Monthly Archives

October 2011

Accountability: The Hypocrytical Stance That Lets Me Judge You

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Don’t judge me for who I am. I’m no better than you and you’re no better than me. I’m to the age now that I can talk about my past and say things like “when I was a kid we did ______”. For example, when I was a kid eating out was rare. I mean less than once every few months and that includes McDonalds trips (at least that’s what it seems like). There was a fast food joint called Dee’s that served $.25 hamburgers (some people might remember the place on Highland Dr, it had a giant clown on the marquee – it’s a McDonalds now). It also had seats that were shaped like horse saddles. You would think a quarter hamburger would be worth going out for more often but we still rarely went out. My mom said the food tasted like cardboard but it was fine for me (what does a 6 year old care?). So last month McDonalds had their annual Monopoly lottery game and I ended up going there every day. At the same time some things came up that prevented me from getting to the gym every day so in the time of the game I ended up gaining about 10-12 pounds (it turns out McDonalds food isn’t a good choice for dieters… or anyone). So, I broke from my normal preference of NOT going anywhere for lunch and headed to McDonalds for lunch.

So what does this have to do with accountability? It was MY choice to go to McDonalds. I knew I was getting food that was making me fatter and I was wasting money on that place. It’s not my right to blame McDonalds for my actions. I make a lot of actions that I’m aware will have possible consequences and I go in knowing those consequences and I’m prepared to accept them. Whatever happens will happen. A few years ago I had the opportunity to become an electrician. I was accepted into the JATC right at the same time that I was offered a job with HIT Web Design (then called Heritage Web Design). I stuck with HIT Web because I was interested in web development. Now, 5 years later, HIT Web is closed and cost me a lot of money in the process. I witnessed all the signs that HIT was shutting down as they were dying. They kept making one bad decision after another while I stuck by them. I wanted to help them build themselves up (unfortunately I didn’t realize the depth of the bad decisions and all the other stuff that was going on). If I had gone on with the electricians opportunity I would be close to a journeyman electrician by now. That wasn’t the path that I took. All choices lead to consequences which are good or bad and sometimes both. In my case it turns out that I thought I made a good decision even though it led to me losing my job and a substantial amount of savings. I now have a good job in the industry that I really enjoy being in. I get to learn move and more every day and I’m finding new avenues in my field that I’m really enjoying.

So, what brought this up? It was my thoughts on personal accountability. Right now there’s a big deal with Occupy Wall Street. As it’s been shown, most people don’t know the real reason that they’re occupying Wall Street. The general answer, when asked, is “because I don’t like big businesses running the country”. Truthfully, neither do I. My solution is to not support the big businesses that are running the country. I posted that on Facebook and got smacked down. So I guess the real solution is to stand in a street holding a sign while you wait for someone else to do something about it.

I don’t support WalMart so I don’t shop there. I read somewhere that they have such a strong buying power that they forced Nalley Pickles to move their production out of the country in order to get the price of a giant jar of pickles down to under $3.00. The jar was estimated to last a typical family for an entire year. If I need a jar of pickles to last a year I really won’t mind paying a few dollars more and keep their production here in the states. Proponents of outsourcing pickle production to other countries can shop at Walmart and feel their helping those other countries, but you better not be supporting the Occupy Wall Street crowd. In fact all those in that crowd better not be holding their cell phones, wearing their designer clothes, or driving their overpriced cars to and from Wall Street. Our civilization has become dependent on someone else making the decisions and doing the work for us.

I’m going to make this a two part post. If you come back for more I’ll give you permission to get a chocolate shake from McDonalds.

McDonalds Lottery (Monopoly) Finally Comes To A Close

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I had a discussion with one of my co-workers about bringing a lottery to Utah. Morally I’m opposed to a lottery because it’s just another way to waste money looking for a dream rather than saving money to get through leaner times (like now). Arguments against me include the need for the funding for schools, the fact that it’s the peoples choice to buy the tickets or not and it shouldn’t be up to me to say whether someone else can buy the tickets or not. Other arguments against my stand on the lottery are simply that I’m stupid and I don’t know what I’m talking about. That may be true, but I’m still not convinced a lottery would solve any problems and I’m confident it would create new problems. If you need to throw your money away you can go to Idaho.

Now, before you get your poison pen out and write to tell me how stupid I am let me tell you this. About a month ago the McDonalds Monopoly game came out. I didn’t know about it but I walked in to get a side salad for $1.00 and ended up getting a stupid Big Mac meal, super sized because it came with the most tickets. The girl behind the counter admitted to me that people (apparently myself included) go crazy for this Monopoly game. I decided it would be a good idea for me to not go back to McDonalds after that visit, at least not until after the contest was over so therefore I went back every day.

So the guy I work with made a comment concerning my stand on the Utah lottery after he noticed how I jumped straight into the McDonalds lottery. His claim was that I obviously support a lottery since I’m over at McDonalds trying to win every day. I can see the point he was making but I rebut that with the fact that I ended up spending on average $5/day at McDonalds where if they didn’t have the lottery I would have averaged $1 per visit and I would have only gone there at most 2 times a week. I’ll prove that next week when the lottery is over with. I also ended up gaining about 10 pounds because of the stupid game. Now I have to work hard to get down to my goal again. I have this goal to get down to 200 pounds. I don’t want to go less than 200. I just want to get on the scale and see my goal come on the screen. I should get a prize for achieving my goal, and I know what I want – and it’s not bacon.

The point of this blog is simple. I’m still against the Utah Lottery. My obvious weakness for the McDonalds lottery is evidence enough for me that I’m a sucker for the chance to win something. I knew I didn’t stand a chance at winning the $1,000,000 from McDonalds but that didn’t matter, I just wanted to peal the sticker off and see that I won a breakfast sandwich. I wanted to win something and I didn’t care what it was. Powers of persuasion have a strong pull on me – at least when it comes to food. No matter how content  I am, if I see a delicious hamburger on the TV I’ll instantly need to go get that hamburger. I know this feature about myself and I’m confident that I’m not the only person who came to life equipped with this ‘weakness’. Everyone is susceptible to persuasion. The lottery is just a giant persuasion telling you to give it your money. The difference is with McDonalds I at least get food out of it. Maybe if the lottery tickets had coupons on them I could find a justification for them. That’s not a bad idea actually.

So, this weekend marks the final week of the McDonalds lottery. To celebrate I’m NOT going to McDonalds all next week, or maybe I’ll get that side salad that I went in for originally. I can finally get off the Diet Coke, which I had to get because the medium drinks had the tickets on them. I can get away from the fries because the fries are deadly to diets. I can go back to my granola bar diet. I should tell you about that next. It’s the most effective diet plan ever.

I’m just glad that Burger King hasn’t figured out that they would have equal success if they were to play Life.

Finally Ran The Night of the Running Dead 5K Run. Redundant

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Last Saturday was the Night of the Running Dead 5K Race, finally. I say I hate running and I’m not kidding, but I do like running the 5k Races. I only have to run for 30 minutes and it’s over and it’s always like a party afterwards. This year I ran alone… that is if running alongside 350 humans and 950 zombies counts as being alone. However I was the only person that I knew in the race. Actually that’s not true either. I later found out there were a few other people I knew who ran the race but I didn’t see them while I was there. Anyway, the race was fun. This was the second year of the Undead 5k Race. I signed up last year but I ended up watching my kids and the kids we were fostering at the time rather than running.

This year I got to run! The event coordinators tried to break a world record of having the most zombies gathered together at once. They wanted to get at least 5,000 and they got… 1,000ish! Too bad for them, but they did it all wrong. I could have helped them with their organization. The 5K race, which had 950 zombies in it was at 3pm. The world record contest was at 1pm. This means if you wanted to run the race you had to get there 2 hours early. They also had a 1 mile creep/crawl at 2pm for all the kids and the people who just wanted to do a zombie walk. So you can guess where the world record contest should have been. Right before the 5k and right after the creep/crawl. This is when the most zombies were out. The creep/crawl would be about 30 minutes at the most (it was only a mile). Next year I’m sure they’ll have better coordination for this. Maybe they’ll ask me, I’m an amazingly proficient organizer…. if people would listen to me and follow my advice.

Let’s talk about the race. There were big glitches in the race, but overall it was a good time. This year the race was held at the Utah State State Fairgrounds. We ran around the parking lot and through the alleyways. There was a definite lack of organization with the track. So much so that two cars ended up parking on the course as we had to wait for them to be moved before we could start. Why were the cars able to get on the course to begin with? In the meantime, while we all waited for the cars to be moved I started talking with the person next to me who had those new running shoes with the toes cut out. I don’t like those shoes but I want to try them. Everyone I talk to insists they are so much better for running but they’re like $80 and they look like they’ll fall apart. They’re not good for anything else either. Right now when my running shoes aren’t good for running any longer I can still use them as my regular shoes, but not with those. Once they go bad they go to the garbage. The girl wearing the shoes insisted they have helped her knees and she can now run much further. This only caused me to want the shoes even more, but they still look stupid! Fortunately I have no money anyway so there’s no threat of me getting the shoes.

The race finally started, about 15 minutes late, and we all took off. I was in the first part of the pack and somehow they managed to put the slow people in a giant row across the track. People have to know when they’re not the fastest runner out there. Why do they get in the front of the race? Why do they insist on walking side by side and blocking the entire track? That is the most annoying thing about 5k races. It shouldn’t be about running around the other runners. The rules are clearly laid out. If you’re slow you need to get over to the side. It says that in all the documentation. But nobody follows that rule. It’s just like at my gym where the track plainly states for the slow people to go to the inner track, which only makes sense, but they all shift to the outer track where the people who want to run should go! You people are annoying.

Speaking of annoying, someone out there apparently decided that the tape that was marking the course was annoying in the way that it was blocking off part of the parking lot so they cut the tape. This led to the first 300ish people (myself included) running the wrong way and adding extra time to the race. The race people claim that it was only a tenth of a mile but I suspect it was closer to a quarter of a mile extra. It added about 2 minutes onto the run, which was the same time as the head-start that the survivors got on the zombies ( Let me take a moment to clarify: the course was a lap course. The plan was to run around twice. The cut in the tape led us back to the start, where the zombies were just starting out ). So, as we were passing the start line again we were also now running with the zombies, which meant even more slow people getting in my way. I really wanted to trip people, but instead I just focused on the ground and let my imagination take over. It’s fun to let my imagination control my thoughts while I run. You never know what’s going to happen and the run is over in no time if you do it right. We finally finished the race and my clock time was around 32 minutes. This means I came in around 30 minutes if you take off the extra time from the extra distance. The race coordinators managed to fix the course right near the beginning so it was only the first people that ran the extra distance. It’s not my best time ever, but I’m fine with it.

To sum this up, I’m definitely running the race next year and there’s no way I’ll be a zombie then also.