.

So I enter Flourtown, and see a BP on the left, but since I’m a weird person, I decide to make a right turn and take a U turn on that road. As I turned right, I realized there was a Texaco across the street from the BP, but it was too late, I had my heart set on the $2.73/gal BP. I took the U-Turn, and pondered the possibility of visiting Texaco (also $2.73/gal) instead on BP, thoughts raced through my head as to which company more closely fits my political views. Then I realized this was stupid, and no matter what the brand, the gas is probably all from the same sources. So, yeah I got gas at the BP.

Lucky for me, the BP was in the Acme shopping center. I decided to stop in, and purchase a card for my soon to be former boss. His wife just gave birth to a baby boy! So I feel that I would like to congratulate him, and a card is more formal than the standard email. I picked a card, and was on my way. The one issue here is my love for food, I felt compelled to walk around and look for a snack that I’ve never had, that would open my taste buds, while being absolutely delicious. I saw “Utz Toasted Sesame Pretzels” and instantly fell in love!
pretzels

Femmes:
Back in June of 2006, I was hanging out with some of my best friends from Drexel University, Ken and Kelly, and we stopped by the now defunct Tower Records on Broad Street. For some reason or another, they had the Violent Femmesself-titled album on sale, and I decided that I required it to be in my collection. I also picked up the Devo Album “Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!” on this trip. I have already owned the Violent Femmes compilation “Add It Up (1981-1993)” for many years, and I have loved it. I realize that there is something much more coherent with the album that just a compilation of excellent songs. I got into the self-titled Femmes album over the summer, and have been revisiting it every once in a while. It was well worth the investment.

One quite memorable trivial piece of information about this album involves one of my favorites TV shows, “How I Met Your Mother”. If you’re a devout fan, such as I am; you would know that Marshall and Lily’s song is “Good Feeling” by The Violent Femmes. I must say, of the not-so-popular tracks, my favorite song is currently “Please Do Not Go”.

Another thing about this album that angers me, is the usage of the song “Blister In The Sun” being currently used in a Wendy’s commercial. (More Discussed Here) I think the only commercial I’ve seen with worse song placement was the car commercial using Smash Mouth’s “Walking On The Sun” as its background music. They carefully edited out the second line of the chorus to completely change the meaning of the song.

From:

So don’t delay, act now, supplies are running out
Allow, if you’re still alive, six to eight years to arrive

To:

So don’t delay, act now, supplies are running out

Smash Mouth had quickly sold out, and now their follow up album was not nearly as good (in my opinion) as “Fush Yu Mang”, and with the combination of this commercial and their music in Shrek, I knew it was time to give up listening to Smash Mouth. I still love to play “Padrino” on my guitar, and will have fond memories of attempts of covering some of their songs with various people.

The Culmination:
After a delicious dinner of spaghetti and meatballs with sausage, I decided to retreat to my room. I checked email, and some other things, and talked to my good friend Ken on the phone for a little while. I decided to open up my newly acquired scotch and pretzels. I decided the Violent Femmes CD would put me in the proper mood to relax, and reflex upon my day. It has put me in a great mood, and makes me excited that I only have 6 more working days before I head to Argentina! I also suggest to anyone to try to have a night of good music, good drinks, and a good snack… It will make you feel better.
me

Posted by & filed under Food, Philadelphia, Playground, Rittenhouse, Sushi.

Tonight’s weather was simply amazing: 75 degrees, no rain, no wind, on March 14th! It also happened to be a Wednesday night, my traditional night to spend time with one of my awesome college friends Elli, so it was another lovely night in the city.

Samson Sushi Delight

First we stopped off to get some sushi at Samson Sushi Delight. Which may just be my new favorite sushi place in center city. They offer brown rice, good portions, and extremely fresh vegetables. The staff is very nice, and knows their competition well, and has excellent prices, especially considering the relatively generous portions they serve. I had the Avocado Roll, and the Vegetable Roll (which is not on the menu, but came highly suggested from Elli).

For more information: http://www.sansomsushidelight.com/

We then took a stroll around town, through Rittenhouse Square, and Fitler Square, eventually ending up at Markward Playground. This is where I first witness the sport of Cycle Polo. I must be really out of touch with the times, to have never even known such a sport existed, but it really was quite interesting to watch.

Elli in Markward Playground

We spent the rest of the night swinging on the swings, and deciding to play for this summer. It is unofficial, but it seems that this upcoming summer of 2007 will be “The Summer of Fitness” including a lot of biking, hiking, and other outdoorsy sports. This will probably be in stark contract with last summer’s “Summer of Milkshakes”, and I suppose that is a good thing.

There will be a lot of changes this summer, and probably a lot more commuting. But this summer is coming soon, so I will need to start making my goals soon. If anyone in the NJ/PA/NY area is looking to help me and take part in my summer of fitness, please get back to me.

Let’s just hope the weather stays this nice!

Posted by & filed under America, Birds, Nature, Uncategorized.

How appropriate is the Bald Eagle as a symbol for the United States of America?

Sure, the Bald Eagle is a large powerful bird, immediately capturing the attention of anyone who happens to encounter the bird. With a 7-foot wingspan, and weighing up to 14lbs, the Bald Eagle carries itself as a strong force in the wild.


In 1782, the Bald Eagle was used in the design of the Great Seal of the United States, and has become a national symbol ever since. The Great Seal of the United States features an eagle with 13 arrows in its left talon and an olive branch in its right, to symbolize the balance between war and peace. It makes sense that this bird would be used as a symbol of America, as it is only found in North America, and must have been a great spectacle for newcomers to the land. Many native North Americans have religions connections to the Bald Eagle, with reverence toward their features comparable to the Bible or the crucifix.

But what kind of bird is the American Bald Eagle? Sure, he looks strong, but what are his weaknesses, and what are his threats? Moreover, can these strengths and weaknesses map to The United States of America as a nation? Obviously the bird was not chosen for this particular purpose, but it is fun to entertain the analogy and construe parallels that may exist, even if they prove to be quite humorous.

Predators:

As far as predators, I’ve only been able to find three, by using my Google search abilities. These three are: Raccoons, Great Horned Owl, and Humans. With Humans obviously being the biggest threat.

As far as this mapping to analogies, raccoons and owls probably don’t cause too much of a threat toward America as a nation. Although rabid raccoons can be scary, and the O RLY owl has been getting pretty annoying lately. But… Just like the Bald Eagle, the largest threat to America today is humanity! May it be from terrorists, corrupt politicians, well meaning politicians, citizens, or just anyone, it’s obvious that people are the largest threat to the stability of the United States as a nation.



Prey / Feeding:

Bald Eagles tend to eat anything they can get their grubby little talons on. Which means carrion, small fish, rodents, other birds, and food stolen from humans. These eagles also exhibit a form of feeding that I find particularly interesting, called Kleptoparasitism. Which is basically stealing food from something else, and in the Bald Eagle’s case, this something else is another bird (typically an Osprey) carrying a meal it plans to eat itself.

This Kleptoparasitism is a very interesting trait that has so many parallels cynics can draw to the American government, America’s place in the global economy, the lifestyle of the American people, and other topics that I won’t touch on, for the sake of letter the reader decide how this could work.

So is the Bald Eagle really a great symbol for American Freedom, or does it lack the moral integrity to be able to stand for such a noble concept? I am not proposing we change the symbol or anything drastic, I am just proposing that we take a look at our national symbol, and admire it for what it is. The Bald Eagle is a beautiful creature, and has strong connotations with strength and freedom, while these connotations may not be well warranted; they still are present in much of the population.

I will close with a quote from Ben Franklin (as referenced from Wikipedia) about his stance on the Bald Eagle as a symbol for the United States of America.

For my own part I wish the Bald Eagle had not been chosen the Representative of our Country. He is a Bird of bad moral character. He does not get his Living honestly. You may have seen him perched on some dead Tree near the River, where, too lazy to fish for himself, he watches the Labour of the Fishing Hawk; and when that diligent Bird has at length taken a Fish, and is bearing it to his Nest for the Support of his Mate and young Ones, the Bald Eagle pursues him and takes it from him.

With all this Injustice, he is never in good Case but like those among Men who live by Sharping & Robbing he is generally poor and often very lousy. Besides he is a rank Coward: The little King Bird not bigger than a Sparrow attacks him boldly and drives him out of the District. He is therefore by no means a proper Emblem for the brave and honest country of America who have driven all the King birds from our Country…

I am on this account not displeased that the Figure is not known as a Bald Eagle, but looks more like a Turkey. For the Truth the Turkey is in Comparison a much more respectable Bird, and withal a true original Native of America . . . He is besides, though a little vain & silly, a Bird of Courage, and would not hesitate to attack a Grenadier of the British Guards who should presume to invade his Farm Yard with a red Coat on.

References:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bald_eagle
http://www.learner.org/jnorth/www/critters/eagle/826572782.html
http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/wrcf/bald.aspx
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Seal_of_the_United_States
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/O_RLY%3F
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kleptoparasitism

Pictures:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/3/3c/Haliaeetus_leucocephalus2.jpg/200px-Haliaeetus_leucocephalus2.jpg
http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/wrcf/images/baldmap.gif
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/e6/USSeal.png/250px-USSeal.png
http://images.yelp.com/bphoto/isV9cXlxoqeWAy5RTulGCg/l