Babymoon in Cabo San Lucas

TB and I are just returned from a mini babymoon in Cabo San Lucas, soaking up sun and R&R before the winter and our little one arrive. The weather was fantastic, in the 80s and sunny, completely opposite the weather in Seattle this time of year. While it was great vacation weather it was not-so-great running weather particularly in the hilly, rocky terrain surrounding the Pueblo Bonito Pacifica resort where we stayed. I kept up my training by running shorter times/distances but more days.

There is a lot I liked about Pueblo Bonito Pacifica and a few things I disliked. Here are my quick lists:

Highlights

  • Beautiful location: Located on the tip of the Baja peninsula, one can watch the sunrise and sunset.
  • No smoking: With a pregnant wife this is a no-brainer.
  • Adults only: We have to enjoy the kid-free, 16 or older, environment while we can. It is quiet and uncrowded.
  • Courteous staff: Everyone is very pleasant and accommodating.
  • Comfortable quarters: The room is well-appointed very clean with nice furniture and a great bathroom. However, the hard bed and pillows are not the hotness.

Lowlights

  • Location, location, location: The resort is remote and isolated. Free shuttles are available into town which is about 30 minutes away.
  • Food: While the quality and quantity are passable, the prices are not. Clearly, food is how the operators choose to make their money. Cabo overall is more expensive than Cancun or Puerto Vallarta but $9.50 for a 32 oz. bottle of water? Extreme. Making matters worse, the resort forbids any food or beverage from outside its gates including that 128 oz. jug of the same water sold at the grocery store in town for $2.45.
  • The beach: The phrase "fun in the sun" typically conjures up images of the beach with walks in fine, hot sand and dips in calm, cool sea. Here, the sand is not fine and the sea is not calm. The beach seems more an afterthought at Pueblo Bonito Pacifica and, unsurprisingly, most guests sit around the pool or in the Jacuzzi, instead. Doing so makes them prime targets for over-priced martinis and beers, of course.

Silly Syllogism: The Plaxico Burress Conundrum

Maybe it is because I envy the New York Giants perch atop the NFC East divisional rankings. It is true my judgmental side makes me a bit harsh in situations like Plaxico Burress found himself last weekend. But, I mainly question the calculus which lead him to the illogical conclusion that the best way to make an environment safer for himself was to make it unsafe for everyone else. The rich irony being his “solution” backfired (no pun intended).

silly-syllogism

Great Moments in Alpha History: May 1995 Northeastern University Stepshow Competition

You are about to witness something special. Something rare, magnificent and hilarious. This is how I chose to give thanks on this special day. Alas, I am getting ahead of myself and need to set the stage.

As you may recall, I’m an Alpha man. My two line brothers and I pledged Rho Nu Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. in spring 1995. (On an historical note, Rho Nu—which encompasses MIT, Harvard and Tufts—will celebrate its 20th anniversary next September.) I was digging through some old VHS tapes, from the brief period during my college days when I had a camcorder, and came across several gems. In addition to footage of family, I also had hours of tape from the Million Man March and a tape of my first stepshow…the topic of this post.

Rho Nu Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Rho Nu inducts its new members in the spring. The tradition is the newest members join with the “older” chapter bros and their fellow counterparts from Sigma chapter—which covers the Boston side of the Charles River—to compete against other fraternities in the area in the annual Northeastern University Stepshow competition. At stake are trophies, a year’s worth of bragging rights and a hockey rink full of women who like a good stepshow and love to see young men work up a sweat.

Sidebar:
I suggest you take a moment to read the bottom of my Alpha turns 100 post which includes a brief summary of stepshows and their significance to Black Greek letter organizations.

To recap, after pledging during the long, bitter New England winter, a new member practices a couple more months with his fellow fraternity brothers to represent the fraternity at the competition and (hopefully) avoid completely humiliating himself in front of the Greater Boston community (which may include his future wife). It just so happens TB was the camerawoman for my first stepshow so there is a modest correlation between stepshows and long-lasting love, right?

Without further ado, I present a Keith’s Amusing Musings exclusive, 16-minute video of the Alpha step team from the May 1995 competition. We won first place, of course. So, go ahead and crank up the sound, sit back and feast your eyes on the “Peabo Bryson circa 1993” inspired suits, forceful rhythms and intricate formations only Alphas could pull off.

Donovan McNabb redux

Terrell Owens as a Cowboy Terrell Owens as an EagleI think my posts about McNabb from two years back are particularly apropos given the recent dust-up in Philadelphia Eagles nation with its starting quarterback. Who knew four seasons would pass with the Eagles failing to make the playoffs? I cannot say I am surprised.

The last time the Eagles made the playoffs was following the 2004 season when they were beaten 24-21 by the Patriots in Super Bowl XXXIX. So, in 2004 the Eagles made the playoffs and went to the Super Bowl and here, in 2008, they are 5-5 and on the brink of missing the playoffs for four consecutive seasons. The difference since 2004: T.O. That guy who was too much a distraction in Philly. Oops.

I am all too happy to have T.O. distracting the Cowboys to winning seasons and playoff berths. Now Philly fans are distracted by McNabb’s inability to return the club to glory.

Now only if the Cowboys would actually win a playoff game…

Obama-McCain Electoral Map and Exit Poll Results

It is hard to believe the election was less than 3 weeks ago yet it is already feeling like a distant memory with the euphoria fading rapidly. One aspect of the election that intrigued me the most was the on-again, off-again nature of the exit polling leading up to November 4th. I always wondered how accurate the various polls would turn out to be, and, more importantly, and how truthful those polled were.

As a follow-up to my "Deep Zoom: Obama" post back in July, here is a Deep Zoom-powered finale I created which shows just how our new President-elect redefined the electoral map. As you navigate down you can also see just how the electorate voted based on age, race, income, education and other pivot points collected by the CNN pollsters. I circled the following three data points I found most amazing or enlightening:

  1. Voters age 18-29
  2. Blacks age 65 and older (as compared to other Black age groups—remember this is the voting bloc that suffered the most under Jim Crow and the most egregious racial inequities of the 20th century)
  3. First-time voters (admittedly there is significant overlap with bullet #1)

I am curious whether you think groups 1 and 3 will stomach an Obama administration with Hilary Clinton as Secretary of State. Further, what factors do you believe weighed in the decision of that 6% of group 2—twice the percentage of any other group of Black voters—that voted for McCain over Obama?