Because they certainly did when Bush was president, and even pushed for the “nuclear option.” From 2005: 

  • Sean Hannity: “I Believe It’s Unconstitutional To Filibuster.”
  • Rush Limbaugh: “The Constitution Says Nothing About This. The Constitution Says Simple Majority, 51 Votes.”
  • Wall Street Journal: Using Nuclear Option Is Better Than Letting “A Willful Minority Deny The President’s Nominees A Vote On The Senate Floor.”
  • National Review editor Rich Lowry: Judicial Filibusters Are “A Perversion” Of Traditional Checks And Balances And Should Be Eliminated “Through The So-Called Nuclear Option.” 
  • Karl Rove: “We Believe That Fairness Means That [Nominees] Deserve An Up-Or-Down Vote.”
  • Pat Robertson: “These Filibusters Have Been Unconstitutional. And The Senate, I Just Think The Majority Should Say, `Look, We Want An Up And Down Vote.’” 

I always find these situations hilarious…

I wanted to separate my thoughts on the race from my actual race… didn’t want to clutter it up and take away from the achievements of the race… So here they are…

I was a runner all my life… although it hasn’t been until recently that I’d wanted to run anything more than a 5K… I decided to try the 500 Festival Mini Marathon in 2012 (the weather was atrociously hot and I got seriously dehydrated but finished!) and I’ll always love the Mini, mostly I think because A> it’s tradition and B> I get to run on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and kiss the bricks! 

Mandie ran the Monumental 5K two years ago when she first started running and watched the half-marathoners finishing and she and Janet thought they could do that… so last year we all ran the Monumental Half Marathon.

I can’t really pinpoint what it is, but there’s something about this race that stuck with me. I always felt some connection to it.

I’ve always been impressed with the way the race was run and it’s organization… The Expo was decent-sized (we went to the Indianapolis Marathon “expo” a couple of weeks before… if you could call 6-7 booths an expo.) and the race wasn’t huge like the Mini but still well organized.

Very nice touch on the shirts… They offer men’s and women’s sizes… but on the women’s shirts they have a girl silhouette and on the men’s shirts they have a guy silhouette…

Thinking about it, the Monumental is a lot like Indianapolis itself… it’s big (3,518 finished the marathon, 6,160 finished the half) but yet it has a small feel to it.

Of course like all things, especially this size, there will be some hiccups… something isn’t going to go right just because of the law of averages. But it’s more how you respond to the things that went wrong than it is the actual things that went wrong.

After the race I voiced my concerns and they listened… Will they actually fix the problems I asked about? We’ll see… but it’s the willingness to listen that’s impressive.

I’m running the Carmel Marathon in the spring… The Mini shortly after that… and most likely either the Half or Full Monumental in the fall again… It’s my race.

A year ago Mandie and I decided to run the Monumental Marathon. Neither of us had done anything close to 26.2 miles before. Half marathons were one thing… but this was twice as far.  We decided that I’d run with Mandie for this one and later run one at my own pace… especially considering I’d gotten stress fractures in my leg from training for the Mini, so I couldn’t start training for my marathon with a broken leg anyway. Mandie didn’t think she’d be able to complete one on her own and I was more than happy to help her out, I knew my time was coming.


The previous year we’d run the Monumental Half Marathon and that was Mandie’s first half (and only my 2nd). It was a huge achievement for her just to finish so for her to take the step up for the full marathon… yeah quite daunting. I knew I could finish it in the allotted time (15min/mi pace - 6:33:00 over all) but Mandie was no where near convinced. Mandie runs the Galloway method of interval running… Run for a short period, walk for a short period…

She did all the research and made plans all summer… There were a lot of hellish days of way too hot to run but she put in the miles. I ran a lot with her but no where near as much as she did… Around September she started getting bursitis in her hip but wouldn’t give up. When it got too much, she got a cortisone shot and kept going.  She got sick for a couple of weeks right before the race so she didn’t get as much training in as she wanted and confidence was running rather low.  She ran a couple of times in the preceding week and that made her feel good… but still… 26.2 miles is a LONG WAY.

As we were driving down to the Expo on Thursday we noticed some port-a-potties set up at the corner of 54th and Meridian… first thought was, “What are those there for?” then came the awful realization. Oh shit. Those are for us. We’re going to be running WAY UP HERE. Seeing it on a map and knowing it is one thing. But the day or two before and realizing it… that’s a completely different thing altogether.

November 2nd was the day.

image(BTW, most of the pics here are tiny I know… they’re the thumbnails from… If you want to see bigger sized ones of them, go to the site and search for us)

Before dawn on the first Saturday in November can be kind of chilly, so we needed to dress warmly while we were waiting for the race to start. We usually hit someplace like Goodwill (poppin’ tags!) and buy some things to throw on the ground right before the start… Race organizers will then pick up all the clothing and donate it back to charities…

BTW before I go any further I really have to thank Mandie’s friend, Janet. Janet volunteered to ride her bike around the course (she probably rode as much as we ran) to help support Mandie and me. We’d meet her every few miles and be able to get things we needed to drop off any clothing we wanted to keep. I really don’t think we could have made it without her. (Also thanks to the Monumental Marathon staff and ActiveIndy Tours for setting up the bike route!)

So off we go… Here we are between miles 2 & 3… well trust me we’re in there… you can see my white ass legs and green shirt at least…


First mile was rather fast… we started further forward than we were supposed to, mainly to give ourselves as much cushion as possible. The cut off was 15min/mi pace, but they didn’t start that until the last person crossed the start line… so if we started a few minutes before them, that’s an extra few minutes we got to run. So everyone around us was faster and we didn’t want to hold them up… Mile 1 - 12:45.  Mile 2 was closer to a normal pace (at least for the first half) at 13:29… and Mile 3 was 13:56…

Miles 4, 5 and 6 were rather uneventful… just out for a nice run… 13:37, 14:15 and 13:41 respectively.  We hit the 10K split at 1:24:40 with a pace of 13:40min/mi. Well under the 15:00min/mi pace needed.

At the 11K mark we hit the Soiree at 11K put on by the Indy Eleven soccer team and Flat12 Bierwerks… sadly we couldn’t stop and sample the beer…


Pretty soon after that we started heading up Fall Creek Parkway and after the 7 mile (13:37 pace) mark we came to the split… The half marathon split off and started to head to turn around… but we were just getting warmed up.

We continued to head up Fall Creek and past Mile 8 (14:50 pace… bathroom break) until we got the fair grounds and 38th Street.. We ran west on 38th until we passed Mile 9 (Nice 14:20 pace) and got to Washington Street to head north again… We stayed on Washington for about 2 miles through Miles 10 (14:26) and 11 (15:21).  Mandie’s knee started bothering her for a little bit on Mile 11 so she took a quick break to stretch some. No big deal, we’d banked a lot of time with out earlier miles.  We turned east onto 58th Street and then north onto College to head into Broad Ripple.. Mile 12 - 14:10.


The halfway point was coming up… Last year we were finishing now… this year we were only half done. Mile 13 - 14:53.  Half Marathon split - 3:05:36 for an average pace of 14:11min/mi. Just as a frame of reference… Mandie’s half marathon time last year was 3:16:43 and her Mini Marathon time in May was 3:04:46. We still had a long way to go, but we were feeling good about it.

Mile 14 was rather shockingly close to our house.  We’d actually run these neighborhoods as training runs and drive through them all the time… now we’d run here all the way from Downtown. Wow. Mile 14 - 15:03.

It was time for a bathroom break and we’d stopped after the 14mi mark… but there were only 2 port-a-potties here… and one of occupied… A nice older lady got the other one just before us so we had to wait… The older lady came out and still the other one was occupied… Mandie came out and still the other one was occupied… finally I finished and still the other one was occupied. Man, I thought our stop was a long time… We continued on back down Meridian, at least we were heading in the right direction this time… Mile 15 - 18:46. That took a big chunk out of our banked time.

So here we are… running down Meridian… unfortunately we were going to take a scenic route back downtown… Mile 16 - 14:38


So we turned west towards Butler… Mile 17 - 15:35. About this time it should be noted that because Mandie got sick at the end of her training… this was actually the furthest she’d ever run.  Mile 18 took us into the Indianapolis Art Museum grounds… we were wearing out, the number of runners was diminishing as we fell to the back of the pack, no one was left to cheer us on and it was getting mentally hard. But as you can see… our spirits were still up…


Mile 18 - 16:07. 30K split - 4:36:24 - 14:50min/mi pace.

Miles 18 through 23 were the hardest miles (at least for me)… the course sent us down White River Parkway and on the far side of Riverside park… there’s nothing there. We were joking that they put up trivia signs along White River Parkway, just to give us something to do. Mile 19 - 17:33, Mile 20 - 16:05, Mile 21 - 14:37.  We met up with Janet for the last time and got supplies… We headed east back towards Meridian and the home stretch… Mile 22 - 14:38. Mile 23 - 16:15.

We turned off of Fall Creek Parkway and onto Meridian for the final push home.  Only a 5K left. You got this, Mandie. It wouldn’t be an easy 5K but the goal was in sight now.  Around 20th Street was Mile 24 - 14:40.  Mile 25 - 15:24

imageThe sign had actually fallen down… but it was almost over and I didn’t care.

We turned onto New York Street and straight into a massive headwind. It was a gorgeous day, we couldn’t have asked for better weather (last year at the end of the half marathon it was sleeting) so if this was the worst weather of the day, I’d take it.


We got to the end of New York and turned on to West Street and I jumped out ahead so I could get some pics of Mandie finishing…


I finished maybe about a minute ahead of Mandie…



Final time - 6:33:21.6




I love these pictures… I’m so proud of how hard she worked and persevered. She really is monumental.



I just found the best breakdown of the Charlie Brown Valentine’s Day Special ever written. 

I just laughed inappropriately loud at this in a dead silent office.

The last one is the best…



Samantha Bee you beautiful Canadian

I love those (sadly rare) cases of the Daily Show’s normally clueless interview subjects suddenly realizing that their argument/point/outlook is really bad, instead of just doubling down on the fist-pumping.

(Source: drunkonstephen)


go to and type (on your keyboard) up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A and watch what happens when you keep pressing A

(Source: moaninglisasmile)

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

New Hampshire:
Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton

John Hancock, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry

Rhode Island:
Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery

Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott

New York:
William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris

New Jersey:
Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark

Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross

Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean

Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton

George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton

North Carolina:
William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn

South Carolina:
Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton

Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton

Note: The above picture is the actual Declaration of Independence. Preservation was not as advanced in the 18th and 19th Centuries so the print has faded badly. It’s currently on display at the National Archives.

The Declaration was adopted by 12 of the 13 colonies on July 4th (New York abstained, but did adopt it on July 9th). On July 5th, printed copies (the Dunlap Broadside, 26 known copies remain) were printed and distributed to various assemblies and to the Continental Army.

On July 19th, 1776, the above official copy was created and on August 2, 1776, the members of Congress assembled to affix their signatures.

"That, my lad, was a dragon."


Oh, hi there, Legolas… Don’t remember reading about you in the Hobbit…

Cue jaw dropping.

Am I the only one who saw this and the first thing I thought was “Of course he crashed… he was up in the marbles!”

One of the greatest things about the Indianapolis 500 is the tradition behind it… here’s just some of them.

Memorial Day

The Indy 500 has always been run on Memorial Day weekend… Admittedly it probably wasn’t to honor Memorial Day but more likely because it was the best time of the year to get the most people to the track. It wasn’t too hot, people had the day off and in the fall farmers were too busy with their crops to make the trip.

Even still the race was run on Memorial Day every year through 1970 when it was moved Memorial Day was set as always the last Monday of May. The race was then run on Saturday of Memorial Day weekend for a few years. In 1973 it was supposed to be on Memorial Day (Monday) but was moved to Wednesday because of rain. Since 1974 it has been on Sunday of Memorial Day weekend. In 1986 and 1997 it was postponed by rain also.


At Indianapolis qualifying is unlike any other race. Drivers take to the track by themselves and run 4 consecutive laps (10 miles). Quickest elapsed time over those 10 miles gets you on the pole. One tiny mistake in any one of the 16 turns and you’re not. Drivers have called it the scariest 10 miles in racing as they try to make the car as fast as they can, taking it to the edge of being out of control.

There are 2 days of qualifying, but those qualifying on Pole Day start ahead of those qualifying on the 2nd day regardless of their speed. Because of weather conditions sometimes cars further back in the field will have actually have qualified faster that those in front of them. Most recently in 1996 when Scott Brayton won the pole with a qualifying speed of 233.718mph. Arie Luyendyk qualified on the 2nd day with a track record (which still stands) of 236.986mph, but since he qualified on the 2nd day he started 20th. Tragically, Scott Brayton was killed in practice a few days later, elevating Tony Stewart to start on the pole. Danny Ongais replaced drove Brayton’s car but had to start in the 33rd position due to a driver change.

11 Rows of 3

Only 33 cars can qualify for the race. Why 33? The race was originally sanctioned by AAA and they detemined that if you spread cars out around the track with a “safe” distance of 400’ between them, 33 cars would fit. Although there have been some years when there have been a few more, since 1915 the field was set at 33.

Pre-Race Festivities

The Indianapolis 500 is called the “Greatest Spectacle In Racing”.  The pre-race festivities epitomize this.  The day starts at about 6am when a giant cannon goes off signaling that the gates are open.

Throughout the morning marching bands from area high schools parade around the track.  The Purdue marching band has been the “host” band of the race since 1927. The Gordon Pipers are also an Indy 500 tradition as they pipe their way around the track.

Because the race is run on Memorial Day weekend, a speaker from the military is sometimes asked to address the crowd and Taps is played. It’s quite odd to be standing there among 300,000 people and have the place go silent as Taps is played.

In addition to the National Anthem there is traditionally a fly-over by military aircraft… it’s rather amazing seeing a B-2 Stealth Bomber flying over…

Reportedly it was 1919 when “Back Home Again” was first played before the Indy500… since 1946 it’s been every year. Since 1972, Jim Nabors has been the singer with a few exceptions. Someone else sang it for 6 our of the 8 years from 1979-1986 and in 2007 Jim Nabors was sick and couldn’t perform. A couple of years (1997 due to rain and 2012 via satellite) a video of Nabors was played. I’m not a native Hoosier, I’ve lived in Indiana since 1988… but even still it’s hard not to get choked up a little when the song is played.

"Gentlemen Start Your Engines" was first said in around 1948… By 1955, IMS Owner Tony Hulman was starting the race with the now traditional command over the PA system. When Janet Guthrie became the first woman to drive the race in 1977 the command was altered to "Lady and gentlemen…" and now it’s "Ladies and gentlemen…" as multiple women start the race.


In 1936 Louis Meyer requested a glass of buttermilk following his win… and ever since the winner of the race is giving milk to drink in victory lane.  In 1993, after his 2nd win, Emmerson Fittipaldi drank orange juice to promote his orange groves in Brazil (he later took a sip of milk…)… he was roundly booed at the next race.

The Borg-Warner Trophy

Made of sterling silver, approximately 5’4” tall, the trophy was first presented to the winner of the race in 1936. The driver does not keep the trophy, it remains at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Each driver has his likeness embossed on the trophy with his name and winning speed. The driver and owner are given smaller replicas (the Baby Borg) approximately 18” tall.

In 1986, space on the original trophy filled up after Bobby Rahal won. Rather than retire the trophy, they added a base for subsequent winners.  That base filled up after 2003 and a 2nd base was added. There’s enough room on the 2nd base to accommodate the winners until 2034.

On Carb Day they run the Freedom 100 race at Indianapolis featuring the Indy Lights cars.  The Indy Lights is one step below IndyCar. 40 laps around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway at speeds of about 185mph (a little faster than what the NASCAR guys go).

This year featured one of the best finishes in all of racing…


Congratulations to Ireland’s Peter Dempsey coming from 4th place to win…

BTW… yeah you can’t go 3 wide in the corners in IndyCar… I watched this race live last year and it does not disappoint.

Greg Moore was one of the best drivers of his generation… unfortunately he was lost when he was just 24 at the 1999 Marlboro 500, the last event of the year. In July of 1999 of that year Greg Moore met a 12 yr old driver who idolized him… a young James Hincliffe.

Moore never got to run the Indy 500 because of the CART/IRL split. He was due to take over a seat on the Penske team before he died. After he died, Helio Castroneves was tapped to run the car and in 2001 when CART came back to the Indy 500, Castroneves won.

In 2013, James Hincliffe took to the track to qualify for the Indy 500… along with him he carried with him a special guest.

Well I tried to embed the video… but you can see it here.

One of my favorite things about the Indy 500 is the intro to the broadcast…



















In 2012 they also ran this video… a tribute to Dan Wheldon, the 2011 winner who had died a 6 months before the race.

The cars at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway are going down the front stretch a little bit faster than I was when I was on the track…