Category Archives: Tolerance

My Standard Wedding Advice

My friend Forrest is getting married this weekend, and I just gave him my standard advice on getting married. Keep in mind that I’ve only been married 2 years (all happy, I might add), so I don’t have any pearls on growing your marriage such as “don’t go to bed mad” or “every new day is a blessing” or anything like that. Sorry, I can’t help you there. This stuff is the solid fundamentals to survive the day and give yourself a fighting chance as a married man.

1. Show up on time. This no-brainer bears repeating, even if your family, friends, and would-be spouse normally tolerate your lack of punctuality.

2. Show up sober. If you’re not responsible enough to do the math, get someone else to be your teetotaler. Probably not the Best Man.

3. Don’t lock your knees. When you’re standing up at the ceremony, keep a slight bend in your knees. Locking your knees out for a sustained period of time cuts off the blood supply to your brain, causing you to faint. They actually teach you this in the Army, where soldiers are required to stand at attention for hours during certain ceremonies. One friend in the 82nd Airborne told me about a time when his company was standing at attention with bayonets affixed to their rifles. Someone locked his knees, passed out, and gored the soldier in front of him.

Three points is a nice litany and easy to remember. As a corollary though, I should probably warn people to watch out for wedding pranks, such as friends who kidnap the bride between the reception and honeymoon.

Michigan Football Loses Top Recruit, Sows Seeds of Future 8-3 Seasons is reporting that Terrelle Pryor has chosen Ohio State over Michigan. Terrelle is a quarterback and rated as the top high school recruit.

Doesn’t Terrelle realize that the one thing Michigan consistently produces is top QB’s, albeit ones that go in the later draft rounds? After 4 years handing the ball off to the tailback on downs 1-3 and punting on fourth, the Michigan quarterback is uniquely suited to the ball-control football that dominates the NFL. I don’t think anyone has any real insight into why Michigan players are so good, so clear-thinking, so “mature” when they get to the NFL, but here’s a few theories:

1. With so few passing plays called, our QB’s not only attempt to execute perfectly, but they’re also wary that one errant throw, one INT, one mistake, and they might not get a second pass attempt until the next game.

2. Because our QB’s know they won’t get many passing attempts, they instead watch film, practice their footwork, or instead LISTEN to their QB coaches.

3. Not only did they get into Michigan, but they showed clear-thinking by simply choosing Michigan. In other words, they had the brains to make the correct choice, so it only follows that they will make future high-pressure decisions correctly.

4. Maybe it’s the helmets? The famous winged helmets, designed to help the QB identify the receiver, may actually work in these formative college years.

Does anyone else have any bright ideas?

We can all look forward to Terrelle Pryor terrorizing Michigan on the gridiron in the upcoming years. Unless of course they turn him into a linebacker, which Big Ten schools are known to do to QBs. Above all, I truly wish him success in his career as a Buckeye and hope that he garners many of those pot leaves that OSU players wear all over their helmets.

‘Get My Vote’ Website Launches

The NPR Digital Media team just went Beta with a new social media site to give individual voters a chance to share their personal views on how a candidate can get their vote.  The site is live here:  The site is open and anyone can join and upload their point of view as audio, video, or text. 

The site is the brainchild of Andy Carvin, one of my NPR coworkers and a well-known evangelist of social media. NPR’s election unit will be covering personal commentaries uploaded onto Get My Vote throughout the rest of our election coverage. Andy gives many more details about the site, its origins, and plans for NPR and PBS member stations on his latest blog post.

NOSO: the anti-Web 2.0 Experience

Do you need a momentary escape from your Web 2.0 lifestyle of blogging, vlogging, texting, updating facebook, trading stocks online, and writing Amazon reviews?

Check out . Here’s how NOSO bills itself:

NOSO is a real-world platform for temporary disengagement from social networking environments. The NOSO experience offers a unique opportunity to create NO Connections by scheduling NO Events with other NO Friends.

Making Sense of the Florida Taser Episode

Message board comments on last week’s taser incident at a John Kerry town hall meeting show the typical polarizing splits between opposing camps: “the guy was an obnoxious jerk, he deserved to get arrested” versus “this is police brutality and censorship.” The news media has done no better. Most reports merely restate what is more clearly observed in the YouTube video. Some local stations have been eggregious in reporting that the student, Andrew Meyer, had a history of pranks, which is only relevant to sentencing in the event he is convicted on a public nuisance charge; Meyer’s past was clearly not known at the time of his arrest and tasering.

There is a rational conversation that individuals and the media need to raise, and it is twofold: 1.) was the student creating a nuisance, outside the bounds of protected speech, that warranted his arrest, and 2.) if arrest was appropriate, was the use of incapacitating force (tasering) justified.

I’ve watched the video a few times, but I’m not aware of Florida’s public speech (or nuisance) laws to comment on whether the initial arrest was warranted. There are limits to public speech, and more appropriately there are limits as to how you must act in certain public forums. I can’t comment on #1 above.

#2 is a different animal. Was the use of a taser justified? Florida’s Department of Law Enforcement has a very extensive Overview of Electronic Control Devices document that calls for tight regulation, oversight, and officer training in deploying tasers. Still, it’s tough to come to a verdict on the Florida case. They have a clear regulation for the deployment of a dart fired taser, but in this case, the officers had disabled the “dart” capability.

CS/CS/SB 214 (Passed the Legislature May, 2006)
“… specifically requiring that the decision to use the device must involve an arrest or custodial situation during which the person who is the subject of the arrest or custody escalates resistance to the officer from passive physical resistance to active physical resistance and, a) the person either has the apparent ability to physically threaten the officer or others, or b) is preparing or attempting to flee or escape.”

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Cat Puke Dispersal: Statistical Aberration or Malicious Intent?

For the record, I have traditionally been a dog person, but have grown to love many cats, including my friend Kiki’s late Kitty Roo and Poo, and also Revvy, who came into the family when I married Jen.

I submit Exhibit A:

I came home today to find that Revvy had thrown up on our kitchen mat. There are a mere three (3) rugs in our apartment that comprise less than 5% of the total floor space, and Revvy has now completed the Trifecta, having puked on all three. I haven’t formally quantified it, but my ballpark guess would be that about 40-50% of the total cat barf falls within that <5% of surface area.

Can one of the long-time cat aficianados out there please explain this to me? Is this a statistical abberation, or is her aim that good? Is she trying to tell me that she owns me?

Iranian Whitewater Paddlers train with US Coach

Today, NPR covered the Iranian paddlers we met when we attended the US Whitewater Slalom National Championships recently held at the Adventure Sports Center International in McHenry, Maryland. If you listen to the NPR audio, you can hear our friend Matt on the PA announcing “one of our guests from Iran.”

NPR: Iranian Women Learn Top Kayaking Skills in U.S.

Recap: 47 Minutes with the TSA

I had a birthday last week, and with it my driver’s license expired. I learned this at 6 AM Saturday morning at Dulles International Airport as Jen and I were trying to fly home to Chicago for a family reunion. While Jen moved quickly through the security line, the security contractor (non-TSA) marked my boarding pass for further security screening and took me all the way to the last security station.

I quickly realized I was in the terrorist suspect line. There were over 50 people in front of me in the line, and except for maybe 6 or 7 individuals, everyone else was either speaking in a Middle East language or wearing a head scarf. I’m absolutely not exaggerating. I counted 6 women with headscarves, and there were two or three groups of Israelis traveling together. Some others in the group appeared to be Pakistani or Bangledeshi, and a few Malysians seemed to be present as well.

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DirecTV Kills the Tour

For the record, I do not currently have cable nor satellite TV. I have a 1992 20″ TV with rabbit ear antennas and we receive maybe seven TV stations semi-clearly, one of which is public TV and another is in Spanish. I might subscribe to pay TV if it wasn’t such a headache.

This afternoon, we were at a friend’s house watching the last stage of the Tour de France that she’d recorded that morning on her DirecTV DVR, or set-top recorder. (I still don’t know anything about the stage, so don’t tell me.) About 20 minutes into the program, a heavy rainstorm knocked out her satellite signal, and with it the DVR’s ability to play a pre-recorded show. Satellites need an unobstructed view of the Southern sky. Makes sense, got it. But I don’t understand why the box can’t play a locally recorded show without a satellite uplink. I’m guessing it has something to do with keeping you tethered to a DirecTV monthly subscription and avoiding the sharing of recorded content.

When we finally got the thing back up and running, we tried to resume the Tour stage, only to find out that the DirecTV box had mysteriously decided to record 9 minutes of Extreme Cage Fighting (as opposed to the non-extreme cage fighting shows) over the Tour Stage. The DVR menu still said “Tour Stage 20, 7:30 AM”, but now the notes stated it was recorded at 1:57 PM. A few calls to customer service and tech support confirmed that the program was probably gone permanently. In fact, when we mentioned that we thought the storm had done something to the DVR box, the tech rep replied “Yep, that will happen with storms.”

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