Writing Has Been Slow

This is a combination of a busy life (went to Houston for a soccer tourney last week, busted up my ankle and have been in no mood to sit at the computer this week) and lack of motivation. However, with the weather warming up, it will surely be time to garden blog soon. How exciting for you, dear reader.

Speaking of gardening, we planted quite a few things two weeks ago, assuming that the mild winter was a sign that winter was going to be non-existent this year. Of course, Mother Nature always has other plans. Thursday and Friday of last week resulted in a freeze in Wylie, killing all the tomato and pepper plants we put out. Ugh. So part of this weekend will probably involve replanting those. I would guess we’d also make an attempt to get some flowers in the back bed and clean up the patio.

This guy is pretty amazing.

More Than Two Political Parties

Often, I hear talk in the US about the dismal state of the two-party system in our political arena. Many times, the people talking the most about it think we would be better off with more than two, sometimes many more than two. While I believe that there may be some benefit to multiple parties (by multiple parties I mean more than two), remember that, as in all design decisions, there are tradeoffs. By spreading your resources (votes) across multiple endpoints (parties), the ability to see significant results goes down dramatically.

Google Finance

Google Finance definitely kicks ass. Once upon a time, this kind of information was only available to connected insiders. Now, it’s freely available on the web. This is one of the greatest revolutions of the web, that everyone has access to broad areas of knowledge to enable greater autonomy in decision making, not just in finance but in all aspects of the world. Google is leading the way in that enterprise.

Selfish Athletes

I know you think it’s redundant but with Alfonso Soriano, it’s worth mentioning. The man got more money in arbitration, $10 million, than any player before him and he’s now refusing to switch positions for the Washington Nationals who already have an All-Star at second base. At what point, when you play a team game, do you decide that it’s ok for you to do whatever the hell you want?

People like this and TO make me need to take a shower just for liking sports. Glad the Rangers dumped this loser.

Vegetarianism Is Good For The Bowels (And the Cows!)

In this day and age of increasing obesity, poor health and genuine concern for our environment, I”m constantly surprised that more people aren”t turning to vegetarianism as a way to address these issues. Given our evolutionary history, it seems to me that vegetarianism is more likely to be advantageous to our physical well-being and something that more closely resembles the evolutionary environment in which we developed. In this essay, I hope to convince you that vegetarianism is a viable dietary lifestyle and one that will lead to a greater understanding of vegetarianism.

First, a definition or two: Vegetarians do not eat meat, fish, and poultry. Vegans take things one step further, abstaining from eating or utilizing any animal product. In my experience, vegans make their choices more on a moral or ethical basis, while vegetarians tend to be going meatless for more selfish, healthy reasons. I am actually a lacto-ovo vegetarian.

Coronary heart disease remains the leading cause of death in the United States and because a vegetarian diet has been shown to lower the incidence of coronary heart disease, the health benefits of making a switch to a vegetarian diet are unquestionable. Lower incidences of obesity and diabetes are also tied directly to a vegetarian diet.

One of the difficulties that people have in switching to a vegetarian diet is actually finding options to the meat they might be used to having, especially in a restaurant setting. However, these days it is highly common to find multiple vegetarian options on almost any menu that you run into as the market has proven to retailers that this segement of the population is growing.

Overall, as we become more in tune with our body and make more concerted attempts to increase our health and our well-being, I believe that vegetarianism will become prevalent throughout our society.

Ben Stein on High Oil and Gas Prices

It’s always worth reading what Stein has to say on topics such as these. As is the often the case in matters such as these, it’s always more comfortable to go after an easy target especially if that easy target is a big, rich oil company. Politicians, in their constant search for the good soundbite, look for these easy targets, ignoring the underlying complexity because complexity is bad for their campaigns. However, if you continue to target the wrong thing in these cases, you’ll eventually find out that the market has removed the easy targets from the shooting range.

Short version: Oil companies have little to nothing to do with the prices of the oil and gas products you consume. The market sets these prices independent of the oil companies interests. Our Congress-critters ignore that at all our peril.