Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Narcissistic 25

Since it took me forever to write, I thought I'd repost something that I posted up on Facebook.  A little (or lot) more about what makes me tick.


Yeah, yeah.  25 things about me.  25 people to pass it along to.  You know the drill by now.  Let's clog the intertubes some more...  For the record, these are in the order they popped into my head.  Therefore they'll likely be very nonsensical.

1.  I've only been in one fight (outside of sibling duels) in my life.  Sixth grade and I settled it with one swing of my saxophone case.  Since I no longer play the sax, I'll stick to my one fight per lifetime rule.

2.  I have chronic sinusitis.  It sucks.  If I could stop it I would, trust me.  I am not sniffling/snorfiling to annoy you.  I have many other ways I can accomplish that.  Three separate surgeries provided temporary relief but no real cure.

3.  My favorite band is Wilco.  Unhealthily so.  I'd like to think my musical tastes are diverse (a glance @ my iTunes listing would back that up) but in reality I listen to these guys 60% of the time, much to Becca's chagrin.  Favorite Wilco songs?  Casino Queen (brings back memories of too many nights on the waterfront in college) & Handshake Drugs (don't know why, just always puts me in the right mood).

4.  I'm equal parts scared and excited about my impending fatherhood.  While people around me swear I'll make a good father, I'm of the belief that you never know until it is truly thrust upon you. 

5.  Becca and I essentially moved in together three weeks after we met.  While she swears it was b/c she had internet and HBO, I like to think of it as a sign of true love.  Still kind of amazing for someone who's previous longest relationship was 4.5 months.

6.  I am a sports geek, although this has tempered itself and evolved over the years.  I do seem to obsess on sports that either move slowly (cricket, baseball) or have limited scoring (baseball, soccer). 

7. I am a fantasy baseball dork.  The Portland Hoods have a sweet eight year streak of one year great, one year bad going strong.  Though winning our league two years ago did score me the cash for a sweet new Garmin running watch.

8.  I am a bit obsessive compulsive about my running.  I used said Garmin to track every mile I ran during my last marathon training.  Additionally, I will run around the block an extra time or two to meet a certain mileage goal but won't stop early if I'm already past a certain mile marker. 

9.  I've run a whopping two marathons, both in state capitols (St. Paul, Sacramento).  Unfortunately qualifying for Boston in 2010 has stopped that streak cold.  :-)  While I always thought marathons were a perfect distance for my body, I think I've found over the past few years that half-marathons are more my thing.  And yes, I do realize this still qualifies me as a freak.

10. I have seen my baseball team (the Red Sox) win the World Series in person (2004 in St. Louis), have been in the locker rooms in Fenway, touched the Green Monster yet have never been to a live game in Fenway. 

11.  I am a proud Eagle Scout.  While the Boy Scouts themselves are not exactly a popular organization to associate with nowadays, I still believe it was (and is) a great way for kids to get into the outdoors and spend time with kids their own age.

12.  I skipped the third grade.  Technically since our school district ran on the track system, I never finished second grade either.  I literally went from second grade on a Friday to the start of fourth grade on a Monday.  Explains why my grade school skills are always a little hit and miss.

13.  I am left handed throwing a ball, playing darts, playing pool, etc.  I am right handed hitting a tennis racket, throwing a frisbee and playing golf.  I write right handed.  I eat ambidextrously.

14.  My sports affiliations (in order of importance): Red Sox, University of Oregon, Portland Trail Blazers, Minnesota Vikings, US Men's National Soccer Team, Olympique Lyonnais (French Soccer), Portland Timbers (US Soccer), Australian National Team Cricket, Hereford United (English League Two Soccer).  Out of these the only one I typically find the time to consistently watch is the Sox.

15.  I've had the fortune to spend 15 months traveling around the world.  I highly recommend it to everyone.  We wrote about it on our blog and it was interesting to see how much I was able to write, keep a journal, etc. during the trip.  Once we got home?  Both have suffered tremendously.

16.  That being said, I still have a life goal of either putting some of our travels into a group of essays or working with my dad to do a children's book based on some of our experiences.  Not sure which (or either) will ever happen but they stay on my life goal list.

17.  Yes, I have a life goal list.  Dorky I know but it does keep in perspective the things and situations you want out of life.  It helps to have as well to serve as an anchor when things start to get out of control and you lose sight of the important things, whatever you've defined those as for yourself.

18.  I've eaten a pound of Boston baked beans (the candy kind) in one sitting.  For dinner.  No, it wasn't to win a bet.  Yes, I felt ill the next day.

19.  After traveling for 15 months, it is amazing how little you can live with.  While the equation changes slightly once you're living in one place again I've been very proud with the fact that we've been able to downscale what we need and learn to live a simpler lifestyle.  It's great to be able to get by with less, walk to just about everything we need and just live simpler.

20.  That being said, having just recently acquired a new TV and HD coverage having the occasional treat is nice :-)

21.  I had both dogs and cats when I was a kid.  I can safely say that now I'm mainly a cat person if only for the simple fact that you can leave them with the litter box for a weekend.  That being said, I have a permanent soft spot for the Welsh Corgis in our neighborhood and secretly wish for one on occasion.  Not enough to actually go through though.

22.  This is the busiest time of year for the Davis family.  From January 5 to February 18th, I have birthdays for my entire immediate family, Becca, my sister in law, my mom & dad's anniversary, and the birthdays of multiple friends.  Needless to say I'm committed to deficit spending (both in $ and time) from mid-December through February.

23.  I love living in Portland again.  It's fantastic to be in such an outdoor wonderland and so close to family.  However if circumstances led to us moving, my short list would be Melbourne, New Zealand (south island), Southern France, Minneapolis, Seattle (under certain conditions) & Vancouver BC.

24.  I'm looking forward to the challenge of becoming a stay at home dad.  At least in the short term Becca and I decided we wanted to have one of us home and focused on the baby full time and given her current successful consulting gig and me just finishing school, it seemed like a no brainer.  Plus I have to admit that it's something I've thought about for a long time.  I'm not sure if I'm going to be a natural at it but I'm really looking forward to having the opportunity to bond with my child in a way that so few dads get to do.  Guess I have to get used to looking sexy with a baby bjorn!

25.  I consider myself the luckiest man in the world to be married to Becca.  The second smartest person I have ever met (for the record, I'm about #531), she has an amazing combination of brains, determination and adventurous spirit that has allowed us to tackle everything from family illness to getting married to traveling around the world to going to Babies R Us.  Though I think that last one scared us the most :)

Monday, January 26, 2009

Product Ideas Run Amuck

In my daily wanderings, I'm always intrigued by what motivates people to buy and sell certain products. Was it something created from someone's own personal need? Is it an extravagance? Where is the market for this?

It's this final question that brought me to posting about two products in the TLA (tobacco, liquor and firearms) market. The first is courtesy of my friend Alex: Crystal Head Vodka. Ok, the video is long (about 10 min) but worth it when you have a few minutes to spare.

The video can easily be mistaken for a viral SNL campaign. In fact, when the video came out it was evidently thought to be a viral effort for a new Ghostbusters or Indiana Jones movie. However, it's all true. Evidently Aykroyd, in addition to being a huge UFO buff/believer, is also the Canadian distributor of Patron and partially owns four wineries.

However, the high entertainment value lies in the making of the vodka: QUADRUPLED distilled over precious crystals called Herkimer diamonds leading to a "distinct flavor." Also adding to its taste is it creation in scenic Newfoundland, a place so rugged it has it's own time zone. I have to admit, after listening to the video, I was torn between mocking the vodka and buying it.

The second item though I can guarantee will NOT be going on the 2010 birthday list, baby registry, etc. As I was walking through one of our local mega-malls, I came upon a kiosk selling the e-cigarette. The creators were seeking to "create a smoke free environment by offering an option to smoke without tobacco, tar and all the other chemicals found in traditional cigarettes."

Yes, evidently someone has found a way to create a mechanical device that gives you a nicotine hit without the smell, tar and other chemicals. While I commend anything that helps get rid of the stank of cigarettes, this product seems targeting the "desperate to still look like a social outcast" market. However, this guy does his best to make it look cool.

So Crystal Head Vodka and the e-cigarette. Representatives are standing by.

Happy Monday everyone!


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Yin & Yang of Politics

With today being inauguration day for our 44th president, a lot of friends and family are excited about President Obama officially taking office. With his campaign based on hope and change and the electorate choosing this message, one could hope that politics is headed in the right direction.

However, with one positive thing come news to balance it out. Portland's new mayor Sam Adams, has admitted to having a relationship with a legislative intern named Beau Breedlove when he was 18. Adams, who was 42 at the time lied about the relationship when asked about it in October 2007 as part of a Willamette Week investigation in the heart of the mayoral race. Additionally, Adams convinced Breedlove to stay quiet and lie about their relationship at the time. Despite Adams and Breedlove both stating he was of legal age at the time of their relationship, there are some questions as to whether Breedlove was 18 when their relationship started, thus bringing into question whether Adams could be criminally prosecuted for the relationship.

This sort of relationship and the lying behind it is wrong no matter who does it and what their orientation is. For someone who stands for all Portlanders, it is inexcusable. On a day of hope and change on a national level, we Portlanders got a local reminder of the lies and deceit that come hand in hand with politics on any level. Personally, as someone who voted for Adams I get another reminder why my political science degree continues to garner dust and another layer of "scar tissue" that has be hopeful but doubtful about the true change any politician can bring.


Original Willamette Week Article