I made only one official New Year’s resolution last year, which was to lose 30 pounds.  Considering the time-worn tradition of making such laughable resolutions and not following through, I figured I’d aim high.

It took me until June to actually attempt to start, so I was off to a good start.  However, by October, I was pretty much done.  I’ve gained about 3 pounds back from my low, but as of this time last year, I weighed about 210lbs, and I’m at 178 today.

2015 was, by many measures, a year I can only describe with a great deal of profanity, and I will be pleased to see it consigned to to the toilet bowl of history.  In that spirit, I have compiled a new list of resolutions for the coming year. We’ll check back in a year to see how I did.

  1. Only wildly overspend and fret over the perfect gift for people who will appreciate it. Do all the rest of my shopping at the dollar store.
    I am notorious for overspending on my significant other, even when they do not reciprocate. Now that my significant other is significantly less significant, I need to stop doing that, because they are significantly underspending now.
  2. Keep my friends close, and keep my enemies out of my business.  Social media interactions with people I know in real life are being culled to a segment of people who a) want to continue to be linked to me and b) haven’t tried to stick a knife in my back over the last few months.
  3. Lose the last 10 or so pounds I need to lose.  Getting to 168 would put me into ‘average weight’ on the BMI chart, which I know is complete nonsense, but it will make me feel better about myself.
  4. Work this ball of flab into some semblance of shape.  Despite losing 30 pounds, I am still not what one would consider all that attractive in the midsection.  Flatter, to be sure, but still quite slug-like.
  5. Write at least one blog post a month here.  Because I need to get back to writing.

That’s it.  I’m working on becoming a better human being, but that’s always going to be a work in progress with little in the way of quantifiable success.  These are solid goals.

So, as it says at the top of the page, Slàinte Mhath, and a happy New Year.

Another Year Down

Well, we’ve soldiered on through another year.  Lost a few along the way, gained a few more than that, and generally plodded along into history.

Once again I’m writing a post about ignoring my blog.  I’ve had a serious case of writer’s block for quite some time now.  A year ago I had three blogs and a book that I was working on – I’ve let one of those blogs lapse, and the second one hasn’t been updated in over a year.  I’ve written maybe half a paragraph on that book.

One of my many New Year’s resolutions is to work on that.  I’m going to try to write a lot more frequently – my goal is to put something here at least once a week.  The motivation for this will be to live up to the overhaul I’ve just completed, which is based around artwork by none other than my favorite editorial cartoonist Matt Bors.  That means I need to generate actual content, so I’m going to try to get back to my roots.  The header covers the gamut of what I want to write about – politics, sports, writing, geeking, and the occasional glass of Scotch.

So welcome to 2015.  Here’s hoping I can keep at least one of my resolutions.

Moving right along (left along? whatever)…

Ha ha suckers!  In under the one year mark!

But yeah I’ve horribly neglected this blog.  I’m going to try to fix that.  Probably won’t, though.

Here’s my Political Compass results for the year:



That’s -9.12 Economic, -8.67 Social, which is pretty much inside my average for the last four years.  Still a pinko commie bastard.  Here’s my results from previous years, if you’re keeping score.

Checking My Political Compass

There’s this neat website I found around a decade ago called the Political Compass.  It’s basically a short test with a number of rather generic questions about your views on various economic and social issues.  It’s short – takes about five minutes – and it gives you an X/Y axis position for your political views.  The X axis represents your economic views, from left to right, and the Y axis represents your social views, from the extremes of Authoritarian to Libertarian.

The test forces you to answer all of the questions, and gives you four options: Strongly Disagree, Disagree, Agree and Strongly Agree, which prevents hedging.  It forces you to take a stance.  The best part is that after it’s done asking you its analysis questions, it gives you your results!   That’s right, no entering your email or a ton of demographic questions.  It’s just a test to give you a result.

I take this test every year in May.  It happens in May because that’s the first time I took it, and just happened to take it again almost exactly a year later.  Now, I take it once a year in May, kind of as a benchmark for where I’m at.  Spoiler alert: there are only minor fluctuations in my numbers after 2005.

Here are my results for 2013:

That’s -9.00 Economic, -8.05 Social.  Basically, I’m a left libertarian.  Waaaay left libertarian.

Now, the fun comes with the analysis of where I measure up compared to the various 2012 Presidential candidates.  You might be surprised to see Barack Obama hanging out within one point of his “ideological opposite” Mitt Romney up in right-wing authoritarian land, but if you are, that means you really haven’t been paying attention.

Here are my previous nine results:

May 2012: -9.62 / -7.38

May 2011: -9.12 / -8.21

May 2010:  -8.12 / -8.67

May 2009: -7.88 / -7.44

May 2008: -7.50 / -6.97

May 2007: -7.75 / -7.49

May 2006: -8.50 / -7.33

May 2005: -7.25 / -8.51

May 2004t: -8.00 / -5.79

So go take the test!  I love seeing where other people place on the spectrum.

This is the story so far…

From 2005 to around 2010 I blogged fairly regularly, first on my now-defunct LiveJournal, and then on a more politically-centered WordPress site.  Unfortunately, Facebook and Twitter came along and wrecked up the joint.  All of my friends fled LiveJournal for Facebook, so I didn’t really have an audience anymore for the long screeds I was routinely cranking out.  I migrated over to WordPress for most of that, but eventually the lure of 140 characters drowned that out, and the posts became less and less frequent.  Eventually, an entire year had passed since my last post, and I knew that the experiment was over.

But I’ve got all this stuff in my head that I want to fling at the Internet!

So here I am, back again with another blog.  This time, I’m going for a rather broad spectrum, just like my Twitter account.  I’m not going to limit my time here to any one subject, but I can guarantee a standard level of vitriol, dark humor and sarcasm.  Sports, politics, gaming, religion, music; these are the many and diverse subjects that I intend to vent my spleen over.

Finally, an explanation of the title of the blog, Slàinte Mhath.  Slàinte is Gaelic for “health,” and is a traditional Celtic toast.  The extended form, the version I use when raising a pint or a dram with friends and family, is slàinte mhath, or “good health” in the Scottish Gaelic.  Of course, it’s Gaelic, and those people have no respect whatsoever for the English or their way of pronouncing the Latin alphabet. It’s not “slayntee mahath.” It’s pronounced “slahncha va.” Get it right.

It also happens to be the title of an awesome song by Marillion. If you don’t know who Marillion is, well, now’s the time to find out.