The Dangers of “Skimming” Politically-Charged text

So… I’m doing my twitter and facebook thing, bumming around on the internet when all of a sudden, one of the people I follow re-tweeted something:

HIDEOUS. 100 sponsors of GOP bill that lets a pregnant woman die if saving her kills fetus More:

Basically, it’s an article that states the new GOP bill proposal has language stating that if an abortion will save the mother’s life, it can only be performed if it’s not federally funded (e.g. your tax dollars can’t help her out).

Wow, you’re right, that is horrible. Unless that information is completely wrong. In which case, why is everyone freaking out?

The author apparently couldn’t find a link to the new language (the language she’s concerned about is in the Chairman’s Mark.

From TheCapitol.Net, Chairman’s Mark is “Recommendation by committee (or subcommittee) chair of the measure to be considered in a markup, usually drafted as a bill.” –

So, she copied and pasted the whole Chairman’s Mark into a comment. But… the comment shows an exception clause listing all the things she’s saying the GOP isn’t going to allow to happen anymore – including federally funding an abortion which will save the mother’s life.

People, read, read and comprehend. If you still have a problem with the document, fine, but don’t state it under a false shock title of “GOP wants to kill mothers”. C’mon, seriously? Perform some respectable journalism.


Tobacco’s last strike

As anyone who knows me is aware, I quit smoking on December 31st, 2010.

That’s right, it’s been a month, yay me 😀

However… nobody told me about cilium (pl. cilia) and the need for this organelle to grow back post-quitting.

“Shutup Ashley you’re getting all sciency on me”.  Let me explain:

Cilia take care of getting nastiness out of your lungs/sinuses… your upper respiratory system as a whole.  When you smoke, your cigs overpower the little fibre’s and they die Wicked Witch of the West style.  However, when you quit, the little SOBs regenerate (+10 to constitution cilia, well rolled).

Should be awesome right?  NO!  You’ve got millions of these little things growing back at the same time and it causes one giant upper-respiratory aggitation.

As a result, I’ve spent the last week sick and unable to work-out, unwilling (but usually still devoted) to cook healthy food for myself… basically it’s just been a buzz-kill.

Yes, I know, I’m whining, it’s my blog, not yours, go away 😉

Regardless, I’m coping, I hope the worst of it is done and over with in time for my birthday (Feb 6th).

Also, if anyone wants to get me something awesome… well an Android 3.0 tablet or an iPad2 (I know, neither is out yet, I’ll wait) would be badass 😀 #delusionsofgrandeur

That is all, now get out of here 🙂

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Anthony Hopkins brings The Rite to the big boy table

So I thought I was being suckered into going to see this movie.  But, meh, it was Saturday night and there was beer afterward so I left with a contented yet disdainful look on my face.

After arrival, trailers, and coming within a hair’s breadth of personally throwing 4 teenagers out of the theater for treating it like their own American Idol audition screening, the movie started… very slowly.

Yet, the pace of the story is like a good braise, using slowly unraveling levels to explain the protagonist’s (Colin O’Donoghue as Michael Kovak) past.  The audience discovers how truly entwined Michael is with the supernatural happenings of the film, suggesting a pre-destination feel (e.g. Destiny ordained by God, executed by the Devil himself to ensure the correct path is chosen).

Anthony Hopkins’ character, Father Lucas, feels a little paper-dollish, but superb acting and character choices quickly pull your mind to what’s going on with Lucas in the here-and-now, completely obliterating any hope for a deeper character development.  Anthony Hopkins just == win like that.

I won’t get deep into the story line, it’s based on real events… or rather, based on a 2009 non-fiction book by Matt Baglio (which is referenced as a magazine article in the movie).

Point being, its definitely worth it… the meat of the film takes place in the last 30 minutes, getting to see Hopkins act out a complete takeover by demonic forces is truly something else.  On the other hand, I wouldn’t say that if you can wait, you shouldn’t… seeing it on the big screen vs. dvd/blu-ray release will not make or break your day/life/what-have-you.

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Is it really that green if it costs so much… well, green?!

Volkswagen is showing off their new XL1 prototype at the Qatar Motor Show, is it a step towards the future, or a really expensive green status symbol?

Volkswagen XL1 Prototype - All conceptual-like


  1. 260 MPG
  2. Will go into production
  3. Only 100 will be manufactured, primarily for German buyers

With only 100 being manufactured, the market being limited to Western Europe, and the concept style of the design, I believe it’s safe to assume that this vehicle will cost an arm, a leg, and a small-medium sized orphan.

This being said, is this really a push in the right direction or does it set the stage for the truly eco-conscious to be truly out of reach for years to come?

Read more over at Gizmodo.

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Fooling yourself into being awesome

I find with any life changing endeavor, three things are equally and epically important:

1. Know who you are.
2. Know how to tell yourself the truth.
3. Know how to trick yourself into a lie.

The reason these things are important are best summed up by how I have FINALLY quit smoking with such resolve, I’m not at all concerned about a relapse:

As December 2010 was approaching, I started formulating a plan in my head of how to live a healthier lifestyle. My goals were, as they should be, selfish – I wanted to feel more confident both clothed and naked (hey ladies, men have body issues too). I’d already lost from 230lbs – 195lbs… but I was still flabby and I still felt rundown. As I thought about how much all this sucked… I lit up…….. my 25th cigarette for the day.

Now, I have tried to quit and tried to quit and tried to quit…. but looking back, I never really TRIED to quit. It became obvious that the next thing to go would have to be the smoking (should have been the first thing to be honest) and then I could start in on exercise and stress management, etc. This sounded great on paper… the problem, of course, was actually putting the cancer sticks down once and for all.

Enter important needs number 1 and 2 – Know who you are, Know how to tell yourself the truth:

It was at this moment that I realized and admitted the following:

I was lazy
I was unwilling to stop smoking
The only time I’ve wanted to quit in the past year was when a few of my friends were relentlessly teasing me about smelling after a smoke break………….

Enter important need number 3 – Know how to trick yourself into a lie:

See, knowing the above information is great.. but ultimately worthless. It’s like a fire alarm going off when you’re in a room you’ve never been in before and have no idea of where the fire exits are.

Point being, you need the plan… you need the method of making you, the lazy/unwilling you, want to do these things that you well… want to do but don’t WANT to do.

So I tricked myself into the lie… via peer pressure, and spite.

Many people apply peer pressure for appalling/ludicrous/ridiculous/stupid “causes”. It’s actually how I started smoking. People think doing something out of spite is immature… probably, but it works to your benefit if you use it right.

I found a way to use both for good though by finding various people to fill my support base. My support base is made up of the following:

1 – Best friend who also smokes that I asked to quit with me.
1 – Coworker/Friend I respect who has quit smoking before that I mentioned “needing” drugs or laser treatments to quit, knowing he would be condescending about me being too weak-willed to quit on my own.
1 – Best friend who had quit smoking before that would also tease me for being weak-willed but also be supportive, almost like a quit coach.

As planned… hearing the coworker tell me “if you need snake oil to man up, go ahead, it’s a waste of money and I’ll probably think less of you if you go through with it” set my willpower in motion. Hearing my best friend tease me about being weak and then back me up with a few helpful tips for quitting not only fueled the fire but made me feel like I had a contingency plan. Lastly, having an accountability partner to be there day after day and raise bloody hell if I cheated ensured that no craving was worth the risk.

Regardless of what you’re trying to overcome on your path to healthiness (or even just life), just remember to know who you are, be honest about who that is, and know the best way to con that person into what you really want to happen in your life.

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AshYoungblood v2.0

2011?! I’m turning 28 this year. I don’t have the freak-out mode that I normally do. That isn’t to say that my typical “Things have to change this year!” didn’t occur, I just happened to follow through this year.

I’ve quit smoking – I’m at 29 days.
I workout between 2-6 times a week and am trying to stabilize closer to 6.
I’ve changed my eating habits (not diet, never diet).

I have become really interested in what I’m doing DURING my life. This distinction is epically important.
Most people worry about what they’re doing WITH their life… I’ve pretty much got that figured out. I’m progressing my career towards becoming a Senior Engineer and possibly an Architect with a focus on Project Management/Lead.

But what am I doing DURING my life? I’m a single father, I’m nearly 28, and I hardly ever do anything. I know of nothing fun in the surrounding area and most of my friends are married or have moved to different locations.

So I’ve decided to do something about that too. I’ve recruited a handful of people that I know lead far more interesting lives than my own and I’m making them mentor me. I *refuse* (especially with how much better I look and feel with all the other life changes) to be a wallflower.

So, stay tuned. This blog is being re-purposed to an accurate accounting of my life. This includes aspirations, fears, short-comings, failures, dreams, conquests – professionally and personally.

I doubt many will be interested – I just play an egotistical prick on TV 😉 But, for those of you that are, stay tuned.

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Google – Take that Trogdor… and illegal loggers

So Copenhagen… no not the dip you hick… the place, the summit, the mecca of all things Green has just seen Google unveil *drum roll* a deforestation tracking tool *crickets*.

Ok, so you have no use for it… but, emerging industrial countries that need a way of tracking the damage they’re doing (or illegal logging/stripping facilities… or even a mythical dragon that is consistently burninating the country side… TROGDOOOOOOOOOOOOR!) will find this very useful.

Utilizing currently available satellite imagery and a bit of the modern magic we call science, this tool enables the view of current deforestation, old deforestation, and the natural degradation that occurs as a result.

More @ earth2tech