Will Free Speech Survive?

With the supreme court ruling on Friday, marriage is no longer defined as being between a man and a woman. It has now been generalized to include other options as well. So the historical and traditional meaning of the word is now gone (or will be soon).

This also isn’t the first time that I morally disagree with something that the government deems legal. The list is actually pretty long (ex. abortion). But as the government gets larger and larger, it’s more difficult to find a part of our lives that they don’t have some measure of control. We’ve typically been able to go about our lives without it impacting our daily activities. It’s now becoming clear to me that our free speech (and religious speech) is now the true target and something that we must defend.

I certainly don’t want that speech to be hateful, but many times that’s what people seem to want to project. I can remember the “Bush Hate”. Lots and lots of it. The general hate of republicans or conservatives. The hate of Chik-fil-a. On the other side, we have the hate of Obama or the hate of {insert liberal celebrity with something political to say}. Seems that people just get into that. Anyway, as much as I disagree with that, I still think that we have an obligation to protect each persons right to say what they think. Just as important, I have a right to ignore or block out that opinion. The nightly news was filled with it, so I stopped buying that product (I don’t watch the news).

This sort of gets back around to the confederate battle flag. Would I fly the flag? No. For me, it’s just not appropriate. I don’t want the South back to the way it was then and I also think the flag is racially insensitive. Would I fly the Gadsden? Absolutely. For the government (of all people), I think it is not appropriate to fly the “stars and bars”. For individuals though, it’s about free speech. They can fly whatever flag they want. If you don’t like it, don’t look. I’ve also had multiple US flags (which I displayed on my house and in my yard) broken in half and thrown in my lawn, so I suppose not everyone is so passive.

Before the decade is up, you can expect an attempt to limit “hate speech”. Just wait for it. My advice is to not fall for it.

Maggie Turns 9

Maggie at 9Today my baby girl turned nine years old. I don’t know that I’m ready to have all my children in double digits, so I’m going to have to enjoy this last year. They are all growing up so fast. This year Maggie asked if she could get her ears pierced. I thought it would be fine and I figured that I could get an ear pierced as well. Just kidding about that last part. So tonight we celebrated with a traditional birthday meal together at Chili’s (complete with a chocolate molten cake for dessert served by singing wait staff). It was sort of funny when they brought her cake out the first time and Maggie was in the restroom.

It seems that Maggie is busy either drawing, watching PBS Kids show or both things at the same time. She’s very tender hearted and wears her emotions on her sleeves, yet can be tough all the same. A real friend though and is always interacting with those around her. Everyone knows Maggie at church though, she’s just that kind of personality. One thing is sure, our cat Dash likes to keep an eye out for her. If you hear the cat hissing, you can bet Maggie has scooped her up and is giving her a big hug. It seems that Maggie likes to love on the cat a little more than the cat likes to be hugged on.

Happy birthday to my sweet little Maggie! Daddy loves you.

Does the Xbox One Make Sense Now?

Microsoft had several big announcements at E3 this year. There is a massively huge (does that seem big enough?) list of blockbuster titles scheduled for the Fall and Spring. Of course we have Skyrim Unlimited that just launched as well as the already announced Call of Duty Black Ops title and Star Wars Battlefront. On top of that we’ll see Halo 5, Fallout 4, Forza 6 and Gears of War (among other titles). There are enough titles launching this year, that it will take several years to play them all. It’s a great year for games on the consoles (if you are into that). They all look and sound fantastic. It’s simply amazing how realistic that these games are getting. Hollywood should watch out.

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Coast to Coast in My Neighborhood

Last Month I passed the 6,000 mile mark on my new bike (well, it used to be new). Today I hit 6,384 miles. It’s been a great bike to ride and it’s still in nearly perfect shape. It did require regular maintenance to get it that far and at the moment, I could use a couple more tires and perhaps new chain (will be my 3rd). I’m still impressed with how quickly you can get up to speed when you really push it.

So how far is 6,384 miles? Well to put things in perspective, if you drove from San Francisco to New York it would be 2,909 miles. So I’ve ridden my bike the equivalent of that round trip (plus a few miles to detour over for some skiing).

Coast to Coast

The crazy part is that I’ve never ridden it outside of my neighborhood. I have a 12.5 miles loop that I can ride without getting on a major road, so I do that twice and sometimes three times a ride (weather permitting). Let’s just say that I know the roads around here pretty well.

During those rides, I’ve burned an estimated 332,000 calories (estimated by the Runtastic software which is probably a little high). I don’t know that I need to burn that now, but it does allow me a lot of flexibility in my eating habits which is nice at times. I’m not tracking my calories right now, so it’s not really that important of a metric to me.

So where do I go from here? Not sure. I suppose 10K will be my next milestone. Perhaps early next year I’ll hit that mark. Doesn’t matter, I just need to keep on riding and that will come before I know it.

In Summer

We are busy doing what people do in Summer. The boys have Camp Smiling Acres this week and I’m sure they are enjoy time with their friends. Probably less enjoyable is the hot, humid air, but I’m sure they are making the best of it. The girls are enjoying “Princesspalooza” (princess movies every night) while the boys are away. Me… not so much.

We’ve also got a Summer piano lesson schedule and a creative writing class for Emma and Hayden affectionately labelled “Pencilpalooza” (yes, lots of paloozas). Quinn has his first job outside the home this Summer (part time work at an accounting office). His apprehension has turned into a realization of what work is and what it’s for (i.e. earning money). The girls also have a pool day once a week with their friends from church. This ends up being a very fun day for them, but Connie ends up with the short end of that stick in being the lifeguard for them.

Me? My normal work schedule along with my normal exercise schedule (with an additional helping of hot, humid weather and intermittent rain). Coming up next month will be a hiking trip with the boys in Colorado. I’ve also got several smaller projects that I keep kicking around (figuratively). For instance, I’m working with a new Raspberry Pi 2 board with Windows 10 IoT (Internet of Things) preview.

Stop by for a few words on what is happening with the Callahan's.