Thursday, October 28, 2010

Life's over looked joys

Quick excerpt from The Book of Awesome by Neil Pasricha:

"The other side of the pillow;
bakery air;
when socks from the dryer match up perfectly;
finding your keys after looking forever;
the friendly nod between strangers out doing the same thing;
celebrating your pet's birthday even though they have no idea what's going on;
when you hear someone's smile over the phone."

Check out more Awesomeness at 1000 Awesome Things.

Thanks for reading,

Dr. Alex

Sunday, October 24, 2010

"He felt his moustache grip tightly to his face."

What sort of a moustache man are you?  

Moustache Guide

Fellow Brothers at The University of Pittsburgh Delta Chi chapter have embarked on a journey to raise funds for the fight against prostate cancer.  How so?

By growing a "Mo," slang for moustache.  Each year the month of November + "Mo" come together for Movember.

With each Movember, the call goes out to all men to change their appearance and the face of men's health by growing a moustache. Instead of a pink ribbon, the moustache is the means that men everywhere will raise awareness and funds for cancers that affect men. 

While I love running races to support causes, this Movember's commitment is to grow a moustache for 30 days. Funds raised by all will benefit the Prostate Cancer Foundation and LIVESTRONG

In order to rally the troops, a fellow brotherwrote a short story detailing the crisis of prostate cancer and why it is our destiny as Delta Chis to fight it. No, really:

William Jennings Bryan stood in the airlock as the room depressurized.  Long had he fought for the causes espoused in the 10 Basic Expectationsbut he had never thought it would lead to this. Traveling to a foreign planet; traveling to a foreign planet, all in the name of Monroe Marsh Sweetland.  He calmly removed his space helmet as the depressurization sequence ended, and turned the safety of his ray gun off.

As he cautiously stepped into the broken hallway of the space cruiser he’d boarded, he remembered his final meeting with Sweetland. His brother; no, his father, one of the men who had founded his great fraternity, laid dying. Dying of the menace which was now challenging the fraternity, and perhaps the universe itself.

“Monroe,” Bryan had said, “what has done this to you? What terrible force is destroying our expectations, our oath, the fraternity?”

“Oh, William” Sweetland had replied, with a ghastly cough, “it is far worse than you could imagine. Soon this menace will have broken past our great brotherhood and destroy all of man itself. Only we could stop it- and here I am, succumbing to it just the same!” 

William Jennings Bryan paused, looking deeply into his dear friend’s eyes.

“William, today I charge thee. Only you can save our fraternity, and our world. You must gather brothers such as yourself, and travel far to
defeat the menace torturing the galaxy. You shall call yourselves…” 

A pause, as Sweetland’s eyes became foggy with the approach of the final, lasting sleep.

“William… You shall call yourselves… the Order of the White Carnation.”

With a last gasp, Sweetland was no more. William Jennings Bryan, clutching his hand, had bowed his head in prayer.  

“Brother… Father… I shall gather a great guild of warriors, and we shall found the Order of the White Carnation. And we shall destroy this Prostate Cancer, which has taken your life; and we will banish it to theends of the universe. And they shall know us by our moustaches."

Bryan stepped forward, moustache billowing slowly from the artificial breeze in the spaceship’s corridors. His ray gun warmly pulsed. He had followed the Mother Prostate here, to the farthest reaches of the galaxy. His hope was that the beast was somewhere within the cramped ship, and here, deep in space, he would destroy the disease that had killed his friend once and for all.

He took a step forward; something from deep within the interior of the ship stirred loudly. A grim smile played itself against his face as he quickened its pace. The knowledge that the power to end an affliction that had shattered the brotherhood was within his grasp made him smile. He had always been 2nd place; 2nd best presidential candidate, three times, 2nd best lawyer at the Scopes Monkey Trial, and at best the 2nd most fun at any party, as a staunch prohibitionist. Perhaps this time he would be first. William Jennings Bryan; first man to shoot Prostate Cancer with a ray gun. He liked the sound of it.

His radio crackled.

“BRYAN! Come in Bryan!”

“What is it, Kutcher? Can’t you see I’m busy?”  

“Bryan, just wanted to give you word that the Mother Prostate Cancer is within 100 yards. Best be on your guard. Over.”

“Roger that, Kutcher. Over and out.”

Ashton Kutcher was sort of the communications officer of the Order of the White Carnation, and he took his job seriously. Bryan only hoped that the foul beast, a football field away, hadn’t heard the radio crackle.

Thunderous crashes rang through the air. Bryan lifted the ray gun to his shoulder. The beast was close- close, and moving fast…


A scream eminated to Bryan’s left. He ran toward it- surely, it couldn’t be a member of the Order? They were more than up to the match against the beast, weren’t they?

As he approached, he saw his worst fears. The beast was near, and dangerous; it had taken out his First Lieutenant, Sean Salisbury.

Salisbury twitched a little; muscle spasms from the torment he’d just endured. The scene was bloody, covering the immediate 10 feet or so with entrails, fecal matter, and the digested contents of Salisbury’s lunch. Bryan thought he could see some bites of apple in the mess. Most distressing, the beast had apparently torn off Salisbury’s moustachefearful and resentful of the symbol of power contained within.

He readied his ray gun and turned around quickly, immediately rememberingthat the Mother Prostate Cancer was nearby, and apparently angered. He walked slowly, carefully, and warily down the corridor. The lights blinked menacingly, but mercifully stayed lit.

The noise came suddenly, and from straight behind him. He spun around hastily, seeing the enlarged, evil prostate charging at him through the air, using tentacles apparently grown for transportation to swing through the spaceship. 20 feet away… 15...

“PH‘NGLUI MGLW‘NAFH CTHULHU R‘LYEH WGAH‘NAGL FHTAGN!!!!!!” shouted the angered, menacing prostate gland. 

Jennings stood poised. He felt his moustache grip tightly to his face. He raised the gun, and pulled the trigger with a determined glare at the enemy- the one who had killed his friend, and probably also told everyone about evolution. I mean, c’mon, look at it.

WILL JENNINGS SUCCEED? That depends; did you raise enough money to pay for his ray beam?

Choose your look:

In The Bond,

Dr. Alex

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Sometimes it takes an act of congress...

For those of you who don't know it, I LOVE mail! Not e-mail, but real, touch it, feel it, smell it, rip it open mail. It can come in the form of a letter, a postcard, a small rectangular package, a stack of magazines, a random shaped package, or even an odd shaped triangular box (thank you FedEx.)

Look at it! It's there in your hand. Now back to me. Now back to the mail.  Notice the red circles of ink over the stamp?  See the small creases that make your envelope slightly imperfect?  Think about it: Someone hand- stamped and carried your mail in their truck or satual along it's journey to get to you.  Your mail has truly been enriched both by the sender and by it's honest stewards.  No matter how far it has traveled, it's still a wonder to behold.

Letter people have mailed to me!

So, it really did take an act of Congress and the workings of Benjamin Franklin to make the US Postal Service what it is today. Starting it's life cycle in 1775 after a decree by the Second Continental Congress and transforming into The Post Office Department in 1792 (a United States Cabinet position), and then resembling to what we know today in 1983 after the passage of the Postal Reorganization Act.

It's the LARGEST operator of civilian fleet vehicles in the WORLD! How else do you expect the mail to cover all across America and reach every square mile of the US?  Plus, what other company has a museum devoted to it?

Yesterday, I received a great letter from my mom:

Letter from my mom. 

She sent me an article from Army Times about how the Army has banned Vibram Five Finger toe shoes from PT tests "over worries they might give some soldiers an unfair advantage." I love these shoes and run most of my 5K races in them.  The article goes on to describe "What to tell you commander" about these styles of shoes and why they should be cleared for PT tests.  What I like best about this article is that my mom wrote me a note on it!

I have this habit as well! Many of my friends and family have received a cutout or random gift with my scribbles on it.  I think it's the best way to communicate that you are thinking of someone and that you love them.  Hence when my mom writes: "Hi son, you came to mind when I read this article.  Since you participate in running events."  She really means: "Love you. Mom."

Goodies to be send out soon!

E-mail has nothing on mail mail. :-)

Thanks for reading,

Dr. Alex