My latest pursuits

I was in New York Thursday and Friday morning, and I even managed to go a whole 30-some hours without my laptop. Thus, no post on Friday morning.

And now it’s Saturday night, and not just any Saturday night, but ‘Spring Forward Saturday Night’–and I feel the urge to write something even though I have to get up in just a few short hours. But I don’t have anything really pressing that I want to share with you tonight. No theological implications, or life lessons, or anything of the sort. So instead, I’ll share with you some of my goals for the year of 2007. This is by no means a thorough list, or even a well designed, heavily pensive list. It’s just some of the things on my mind that I want to do this year. Not passing things, but things that really count as goals even if they’re not on a list somewhere. Problem is, most of these things are proving to be not cheap things, which doesn’t fit well with my financial consultant. So how many of them actually happen is dependent on the federal government approving the special financial request I submitted to the house budget committee (which is to stop charging me income tax, thus increasing my take-home salary by some 35%).

At the top of the list:

I say it’s at the top of the list not because it’s the #1 priority, but simply because I started the process today. I’ve been inline skating for years and years, but have only a handful of experience on the ice. So I can’t just start playing hockey right away, I have to transition to the ice first. So I’m taking skating lessons. They’re public classes of 8 or 10 people, and so far I can’t say the instruction has even been all that fantastic, but it’s a path to taking adult learn to play hockey classes, which is my ticket into adult hockey leagues which happen year-round in Arlington, on top of the Ballston Mall parking garage. They just finished a 40-million dollar ice complex, complete with two rinks and tons of public skating. It also hosts the Washington Capitals’ practice sessions (D.C.’s pro hockey team). I miss playing team sports a lot, especially now that I’ve grown up and know the value of teamwork and practicing till you drop. I hate how terrible I was playing baseball in high school (and I’m not talking so much talent as all the other things, which are really the ones that make the big difference), and maybe it’s me wanting to vindicate myself and participate in a team sport as a hard-working guy who never complains, who plays through the pain, and who works hard to see the payoff instead of just waiting to get lucky one game every season. Or maybe it’s just me wanting to smash some people into the boards. That sounds like fun.

I want to actually learn how to play the guitar. I started this process about 6 years ago when I went out and whimsically bought a guitar which I couldn’t even afford. (I had to go borrow money from my dad so my check didn’t bounce). But I’m finally starting to embrace the fact that I’m talented musically, but not without lots of practice. Same thing as before… in high school I never practiced, I just sat back and hoped I got lucky once in a while. But four years in Chorale taught me a lot about practice–especially that just when you think you’re ready, you’ve only done about 10% of the practice that you actually need.

One of the things I’ve become highly interested in is photography. Now, I’ve always been interested in that, but I’m thinking about it and learning about it more and more. All of the sudden my digital camera has become inconvenient; it doesn’t do the things that I want it to anymore. And while any great photographer will tell you that what matters is the photographer, not the camera, you also don’t see any of them walking around with a $300 kodak digital. There’s a reason for that. Couple with that, you all know that Photoshop has become a big hobby of mine, and I would love to really delve into the professional photography world. At least partially.

Finally, I want to punch every global-warming-touting writer, politician, and public figure in the mouth. Right square in the teeth. This global warming thing is so utterly ridiculous, and yet somehow it seems the entire world has bought into this piece of pseudo-science which has not a single empirical shred of evidence to support it. They’ve somehow convinced the general public that the earth is in a warming trend, even though thermometers have only been around since the 19th century (technically, Galileo invented a thermoscope in 1593, but there was no standard of measure, they could only make subjective measurements. Daniel Fahrenheit wasn’t even born for another 100 years, and it was really in the 1800s that standards of measure, and thus temperature records, even became available). That’s like measuring a pot of boiling water for 10 seconds, and then declaring that you have a complete record of the water’s temperature, from the time it left the faucet until the present. Scientists have no idea how hot it was in the 14th century, the 2nd century, or in 2000 B.C. In our ten seconds of temperature readings, it is possible that the earth’s climate has warmed slightly. But there’s absolutely no way of proving empirically that this is different than the entire rest of the Earth’s history. Everything else in nature is cyclical, and it only makes sense that the Earth’s temperature would be as well.

This doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t work harder to protect the environment. I think it’s great that we’re considering being conscious about protecting the environment. That’s really all we’re doing is considering, because if we actually were being conscious things would have changed by now. But you have to start somewhere. I just fear the day, which I think is probably inevitable (unless Americans manage to piss off the final 10% of the world and they all team up to kill us, which given the current state of our foreign politics seems increasingly likely), when Democrats and their big government dictate to us what we can and can’t drive, can and can’t own, can and can’t do. It could even be Republicans, seeing as how they don’t seem to really stand for small government anymore, either. But it will probably happen some day. And in the words of Padme (that’s Princess Leia’s mom) in Star Wars: Episode III,

“So this is how liberty dies… with thunderous applause.”