Another month has passed. A busy day awaits me when I get home from work this afternoon. I have some more cooking to do this evening. Yesterday, Hal and I went to Costco and I bought a nice pair of steaks. I always buy the larger steaks so I can cut them up and make multiple meals for both of us. I see no reason to prepare the steaks as if we were eating out, it is simply too much food to eat. That is why I choose to cook at home more often now as I want to lose some weight as summer approaches.
I always marinate things overnight before cooking them, and the steaks are no exception. Since I always thoroughly cook any meat, pork, or poultry the marinating is essential to keeping them from drying out as much as possible,
Since I have so many smaller steaks created from the original two large ones, it will be a major event to cook all of these this evening, but I will make it through. I always cook at around 350 degrees so I can monitor how evenly things are progressing. I turn the meat every 10 minutes and after they have the initial outer firmness, I will baste them and add some pepper and sea salt to each side. After that, it is just a matter of letting them cook, while turning them every 10 minutes until they are done.
Tonight I predict that I will have at least 2 full racks to cook. This means extra time in the kitchen, but I don’t mind it because I love to take the time to do things the right way when I cook. I will use some of that time to make the side items that are necessary to complete the meal as well. When everything is finally done, there will be enough to make lunches and dinners for the rest of the week without any trouble.
The only difference tonight is that I am trying a new marinate, based on chipotle and lime for the flavor. I am sure that the steaks will turn out delicious. While some friends have expressed surprise at how much Hal and I are willing to spend at the store, we always point out that the amount will be spread out over multiple days, as opposed to spending a tremendous amount of money on just one night out at a restaurant.
Cooking is something that I am rather good at, at least I think so and so does Hal. This is all that matters to me in the long run anyway. When we do have friends over, they are always very complimentary. I hope that is more than just manners, of course, but at least no one has called 911 after eating a meal that I prepared :)
I am back at the remote office this morning. Things are changing, my new supervisor obviously knows how to get things done. In less than 2 months on the job, she has already moved to tackle the situation of the remote office once and for all. Her predecessor in the position seemed to lack the ability to bring things to the attention of the senior leadership within the company.
It is possible that myself and the two other coworkers will have to be at the remote office at least one day a week once the issue is finally solved. That would be a much better situation than currently exists, although it would require the other rwo people to actually BE at the remote office in the first place!
I am looking forward to a time in the very near future when I will be able to work from home for the vast majority of the time at least without there being any issue from the company. The hardest part of getting this process rolling was to make sure that my supervisor knew that I was NOT threatening to quit, nor was I threatening to simply leave the remote office and continually submit telework requests as others have done. Since have been the obly person consistently at the remote office for 4 years, I felt a responsibility to make this change properly, and not just abandon the place. This, I think, has convinced leadership that I am completely serious about the situation.
It will take a few more days at the least to finally get this situation resolved. I can wait a while longer in order to get things taken care of, but after finally elevating this issue, I am no longer willing to let it die down and be forgotten once again. The two coworkers who allegedly also work here are in agreement, but that really doesn’t matter to me at all since they aren’t here very often. I feel that I am the only person with something important to say on this issue. Their support is appreciated, but not a factor in my decision.
With the raising of this issue last week, it quickly became apparent that there was support from at least one very influential person within the company. This person doesn’t operate directly with myself or this team on a daily basis, but he has knowledge of the conditions here. I was told during a talk with my supervisor last week that this person is in complete agreement with me on the issue of no longer supporting this as a remote office. That fact gives me hope that things will get resolved sooner rather than later.
If the company has no plans to rent a professionally managed office space, that is fine with me. Having said that, I am no longer prepared to function as a pseudo property manager without any resources in addition to my normal job. Since this issue has been churning for 4 years, I am past the point of accepting any official new responsibilities for this location.
Today is a beautifully sunny day, although it is still very chilly outside and I am writing this from the kitchen table as I look out the window. I long for the warmer weather when I can sit and type a blog entry outside on the balcony. Until then, I will do my best to carry on.
I just finished making some side items for dinner this evening after Hal gets home from work. I love to cook, and it is certainly less expensive than going out on a regular basis. We have friends who go out all the time, and I suppose that is terrific since they can afford it. Hal and I are both saving money here, and we found that going out to eat was one of the easiest ways to save.
The sense of accomplishment as I sit down to write is rather exhilarating. I don’t feel some deadline, self-imposed or otherwise, pushing down on me. That usually leads to a rushed and very short blog post that I regret as soon as I post it.
I have to admit that the idea of going to a coffee shop or sidewalk cafe and just whipping out the Chromebook to start writing has a vague Bohemian appeal to me. Other than the fact that I don’t drink coffee, I find that idea almost romantic in terms of writing. However, once the weather warms up here, I can pretend that I am at some exotic location when in fact I will be on the balcony here at the apartment.
I think that atmosphere has a great deal to do with what we write and how well we write about it. Sometimes just a change of scenery is all that it takes. Other times, it might be just a nice, warm day after a long, cold winter. Either way seems to indicate that inspiration comes to each of us in different ways. The sunshine is helping me to write today, but there are days when I sit down to write and it will be raining outside, that once I start writing I cannot seem to stop!
I was rambling, in case you had not noticed. In fact, I had to remove an entire section of this entry since it obviously made more sense as a separate blog post. I will work on that one later since it isn’t as pertinent to my original idea for this post. I am not sure if that means I need to be more focused as I write, or that I am simply beginning to multi-task my writing as a result of doing it every day. Does anyone else find a completely independent blog post worming it’s way into the one that you are working on?
This has been a very good day. I am looking forward to seeing Hal when he gets home. I am looking forward to dinner with him here at the apartment. I am not looking forward to going back to work tomorrow, but it cannot be avoided. I am also looking forward to writing more on that blog post that I had to separate out of this one.
UK wins a close one! I seriously thought that this game was going to be the end of the UK undefeated season, because Notre Dame played an excellent game. I was so caught up with this game that I nearly forgot to write something LOL
I will be back to normal tomorrow. GO BIG BLUE!!!!!
I was very disappointed with the decision made yesterday in Indiana to implement discrimination into law. SB101 is an odious piece of legislation that allows discrimination against any person or group based on “religious freedom”. This is the type of language that would make Orwell roll over in his grave. The notion that a person can be given the license to discriminate with state approval based upon something as ridiculous and nebulous as “religious freedom” goes against what this country has claimed to stand for for over two centuries.
As disappointed as I was, I was not surprised at all. I grew up in Western Kentucky, right across the Ohio River from Indiana and recognized the same backwardness existed there that existed at home. The major difference was that in Indiana, there was some vague notion of what it took to be considered an American that simply did not exist in the same way in Kentucky during the 1970s and early 1980s. Indiana was always a conservative bastion, especially the southern half of the state. There were stories from my childhood about KKK activities in southern Indiana, but almost none from western Kentucky. I am not claiming that Kentucky was any liberal paradise at the time, but whatever the venom was that infected Indiana, it was at least buried beneath the surface at home.
Therefore, it comes as no surprise that Indiana would rush into an arrangement like this. It surprises me only that it took this long. Apparently, the RWNJ in Indiana only lacked the leadership to carry out stupid policies like this. I can easily see this being widely abused by the RWNJ who live there.
My personal choices are to boycott any companies that are headquartered in Indiana. I will not knowingly contribute any money to companies that claim Indiana as their state of residence. I suggest that those interested google companies headquartered in Indiana if they wish to follow this course of action.
It is a shame that the Final Four will be held in Indianapolis next weekend. I realize that it is too late to reschedule or relocate this event, but I hope that the NCAA will not place any sponsored events in Indiana as long as this law remains in effect. I plan to withhold any money from any company that is headquartered in Indiana.
I have written about my life as an adult without the benefit of having an extended family such as brothers and/or sisters. I am amazed at how few bloggers have covered this subject. Perhaps it is because only children are so few. Perhaps it is because no one has thought that they had anything to say. I don’t know the answer to why it hasn’t been written about until now, but here is my perception.
Most of my friends have brothers and sisters who remain part of their lives. Some good, some bad, but they have the bond that growing up together provides. I am not one of those people. There is no one that I can reach out to as a family member in that way. There is no one else who grew up with me in the same house, experienced the same things that I can bond with.
When I was younger, I honestly let this affect me in adverse ways. I thought that my somewhat solitary nature was because no one liked me until I realized that I had been solitary to some degree for my entire life. There was nothing wrong with me, I was just not used to a life that was cluttered with the affairs of other people. This annoyed me, I wondered why my phone didn’t ring occasionally with someone who just wanted to talk. Then I realized that i was only trying to fill a void that existed, a void that I was only aware of now because I had never noticed it before.
After some inner reflection, I realized that there was absolutely nothing that I could ever do to change the circumstances. I was never going to have that type of bond with anyone, and the only choices I had were despair or moving on with my life. Fortunately, I chose the latter path and have become comfortable with who I am. There are times when I envy people who have the extended family to reach out to, and now I find that there are almost as many times when I am glad that I don’t have that in my life. When I was going through the phase of feeling sorry for myself, I would be sad. Then I saw that sometimes the relationships that I lacked were not always the best things to have. I was free from any emotional anchors that could weigh me down and I chose to enjoy that freedom and treat it as a gift rather than a curse.
Some days are tougher than others, but that is true for everyone regardless of their circumstances. Blaming my bad days on being alone was not getting me anywhere. Realizing that I was my own best friend was something of a revelation to me, but a positive one.
I am grateful to my parents, if not for siblings, then at least for the lessons that they taught me as I grew up. I can see now how well they actually prepared me for life on my own. I am not a cold person once you get to know me, but I have often been referred to as frigid by those who do not know me well. When my parents died, there were few tears. I had always been taught that they wouldn’t be around forever. I was emotionally prepared to move on without them. I think that this is the greatest gift that any parent can give to their child/children. The knowledge that I can get through whatever life throws at me on my own is intensely comforting. There are times when I wish that I could reach out to someone, but I never dwell on that for long because I know that there is no one there for me like that.
No matter where we go throughout our lives, we are always comforted with the old saying “There’s no place like home”. As I have grown up and gotten older, that has changed. My parents are both dead, and I have no immediate family remaining where I grew up. I am comfortable with my life now.
I suppose that all of this goes back to my parents, as it should. They encouraged me to go out into the world and to experience new places and different people and cultures, none of which were available where I grew up. Olive Garden is not authentic Italian, Taco Bell is not authentic Mexican, etc. My parents taught me to be self-reliant and to always look ahead rather than look back. I suppose this was a result of being an only child, knowing that once they were gone that there would be no true support net from family. Some might find this prospect depressing, but I was taught to view it as a challenge. I think that I have done well.
I do not dislike where I grew up. It made me who I am today. It gave me a set of life stories and experiences that i could look back on to determine their validity as I move through this life. I have kept most of what I brought with me from my hometown, I have discarded those things that could not stand up to the light of reason and logic. Like everyone else, I grew up. I don’t feel a pull to go back to my hometown anymore. I try to stay in touch with some relatives, but they are cousins who all have their own full and rewarding lives to live.
I am on my own, well with my partner, and I am happy with things. There isn’t much more that we can realistically expect from life without lots of hard work. I have put that in through the years as well, and it adds to the satisfaction that I feel when I think of myself now. Oh, I’ve finally decided my future lies beyond the yellow brick road :) I have my brains, I have my heart, and I have my Courage. I have slain the witches and fought off the flying monkeys and am doing fine :)
No one likes to be reminded about how old they are, at least those of us who have seen the age of 21 vanish somewhere way back in the rearview mirror. We all do age, and with it comes the occasional, and sometimes persistent aches and pains as our bodies tell us that they are also getting tired of the same old routines.
I have suffered from back spasms for many years due to some earlier injuries. I have learned to deal with them, but now my hip has been getting sore. I strongly suspect the sciatic nerve is to blame for this. For about a week now, I have had the dull, toothache like sensation in my left hip. I have been, and will continue to, do some extra stretches in an attempt to work things out. I will see how that works out or me. In the meantime, I am rather disappointed in my body slowly beginning to let me down in these little ways. The fact that I turned 51 earlier this year is simply a coincidence, or so I keep telling myself.
The fact is that as we get older, these little things start to happen to us all. I remains extremely fortunate that my knees have remained in very good shape, especially considering some of the injuries i have had to them through the years. I will continue to monitor the hip and if something drastic has to be done eventually, I will cross that bridge when I get to it.
I remember a class that was taught in junior high and high school called Civics. It was an examination of how our country was designed to be run, how it had been run, and how corrections had been made to the system through the years in response to changes in public pressure. Apparently, these classes are no longer taught in much of the country, and that is a shame. We are now facing the consequences of that decision when it comes to education. We are dealing with a new generation that thinks the current dysfunctional system is the way things have always been. Of course, they are wrong, but they have nothing to compare against, no knowledge base to demonstrate how far out of touch our political system has become.
Apparently, the RWNJ GOP clown car is loading up for the 2016 election. Yesterday brought the announcement that Ted Cruz was going to run for President. After I stopped laughing, I decided to make a few observations.
If anyone remembers Monty Python’s Flying Circus, then they might also remember the skit about the Monster Raving Loony Party that managed to make a mockery of elections. That is exactly what I see happening with the RWNJ lunatics that have been elected here. Sadly, they have a hard-core base of supporters that they can rely on for support. Even more sadly, these supporters are concentrated in the South and in rural pockets around the country, providing us with a steady stream of these RWNJ lunatics being elected.
The more RWNJ lunatics that run for President, the better. None of these losers have the ability to defeat Hillary Clinton in 2016 unless they manage to rig the election. Sadly, I would not put such an attempt past the RWNJ lunatics to rig the voting machines. This would further alienate them from the vast majority of Americans. RWNJ have proven in the past that they can manage to manipulate a close election, but there is no way that they could pull off this trick in 2016 against Hillary Clinton because the fraud would be too glaringly obvious.
Now we wait for the next RWNJ lunatic to declare they are also running for President. There is a long list to choose from, and I honestly have no idea which one will take the plunge next. It really doesn’t matter because they will also lose next year. The RWNJ debates should be hilarious, with each one trying to out-batshit-crazy the others.
An aspect of this that is seldom discussed is how these RWNJ lunatics damage the reputation and standing of the US around the world. The 47 TRAITORS are just the latest example of how these disgusting RWNJ idiots will stop at nothing to disrespect President Obama. The sad fact is that their tiny little hate-filled minds never recognize the damage that they are doing to this country with their antics.
We have had Presidents in the past that were unpopular with one or another groups within our society. The difference now is that we are faced with a group of RWNJ lunatics that cannot conceive of themselves not being in charge. They continually present the same ideas and are rejected at the polls, but they have enough pull in certain areas of the country to maintain themselves in Congress and the Senate so that they can continue to live in their fantasy bubble where their only objective is to attempt to stop anything being done by a President that they openly despise. Their hatred of President Obama is tangible, and there is a substantial amount of Racism involved.
Every time a RWNJ lunatic says something that is commonly acknowledged as Racist, they will issue a fake and deeply INSINCERE public apology, but the damage is already done. They have gotten their message out to their RWNJ lunatic supporters to demonstrate how they despise having a black President.
Monday has arrived with a bad-assed attitude. I really wish that I was still at home and still in bed this morning. Although I didn't stay up late last night, I am really exhausted this morning. I made it to the office early, as usual, and am working to stay ahead of the tidal wave of tasks right now. At least the sun is out today.
After a very busy day, I made it home and spent some time out with Hal. I think that it will be a very early bedtime for me. With any luck, tomorrow will be less hectic at work.
Sunday has arrived. I have been seriously debating a serious change at work for some time now. April 1st marks the 4-year anniversary of when the remote office I work at was established. The office is located on the bottom floor of a townhouse that is owned by the CEO of the company that I work for. This has made me the de facto property manager for this office and the townhouse in general ever since. This collateral job has never been in my job description, and it has been a hassle from day one.
The situation became even more complicated when the upstairs portion of the townhouse was leased out to a friend of the CEO. This friend owns his own company, and this means that whenever something has to be done at the townhouse, it becomes a political issue. Regardless of my unofficial position of representing the company and CEO while at the townhouse, everything is getting done behind my back. More accurately, this means things are NOT getting done. I have been the person responsible for pest control and maintenance issues at the townhouse, as well as ordering the paltry amount of office supplies that are needed to keep the place running.
Ordering supplies has become particularly difficult. Since the orders are so small and so infrequent, they generate endless cycles of email justifications and result in the process taking several weeks. I do not take this personally, although it does irk me that I amn not authorized to make the necessary small charges and then bill the company. Ordering toilet paper can take 2 weeks. I am tired fo the struggles every time something like this needs to be done.
I am not a fan or working at home. The apartment is not large enough to have a purely private office space. However, I think that the time has come to tell the company that I will be teleworking the majority fo the time from now on. Numerous requests to provide professional office space for myself and 2 coworkers has fallen on deaf ears. I think that it is time that I began working from home to avoid the hassles and at times, near arguments with the people living upstairs at the townhouse.
Having said that, I plan to notify my supervisor of my decision when we hold out weekly 1-1 conference call on Wednesday. I will be letting her know that no later than 01 April, I plan to work at home for the vast majority of the time. I also plan to let her know that my intentions are to cancel the bi-weekly cleaning service that is conducted at the townhouse, as well as the quarterly pest inspections. If those services are required in the future, the tenants upstairs can make those arrangements.
The main obstacle is the space available to work from home. i have to coordinate that with Hal. The best solution would be to disassemble the bed frame in the guest bedroom and plae it against the wall to clear up floor space for a small computer desk to be placed in that room so it can have a connection to the router. I have been looking around at something to put in the room and I found a nice alternative at IKEA, which comes as no surprise to me.
This is a small secretary type desk that I saw at IKEA. It is small enough to not cause a lot of chaos in the bedrooom once the bed is out of the way. Of course, Hal has to agree to this change, and I will ask him about it when he gets home this afternoon. If he is OK with this, I can get the desk and be all set to begin permanently working from home by 01 April, as I hope to.
This desk is not large, by any means, but that is the advantage of it. I can make it work for me by streamlining what I really need compared to the setup at the office, which provides lots of space that ends up as nothing more than clutter. It would be a tight fit as I adjust to it, but it would be the best option to work with here at the apartment.
I will research this, and check with Hal. If things go well, I will move ahead with this over the next week or so. After Hal got home, we discussed things and for the immediate future, I am going to try rearranging my existing desktop space to accomodate the laptop and see how well that woeks. Hal doesn't want to disassemble the bed, and I understand why because it would look rather tacky with mattress and springs up against the wall. So, I will try the new setup and see how well I can manage things. Perhaps this will be the solution for everything.
This does not change my intention to begin working from home on or near 01 April in any way.
I am paying the price today for the insomnia from last night. It is not even 12 noon and I am just completely spent. As I wrote last night, I do not enjoy these bouts of insomnia, but I try to cope with them as best I can. Unfortunately, there are always the after-effects to deal with which, in this case, are conspiring to ruin my Saturday. Complaining about this won’t do any good, but it does give me a chance to write more before I finally give in to sleep.
I managed to get the errands done early this morning, so that is off the agenda and cannot come back to haunt me later. Hal is at work and will be until late this afternoon, so I have the place to myself. That means I can unwind as I see fit, without the pressure of someone else being around. Sometimes I can get rather cranky when I am at the end of one of these cycles.
I feel better after a hot shower. I also received my first order from Dollar Shave Club. I used the basic razor and well, it’s a razor after all, it ie nice for the price and that is why I decided to take the chance on them in the first place. 1 shave down, and I am pleased with the result.
Right now I am waiting for the Kentucky game later this afternoon, and for Hal to get home.
It is now into the evening. Kentucky won, and is still undefeated. They will move on to the Sweet 16 next week. Hal got home and we both took a nap before he wanted to visit the relocated Pier 1 to see about any sales that they might have in their new location. Fortunately, he didn’t find anything.
I am closing out this post and will type at everyone tomorrow.
What is it with me and sleep? Despite my best efforts, I cannot sleep right now. It is almost 0300, and I am wide awake. I might as well write to pass the time so I don't wake Hal up with noise from the TV. To pass the time, I am researching how to stir fry before running to the grocery store later in the morning so I don't end up wandering up and down the aisles at Harris Teeter with the staff all watching me and wondering why I am awake and looking at Chinese cooking ingredients at this time of night! I have decided to keep things simple for my first stir fry attempt. I will get prepackaged frozen stir fry vegetables and some peanut oil, as well as some noodles and a few sauces to flavor them up with. I have been looking forward to trying out the new wok, but things have just been too busy this last week at the office. Since I would normally be waking up at around 0600 the night is a complete loss as far as sleep is concerned. In a strange way, I enjoy a sleepless night every now and then because of the total peace and quiet I experience. I suppose it is similar to a sensory deprivation tank in that regard. My life is so hectic during the week that it almost seems as if I have these spells of insomnia as a means of just having time to myself for a change. I know that sounds weird, but it is the best way I can describe it. Work has been exceedingly busy as I take on new responsibilities in addition to the ones I already have. I look forward to the challenge, and am not worried about it. I am thinking that soon I will have a choice to make about telecommuting more often. Taking am the only person at the office most days, and since it is a remote location, I am saddled with the tasks normally assigned to a property manager. This is an aspect of the job that I am not happy with at all. I have made this clear to my supervisor, who is 3000 miles away and I strongly suspect that I will be working from home much more after the first of next month so I can devote more of my work time to my actual job. Working from home will involve some rearranging around the apartment to accommodate my work laptops (yes, I have 2 laptops) and I will also have to make travel arrangements to get back and forth to meetings with the client since they occur on a regular basis. I have been juggling my regular work with along with managing the office for nearly 4 years now, and I think that has been more than enough. I think that working from home would help bring Hal and I closer together since he works on weekends and I work Monday-Friday. As I was typing, Stevie Nicks showed up and decided to keep me company for a little while. I am not sure where she had been sleeping, but I enjoyed all the attention she was giving me. I made sure to stop writing and devote my full attention to her for as long as she wanted to stay. I always take time to pay attention to Stevie Nicks as well as Maxwell and Spartacus. Right now, Maxwell and Spartacus are sleeping peacefully on the couch, so I won't bother them. I am glad that they are able to sleep right now. I envy them. I know that I will sleep at some later point. On the bright side, this time has really allowed me to write very freely. Writer's block is certainly not a problem for me right now. I wish I could write like this more often, but as some friends who also blog have noted, writing comes when it comes. There is no set time to write for most of us. Inspiration doesn't have a timetable to follow, so those of us who answer the call to write are left struggling at times as we wait for that inspiration to arrive. I know that I have to keep writing now because the feeling is like a drug. I can't stop when this feeling takes control of me. Whether I am typing on the tablet, the phone, the Chromebook, or the desktop, I will write as long as this reinforcing feeling continues. Speaking of typing, I am about to exhaust my cell phone battery and I will have to switch over to the Chromebook very soon. There, that's much better. I have to admit that I still love my Chromebook because of the outstanding battery life. At a time like this, it is a lifesaver for me. Everything remains very quiet here and I have to admit that I am much more comfortable typing here than I was on the phone. While I was up to get the Chromebook out of my backpack, Maxwell and Spartacus both woke up and looked at me like "Another sleepless night, huh?" I love these guys, they are always here for me when I need them.
My plans for Saturday are constantly shifting as this sleepless night goes on. The idea of sleep is beginning to creep into the edges of my consciousness right now. I might end up laying on the couch with Maxwell and Spartacus rather than going to be and waking Hal at this point. He needs his rest to be able to work today. If I do finally get through this intense feeling of writing, the couch will suffice for now. Like a junkie coming down from a high, the feeling is slowly ebbing and I am more tired now than I was when I began writing. I will end this here and try to relax more.
If yesterday taught me anything, it is that I have no business trying to predict March Madness! What a day fo outstanding games! I didn't fill out a bracket, yesterday's guesses were just for fun. If I had a bracket, it would be in ruins right now.
I was very glad that UK wom their game last night/this morning. I hate late games that don't end until after midnight! It has me dragging at the office this morning, but I will make it through the rest of the day. I will NOT attempt to embarass myself again with another set of picks for today's games.
I woke up this morning to see snow falling here in Alexandria. At least it was melting as it hit the ground, but I am so tired of Winter right now. Spring allegedly starts early this evening, and it had better make itself felt very quickly around here!
I just got home and am trying to relax and watch March Madness for the rest of this evening. Tomorrow is supposed to be a beautiful day, I hope that will be true.
March Madness is upon us! That wonderful time of the year when everyone sneaks a peek at a TV or checks scores online beginning today. The tournament is ready to begin and I am looking forward to it. My Alma Mater, the University of Kentucky, is the favorite to win the tournament this year but I won't have to sneak peeks at their score since they play late this evening.
I thought I would give my powers of prediction a shot and take a stab at today's games:
Northeastern vs Notre Dame. I don't know much about Northeastern, so I pick Notre Dame in this matchup.
UAB vs Iowa State. Iowa State wins this one.
Georgia State vs Baylor. Baylor wins this one.
Texas Southern vs Arizona. Even though Texas Southern beat Michigan State earlier this season, I pick Arizona
Texas vs Butler. I don't think Texas belongs in the tourney, I pick Butler.
UCLA vs SMU. Over-rated vs under-rated. SMU wins.
Ole Miss vs Xavier. I pick Ole Miss in the upset.
Ohio St vs VCU. VCU wins.
Lafayette vs Villanova. Villanova wins.
Purdue vs Cincinnati. I have Purdue in this one.
Harvard vs North Carolina. I hope that Harvard is smart enough to find a way to win, but I pick UNC, even though I hate them.
SF Austin vs Utah. UPSET! SF Austin wins.
LSU vs NC ST. I have LSU in this one.
Hampton vs UK. UK, of course.
Wofford vs Arkansas. I have Arkansas in this one.
Eastern Washington vs Georgetown. UPSET! EWU wins.
Will see how I made out tomorrow when I pick tomorrow's games.
I posted an article today from Al Jazeera America regarding the ongoing tragedy in Syria. It has been 5 years since the civil war broke out in Syria as a part of the Arab Spring, and yet we have seemingly forgotten all about it. Syria seemed to be the one place where there was a dictator that no one liked, and the revoution there was seen as a very positive sign.
Unfortunately, as with all things, politics reared it's ugly head here. RWNJ lunatics accused everyone of wanting to get involved in a war in Syria, so the response was overwhelmingly cautious. I am not now, nor did I advocate sending troops into Syria, but I felt that much more could have been done to provide aid to the rebels fighting the Syrian government. Month after month, we heard the stories and saw the images of destruction in Syria. Millions of refugees streaming over borders trying to escape the violence, and the deaths of thousands and thousands of innocent victims.
Apparently, we here in the US became immune to this story since there was no help for the rebels, they could not defeat the government. The carnage and slaughter went on and on and Americans simply turned away.
Why did we do this? Are lives overseas worth less than the lives of Americans? SInce I did not advocate sending our troops to die in Syria, that might seem like an odd question to ask, but it is important to realize how we have just abandoned the Syrian people to this horrible fate. The despair that has gripped Syria helped to spawn IS. Of course, we instantly recognized the threat that IS posed, only AFTER they made their presence known in Iraq, right next door to Syria. Therefore, our negligence and apathy about the situation in Syria caused us another heartache with IS. I believe that we could have lessened the impact of IS with appropriate support of and humanitarian aid to the Syrian rebels when we had the chance.
The lesson that all lives on this planet matter should not be lost on us. If we choose to be a part of this world, we all have responsibilities to care for each other.