News, Thoughts, Opinions, & Stories

My brother Matt wrote the following and I think it is an important thing to pass on:

Anyone who cares about their health should watch the following video, made by a scientist at the University of California, San Francisco:

What you will learn includes:

What is fructose? Fructose is a sugar that comprises about 50% of table sugar (sucrose) and about 50% of high fructose corn syrup; it naturally occurs in cane sugar and in fruits; the fructose in high fructose corn syrup results from an enzymatic (chemical) conversion of glucose into fructose.

How about glucose? The other sugar in these sweeteners is glucose; glucose, which is available in many carbohydrates not containing fructose, is the energy of life – our bodies need it to live; glucose is readily used by just about any cell in our bodies and brains to create energy; in fact, our brains can only generate energy with glucose (as opposed to fat that other cells can use)


Did you know that those leftist hippies in the Vatican are trying to be the first Country to be powered exclusively by green technologies?

This got me wondering why it is in this country, that the Republican party has become this odd entity where all "true Republicans" must believe the exact same thing on all issues. Thus, honest debate on the Republican side of the fence seems to have ended. Perhaps it's a combination of the success of Newt Gingrich's Contract with America and Rush Limbaugh's strong numbers within the Republican core. Some would call this being "disciplined" but for me, there are just too many of these beliefs I just can't go along with. 

The democrat's are a completely different thing. There doesn't seem to be any single driving ideal within the Democratic party. On just about every issue, except perhaps Pro-Choice and pro-environment (and there's still outliers there), they are all over the place.

That's why the Dems can't get health-care reform passed. Too many different ideas.

I've always considered myself to be an independent but I've hated the Republican's more than the democrats for the last 10 years. At least the Democrats will engage in true debate rather than just toe-ing the party line dictated by Karl Rove, Newt Gingrich, Rush Limbaugh or whoever it is that's deciding that to be a true Republican you must think Global Warming is a hoax, all guns are great, Civil Unions are evil, the poor deserve what they got, Sarah Palin is wonderful, all regulation is bad and corporations wont abuse their power...

I'd rather vote for the folks that truly debate their ideas and never get anything done.

I wrote much of the below in response to a friend's post on Facebook. Figured it was worth sharing in a more public format... 

There is no credible dispute over the following facts: 1.) The Greenhouse effect is real and can be easily replicated through simple experiments, 2.) Humans are pouring Greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere at unprecedented levels, 3.) The planet is warming and has been since 1880.

What is much more difficult to know and remains under intense study and debate is exactly what impact humans are having on Climate Change. Based on all known evidence, the majority of Climate Scientists believe humans are playing a significant role in accelerating global warming. It's all very complex, too complex to be easily proven.

It is good that there is debate and intense study within the scientific community. That is the very foundation of science.

But to take that debate out of context and to present select tidbits to an ignorant public is just the same FUD techniques used by Cigarette companies, Dioxin manufactures, ...

Currently, the best science tells us it is real, we are causing it, and to continue the current trend could be catastrophic.

Perhaps in 10 years we'll have enough data and models to better access the anthropogenic impact. But for now, it would seem to me that the appropriate conservative approach would be to take the safe road and try to decrease our output of greenhouse gasses.

Even if it does turn out that humans have a minimal impact on climate change, we'll still be less dependent on foreign oil, our air and water will be healthier and lots of great jobs will have been created.

Image: Wonderful Day at the Confluence and Grafton

We took advantage of the spectacular weather today (high of 78 and low humidity in the middle of July) by taking a trip to the Confluence State Park and Graffton, IL.

The Confluence State Park sits between the Mississippi and Missouri river where they conflue (aka converge, no idea if conflue is a real word or what it's proper spelling may be). The actual confluence point was closed today due to flooding but we went to a spot below the lock and dam and chatted with fisherfolk and watch barges go through the locks and threw rocks. All wonderful things in the minds of young boys.

We also hiked the Two Pecan Trail. I'm a big fan of wetlands and meadows and thus loved this trail. There are certainly parts of it that aren't perfect, but it also has some spectacular sections that make up for the lesser areas.

We finished up at the Confluence State Park around 4pm and on a whim decided to head over the river into Alton, and then up the Great River Road...


I've truly been remiss in my updates for the last few months but taking care of two little guys, running and try to grow a company, and rehabbing a basement has pretty well removed any concept of freetime from my life. Thankfully, the basement is pretty much done so that should make things more manageable now.

The boys are both doing great. Gavin continues to be such an easy going and fun baby. He's quick to smile back when smiled at and is figuring out his hands and feet more and more everyday. Declan is very much a two year old. He's working hard to differentiate his identity from that of his parents. Basically, that means he's saying "No" a lot and doing the opposite of what we tell him. He's still wonderful and well behaved overall, but there are certainly times where he strains your patience a bit. It is so fun watching him grow up.

Yesterday, we were watching TV. Declan hopped off the couch. Walked into the kitchen. We heard him open the fridge.. a few things were shuffled... close the fridge. Then he came back into the room with his sippy-cup and a smile. He took a few chugs off the sippy cup, climbed back up on the couch and continued watching TV. And Jen and I knew he had just reached the next level.

That was a truly rare case where Declan said nothing. Most of the time at home, he's extremely vocal. His pronunciation is excellent. He can say almost anything though 3 syllable words still tend to throw him... Banana is "Baanna". Repition is the standard. Often you can see the gears turning as he tries to make sure he's phrasing, emphasising, pronunciating, or describing things right. Sometimes though, it's just to get what he wants. "Dekan needs his binkie, Dekan needs his binkie, Dekan needs his binkie, ...."

To be continued...

Image: Adding to our clan - Gavin Finnegan O'Leary - 2/8/08
The newest O'Leary decided on Thursday that he was feeling a bit cramped living within his Mom... something about wanting more space, being able to make his own choices about where he goes and what he wants to eat...

Baby Stats:
Born: 2/8/08 at 12:28 pm (15 days early)
Gender: Boy
Name: Gavin Finnegan O'Leary
Weight: 8 lbs 8 oz
Length: 20 inches


Things went quickly at first and then we pretty much had a repeat of Declan's birth except, instead of 10 hours of labor into an emergency c-section, Jen labored for 14 hours and then a much more well considered c-section.

Gavin and Jen are both doing great. Jen got all her tubes and wires off yesterday and got to take a shower today. Gavin will hopefully start packing on some pounds today now that it seems Jen's milk has come in.

Declan has been spending the last few days with Jen's parents and seems to be handling all the oddities and changes in good stride. Each time he meets Gavin he gets a bit more playful with him; the beginnings of a lifelong friendship we hope.

We head home tomorrow and can't wait to get settled into our new life as a 4-person family. Now we just need to get our basement project started and completed so Efficion can move out of the baby's room!
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