Coffee. . . the new wonder drug

 

MSNBC: Drinking coffee cuts alcohol’s harmful effects — Just a cup a day helps prevent cirrhosis of the liver, researchers say

Improved liver function
The same study found coffee drinkers had healthier results on blood tests used to measure liver function, whether or not they were heavy alcohol users. Coffee’s effect on reducing liver enzymes in the blood was more apparent among the heavy drinkers in the study. . .

Woohoo! The Bike Show is back!

 

I’m really stoked today because my all-time favorite podcast, The Bike Show (from Resonance FM of London, England) is supposed to have a new program up today after almost a 2 month vacation.

I highly recommend this podcast for anyone who is into bicycling and bicycle culture. His shows are fascinating, with everything from interviews to bicyclists in a Brooklyn park, to a show about cops on bikes, to a show on Bicycle-inspired music (btw, Aaron, if you are reading this they reviewed a Ghoti Hook song on the March 6, 2006 episode . . . unfortunately they didn’t like it).

My first days as an OKC Pedicab Driver

 

This is an update to an earlier JMBzine post.

Well FINALLY this week I have been working as a pedicab driver in OKC. I used to drive a pedicab in Austin and loved doing it, so I’ve been eagerly waiting for the chance to do it here in OKC (I was actually thinking about buying my own pedicab, but it was way too expensive on my tight budget, with good cabs going for $3500-5000), but recently I saw a driver with Brickshaw Pedicabs (for my out-of-town readers, the name comes from the OKC entertainment district, “Bricktown” which used to be the old Warehouse district) at the OKC Arts Festival which is where I made the hookup.

So then last week I went through the hoops to get my OKC pedicab license — getting a copy of my driver’s record from the tag agency, getting a criminal background check from OSBI, and then going down to the OKC PD to wait way too long to get my license (which was ridiculous… I waited about 20 minutes in line and then just as I was up to get my license, the folks in the office all say they have to go to a meeting and say “we’ll be back, maybe.” So I waited almost 2 hours more before they came back.)

BTW, here’s a scan of my new license as well as my old license from Austin…

OKC Pedicab license

Austin Pedicab license

Then on Wednesday of this week I had my first day on the job. During lunch, I did a training ride downtown with the Brickshaw’s manager and another driver (we were at the downtown farmer’s market giving away free pizza as a promotional thing for a downtown Italian resteraunt) and then than that night I rode.

My first night driving was pretty decent. I had low expectations since this was a Wednesday night (not a big night for nightlife), but I actually was able to hussle up a fair number of rides. Passengers were an interesting mix, but quite a few were small-town folks visiting the big city. I ended up pulling in $68 which I was pretty pleased with for just a few hours of work. (I only rode from 6:30-10:30 p.m.)

The next night (Thursday) was incredible. More competition from other pedcabers (I think 5 or 6 were out from the 2 companies, instead of 3), but there were lots more potential passengers. I did a few runs to downtown hotels, lots of runs to Spyce (a hip-hop club), Skyy Bar and Citywalk, but mostly picked up folks who wanted to cruise around. I also did one massively long run up to NE 8th & Stonewall (which I’ll never do again for less than $20… there is massive hill on that run that wore me out). Money-wise, I did real good, pulling in $106.50.

Finally last night (Friday) was ok. I got a very late start (thanks to leaving late from my day job, and having to change a tire before departing), so I was only on the road from 10:30-2:30. Thankfully though I had two big tippers (both paid $20), and lots of small rides. I did give quite a truly free rides but those I figure give me karma points and I’m sure that counts for something (and I got my butt pinched by one of the girls I gave a free ride to which is always fun). My gross for the night was $104.

So anyway I’m off to a good start. My income will likely drop some next week (I have to start paying rent on my cab then… we get our first few nights free), but I’m hoping to improve my fitness level and ride harder so I can compensate by pulling in more fares. As it stands now though, I’m going to be riding Wednesday-Friday nights (I’m not working on Saturdays so I’ll have one night to go out on the town when I want to, and also so I won’t be tempted to sleep in for church on Sundays), so if any of y’all are in Bricktown or Downtown, give me a call on my cell phone at 476-5620 and I’ll be glad to give you a ride for free (actually, that’s my gimmic. All rides are free with me, I make more money on tips than I would if I charged fares.

Sometimes I’m ashamed to be religious

 

Joshua Jantz campaign’s prayer guide (this is from Okiedoke’s Oklahoma Election Propaganda Collection 2006)

I have seen some pretty crazy things, but I think Joshua’s prayer guide takes the cake. I know Joshua is an evangelical and wants to get folks saved but somehow it just seems crass and disrespectful for him to ask supporters to pray “For the voters’ salvation.”

But oh it gets worse… a few lines later, Joshua goes on to ask that his supporters pray for “unrighteous candidates to lose interest.”

My first reaction is curse at such an incredibly hateful and disrespectful comment, but my next reaction is to ask Joshua which of the Senate District 46 candidates does he think are unrighteous?

How dare he he say something this stupid. I know two of the other candidates (Andrew Rice and Rhonda Rudd — Andrew had done great activist work & Rhonda is awesome and a friend from L-school who I admire a lot.) and they are good folks. So unless Josh knows something really bad about one of the other two candidates in this race (Drew Dugan & Winston Barton), Josh’s attitude is pretty ****y. And frankly it is cowardly. If he is going to trash talk unnamed candidates as being “unrighteous,” then he should at least say which of the candidates he thinks is unrighteous so those candidates can respond to his ignorance.

I know this is just a stupid piece of campaign literature that he probably wasn’t intending for public exposure, but I can’t help but be upset because I feel like this kind of rhetoric gives religion (and Christianity in particular) a bad name.

I’m going to be contacting Josh and will ask him to apologize for this statement. If you feel the same, please contact him at his website

A wonderful birthday!

 

Yesterday was my 30th birthday, so I thought I would give a quick post telling about everything that went on.

In the late morning I met several of my Green Party friends (Huti and Jean from the Muskogee area… I still can’t believe they drove in from so far!, and Randy from OKC) at the Oklahoma state Capitol where I filed for state house, dis. #99.

The rest of the afternoon I spent mostly cooking (I smoked a brisket, some beef ribs, polish sausage and some potatoes) and getting ready for the party I had planned that night.

So about 6:30 p.m. folks started arriving, and then they kept coming and coming and coming! I had expected maybe 3-5 people besides family but as it turned out there were I think 30 folks there — including my parents, my brothers (and their spouses & kids), folks from church, folks from OCCO and the Green Party, friends from Catholic Peace Fellowship, and several dear, dear friends (and another dear friend who I knew was with me in spirit even if she couldn’t come).

We had so much fun at the party. Lots of eating and sitting and visiting outside and enjoying the beautiful evening (that had just turned cooler thanks to the breeze that came in after a super-hot day). The food was real good. My meats were decent (I should have done the brisket a little longer at a lower temp to be more tender, but still flavorful with the marinade and seasonings), but the highlight of the meal for me was Bob Waldrop’s homemade naan bread and my mom’s homemade rolls.

As far as presents go, the best thing folks gave me was coming to the party. But beyond that I got a Case pocket knife from my brother, a hamster ball for Ralph my gerbil (Ok, maybe that’s a gerbil ball… it’s a plastic ball that you put your gerbil in so he can run around explore your home) and a pair of slacks from another brother, some coffee and jam from Bob, a gift car from Full-circle bookstore from a Green party/critical mass friend, and some other stuff from a friend who is almost a sister to me, my parents and from the pastor and his wife at church.

So anyway it was a wonderful day. As for wisdom of turning 30, I don’t have any other than I’m glad to have so many good friends and I’m glad that I can still do fun and crazy things and don’t have to be a “responsible”adult yet.

Discussion on the issue of oaths

 

Terra Extraneus: A Blog to Disagree With

Somehow I missed this when it came out, but Rod Heggy posted a thought-provoking review of this blog on his blog, which included an extended discussion on the issue of oaths.

I went ahead and drafted a comment on his blog post, but thought I would share my thoughts on it here as well (this next part will make more sense if you read his blog post first)

Just wanted to say a quick thank you for the review of my blog. We obviously disagree on many points, but I am very impressed with your williness to hear me out and to respond thoughtfully to what I had to say.

As to the issue of the importance of oaths, I have a bit of a different perspective on it because I’m a Mennonite and we historically do not swear oaths. For the attorney’s oath, I will affirm it (I hope to get my license in September) but not swear it. The reason for this is first that Jesus said not to swear oaths, but secondly because the oath of the attorney, while a serious and significant commitment (one in which the state puts their trust in me as an officer of the court), is not my highest law. In other words, I will seek to obey that oath but if the oath conflicts with my conscience (or to say it another way, the still place where God speaks to us), then I would have to resign my oath and do what is right.

I see the oath of soldier in the same light. Certainly a soldier should honor his or her commitment, but if that honoring that commitment would violate the soldier’s conscience, then I think it is better to obey one’s conscience, than to violate it out of a sense of loyalty to the oath.

Anyway that’s my take on it. Thanks again for giving me the chance to discuss this with you.

Press and blog coverage of the campaign

 

Updated: 6/6/06, 7:37 p.m.

Here’s some of the press/blog coverage that my state legislative campaign has been receiving. . .

NewsOK.com:Birthday celebration includes bid for House post

OKInsider.com/Legislative Information Network: Green Party candidate ready to tackle district by bicycle

Okiedoke.com: Red state Green blogger runs in blue district

Dustbury.com: One new hat in the ring (boy howdy, the comments on this post are a hoot)

The Left End of the Dial: A quick Okie legislative roundup (scroll down to the bottom of this post to read about the campaign)

June 4, 2006

 

MSNBC/Reuters: Thousands mourn Tiananmen 17th anniversary — Hong Kong demonstrators mark crushing of 1989 student protests in China

Today is a meaningful day to me, first and foremost because it is the 17th anniversay of the Tianenmen Square Massacre. The tragic point in history happened when I was in junior high and its memory has shaped my way of seeing the world ever since. It is hard to believe how much time has passed and even harder to believe that the survivors of the brave student protesters are in their late 30’s now. I do hope and pray that someday their dreams would be fulfilled and that China would cast off the chains of oppression.

Unfortunately things look pretty dark right now. The tyrants that govern the country have discovered the “genius” of capitalism as a means of pacifying the middle class so that folks are too busy with the rat race to realize they have no freedom, so it sure looks to me the real hope for China will come from the peasant class.

Anyway besides the anniversary, today is also my last day of my twenties as I turn 30 tomorrow. So much has happened in the last 10 years that it really is hard to understand it all, but it definitely feels like a milestone.

It’s ok to say “You can go straight to hell,” but only if you live in Michigan

 

CNN.com: Party in Hell planned for 6-6-06

HELL, Michigan (AP) — They’re planning a hot time in Hell on Tuesday.

The day bears the date of 6-6-06, or abbreviated as 666 — a number that carries hellish significance.

And there’s not a snowball’s chance in Hell that the day will go unnoticed in the unincorporated hamlet 60 miles west of Detroit. . .

Welcome to Hell, Michigan

Wikipedia: Hell, Michigan

In 1841, as one story goes, Reeves was sitting one day with a group of friends in the general store when someone asked him, “What are you going to name your town?” He hastily replied, “I don’t care, call it Hell, if you want to.” Despite efforts to claim Reevesville or Reeves Mill as official names, “Hell” stuck. Reeves is said to have regretted his levity the rest of his life.

Another story claims that German immigrants were arriving in a curtained stagecoach one sunny summer afternoon, and one said to the other, “So schön hell.”. Roughly translated as, “So nicely bright” or “So lovely light”. Hell was overheard and used as the town’s first name.