Friday, June 18, 2010

More Whirled Cup Madness

I want a vuvuzela. I have a Coca Cola horn I got in some World Cup promotion in 2006 in Germany, plus a plastic yellow card and a plastic red card (so I can make my own decisions about fouls while I'm watching games), and I do a really good job of driving Stefan crazy with those during games, but nothing is as powerful as the vuvuzela.

I think the commercials during the World Cup have been way more fun than the Super Bowl commercials of late (with the exception of the Snickers commercial with Betty White). If you have been watching, then you know which one is my favorite, by far (I actually trembled the first time I saw it -- yes, that movie still has that power over me).

I'm SO angry over the Slovenia game. THE USA SCORED A WINNING GOAL. The ref blew that BIG TIME. Where was the foul?!?!?

I usually keep personal information off my professional FaceBook profile, but I have been posting about the World Cup a bit there, since I have so many, many international colleagues in that particular FaceBook network. The posts are all rather tame; I save my trash talk for my personal FaceBook profile.

What I want most out of the World Cup is for a team that has never won it all to win it this year.

I hope the fans in South Africa are being as wonderful to each other as most folks were in Germany. My favorite moment in the World Cup back in 2006 was watching the USA-Ghana game with a bunch of Ghana fans, and how sweet they all were during and after the game. I loved seeing all these people from different countries wanting their photos with each other. It was a party for everyone.

* * *
I had to withdraw from consideration from a fantastic, part-time, temporary job (only until Nov. 1) with a local office of Habitat for Humanity, as I'm going into second interviews for two full-time jobs, either of which I would love to have. Some folks said I should have taken the job, had it been offered, and then quit if I had gotten the other jobs (in four - eight weeks). And, to be honest, had it been a for-profit company, I would have (I'm sure a corporation wouldn't hesitate to hire me for a job that they might eliminate four months later). There's no guarantee I'll get either of these jobs I'm second-interviewing for. But I think Habitat for Humanity is a great organization, and I would be leaving not only the organization in the lurch, but also, all their many, many volunteers as well. And right now, I need to not create any bad karma...

* * *
I've now put in more than 1600 miles of motorcycle riding since I got my motorcycle license a year ago (though I didn't start accumulating miles until I bought my own motorcycle in October 2009). And that's with no overnight trips yet; it's all been short rides and day trips. I'm really proud to have ridden that much, because so many people buy motorcycles and then just let them sit. I think that setting riding goals has really helped me progress.

Ofcourse, I'm still an absolute novice rider. I've dropped the bike three times: once in the drive way when I stopped on the incline, once in the garage when I was getting it off the center stand, and once while trying to park on the last trip. It's so humiliating to drop the bike. But I guess that's way better than it going over while I'm going any kind of speed.

The map below is courtesy of Stefan's GPS.

Our last trip was all the way to Mt. Hood, then through the gorge and back. The riding to and from Mt. Hood was fantastic. There is a lot of snow up there, but the roads were completely clear of all snow, ice, and even salt. The Timberline Lodge, with exteriors featured in The Shining, doesn't look at all intimidating, and there's no hedge labyrinth. Neither Stefan or I had ever been a ski lodge before, or seen a station for mountain climbers (where they check in before a climb, and leave reviews of their climb when they are done).

The Hood River valley is gorgeous and was my favorite part of the ride. My least favorite part of the ride: the Columbia River Gorge. It's absolutely brutal, because of the wind. I was totally chuffed that I did it after the ride, but during the ride, I was really scared, and the next day, I was mentally and physically exhausted - it had taken all of my energy and focus.

It sounds like I'm riding beyond my abilities, but I'm not. I'm an ultra-cautious rider. I ride with the idea that no one can see me; I never assume all the drivers know I'm there. And I ride the speed I ride and if you are behind me and don't like it, TOUGH; I'm not going to go faster or do any kind of riding that is beyond my abilities.

After our trip to California next month, I'm going to look into taking the next level of motorcycle classes. I need to work on breaking, starting and stopping on hills, and going around curves faster (cornering).

* * *

I've started to place a few ads on the non-professional portions of my web site (some of the travel pages, the camping with your dogs page, the tips for moving to Germany page), and I've started a series of pages that I've made only to generate ad revenue (as opposed to promoting my expertise, though they still do that):
I picked those three topics because
  1. they are frequent questions on YahooAnswers (which means there is a high number of people seeking answers to such), and
  2. they aren't subjects I like training on (so I'm not interested in them being on the professional, ad-free part of my web site).

Feel free to visit any of those pages and click on those ads and, therefore, earn me some revenue! Remember, I'm unemployed!

* * *
Every time the doorbell rings on the Simpsons, or even the commercial with Ronaldo and Homer Simpson,, Albi thinks there is someone at *our* door. Bark.

In Germany, she was always trying to catch rabbits (she got one) and field mice (she got at least two). Here, she's after gophers.

* * *

Do you really want to know what I think about BP? And all of their many defenders? Really? Can't you already guess? If you know me, you can. Not that I'm not also disappointed in our government as well, but the behavior of BP and Haliburton is, yet again, criminal. So many, many, many small business and workers will never recover economically from this, will never see appropriate financial compensation (if any), and the natural resources may never fully recover. And it gets worse and worse every day. Every day. AND IT WAS ALL PREVENTABLE. When will anyone from these companies ever face criminal charges? Will that day EVER come?

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