Monday, October 29, 2012

Iron Embo's California Voter's Guide

I'm pretty sure most people know who they are voting for for president, and for those of you who are still undecided, I figure there is enough info out there for you to make a good choice (Obama of course).

But I was talking with my dad this morning about the California propositions, and I realized there are some sneaky ones out there. So for those of you who have a liberal leaning in politics, but might be too busy to look in to the issues yourself, I've come up with a nice short voter's guide for California voters.

1. Prop 30: YES
Why: Tax the rich to support our schools? Yeah, I'm down with that.

2. Prop 31: NO
Why: It adds bureaucracy and adds layers of restrictions and poorly defined requirements and leaves key decisions up to unelected bureaucrats. Plus my dad is voting NO, and he's pretty awesome.

3. Prop 32: NO
Why: Let's see, campaign finance reform that was written by billionaires to make sure they, themselves are excluded from it? I think not!

4. Prop 33: NO
Why: it's another deceptive insurance company trick to raise auto insurance rates for millions of responsible drivers in California. And they tried to be sneaky and make it seem like we are voting for discounts. (Mercury Insurance's billionaire chairman George Joseph has spent $8 million to fund this prop. When was the last time an insurance company billionaire spent a fortune to save you money?)

5. Prop 34: YES
Why: My religious and ethical feelings and beliefs aside (I don't believe any one has the right to take away another person's life) there are two major flaws with the death penalty: 1. It costs more to put a prisoner to death than it does to keep them in prison with no possibility of parole, so it would save the state money. 2. There are always cases where a person condemned could possibly be the wrong person, and then you would have killed an innocent person.

6. Prop 35: YES
Why: I think human traffickers should receive increased prison sentences and fines. We need to take a stand and show that this is unacceptable!

7. Prop 36: YES
Why: Because it will save the state money, and I don't think a person who has only committed non-violent crimes should be condemned to life in prison. We need to save those spaces for violent criminals. Yes, I've been a victim of a non-violent crime. My car was stolen, and it sucked! But if the kids (I don't know if they were kids, but it seemed like a prank a kid would play) had been caught and it was their third non-violent felony, I really don't think they should have gone to prison for life for stealing my 1997 Saturn Coup.

8. Prop 37: YES
Why: I'd like to know if my food is genetically engineered or not. Plus, even though there may be flaws with this proposition, we have to start somewhere. And I'm sorry, but Monsanto is funding every single No on Prop 37 commercial I have seen. If Monsanto doesn't want this, then I definitely do!

9. Prop 38: NO
Why: It taxes people who only make $17,346 a year to fund schools. It is a massive income tax hike for the middle class, your rates could go up by as much as 21% over twelve years. When Prop 30 is also being voted on to tax the rich to fund schools, I don't think we need to have this tax as well.

10. Prop 39: YES
Why: It requires that all corporations doing business in California pay taxes determined by their sales here, no matter where they are based. If they are getting the opportunity to use our incredibly large consumer market here in California, I think they should also be paying their fair share of taxes back to the citizens in the state who are buying their goods.

11. Prop 40: YES
Why: Seems like even those opposed to this proposition are no longer opposed to it, so why should I be?

Thursday, October 11, 2012

10 Things I Learned at the Chicago Marathon

1. Don't ever trust George and I made reservations with them months ago for a one bedroom apartment, and the place canceled our reservations the day before! (I had confirmed on Wednesday, and they canceled them on Friday). wouldn't help us at all!

2. Be patient and kind and persistent and good things will come to you: After 3 hours on the phone ,with the place that canceled our reservations, George got us very nice one bedroom at the Courtyard Marriott, which was on the race course.

3. If you are going to Chicago in October, be prepared to run in COLD weather: Otherwise you might be forced to buy a cute penguin hat to keep your ears warm, but all your friends might think that you are wearing a fried egg on your head.

4. Marathons freakin' hurt! I thought since I had trained for this one, actually trained and followed a marathon schedule, that this would be a nice long jog. Well by mile 13 I had to switch from running 9 minutes/walking 1 minute to running 4 minutes/walking 1 minute, and my legs started to feel like a jack hammer was hitting them. Or actually, like they were jack hammers hitting the pavement really hard, over, and over, and over again.

5. Counting down makes things easier: At the half way point, I told myself: "Hey, I just have 13 more miles to run. I can do that. I've totally run 13 miles before!" At 14 miles I told myself: "I just have 12 more miles to run! I can do that, I've run 12 miles before!" At 15 miles I told myself: "I just have 11 more miles to run I can do that! I've totally run 11 miles before"...and so on. You get the point. Basically I had to keep telling myself over, and over that I could do it. I'd done it before and I was going to do it again!

6. Don't kid yourself: if you can't run for 10 minutes at mile 15, then you aren't going to be able to run 10 minutes at the end of the race either. At mile 20, I started thinking: "Wow, just 6 more miles left, if I was running 10 minute miles then I would be done in an hour" (BTW, I was NOT running 10 minute miles, but whatever). I thought: "I can just run it in, no more walking breaks!" Ha! That lasted until the next 4 minutes when my watch beeped, and I decided that maybe I would stick with the run/walk until mile 23. At mile 23, I knew I could just run it in. I mean, it would take me only 30 minutes if I was going 10 miles per hour (which again, I wasn't). But again, the first time my watched beeped after I had passed mile 23, I stopped to walk. I thought: "Well, 3 miles is a little long, but I will definitely run in the last 2 miles." Let's just say, I did run in the last .2 miles, and running down that finish line shoot is quite amazing!

7. I am actually an ultra-marathoner: No need to sign up for the ultra team next year. I did an ultra last Sunday. First we had to walk 1.75 miles to the starting line. Then we ran 26.2 miles. Then it was .5 miles just to walk down the finisher's shoot to get our medals. Then we had to walk 1.25 miles back to the hotel. Then we had to walk 1.4 miles to get to dinner and back. So my little legs took me 31 miles on Sunday, and that's an ultra marathon!

8. Nothing Beats Zachary's! I love Zachary's, but I thought being in Chicago, I would experience the true Chicago deep dish pizza and be blown away. But what I learned was that nothing beats Zachary's. In fact the pizza in Chicago didn't even come close! I didn't even want to eat the leftovers for breakfast!

9. Friends and family support is so important: Knowing that my parents were out there on the course waiting for me to come by and cheer me on, and knowing that my friends were out there running with me, made my day!

10. And most importantly: It may not be a good idea to do something new on race day! So I thought it would be cute to wear my Jasmine Barranti underwear. You know, that way I could pretend she was running with me. Well, normally I don't wear underwear, and they started chafing at mile 2, and I had to spend the entire race sticking my hands down the front of my pants trying to readjust them, which wouldn't have been so bad, except that the streets were literally lined with spectators, so I had to do this directly in front of people staring at me and yelling at me to not give up, and keep going!

All in all, it was a great race, a great weekend, and a great vacation. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to run a marathon (or watch other crazy people run a marathon).