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Archive for June, 2008

I am back-tracking to the trip my girlfriend and I took to Des Moines and Minneapolis. In retrospect the trip provided a great bonding experience for us. Initially we arrived at Des Moines airport and received a free upgrade from a compact car to a Mustang (things were already looking up). We immediately drove to Minneapolis anxious to arrive at the Marquette Hotel, a 4 star (we were able to get for $65 because of Priceline Negotiator).

As we arrived, we admired the hotel room for a good 2 hours then decided to see what downtown Minneapolis had to offer. One thing became immediately evident, all the buildings downtown were connected to each other via a 2nd floor Skywalk (I later found that it connects an astounding 80 blocks). With the weather being an awesome 75°F, (and not wanting to get lost in the skywalk) we decided to walk down Nicollet Mall (an outdoor mall of sorts with a collection of cafés and stores).

We glanced over several menus and decided on The Newsroom. The service and Happy Hour prices were unreal. We ended up getting 3 hearty appetizers for just $4 each and quite a few beers. Drunk and content we continued walking down Nicollet to an area where they were holding a free outdoor concert.

The next day we visited the Sculpture Garden developed by the Walker Art Center. For moments I forgot where I was, the garden managed to fly me away to Norway and for a while I felt true bliss. To me it’s odd that I have come to appreciate art. I enjoy it and would like to see more of it in public.

After achieving moments of nirvana, we headed to the monstrosity that is The Mall of America. I hate malls with a passion but on vacations I enjoy buying my girlfriend things. In any case we spent some time there and headed back down to Des Moines. I thoroughly enjoyed Minneapolis and definitely would not mind going back there.

6/18/08 – 2.12 miles in 20:49
6/23/08 – 2.12 miles in 27:20 (slow run with Paulette and Sparky)
6/25/08 – 3.245 miles in 30:56
6/28/08 – 2.5 miles in 28:05 (slow run with Paulette and Sparky)

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I guess my title reveals which side of this issue I am on. Recently Governor Charlie Crist reversed his long-standing support for the federal moratorium on offshore drilling for oil and gas. Recently Crist endorsed Republican candidate John McCain’s proposal to eliminate the restrictions on offshore drilling. Instead, each state could decide whether to drill in waters off its shores.

Crist cites the rising oil prices as the driving force behind his reversal of position. He recently explained, “My heart bleeds for them,” referring to the families in Florida affected by the rise in gas costs.

People need to stop looking for short cuts to ensure short-term security. This is a classic case of the government trying to look for a quick fix. Sure the price of gas might ease up but one needs to look deeper into the issues. Besides the stupendous consumption of gas this will continue to drive, I feel people need to look to change their lifestyle. Alternative energy and energy conservation has been in the forefront recently, (due to high gas prices) we need to embrace this and try to change our over-consumptive ways. Enough of my hippy rant, back to the issues.

When one thinks of Florida, one visualizes sunny, warm vacations by luscious beaches, cruises, or theme parks. There is no denying that Florida’s tourism industry bring a LARGE portion of the state’s total revenue. People flock to Florida from throughout the country as well as the whole world. For a quick decrease in gas prices, these politicians risk ruining this thriving industry. In a state plagued by hurricanes and tropical storms how can one justify setting up offshore rigs to drill for oil? I understand that oil spills are rare and far between but there is no way to risk an industry that makes up the largest sector of the state economy.

I am by no means a political expert, but I am simply calling this as I see it and as a resident of Florida.

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Things have not improved much. Sure I feel the financial strain due to the rising cost of EVERYTHING but the dismal spirits do not stem from this. Since coping with my grandfather’s death, my girlfriend’s brother hit a low point in his life that he wants to change. I cannot disclose any further information but I now have a full grown 25 lb pitbull, Opal. Initially difficult to deal with 2 dogs, it has become progressively easier.

Further depression crept into life over the weekend because I did not complete tasks for renewing my green card. My gf pointed out critical flaws in my character. I rarely let what other people say get to me but coming from someone I cherish, it’s taking a negative toll on me. I hope to cure the emotional sickness in the coming days.

In other personal news, I have not been working out or running at all. With a 5k planned at the beginning of next month, I will have to return to racing shape. I am now 8 weeks cigarette free!

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