Today…do something random!

Most of my post are reflective.  I’m breaking from that.  This post is a command.  Today–August 11th, 2011–do something random.  I bet you’ll be glad you did.

…Still No Job

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My sister is a vegetarian.

Good for her.  No really.  It’s her choice.  I mean, it definitely wouldn’t be my choice of diet.  Personally, I would walk across broken glass barefoot to get to a piece of bacon.  But if it’s what she wants then I have no problem with it.  However, I do have an issue with the air of superiority that she speaks with when discussing her eating habits.

One night this summer during a lovely dinner my pops finally asked her what reason she had for her choice of diet.  Her response, “Well actually, there are a few.”

She then proceeded to give us an itemized list of reasons why she chose her diet which included:

1. It’s healthier 2. Meat companies are corrupt 3. It’s less expensive

(deep breath)

Ok, this blog (like myself) is pretty laid back, and I don’t like to criticize or even cause trouble of any kind, but I just can’t let this one slide.  If you choose to be a vegetarian, then good for you.  I’m not trying to start something here.  I’m certain you have your reasons and I’m not about to tell you not to be a vegetarian.  But I am about to tell you why my sister’s reasons don’t really hold up.

Here is a photo I took recently:

Here’s another of her:

What’s the point of these pictures?  To prove that it isn’t necessarily healthier.  If she were baking asparagus cupcakes or making a beansprout sundae then I wouldn’t have even bothered to write this post.  But she’s not.  She’s making cookies, cupcakes, and ice cream sundaes using butter, sugar, oil, chocolate, almond bark, ice cream, etc.  Thus proving that being a vegetarian is only healthier if you make the healthier choices.  Ice cream and cupcakes aren’t those choices.

As far as the meat companies go…my sister is basing her judgement off of one documentary.  Some of you might be familiar with this particular documentary about food (hint: inc.).  I do agree with certain parts of the documentary, but you also have to remember that half of that story was about how a certain seed company was pretty much an evil empire (seeds=vegetables).

Bottom line, grow diversified crops of your own and buy local, reputable meat.  Problem solved.

The 3rd reason she listed was that “it’s less expensive.”  Is it?  Is it really?  I can get a McChicken for $1.00.  A head of radicchio cost around $5.50.  This of course gets complicated when you tie reason #3 in with reason #1 because clearly the McChicken is going to lean towards the calorie-dense end of the spectrum whilst the radicchio leans towards the nutrient-dense, but there are plenty of other examples.  For instance, though she isn’t a vegan she chooses to drink soy milk which is $5.40.  My good ol’ abused cow milk is only $2.

All I’m saying is that I wouldn’t have had nearly as big of a problem with any of these reasons if she had changed the wording just slightly.  The addition of the words “can be” changes my feelings about everything.  It can be healthier, meat companies can be corrupt, etc.  Simple fix.  However, that’s not what she said, and so I’m not about to let her forget it.

…Still No Job

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Today I pondered some questions.

I’ll get to that in a moment.

Today I attended the orientation to become an American Red Cross volunteer.  After 3 hours I can now say that I know significantly more about the history, structure, and goals of the organization.  I also learned that Clara Barton’s middle name was Harlow.  Go figure.

Some of you might be asking at this very moment, “What is the mission of the Red Cross Joe?”

Solid question.

“The American Red Cross, a humanitarian organization led by volunteers and guided by its Congressional Charter and the Fundamental Principles of the International Red Cross Movement, will provide relief to victims of disasters and help people prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies.”

If you’re interested in helping out you just need to apply on their website.  After that, a general orientation will give you an overview of the organization and also allow you to decide in what way you would like to help.

The general orientation is where I was today.  And it was in the middle of this orientation that I began to ponder a question.  This question only led to other unanswered thoughts.  Anyone who knows me might guess that this spiraled into a severe case of day dreaming.

The host of the session was discussing the nature of the Red Cross and how it relies on the efforts of so many volunteers.  She mentioned that volunteers–by nature–don’t receive anything for their time.  She then pointed out that this wasn’t exactly true.  “You’ll receive that warm fuzzy feeling,” she said.

But that begs the question: is volunteering really selfless if we get a feeling of satisfaction from it?  And is that “warm, fuzzy feeling” the real motivation for our gift of time?  Does it even matter what drives our efforts are as long as we’re giving them?  Does anyone not get a feeling of satisfaction from volunteering?  Does it even resemble a selfless act if you tell everyone about it on your blog?! 😉

I don’t know if these questions really have answers or simply lead to more questions but I do know that this certainly doesn’t mean you shouldn’t volunteer.  As this diagram reveals, giving your time makes you feel good which leads to more time giving and that leads to more people being served.  Everyone wins!

Believe it or not I drew this figure myself.

…Still No Job

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Not everything in life is black and white.  I’m a man who believe in shades of grey.  However,  one thing that there is no arguing about is that you either love Chick-Fil-A or you’ve never had Chick-Fil-A.

I am a believer.  I love me some Chick-Fil-A.  The only thing I love more than Chick-Fil-A is when it is free; and free it was on Cow Appreciation Day.  All you had to do was dress up like a cow and you got a free meal.  What a veal!

As soon as the girlfriend and I herd about this deal we were all over it.  Believe it or not we had some time on our hands…No bull.

So we donned our costumes and hoofed it over to our local store.

Btw...we're basically crazy people.

We were a little worried when we pulled up and sow no other cows, but we quickly realized that it didn’t really matter because we were there for one thing…

Free food!

As you might imagine it was a little hard to get mooving after eating $13 worth of udderly delicious free Chick-Fil-A, but it was completely worth it.

…Still No Job

P.S.  How many cow related puns did you count?

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New internet trend?

This is planking…

Also known as “the lying down game” or “lazy parkour”, this trend has been sweeping the internet for awhile now and is exactly what it looks and sounds like: lying face down on surfaces and taking pictures of it.  I don’t understand the crazy things these kids do these days, but I do know that even if this was a some point the thing to do, it is now out of style; not to mention dangerous–a guy in Australia recently died after falling from a balcony while planking.

Owling is basically just an evolution of planking and simply involves crouching like an owl thusly:

Might I suggest a new internet craze?


Maybe this thing takes off…maybe it doesn’t.  But if it does then I get credit as the originator.

…Still No Job

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An update on updates.

Hello readers.

I’m really glad that I have this blog to serve as a creative outlet and it has been simply amazing to hear people speak about how much they enjoy it.  Thank you so much for all of your kind words.

With that being said, I feel like I should apologize.  The updates have certainly declined in frequency lately.

But have no fear, I will certainly still be blogging.  Life has just gotten a little bit busy (Yes, that can happen to a jobless person).

Instead of wondering when a new post will hit the site, why don’t you sign up for email updates using the button at the top of the right column?  By subscribing to the blog you will receive an email whenever I post new material.  Problem solved, no more wondering.

Thanks, and–just because it’s been awhile–here’s a Charlie picture:

…Still No Job

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I ran my first 10K

Actually, it was my first race of any length.  Why start with a 10k you ask?  Why not a 5k or 1 mile?  Well, I got talked into it by my brother-in-law.  But to honest I’m glad that he talked me into it because the 10k was the perfect mix of challenge and fun.

I should probably mention that the weekend before the July 4th race I had attended an out of town wedding and had not run once in the 4 days prior to the race.  So when race day arrived I knew that I could complete a 10k; I just didn’t know what time I would cross the finish line, nor what shape I would be in when I finally did.

I woke up early.  Earlier than I had in a long time, because I knew it was important for me to eat breakfast, but didn’t want my stomach to be full for the race.  I ate my toast and berries in the comatose state that I am usually in for the first 30 minutes of my day and then headed to the race.

Pulling into the parking lot for the race was intimidating.  Actually, intimidating is an understatement because the sidewalks were full of people that looked like this…

and this…

Which is terrifying for a few reasons.

So I did some light stretching while Flo-jo and the Kenyans up there were warming up by taking strides that were reminiscent of my hardest sprint.

Before I knew it somebody announced “3 minutes till race start” and the runners edged even closer to the starting line in a huddle that was full of a collective energy that was both electric and nauseating.

I didn’t know what to expect for my first race, but about 10 seconds into the start all of the nerves had left my body as I quickly realized that I was there to complete not compete.  I had little hope of keeping up with the leader (who ended up finishing the race in something ridiculous like 34 minutes).

So I ran, and to my great great relief about a mile and a half in I got an extra boost of motivation.  My girlfriend and sisters had come to cheer me and my brother-in-law on.  Their presence served as even more motivation and it also meant I was provided with pictures to document my run.

And this fantastic picture of me crossing the finish line doing lord-knows-what with my hands.

I finished!  Which was awesome.  The chip attached to my bib told me that making it from the starting line to the finish line took me 58 minutes 50 seconds.  Under an hour?  I’ll take it.

Easily the coolest part of organized races are the freebies that the runners are entitled to after completing the race.  Even though the only thing I thought about when first crossing the finish line was water, the feelings of exhaustion and thirst quickly turned into extreme hunger.  Luckily, Chick-Fil-A was giving away free sandwiches (and I do love me some Chick-Fil-A).

With more races in the plan I’d say it would be safe to upgrade running from interest to hobby, but not yet passion.

…Still No Job

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