Blog Schlob

24 Apr

I have to admit, if this blog hadn’t been assigned in my writing class I probably would have never bothered to explore the world of the blog. Blogging had never been something that interested me or anything that I found useful. Now that I have experience the blogging world from first hand experience, I have formed a semi valid opinion on this whole “blogoshpere” business. My experience writing this blog for the past ten weeks has not been a miserable one. Being able to write about something that I am interested in made this assignment a lot more enjoyable. I hope I have not bored my readers to death but I like to share my knowledge and opinions with others and this is a great way to do so. I wouldn’t say that all blogs are conversational; some are simply informational and some are used as diary, telling the world about their experiences, etc. After having to keep up with a blog every week I can see why some people get so excited about them. They are useful in more ways than one. You could write one yourself to purge yourself of any feelings, opinions or experiences you might have or to get someone else’s opinion, you could read others blogs to get information on a particular subject or to simply read about something you’re interested in. There are blogs for every type of interest; celebrity gossip, cooking, video games, books, fashion, etc. The best thing about blogging is that if there isn’t one that fits your style you could easily start your own that fits your needs and who knows maybe you’ll be the next Perez Hilton, reaching celebrity status by voicing your own opinion. One day I could possibly see my self being compelled to have an actual blog.

I am not one that likes to be on my computer all day. I would rather read a book from print than a electronic tablet or talk to some one in person than over the phone or text. But this blogging experience has showed me that it’s not all that evil. The connivence of the internet is useful in getting opinions, etc., especially with blogging. Blogging can connect people from around the world.

In conclusion of my Keep Austin Austin blog, I would like to thank all of those who have put up with reading and commenting on my opinions on Austin and some current events. I hope I gave you some new information on Austin and something at least semi interesting to read during this ten week assignment. K thanks Bye.

The Lovely Outdoors

13 Apr

One of my favorite things to do in Austin is to be outside. And if you’re from Austin you know that people are outside year round, whether it is freezing or 110 degrees out. Austin has tons of things to do outdoors. There are plenty of

The Greenbelt

lakes, creeks, and pools to take a dip in during the summer, which is very much appreciated when there is no other way to escape the heat other then being in water. I’m lucky enough that my parents have their own pool in their backyard and while growing up my parents would take my sisters and I to Lake Travis every weekend. As I’ve grown older I have learned that the abundance of natural swimming is awesome. Even though pools are nice and clean, I personally prefer a natural source of water. Austin has three main lakes; Lake Austin, Lake Travis, and Town Lake (renamed Lady Bird Lake but I think Town Lake is more fitting). Lake

Lake Austin and the 360 Bridge

Austin and Travis  are the larger of the two (Lake Travis is the largest) there’s nothing better during the summer than taking the boat out on the lake from sun rise to sun set, that is if you have the boat and money to do so. Motorized boats aren’t permitted on Lady Bird Lake, therefore it is more for canoeing, kayaking, and stand up paddle boarding. But for those who would like to enjoy Austin’s natural water there are other less money draining options. Barton Springs is a favorite spot for many Austinites, admission is $3 and the pool is naturally kept at a cool 68 degrees year round thanks to the natural spring water from the lovely Edwards Aquifer. Another lake option that is my favorite place to camp is Pace Bend Park off of 71. It’s a little ways out of Austin, about 45ish minutes but its definitely worth the drive. There are campsites that are

Pace Bend Park

private and right on the lake and when the lake level is high enough there are various sizes of cliffs to jump off. Now if you don’t want to spend any money there is always the Greenbelt. Barton Springs pool is just at the end of the Greenbelt, above the pool is a creek that goes on for miles withdifferent little spots to post up for the day with a cooler and friends and take a swim. My favorite part of the Greenbelt is that I can take my dog with me, so if you’re looking for a good place to go hang out in the sun with your dog, buddies and a cooler I’d highly suggest the Greenbelt. I love that Austin has so many places to go to cool off during the summer and my favorite part is they’re kind of like a local secret but we’re never opposed of new comers as long as they’re ready to have a good time.

The Oasis on Lake Travis

 

The Children of the Government

10 Apr

To be honest, I had no knowledge of the potential of our government to shut down until this blog subject was assigned. When I heard the news I thought to my self “Is this a joke? What the hell is congress thinking?” The thought of our government shutting down and thousands losing millions of dollars because our government couldn’t agree on a budget is ridiculous. We put our trust into the representatives and they are letting this happen. Honestly, the recent events and indecisiveness between the House of Representatives and the Senate of our very own United States federal government is embarrassing. The ego battle between the republicans and democrats within our government is getting out of hand and the threat of our government shutting down is proof that it is getting to go too far. I believe that our government needs to be paying attention to what is  best for the citizens of our country in these desperate times than what differing political parties want. The fact that our government was on the verge of shutting down should catch the attention of our congress men and women and make them realize what their silly political games are doing to our country. These people were chosen to represent the population of the U.S. and I am positive that no citizen wants to hear that their government is going to shut down because their representative could not act like adults and agree on an appropriate budget. It is sad to say that many probably foresaw the disagreement within our government. Differing ideologies have always cause disagreement with in our government. But since the election of President Obama, it seems as though those clashing ideas have been affecting decision making more than ever and republicans and democrats have become more and more stubborn in coming to a consensus. It’s embarrassing that something as important as setting a budget has become more about the politics between political parties and less about what is best for the people. Even though this past Friday a bill was finally passed and therefore our government will not be shutting down, this incident has made me think less of our government and question it’s representative’s intentions. Also although they did come up with a budget, it is only for the next six months. Is this going to happen again in six months? The fact that our representatives couldn’t reach an agreement until our government was on the verge of a shut down is unacceptable. Our government needs to get it’s act together. Even though republicans and democrats are notorious for being consistent in pushing for what they want, these types of things shouldn’t be happening to our government.

The Arts

30 Mar

Not only does the natural landscape of rolling hills and pristine lakes make Austin BEAUTIFUL, but the quirky art makes it strangely wonderful. Austin is filled to the brim with different mediums of art; paintings, murals, statues, etc. Just about everything in Austin is done with a certain odd artistic style. I am a really detailed oriented person, I notice things that a

Mural in West Campus

lot of people probably wouldn’t and Austin is the perfect place to find things that are there for you to be observant of little details. Some of the most common murals Austin is known for are the “Greetings from Austin” postcard murals places in various locations around the city. Another is the “Hi, How are you?” frog/ alien looking creature, if you aren’t from Austin you probably think this mural is very odd. Which I do admit it is really weird but it has become one of Austin’s trademarks. Austinites love this strange mural

Hi, How are you?

just like they love their strange (yet awesome) city. As I mentioned in one of my past blogs music is more than a huge thing in Austin, it keeps the city going round(economically and spiritually). To embody the cities dedication to music into a visual art, Gibson Guitars has contributed to a project called Guitar Town. This project is the explanation for giant guitars placed all over Austin. Each of these 10 foot tall Gibson Guitars is beautifully and creatively decorated and painted by local artists. Every guitar is decorated differently and each depict favorite Austin spots and themes. Eventually these guitars were auctioned off to benefit local charities such as every person’s favorite place to go when they were a child in Austin, the awesome Children’s Museum, but their existence will forever be remembered.If you explore downtown Austin or west campus I will urge you to look at EVERYTHING, from the buildings to guiding rails, a lot these things have minute or large things that were added to them just to make them more appealing. For example the Frost Tower, you have to admit the top of that building is pretty freaking cool. The capitol building might look very similar to our nations capitol in Washington, D.C. but every Austinite knows ours is better because it’s taller(everything’s bigger in Texas) and recently I noticed it’s pinkish, which is kind of cool. Our new City Hall

City Hall

building is pretty crazy looking, and I’m told that it is supposed to look like an armadillo from a certain angle but I have yet to see it, but it is a nice building to look at. Something else to notice is while driving down Cesar Chavez are the guiding rails, strangely enough they are the coolest looking railings that I have ever seen, with colored glass and metal flowers and leaves incorporated into them. I have never seen this anywhere else. Austin is amazing in the way that it turn the most conventional things into works of art, forcing everyone to see the beauty in everything.

Selfish News Tactics

27 Mar

On March 11, 2011, North East Japan was shook by a 8.9 magnitude earthquake and then hit by a massive tsunami wave. In the midst of this catastrophe the Fukushima Daiichi Power Plant was hit hard, causing it’s reactors to become unstable and release dangerous levels of radiation. Quickly after the tsunami hit the media changed it’s focus from the damage and devastation in Japan, to whether or not the reactors in U.S. nuclear plants are safe.I believe that the news has changed the focus from the damage of the tsunami in Japan to a nuclear crisis to keep the attention of the public by scaring them into staying tuned to their new station. By doing so the news stations are getting more viewers then they would by constantly mentioning the damage done to Japan, which I think is unethical. Although concerns about a nuclear melt down are valid ones, for a natural disaster such as the recent earth quake in Japan to happen in the U.S. is pretty unlikely. Also, according to the chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission our nuclear reactors are super protected due to the 9-11 terrorist attacks and they are constantly being upgraded to be even more protective.  In Japan’s time of need, we are worried about an very unlikely nuclear melt down in the States because the media told us so. While a nuclear melt down is very concerning, I don’t think this is an appropriate time to be thinking of ourselves when there is nuclear radiation effecting those in Japan NOW. And by helping those in Japan we could potentially use the same techniques if by some way a nuclear melt down were to happen on our own home front. The death toll in Japan is rising by the day and is said to reach nearly 20,000, people are still missing and in addition iodine ad cesium levels in food products, such as milk, spinach and other vegetables, as far as 45 miles from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station are way above normal, safe, levels. It’s sad how people have quickly let their concerns be derailed to something that isn’t very probable while others are suffering from it now. Think that we need to focus on giving Japan the aid and resources it is in need of now and once it is stable again and close to getting back on it’s feet we can then evaluate the nuclear plants in the United States.

 

The heart beat of the city

20 Mar

The number one thing that makes Austin bump is its live music. Every night and every day you can find live music in this city no matter what time of year it is.After all Austin is THE live music capital of the WORLD. It’s all about the music, music and music. If you don’t enjoy the faint sound of a band playing from a far on a quite afternoon, then this isn’t the place for you. In 1991, Austin adopted the official slogan of the “Live Music Capital of the World.” This name is fitting due to the city’s vast number of live music venus that triumphs the amount in large cities such as New York, LA, Nashville and Memphis. Not only is this a name but it is an industry that makes millions of dollars for Austin each year with festivals such as Austin City Limits and SXSW. Many people don’t know that there’s a difference between Austin City Limits and the Austin City Limits Festival. Austin City Limits is a show on PBS that is filmed in Austin in front of a live audience that showcases various types of music. ACL was first aired in 1976 on the UT campus and is now the longest running concert music program.Thirty five years later, Austin City Limits has recently moved to a new venue in the W hotel called the Moody Theatre. In 1991 C3 presented the first ever Austin City Limits Festival (named after the ACL TV show). ACL Festival consists of 130 bands playing over 3 days. The festival transforms the fields of Zilker Park into the ultimate music venue with 8 stages, food vendors galore, and everything local. The festival is something that Austinites look forward to at the end of every summer. If you have yet to attend this glorious weekend, I highly recommend that you do. Austin City Limits Festival is the epitome of Austin; live music, sun, and delicious food. This year is the festival’s 10 year anniversary and everyone is suspecting it to be one of the best years yet and the anticipation leading up to the release of the line up this year is killing me. Another festival that attracts thousands to Austin every year is South by South West. Although I’m not very familiar with SXSW and I’ve never attended myself, I hear it’s HUGE. Even though I’ve never been, it is very evident when it’s that time of year; crowds, lines and traffic balloon for a full week. SXSW is a showcase for music, film and interactive technology; and people from all around the world come take a peek at what is new. Austin is not only a great place to see live music, it’s also good for new artists to come. With it’s hundreds of venues and several programs dedicated to helping musicians, your voice is sure to be heard in this city full of character.

To intervene or not to intervene?

9 Mar

The trend of civil uprising in the Middle East has been going on for a while now. The most recent unrest in Libya has been the talk to our nation for the past month ever since the riots broke out on February 16 of this year. Throughout history, the United States has been the one to turn to when it comes to the intervention of civil unrest in foreign countries. Other countries hope for the best of a troubled country but often looks to us to do something about it, allowing us to get our hands dirty and get pulled into it while others just stand back, watching, and give us “support”. From looking at our past history on intervening in other countries before, it is hard to say what President Obama should do this time. If only the intervention on a country could be a mistake that you learn from and never do again or something that was good and you should keep on doing.  But this decision is a lot more complicated than classical conditioning, the decisions have to be selective, each situation differs from another. Muammar el-Qaddafi has reined in Libya since 1969. His ruling on his country and foreign relations have been very unpredictable over the years. Rebels are enthusiastic about the ouster of Qaddafi but they face the problem of being out gunned and outnumbered. Although it would be ideal to be able to help support the anti- Qaddafi activist, I don’t think that we have nearly enough resources to do so ourselves. We still have troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, and we’ve made so much effort to get them out of there. I fear that if we do take on Libya as well, our country will we worn down to the bones. I think that if we do try to help with the unrest in Libya we should take the back seat where we can still help support them and come up solutions while allowing others to go in and physically help. According to the New York Times, our Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates has been the biggest voice of caution. The article “Discord Grows in Washington on Possible Libya Intervention,” it states that “Mr. Gates forcefully warned Congress during budget testimony that the first act in imposing a no-fly zone would be an attack on Colonel Qaddafi’s air defenses, and that the step should only be taken if the United States was ready for a prolonged military operation that could cover all of Libya. He cautioned it might drain resources that are already overstretched in Afghanistan and Iraq, because Libya is such a large territory.” This fact alone makes me very hesitant for our government to intervene. If helping Afghanistan and Iraq has already taken 9 years and yet is still on going, how long would it take for Libya to get back on it’s own?