Arsenal 3-1 Chelsea

Do you have any idea what a scoreline like this means to me? Or how long I’ve waited to see it? Even before I realized that Manchester United were the most formidable EPL opponent, I realized that Chelsea were going to be a tough team to beat. And Chelsea always seemed to get the upper hand.
Song, Fabregas, and Walcott scored within about 9 minutes of each other, although Song’s goal was before half time. 
The league table right now is looking real welcoming. We’re 3 points and 5 goals from going joint top. We have a game tomorrow against Wigan Athletic and we stand a fair chance against them. I think that its kind of cute that Everton and Liverpool are currently sharing the #11 spot in the table, but Liverpool have a chance to pull even further ahead since they’ve only played 17 matches to Everton’s 19. (Google Map Liverpool FC and Everton FC to see why it’s cool). I would LOVE it if the Wolverhampton Wanderers could bring their game up a few notches. I would hate to see them go back down to the Championship League. 

Tomas Rosicky got a few minutes of play time.


Letter to Me

Back at the end of eighth grade and then again at the beginning of ninth grade we had to write letters to our future selves. It wasn’t the first time I’d written letters to my future self, 4/4.5 years were just the longest I’d ever waited for the letters.

Sports were as big a part of my life then as they are now. Unfortunately self, the SWB Red Barons no longer exist. Philly moved that wonderful AAA team closer to Philly and we got stuck with the Yankees. Speaking of the Phillies, we’ve managed to win a World Series with the help of Ryan Howard AND Shane Victorino. My love for the Arsenal was just beginning and therefore did not qualify for a favorite team spot yet. That has massively changed.

Natasha Bedingfield is still the most amazing artist ever with 2.5 more albums released and each one just as good as Unwritten. Kelly Clarkson is still good, as is TobyMac. I enjoy hip hop/rap a bit more now. In the one letter I think I had to convince myself that I was spiritual at that point marginalizing and compartmentalizing my “secular” music. My taste in movies hasn’t changed much. And NCIS and American Idol are still two of my favorite shows

I had some interesting goals to go along with all my informing.
1.     Go to Germany and England (still wanna do that bad)
2.     Hit up the 2012 Olympics in London (still a GO in my books)
3.     Join the Navy or Coast Guard (you guys didn’t recruit hard enough)
4.     Become a carpenter or contractor (considering I now want to work for NSA someday that’s probably the biggest turn around in my goals. I think my goals now suit me a bit better anyways.)
5.     Get my own apartment and travel a bit (I am living pretty much on my own and have gotten to travel some and will have many more opportunities. I guess this is the only goal I’ve kind of accomplished)
6.     Break a bone and get stitches (I’d already broken a bone…. Don’t ask where this came from)
7.     Own a bunch of adidas clothes and shoes (Will Nike do?)
8.     Keep loving God, Loosen up, Have fun, Keep drawing. (Man I’m general! But Have Fun is a new years resolution every year for me. You can always have more fun than last year.

There’s one little bit that I feel has described me and will continue to describe me “I don’t know and don’t care about whats happening beyond high school. I’ll get there when I get there”. That’s not to say I’m one of the those people who never makes plans, I’m just real open to letting things happen without letting them screw up my outlook on life because they weren’t what I expected.

Looking back now, there’s a few more specific goals I would have set for myself, but Its cool to see how I was 4 years ago, how I’ve changed, and how I’ve stayed the same.


Through the Eyes of a Child

I don’t know why, but I’ve always really enjoyed kids stuff. Child-like wonder is supposedly lost when we “grow up”. Either I never really grew up, or I didn’t lose that wonder. I am a capable young adult, so I’d like to think I just never lost that wonder.

Kids shows are always so enjoyable to watch. Elmo’s World teaches so much about everything. Weather yesterday, noses today. We even get to sing the song for whatever we learned about. Dinosaur Train is a new favorite just because I learn stuff about dinosaurs that I didn’t know before. Curious George is just so cute. There are other shows too, but I won’t go there.

Have you played with toys lately? It’s so much fun to use your imagination. Cars fly and the good guys ALWAYS win. Some of my most favorite moments involve me running around outside all day just having fun playing.

It’s Christmas time. Santa is out waiting for the list of toys to be requested. Christmas trees with all their cool ornaments and lights are up, ready to be stared at for hours on end.

But the coolest part of Christmas is here too. Baby Jesus was born. You have to have a big imagination to think up a baby born in a barn with shepherds as the first visitors. That’s the cool part. God has a big imagination. And he thought that up and made it real life. That’s just something real special to me. Is it special for you?



The purpose of this post is to explain why I do and don’t want Committed to win season 2 of The Sing Off. This will be accomplished through the use of the author’s personal opinions.

Why: They really are good. From their take on Maroon 5’s This Love to the Usher Medley, they have shown their versatility and greatness. And they seem to have a solid fan base. And Street Corner Symphony, their only serious competition seems to have focus only part of the time.

Why Committed Shouldn’t Win: I’ve only seen the first episode all the way through, but Street Corner Symphony’s take on Everybody Wants to Rule the World was more mind blowing than Committed’s This Love. Both were amazing and I’m hoping that these two groups will be the final two.

The big thing with Committed is that they started out as a church group. Everyone keeps getting butt hurt (sorry about the army lingo) over their choices in songs. I think they’re phenomenal. Although they’re church boys, they obviously know “secular” music; they’ve just never worked at singing it for audiences. If people are looking for ‘goody-goody’ church boys, they’re watching the wrong competition. Maybe I’m just biased because I’m a part of both worlds and enjoy them both.

I’ve also seen comments bashing them and questioning their “committedness” simply by their being on the competition to win the money and record deal. If this were to be totally true, then we should also question the sincerity of TobyMac and Steven Curtis Chapman because they charge a lot for concert tickets, Owl City for releasing commercially and secularly, and ignore every other Christian or Christian groups in show business or professional sports because obviously these people aren’t “Christian” enough and participate in some of the world’s stuff instead of being stuck up and doing their own thing.

Deep down, I really don’t care who wins the Sing Off this year as long as it comes down to Committed and Street Corner Symphony. They were both so amazing. Can you tell that people dissing Christians in the spotlight is a soapbox of mine? 

Check them both out:


Strip Me

My favorite artist has struck again. Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2010 was the day that Natasha Bedingfield released her 4th studio album, Strip Me. In typical fashion she has produced one more album with the same great style, wordplay, and as some put I, cheekiness as Unwritten, N.B., and Pocketful of Sunshine.
Touch was released as a teaser in June and Strip Me in September, so I already knew those songs and enjoyed them.
Every song on the album but there are two that stood out to me in particular during the first time listen. The first one: No Mozart. It’s a more piano driven song with such meaningful, clever lyrics. The second one: Can’t Fall Down. Its sound made me automatically think of the scene in Medicine Man when Sean Connery is swinging around in the rainforest. It doesn’t really help that one of the lines mentions the “forest floor”.
This album is definitely more electronic than the guitar and piano driven Unwritten, but it is still definite Bedingfield music.  All the vocal swirls that weren’t as apparent in Pocketful of Sunshine are back.
Bedingfield has definitely matured since the first album. Each album is like a diary of the point in life she’s at currently. It’s cool though, because I feel like I‘m on that journey as well.
I did do a double take when I first heard a cuss word in Weightless. I had to restart the song to make sure I heard it correctly. It’s there. I guess I’ll just have to get over it. Its only said twice.

On a small side note, David Glass used to play guitar for Bedingfield. He then ended up co-writing a song with Lee DeWyze on his new album Sweet Serendipity. It’s just cool to see all the music connections that happen. And I have even more reason to like DeWyze since he was writing with Natash Bedingfield’s former guitarist and Toby Gad who has also done work with Bedingfield.


Guest Post by a Special Someone...

Hey all Jedi blog readers, I have hijacked the Jedi’s laptop and written a special post as a guest writer.
Today I would like to talk about the merits of doing laundry and how Jedi does it. Everyone has dirty laundry; it’s a fact of life. I’m proud to say Jedi has mastered the art of doing laundry on the one free day she has a week. She’s actually transferring clothes right now.
The first step to doing laundry in the army is acquiring a laundry bag, which was given at the beginning of basic training. The next step is putting the dirty clothes into the bag. Some people prefer to put the clothes in as they get dirty, but the laundry bag houses clean clothes for Jedi during the week, so the dirty ones get put in once the clean ones are dumped out.
Next, Jedi must make the long and strenuous journey 25 feet down the hallway to the laundry room. There, an open washer must be found (not hard when there’s 20 washers in he room). Jedi then proceeds to put every item in the laundry bag into the washer.
Here comes the most important part of laundry; the detergent and settings. Tide Sport with Frebreeze is possibly the most amazing detergent scent in the world and is perfect for Jedi because of the great number of athletic clothes worn.
  Jedi prefers to do only one load of laundry per week and has mastered washing whites and darks together with no ill effects. The secret? Use the warm/cold setting on the washer. 
After an hour wait, it is time to return and transfer clothing from washer and dryer. There is no science to drying clothes and no great explanation needed for it.
In another hour, the clothes are dry and Jedi can take them back to her room. The clothes then stay in the bag until they are required for use. (Occasionally they do get folded and put away the same day they were washed. It all depends on what Jedi is doing that day.)

I hope you have enjoyed my little narrative. Jedi doesn’t know I’ve posted this and I don’t know how she’ll react to her weekly ritual being known. Remember, laundry is important and should never be taken lightly…



There's something I have to do every Thanksgiving. It's one of the three TV programs I have to watch, including the Grammys and Rockin New Years Eve. It's the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. There's just something about watching all the floats and balloons go by. And I like seeing all the performers they get for the floats. This year wasn't spectacular performer-wise, but it was still nice. The Rockettes didn't seem as good as they usually do. I was excited to see Arlo Guthrie perform, but he performed one of his dad's songs instead of Alice's Restaurant. I was disappointed in that since I really enjoy the song. Kanye West wasn't even as good as I had hoped he would be. I was impressed by Gloriana. I got really excited about seeing the Hess Truck float and the Buzz Lightyear balloon. I was also happy to find out there's going to be another Sing Off even though I'll miss the shows. It was really good last year.
Thanksgiving dinner at the chow hall was amazing. They had sergeant majors and warrant officers serving us and the brigade and battalion commanders were there enjoying a Thanksgiving meal.

Its officially Christmas season now. Thanksgiving is over and its less than a month until we celebrate the birth of not so baby Jesus. I'm almost missing snow, and I'm definitely missing listening to Christmas music on the radio. I have a feeling the radio will be on a lot when I'm home.


That cheesy Thanksgiving post

I feel really blessed to be able to be in Arizona. And to be around at all. I know it’s really cliché-ish for this time of year, but it’s from the bottom of my heart what I’m thankful for.
1.     1. To be surrounded by the scenery that I am. Sunrises and sunsets are so much cooler out here. And I get to just stare at the mountains every day. It’s almost Sound of Music in the desert. I just don’t sing to the mountains.
2.    2.  To have the Army job I do is wonderful. I go to class/work every day and my brain starts referencing all the NCIS episodes I’ve seen. And then I reference my job when I’m watching NCIS.
3.    3.  I’m thankful for my family. They’ve been supportive the entire time I’ve been gone. Packages, letters, e-mails, texts.
4.    4.  I’m thankful my Barney is here with me. Me and Barney have been buddies for at least 17 years.
5.    5.  Lastly, it sounds kind of weird, but I’m thankful the Army has brainwashed me to a degree. I don’t think about how to put the PT belt on, I just do. I just automatically start off on the required foot. I don’t need to question myself on loading, shooting, or troubleshooting my weapon. The only thing I still struggle with is making sure I loop my belt to buckle on the proper side.



Back in June I posted a video for a version of my favorite new song at the time. Then in September I posted about how I had 4 different versions of the song.  I can now sadly say I have a fifth version of K’naan’s Wavin Flag. It’s the one he performed at the FIFA World Cup Kick-Off Celebration Concert. It mixes both the regular version and the World Cup of the song and even brings in will I am from the Black Eyed Peas (he’s on one of the other versions I have and the Peas were performers at the concert too).
I once read somewhere (I want to say in Nick Hornby’s book Songbook, but I’m not positive) that songs are like puzzles we’re trying to solve. There’s a mystery in the songs and we’re all trying to solve it. Some songs are more of a mystery for some people than others.
I’d like to figure out the puzzle in Wavin Flag. I’m not sure why it’s held my fascination for so long. I get the feeling its because K’naan is a lot like Natasha Bedingfield. He’s got good beats, his music has some depth in it, he started out more popular internationally than in the US, and he’s a social activist. Then I think you can add on top of that the fact that I found the song as a World Cup song and I love soccer more than almost everything than God and my Barney.
Those are the reasons I can come up with for my fascination. And Wavin Flag isn’t the only song I have a fascination with. It’s just the most recent one. And I like its puzzle. 



There was something I didn’t realize would be a perk when I moved out here to Arizona. I guess it should have been obvious, but living for 11 year in Pennsylvania can do funny things to you.
Almost all of the change I get is D mint change. Produced by Uncle Sam in Denver, Colorado. Living on the east coast means a majority of the change is produced in the Philadelphia mint. There aren’t a lot of D coins that make it to where I was. It was something special to pick up a D coin. At least it is for me. It was special for me as a little kid in Nebraska and even more special in PA. Now I get to feel special a lot with all the change I get and find.

PS- I find a lot of change here. Kind of Surprising for a military base…..
and Arsenal lost today. Thats all on that topic.



Tuesday was an interesting, cool day. I had a dental appointment at 0720 and was out of the office by 0735 as army class 1 dental status. Hooray for army efficiency. At mail call at the end of the day I got my Arsenal shirt that I got off of e-bay. It's a 2003-2004 home shirt WITH a Champion's League patch on it. The patch was a sweet little bonus for me.
Probably the coolest part of the day was when we were forming up after school. It has been a little stormy here in AZ and a storm was just clearing out. There was a full, clear, 180 degree rainbow in the sky. And there was a partial one right above it. It was so beautiful it almost made me want to go find the pot of gold at the end.
Today we received our new barracks assignments. I'll post more about that some other time, but let me say we all feel like we're moving into the Hilton, they're that nice.


You know you're bored when.......

Typically on our non-duty days bed check is at 2400. This means there are three more hours to kill on weekends than on a regular day. And there isn't a whole lot to do at night anyways. Last night  time was killed on youtube. It started with me re-watching Charlie Bit My Finger. Then it moved into watching old Superbowl commercials. I then decided it would be cool to try and watch some old Backstreet Boys and N'Sync music videos.(Darn you Sony for having copyrighted material and not being able to play some of them).
Here is where it turns really lame. I was watching Barney on youtube. It was the good old Barney and the Backyard Gang that I was watching. I always loved the "Barney Goes to School"episode, so I watched that. And then I saw that someone had put the old "Barney in Concert" up so I watched a little bit of that. So many hours of my childhood were spent watching that video......
Barney was an integral part of my childhood. It was nice to watch some if the older stuff. My parents will tell of the time I went to go see Barney at some store special. I had to have been two or three so I don't remember it. We got there and I wouldn't go anywhere near Barney. I guess I just couldn't handle seeing him in real life. That didn't change my loving the Barney on screen.


4 Songs, 2 Blankets, 3 Fillings, 1 Partizan-3 Arsenal

Today was an interesting day. Yesterday my company had training late, so we were allowed to sleep in until a 0630 linen turn in instead of a 0400 linen turn in and pt after that. So although I wasn't in my bay all day I had 2 blankets.

This morning when I woke up I was informed that I had a dental appointment at 0800. I was expecting it sometime because everyone has to go, but I didn't know it was today. When I arrived and got seated in the nice dentist chair I was informed I was getting 3 fillings. So now I have 3 fillings and a sore mouth. I guess thats what an hour in the dentist chair will get you.

On to an even more random thing. I own 4 different versions of K'naan's song 'Wavin Flag'.
1. The original
2. The one featuring will i am and David Guetta
3. The Coca-Cola World Cup celebration one
4. The Coca-Cola World Cup celebration featuring David Bisbal singing in Spanish
They're all really good. But I do feel a little dorky for having 4 different versions of one song. But then again, its normal for me to have 2 or 3 different versions of a song.

Arsenal played a Champions League game today against Partizan Belgrade at Partizan's stadium. May I say that its an embarrassment to Partizan to lose 3-1 on home turf, in front of a home crowd, with 10 men. Arshavin continues to impress, scoring the opening goal, and Chamkah is showing he was a good pick-up scoring another goal. Sebastien Squillaci ( I think we picked him up this summer with few others. I wouldn't know much about transfers after the World Cup because of basic) added Arsenal's other goal. Tomas Rosicky actually played a whole game. Thats a good sign considering the past few seasons and his escapades, but good proof of TR7 being 500% back will be if he starts or at least plays Sunday in the Chelsea game. And there's a good chance of that considering all of the injuries we have right now.

Here comes the really dorky part of my post. You may have wondered why it looks like I can't count down from 4 properly. I can. I'm just a dork who enjoys the 4231soccer formation. It was my brilliant brain that decided to make the post somewhat coincide with the formation.


Arsenal 2-3 West Bromwich Albion

That particular score line was the exact opposite of how my day went. All you're getting from my review of the game today is this: I was asleep when it happened, Samir Nasri scored both of Arsenal's goals, Tomas Rosicky got a yellow card, apparently Almunia was awful today (according to the one UK yahoo article), and I don't want to know any more about the game. Its nothing personal against Arsenal. IU was being optimistic and hoping that we were going to continue to do well, but it looks like we're being typical and losing stupid little games while winning the bigger ones (like Tottenham last Tuesday).

Arsenal lost, but I had a good day. I slept in until 1030 (that's 10.5 hours of sleep that were much needed). I got to talk with my family. I had a good lunch and spent some time at the MI library. I had a good dinner (ravioli!).
Either later on or tomorrow I'm going to do the weekly really clean up my locker and get squared away for the coming week as best as I can.


Sign of a Victory

There are only three songs ever that I have bought after listening to the for the first time.
1. Bad Day by Daniel Powter
2. Smile by Uncle Kracker
3. Sign of a Victory by R. Kelly

Sometimes you just know that a song is amazing. And one day I was sitting on a bus coming back after a long day at a range. The wonderful bus driver had some station on and this song came on. I had never heard it before, but it sounded like it belonged in a World Cup soundtrack, it sounded like R. Kelly, and it had those wonderful cliches like in "I Believe I can Fly". What a surprise that all three of those things were true. R. Kelly produced the song for the 2010 Word Cup soundtrack.

Now I shall tie it in to AIT.
Today my platoon did a nice 3 mile road march. It was just us, our weapon and a 25 lb pack. It was so easy, but I guess almost anything could be considered easy after 10 miles in full gear. Sign of a Victory was stuck in my head and I was singing it all through the march.

Its so beautiful here in Arizona. I could just stare up at the clouds all day; especially at the beginning and end of the day when the sun turns them colors. It must have something to do with being a mile up. And the mountains are wonderful and the stretching flatness and ridges of the area. I's cool to see the storms and clouds in the mountains. And I love being in the heat even though its starting to cool down a bit ( that translates into the 80's during the day instead of the 90's).


Scum 1-4 Arsenal

Arsenal knocked Tottenham out of the Carling Cup today. I had totally forgotten about this cup, but that score made my day. Three of Arsenal's goals were scored in extra time with two of those being penalties. Guess Tottenham was getting desperate by pulling players down in the box. From what I saw in an article, it looked like a very interesting game and I can't wait to find a replay online.


What I learned in BCT Land

-Almost every difficulty is 90% mental
-Its harder to throw a grenade than in the movies than what they show. It's harder to do a lot of things than what they show in the movies. And after basic you know what is going on in movies and you critique it.
-Moving and shooting is a lot of fun.
-Run every comment through the internal hamster before saying.
-Being dependable earns you respect, but it also means you end up with extra duty while covering for people.
-Attention to detail. I can't say that one enough.
-It is possible to go 2 months with jello and chocolate milk as your only desserts.
-Adapting to change makes you 500x stronger.
-Don't trust the DFAC menus: you'll be disappointed when they don't have whatever the menu said they would.
-It is possible to sleep IN, not ON, your bed and still make it quickly in the morning.
-Sleep deprivation sucks.
-2 months without soccer news is a long time and it is a big deal; especially during a World Cup and a post-World Cup transfer window and kit changes.
-Dripping beads of sweat is possible on a daily basis. SC had one of the hottest summers on record.
-Every drill sergeant says their way is the correct way. Sometimes you change methods based on who is around.


The Best Cookie I Ever Had

Step, heel, step, heel, step, heel, step. My tray was parallel to the marching surface and I was at chow hall attention. 9 weeks into basic training and my platoon and company was finally allowed to eat desserts. My luck meant there was never any desserts left by the time I got through the line. But that one fateful evening, my luck changed. There were M&M cookies. That was the best cookie I ever ate. It was just a packaged,generic cookie, but 9 weeks without one made it taste wonderful. I know I've tasted better cookies, but deprivation makes everything taste better. Jello and chocolate milk can only last one so long. And don't even get me started on the day there was breaded shrimp for lunch. I ate mine and someone else's.

In other news, Arsenal drew with Sunderland 1-1 today. Tomas Rosicky came on as a sub for Cesc Fabregas who was injured. I love Rosicky, but I hope Fabregas's injury isn't too serious. He's a vital part of Arsenal right now. Nebraska absolutely kicked Washington's butt in college football. I got grape tomatoes from the commissary and they are amazing. Tomorrow is Sunday and I have nothing planned except to go to chapel.



Remember that post the other day about God keeping his promises? Well, I have a story from basic that God keeps his promises and answers prayers. The night before the 12k full gear foot march God and me were talking. I wasn't too sure I would be able to make it because full gear meant carrying around half of my bodyweight. The next morning I woke up with the Backstreet Boy's song "Yes I Will" in my head. The chorus part that says "Yes I will take your hand and walk with you." God walked the entire 12k with me. I don't know if I would have made it without him. I made it with the wonderful mega-huge blisters on my heels. I got my answer. And we got to change into pt's early that day.


The Game

It killed me to have to leave for basic in the middle of a World Cup. I almost cried the day I received the final results in the mail form my parents because I was so happy to get them. Spain 1-0 Netherlands. I wish I could have seen that game and a bunch of the others leading up to it. I watched Spain 1-0 Portugal the night I was at MEPS and it was such a beautiful game. Even with C. Ronaldo playing.
I also spent a lot of time thinking about Arsenal. On runs I would tell myself I was keeping up with T.Rosicky. I sang the Theo Walcott chant in my head almost daily. My weapon was christened Arsne Wenger. I wondered about transfers and what the new kits looked like. Seeing what happened during the transfer window shocked me a little, but I'll get used to it and the new players we got. Surprisingly, the home kit that was leaked in June was almost accurate so that wasn't a shock. The white collar will take some getting used to for me, but its a sweet kit.
I missed being able to kick a ball around. I missed the game. And the first thing I did when I got my cell phone back was check the scores.



The only good message I heard in chapel in basic was given by a chaplain candidate at the beginning of my week 6. It was taken form Joshua 14.6-15 and discussed Caleb's waiting 45 years for his promised land. The chaplain's 3 points went something like this:
-Stay Positive
-Stay Patient
-Stay Persistent
It's crazy to think that Caleb waited 45 years to get his promised land. He watched his generation die but still kept going. It must have been tough to watch everyone you know die. Anything I went through in basic couldn't have been as hard as what Caleb went through. So I too, could stay positive, patient, and persistent in my prayers. God keeps his promises.

Chapel in basic was interesting. At 0930 there was a Bible study that was a lady going through a dvd series on the basics of Christianity. At 1100 real chapel started. We sang, mostly really simple choruses like "Lord I Lift Your Name On High" and the chorus to "How Great is Our God". Then we had a short devotional type message. There were several times I didn't agree with how the text was used and sometimes I didn't get the point of the message. Then there was the week It was basically a candidate talking about how she wouldn't have been in the army if it wasn't for God. At the end of the service there was a altar call for salvation and rededication. The first few weeks there were loads of people going up for both sides, but as the weeks progressed most went up for rededication. Chapel wasn't much for the good spiritual diet, but when you barely have time to think its about all you can manage.


Guess Who's Back

Two and a half months and I'm back and hopefully posting more. Basic was a lot of fun, but hard at the same time. I definitely wouldn't do it again if I had the choice. I'm in AIT now and have a laptop to post from. A mac to be specific. I'll write more later about my experiences at basic. I was so happy to hear of the World Cup results a week after they happened and I got so excited when I was able to see the Arsenal results last week.


I don't know the next time I will be able to post. I leave you with this: my new favorite song.

Camping out

Friday night, I got to camp out for the last time before I leave. Usually, I do it at least once every summer, but the past few have been so busy I haven’t been able to. Next time I think I’ll use the bigger tent, but it was great to look at the stars and see the fireflies.

Camping out in the backyard has been a big thing in my house. We have even camped out in the house when it’s too cold to be outside or when friends are over. But that little pup tent is probably getting too small for me. I can’t even stretch out all the way diagonally. I’d say it’s probably about four feet by four feet or so; a little bit smaller than five foot three me.

And I couldn’t talk about camping without telling a story of when I was five. My sister and I decided we wanted to camp out in the backyard one night. All through the evening my dad kept talking about bears and how we should be careful. Just as soon as it was dark and we were settled into the tent, noises came crawling. It was a bear! Pawing at our tent! We got so scared that we wouldn’t stay outside that night even though that bear was just our dad (There aren’t many bears in Nebraska where we were at the time, but PA there are a few more). I don’t think we’ll ever be able to live that one down and now the rest of the world knows too.


US 1-2 Ghana and K'naan

The US got itself knocked out of the World Cup this afternoon. To be honest, I’m happy and I was hoping for a loss. No, I’m not unpatriotic, but I think my reasoning is fairly logical.

1. We would have lost even more horribly to Uruguay I think. I just didn’t want to face them. Especially with South American teams doing so well this year.

2. I want soccer to advance in America without the World Cup. I get so frustrated when people jump on the bandwagon for things like this. They really don’t support the team. And is it really supporting when they’re winning? It would be so much better if soccer were to become even more popular without the help of the World Cup. We should focus on developing players to be the best instead of developing them to play with the best, i.e., World Cup champions.

On a World Cup musical note, I have discovered a new artist I’m going to be looking into a lot more; K’naan. His song Wavin’ Flag was selected as a part of the World Cup soundtrack and it sounds awesome. He’s a Somalian rapper who lives in Canada. From what I understand, he’s not totally like other rappers in his content. His albums had some explicit labels on them on iTunes, but I’m not sure what they’re for yet. I don’t know if he’s worth investing in, but for now he sounds ok, especially if you like rap/hip hop.



This is a blog post about two totally different things that are only connected by a month in 2009 and the fact that one of the events was probably an accident ( speculation of course) and the other event was an accident.

That second event happened on iTunes yesterday. I decided that I was going to buy a song. No problem there. I decided I was going to buy a Linkin Park song. I was going to buy New Divide off of the Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen soundtrack with the logic that I would probably be buying the album in whole at a later date. My error came because I like so many Linkin Park songs. Not thinking, I managed to buy, download, and listen to partially What I’ve Done off of the original Transformers soundtrack before realizing that it wasn’t New Divide. Oops….. At least it wasn’t that bad of a mistake. I like What I’ve Done too and now I have both songs.

The next event was probably a mistake too, but there’s been so much media hype about it and secrecy that no one will probably know for a while what exactly happened in Michael Jackson’s death. I just wanted to share my memory of finding out about the event.

It was a hot Thursday afternoon when I was coming back from Future Soldiers. We were stuck in traffic in The Notch, which meant whatever radio station we were trying to get was fuzzing in and out with the public broadcast station in the area. We were getting more of the public radio that day and he announcer broke in to announce it. Never being a big Jackson fan, I accepted it and was slightly disappointed that I had never considered him to be a candidate for a celebrity death in the near future. When I got home, I turned on BHT to listen to some music, but wonderful Ralphie Aversa decided to break in just then and announce the “breaking news” that I had heard ten minutes earlier. I guess public radio gets news faster. There’s nothing really more to my story. I just figured I’d share it since it has been a year since Mr. Thriller died.


The F-Word

No silly, not that one. I'm talking about French. As usual, they managed to show how they can screw almost anything up. A poor showing in the World Cup first round left the French not moving on to the next one. President Nicolas Sarkozy met today with some officials in an investigation as to why their World Cup quest was such a disaster. I didn't expect some of the things to happen, but I could have told Sarcozy they wouldn't be moving on a few weeks ago.
My reason, this: there are too many superstars on the French squad. I looked at the starting XI and recognized 10 of the names. All of them were high end players and many are probably getting a little old to be on a World Cup team. Where are the youngsters? Also, it was destined to be a bad year for the French. 1998- win the World Cup. 2002- do horrible. 2006- Runners up, almost winners if it weren't for Zidane. 2010- it was supposed to be a bad year.
Now, for the newer reasons that came during the group stages. Nicolas Anelka was kicked off the team and sent home early after a "heated discussion" with the head coach Domenech. ( I don't read French, but a French tabloid headlined what was supposedly said and the english translation wasn't very nice. Anelka is denying that he said exactly that as well).
Then, in support of of Anelka, the team boycotted a training session before their last game against South Africa (France lost 2-1).
What a mess. There is supposed to be an investigation, an audit of the FFF, and probably some heads flying or at least leaving the scene in the coming future.
Thierry Henry called President Sarcozy from South Africa to set up a meeting to discuss the matter and I think that meeting is supposed to happen tomorrow. I like Henry. I have ever since I joined up with Arsenal. I was sad when he left, but still support the guy. I hope he brings a fair, level head and position to the meeting with Sarcozy. I'm not too sure what I'd do if he sided totally with Anelka. Probably cry.

In other news, both the US and England made it into the final 16. I had picked that in my bracket, but the US placed first in the group; something I wasn't expecting. Great for the US, but now the only way my final will work out is if  Spain places second in their group. Otherwise, my final match will become a semifinal.


I Made It

It feels so weird to say it, but as of Wednesday night, I am an official high school graduate. The past twelve years of my life have been spent going to school and now I don't have to anymore. I get to choose my schedule (kind of with the army).
The school had the ceremony inside instead of outside because it was supposed to thunderstorm. Of course it was sunny when all the graduates walked outside. And it was so very hot in the school gym. But I made it. When I got home, I put this as my facebook status: "I look up to the sky and nw the world is mine. I've known it all my life. I made it. I made it." I think that described pretty well how I felt right then. I've made it out of school. The words are lyrics to a song called "I Made It" by Kevin Rudolf featuring several wonderful rappers including lilWayne. In typical rap fashion most of the song is horrible, but the chorus is decent.

This is my Curious George balloon. He was the only thing I asked for for graduation, and I got him. George is such a cutie and he's a lot of fun to watch on TV and read in his books. George is very fond of hugs and will be missed when he decides to deflate.


A Milestone, I guess

It all started because Friday just didn't work out for me to mow the lawn. Saturday wasn't good either because I was gone literally all day. So that meant I had to mow Sunday. A nice rain shower in the middle of that insured that I would finish today.
So I was mowing the lawn on a nice, muggy Sunday afternoon. I had just taken a empty the bag and take a drink break. I was all ready to continue mowing. The mower started and I got about three feet before I fely something on the back of the leg.
Turns out it was a nice wasp who decided to sting me. Four times. It hurt. A lot. I hopped around a bit, went inside, came back outside and then continued to mow until the sky opened up and spilled its watery guts on NEPA.
It was my first time ever getting stung by anything. But my stings are doing a lot better today. It only feels like a small bruise. That's the end of my story.



If Disney had control of Army Basic Training, it would probably look something like this:



Yesterday was a day of accomplishments. First, I finished my last academic day of high school. It's a little weird to be done, but VERY exciting to be graduating and moving on to something else in my life aka the army
The other accomplishment meant a lot more to me because it is one I have willingly and actively been pursuing for four years. I'm surprised it took me this long, but I finally broke 50 juggling a soccer ball. My current record is 52. Up until Monday it had been 44 for over a year. Monday broke it and set the bar at 48. I'm not too sure what my next goal will be for juggling. I think 75 sounds like a good number.
Just two more days until South Africa 2010 starts!


Belt Brown

When I was younger my parents made sure I received a "classic" movie education. This meant I got to see all sorts of movies that were really worth seeing, including these:
Mary Poppins and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (only tolerated because of my liking of Dick Van Dyke in Diagnosis Murder)
The three original Star Wars (now linked to my fascination with the newer three)
Rocky (only the first)
Independence Day. Yes, this one is VERY arguable, but almost nothing beats Will Smith saying "Welcome to Earth"
The Karate Kid 1&2. "Belt brown, hold up pants" is a great quote as well. To wrap up our German IV class, our teacher showed us The Karate Kid II in German. It's so cool to see it again. It's cool to see how much I have picked up in four years of high school German. It's nice to have seen a movie in one language and then in another. That really helps to pick up on what is going on. It's just a little ad that it means the end of my high school German career. I hope I can pick some more up as I continue to live.



I've been a Natasha Bedingfield fan for 5 years this summer. I've enjoyed every song she's put out, including the ones not released as singles and her covers. I won't explain the extent of my fandom since i will probably bore most of you to death before I even get to what I want to post about.
It's been a few years since Bedingfield released another album. The next one doesn't have a release date as of yet, but I believe its due late summer/early fall. She did release a song that will probably the first single off the new album. It's called Touch.
Touch is a peppy song about how every event in our lives are connected. It's illustrated by the event of Bedingfield spilling coffee on someone. That eventually leads to an unnamed man coming to a party she's holding at her house. It's a cool song. It's more techno than I would like, but I may just think that most of her other stuff is more guitar driven with techno in the background. There's no complaint about the techno. I'm looking forward to the new album whenever it may come. New music from a favorite artist is always appreciated.


Memorial Day

I am an American Soldier.
I am a Warrior and a member of a team. I serve the people of the United States and live the Army Values.
I will always place the mission first.
I will never accept defeat.
I will never quit.
I will never leave a fallen comrade.
I am disciplined, physically and mentally tough, trained and proficient in my warrior tasks and drills. I always maintain my arms, my equipment and myself.
I am an expert and I am a professional.
I stand ready to deploy, engage, and destroy the enemies of the United States of America in close combat.
I am a guardian of freedom and the American way of life.
I am an American Soldier.

This is the Soldier's Creed. It is a wonderful creed to live by. It's also Memorial Day. Less than a month until I leave for Army Basic Training. I want to say thanks to everyone who has served before me and HOOAH! to everyone I will be serving with and to those who come after me.



Airplanes by B.o.B. ,feat. Hayley Williams, has been stuck in my head a lot lately. Sometimes I wish I could use that wish “to go back to a place much simpler than this.” Sometimes life seems to be going very fast.

I’m excited for the future. It’s about a month until I leave for basic training. It’s gonna be new and fun.

But it’s also nice to look back and remember. Airplanes has been taking me back…..

Back to the days when I played George of the Jungle and ran around barefoot with a squirt gun.

Back to the days on the beach in North Carolina.

Back to the hours spent in the yard playing soccer and waffle ball.

Back (not too far) to the days of rabbit chasing.

Back to the nights spent camping out in the backyard and looking at the stars.

Like Fergie would say, “sip and reminisce on days when I had a mustang.”

I’ve never had a mustang, but I had to throw Fergie in there…… I do have stuff to reminisce on. And I have a lot to look forward to too.

Feel free to google the lyrics for yourself. I don't totally agree with everything in them and there is a choice word or two. And I haven't even heard the Eminem version.


Quote me on it.

My brother and dad were watching a movie the other night. Star Wars II Attack of the Clones. It's quite possibly one of my favorite movies ever ( I annually mark the day Episode III came out, May 19, just if you wanted to know). I haven't watched Attack of the Clones for probably about three years just because I'd gone on a watch it a lot spree back then. And I still managed to quote a good chunk of it. I was pretty close on the money with phrasing and timing of lines.
Sadly, this isn't the only movie I can do that with, especially after not watching it for a while. The High School Musical series? good at quoting and singing it. Broken Arrow? don't you talk along with John Travolta and Christian Slater? Miss Congeniality? yep. that one too. Patriot Games? why wouldn't I be able to quote that one. It's probably my favorite movie of all time.
Am I the only one who talks along with a movie I'm watching? Or am I just a big nutball?


Distracted Me

So this weekend I have a few projects to complete. This means a paper, a powerpoint and a game for calculus. When I write papers I get pretty focused. I don't even let anyone talk to me lest I lose my train of thought. But I also get SO so distracted.
It goes like this: chunk of paper written, get online to check a source, play a game of minesweeper while internet is loading, change the song (The Scientist by Coldplay is great focuser/zoner for me), check Facebook and the soccer news even though nothing has changed since it's very early tomorrow morning in the UK, get my facts straight from my sources, play another game of minesweeper, write a few more words in the paper, play another game of minesweeper.
Then repeat the cycle a few more times before only writing on the paper for a long time and declaring myself finished for the night. It's a vicious cycle that I try not to keep. I try to go for the writing without anything else happening, but that doesn't happen well when minesweeper is involved.

Here's Arsenal's Latest Signing.(click the link for the article!) I've heard a lot about Chamakh in the past year or so. During the January transfer window I think a lot of fans thought we were going to get him then. I don't really know how he plays yet, but I'm excited to review his past performances and see his Arsenal ones.I'm not too sure why we acquired a striker when the back line needs help, but hey, it was a free transfer. Maybe he's backup if the Fabregas going to Barcelona rumors come true. I just hope I'll get to see more of Tomas Rosicky next season.


Julius el Orango

Today would have to be considered an interesting day. It all started when I had difficulty and drank some Powerade to wake up. That's not really unusual. And school was very usual. I can't wait to be done.
I come home to a CD at my place. It's a Dodge sampler CD that they're promoing. I'm slightly interested because I happen to love music and it contains several Zac Brown Band songs (yeah Chicken Fried!).
Then, My parents came home with a new car. That was somewhat expected since the old one was starting to die a little bit. What wasn't expected was the orange color. Not a choice expected from my parents, but I guess you take what you can get...... I have since decided to call our new vehicle Julius el Orango aka JO (almost like the Brazilian soccer player but not quite). This name is not agreed upon by the family. I will probably be the only one calling the van JO. My brother would like to go with a Lord of the Rings name in tradition with the former van named Frodo.
Dinner was great. We had chicken. And I made a chicken sandwich like KFC has been advertising. Two pieces of chicken in place of the bread. It was good. Add on top of that the fact that we had saffron rice. It's yellow. And I absolutely love it.
Like almost any day, it could have been a lot better than it was. But for a Monday, it was a really good day. I'm satisfied.


Ironman and Powerade

Thanks to Burger King, I have my latest fascination that will make me seem more like I am 5 than however old I am; a kiddie meal toy. My brother got a kiddie meal last night for the first time in a while and didn't want the toy. So I am not\w the proud new owner of a green "Robot Cyclone Spinny Thing" or something to that effect. You just press his leg and the torso spins around. So much fun.

And have I ever mentioned that I am such a sucker for product advertising. Take, for example, me buying the Coke with the World Cup themed cans. This week is another Coke product. Blue Powerade, also known as my happy juice. Currently the Powerade labels are advertising for the World Cup as well.
I was planning on buying Powerade yesterday anyways, but you wouldn't believe how excited I got when I saw that SA 2010 FIFA logo on the bottles. I'm a sucker for that kind of stuff.I do try to be careful about what I do buy (meaning not wasting money). When do you think they're gonna World Cup the Doritos? They're something else I buy regularly. But maybe it's better for my wallet if they don't.



I never thought I'd say this, but I actually kind of enjoy running. I think I mostly enjoy it because when I run I know I'm gonna sleep well that night, but still. It's kind of fun. Moving. Seeing nature. Singing to the walkman playlist tht has to include Kellie Pickler's "Best Days of Your Life", Love and Theft's "Runaway", and Brandon Heath's "Fight Another Day". The oxygen deprivation cramping (I do enjoy some pain).
I'm a soccer person through and through. But I guess I can have a change of heart towards running.....



For the AP tests, I bought some Coke to keep me going. I ended up getting a 24-pack of cans. And then I had the brilliant idea of arranging the cans and taking pictures of them. They're world cup themed cans. I'm so pumped for South Africa 2010. Soccer is such a beautiful sport.


Once Upon A Time

Once upon a time a little girl decided something, perhaps very stupidly. She decided she would take 2 AP classes. Calculus and European History. The big smart people in charge of the AP tests put them with a day in between them. The little girl paid attention in class all year. She took notes and learned her stuff. She spent many hours reviewing and studying. She drank many cans of Coke. This little girl had a blog too. For two weeks prior to the tests the girl ignored her blog. That little girl can now post a little more frequently. (Hopefully!) At least until she has to leave for army basic training....


My Game

Every time I go to Burger King I play this little game with myself. It's called 'get the straw wrapper off the straw in one long piece'. If you can't tell by the name, the object of the game it to twist the wrapper off the straw so it become one long piece of straw paper. I'm pretty successful at this game. Except for the last two times. I could swear that Birger King is making their straw wrappers flimsier. I've failed miserablly the past two times. I'm going to blame them for my losing this accomplished game.
Maybe I'm just losing the game because Arsenal's been doing so poorly. 3 losses and a draw the past 4 games. Only one of those losses is okay in my eyes because it was to Barcelona and they're pretty cool and they have Henry and Messi. It may be the superstition im me, but sometimes when Arsenal does bad I feel it is because of something I did or didn't do. But I think that's something every sports fan feels at one time or another.


Perspective Check

Sometimes you just need a little perspective check. Arsenal’s Wednesday loss really did a number on me. It sounds stupid to be so upset over a league game loss, but all Thursday I was pretty depressed.

Pain like that usually lessens with time, and it has. But I’ve also had a bit of a perspective check that has reminded me that while I have a pretty big love affair with Arsenal, I have an even bigger one with the game they play; football (soccer).

I was in Borders for my family to get something when a clearance book caught my eye. The Thinking Fan’s Guide to the World Cup. It’s about the 2006 World Cup, but that doesn’t mean the book is a piece of junk. It’s 32 essays about the 32 teams that qualified for the 2006 World Cup. Essays put together by a guy who got a lot of prominent writers to write for this. I only recognized two, Nick Hornby and Franklin Foer of course, but the credits to a lot of the others names make it good. I’m only a couple chapters in, but it’s interesting, engaging, and exactly the kind of thing I like to read.

I love the game. I can get goose bumps just looking at a picture of a wonderful pitch. The book I got has reminded me that it is bigger than just Arsenal. I can remember the 2006 final. Italy v. France. I didn’t get to watch it, but I tracked it online. I remember the rage I felt at Zidane for his head butt. And I remember my excitement even then for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. I love soccer. And sometimes I need a perspective check to say that while some things may be bad, it’s not the most important thing out there.


My Gut

Yesterday, my gut was trying to tell me something. Across an ocean and four time zones, it was trying to tell me something horrible had happened. The timing was correct, about 5 pm my time, and I should have known what it was about. That would have been about when the game ended. We lost. Arsenal lost. To Tottenham. NOT COOL!!!

That loss would explain what my gut was trying to tell me. That loss would explain why I watched the results show of American Idol. That loss would explain why I had trouble sleeping last night. That loss would explain why I’m not going on the Arsenal board for a few days, or at least until I can’t stand to not go on anymore. That loss was a crushing blow. It will just be a little bit before I get over it.



I guess it was just one of those nights.....
I came home and Stormfront was playing. Stromfront only plays when it's 'one of those Fridays when a little revving up is needed'. Billy Joel was most likely the first artist I learned to recognized. His album Stormfront holds a special place in my heart. I can sing almost all the words to every song and there are several that get stuck in my head frequently.
'That's Not her Style' -what a great wya to open an album
'We Didn't Start the Fire' -one of the best 20th century history lessons
'The Downeaster "Alexa"' -brooding and gets stuck in my head
'I Go to Extremes' and 'Shameless' -fun to rock out to
'Storm Front' - you just have to sing your heart out on this one
'Leningrad' -kinda slow, but so sweet
'State of Grace'- probably the song I like the least
'When in Rome' -LOVE this one. It's given me a fascination with the 'when in Rome' phrase and I probably use it more than the average person
'And So It Goes' -another slow one, but a good way to end

It's just one of those Fridays. 'Have a Coke and a smile' I'm gonna drink some Coke and you can smile!


Hop Hop

Captain Obvious in  me would like to state that yesterday was Easter. The Easter bunny brought me possibly the second best gift and best real gift that could have possible been brought. Doritos and Gatorade. And I got to eat jellybeans!

Although that is a great gift, the Easter bunny has been one-upped on the gift side. God giving Jesus life again was way better. It's so weird to think that Jesus was dead, but now he's not dead. It's life changing.

This weeekend was so beautiful and busy and just really great. Saturday, I got to attend the funeral of some friends grandma. It was sad, but nice because we all know that we will see her again someday in heaven. It was a little rough for me because I was reminded of my grandpa's funeral 8 years ago about this time. But it was good.
When I got home I spent 3.5 hours washing and waxing our two cars. Hard work, but fun. Then we went out to Dickson City and we had Burger King for dinner and went to Wal Mart and the mall. Do you have any clue what the meat-mayo-ketchup-tomato combo of a whopper does to me?? It's beautiful. At the mall I couldn't not go into FYE. And going into FYE almost always means I get a CD. This time it was a used copy of *NSYNC's No Strings Attached. Cheesy, yes. But I'd run out of Backstreet Boys CDs to get.



Integrity is a word I've been hearing a lot the past few weeks. It's one of the army values and SSG Jenkins likes to remind us of it when we do PT. Integrity counts there because if you're not being honest and doing your best, you're hurting everbody. You hurt you becaue you're not giving your best and getting the full workout. You're hurting your teammates because while you're slacking, they aren't.

I've had a few situations in the past week or so where I could have had the chance to maybe get away with something. But that would mean that I didn't have integrity. Integrity is something I want to have. It may be hard to do, but it can make life easier in the long run.

I was doing God-time the other night and my plan had me in Proverbs for the day. What a great reminder there is in Proverbs 10:9. NLT puts it great, I think.

"People with integrity have firm footing, but those who follow crooked paths will slip and fall."

Do you have integrity?


T.R. Malthus

Thomas Robert Malthus first came to my attention several months ago. I was expressing my opinion that famine and war and stuff might not necessarily be a bad thing (that doesn't mean we should do something about it) and my dad said I sounded like him. Not knowing who he was, I looked Malthus up. Then, in AP Euro a couple months later we got..... an enitre paragraph in the book on Malthus!!! We then had an assignment to do a research paper on a topic of our choice based on what we've covered in class. Guess what I chose to do my paper on?

It's been interesting to learn what Malthus really thought. He's quoted a lot, but never really accurately. In the first reading of his essay on population, I was impressed. It's well written. I'm still trying to figure out if I totally agree with him on everything, but he makes a lot of what I think are good points. Here's a shortened version of my paper.

Perhaps one of the most misunderstood men of his time and into the future was Thomas Malthus. Although Malthus was an economist, his theories on population have sparked debate all over the world. The name Malthus or the term Malthusian theory makes people think of what people consider his somewhat negative views on population. Malthus's theories had an impact on his own society and have continued to influence society and ideas in the 200-plus years since his famous work Essay on Population was published. Malthus's ideas an unseen, unrecognized forces in several theories that developed at a later date.

Born February 13, 1766, in Rookery, England, Thomas Robert Malthus was the second son and fifth child of the rather wealthy Daniel Malthus. He hardly ever went by Thomas, instead choosing to use his middle name of Robert. His father knew Jean-Jacques Rousseau and David Hume personally, so Thomas Robert Malthus grew up under the influence of those men's writings and philosophies. Never educated in a public school, Malthus was taught by tutors. In 1784, Malthus entered Jesus College at Cambridge and became an ordained minister for the Church of England. Around 1796, Malthus became a fellow of Jesus College. About the same time, he received a ministry in a small parish in the Surrey area. Consequently, he divided his time between Cambridge and the Surrey area. Around 1805, Malthus became professor of modern history and political economy at East India Company's College at Haileybury where he remained until he died in 1834.

Despite being educated with the ideals of Rousseau, Malthus disagreed with most of them and frequently debated his father about these ideas. In 1798--after an intellectual debate with William Godwin, father of Mary Shelley and with the urging of his father, who also disagreed with Malthus--Malthus set down his ideas on population in his now well-known Essay on Population. Essay on Population was first published anonymously, but Malthus's identity later become known.

Malthus states two postulates in the Essay: “First, That food is necessary to the existence of man. Secondly, That the passion between the sexes is necessary and will remain nearly in its present state”. Malthus articulates his second postulate because William Godwin had conjectured that passion between the sexes could diminish in the future. Malthus did not foresee that happening in the future, and he made that idea a part of his argument.

Malthus then goes on to state, “Population, when unchecked, increases in a geometrical ratio. Subsistence increases only in an arithmetical ratio. A slight acquaintance with numbers will shew the immensity of the first power in comparison of the second.”. Many scholars consider this part of Malthus's argument somewhat invalid in today's world because of the advances in science and technology that have allowed an increase of the amount of food produced on the land. This is a not totally true consideration because Essay on Population does talk about how when a check is removed, population will grow until it reaches and exceeds a new check. In a finite world, technology can only increase production so much before the checks will fall into place.

Throughout his Essay on Population, Malthus is constantly refuting the arguments of Godwin and articulating his own thoughts on the subjects of what happens when the world becomes overpopulated and what should be done about the issue. He saw that in the natural world, there is a very wide spread of plant and animal life and that when those populations grew over the sustainable limits, nature puts checks on the populations to keep them near where they should be. Malthus believed that the same was true of humans. Malthus believed that those checks, consisting mostly of famine and war, were a good thing because they were nature's way of controlling the population when it went over the limit imposed by nature.

Malthus was also trying to make sense of why there was suffering and evil in the world. The “Supreme Creator” is mentioned several times throughout Essay on Population. Malthus eventually comes to the conclusion that “Evil exists in the world not to create despair but activity.” For Malthus, the presence of evil was to encourage good behavior. It is man's duty to try to avoid evil and to better themselves. The laws of nature had been formed around this concept of evil as a means if encouraging good. Malthus's religious background is seen in the closing chapters of Essay on Population as Malthus discusses the evil in the world and man bettering himself morally to “fulfill the will of his Creator”.

This first version of Essay on Population caused a great deal of outcry among the public. They believed Malthus was a very brutal man and saw him as an opponent to “Utopian hopes for rapidly improving living conditions for the great masses”. In 1803 after traveling and doing more research in Germany, Russia, and Scandinavia, Malthus published a second edition of Essay on Population. This version of the essay had a drastically softened tone about the fate of mankind. Malthus conceded that it took time for children to increase the supply of workers and that there may have been some other factors that influenced population growth.

In the second edition, Malthus also proposed positive and preventative checks to help with population growth. Preventative checks include realizing how much it costs to raise a family and waiting to get married until a later age. Positive checks include poor children dying because of lack of nutrition or resources to care for them. War and famine could also be considered positive checks because population was being controlled naturally. Preventative checks are more likely to be used by people of higher social classes because they have more resources. Positive checks will be forced on people of lower classes because they do not always have the resources to practice the preventative checks. Birth control was not mentioned as a way to control population because the subject was almost taboo in an early nineteenth-century society. Six editions of Essay on Population were published during Malthus's lifetime. Malthus revised and edited many of those editions, making changes as he gathered more knowledge on the topic. The 1816 edition is the one he last revised.

Many times, Malthus was accused of not following his views, but that was not true at all. Married at the age of thirty-nine, Malthus had only three children. Only one of those children lived to adulthood. Malthus was a very mild-mannered man who was considered to have a very high and distinguished character. He quietly accepted all abuse given to him without complaining. Malthus did not intend to cause a controversy with his essay; he just wanted to give a realistic view of what he saw was happening in the world.

Because if his ideas, Malthus could be considered a realist in a time when being a realist was unpopular. The public saw Malthus as a cruel man for his theories when he was simply trying to promote the happiness of man through real possibilities instead of perfection through fantasy with no consideration for what was really happening to man. In the preface to the first edition of Essay on Population, Malthus acknowledges that his view is somewhat grim when he wrote, “The view he has given of human life has a melancholy hue, but he feels conscious, that he has drawn these dark tints from a conviction that they are really in the picture, and not from a jaundiced eye or and inherent spleen of disposition”.

Although at first Malthus believed that not much had been written on population, he acknowledged in a personal letter after the publication of the first edition that some French economists and British writers had already touched on the subject. Despite this, Malthus is considered to be the first to clearly articulate his ideas on the subject to the public.

Malthus's ideas reached a large population of readers and thinkers and caused differing reactions from other well-known figures. Karl Marx granted him that his essay was “the first serious economic study on the welfare of the lower classes” even though he did not agree with Malthus's ideas. Frederick Engels, Marx's writing partner, also disagreed with Malthus. In one writing, Engels points out contradictions in Malthus's arguments and considers Malthus's theory as a transitory stage between previous theory and new theories about the power of the land to produce. Charles Darwin's theories were positively influenced by the ideas of Malthus.In 1933 John Maynard Keynes wrote that Malthus's works were genius and could take a place in those who influenced the progress of thought.
It's kinda long, but interesting at the same time. Here's my sources if you want a little more reading...
Boulding, Kenneth E. Foreward. Population:The First Essay. By Thomas Robert Malthus. United States of America: University of Michigan Press, 1959. Print.

Elwell, Frank W. “Reclaiming Malthus.” 2001. Web. 29 March 2010.

Engels, Frederick. Overpopulation is a Myth. Population Opposing Viewpoints. Ed. Charles F. Hohm. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 1995. 36-40. Print. Opposing Viewpoints.

“From the Desk of Malthus: How the Population Debate Began.” National Academies Forum, n.d. Web. 29 March 2010.

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Malthus, Thomas Robert. “Overpopulation is a Serious Problem.” Population: Opposing Viewpoints. Ed. Charles F. Hohm. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 1995. 29-35. Print. Opposing Viewpoints.

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Philosophy Football

I know, I should really try posting a little more often. It's not for a lack of posting topics, I can find a bunch of things to talk about (mostly soccer related...). It's for a lack of time. Crunch time with school projects and preparing for AP exams in May. So here's a video I can always laugh at. It's even funnier after having European History for a year and learning who most of these people are.


What Do We Call HIm Now?

I think he goes by P Diddy now, but I know he's had plenty of other names over the past few years. But Diddy has come up on my radar for a soccer reason. A few days ago on the Arsenal board, I heard mention of Diddy wanting to but a Championship football team. Crystal Palace to be exact. It was something to laugh about.
Yesterday, while listening to the radio, one of the DJs made mention of Diddy's wish.And it was so funnt because she totally butchered the delivery. But I still got the message.
Hopefully Diddy doesn't buy Palace. I heard he only wants to buy the club because he fancies the name. That would just ruin the stability that Palace has now.


What A Day

IN my opinion, today was a pretty good day. Nothing too stressful at school. All my tests were either the past two days oy tomorrow. I had Future Soldiers today. We payed touch football with Navy (a 'joint operation'). It was such a beautiful day that I went for a two mile run after dinner. I'm not too sure why I did that since I got some running in at Future Soldiers, but it was good all the same. And I just might go stare at the stars when it gets dark enough......


Big Kid

Yesterday, I got told a few things by a wonderful three year old.

1. I was a big kid. (No surprise there)

2. Big kids can’t play with the toys or have fun.

That second fact was news to me. I guess I’ve been breaking the rules all these years with my toy playing and fun having.

But sometimes I think people (Christians especially) have that same mentality of being a Christian. No ‘playing with toys’ or having fun when you grow up and become God’s kid. God wouldn’t want us to have FUN would he? God’s a funsucker. That’s not true. God wants what is best for his kids. God wants his kids to have fun. Yeah, there are parts that aren’t fun. But there’s a lot more that is fun. I am too big to fit in the play house or go down the little slide, but there’s a lot more fun to have and toys to play with. Some of my funnest moments have been while being one of God’s kids.

I may be a big kid, but it’s still a lot of fun. And that three year old will someday learn that being a big kid is a lot of fun. Will everyone else ever learn that being God’s kid is fun too?



It's hard to believe that two weeks ago 18 inches of snow was dropped on my yard. I was so sore of shoveling and just thought it was a huge pain in the butt. But then it started warming up a bit. I wore shorts all this week. And now the snow is almost gone. It's been SO warm that 18 inches of snow is almost one. It kind of reminds me of my senior year. All that snow is like the beginning of the year; a pain in the butt. But now, the snow is almost melted and I'm almost ready to graduate. How Exciting!

As an Arsenal fan, it's my duty to not really like Manchester United. Actually, I started liking Arsenal because I didn't like Manchester United.
The Glazer family practically owns United. But fans are starting to not like that. I've seen a number that they've put United 1 billion in debt. So fans are starting to fight back. They want to take over ownership of their team even though United is arguabally one of the the best teams in the world. They have started a movenemt to kick the Glazers out using the original green and gold of United from a long time ago. What's greater is, even though he denies supporting it, former United player David Beckham walked off the pitch of the Champion's League United v. Milan game with a green and gold scarf.
Something's got to change if the United fans don't like it. And even though I don't like them, I hpe they get the change they want. If the Glazers take over much more, I'm scared for the future.


Arsenal 5-0 Porto (h;CL)

With that score, we made it into the final 8 of this year's Champion's League. I remember a few weeks ago when Arsenal lost 2-1 to Porto away. I was incredibally nervous about today's game because of that score. I don't know how we pulled out such a score in a Champion's League game.

Dear ole Bentdner had a hat trick. When that guy turns the heat on he can really fly. I wish he would do it more often.Eboue and Nasri also had a goal apiece. Fabregas was out of the game with an injury and people seemed skeptical that Arsenal would win. But I did see an article about Wenger saying there was no excuse for the Arsenal not to win. I guess they listened to Wenger for once.My man Rosicky played, but didn't score. But that's better than you could say about him a year ago.

I was rather pleased when I came home and saw Arsenal was up 2-0. Goal #3 was a big air pump. Goal #4 was a rather large screaming, fist pumping, freaking out celebration. My dad actually came downstairs to see what was wrong. I figured we had the game, so I re-loaded my terrace chants onto my walkman (they come off when we're not doing well....superstition) and ran a mile chanting the whole way. The icing on the cake was coming home to a fifth goal. What a wonderful win.


In My Head...

I feel like I've been going nuts a little bit lately. Mostly because I get words and phrases stuck in my head and then I feel the need to repeat them incessantly. Just today, it's been 'pompey, pompey, pompey' (in reference to Portsmouth, their FA Cup game and all their recent issues), 'Andrei' (Andrei Arshavin, scored Arsenal's third goal today) and the terrace chant for Theo Walcott (basically his name over and over. He scored Arsenal's second goal today). And just for good measure, Fabregas scored the first goal, but I haven't gotten his name stuck in my head.

And, last weekend, my youth group went on a retreat at Camp Orchard Hill (great place). They showed this video and I thought it was really cool. The guy in this is Blaine Hogan. He did some stuff on Prison Break. Check it out.....


Snow, Snow, Snow

I have a snow day today. Usually my snow days are either really unproductive or really productive. Today was one of those productive days. It’s so nice to get things done.

I started off my morning by building a fire in our woodstove. That was a miracle in and of itself because I have limited fire building skills and it usually takes me a few tries. Today, it took just one try.

Several times throughout today, I have gone out to shovel out driveway so the snow doesn’t pile up and be a big pain to shovel. I would say that as of about right now, we’ve gotten about 6 inches and it’s still coming down.

I’ve managed to do all of my math homework and study even more for my European History test that will be whenever we return to school.

PT was also a part of my day. I’m counting the snow shoveling as a part of that, but I’ve done some other stuff too.

And, I got to work on my very poor guitar skills. So now, I probably just have poor guitar skills.

I don’t think all of this would have happened if I didn’t have a snow day. I’m glad I had a lot of stuff to do. Now, I think I might go read a book or something.