Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Only in Ohio can you not Fly the Flag

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Being from northwest Indiana, I have a natural distrust for all things Buckeye. As a truck driver, I found justification for this when Ohio's laws required trucks to drive dangerously slow on the interstates. I felt like I should be using my flashers and orange triangle to warn cars that I was in a slow-moving vehicle because of how much slower I had to drive. And it didn't seem to be for any purpose other than as a money grab - either you spend an extra hour crossing the state, and are that much more likely to have to buy food and gas there, or you get a thousand dollar speeding ticket for trying to be less dangerous to the people around you. I'd heard the governor was even declining federal highway funds because the state made so much money off the truckers! And as a writer, I'm finding a disproportionate amount of wacky fans coming from Ohio.

And now, Ohio residents are attempting to forbid a man his right to fly a flag in front of his house.

Normally, something like this might spring up out of some hypocrite insisting he be allowed to blow up American citizens doing whatever he can to make everyone around him as miserable as he is, but this time, it's for a much more mundane reason: it's against the rules.

Who made a rule IN AMERICA that you can't fly the AMERICAN flag in front of your own house?


Monday, June 13, 2011

Three Miles, Island not Included

from: Daytona Beach, FL, USA
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This morning I ran three full miles.

Ok, jogged. Whatever.

My previous record was 2.1 miles. My record before that was 1.5 miles, then 1.2 miles, then 0.7 miles, and then 0.3 miles. These are jogs, with no break. They're rather slow jogs, yes, but they're jogs. Finding the proper speed is important.

Last Friday, my 80 year old walking partner and I walked 7.5 miles. Our previous record was 6.6 miles. He didn't feel like walking today, so I decided it was time to see how far I could run, and you see the results.

I'm not doing intense training here, folks. I'm just getting out there and doing it, putting in practice some techniques and habits I've developed over the years, and which are finally paying off. Here are some of them:

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Genetics Relegated to Poor Excuse

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"I'm genetically predisposed to be fat," you say. Or whatever your malady is, be it boring, annoying, stupid, tired, bald, poor, irresponsible, et cetera. People have used their learned helplessness - that gut reaction that says, "I have no control over my life and therefore should be pitied and given free stuff" - for quite some time as an excuse for why their life isn't the way they want it to be. "I was bullied in school," "The Man is oppressing me," "I was raped," "They put addictive chemicals in it," and so on are brandished like weapons to justify collective laziness and refusal to take responsibility for one's own life. The most powerful of these excuses has been, "I'm genetically predisposed..." It's the ultimate in having no control over one's destiny.

Attitude determines altitude. It's not just true for airplanes, it's also true for people. Whatever problems you've had in your life, they can be overcome and you can find your happiness. And just today, I've learned of definitive evidence that the tired old excuse for mediocrity - genetic factors - is just that: an excuse.

In this study, 30 men with prostate cancer changed their lifestyles instead of undergoing the "normal" treatments, and in ONLY THREE MONTHS, genes which fought disease had flipped on and genes that caused cancer had flipped off.

They had changed their genes!

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