Pugs's blog

Seven Years

Today marks the seventh anniversary of Beth and I agreeing to share our lives with each other. I'm not good with dates or big on celebrations. Our first year of marriage was marked by my forgetting her birthday and our anniversary. Even with my general apathy about the ritual and celebration surrounding special dates, seven years does warrant reflection and special note.

I have trouble with the passage of time. I don't really notice it going by. When I tell stories, I might start with, "last week I..." only to be interrupted by Beth or someone else with, "uh, Pugs, that was a month ago."

Teaching, A Wedding, & My Baby Sister

This last week I started my night gig at ITT-Tech. Three nights a week I'm teaching "Strategies For The Technical Professional", which is an intro to ITT and higher ed in general. I've taught and given seminars and am a good public speaker. Even more, I actually like public speaking.

My three nights last week were excellent, on the whole. Being the first session for all three of the classes, I was able to be more motivational speaker than instructor. As their intro to higher ed, much of this first session was spent trying to imbue the sense that their education is about them. They're not going to school because the state says they have to, they're going because they're paying for it or someone who loves them is paying for it. Either way, they are there to change their lives and make something better of themselves. They're there to build better lives for themselves, for their children, for their spouses, for themselves, for themselves, for themselves.

If It Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It!

Okay, for the last fifteen years or so since I learned how to ride a motorcycle, I've had two learner's permits that I've renewed a total of six times (in Wisconsin, you can renew a learner's permit three times, I've no idea why they issued the second one, unless their records expired in the ten or so years in between them). Since the second permit was due to expire soon, I bit the bullet and made an appointment to take the road test.

So yesterday, which was a crap ass, rainy, dreary day, I put the rain-proof liners in my motorcycle jacket and pants, geared up and rode my ass from Milwaukee (where I live) 80+ miles West to Madison (the only location in Wisconsin that had an opening for the road test). Someone on the SabMag mailing list said that whatever rain gets through your gear puddles in your crotch and he wasn't lying. I had a case of cold wet nuts for most of the trip.

The World's Greatest Burgers

Yesterday, my family came up to for a little cook-out to celebrate my little sister's birthday. We couldn't have picked a more perfect day for it as the weather was as close to ideal as possible, being in the upper seventies, low humidity, little wisps for clouds, and a light breeze.

As I'm wont to do for a cook-out, I threw together a batch of my special burgers. Humility aside, my burgers are damned good. If you ain't had 'em you're missing out on the eighth wonder of the modern world. Juicy, flavorful, one bite is bliss.

The thought that vegetarians and -shudder- vegans, will never get to savor the flavor and texture of these burgers, especially that they do so by choice, saddens me and can draw a tear if I'm watching The Sound Of Music as I think of it.

Women & Politics

Kathy circulated an article via e-mail about the positive change that women are affecting in African politics. In her commentary on the article Kathy mentioned that women, whether by nature or nurture, are more prone to collaborative group work and this is possibly one of the contributing factors for their success in politics in Africa.

I took a little bit of an issue with that and started writing a response but the response ended up being a little long for e-mail so I'm posting it as a blog instead.

My Greatest Humiliation: My Honeymoon

Nope, not what you're thinking. Get your mind out of the gutter; this is a guitar story.

My buddy Dave is just a few weeks into serious guitar lessons after having dinked around with the git-fiddle on his own and not making the progress he wanted. Recently, in the running e-mail conversation that we've been having about guitars lately, he mentioned a timing and chord change exercise that he could do alone in practice but took him several tries to get right in front of his instructor. As he put it, it was performance anxiety that wobbled him.

The mention of performance anxiety brought back this flashback of humiliation on my honeymoon.

A Republic vs. A Democracy And Why The Difference Matters

Yesterday, Beth forwarded an e-mail that had a list of political bumper stickers. Some were funny, some were interesting, some were crap. For the most part they had a Left-lean to their messages which doesn't always sit well with me.

I was, however, able to find two with sentiments that I could totally dig:

DISSENT IS THE HIGHEST FORM OF PATRIOTISM - Benjamin Franklin

and

KEEP YOUR THEOCRACY OFF MY DEMOCRACY

The former is clearly my thing, reflecting our Constitutionally guaranteed right of Free Speech, and all. It is the latter, though, that has a sentiment that I can get behind, but is actually dangerous in its wording.

Comic Books And Body Image In The Sixties And Today

I've always loved comic books and all the way up through college wasted an inordinate amount of money collecting them. The problem with collectibles, though, is that you put them in plastic and never read them 'cause you're afraid of damaging them. It doesn't help if they're stolen by your ex-fiancée, either, but that's a different story and YES, I'M STILL BITTER ABOUT IT.

When my buddy Jon pointed out that they just released the entire run of the X-Men from 1963 to 2003 on DVD, I jumped on the opportunity and placed my Amazon.com order immediately. You can bet that I'll do the same with the upcoming collections for Daredevil, Spider-Man, The Avengers, and Captain America as well.

Drew's Art Project - Dan Luvs...

So, Drew decided that since I don't have kids that he would draw a picture that I could hang on my fridge (either that or he got mad because I was making fun of his superstitious belief in his lord and saviour). I decided that PugsNet.com is sort of like the fridge so I'm posting the picture here.

Note Drew's mispleling(sic) of his lord and saviour's name. It should have an extra "e" in there for that particular spelling to be correct.

"Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" And Sequels In General

The Irish Twins, Robert, and I went to see Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest last night. And while it was fun and visually stimulating, I left slightly disappointed.

Dead Man's Chest lived up to the visual spectacle of the first film in terms of cinematography and effects. The cast turned in good performances led, of course, by Johnny Depp who played Captain Jack Sparrow's eccentricity right up to the edge of campiness with only occasional forays over that line. Keira Knightley shows the same spunk and attitude as Elizabeth Swann, while Orlando Bloom reprises the overly earnest Will Turner with equal skill.

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