Everything Under The Sun

The desert heat is relentless. I never realized just how quickly it can rob you of your fluids and dehydrate you so quickly. I’ve lost count of the number of cases of bottled water we’ve gone through in the last two and a half weeks. It’s insane.

Attempting to jog in the morning is like running through Hell. It’s takes an immense amount of endurance and focus. By the time I’m done I feel like I’ve been baptized in fire. I’ve tried laying out by the pool and reading the past few days, but I never last more than a half hour. After ten minutes my sunglasses are filled with a reservoir of sweat. The temperature is only bearable if there is a breeze going. Jumping in the pool makes the air cool over your body, which is refreshing.

I’ve been getting my workouts in everyday for the most part. Warm up with some push ups, stretch, jog a few miles, push ups, stretch, swim…continue working on my forms. Can’t say I’d have the motivation without my new friend, N-O Xplode. It’s fruit punch flavored and tastes great. As Master Wu so eloquently put it, when have you ever in your life had fruit punch that wasn’t awesome?? Remember the Red Balls skit from Chappelle show? Basically the same stuff.

We really haven’t done anything the past few days but shoot pool all through the morning until Red Rock buffet opens, then sleep the majority of the afternoon. Tough life, I know. I finished Rat Bastards, the memoir of John Shea, protege of Whitey Bulger, head of Boston’s Irish mafia. Bulger has been on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted List for more than 10 years. It was a pretty easy read – less than 300 pages – but a solid book overall, I’d definitely recommend it.

I watched the USA/Brazil clash in the Confederation Cup final on Sunday. I don’t think it’s necessary to describe just how fired up I was when Dempsey netted the first goal, and Donovan the second. I thought for certain we were on the path to triumph. Obviously I know the skill and talent Brazil possesses, and knew they would come out motivated. You think they want to lose to the USA? In soccer? That’d be comparable to the Dream Team losing to Australia in basketball.

It makes me sick that we lost, especially in that fashion. But it’s certainly a positive note for American soccer, showing we can compete with (and beat) the best teams in the world.

Sticking with soccer here for a minute, I’m stoked that my man Robin Van Persie is fully committed to staying with the Arsenal. With rumors of Emmanuel Adebayor perhaps transferring away from the Emirates swirling, I’m glad one of the top strikers in the world is motivated to winning hardware with the Gunners. With Cesc Fabergas also reiterating his desire to collect trophies, and the possibility of signing French superstriker Karim Benzema of Lyon, the mighty Gunners of Arsenal are already looking a very strong contender for both the Premiership and Champion’s League titles.

Anyway, not much else has been happening here. We went to Red Rock yesterday to catch Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. It was a lot better than I expected honestly, and contained far more explosions that I thought even Michael Bay was capable of, which is a strong statement in itself. All the reviews I read were awful, detailing the lack of a real plot and character development, but I’d give it a solid 3 outta 5. I must say I loved the first one, and have probably seen it an upwards of 20 times on HBO, but I think this one was equally as entertaining, if not more so.

Gotta swing DaFish to the airport here in a few hours – he’s headed back to the Chi for Independence Day. PokerBabe is flyin’ back in later tonight along with HoopsPG32 for another week, hopefully he doesn’t get lost again haha. That’s about all that’s new here.

What a crazy week it’s been on this planet though. I’m totally sick and tired of hearing about Michael Jackson. The guys lucky he died of a heart attack and not capital punishment for fingerblasting all those little kids’ bum bums. That’s all I’m gonna say.

A much more important issue transpiring is the U.S. troops’ anticipated withdrawal from all Iraqi major cities today. The 130k+ troops will still carry out necessary combat operations with the approval of the Iraqi government, and will continue to provide security and intelligence.

Just think about what life was like for the average Iraqi citizen ten years ago; constantly living in fear, unable to speak freely about their thoughts on the government. Living under tyranny and oppression. Things we as Americans constantly take for granted.

I understand why people are against war. It costs money, resources, and more importantly, human lives. But what the United States stands for – freedom, democracy, liberty – is something every human deserves to taste, something that in order for our species to enjoy, certain things must be sacrificed for the good of human kind as a whole. Vegetius, a 4th century Roman writer, once wrote, “Qui desiderat pacem, praeparet bellum.”

“Let him who desires peace prepare for war.”

One of the few things people know about this war, there are more U.S.- employed military contractors in Iraq than soldiers. There is no doubt that our “government was unprepared and ill-equipped to mount a major contingency relief and reconstruction program in Iraq in 2003”. With that being said however, from a humanitarian perspective, it was the right decision for the future of people on this planet to remove Saddam Hussein from power in that region – to promote freedom, democracy, and liberty. It’s obvious by the current democratic revolt in Iran that the people of that region are fed up with not being heard, tired of government parties that try to strong arm their own citizens with violence and intimidation.

You see, there is no room on our little blue marble for people like Hussein, or Kim Jong II of North Korea – guys who crave power and choose to instill fear instead of respect. All people like this do is slow the progress of humankind.

Changing topics to something that will actually benefit our wonderful planet…Microsoft announced it’s set pricing ($49-99) for Windows 7 and the XP/Vista upgrade program, offering a discount to people who pre-order the new operating system, which is due out this fall.

Apple meanwhile, will be charging users full price who don’t have the most recent Leopard OS X, who wish to switch to the new Snow Leopard. Even their chief software architect has been quoted as saying Snow Leopard is merely an “upgrade” from Leopard. Basically, it’s just a service pack. As corporate vice president of Microsoft Brad Brooks put it, “We don’t charge people for service packs.”

Mozilla Firefox version 3.5 is out and running beautifully. The overall increase in speed is obvious.

Weave also upgraded to version 0.4 beta in time for the new Firefox launch. For those of you unfamiliar, Weave is a (free) Mozilla add-on you can use to sync all of your bookmarks, passwords, preferences, et cetera. I find it extremely useful and would recommend downloading both Firefox and Weave, if any of you are (actually) still using Internet Explorer.

Last but not least, I just wanted to comment on Activision’s decision to drop the “Call of Duty” title for Modern Warfare 2…dumb and stupid are really the only two words that comes to mind.

Zune Top 5:
1} 36 O’s by Young LA on Black Boy White Boy
2} 21st Century Breakdown by Green Day on 21st Century Breakdown
3} Doin’ Time Remix by Sublime ft. Snoop Dogg on Everything Under the Sun
4} Every Girl by Young Money
5} It Feels So Good by Twista on Adrenaline Rush

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~ by therealJWilliam on June 30, 2009.

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