Saturday, 28 July 2012

Munich - Misremembered

London Olympics 2012: No excuse to leave Munich out of Opening Ceremony | London 2012 | Sports | National Post:

'via Blog this'

It was made very clear by a number of broadcasters and journalists that something was missing from this year's opening ceremonies, and yet oddly enough I DON'T agree with the judgement of these outspoken individuals.

It was said that there should have been a dedication to the Israeli athletes murdered in 1972 at the Olympics held in Munich however the opening ceremonies are hardly the time for such a sombre theme, especially when that theme is not something immediately pressing as in the case of the Georgian luger killed back in 2010 where the incident occurred at the Olympics being held, not at an event decades later.

Now I agree, somewhere in the Olympic proceedings there should be a moment to recognize the events of 1972, but there is another point to be noted in the Munich tragedy... The Israeli MOSSAD agency hunted down and executed every individual involved in the murder of the Israeli Olympians at Munich which, at least in my perception of justice sets things close to even. The guilty did not go unpunished, memorials were held for the lost... What else is there to be said or done? I was actually surprised to see that there was a memorial for friends/family of the spectators in the opening ceremonies. To me the opening ceremonies are something positive, a moment to relish life, not emphasize death. If there was a memorial in the closing ceremonies I would not have had an issue, but to open things up with a sombre note seems a little backwards to me. You can include these things in the summation of the games while surrounding them with positivity and not suffer a diminished attitude towards the events.

That's really all I have to say, I just think that too much has been made of an issue before the Olympics are over... It's like calling a game a loss when the teams are tied at half-time... It's simply pessimism incarnate to bitch before Munich can be said to have been completely left out of the games as far as a memorial is concerned.

Enjoy your swim,

Joshua J. Taylor

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Feeling This - A Storm Within Myself

Many of you will know that a storm moved through my city (and many others) tonight, but not that many of you will understand what a thunderstorm means to me.

When I was a very small child, we're talking like 3-4 years old, I have a memory of standing in my little pajamas looking out the back glass door of my house at a thunderstorm. I used to be afraid of loud noises in general, even the vacuum cleaner but something about a storm just compelled me to watch, to stand there as it raged on overhead. I stood in front of that door with a little plastic cup of water in my hand as bedtime drew ever closer completely captivated by the flashes of lightning and just marvelling at how the door would rattle when the bigger thunderclaps sounded out from the sky. To the little me it was magic, something wonderful and inexplicable... And to a point, I never really lost that amazement.

More recently a thunderstorm became something of a deeper emotional significance. Now I don't dare mention the name of the person who left this imprint on my personality as with their current attitude they'd be liable to try and sue my ass or step up their campaign of lies and slander against me for it but it should suffice to say that they have held, and still hold an emotional significance to me that is unrivalled. She feared thunderstorms, and in all likelihood still does. She would always contact me wherever I was when a storm came through because she would be simply terrified. On occasion she'd come down to lay with me in my bed as the storm shook the house just needing to be held, needing to be told that everything was going to be okay. She'd cling to my teddy bear, a cherished piece of my childhood who dates back to the day of my birth, as if hugging the tattered little fellow would take her away to a world where the storms wouldn't trouble her anymore. I'd hold her, she'd cringe or jump at every crash as the lightning tore through the sky and the thunder crackled and battered the windows with the wind and rain, and I'd tell her it would all be over soon enough, and that she was safe... There have been but a precious few other times in my life where I have ever felt so needed, so important to another being, and I'll never forget how I felt in those moments.

On one, and only one occasion, I managed to convince her to stand outside and watch as the storm blew off into the distance. The rain had stopped, but the lighting could still be seen jumping between clouds in the distance and we able to just make out the sound of thunder faintly shaking the night air. For a time she stood there holding me, wanting to flee inside, but I just hugged her back and told her that it couldn't hurt her. We stood outside for nearly half an hour as the storm faded away and finally retreated indoors. I was so proud that she had managed to simply witness the natural beauty of the storm, something that had inflicted nothing except for pain and terror on her before that night.

In any case, I'm no longer the call as the thunder rolls in, I'm really nothing anymore as far as she is concerned and that's been made rather clear. There's a pain that comes with losing something like this that I just can't describe as anything less than missing a piece of yourself, and like losing a limb, there will be scars that are likely to never fully heal. One of the scars I feared would mar my heart forever was finally healed tonight though, I was able to reconnect with my memories as a child staring in awe up at the sky, feeling that connection to the natural beauty of this earth. I jogged out to a favourite, memorable spot as the storm raged feeling so free and calm that it was almost unnerving. The rain hitting my face as I ran, the lighting illuminating the world around me, and the thunder rumbling through my chest... The swirl of emotions that I felt was overwhelming and I couldn't do anything but laugh and smile and push myself to run faster and faster into the wonderful, charged night air. Soon enough I was sitting on the bleachers I once revered enough to make them a permanent symbol of my first love, the focus of which I've since lost, but the emotion remains as strong as ever. This was what I found, still as I had left it that day as I fended off mosquitoes to demonstrate, in a rather archaic though meaningful way, the depth of feeling that came with being in love.

Taken through a Ziploc sandwich bag or "Phone Condom" as I called it, forgive the lacking quality.
For those of you who can't see the lines as clearly, the initials JT over HC are carved within a crudely managed heart. When she saw this, it seemed to become the only thing that really existed in the world. She bragged to her parents (who so disproved of the 'vandalism' that they immediately scolded me) and to her friends and anyone else who'd listen. I asked if I should 'un-carve' it, basically shaving away enough of the wood to make it unidentifiable and was told that something like this cannot be 'un-carved' nor would she let me if it could be... I suppose that was just another false display of emotion meant, like the rest, to deceive me and buy time and sympathy so she could spin the world we had shared against... If you're thinking I'm bitter, you're damned right I am, but if you'd been put through what I experienced, I doubt you'd be very composed either.

Regardless of my angst about the way everything of my old life came to an end, this storm, and revisiting such a central point in my history made me feel so at ease that it was almost scary. The trip home was cold and wet, but my heart was burning with a new love for my own existence, and an appreciation for the cast possibilities that the world holds for me in the future. No, I'll likely never share the love I once shared ever again, but I can appreciate that it was shared, and that is a truth in itself that brings me a level of happiness. I believe that I will always want back what I once had... But it is not solely my choice to make, another truth that I must accept.

I'm honestly not too sure as to what I meant for this post to accomplish, so I'll apologize for the rambling. It has however, helped me centre myself as I try to sleep, and to express how I feel about some very meaningful pieces of my life. I hope you've all at last gained an appreciation for the emotional and physical power of these storms as I have.

Enjoy your swim!

Joshua J. Taylor

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Colorado Killer - Freely Purchased Firearms

Dark Knight Rises shooting aftermath brings muted calls for gun control | World | News | National Post:

'via Blog this'

Yup, the 2nd amendment is a beautiful thing isn't it America...

Give the article I've linked above, and then read through the rest of this post as most of the information leading me to publish this can be found there.

I know I've already noted America's gun problems with my Bowling For Columbine article and one other piece (both in the original Fishbowl) however I think the recent tragedy lends new reason to restart that argument as every weapon, magazine and bullet used in the attack was purchased legally, following each and every applicable government rule and guideline for firearm ownership.

Here's a list of the items legally purchased for, and used in the Aurora attack along with some minor details that apply to the individual items:

  • May 26th: Holmes purchases a .40 calibre Glock handgun from a Bass Pro Shop in Denver.
  • May 28th: The Remington 870 used in the attack was purchased, also from the Denver sporting store.
  • June 7th: Holmes acquired an AR-15 assault rifle at a store in Thornton, Colorado.
  • July 6th: The second Glock handgun was purchased, once again from the previously mentioned Bass Pro Shop.
  • Holmes also purchased an expanded-capacity magazine for the assault rifle
Now I would like to give you an idea as to what these weapons look like precisely, although not the EXACT weapons wielded by the gunman, the following photo provides examples for the listed weapons.

Now as I said, these are not photos of the weapons actually used in the attack, simply images compiled to demonstrate exactly what we're dealing with when referring to the tragedy.
You see folks, it's looking at this graphic that really gets my back up about gun control. Personally I don't believe firearms are a necessity for civilian ownership and operation however my beliefs allow for some compromise here. I believe that hunting materials should be available and when I say that I mean bolt-action rifles, and the older-style 2-shot shotguns akin to those traditionally used in hunting and skeet shooting... Not these 8+ round capacity semi-automatic monstrosities. You do NOT need a pistol to go hunting... Plain and simple. If you're hunting something small enough that a pistol would be required well then you're just hunting for the sake of going out and killing something in the name of 'sport' and personally? I can't agree with that. I have no problem with people hunting deer and other game when they're not simply looking for trophies but for consumables (Some have the animals professionally skinned, heads stuffed for sale, butchered for venison etc) but when you see these too-proud, gun-toting 'good ol boys' heading out on the weekend to bag whatever animal just happens to be in season because they just enjoy 'the thrill of the hunt'... STOP THEM, tell them what a bloody waste of time they're about to go through with, though I doubt it will change their minds. Honestly though, what more do you REALLY need? 

Let me guess, 'home protection' is going to come up here, well fine then howsabout this little compromise...

"A citizen may be permitted, upon the completion of necessary background checks and the proper documentation procedures as established by municipal, state, and federal law, to own a maximum of three pistols to be used only for recreational shooting at licensed gun clubs and for home defence along with a maximum of no more than four 'long-guns' to be used for hunting purposes only. Any and all weapons are to be locked in cases and empty of any and all ammunition when not either inside the owner's residence, on a registered firing range, or in an area designated for game hunting. Any individual found to be not in compliance with these terms and who is without a specific government license allowing them to carry a loaded firearm at times not listed herein will be fined anywhere between 2,000$-5,000$ depending on the circumstances of the offence."

So, you're allowed to have a loaded weapon in your home, on a gun range, or while in an area designated as suitable for game hunting by existing municipal, state, and federal law, what else do you need? No seriously, when EVERYONE is subject to these same laws, what do you have to fear?

It bothers me that Americans feel it so necessary to own guns, especially when they can't be content to just own a shotgun, a hunting rifle or something of practical purpose. When I hear about a semi-automatic military-style rifle involved in something like this... Or just being owned by a civilian in general it pisses me off. The is not a single God-damned dear, elk, moose, whatever out there that you need a gas-operated, 5.56 calibre semi-automatic rifle to take down, there just isn't. If you know what you're doing with it, a simple bolt-action hunting rifle will suffice for just about any big-game job and you've always got buck and bird shot if you prefer hunting with a shotgun over a rifle. I would like to see ANYONE argue effectively against my proposed amendments to the 'American' way of life as it pertains to gun ownership.

And with that readers, I'll leave you to consider everything written here, and in the National Post article.

Enjoy your swim,

Joshua J. Taylor

Friday, 20 July 2012

Melatonin - The Good, Bad, and The Sleepy

Hey folks,

Your friendly neighbourhood know-it-all here with another dose of knowledge ironically being posted in the wee hours of the morning... An expose on the sleep hormone melatonin and some facts that the readers might not know about it.


Now I took melatonin for a while, and I'll say that it definitely improved my sleep quality, and duration so from a subjective (and medically uneducated) standpoint, this stuff is fantastic. The folks at the hospital were kind enough to inform me that it is a naturally occurring and because of this, the odds of dependency issues were extremely low. However, after being cautioned by an employee at my gym tonight I decided to do a little bit of digging into the background and effects of melatonin. I'll be organising this post by the effects of melatonin on particular age groups and then finally with a segment for the universal effects of the drug.

Children 13 and Under:
Should not be taking melatonin, it's that simple. It has been shown in some studies to increase the risk of cancer when giving to children and studies have also shown that the natural melatonin synthesis process in children peaks at a later hour of the night (hence why kids always seem to have more energy in adults at 'bed time'). Basically parents, if your kid won't sleep, have them run on a treadmill and feed them turkey. They'll get a workout, a lean snack, and everyone knows the effect turkey has on mankind.

Youth 14-20:
This is a section of our societal make-up plagued by obesity and these problems will transfer to later on in life so I figure it's the best section to assign this particular benefit of melatonin.
"Many studies show that chronic melatonin supplementation in drinking water reduces body weight and abdominal fat in experimental animals" and it was also noted in the study that the subject animals required no change in diet or physical fitness routine in order to see these results. An observed effect of melatonin is the creation and activation of "brown adipose tissue" (brown fat cells) that burn many more calories every hour when compared to your standard fat cells. In humans there is more brown fat observed earlier in life and the amount that remains existent and active in our bodies decreases with age. So, it COULD be that routine, low-dose melatonin ingestion by youth would reduce the obesity rate... We'd also have a much more mellow population.
Also, in ADHD patients, melatonin was shown to reduce sleep preparation times and increase the duration of sleep through the night.


Adults 21-59:
Let's just rattle some off shall we?

  • radiation protection
  • prevention and ease of excretion of gallstones
  • reduction in cancer deaths (reduced melatonin production is implicated in the higher rate of cancer victims in night workers DAD HEADS UP!!!)
  • treatment of Seasonal Affective Disorder
  • preventative treatment of migraines and cluster headaches
  • beneficial to the treatment of tinnitus
Elderly 60+:
Melatonin has been shown to improve the brain's ability to store and recall information (most likely a benefit of improved sleep quality) and it has been shown to hinder the production of the beta protein that causes the neural deterioration in Alzheimer's patients.

Generally speaking? In timeframes of 3 months or less, routine and low dose melatonin use shows very few if any adverse side effects and can be beneficial in helping with a range of complications in human life, and it improves sleep... Who doesn't want better sleep?

Adverse Effects:

Basically the stuff you would associate with a product that alters the balance of hormones in your body. In higher doses it can cause headaches, grogginess, nausea, irritability, vivid dreams, nightmares and reduced blood flow. Remember, this hormone allows you to get into REM sleep, and STAY there. Of course it is going to have some effects on vivid dreaming and nightmares and if you're taking it in high doses no wonder you're going to experienced a lowering in your body temperature, your body senses that it is sleep time when your melatonin levels rise and one of the effects of sleep is a lower body temperature (to conserve energy and to allow your body to relax). As I mentioned though it can cause cancers in young children and it can also worsen and be causal in developmental disorders so don't feed it to your youngin's okay? Good. There's some debate about auto-immune disorders and their behaviours when under exposure to melatonin increases so I'd just stay off the melatonin wagon if I was an AI patient but all-in-all? As long as you're not popping these like M&Ms and you're limiting usage to 3 months or less, you shouldn't be seeing any negative effects (unless you don't have the 7-8 hours available TO BE sleeping in the first place... then you'll wake up tired still).

So with all of that said... Goodnight everyone! Lol. I hope you've all learned a little something. There are a number of people who -for some unknown reason- still hold important places in my heart that I know are affected by some of the conditions that melatonin has been shown to alleviate the symptoms and treat the causes of however the odds are they'll never see this page... Pity. I know my 'old man' (he's not that old folks, and he can still whoop my ass on a hockey rink) could take a helping hand from this article so on that note THIS ONE'S FOR YOU DADDYO!!!

Enjoy your SLEEP lol,

Joshua J. Taylor

Colorado Tragedy - 12 Killed, 59 Injured in Theatre Massacre

For those of you going to see the latest Batman release, it may be hard to keep this off of your minds. At a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises outside of Denver, Colorado, in Aurora (this was just 12:30 am in Denver) James Holmes who is reported to have acted alone in this heinous act, threw smoke canisters into a sold-out movie theatre and then proceeded to open fire on the moviegoers.
How a man can smile for this mugshot is beyond me.
In total there were 12 fatalities and 59 other individuals wounded in the attack. Holmes used an assault rifle, a shotgun, and a Glock handgun that were ALL purchased legally in the States, which is an issue for another post in itself. One of the victims was a broadcaster named Jessica Ghawi who narrowly avoided injury in the recent shooting at the Eaton's Centre in Toronto.

The gunman, Jason Holmes, painted his hair red, wore body armour, and proclaimed during the attack that he was the Joker... A very sick individual indeed although why he chose to paint his hair red is beyond me. I'm not trying to make light of the situation but if you are going to commit an act in the name or while portraying some other person or character... Most would get the distinct hair colour right for the Joker. In any case Holmes was arrested and while investigating him the FBI found that Holmes had booby-trapped his apartment.

It never ceases to amaze me how completely fucked up people have become, or how cruel fate can really be. I am not sure what possesses an individual to do such a thing, nor do I understand how someone can be given the gift of surviving one disaster only to be brutally played by the fates and killed in another, but what I do understand is that all life as we know it is finite. We will all die at some point and we should value what we have, while we still have it.

I am not a religious person, far from it, however I would like to ask all of my readers who are of a specified faith to pray for the families of these victims and for the sake of humanity as a whole. To all of my non-faith-oriented readers, just send your best wishes and I mean that literally. Post your own online messages to those affected, I'm sure the city of Aurora is taking letters of consolation and mourning for the families and if not Denver will likely forward them on. Just do something to send the best vibes you can manage down to the victims of this tragedy. I know to you that it must seem like it is so far away that it doesn't affect us but human suffering on this scale affects everyone. The Queen herself, Elizabeth II sent a message detailing her, and Prince Phillip's condolences to Barack Obama and the American people in this troubled time. We should be able to muster the same composure and dignity and compassion to do the same.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Feeding Time - Mexico Lin-Dos lol


I have to say folks, I did a revisit last night and well... Yeah, my previous review? Chuck it right out, toss it, disregard it. I had the "Acapulco" today with 'loaded' fries and medium sauce (it's still got quite the kick) and I loved it. I couldn't physically EAT all of it, however it was phenomenal.

I found out after my aunt came into the joint with her hubby that it was actually the OWNER working the tables which really shocked me. When I saw how their online menu and info was set up it felt almost too 'big' for the blog but going in and seeing the owner of a restaurant putting their own sweat and tears into making the place work on the floor? That's conviction. She waas beyond kind to me, and when I asked for a recommendation there was no hesitation to her answer, and an assuring confidence in her voice. My aunt sat with me for a bit and told me about the food, the owner, and how it's become a staple of her dine-out nights. My mother is actually going to be stopping in at Lindo for lunch today, and I hope she'll enjoy her meal as much as I loved mine.

So basically, if I have this right lol, the "Acapulco" is a sampling plate (a big-ass plate) with re-friend beans, a sweet salad, spiced and flavoured rice (in my case "loaded" with veggies, sauce and some meat), a soft-shelled chicken taco that was absolutely ridiculous garnished and dressed with some sort of a sour-cream drizzle and the medium spicy sauce, and a beef burritto also dressed in a similar 'saucy' fashion.

I was unable to get pics of my meal (I was for once caught without my phone) however I can assure you that it is more in the taste. The presentation is neat, however it is not 'clean cut' as the pieces that make up the dish are very earthy, very... pliable what with being a soft taco and a burritto (that you NEED to eat with a knife and fork... SO much amazing sauce).

To sum things up quickly, I'd like to apologize to my aunt, my friend Sarah, and ESPECIALLY to Mexico Lindo. It WAS wrong of me to judge them on their preparation of simple fries. By my logic, it made sense. I feel that under the circumstances it was justified however I owed them a revisit, promised just such a second-coming and now I have delivered on it... And Mexico Lindo delivered big time.

Oh and I should note that with my iced tea, and the rice being "loaded" which I'm fairly sure is an add-on, the bill only came to $18.03... There was enough food for two people to share with that dish (The Acapulco) so don't be surprised at a near-$20 price tag for one person... That plate was meant to be shared make NO mistake.

Food: 9.5/10
Value 10/10
Service: 8.5/10 (the bill just took a while to get to me, but I was so happy with the food I didn't really care and she WAS the only person on the floor so you, the reader, can most likely overlook the -1.5 from perfect).
Atmosphere: 7/10, corny to an extent however well furnished... I kind of wish the flat-screen in the corner had've been off of mute but then again not EVERYONE enjoys sports news while munching on mucho Mexico Lindo cuisine.

So totalling it up...


Total Score: 87.5%, Definitely worth the 'A' grade here, and a subjective two thumbs WAY up... Just don't do as I did and try to run a quick game of Lazer X-Treme right afterwards... Tummy troubles lol.

Enjoy your swim folks, and hit up Mexico Lindo soon. They're just north of the armory on the west side of Simcoe St. in downtown Oshawa.

Joshua J. Taylor

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Quote of the Week - Cheating

Many of us have been there, and most (the decent ones) regret it. Maybe you slighted someone that you were very serious with, maybe something happened between you and another BEFORE things became serious or official, or maybe you've been with someone as a rebound and felt as though THAT betrayed the person in your heart. No matter the case, I'm hoping that the majority of you feel as bad as I do for past indiscretions... Yup, I'm not perfect either, but the person whose trust I offended knows what I did. Though it doesn't make it excusable to MY mind, they were kind enough to forgive me and put the issue in the past.

Anyway, I'm writing this post because of a quote that a friend of mine 'liked' on Facebook. Here's the link and photo for those of you wondering what exactly prompted this outpouring of my feelings

Now personally I feel that the quote needs a tweak, but that's just me. I'm more of the mind that you do not love someone who you cheat on or plan to cheat on, and that if the cheating act is really all that fulfilling to you, that you should save the "I love you" for the person you risked all you had to be with for that night. I've learned over the last couple years that sex without love is something... Wrong. It becomes a mistake, and one that although you may learn from, it will also scar your heart for a very, very long time.

Now I've been the cheater, as I've said, but I've also been the 'other man' in the situation... And only in one case has that ever been something I found to be emotionally fulfilling because I knew (or was made to believe) that an emotional connection was involved and that it wasn't just something primal, and physical that drove the thoughts and actions. Looking back, that is the only incident of cheating (either a the 'other man' or the scumbag, and yeah, that's how I feel about myself when I think about my mistakes) where I do not regret my actions. I legitimately believe that there was more to our actions than just lust, and to me... Although I feel guilty as a man towards the other man as she never told him the extent that she went to expressing her desire to continue the affair, and how quickly she was ready to leave him if he should prove less satisfactory... the affair was something that meant so much more than most would see it as.

In any case, this quote really tugged at my heartstrings, or the few that I have left. I know that some of my family will read this, friends as well. If you really MUST know what exactly transpired in my past, you can ask me but that doesn't mean I'll tell, just that you may ask. I have issues trusting people right now, and because of those I may choose not to confide in you with particulars. Please do not be offended if this is the case.

Well folks, just consider that for the night... Cheating, always wrong, unless it is for LOVE, not SEX. I believe that there is a line where being true to oneself and cheating can be divided. If you love someone, but you are with another, and you 'cheat' with the person you love while intending to, and following through on your intent to leave the one that you're only otherwise lying to that -although you should come clean BEFORE you cheat- the indiscretion is morally excusable if you come clean immediately thereafter. However, if it is just sex, and you are sure of the way you feel toward every party... Well then there's the line.

I hope you've enjoyed your swim.

Joshua J. Taylor

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

First Poll of the New Bowl - Names

Hey folks, I have a list here of the most popular names for girls in the United States. I was hoping you'd help me out with something... It's a novel idea really.

No seriously, I'm going to try my hand at writing a novel. I'm not sure what the outcome's going to be, but I've got the story all laid out and I'm hoping to make it work. In any case, I'm going to need people commenting on here to help me out... Seriously, COMMENT.

Here's the list of names to choose from. As they're voted for via comment I'm going to note the scores of each. I'd PREFER if each commenter picked between 3-5 names that they like best. Here's the list, some names are 'older' ones so you can skip those unless there's some real classy one you think should be brought back lol. Note, characters (main) will range from 17-24. Thanks all!


And that's all she (he) wrote folks! PLEASE COMMENT WITH YOUR PICKS!!!!!!!!

Enjoy your swim, and thanks for the help!

Joshua J. Taylor