What is deserving of glorification? Also, how many on my Facebook can I piss off? LETS SEE!!

It has been a conviction of pressing necessity, it has been a belief that we are to be deprived in the Union of the rights which our fathers bequeathed to us, which has brought Mississippi into her present decision. She has heard proclaimed the theory that all men are created free and equal, and this made the basis of an attack upon her social institutions; and the sacred Declaration of Independence has been invoked to maintain the position of the equality of the races…When our Constitution was formed, the same idea was rendered more palpable, for there we find provision made for that very class of persons as property; they were not put upon the footing of equality with white men–not even upon that of paupers and convicts; but, so far as representation was concerned, were discriminated against as a lower caste, only to be represented in the numerical proportion of three fifths.

– Jefferson Davis farewell address to the US Senate, January 21, 1861

The people of Georgia having dissolved their political connection with the Government of the United States of America, present to their confederates and the world the causes which have led to the separation. For the last ten years we have had numerous and serious causes of complaint against our non-slave-holding confederate States with reference to the subject of African slavery. They have endeavored to weaken our security, to disturb our domestic peace and tranquility, and persistently refused to comply with their express constitutional obligations to us in reference to that property, and by the use of their power in the Federal Government have striven to deprive us of an equal enjoyment of the common Territories of the Republic. This hostile policy of our confederates has been pursued with every circumstance of aggravation which could arouse the passions and excite the hatred of our people, and has placed the two sections of the Union for many years past in the condition of virtual civil war. Our people, still attached to the Union from habit and national traditions, and averse to change, hoped that time, reason, and argument would bring, if not redress, at least exemption from further insults, injuries, and dangers. Recent events have fully dissipated all such hopes and demonstrated the necessity of separation.

 Declaration of Causes for Secession, Georgia, January 29, 1861

In the momentous step which our State has taken of dissolving its connection with the government of which we so long formed a part, it is but just that we should declare the prominent reasons which have induced our course.

Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery– the greatest material interest of the world. Its labor supplies the product which constitutes by far the largest and most important portions of commerce of the earth. These products are peculiar to the climate verging on the tropical regions, and by an imperious law of nature, none but the black race can bear exposure to the tropical sun. These products have become necessities of the world, and a blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization. That blow has been long aimed at the institution, and was at the point of reaching its consummation. There was no choice left us but submission to the mandates of abolition, or a dissolution of the Union, whose principles had been subverted to work out our ruin.

– A Declaration of the Immediate Causes which Induce and Justify the Secession of the State of Mississippi from the Federal Union.

We affirm that these ends for which this Government was instituted have been defeated, and the Government itself has been made destructive of them by the action of the non-slaveholding States. Those States have assume the right of deciding upon the propriety of our domestic institutions; and have denied the rights of property established in fifteen of the States and recognized by the Constitution; they have denounced as sinful the institution of slavery; they have permitted open establishment among them of societies, whose avowed object is to disturb the peace and to eloign the property of the citizens of other States. They have encouraged and assisted thousands of our slaves to leave their homes; and those who remain, have been incited by emissaries, books and pictures to servile insurrection.

For twenty-five years this agitation has been steadily increasing, until it has now secured to its aid the power of the common Government. Observing the *forms* [emphasis in the original] of the Constitution, a sectional party has found within that Article establishing the Executive Department, the means of subverting the Constitution itself. A geographical line has been drawn across the Union, and all the States north of that line have united in the election of a man to the high office of President of the United States, whose opinions and purposes are hostile to slavery. He is to be entrusted with the administration of the common Government, because he has declared that that “Government cannot endure permanently half slave, half free,” and that the public mind must rest in the belief that slavery is in the course of ultimate extinction.

– Declaration of the Immediate Causes Which Induce and Justify the Secession of South Carolina from the Federal Union, December 24, 1860

In all the non-slave-holding States, in violation of that good faith and comity which should exist between entirely distinct nations, the people have formed themselves into a great sectional party, now strong enough in numbers to control the affairs of each of those States, based upon an unnatural feeling of hostility to these Southern States and their beneficent and patriarchal system of African slavery, proclaiming the debasing doctrine of equality of all men, irrespective of race or color– a doctrine at war with nature, in opposition to the experience of mankind, and in violation of the plainest revelations of Divine Law. They demand the abolition of negro slavery throughout the confederacy, the recognition of political equality between the white and negro races, and avow their determination to press on their crusade against us, so long as a negro slave remains in these States…

We hold as undeniable truths that the governments of the various States, and of the confederacy itself, were established exclusively by the white race, for themselves and their posterity; that the African race had no agency in their establishment; that they were rightfully held and regarded as an inferior and dependent race, and in that condition only could their existence in this country be rendered beneficial or tolerable.

That in this free government *all white men are and of right ought to be entitled to equal civil and political rights* [emphasis in the original]; that the servitude of the African race, as existing in these States, is mutually beneficial to both bond and free, and is abundantly authorized and justified by the experience of mankind, and the revealed will of the Almighty Creator, as recognized by all Christian nations; while the destruction of the existing relations between the two races, as advocated by our sectional enemies, would bring inevitable calamities upon both and desolation upon the fifteen slave-holding states.

– A Declaration of the Causes which Impel the State of Texas to Secede from the Federal Union. February 2, 1861

The people of Virginia, in their ratification of the Constitution of the United States of America, adopted by them in Convention on the twenty-fifth day of June, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty-eight, having declared that the powers granted under the said Constitution were derived from the people of the United States, and might be resumed whensoever the same should be perverted to their injury and oppression; and the Federal Government, having perverted said powers, not only to the injury of the people of Virginia, but to the oppression of the Southern Slaveholding States.

– THE SECESSION ORDINANCE.
AN ORDINANCE TO REPEAL THE RATIFICATION OF THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA BY THE STATE OF VIRGINIA, AND TO RESUME ALL THE RIGHTS AND POWERS GRANTED UNDER SAID CONSTITUTION. April 17, 1861

But not to be tedious in enumerating the numerous changes for the better, allow me to allude to one other — though last, not least. The new constitution has put at rest, forever, all the agitating questions relating to our peculiar institution — African slavery as it exists amongst us — the proper status of the negro in our form of civilization. This was the immediate cause of the late rupture and present revolution. Jefferson in his forecast, had anticipated this, as the “rock upon which the old Union would split.” He was right. What was conjecture with him, is now a realized fact. But whether he fully comprehended the great truth upon which that rock stood and stands, may be doubted. The prevailing ideas entertained by him and most of the leading statesmen at the time of the formation of the old constitution, were that the enslavement of the African was in violation of the laws of nature; that it was wrong in principle, socially, morally, and politically. It was an evil they knew not well how to deal with, but the general opinion of the men of that day was that, somehow or other in the order of Providence, the institution would be evanescent and pass away. This idea, though not incorporated in the constitution, was the prevailing idea at that time. The constitution, it is true, secured every essential guarantee to the institution while it should last, and hence no argument can be justly urged against the constitutional guarantees thus secured, because of the common sentiment of the day. Those ideas, however, were fundamentally wrong. They rested upon the assumption of the equality of races. This was an error. It was a sandy foundation, and the government built upon it fell when the “storm came and the wind blew.”

Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its corner- stone rests upon the great truth, that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery — subordination to the superior race — is his natural and normal condition. [Applause.] This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth. This truth has been slow in the process of its development, like all other truths in the various departments of science.

 

With us, all of the white race, however high or low, rich or poor, are equal in the eye of the law. Not so with the negro. Subordination is his place. He, by nature, or by the curse against Canaan, is fitted for that condition which he occupies in our system.

– “Cornerstone Speech” Confederate Vice President Alexander Stevens, Savannah; Georgia, March 21, 1861

I apologize for the long winded quotes but it is necessary.  I had crowd sourced topics and one I got via private message was to write, essentially, a history lesson related to current events.  I don’t know if this will constitute a history lesson but it is related to a current event, namely the question of whether or not to remove statues of confederate leaders in various cities in the south.  In New Orleans they just finished such an endeavor with the removal of the statue of Robert E. Lee.

My views on the matter are based on the history of the events of 1860 and the reasons argued for secession as given above.  Understand those are not the only primary documents that support such a view point.  For example, in working on this blog I came across a link to the Library of Congress where newspapers from that time period are on record for viewing, discussing the conventions held to regarding secession from the Union.  As you can probably guess they are not favorable toward the Confederacy or anything glorifying it.  The Confederacy was formed by slave holding states of the south for the expressed purpose of preserving, in perpetuity, the institution of African Slavery.  Period.  The Union came in to bring the rebellious states back into the fold, yes, but this would never have been the case had secession never occurred.  And secession would never have occurred if not for slavery.  Don’t think so? ok…

Name 3 politically charged and divisive issues facing the United States in the 1850’s, other than slavery, that were forever resolved by the Civil War.  Go ahead…I’ll wait.

I don’t have to, just go back up to the documentation I have provided, read it from the horse’s mouth.  In all of them there is one overarching theme as to why the south left the Union and founded it’s own nation.  It was fear of the end of slavery and all that it would entail.  After events like Bleeding Kanses, Nat Turner’s rebellion, John Brown’s raid and the legal fight that led to the Dred Scott ruling, the nation was ready to break and the election of “Black Republican” Abraham Lincoln was more than the south could bare.  Even though they lost the war the southern leadership would endeavor to reestablish the old order that had once existed, so much so that it would be another century before traction would be gained in the cause of racial equality in our nation.

So, these statues.  What to do about them?  Do they stay?  Are they altered?  Removed entirely?  For my money, I think the best solution would be either:

  1. Leaving the statues but contextualizing the history with markers talking about the history of the statue and the reasons for them being there along with counter-monuments, maybe not necessarily about slavery but about other figures, not just old confederate white guys.
  2.  Removing them from their current location and transplanting them to museums and battlefields where they will remain on display, but within the context of a discussion about the war.

The statues are meant to honor and glorify men who served and fought for a nation built on the principle of inequality of races.  And I know all of the counter arguments.  I know because I used to make them myself.  I used to rock confederate flags on everything I wore, it’s even on my old high school class ring.  So lets address a few of them now:

  1. You can’t judge them with our standards of morals.  It was a different time.  Um, yeah I can.  The concept of “slavery is bad” was not lost to these men.  They acknowledge that half the country thought it was evil.  Other nations like Great Britain had already abolished slavery.  The difference is they didn’t buy the argument of the moral wrong of slavery.  Or at least they weren’t willing to do anything about it aside from let Jesus sort it out.
  2. They fought to defend their state, their homes and neighbors.  Noble enough sentiment, however it was a fight that wouldn’t have been necessary without secession.  And those states left the union, committed treason, in order to found a nation based on racial inequality.
  3. These were great men, leaders and generals, who were proud Southerners.  No one disputes their prowess in their respective fields.  But then no one is building a bunch of statues to Jefferson Davis to honor his service as US Secretary of War or Lee for his service in the Mexican-American War.

Look you could write a book about this topic…and books HAVE been written, at length, on it.  And as a historian (yes, I have the degree and student loan debt to go with my academic field) it would be irresponsible to not acknowledge that there are many historians with differing views on the Confederacy, secession, and it’s relation to slavery.  You can find authors who would support a diminished role of slavery in these events, giving other reasons from states rights to tariffs.  But I think the primary source material at the dawn of the Confederacy makes it pretty evident as to the thought running through the minds of southern leaders at that time.

Again, I am not one to run up with pitchforks and torches to smelt the statues down to their base elements.  Give them the historical context they need.  Yes our views of history have changed over decades.  My mother went to school in an age when slavery was described with two sentences: 1. slavery wasn’t so bad 2. it was best for them.  Robert E Lee, who had a very Virginian view of the topic in a letter to his wife in 1856 said something similar:

The blacks are immeasurably better off here than in Africa, morally, physically, and socially. The painful discipline they are undergoing is necessary for their further instruction as a race, and will prepare them, I hope, for better things.

Is this a history and heritage we really want to glorify?  As a nation we have come so far in a pursuit to offer the promise of equality of all men, why would we continue to allow the glorification of an age and men who stood against such ideals?  At a recent trip to Monticello, home of founding father and slave owner Thomas Jefferson, with my children’s 2nd grade class, I was struck by how much of the grounds were dedicated to a real look at the lives of slaves under Jefferson’s ownership.  All the honor and respect still in place for an important figure in the birth of our nation, but context was given to flush out a full image of the man and the age.  These statues as they are do not offer that.  They only offer to glorify a period of history that isn’t deserving of glorification.

But then, as Dennis Miller would say, that’s just my personal opinion, I could be wrong.

Sources below:

Jefferson Davis farewell address to US Senate

Declaration of causes of seceding states

Cornerstone Speech

Robert E Lee letter to wife on comments of Pres. Pierce 1856

Newspaper samples from Library of Congress. Different views on the topic even in their own time.

 

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Whole 30 Round 2 round-up

Ok lets start with a baseline…

Jeezus…ok so that’s my infamous “before” pic, right at 230

that was end of Round 1, at 192 lbs…

Ok…this is start of round two, 186 lbs.

This is the end, 174.6 lbs…
Now, for the record…you have no idea how nerve racking it is to think I am posting pics of myself without  a shirt on.  Even now, I am SUPER SUPER self conscious about how I look (and not because of the farmer’s tan either mind you lol) especially without my shirt.  There’s a part of my mind that still is like, “FATTY!”

Admitting that to myself, publicly, is one of the saddest things.  I’m looking at these pictures and I am simultaneously amazed at my progress and yet there’s that voice…”NO ONE WANTS TO SEE THAT!”

But I am trying.  I try to remember the double takes I get from people, friends and co-workers who can’t recognize me anymore, even noticing the longer look overs that were never there before.  Seeing these pictures, scrolling down the transformation, is a huge help.  Still can’t deny that the thought of posting these photos is terrifying.  I am though.  

*deep breath*

Whole 30 R2/D30 

Well, that’s that.  Another round done and done and I feel pretty great.  Now begins the long journey of keeping to a clean and healthy diet moving forward.  

I’ll do some new before and after shots tomorrow.  It won’t be as drastic as the blog posting from the end of round one.  Hopefully I won’t need to reintroduce another round of Whole 30 for a while, I’d like to make it through the summer and the High Holidays without having to do something that extreme to course correct.

I hope everyone has been enjoying the blog and I hope that it has been a source of insight and maybe motivation to make the kinds of changes you want to make to be a better, happier, and healthier you.  Or, at the very least, it’s been good for some laughs.

Explaining Shabbat to Goyim

It was asked of me to explain how modern jewish famlies keep shabbat by one of my non-jewish friends on the Facebook, so I will give kind of a run down on the subject, translating terms and hopefully not getting too bogged down in the many, MANY, complexities of halachah (jewish law…the ‘ch’ is prounced like the ‘ch’ in Achmed the Dead Terrorist) dealing with Shabbat.

Shabbat, the Holy Sabbath, is the central point in time for a jew.  It is commonly called “the day of rest”.  Shabbat as a day is meant to remind us of G-d as both creator and liberator.  It is a rememberance of creation and how G-d completed all of His work in 6 days and then rested on the seventh.  It is also a rememberance of the exodus from Egypt, G-d freeinf us from the house of bondage.  And so we both try to be like G-d and also remember that there is only one true creative and controlling force in the world….and it ain’t us.

I will be doing my best to explain this in the way Orthodox views of judaism interpret sabbath observance, but know that there are many jews from many parts of the jewish world who do things in their own way and I am in no way diminishing their style of observance.  As a good friend of mine, Rabbi Mike Moskowitz would say, “It’s a big Torah”  (actually he would say “It’s a big Toyrah” haha).

Sabbath preperations are often times things which can span the course of the week.  Getting choice meats, produce, wine, making sure the house is clean and clothing is prepared are all part of being ready for Shabbat.  Food for Shabbat is cooked beforehand since there is a prohibition on the use of fire and cooking.  Now you can have a special hot plate, called in yiddish a blech or hebrew a platah to warm solid foods and many people utilize a slow cooker to make a kind of stew called chollent.  The food is ready, many people wear special garments (imagine your “sunday best”), the house is prepared and it is friday at sunset and the lady of the house lights a pair of candles to bring in shabbat with a blessing.  Some go to attend an evening service at synagogue.  Others stay home bringing in the sabbath with songs to angels and one dedicated to the lady of the house known as Aishet Chayil.  Then a blessing known as kiddush is made over wine or juice, a ceremonial washing of hands followed by a blessing over bread and a festive meal in honor of Shabbat.

During this time no one is messing with electricity, no one is driving, we’re basically Amish for 25 hours.  The next day many will go to synagogue, walking there, for shabbat service, the length of which varies from place to place.  Afterwards there typically is a kiddush with snacks, sometimes even a full lunch, and people schmooze.  Then lunch back home with a special kiddush for the day and after that, if you can, a nice schlof or nap lol.  The day is spent with resting, eating, drinking (if that’s your thing), learning Torah, schmoozing…really anything you want that falls within the realm of permissible during Shabbat.

Saturday night, at nightfall, ends Shabbat. A special ceremony known as havdalah ends the day, blessings said over wine, spices, and a special multi-wicked candle.

So that’s a really really condensed explanation of what happens on shabbat.  If you have friends who are Jewish and celebrate shabbat I would suggest floating the idea of checking it out with them, or maybe look up a local synagogue and see what services look like.  I hope this illuminates this special day for my non-jewish readers and if you are jewish too, what are some ways that your family uniquely celebrate shabbat?  I like to let the kids get a little goofy during Shalom Alaichem, welcoming the Shabbat angels, and I roll Sephardic style, not using a knife but rather tearing my challah bread by hand.

I would recommend both chabad.org and jewfaq.org as good online sources to read up on this as well.  Jewfaq.org was a great source for me when I first began exploring Judaism.

Hope you all enjoyed.  Shabbat Shalom.

Whole 30 R2/D24-29

The last few days, every time I see junk food or smell pizza my carb dragon roars and I just want ALL OF THE THINGS!  I hadn’t realized it but I was giving in to it this round much more than last time with all of the potatoes I have been eating so I am trying to take out the potatoes and go heavier on greens and other veggies.  All of these potatoes have created a bit of a…problem…when it comes to using the bathroom so hopefully the added ruffage will help.

I did sort of cheat a bit this morning and out of curiosity weighed myself.  I’m supposed to wait until the end but people were asking me about it and it got my curiosity peaked.

Are you ready?

174.6 pounds 

I started in January at 207…I have lost 36 pound.  36.  Pounds.  I can’t remember the last time I was under 180 lbs, I know it had to have been before I started dating my wife more than a decade ago.  I didn’t think it was physically possible for me to get down to that weight again…clearly I was wrong.

Tomorrow is the last day.  I think I will probably not do another full blown round of Whole 30 for a while, but I will continue to eat clean, minimal carbs, minimal sugars.

I crowd sourced some topics so the next non-health related post will be on Shabbat…the other will be something a bit more controversial.

Stay tuned.

Whole 30 R2/D22,23

Baked chicken thighs, sweet potatoes, and bell peppers.  Very delicious.  I’ve had a hard time getting up the last few days to exercise and need to find the motivation first thing in the AM to get my butt in gear.  We are attempting to potty train the youngest…which is seeing…mixed results, but it’s early days still so we just have to give him that time.  Until then, Elmo’s Potty Time!

As much as I want to be good after this round, I would love a pizza right about now.  I may have to try out a cauliflower crust or something…but OMG PIZZA!!  

I do want to take a minute and wish all the moms out there a Happy Mother’s Day.  Most especially to my own mother, who raised me and my sister pretty much all on her own, sacrificing more than I can possibly imagine to give us whatever she could.  And for what it’s worth…I have had a number of father figures come and go in my life…but none of them really taught me what it was to be a man, a husband, a father the way she did.  (However I did learn a bunch of what NOT to do from them, so I guess that’s something)

And of course to my wife (jeezus look at me, yeesh).  You hold down the fort and have more patience than you give yourself credit for.  I can’t imagine building this family with anyone else.  You are an incredible mother and our kids reflect that…even when you want to choke the very life from their bodies.  (I CAN MAKE MORE OF YOU!)

Also, when Elmo wants to learn more about “beaches”, thank you for also hearing “bitches” when he said that.

Whole 30 R2/D20,21

Went for a run yesterday morning to switch things up with my exercising.  I have to say between eating clean, losing weight, and the exercising I was already doing I felt really good afterwards.  It used to be that after a run I was super winded, coughing and basically having an asthma attack for a good hour afterwards but this time I felt great.  I didn’t go for distance covered but just a good half hour run and I was able to maintain a good steady pace the whole time.  I was surprised at how much ground I did cover.  Running may become an addition to my weekly workout routine just to mix things up a bit.  Also it’ll help me prepare for the Star Wars half marathon next year which will be fun I have no doubt.  

A member of my synagogue has decided to do her own Whole 30.  I’m excited to see where her journey takes her and hopefully others will take a look at their own relationship with food.  Again, I don’t know that it’s for everyone.  It is an extreme and drastic diet and can be difficult, but if you enter it with the right mindset you will come out of it, hopefully, reevaluating how you eat and what you eat daily.  

I saw a post on Facebook from a friend of mine about a man who was basically a food-a-holic.  People laugh at such a thing but trust and believe, it is real.  To fight that addiction is as hard as kicking alcohol or drugs. And everyday we are, frankly, lied to by the food and sugar industry about what we eat.  It’s packaged and sold to hook us and they get us in the crib. There are a number of baby formulas where one of the first ingredient is sugar.  WHY????  Also, why does a baby need its own brand if cheese doodle?  I’m looking at you Gerber.  I’m not going to lie, we give the kids snacks and treats sometimes that aren’t the best, mostly because of budget constraints (which the food industry’s campaign to poison the poor is criminal btw), but we do what we can to put healthy options in their lunch boxes.  Childhood obesity is an epidemic and telling them to run more and eat less is a bumper sticker solution that won’t last.  Get to the heart of real nutritional education, stop letting big sugar poison another generation.  

This coming from a man who has moments everyday where I would beat a baby seal with a sack full of doorknobs for a coke and some pizza.

Whole 30 R2/D16-19

Whoa, hadn’t realized how long it had been since I last posted.  I guess it’s just been busy the last few days.  Usually I would write in the evening but I am so exhausted that I can’t muster the brain power to put words together. 

Can I just say that Aldi is the place to go for inexpensive produce.  I got most of our produce list there for around $10 which is amazing.  I’m going to do some marinara meatballs tonight with broccoli and potatoes.  I didn’t have the meat this morning so I couldn’t cook it in my slow cooker, which is the best way to do it, so I will have to bake them in the oven before moving them to the sauce.  I LOVE a good marinara sauce, really tomatoes in general, they are the meat of the produce world.

Went to visit my grandma today.  She’s living in an assisted living facility and I have to say, the place is sad.  Not the facility mind you, it’s quite nice, it just feels like a building full of folks waiting to die.  Now, I want to live a long time, but if my quality if life is going to be like that just let me check out.

We had a good Shabbat.  I walked the twins over for a play date and ended up talking with the parents for several hours.  It’s always good to find more of the “cool kids” in the community.  We’re gonna have to coordinate a neighborhood BBQ.

mmmmmmm BBQ

I guess I should make dinner now and then try to stay up and watch “Rouge One”.

Whole 30 R2/D15 OMG THE DEFENDERS!!!!

Well I got a pleasant surpise yesterday when my mom and cousin asked if we would like to join them down in Hatteras at the end of the month.  Since that is the week of Shavuot and I was taking time off for it anyways it seems like the perfect time for a small beach trip.  It’ll be 3 days and most of that is Chag (holiday) but it’s right in walking distance of the beach and the sound so it should be fun.  Also the house is huge and beautiful and the kids are stoked to hang out with their cousin. 

Spent the afternoon out in the front lawn with the kiddos and is there anything better?  

It’s moments like that which makes life worth living.

Let me put on my nerd hat for a moment.  I saw the trailer for Marvel’s The Defenders and then I watched it again…6 times.  I have been hooked on these shows since the first season of Daredevil.  For me I rank the shows as follows:

  1. Daredevil season 1
  2. Luke Cage
  3. Jessica Jones
  4. The first half of Daredevil season 2 (basically anything with the Punisher in it)
  5. Iron Fist

Now Luke Cage and Jessica Jones can switch places on any given day.  These shows have also given us, arguably, the two best antagonists in the MCU, Kingpin and Cottonmouth, and I LOVE Cottonmouth.  He’s just so gangster.  Not just in a hip-hop kind of way but in a truely Goodfellas way too.  And both are the type of villians which are the most compelling, villians who see themselves as the hero.  Jessica Jones‘ writing is superb, it’s not just a detective story but an allegory of rape and the journey of a victim to reclaim her power.  It’s low on action (which there is some but not as much as the other shows) but the writing on that show is amazing.

Poor Iron Fist.  I feel like this was a show rushed in order to make The Defenders happen as quickly as possible.  Hell, they had a teaser for The Defenders out before Iron Fist even began production!  The premise of Danny’s return to NYC and his subsequent desire to be a part of his father’s company MAKES NO SENSE.  The action is sort of, meh, which would be ok if not for the fact that THE IRON FIST IS THE GREATEST MARTIAL ARTIST IN THE ENTIRE MARVEL UNIVERSE.  HE’S CALLED “THE LIVING WEAPON” FOR A REASON PEOPLE!!  I could go on about a number of things I didn’t care for in this show but basically it feels like someone at Netflix was like, “Just get it made, quick quick quick, we gotta make that Defenders money!”

It’s not the worst I’ve seen from Marvel. It’s a damn sight better than Agents of SHIELD.  It’s sort of mediocre which is sad considering how good the other shows were.  Part of me wishes they had introduced him in Luke Cage, or hell, in The Defenders if that was the best they could do.  Still, watch it, it has some good elements to it and it’ll build towards this crossover.  I’m thinking of taking the month prior and rewatching all of the shows before August 16 when it drops.

This is gonna be sick!

Whole 30 R2/D13,14

Half way there now.  It’s been nice having my wife doing my morning exercise routine with me, I just wish the living room was a bit larger so we had more space to do the moves.  Did schnitzel again sunday night with potatoes.  I have to watch how much I eat in the way of potatoes, if I eat too much it gives me a serious stomach ache.

(One of my wife’s pieces, can be found at etsy.com/shop/raccoonart )

Tooled around yesterday in Carytown, a neighborhood in Richmond marked with restaurants, bars and local shops.  I really enjoy hanging out down there but yesterday we went on a mission to speak with some consignment shops about carrying my wife’s jewelry.  She has an etsy shop but it hasn’t gained much traction yet so hopefully the connections we made will bare some fruit for her.  Also I picked up some shorts, fit into 33″ waisted shorts which is amazing. 

So, I have just been informed that the boy who took my daughter out for donuts now wants to do an ice cream date or a…wait for it..  dinner date.  Whoa whoa whoa, slow your roll there Casanova.  It’s hard not to laugh a little and pick but I don’t want to traumatize girl.  The boy on the other hand…I may have to traumatize a bit.

Daughters.  She’s going to drive me to drinking.