Disclaimer: I can't think of anything useful for this blog anymore, but I may keep this site alive for one reason: to document my 87 year old grandmother, Mary Cuthriell (dad's side), on our trip to Italy in November 2009.
Mary has never left the country, except for a few cruises to Nova Scotia and up to Alaska with her widow friends. In the last 2 years, I've realized how I need to learn everything I can about her while I can, and I'm no longer taking our relationship for granted. Since then we've become very close friends.
My promise: I'll take her to Italy, a top place she really wants to see, and dedicate nearly my entire time to her while there. This will be pending doctor approval, which as of today he says he can neither say yes or no. I'm telling her to go for it, and will be meeting the doctor this summer in person.
As well, I've now made the decision to document the entire trip with video and still photography. I'll be interviewing her daily as we travel, asking her about every year and decade of her life, ups and downs, times that have been scary, euphoric, alone, overwhelming, most memorable, incredible, regretful, full of love or loveless...and the list goes on.
Here she is with my brother, sister, and me...can't you tell how groovy she is already?
-msc, listening to Beirut - Carousels
Jun 7, 2009
Jan 3, 2009
So as mentioned in the "All I want for Christmas" post, for two months I've been anxiously awaiting a response from seemingly a black hole known as my congressman Jerry Connolly regarding the lottery being held for inauguration tickets. Well, midday NYE an email had arrived and I can't begin to tell you how excited I was. Here's the opening paragraph:
Who knows, maybe something amazing will happen in the next couple of weeks and I'll be blessed with a ticket to the event. Either way, I'm still excited and only hope it's not freezing out that day. I plan to take lots of pictures, and maybe even get a decent few shots with Mr Pres Elect in them (which I'll share of course).
Dec 14, 2008
It's final, and already in motion in fact. My mom, Molly, and her husband JC, are off to Naples, Italy as of next week. It's a 2-3 year time frame, and where the majority of my travel money will be donated toward for that same time frame. Usually for long trips, mom gets all sappy and leaves me letters on how amazing I am, that I'm the best son in the world, and that my future is bright like a flashlight with new batteries (no bias there whatsoever).
This time I got none of that - she knows I'll be there soon, and lots.
That said, I just had to throw a surprise party for her and JC - b/c like me, they are the best parents in the world, amazing, and with a bright future like a flashlight with new batteries. I wanted to share the invitation I created for this - it mocks JC's "Change of Command" invite for his recent departure from Bahrain. For better preface, see previous blog "My Dad Can Beat Up Your Dad" by clicking the "King Kong" link on your left. While he's not my dad, he can still have you lasered to death, among other really shit-hot things. You call him King Kong.
Read it - it's a funny joke, like ha.
Nov 28, 2008
Disclaimer: This is not to oppress the happy and excited people I know, nor derail our beautiful friendships.
It occurred to me that every holiday brings an influx of text messages to my phone. This Thanksgiving I received nearly 30 individual texts from friends and family simply stating "Happy Thanksgiving!!" For me to text all my friends would take forever, via multiple texts (since I can't just send one text to unlimited people at once). Am I missing something here? Do my friends gawk at my lack of response or lack of equal initiative? Are you seriously that excited to text bomb everyone you know with the cliche?
It reminded me that once I even received a text from a girl friend saying "Happy Daylights Saving" - wtf dude, where are you? Naturally, she's one of the happiest people I know, but still, that's just dodo.
So in response, and per daily inspiration from the wonderful Lifeku by Rachel, I've generated a Lifeku of my own; my first:
30 texts, really?
think green and save battery
My network is clogged
Nov 15, 2008
At a now later point in time I decided to add a quick blurb on what the "Bradley Effect" is. After telling this to some people in person, they didn't have a clue what I was talking about. Sorry, since Bush began sucking at life (and more importantly, since I started realizing this for myself) I listen to NPR in the morning these days - I hear crap like this.
[The Bradley Effect] theory proposes that some voters tend to tell pollsters that they are undecided or likely to vote for a black candidate, and yet, on election day, vote for his white opponent. It was named after Tom Bradley, an African-American who lost the 1982 California governor's race despite being ahead in voter polls going into the elections. -WikipediaOver the weeks leading up to the election I was of course having lots of conversations with people on their choice for president. One friend in particular was dead set on McCain. I didn't try to sway her vote, but I was truly surprised in following up that she had this to say:
"Last second in the booth, I voted Obama. Dont know why, I just did."
I didn't inquire further, but it was the best email all week, and that's all she wrote.
Nov 11, 2008
I'll keep this short and to the point - I want tickets to the friggin' Inauguration of Barack Obama. If anyone cares to share just one with me as they become available the week prior (date is Jan 20) I'd surely love you forever, as well as offer to buy you fancy things like toothpaste with baking soda, and Hershey's chocolate bars, among other things.
Per the VA government website - beware of fakers! It states:
Tickets to the 56th Inaugural Ceremonies will be provided free of charge and distributed through Members of the 111th Congress. The Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies does not provide tickets to the public. Members of the public interested in attending the Inaugural Ceremonies should contact their Member of Congress or U.S. Senators to request tickets.
The public should also be aware that no website or other ticket outlet actually has inaugural swearing-in tickets to sell, regardless of what they may claim. Tickets will not be distributed to Congressional offices until the week before the inauguration and will require in-person pick-up.
“Any website or ticket broker claiming that they have inaugural tickets is simply not telling the truth,” said Howard Gantman, Staff Director for the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies. “Tickets for the swearing-in of President-elect are all provided through members of Congress, and the President-elect and Vice President-elect through the Presidential Inaugural Committee. We urge the public to view any offers of tickets for sale with great skepticism.”
Seriously, I'm dying over here - hook me up! I don't have faith that I'll win the lottery that's being used to handout tix. That is, so many people have already requested tix, including me, that they are having a lottery for the tickets. (giant sighs).
I'll post up in my scuba gear at the reflecting pool the night before if it comes down to it. Nasty.
Oct 29, 2008
Baron Rothschild, an 18th century British nobleman and member of the Rothschild banking family, is credited with saying this. Rothschild made a fortune buying in the panic that followed the Battle of Waterloo against Napoleon. This is contrarian investing at its heart - the strongly-held belief that the worse things seem in the market, the better the opportunities are for profit.I first heard this quote in a movie - Daniel Day Lewis in Gangs of New York after one of their bloody battles I think. The point is, and as I've been discussing with close friends, this is the perfect opportunity for us young folk. Which means, if you have cash and have thought of getting into the stock market, now is your golden opportunity, seriously.
So what do you buy? My advice has always been to make a list of 10-20 companies that you like (i.e. Apple - because you love iPods and macs; or Jiff b/c you just love their peanut butter; Chipotle - the burritos are amazing!, and so on).
This is because one golden rule of investing is that you should be able to devote 1 hour per week, per stock, to read up on the company and what it's doing. (I don't even get to do this, though) BUT, if you're buying stocks in companies you like, the more motivated you'll be to read about the company.
Here's a few that I own (and love):
- Research In Motion (ticker: RIMM) (they make blackberry phones, which I think are amazing)
- Apple (ticker: aapl)(need I justify? Apple is a superstar company)
- Visa (ticker: V) (nothing fancy here, but I bought on their IPO per much excitement from the investment community)
Also, Yahoo Finance is one of the best go-to pages to get good information (finance.yahoo.com).
That said, here's an article from today that I'll share - if you like any of these companies, they are worth checking out and considering for stock purchase.
Oh, and one more golden rule (from me at least) - BUY FOR THE LONG TERM! I don't flip stocks or day trade - I don't get hung up when the stock drops by 20+ percent (usually), b/c I am in this for years to come. I'll sell when I need to buy a house, or college education for my kids, and I know the stock will have grown almost guaranteed. So stick with it, and DO NOT freak out when things happen that scare the majority (like what's happening right now).
Oct 13, 2008
...because then you'll get the urge to hop the turnstile when you get off the train, and a metro cop will come over and give you a ticket for it whether you had the money for it or not.
Posted by msc at 10/13/2008 10:14:00 PM
Oct 8, 2008
Oct 5, 2008
I have to post this...nonsense. From crooksandliars.com
These smears have been floating around in email chain letters, but even still, this really shows just how low and how desperate the McCain campaign is. Not Larry Sabato:
The LA Times scoops the Virginia media with this column from the McCain campaign's official Buchanan County representative. You need to read this column to believe it. In "humor" he accuses Obama of wanting to paint the White House black, supporting reparations, changing the national anthem to the "black national anthem", teaching "black liberation theology in all churches", and replacing the flag with a "star and crescent logo".
Nothing like a little race baiting four weeks before the election...why does this guy still have his job?
Meanwhile, Sarah Palin brings up Bill Ayers at a campaign stop in Carson, California:
"Evidently there's been a lot of interest in what I read lately," she said. "I was reading today a copy of the New York Times. And I was really interested to read in there about Barack Obama's friends from Chicago. Turns out one of his earliest supporters is a man who, according to the New York Times, was a domestic terrorist, that quote 'launched a campaign of bombings that would target the Pentagon and the United States Capitol.'"
Saturday's New York Times story, an investigation into whether Obama had a relationship with Ayers, concluded that the men were never close and that Obama has denounced Ayers' radical past, which occurred when Obama, who was born in 1961, was a child. It also found that he has downplayed their contacts.
"This is not a man who sees America as you and I see America," Palin said of Obama. "We see America as a force for good in this world. We see America as a force for exceptionalism. ... Our opponents see America as imperfect enough to pal around with terrorists who would bomb their own country."