Tuesday, May 31, 2011

My Tough Mudder Experience

Sunday was the day.  The big one.  The race I had been training hard for the last couple of months.  The race that scared me.

And I wound up not being able to do it.

We were expecting a major tempurature drop on Sunday.  We're talking the temps at Big Bear were 65 on Saturday, 45 on Sunday, and 65 on Monday.  No, I'm not making this us.

That was enough to make the guy I was supposed to do it with decide not to do it.  But I was stuborn, so I headed up the mountain anyway.  After 2 and a half hours of driving, I stepped out of my car into the 37 degree weather (it was 10AM at that point), got back into my car, and drove back down the mountain.

That drive home was the longest drive of my life.  I was frustrated and tired and just wanted to be done with it all.

I signed up for this race 6 months ago.  And I never in my wildest dreams expected the temps to be so bad.  I had been planning to sign up for Saturday and then changed to Sunday at the last minute.  If I'd been signed up for Saturday, I could have done it.

I had been training hard for this race, too.  This was my big race of the year.  Heck, I've been saying once I was done with it, I didn't intend to run those kind of distances again.  My body doesn't seem to like them, or at least doesn't seem to like them yet.

No, I don't regret not attempting it on Sunday.  I would have been by myself and fighting hypothermia and pnemonia since I would have been in and out of the water the entire time.  I do these for fun, not to prove anything.  And doing it on Sunday would have just been stupid on my part and potentially deadly.

But believe me, this was the toughest decision I've made in a while.

I had already been saying this was a once in a lifetime event for me.  Not only the distance but the expense.  This is twice the price of my normal mud run.  I can't do this every year.  And the training takes a big time commitment from me.

And yet I keep thinking about signing up for next year.  This was freak weather, and I would be shocked to see it happen again next year.

On the other hand, they keep putting in more and more obstacles that I'm not that enthused by.  Like the one where they shock you with electricity.  Or maybe the one where they have you jump into pepper juice.  Yeah, that sounds like fun.  I keep debating whether I really want to do it or stick with 10K as my long mud runs.

I guess only time will tell if I sign up next year or not.

Meanwhile, in my quest to do 6 mud runs this year, I have signed up for a 3 miler this coming Saturday.  Looks like fun, and I think it will be good for me in so many ways.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Weekly TV Recap - May 28th

Well, I think we're in that transition week between the traditional TV seasons and USA starting their shows up again.  Just look how short this post is.

In Plain Sight - What an episode. I even took a break part way through, and the final act still got to me. I feel sorry for the kid, although I must admit I understand the actions of the parents this time around. Yes, the father needed to do time for his crime, but they really did a good job of leaving the past behind them and turning their lives around. And I was fooled by the personal life story for a change. Never saw Jinx tricking the in-laws into paying for the wedding coming.

Dancing with the Stars - Hines wins, which is the first time a man has won in how long? I was actually surprised that Kirstie made it to second since she was so far behind after Monday night's show. And you know, this season really could have gone to half the cast. They had a pretty even playing field with lots of great talent. Great job everyone.

New TV on DVD:
Melissa & Joey - Season 1 Part 1

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Word Association for May 25th

Time for this week's word association.

  1. International :: Waters
  2. Witnesses :: Court
  3. Rising :: Tide
  4. Two years ago :: Just hearing about mud runs
  5. Sausage :: Breakfast
  6. Physically :: Tired
  7. Approached :: Offer
  8. Mole :: Spy
  9. Collar :: White
  10. Encased :: Display

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Camping on the Rapture

So, this weekend was the rapture. Can’t you tell by all the people who disappeared? Yeah, same here. And as much as people have been mocking it (it was brought up for fun and for serious discussion at church Sunday, too), overall the situation makes me sad.

I can remember back in elementary school, we used to listen to shows on Family Radio all the time. They had biographies of Christians on, a show where they read a book aloud for half an hour a day, and several kid’s shows on Saturday mornings. Those were my Saturday morning cartoons growing up, and I still think about them with fondness.

I can remember the first time Harold Camping tried to predict the rapture, and it killed me. I heard the ties to Family Radio. We’d stopped listening to it by that time, and honestly I can’t remember why. Probably just got too busy to keep up with everything, but maybe my parents heard some rumblings of his teaching and so we stopped. Honestly, I’d forgotten all about him until these new predictions came out.

Here’s the thing – right in the Bible, Jesus says that no man knows the time of his second coming, not the angels nor Him. And He warns us not to listen to anyone who claims to know when that second coming will happen. So, for a man to claim to have figured out when this will all take place is the height of arrogance.

How did Camping hit upon the date? I actually found a pamphlet lying around the gave the explanation. Honestly, I don’t remember the details, but he started taking numbers and squaring them or multiplying them by each other (or both) and starting from certain dates, he came up with May 21st. As I was sitting there reading it, all I could think is how gullible you’d have to be to believe it. Yes, I said it. Anyone who believed him was gullible. The numbers and dates were completely random and made up. There was no logical reason for picking those numbers and those computations. Oh, he had reasons why he picked them, but there are just as many compelling reasons to pick another number or another date.

Another things that got me was that the numbers he got where hidden in the Bible. Really? We’re still going with the hidden in the Bible nonsense? Now I will admit that my reading of the Bible in modern times and English misses much of the nuance and historical context of when it was written. I’ll also admit that I am too much of a surface reader on anything, including modern books. But of the things I am missing in the text of the Bible, I know there is no secret code. I’ll make it easy for you, God doesn’t work that way. His ways are not our own. But when he tells us “No man knows the day or the hour,” He’s not going to turn around and hide clues to the day and hour from us. That makes God out to be duplicitous, and that’s not how He is.

Now I will freely admit that it is possible to miss something in scripture. Look at the religious leaders of Jesus’ day who completely missed who He was. It’s one reason why I don’t get too hung up on end times prophecy – my guess is we’ll only fully understand it after the fact. The main purpose of prophecy is to remind us that God is still in control. It is also to remind us to live holy and Godly lives. We are not supposed to know specifics; if we were, God would tell us.

And now that Camping has been proved wrong, what is his response? “It was metaphorical and the physical return will be in a few months.” What hogwash! Either you got it right or you have no clue what you are talking about. And yet people will continue to mock Christians because he keeps making predictions.

Yeah, it bothers me when people lump me in with Camping. But it is even worse when they then tune me out when I start talking about Christianity because of what a nut job says. So Camping is turn people away from God by his false prophesy.

Yes, Harold Camping is a false prophet. In the Bible, God made it very clear that any person who claimed to be a prophet had a one strike and you’re out policy. If one thing he predicted didn’t come to pass, he was to be killed immediately. Kinda cuts down on the nut jobs or fame seekers, doesn’t it? This is Harold Camping’s second false prediction (and I want to say third, but I’m a little fuzzy on that). So clearly, he is not to be trusted on anything. Keep in mind I don’t think he should be killed; many of the Old Testament punishments we don’t follow any more. But he should lose his platform and followers. And yet people will believe his new date and everyone will be ready to mock Christians again when it comes and goes.

But I just keep coming back to Jesus saying that “No man knows the day or the hour.” Harold Camping has claimed to know now and in the past, and nothing has come of those claims. I can only trust one of those men, and I will trust the one who so far has been proved right – Jesus.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Weekly TV Recap for May 21st

In Plain Sight - You know, I should have seen the ending coming after Mary's rants about Romantic Comedies. As much as I enjoy a well done RomCom, I did have to laugh at her observations since they are spot on. Meanwhile, I am not seeing any change in the over happy, peppy new characters this season. Please, tone them down. Mary needs a foil, but what made her foil in season two so great was she was a real character.

Survivor - I'm torn about the outcome. Rob played a great game and deserved to win. On the other hand, this was his fourth time in the game. Really, can't they fill it up with new people to give them a chance to win? (And the fact that they are bringing people back again next season doesn't thrill me.) It seems like Redemption Island was a bust since both times people got back in the game, they were immediately voted out again. Maybe it will prove more interesting next time. Although Matt's journey this time was the most compelling part of the season.

Chuck - For an episode entitled "Chuck versus the Cliffhanger," that wasn't nearly as bad a cliffhanger as I expected it to be. Not to say I don't see the potential of fun and intrigue next season with Morgan as the intersect (assuming they leave him that way). I'm definitely glad to know they'll be back for 13 episodes and have a chance to craft a fitting goodbye.

Castle - Now there was a cliffhanger. True, we know Beckett won't really die, but those final few minutes will definitely have me turning back in come September to find out how she survives. I wasn't that happy with the developments with Captain Montgomery, however. I felt like making him the third cop was forced into the story and didn't quite fit. Having said that, the actors did a great job of playing it. All of them had some meaty scenes that really worked for me.

Dancing with the Stars - It was finally Ralph's time to go. He seemed to know it, too. Two weeks on the bottom is all you can expect. I found the winner takes all Cha Cha to be a bit much just because it was obviously an effort to save a good dancing team. But it feels like manipulation to me.

Big Bang Theory - Despite the promise of the episode, I actually found most of it rather bland. It was funny, but not nearly as funny as I expect from that show. But the final scene with just the 5 core characters? Great. It may not have been a cliffhanger, but I can't wait to see where they go with that next season.

Wipeout - I started this episode, and within minutes, both my roommates walked in, so we watched it together. And maybe that's why this show has been hit and miss so much for me lately - you need to watch it with people. Probably the best episode in a while. I was happy the improve couple won, although either of the couples in the finals would have been good as far as I'm concerned.

New TV on DVD Reviews:
Cover Affairs - Season 1  
Royal Pains - Season 2 

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Word Association for May 18th

Yep, it's that time of the week again.

  1. Code :: Breaker
  2. Brothers :: Friends
  3. Immigration :: Status
  4. Heavy :: Burden
  5. Bracket :: Shelf
  6. Murder :: Mystery
  7. Neighbor :: Neighborhood
  8. Collar :: White
  9. Onslaught :: Overwhelming
  10. Eyebrows :: Eyes

Monday, May 16, 2011

Last Minute 10K Race

In the middle of last week, I found out about a 5K/10K happening here in town this Saturday. I was immediately tempted to sign up, although since the start time was 8AM, that didn’t make me jump. I already had to get up early for choir on Sunday morning, and this was the first Saturday when I had nothing planned since March. I even tried to get some runs planned with other friends. But eventually, I gave in to temptation, set my alarm, and registered on race day.

I also debated what I would sign up to race, but decided on the 10K. After all, since I can do a 10K without even thinking twice about it, might as well, right?

The first race I ever did was the Disneyland Family Fun 5K, but since I was more than a mile into it before I was out of the crowd enough to run, I don’t really count that as a real race. That was also almost two years ago, so it was before I started running as much as I am now. Since then, the only races I’ve done are mud runs, where mud and obstacles (and crowds) can slow you down. When I go for runs, I often don’t time myself, but when I do, I’ve noticed that my 5K hill time is still about 45 minutes.

All this to say that I wasn’t sure what time I would get. I decided I wasn’t going to push it and concentrate on running the entire way. I would just be happy with anything under 1:30.

So you can imagine my surprise when I got to the first mile marker, and one of the race organizers was giving the time and he said we were at 10 minutes. Oh well, I’ll slow down, I thought. Mile two, it was the same thing.

The course was an out and back for the 5K and a second out and back for the 10K. I hit the turnaround at 30:35. Suddenly, I was very excited. Maybe I could finish this in under an hour. So I began to push it a little more on the second half.

I was a little disappointed when I crossed the finish line at 1:00:46. But only for a minute. I just ran a one hour 10K. A year and a half ago, I couldn’t have done that. Heck, I still can’t wrap my mind around that time. True, I was about the middle of the pack and the guy that one finished in 35 something. But for me, this was very impressive.

This also came at a great time since I have been struggling with my double digit runs. I actually had to walk at least a mile in Wednesday’s 11 mile run since my knees had been bothering me since the very beginning of the run. I felt great almost the entire race and didn’t feel exhausted when I finished.

But I want that sub-hour 10K. There’s another one here in town on July 4th, and I am going to enter and I am going to finish in under an hour.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Weekly TV Recap for May 14th

Got a couple season finales this week with more coming all the time.  You'd think it was May or something.

In Plain Sight - So, does anyone really have any suspense when it comes to the stuff in Mary's personal life? Yeah, I don't have much either. I knew she'd agree to be Brandi's Maid of Honor. But those scenes were still great, especially the one at the end. The case this week was pretty good as well. It had me questioning what was really happening on more than one occasion. What I find funniest now is that the big story I've been hearing about this season is that they were going to work Mary's real life pregnancy into the season. So far we're on episode two and there isn't a mention of it at all. Considering they'll probably only have 14 more episodes, you'd almost think they would work around it or this will be the one of the shortest pregnancies in TV history. Of the longest if it carries over to another season.

The Amazing Race - Well, the two teams I was rooting for most came in fourth and third. But I am happy for the sisters. They've overcome a lot on the race, so it was nice to see them win. Honestly, I wouldn't have been two upset with any of these teams, although the Globe Trotters were my least favorite of the teams left.

Chuck - Yikes, that cliffhanger was pretty intense. I have no idea who they will resolve that next week. Wait, there was more to the episode? Definitely building the season's story toward a climax, which is always nice to see. And the wedding photo montage was a great sub-plot. It's rare they use all the characters in an episode, but when they do it well like they did there, I really like it.

Castle - I was thinking that this was the first time we saw Ashley, but I looked it up online and realize we've seen him before. Anyway, I'm not sure why I never figure these cases out before the end because they definitely have a formula to them. Maybe it's because I am just enjoying watching the characters interact along the way.

Dancing with the Stars - I actually gasped when they told us that Romeo was going home. I was sure it would be Ralph since his score was so much lower than anyone else's. I'm not sure who really deserved to go. It would have been hard to see Ralph taken out by an injury, but who of the others really deserved it? There isn't a weak dancer left. It will make the next two weeks very interesting.

Survivor - Okay, I can see Ralph's point with making what's her face sleep on the ground at Redemption Island. But doesn't part of his think about how that pettiness will be perceived if he makes it to the jury? Okay, so he lost, but I actually wasn't that sorry to see him go considering his pettiness. Meanwhile, I can help but think about those still in the game. Suddenly, they want to make big moves instead of just let Rob tell them when they are going. You should of done that when you had the chance. And none of them are even thinking about voting Rob out. I mean, really, why are you going to let him waltz his way to the end? I have a feeling that Sunday will be very interesting.

Big Bang Theory - They have really got good at balancing several stories in this show. Poor Sheldon getting exposed to his worst nightmare because of trying to avoid a cough. Prya and Penny talking was an interesting development. But I think the funniest thing was that Howard's mom was actually okay with him getting married, although his last line about Bernadette was creepy.

Nikita - There was not a dull second in that episode. Honestly, about half an hour in I was fast forwarding through the commercial and couldn't believe how much time we had left. So much has changed. If they come back for a second season (and they'd better), I will be very curious to see where they intend to go with the story and even who is left involved. Not quite sure I get Amanda's position in all of this at the end. And which side will Alex be on? I hope we get to find out. I found Nikita's last line, "I fear for the future" to be pretty appropriate.

Wipeout - Okay, so I was distracted while watching the episode, but I was less than impressed this week. I never really connected to any of the contestants, and they seemed to really be reaching for identities for some of those people. The Amish? Really? And the guy who won was too over the top for me. Oh well, there's always next week.

New TV on DVD Reviews:
Rocky and Bullwinkle - Season 5 

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Gladiator Rock 'n' Run - May 2011

aka 2011 mud run #2.

This last Saturday was my second time doing the Gladiator Rock 'n' Run down in Irvine.  I was anxious to do it again because it has the thickest mud I've ever encountered at a mud run.  And I wasn't disappointed at all.

I did this with Sanjay, a new friend I am doing the Tough Mudder with in two and a half weeks.  (Yikes!)  This was his first mud run, and one reason I thought it would be good to do it is to give him a taste for events like this before we set out on a 10 mile mud run.

They had changed the course some from last time.  Gone were the stairs up through the stadium next door.  They had tires several times on the course.  But they still had us run up and big hill and slide down a slip and slide to the bottom.

There was a big bottle neck this time around at the net crawl.  Not quite sure why it got so backed up either, but we probably waited 15 minutes or so to get over that one.  While we were waiting, we got to talk to some people who had been contestants on an upcoming episode of Wipeout.  Sounded like two of them went pretty far.  Can't wait to see them.

Once thing I liked about this run the last time was the fact that they wait until the second half to get you muddy.  I mean, if you are only going to have three mud pits (and one hardly counts), don't get me muddy from the start when I still have all this running to do.  Wait until the end.  That was the case again here.  (Although, for the record, I really don't mind getting in and out of mud and water the entire time I'm racing.)

Anyway, we came to the mud pit you crawl through.  I had planned to get muddy from head to toe this time around in the nice thick mud, but for some reason I thought we'd be crawling through another mud pit, so I waited.  When I realized that wasn't going to be the case, I was disappointed.

But then we came to the small hills with mud pits between them.  I decided I was going to submerge here.  So running down the hill into the first mud pit, I picked up speed.  It worked.  I lost my footing and went completely under.  It was then I remembered the downside of doing that.  How do you wipe mud off from around your eyes when you don't have a clean spot on your body.

Still, it made for an awesome after picture, wouldn't you agree?

Sanjay had fun, and we're both anxious for Tough Mudder now.  As long as my running keeps up, it will be a fun race.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Word Association for May 10th

I know, I know.  I have other things to blog about.  But this is all I can get excited about right now.  Maybe tomorrow?

  1. Trumpet :: Music
  2. Love :: Romance
  3. Routine :: Boring
  4. Infringe :: on my Rights
  5. Misgivings :: Hesitation
  6. Establish :: from the Start
  7. Stupefy :: Stupify (the spell from Harry Potter)
  8. Constipate :: Dry up
  9. Conjure :: Magic
  10. Miscellaneous :: Random

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Weekly TV Recap for May 7th

In Plain Sight - I'm a bit worried about this season. I understand we've got new show runners for the second season in a row, and they seem intent on putting very cheerful characters on the show. But the new detective and the new agent are over the top perky. Frankly, too perky for their own good. And, I'll admit I was very sleepy when I watched this, but was Mary's mom credited for the episode yet never showed up? I will say that I love what they've done with Brandi. She's become a very strong, mature character, and I hope they keep that development going. I loved the banter. But I hope my initial impressions of these characters doesn't hold up as we get to know them better.

The Amazing Race - For obvious reasons, I had to watch this one on-line this week. Not my favorite way to watch stuff, as it turns out. But in this case, it was totally worth it. Kent and Vixyn are gone! And it's because they once again didn't read a clue. I will not miss Kent and his whining at all. I'm not sure what exactly happened with that food challenge. It did look like Vixyn wasn't being ganged up on. I hope she was innocent like it looked like because I certainly felt sorry for her then.

Dancing with the Stars - The pressure is really getting to the stars. None of them seemed in top form tonight. And I couldn't believe Bruno gave out a 10 to Hines who even I could tell was stumbling around. I was surprised he got above a 7. But ultimately it was Kendra who left. (And anyone notice they had all three women up there at the end?) She was really becoming a good dancer, so I am sorry for that reason, but I love the rest so much I'm glad they'll be back next week.

Chuck - Las Vecas? How fun was that? And really, what was Morgan thinking Awesome would plan for a bachelor party? Meanwhile, we found out who Agent X is, and I must say I was surprised, although in some ways it makes total sense now. In fact, much of this season now makes sense. I will admit I guessed at one point it was going to be Jeff. That would have been funny. But Volcauff being Agent X is so truly logical I'm surprised I didn't see it sooner. Only two more episodes left (please, come on and renew it), and I have a feeling they will be pretty action packed.

Castle - I've been looking forward to the LA episode for a while, and it was a bit of a let down. I was expecting more from the cast of the movie, but they were pretty much cameos. The case itself was interesting, and I loved seeing the Santa Monica Pier show up twice. The teases with the romance? Oh man the writers are really cooking on that this season, and it is working perfectly. I love it!

Survivor - And so the alliance breaks up. I see Rob's strategy, and I think it might work for him. Unfortunately, that means there is more Phillip. Have I mentioned how ready I am for him to go? Poor Andrea, all she did wrong was almost beat the Robfather and be close to Matt. The big wild card in all this is still Redemption Island. I can't wait to see how that will play out in the final couple of weeks.

Nikita - Wow! And let me say it again. WOW!!! I knew there were some things that would have to come out eventually, like Nikita being part of the team that killed Alex's parents. But to see it all come together like that. And to find out that Percy has been manipulating things for a while and in on who was working with Nikita. All the pieces are in place for a very bad season finale. I don't see how they can wrap things up at all. I think we're in for a very bad cliffhanger. Come on, CW, renew this show already so I can watch the finale without fear!

The Big Bang Theory - Holy cow there was a lot going on in that episode. I'm actually impressed with how well they juggled all the characters and stories. It often feels like one or two characters get put in the background each week. Here, I felt they all were front and center. The laughs were pretty continuous. Although my favorite part was the chess game at the end. Poor Raj, however. I knew there would be something off with his speaking to women without alcohol in him, but that wasn't what I expected. The lesson of the episode? Never let Sheldon be your wingman.

Wipeout - Back on the air and back full of puns. I was rooting for the winner this week for a change. And I was glad to see the sweeper arm back on the show, although this time in round three. I like it when they switch things up every so often like that.

Friday, May 06, 2011

Double Digit Run Territory

I did it.  Wednesday, I crossed into double digit territory.

I actually did soemthing different and drove to my starting point.  I wanted to leave from about a mile and a half from my condo and run a route I'd read about that took me in a loop along several roads in town.  Again, I was running on a path that is close to traffic almost the entire way, but I will take it since I had to run very little of my route twice.

Since the route was only 9 miles, I started by running an extra half mile in the opposite dirrection.  I knew if I saved that extra half mile until the end, I wouldn't get it done.

And boy was I right.  After about two or three miles, I was really struggling with the run.  It seemed that every step was a struggle.  I was actually welcoming my stops at traffic signals as a chance to rest.

But I did it.  I managed to complete all 10 miles.

Unfortunately, I didn't check the time when I left, but I think I ran these 10 miles in a slightly faster per mile time than I did the 9 miles last week.  And that might have been part of my problem.  I do have to say I was out of it by the end of the night Wednesday and had an extra hard time getting up Thursday morning.

Boy have my legs been bothering me since then, however.  They are better today than yesterday, but they are a little sore and jumpy right now.  Last night at choir I was fine while we were standing or while we were sitting, but transitioning between the two was hard.  I jumped in the pool after choir, which certainly helped some.  Hopefully I'll have a little time to do that tonight, although it isn't looking good.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Word Association for May 5th

Let's do this week's word assocation before I go to bed.

  1. Secondary :: Market
  2. Surreal :: Experience
  3. History :: Book
  4. Wild :: Animals
  5. Bandages :: Cuts
  6. Farm :: Animal
  7. Lab :: Rat
  8. Misuse :: Grammar
  9. Word games :: Scrabble
  10. Nurse :: Doctor

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

LA Times Book Festival for 2011

This last weekend was the LA Times Festival of Books, one of my favorite weekends of spring.  They actually put it off a week so it didn't conflict with Easter, which I was very thankful for.

Unfortunately, it did conflict with some major mystery conventions, so I think that was one reason why some of the authors I normally see weren't there.

This year it was at USC for the first time.  (And it makes me glad I've gotten out of the habit of calling it the UCLA Festival of Books).  That made it very different for me.  I used to have the other one wired.  I knew where everyone was and where to go for food.  This time?  I was pretty much lost.  Heck, I'm still not sure we walked by all the booths, if you want the truth.

As always, I went with my friend Angelique.  Her friend John came, too, and I'm very thankful.  He went to USC 20 years ago, so he had some clue how to get around the campus and even how to get there and back.  I would have been totally lost without him.

So, while there was some disappointments, it was still a fun day.  I got to meet the authors I've been reading recently who have written Sherlock Holmes inspired stories.  That was lots of fun.  I picked up a couple of Disney related books, including Hidden Mickeys, a novel that my friend Brian has highly recommended to me.  Now, to actually find the time to read it.

At the end of the day, I went to a panel that all those Sherlock Holmes authors were on.  It was lots of fun.  All four of them were a hoot.  It also left me wanting to read the actual Sherlock Holmes stories at some point soonish.  Like I need more on my to be read pile.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Thoughts on Bin Laden's Death

Sunday night, I was at my friends’ house watching a movie when I hopped on Twitter for a moment and saw the news that Osama Bin Laden had been killed. As I kept reading, I kept seeing responses from people to this historic news.

Frankly, part of me was still trying to figure out how I felt about it. And now almost two days later, I’m still in that boat. Part of me is glad. This is a man who was the leader that people were following on 9/11 and on previous attacks against America. Yet he is now residing in Hell for all eternity. He deserves to be punished for his crimes. He must face justice. But the idea of anyone residing in Hell for all eternity makes me sad. There is a finality to death that makes any unbeliever’s death sad. After all, I deserve hell just as much as Bin Laden.

Having said that, I can understand those who were celebrating. We’ve been after him for 15 years. This has been a long goal of our country. Seeing a goal completed is a reason to celebrate. However, even some of that went too far for my tastes. Rioting or near riots? Burning him in effigy? The guy is already dead, and that’s the way that the Muslim world celebrated 9/11. We should be better than that.

Now, I am not a supporter of President Obama at all, but I will give the man credit for the hard decisions he made in how this operation was conducted. He made a good call that could have also been a complete disaster. It turned out well. As one commentator said, no matter what else happens during his Presidency, he can always rightly claim that he was the man who gave the order to kill Bin Laden.

But there is so much more credit to go around. How about the men who actually went on the mission. They risked their lives. And I am going to say it – what about President Bush? Just because Bin Laden wasn’t capture on his watch doesn’t mean he wasn’t trying. It is sounding like the strike this weekend was the results of years of intelligence that started under his watch. I’ll go back even further. As I said, we’ve been hunting this man for 15 years. That would be back under President Clinton. I’ve heard the rumor that there was a chance to capture him back in the 90’s that Clinton turned down. I’ve never seen proof of that, so I am going to say that this weekend was the result of a policy that started under Clinton. I’m willing to give that policy some credit, too.

There is lots of time to sit back and analyze this and figure out what went right and what we could have done different earlier to catch him sooner. I hope as that comes in we will not use it to entrench our side and point fingers at the other. Yes, everyone got something right and something wrong. Is it too much to ask that we accept blame and praise in equal measures and try to learn something from all this?

Sadly, I fear the answer is yes. Sunday night I was already seeing responses from people who wanted to rub it in that President Bush hadn’t caught Bin Laden. The body wasn’t even cold, and we were already using it for political points? Still others could only react, “I wonder how the Tea Party will spin this in their favor.” In that kind of political environment, can we really expect anyone to admit they made a mistake or give their “opponent” some credit. Sadly, I fear that won’t be the case.

I also saw people saying that now we can bring our troops home. Remember, we are fighting terrorists and Al Queda, not just Bin Laden. He was the leader, but I’m sure there are others ready to take his place. This is a big milestone in the war, but it is not the climax. Until there aren’t people out there training to kill us, we need to be hunting down terrorists.

Ironically, this all happened on the day before Rudy’s birthday. Rudy is my friend who was killed in Afghanistan. And maybe that’s why this didn’t leave me rejoicing as much. I have seen the cost of this fight.

So yes, a very evil man is dead. The world is a better place because of it. Less evil is a reason to rejoice, but the fact that a man is dead should sadden us some. This is a time for sober rejoicing and not wild abandon or speculation.