The West Wing Tackles the Debt Ceiling

If you’ve been paying attention to the news in any form, you know that Debtageddon is on the horizon. What’s Debtageddon? It’s the day we hit our debt ceiling, the day we can no longer borrow money as a country and coincidentally the day before my birthday.

Tonight the House of Representatives were unable to pass a vote to raise the debt ceiling. The deadline before we hit true crisis mode is August 3rd. After that, no one knows just how badly our economy will be affected. Michelle Bachman thinks everything will be fine, while economists everywhere else are sounding the alarm.

By the way, pretty sure this is just the Grand Old Party, aka the Republicans and John Boehner, trying to screw me out of a great birthday. You can look at it one of three ways.

  1. My birthday will be followed by the absolute financial crash of America and we will remember it as the day before the end.
  2. Or, if you’re an optimist, all that will happen but we will remember it as the day we no longer gave a damn and had one hell of a party!
  3. Unlikely option, they agree to raise the debt ceiling and August 3rd is uneventful.

Whatever happens, the following clip from the West Wing illustrates what is going on.

It’s scary how many times I have been able to look back at this show and go, oh yeah, that exact thing is happening right now. I have a conspiracy theory that, in an effort to stay relevant a decade after his show would be canceled, Aaron Sorkin traveled to the future. There (here) he ripped headlines from Reuters and brought them back to 1999.

Or perhaps the West Wing is so accurate because it has happened 74 times before…

The Mold Remediation Continues

After months of living in hotels, friend’s places and vacation rentals, we still don’t have our apartment. For the last few weeks, I’m not even sure anyone has entered our bedroom to do any work.

Quick recap:

  • In April we had to move out of our apartment because it had extremely high levels of toxic mold.
  • Cause was discovered to be faulty flashing installation on the second floor patio.
  • Lack of flashing was made worse by neighbors who’s plant watering habits caused water to flow down our bedroom wall.
  • We discovered the mold when we pulled back a pillow on our bed covered with the black.
  • We’re told we will have to to move out while it was getting fixed, should be done within a week.

Toxic Mold or Jackson Pollock Painting

So, after four months or so of construction, you are all probably betting that we have one hell of a new bedroom. Marble floors, Persian rugs, gargoyles… Yeah pretty damn fancy huh. I didn’t even get to the babbling brook!

Sadly, you would be quite mistaken. This is what four months of remodeling gets you:

What’s even worse is this is the most work I have seen done in here since April. Today they came in and started installing the insulation and did a little drywall work. Correction, “they” didn’t do anything, one guy did it all.

Did I mention that the supposed final date of this construction is July 31st? As in, by August 1st this bedroom is supposed to be insulated, dry wall installed, painted, carpet installed and ready for furniture to be brought back in. Meanwhile we still have to get new linens, pillows, mattress…

Anyone want to wager a bet on when this will all actually be finished? Anyone have any hope that it will happen before my mom gets in town for my birthday, August 2nd?

I sure do.

Senators Call to End Driving Ban for Saudi Women

As someone who has spent a decent amount of time in Saudi Arabia and has met many people that this would affect, I’m totally behind it. That being said, I’m not sure we will see anything like this happen within the next decade.

The argument for women not having the right to drive stem from theories like:

  • If they start driving, they’ll start cheating on their husbands
  • After they cheat on their husbands, they will get divorces
  • Driving is too hard for women’s mental capacities to handle
  • Women don’t need to drive

Saudi Arabia is a beautiful, mostly really friendly and misunderstood country. But as with most countries, minority rights always seem to fall to the back burner.

Check out the article from Autoblog:

14 female U.S. senators call on Saudi Arabia to lift female driving ban.

According to Bloomberg, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been gently pushing the Saudi government to lift the ban, and has now been joined by a group of fourteen female American senators in supporting Saudi Women for Driving and their cause. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-California) is leading the charge from her position on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, calling for women’s rights to be honored in a U.S. ally that has proven nothing if not resistant to change.

My Florida Travels Overview

So the last ten days or so have been pretty crazy. It all started with a flight from San Francisco to Austin on the ninth. There I prepared for a series of meetings with business connections and hopefully potential opportunities for new business. Those meetings were to be had in San Antonio, so shortly after arriving in the Austin area I was headed out. Continue reading

Crazy Racist Christian Lady Goes Crazy

I feel sorry for any barista that gives her anything but decaf, or forgets her extra whip cause you know this woman gets extra whip…

This video was recorded in a strip-mall coffee shop in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The lady here was preaching to the patrons and one man decided to stand up to her.

This is the video that inspired me to start a collection of Christian-centered videos. I was going through my archives earlier today and watched it again. I haven’t shared it on my channel before so even though it’s a couple years old, I hope you enjoy. —

Just like how calling yourself an orange doesn’t make you an orange, simply calling yourself a Christian doesn’t make you a Christian. However, screaming craziness does make you crazy, and we can’t take that away from her!

Exploring Pike Place Market

Ryan and I are having a great time visiting Sam and Gatsby here in Seattle.

Gatsby, Ryan and Sam

Gatsby, Ryan and Sam

Last night was Ethiopian dinner followed by wine and music at the apartment. Today we walked up to the Public Market Center, wandered around, bought some wine, baguette and some good cheese. Tried out some of the local fare, more walking and had a great time doing it.

Tonight we’re meeting up for dinner with our friend Akiko and tomorrow, who knows. Maybe a trip to Pioneer Square or a photo walk. The weather today has been pretty rainy so breaking out the camera happens pretty sparingly.

Imagine that, raining in Seattle. But I don’t mind, makes for a beautiful and lush city.

Bahrain and the Day of Rage

I’m back in America. Had an awesome time in Saudi Arabia and despite all the turmoil that is going on in the region right now, I felt safe the entire time and can’t wait to go back.

I went to Saudi Arabia to celebrate my dad’s 50th birthday which was the same day as the Bahraini revolution. As a gift to my parents I did not join my friend James in his trip over the causeway to Bahrain for the “Day of Wrath” “Day of Rage” “Revolution” etc etc. Part of me was devastated that I was passing up such an incredible opportunity but the other part of me wanted to do the right and safe thing.  In the end I’m still not sure whether or not I made the right decision but I have a feeling I did…

If you have ever been to Bahrain, you know it’s this really fun, friendly country. Amazing shopping, fabulous restaurants, they serve alcohol, are BIG into family stuff with water parks and all that jazz. As a person of comparative privilege (which is probably everyone reading this), you probably would have no idea there was an issue there.

One of my last photos from Bahrain was from the upscale Monsoon restaurant. This is the Bahrain I know.

Something like half of the people living in Bahrain are ex-Pats. The disparity between classes is so extreme that you almost don’t even see it. It’s like at night time, you don’t notice the black of the sky but instead the white of the moon and stars. Continue reading