Finally, it’s coldish and there is snow here in Minnesota, which was a sudden reminder that I need a new winter coat. My old orange and navy blue Columbia Fire Ridge served me well for many years, well since seventh grade to be exact (do the math). The only problems with it are it’s now too small for me, two years ago I accidentally punctured it while running near a fence (a long story but I did repair the hole with some superglue), and it doesn’t have Omni-Tech (breathable waterproofing, similar to Gore-Tex.).
I initially wanted a Columbia Titanium series jacket but not a single store in our area handles the good Titanium jackets. There are several cheaper Titanium jackets which are, well, inferior. So we found ourselves in REI and they have tons of The North Face apparel and some Columbia stuff too, but not the good Titanium jackets. They have a 400 USD Deceptacon TriClimate jacket which is top of the line for what REI carries. There are about 5 or so better jackets produced by The North Face. There is also a 280 USD Vortex TriClimate jacket but it doesn’t fit right, for some reason the arm length on the right side is too short.
Today we went to a new Sports Authority which opened in EP. They have this Dominate TriClimate jacket which is made by The North Face and it is 300 USD list price but on sale for 250 USD. It fits correctly as did the Deceptacon and is much more moderately priced so I ended up with it. I haven’t really tested it yet but will soon. The only thing I can’t figure out is why The North Face doesn’t acknowledge its existence for a men’s variety. It is supposedly a women’s jacket name so then I tried to find out what it really was and why it was miss marketed. Sports Authority doesn’t have the jacket for men or women on its website so I’m back to square one. It appears to be directly based off of the Deceptacon but without the 200 USD liner (“Soft Shell”) that it has, and not as many internal pockets. But, all the other vitals are there, waterproof via HyVent (works the same as Omni-Tech/Gore-Tex) and the correct size.
Well I was wondering when I’d receive information from the UMN TC. I found a postcard that they sent me a few weeks ago, went online, and checked on my application status. To my surprise (well I knew I’d get accepted, it was just a matter of time), I was greeted with this message:
Congratulations! You have been admitted to the Institute of Technology. A letter was mailed on November 23, 2005 with additional information and your next steps.
So it looks like I’ll be attending the UMN TC next fall. I haven’t received that letter yet though.
Cold, heavy, squishy, slippery, wet, replenishing, and refreshing water is a runner’s friend and foe. It is a vital friend after a race or long run. During the hottest of days it’s the friend that helps one keep running. On the coldest days it helps keep a runner healthy and warm. Yet during a race water can be a runner’s greatest foe. Falling from the sky in various forms cooling a runner past comfort, adding the burden of more weight to increasing fatigue. Water collecting in the low lands on the course creates another obstacle for the runner to overcome.
Warm, dry, light, wicking, tight, comfortable and cool socks are essential tools for any successful runner. For a runner socks are the first defense against Mother Nature’s wrath. On the hottest days of the summer they keep one’s feet cool, and on the coldest days of the fall and winter they keep one’s feet warm. During the wettest of days socks keep a runner’s feet dry. They tightly cradle one’s foot reducing the chance for the development of blisters and enhancing comfort while racing.
Well it arrived yesterday, two days late, all I can say is that it is much nicer than my old wave keyboard that had the broken ‘z’ key (yeay! my ‘z’ key works now). I don’t like the mouse that came with it, mainly because I love my Logitech TrackMan Marble Wheel mouse. I won’t give it up until the day it stops working. At that point, I’ll get a new one. A full review with pictures will come after I get to test it for a while.
A common observation about the Democratic and Republican parties is that they try to be all things to all people and are thus indistinguishable from each other. When viewing the parties in a macro (generalized) fashion one could conclude that indeed both political parties are indistinguishable. This is realized when looking in to the overall function of each political party, which is to promote its ideologies and nominate candidates for elections. The truth is that one cannot say the Democratic and Republican parties are indistinguishable from each other because they are truly distinguishable when viewed in a ‘micro’ manner. The ideologies that each party represents are what distinguish one from the other. Democrats typically follow and promote the liberal ideology while Republicans typically follow and promote the conservative ideology.
The Democratic Party has in the past and continues to promote equality heavily over freedom and freedom over order, falling into the liberal ideological category, while the exact opposite can be said about the Republican Party. This does in a ‘micro’ manner distinguish the parties from each other since their respective ideologies will influence whom the party nominates and how their members will tend function. A common generalization is that Democrats tend to favor a larger government in terms of social programs while Republicans tend to favor a smaller government and a stronger military along with reduced taxes. In the real world we see that the two parties normally have issues when trying to operate in a bipartisan fashion. How can one say that they two parties are essentially the same if they parties clearly have different views on how the government should conduct itself.
The term bipartisan politics infers that the two political parties are working together and agree on a certain policy or set of policies. If the two parties were the same as the observation about political parties concludes then bipartisan politics would be a thing experienced all the time with both parties spear heading the same issues with the same or very similar approaches. Political parties could be classified as a type of interest group that also nominates and endorses candidates to represent their ideologies in the government. This in turn could be seen as conforming to the pluralist model which does represent a portion of how the United States’ government works. If the two parties were the same then the pluralist model would have less of an impact on the way that the US government operates (since they would operate in a bipartisan fashion) and then in turn diminishes the legitimacy of the United States’ democracy. Since there is often congressional gridlock, we can rest assured that the political parties aren’t one in the same (For the time being at least.) and as a result adhering to pluralist model essentially protecting the people.
If all political parties were the same as the common observation suggests then why doesn’t each party nominate the same candidate? The obvious answer is that they are not the same because of the fact that they don’t nominate and endorse the same candidate for elections. These facts bash the notion that the two political parties are indistinguishable. The one ‘exception’, George Washington, was never actually part of a political party therefore nullifying his significance in this statement.
The inability to operate in a bipartisan mode, differing political ideologies, and other general differences lead one to conclude that indeed the Democratic and Republican political parties are distinguishable and therefore non-homogeneous. Observing with macro precision leads one to conclude things that just are not true and are provably true when observing them with ‘micro’ precision.
The third paragraph in the body should be deleted and the conclusion should be re-written, in my mind at least, I still received a 4 out of 4 on it though.