What I want you to know. Which is everything.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Should an Expensive Cordless Power Drill Break in Half After Falling From Four Feet Up?

So, this happened to my expensive drill gun after falling to the floor off a counter. Bummed, but hoping that Hitachi Power Tools will hook me up. Feel free to help by emailing them on my behalf. I only had the drill for about a year when this happened. It had never been mistreated and hadn't even been used that much, due to the fact that I wasn't teaching theatre last year.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Chicken on the Fence

I have been on the fence. Not about Gay Marriage. There's no question, gays and lesbians should absolutely have the right to marry. I've never heard a relevant or reasonable argument otherwise.

No, I have been on the fence as to whether or not I should demonize, or more specifically boycott Chick-Fil-A over the recent remarks made by their CEO, Dan Cathy. There's other people to think about, like local franchisees and employees who are innocently stuck in the middle of this controversy.

I've always been aware of the Evangelical Christian nature of Chick-Fil-A, and despite some minor annoyances when I get a chicken craving on a Sunday, I've always admired the way they seemed to conduct business. I felt that they represented Christ well, without being in everyone's face about it. I'm now hearing about lawsuits due to wrongful termination of women and gays, but I don't know enough about those to really use it as a basis for any stance I might take. So I won't comment on the lawsuits further, except to say that it's reasonable to assume that a company that size would be ridiculously lucky to avoid litigation of that kind, from time to time.

The money they donate to anti-gay organizations is certainly troubling. I've heard a myriad of claims about what these groups stand for, from wishing death on homosexuals to their imprisonment. I didn't dig deep enough into their websites to verify any of the harshest claims for myself, but I took a look at the website for the Family Research Council, and the rhetoric and fervor with which they demonize homosexuals and same-sex partnerships got pretty ridiculous to the point that I believe it falls way outside the mainstream beliefs of most Americans. Still, there are lots of companies that likely give money to organizations with whom I might disagree. A Facebook friend of mine did some looking and listed all the oil companies that purchase from Saudi Arabia, a country with laws that degrade and sanction violence on women, not to speak of their stance on homosexuality. Would it not reason that, unless I'm willing to do the research on every single company I patronize, wouldn't it be hypocritical for me to boycott Chick-Fil-A, simply because it is fashionable to do so in this moment?

Then I read this article that another Facebook friend posted. And, it made me realize, if I really believe what I say that I believe, if I really do love my gay friends and family, if I truly believe that they should be given the same rights as I have, and that it matters whether or not they are treated like a second class citizen then I need not support organizations and companies that actively support such oppression of gay Americans. To be clear, there is a difference between a company with a CEO who is against same-sex marriage and a company that gives money to organizations that are dedicated to making life more difficult for homosexuals.

As for other companies that might support misogynist governments or other social problems with which I disagree, perhaps I need to be more vigilant, and do a little more research on these companies before I give them my business. But I already know where Chick-fil-A stands on this issue that I believe is a matter of civil rights. They make no apologies or qualms that they are against giving gays a right that all straight people take for granted. The groups they support financially go even further by rallying against legislation that would simply allow gay people to keep their jobs and not have to fear for their safety. I don't have to guess or shrug and say, "who knows how they are spending my money?" because I do know. To say that I disagree with them, but they have the right to disagree would to put it on the level of an opinion regarding taxes or economic theory. They do have the right to disagree, but they should not have the right to discriminate or infringe on the rights of others. It's a matter of right and wrong, rather than simply agreeing to disagree.

So, as for future visits, I can't say whether or not I'll ever set foot in a Chick-fil-A again, but, to be perfectly honest, it is very likely that I will, I'm sorry to say. Amanda and I are bound to break down amid the regular indecisiveness and "where do you want to go" routine. I certainly wasn't going to go today given the amount internet activity surrounding "Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day." Going today would have been tantamount to a cruel stance of betrayal to those gay people in my life for whom I care, dearly. Every Facebook post I read from a Christian boasting of their haul from Chick-fil-A broke my heart a little more, because it was an open display of their allegiance to a chicken store above the feelings of their LBGT peers. With the new amount of knowledge I now have about the company of Chick-fil-A (including the way the "f" in "fil" is not to be capitalized), and where my chicken-dollars are going, it's far more likely for me to think twice about eating there, and choose to go somewhere else. Here in Abilene there's a Rosa's Tortilla Factory right next door. They serve chicken there, too, although I doubt they can do a Peach Milkshake. But, the Chick-Fil-A can't really do tortillas, so we'll call that a draw. All I can say is that I'm urging Cane's to open here ASAP.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Best BLT Sandwich in Existance

I just created a BLT Sandwich that was so awesome I want to share it with the world. I made this sandwich with lower fat ingredients due to me being on Weight Watchers*. However, as you'll see, it's not really that good for you. Oh, we'll. Here it is.


2 slices of whole wheat bread
4 slices of Center Cut Bacon (or regular bacon, but center cut is lower in fat, but that probably doesn't matter)
2 slices of American Cheese
1 leaf of iceberg lettuce
2 slices of tomato
1 sandwich stack sliced Clausen pickle (Clausen are crunchier than regular pickles)
2 tablespoons of light mayonnaise
1 tablespoon of light butter or margarine
Spicy brown mustard
Salt and pepper


1. Fry the bacon like you normally would in a frying pan. Do not microwave or bake or do some other kind of ridiculous thing. Once the bacon is finished place on a paper towel covered plate to cool and collect some of the fat. I'm not really sure what the point of soaking up the fat is, given what is about to happen. (DO NOT throw out the bacon fat that remains in the frying pan.)

2. Spread butter or margarine on one side of each slice of bread.

3. Place a slice of cheese on the buttered side of each slice of bread.

4. Place the bacon on one side then close your sandwich.

5. Spread mayonnaise on both sides of the outer side of the sandwich. Make sure you still have about 1/2 Tbsp remaining.

6. Fry the sandwich in the bacon fat remaining in the frying pan. About 3-4 minutes on each side. Place on a clean paper towel to soak up some of the bacon fat. Again, this is sort of a laughable thing to do, but it might give you some sense that you are a reasonable person.

7. Carefully open the sandwich. It's okay if the bacon doesn't all end up on the same side. Just don't let the bread tear. There will be cheese all over the place. This is a good thing.

8. Place the lettuce, tomato and pickle (in that order) on one side of the sandwich.

9. Slather the remaining mayonnaise on top of the pickle.

10. On the non-vegi/mayo side squirt a respectable amount of spicy brown mustard.

11. Salt and pepper the mayo/vegis to taste.

12. Close the sandwich.

13. Cut the sandwich in half at a diagonal...A DIAGONAL!!!

14. Eat that thing and thank me in your dreams. Chips go well with it.

15. Go to the gym.

*Weight Watcher PointsPlus: 25**

**Based on 7 points for the bacon fat. It may be more or less, for all I know.

Monday, January 02, 2012

The Beauty of E=mc2

Yesterday I watched an 80 minute video of an interview with Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, the director of the Hayden Planetarium in New York, but more importantly (and the reason I knew who he was) a frequent guest on the Daily Show and Colbert Report. The interview, which was conducted by Steven Colbert, himself, out of his normal egotistical character he plays on his show, was held at a local middle school as part of a series their PTA holds as a way to help inform and cultivate knowledge to their students, faculty and community. (Educators and lovers of knowledge in Texas may sigh with jealousy now.)

I highly recommend spending an hour and a half watching the interview, which I've linked below. The whole interview is fascinating for lots of reasons, and because it is hosted by Colbert it's pretty funny (Tyson is funny, in his own right). but a few key points really stuck out at me from the interview.

I posted a couple of quotes from Tyson on my Facebook page yesterday after hearing them in the interview. The one that got me the most is at about the 22 minute mark. Colbert had asked Tyson if he sees beauty in science and, if so, which is the most beautiful. Tyson answers with very little hesitation that E=mc2 is the most beautiful thing in science. After his explanation, one would be hard pressed to argue that it may not be the most beautiful thing in the world.

Not just a famous equation that is a cliched "sciencey" thing to quote and throw about, E=mc2 is the concept that connects all human beings to each other, the earth and the cosmos. If you aren't aware, E=mc2 essentially means that if we (or anything, I guess) could travel at the speed of light times itself we would become energy. Read that sentence again and wrap your head around that for a moment or two.

Energy, which for my non-scientific brain is easiest to understand as light, and matter are essentially made out of the same thing. All of the elements in the world, in space and throughout the known universe are biproducts of the same material and can, infact become that material again. We are all connected in a very real way.

This struck me from a spiritual perspective, as well. Tyson, from what I've been able to gather is either an aetheist or agnostic. And yet, when he speaks of physics and science, he does so in a way that is reminiscent of theologians and spiritual leaders. He sees hope and beauty in the world through the lens of science in the same way that I, myself have learned to view it through God and through worship. I don't want to speculate or come to conclusions as to what this means for religion or Tyson, himself, but I find it incredibly fascinating and oddly coincidential. I love when he calls us "stardust" referencing back to the Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young song "Woodstock" that says, "we are stardust, we are golden, we are billion year old carbon and we've got to get ourselves back to the garden." The way that I interpret these lyrics refers to the grandest idea of the hippy movement and Woodstock, itself as a time and place when the idea of coming together and recognizing our spritual and psysiological link to each other. This idea reinforces the need for us to not hate, not hurt, and help each other. This is a concept that is understood by Christians and scientists like Neil deGrasse Tyson alike, whether or not they recognize it on a normal basis or not.

Finally, after reiterating his expertese as an astrophysicist and not as a poet, Tyson said this:
"Some of the greatest poetry is revealing to the reader the beauty in something that was so simple you had taken it for granted."

Tyson is specifically referring to the relative simplicity in Einstein's E=mc2, but the grand and wonderful conotations that are revealed because of it. However, I loved this quote so much because it is very true in a much greater sense. Often the best art, whether it be plays, films, paintings or poetry, are that which ask us to look at something simple or common with a new perspective.

Here's the link to the interview.

1/4/2012 UPDATE: So, I likely misinterpreted E=mc2. Regardless, watch the video and you will get what I'm talking about. Maybe.