Saturday, February 2, 2013

Tubing

video
Jack and I went tubing with our Willits cousins yesterday at Soldier Hollow. It was fun.



Sunday, January 27, 2013

Being Manly and Touching

It's strange to me how most guys including myself would rather not touch anyone who isn't directly related to them and even then, it's circumstantial. However there is a certain fraternal order that allows for touching. Bear with me on this and keep your mind right please. I went on a winter camp out with the young men from church over the weekend and we took some snow mobiles with us. Normally hugging a guy = not manly. However holding on to a guys waist as you rocket down a powdery bank at 60 mph, well, I guess it isn't exactly manly but it isn't UN-manly. Touching a guys butt in jeans, not cool bro. Grabbing a snapped football or giving the universal 'a-ta-boy' booty tap, well this is very manly. Snuggling with a guy while watching a movie and you may as well hoist the rainbow flag (not that there's anything wrong with that). Snuggling with a guy in a tent on a cold winter night so you combine body heat and survive, como se dice manly? I won't even touch on snake bites or Grecko-Roman wrestling but I am saying that even though in typical everyday circumstances real dudes don't touch. There are scenarios when the most manly of men are so because they do touch. It's an eternal paradox. I don't always touch guys but when I do, it's manly.

Monday, January 21, 2013

About 30

I turned 30 a couple of years ago and among my circle of friends there are several that are turning 30 or have recently achieved that age. Not all of the time but some of the time people freak out about that milestone and I don't know why.

For me personally when I hit 30 I was doing exactly what I had been planning on doing all of my life. I was married with an amazing wife and wonderful kids, a good job a house that was livable (okay the house leaves something to be desired - we're hoping on moving within the year). Sure there are things that I had not yet accomplished, you know, those super realistic goals of becoming a multi-millionaire and traveling all over the world and the like.

But in reality my life is exactly on course. That is not to say either that there are not improvements I'd like to make and that everything I have ever dreamed about has come true. We struggle from time to time, we don't get to buy everything we want, drive the trendiest cars or go on seemingly continuous vacations in exotic locations. I don't have giant pecs or a perfect smile or get all the sleep I want. For crying out loud I still break out like a chocolate filled teenager sometimes. With that said I wouldn't want to trade in my life now for any of those things (or the absence of them).

I love this time, as much as it feels like I'm going to lose the last whits I have when I hear a nail polish bottle smack the bathroom floor knowing our little girls are in there or another argument between the kids or dealing with their unreasonableness when its way past bedtime, stretched finances, over busy schedules, etc. This is it! This is what I signed up for and when I walk in to a room and hear the uncontrollable laughter of my kids or when I come home from work and see Sarah cooking dinner through the front window I am reminded about how great life really is and how much I have to be thankful for. Even more I'm glad that things have not been handed to us. We have grown so much through our trials and learned to trust each other. I am glad to have experienced what I have to this point and turning (insert age) should not be a reminder about what I haven't accomplished or a threat of impending geriatric life. Rather it is a badge of honor at what large doses of life I have been able to absorb.

Monday, January 7, 2013

You know there are certain things that embarrass me more than others but overall I'd say I have a pretty high tolerance for humiliation. I've spent a good amount of life in that space and its kind of part of my comfort zone. One thing that is embarrassing to me is just about anything that requires me to go without a shirt. There are several factors at play here, each adding to the embarrassment more than the last. If any one of them were present individually I think I could deal okay. Firstly, my last name is Aanerud. That means that a good part of my ancestry has spent a large portion of history sheltered from the sun since Scandinavia isn't generally a place where there are a lot of dark skinned Anglo's walking around. I almost said shirtless Anglo's but that isn't accurate - there are those. So combine that with the Hank Hill style farmer's tan that I have been carefully perfecting over the years of riding my bike and you have a sweet combo of white and dark (the scale of darkness is relative).

Secondly, I am today the most out of shape that I may have ever been at any point in my life. I sit all day at a desk almost everyday and I have a sweet Dr. Pepper habit (that I can kick at any time if I so choose, just saying). That matrix results in a rockin gut that would rival any pregnant woman's. Sometimes I am so bloated after eating crap and sucking down carbonated beverages that it actually feels as firm as a pregnant belly. And, sometimes, in the still of the night, I can feel the kicks.

Thirdly, when I was 18, in fact it was on my 18th birthday I did the most rebellious thing I may have ever done in my life and got a tattoo. The subject of the tattoo is not that bad, it's placement that's embarrassing. I was not myself when I got it. You know the story, a teenage kid all jacked up on Dr. Pepper, I've heard it a thousand times. Next thing you know there's money missing off the dresser and your daughter's knocked up. Sorry, that was off topic. Getting back to the point - so I have a lot of freckles and whatnot on my shoulders and back which is where I originally wanted it but because of that the 'artist' would not put it there. So it ended up on my lower back. By the way its a griffin. Bitchin huh?!

So my in-laws in their infinite generosity are taking all kids and grandkids on a cruise in February in which I will be sorely tempted to take my shirt off and swim with my kids. I did this a few weeks ago in California but we were literally the only ones at the pool so it didn't matter. It's funny though how you can still be embarrassed in front of your kids who are all oblivious to almost everything.

That's the trifecta - crappy coloring, crappy gut, crappy tattoo. I have to be the triple crown winner of idiocy right? Maybe I should get one of those awesome 20's style one piece jobs. Let me go check Amazon.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Politics

The last half of last week we were in Cheyenne as I proudly represented Uinta County as one of our delegates to the Wyoming Republican Convention. I was asked to serve on the Resolutions Committee which met all day Thursday and Friday as we culled through approximately 1150 resolutions to get down to 250 which were passed on the convention floor. It was a fascinating process and experience to see where the conversation is within our state's Republican party and what bothers people. It was also a lot of fun to put my philosophical paradigm against real issues and problems and see how it all shakes out.
It was frustrating at times to be in a discussion with some of the old school establishment folks and get the condescending proverbial pat on the head as if I had said something completely naive and their wisdom on the matter trumped all objections. Some of the time I wanted to thank them for the exquisitely executed plan they had been party to which has plunged mine and my children's generations into the worst mess any generation in our country has every known. So, yes, thank you for your wisdom, you really nailed it with the debt spending, the growth of government, regulations, taxes, wars and lies. What I should say to a lot of these folks is no matter what you believe, I will believe the exact opposite because nothing you are posturing for has worked. I have a place in mind for you to put your precious wisdom. When was the last time you shut off Glenn Beck or Limbaugh and actually learned something? What was the last book that you read that was by an actual scholar or a primary source instead this seasons compilation of punditry vitriol?

I went to the convention openly supporting Ron Paul. There was somewhere between 120 and 140 Ron Paul delegates at the convention out of about 425 voting delegates. The Romney campaign was scared out of their mind and while the Ron Paul campaign spent virtually no money on a presence at the convention the Romney campaign by contrast had 3-4 full time staffers, an attorney, a courtesy room open at all times filled with snacks and drinks and they were vomiting swag all over the place. They flew in Josh Romney to speak to the convention and from the convention podium Romney was endorsed by Enzi, Barrasso, Lummis, Geringer, Mead and they even scraped old Dick Cheney off his death bed (he had a heart transplant 2 weeks ago) to come and speak to the convention and give Romney his endorsement.

Romney's people were head hunting us the entire convention trying to figure out the real positions of several of the uncommitted delegates. After all that they barely won all the delegates to the national convention and we won every alternate spot. If we had 20 or so more Paulians able to vote we would have taken it. They presented a slate of delegates that was like a who's who of Wyoming Republican politics. There were current and former congressmen, a runner up to our present governor and our present governor, both senators, blah, blah, blah. We had people. Just people. Everyday normal, working class, family raising folks with no money and no political connections and many of them were under the age of 40. It was a ton of fun to watch the Romney machine squirm and have to spend so much effort and money to barely edge out a band of nobodies.

As currently constituted the system is fixed so if you want to get involved the deck is stacked against you. Those going to the national convention will have to spend a week in Tampa and the overall cost is somewhere near $4000 and probably at least double that if there is a brokered convention. The time and money commitment alone keep most people out of the running for that. Then you have to be politically well connected to get the nod from the right people to be nominated.

Here's why I'm more optimistic than I have ever been about the nature of this beast. Last cycle there were reportedly 19 Ron Paul delegates to the state convention. This time as stated above there were (for the sake of argument) 130. As with the vast majority of all other candidates Romney supporters will disband after he gets his butt handed to him by Obama while the liberty movement continues to grow and organize. We will continue to become precinct chairs, county chairs, elected to city councils, state legislatures and yes even to national level seats.

The competition is not passionate because there is nothing to be passionate about. I don't know anyone on a personal level who is a Romney supporter who was willing to take the time and money needed to go to the county convention or the state convention to support him. It is true that he is polished and wears nice clothes and has the (focus group tested) perfect amount of grey on his temples and a bullet proof jaw line, the connections and the money. But he is severely lacking in actual principles. Which is why it is difficult to tell the difference between his voting record and someone like Joe Lieberman. In fact I fail to see any substantive difference between him and Obama. They will both spend us into oblivion, continue illegal wars and likely start new ones to which my children will go fight while theirs enjoy a free pass to Yale, they will continue to placate special interests (they have both been bought and paid for by Goldman Sachs-just look at the FEC reports) at the expense of us all. Most of all they are both hugely out of touch with normal people. They don't get it because they can't get it. They have never walked a day in your shoes or mine so how could they begin to understand the problems you and I face.

It is exciting to actually have someone to support instead of merely acquiescing to the lesser of two evils. I did that last cycle and it felt like I was punching my kids in the face. Whether or not my candidates win I want to be able to look my kids in the eye 30 years from now and tell them that I did everything I could to give them the best possible country to live and prosper in. Not that I simply voted for the left side or the right side of the same two-headed monster. Being popular takes a back seat to being right....and I learned long ago that what is popular is very seldom right.

The whole process from the precinct caucuses to the county convention to the state convention was pretty fun for me. It was a huge learning experience and something I look forward to doing again the next time around. I loved forcing the conversation on some of these issues and standing up to those dusty old farts who have so completely screwed us.

"It does not take a majority to prevail...but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men."   Samuel Adams