• So, Bernie Sanders and Hilary Clinton had a photo finish in Iowa on the Democratic side, with Clinton nosing out Sanders, while Ted Cruz somehow edged out Donald Trump and a surprising Marco Rubio on the Republican side. This year’s races are intriguing me more than some of the recent races: Clinton/Sanders are doing to come down to the last few stops. Cruz/Trump/Rubio are not appealing to me AT ALL, at the moment; these 3 seem to want to out-shout, out-insult, and out-anti-Obama each other, all the way to a photo finish between the 3 (sorry, Dr. Carson – I don’t see you being much of a factor, unless you pull some BIG surprises, very soon….). One thing that’s getting buried within the circus of the Primaries is Rand Paul. He caused/forced KY lawmakers to change the election rules – changing the May Kentucky Primary into a March Caucus – so that could “legally” run for both the U.S. Senate and the Presidency. Only on Wednesday, Paul dropped out of the Presidential Race. Seems like a waste of lawmakers’ time and efforts to change these rules, only to drop out this early. Could Paul be worried about Lexington’s Mayor entering the Senate race? (He shouldn’t be… yet.)
  • Reports are out: Kentucky’s healthcare system is one of the most successful in the nation (WDRB?). KY continues to enroll some of the largest numbers of patients in the country… yet our esteemed new governor wants to cut Kentucky’s program (“cut off the state’s nose”) because “we can’t afford to keep it” (“to spite Obama’s face”). Some of the policies of the Republican Party are just plain childish and borderline idiotic and vindictive.
  • Students from Meyzeek Middle School won a $20,000 grant for their awesome work developing a mobile app to remind people to take their medicine and warning others if they didn’t or need help: (App Winners)
  • It looks like the next supervirus-that-will-kill-us-all, the Zika virus, is surfacing in Brazil. While this one seems a little more worrisome, I would suggest to those that read this to listen to comedian Alonzo Bodden’s album “Who’s Paying Attention?”, particularly the track “Where’s My Swine Flu?”. He sums up my feelings – and a lot of folks’ feelings – on the announcement of viruses and diseases.
  • It is kind of sad to keep reading stories about drugs and Portland, especially when an entire city block was being monitored by Louisville Police: (LINK). There are good things going on, and good people living, in Portland, but it’s hard to convince others of it when stories like this keep surfacing. It’s also one of the many reasons why Portland and the West End have a very hard time getting support and businesses to invest in the areas.
  • Can I root for both teams in the Super Bowl?? I want to see the Broncos win another title and Peyton Manning win a 2nd championship, but I can’t root against Cam Newton and the Panthers….
    Predictions: Panthers 31, Broncos 21. The Panthers’ defense will harass and overwhelm the Broncos’ offense more than the Broncos’ D will do to Carolina’s offense.
  • I will write about it in a separate post but I finally got to see “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”. GO WATCH IT – you’ll enjoy it! Just don’t be one of those fans that have to pick every detail apart. 😉
  • This is the anniversary of the 22 ½” of snow that Louisville got in 1998, from February 4th-6th (thanks for the reminder, WLKY!). I think the city was shut down for well over a week, back then! We need another storm like that….
  • January was an odd month:
    • School, while inconvenienced by no home internet, went well. Grades are decent; the 1st major judge of where I’m standing is this week and early next week, with an exam today (Thursday) in my History class, exams in my online Web Site Design and Internet Technology classes due by late Sunday/early Monday, and an exam in my online Database design class due next week (but not available to take until Monday), plus HW assignments in all but History, and an extra quiz in Int. Tech.
    • The seasonal book store job was fun
    • I managed to get out of the house a couple of times to hang out with friends – very much needed
    • Money SUCKED – there’s no other way to put it: I did not work an hour at my main job (now going on 10 weeks, with only 5.77 hours worked total) and the book store did not bring in enough to catch bills up; unemployment still hasn’t notified me whether or not I was approved for a requested check; needless to say, I struggled this month with the monies
    • While job searching, I realized just how much the phrase “close, but no cigar” has applied to me over the years. There had to be over 25 jobs – most of them in the IT, Computer, or Cybersecurity fields, at UPS, Syntel, Amazon, and Blizzard – that I looked at, where I was either missing the degree requirement, an experience requirement (HOW CAN I GET EXPERIENCE WHEN JOBS REQUIRE THAT YOU HAVE EXPERIENCE COMING IN?!?), or a travel requirement (no car), but have most of the other requirements. It was/has been/is a long lesson in frustration.
  • This is the beginning of my favorite part of the sports calendar: the NFL Playoffs and Super Bowl, WWE’s “Royal Rumble” and the Road To WrestleMania, College Basketball wraps up the regular season then goes into “March Madness”, the NHRA season starts, and it all wraps up with in April with the Final Four (Men’s and Women’s), WrestleMania, and the start of baseball season. I would love to watch some of the March Madness tournament games with a group of friends, especially if UofL or Indiana goes deep in the tourney (I don’t know of any local Kansas fans and only a couple of Purdue fans)!
  • Health front:
    • I’m about a pound down (net) since New Year’s but may have actually lost more than that: I think I’ve lost some inches around the chest and waist (I’ve never really measured either but I should probably start doing so soon). A lot of my polos, some T-shirts, and hoodies are baggier than normal, including some T-shirts that I haven’t worn much in years (a 2004 Liberty Bowl Marching Band T-shirt, for example). I’m more focused on toning up and cardio conditioning than weight loss or strength training, but approaching early college weight, and possibly getting to non-cyborg-heart conditioning, again is always a good thing, right?
    • INR is back down to the upper end of the ‘normal’ range of 2.5-3.5 (3.4, at the last reading). It is a pain in the butt to keep it steady in the winter, especially when temperatures are really cold.
  • One added just today: the University of Louisville Men’s Basketball Team is now out of the NCAA Tournament. The school announced that it was self-imposing a post-season ban for this season, effectively ending the season in early March. I’m sure some UK fans will crawl out of the woodwork to celebrate this announcement. What a letdown for today and this week.