Thursday, August 28, 2008

democratic national 4 day commercial

i am amazed at the extent too which so many folks are calling this year's democratic national convention in denver, colorado so life changing, ground breaking, & such a win for the democrats.

before you begin to walk away from this post or start thinking of all the things that you want to fire back at me with because you think i'm some die hard conservative i'll let you know up front that i'm not a fan of bush, i voted for barack in the primaries, & i'll most likely vote for him again in november. so this post, while being a week early, applies to not only the DNC, but the RNC too.

i was already sick of the DNC by lunch time on monday. when NPR started interviewing speakers, congress men & women, delegates, etc. i didn't even need to see any more on the big screen. the DNC wasn't like a pep rally, it was a pep rally just for adults (or should i call them sheep)!

during the DNC there wasn't any discussion on the topics, there wasn't a single person that backed up one of their statements with a qualifying or quantifying fact. it was 4-days of commercials & one party beating up on a single man - mccain in this case. of course, mccain & crew will do the same next week to obama.

i was reading eryn's most recent blog post on this topic & i was appalled at how fascinated she was with the speech that clinton gave. it was all a big marketing campaign. i wouldn't call anyone who got up & spoke at the DNC a politician... they were all great actors & sales people in a big commercial with a mission to destroy one man.

i too enjoy a great speech & i think obama can nail them like no other. but i didn't even have the heart or stomach to take any more mccain bashing or goofy marketing messages such as "no way, no how, no mccain." by the team obama finally made an appearance.

this one bugged me too --- yesterday morning NPR interviewed this governor (wish i could remember his name) & he was commenting on how the republicans have run nothing but a smear & fear campaign for the past 8 years & this year the democrats aren't going to let the republicans get away with it. in his very next breath he begins answering a question with a smear against mccain related to him not immediately being able to answer how many houses he owns. he used this goof on mccain's part to suggest that there was no way that mccain can be in touch with the "common" american person because he can't remember how many investment properties he owns. give the dude a break - he's got invest properties & good for him. he's not a dead beat folks! & by the way, neither is obama. if anyone took the time to look at the clinton's yearly earnings, mccain's yearly earnings, & obama's yearly earnings you'd know that they are all earning significantly more money than the "common" american.

count me out of the RNC next week & i'll circle back when mccain & obama are actually talking to each other & debating their points face to face. enough with the one-sided mud slinging 4 day commercial.

Friday, August 22, 2008

an even bigger fan of bobby flay now

while in vegas this past week (no that wasn't me that you saw dressed as a gladiator) i lucked out & had dinner at mesa grill which is one of bobby flay's restaurants. there aren't many things that i enjoy about las vegas, however, i was blown away with the flavors in the dishes i enjoyed from mesa grill. i actually went for dinner & then the next day went there for lunch - that's how good this place was.

for dinner i started with the tiger shrimp + roasted garlic corn tamale with corn-cilantro sauce which was amazing. i think it's the first time i've ever enjoyed a tamale. for the main course i had the mango + spice crusted tuna steak with green peppercorn-green chile sauce + toasted pinenut cous cous. the flavors & spice from the green chiles & pinenuts complemented a beautiful piece of raw seared tuna!

the next day for lunch i started with the roasted corn soup with smoked tomato salsa. rarely do i order soup but the waiter said i had to try it. like everything else at mesa grill, the combination of spices & heat made this dish fantastic. a bit on the creamy/butter side for my tastes but given the powerful tastes i would order it again. as a main course i went with the pan roasted alaskan halibut with red chile-tomato sauce, crushed avocado + barbequed red onion. the fish was so fresh & such a nice cut too.

the presentation of the meals floored me too. i highly recommend you visit mesa grill & i can only assume that the rest of flay's restaurants are just as amazing.

the monster in me

it's been a solid year since i've eaten at freebirds. kristin & i burnt ourselves out long time ago on the bird. it used to be really bad when we would eat at both freebirds & chipotle. when i learned that mcdondalds backed chipotle i had to stop going.

today for lunch i ordered the monster freebird. what i got looked more like the super monster! i actually took a bet years & years ago & was able to kick back the super monster. i wouldn't recommend anyone try this though.

this picture really puts the size of the burrito i ate in perspective. check out the 12oz cup next to that burrito.

one thing i did learn from my many years of burrito eating was to have them hold the rice. the rice is nothing but a filler & just weighs the thing down. when i order now i have the bird stuffed with grilled white chicken, black beans, & veggies only. sure i felt stuffed & a bit euphoric from all the habanero hot sauce after finishing this monster but nothing like i would have felt if i'd have ordered it with rice.

my recommendation is to go all in on the monster, just have them hold the rice & load it up with hot habanero sauce too.

my SMB goal

it made me feel good when last week a buddy of mine walked up to me & handed me a flyer for a free seminar on "how to start or run a small business." eventually i do want to run my own business & it's great that my friends realize that fact & are there to support me. right now i'm enjoying my position in corporate america & working hard to learn as much as i can & to engage with as many smart people as i can come in contact with. at the same time i'm building a nest egg for the future & having lots of fun on the side.

in less than a month i'll turn 31 & i'm going to take one from a buddy's playbook. i'm going to determine 10 BIG things that i want to do before turning 40. i don't feel that i have the full top 10 right now, however, i do know that running my own business will make the list.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

payton turned 1 year old

it's been an awesome first year with payton. we became proud parent in december of last year so we've only had him for 8 months. he's been a treat & has become a very special member of our family. so special that we've booted one cat (poor bevo) & will soon be booting another (cubbie).

payton is a pure bred rhodesian ridgeback & he is such a good pup. not only is he good with people, he's also super cool around other dogs. like most kids (pups), he'd play all day if we let him. just this past week his buddy royal (he's a vizsla) stayed with us & the two of them were at it non-stop. i wish i had as much energy as the two of them have. no matter how much caffeine i pump into me i still can't get as wired as the two them were.

now that payton is a year old (birthday - august 5th) we can start bumping up his run mileage. so far, we've limited him to 3 & 4 miles run. the vet recommends we hold back another few months before increasing it too much. we hope to have him running 5 - 6 miles before end of year & next year kristin wants to take him with her for a half marathon.

we are really looking forward to year number 2 with payton & we may even get him a younger brother or sister. i said we *may* get him a brother or sister kristin - we haven't decided anything yet :)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

i am an uncle (again)

sarah & jeremy are very very happy to announce the birth of their healthy baby boy. lewis abram kirk is a little guy at 6lbs 3oz, but he brought a lot of joy when he was born at 2:13pm august 10, 2008 at northwestern hospital in chicago.

that's the news my bro, jeremy, shared with the family via e-mail earlier today. how very cool for the two of them! jeremy said it was an amazing birth. sarah was in super shape both prior to & during her pregnancy & the docs said it paid off big time. the whole thing was over & done with in less than 2-hours!

when kristin & i got the call on sunday afternoon from jeremy sharing their great news we were paying bills & freaking out (as usual) about moving to the burbs. the phone call made us realize what's really important in life. yes, bills need to be paid & we need a roof over our heads, but the things that really matter in this world are your family, your friends, & your health.

it's a big, yet very small world that we all share. it's fun for me to think sometimes what others around the globe are doing. back to sunday... here I am paying bills with kristin & my brother & sarah are bringing a new life into this world. when we are all sleeping here in the U.S. tonight, world records are being broke in beijing & dreams are being fulfilled.

life, it is such a precious thing. let's not take it for granted.