Sunday, February 19, 2012


     Okay, so it’s been a while since I’ve posted one of these, and I’m feeling the need.  You ever notice things, have things happen to you during a ‘normal’ day that just drive you crazy?  Most times you just try to ignore and keep your blood pressure from skyrocketing, but sometimes you just want to hit people upside the head with a baseball bat and say “Hello? Are you really that stupid?”
     So here’s my RANT post.  I’m going to make this a semi-regularly thing, as the mood strikes.

Why are people so stupid when it comes to snow?  Granted I don’t live in a place where 2ft of snow is no big deal, but it snows a couple of time each Winter here.  It’s not a big deal. So why do all these idiots run out to the store, even before it’s snowing, and start buying up bread and milk?  Bread and milk? Really?  I can see a family huddled around a propane heater, the power is out, but they have BREAD and MILK so everything is okay.  If it was beer and pizza, then maybe I could see it.
To the idiot kid who backed straight out of his parking spot without even looking back, around or even checking his mirrors (he was too busy messing with this radio)I almost let you pull right into me as I walked towards the store.  You’ll never know how close you came to having me pulling you out of the half-rolled down window of you own car and scaring the shit out of you.  I hope you don’t end up killing somebody before someone realize how stupid you are.
To the constant rude ass people I always have to deal with, especially at the grocery store, I hope you taught your kids better.  If not I get the feeling I’ll be dealing with their rudeness in the years to come. No promises I won’t deal with them a little more proactively. Blocking the entire aisle with your shopping cart, and then getting an attitude when I asked “Can I get by?”  I should have just shoved your cart down the aisle and then tripped you as I walked by.  At least one of us would have felt better.
To the idiot shopping while her small child ran around like a f’n mental patient.  You better learn to deal with your kid.  If this is how he acts at that age, I can imagine how he’ll be when he’s older.  The prisons are already full, do us all a favor and be a parent.  My son never ran around like that..at least more than once.
To the growing stream of drivers who can’t seem to fathom why they need to drive at least CLOSE to or at the speed limit.  You’re holding up EVERYONE.  You either look TERRIFIED while going 30mph in a 35mph zone, or you’re talking on your phone, talking with your passenger, or generally doing everything but what you need to doing…DRIVING.
To the generation of idiots who drive based on their favorite character in Fast and Furious , you are NOT a good driver.  The fact you THINK you are makes you even more dangerous. And by the way, that 4 foot wing on your car makes it look like a wind up toy.  And for PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD change that muffler, it sounds like a cat being swallowed by a lawn mower.
To the people I meet almost every morning.  The ones who find it impossible to hold a door, who don’t know what THANK YOU means, I am keeping score.  Eventually I’m just going to walk around with a paint ball gun and start splattering you with paint balls.  At least other people would know ahead of time you are rude piece of shit.
To the parents who find it impossible to discipline your children.  Keep in mind that even though they may eventually leave your house, other people will then have to cope with your failing to be a parent.  Never heard of a kid who needed a shrink from getting the occasional spanking as a child.  Of course there are plenty of spoiled little brats who grew up to be thankless idiots who can’t figure out why they don’t have friends, a job or garner any respect.
Until next time….





Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Working out....why?


                So as I’m dragging my ass out of bed this morning to get to the gym, the voices are fighting.

                “Screw the gym today.  Missing one day won’t kill you.”

                “Get up you lazy shit, you know you’ll be pissed if you don’t end up working out.”

                The argument escalated from there, but I’ve learned to let the voices in my head hash it out among themselves.  Did this while I was  shagging ass to get my clothes on and go.

                Got downstairs to the kitchen, started to make protein shakes.  (I make one for me to drink pre workout and I also make one for my teenage son who simply can’t get enough calories into his body) Open the fridge and realize I forgot to buy milk. 

                “It’s only a few days out of date.  How bad could it be.”

                Famous.  Last.  Words. 

                Holy shit how can skim milk smell so bad?  It’s mostly water anyway.  Talking about waking up in a hurry.  I bet there’s a Hollywood diet like this.  Wake up, smell something spoiled or drink something to make your puke, then go back to sleep.  Rinse (literally) and repeat.

                So I get in the truck, and light up a cigarette. 

                Yeah I get it.  Talking about working out every morning, all while lighting up on the way.  Sue me.

                Get my MP3 player and headphones in place on the way (gym is like 5 min from my house if that) and I’m reasonably pumped and awake when  I get there.  Nod at the normal people that inhabit this place this early in the morning, throw my crap in my locker and off I go.

                Had to rush my work out a bit, but DEFINITELY glad I got out of bed.  Still can’t believe how much better I feel after working out every day.  BUT – you knew it was coming didn’t you – I have an observation to report, after working out every  morning for the last couple of weeks.

                Now I have knees that have been ridden hard and put up wet.  My feet are flatter than Big Box store 2x4’s after years in the Army. This equates to running being painful.  So I ride the stationary bike.  No I don’t loaf along while watching TV.  Normally I do 30-35 minutes on a ‘Hill Training’ program, and the bike also monitors heart rate, so  I know I’m actually doing something.

                That being said, what’s up with these guys (and several women as well) who can get on a treadmill for 30 minutes, run like 10 damn miles, but when they get off and you look at them, you’d never believe that person just did that.  Pot belly?  Saddlebags?  I understand those just starting out…Hell I can’t cast the first stone, I’d end up with a boulder on my head…but really these people are gym rats.  I wonder if they think that lifting weights will mess them up?  Or they’ll lift for a week and look like a steroid abuser?

                Overheard one guy mention he ran 5 miles every morning for the last two years. The guy looked like he swallowed a small bowling ball…maybe a bocce ball? 5 years of that for THAT ?  No thanks, I’d just start eating exclusively off the dollar menu and watching reality TV.  What’s the difference?

                

Friday, February 10, 2012

You have to be kidding me...



     Okay, before I post this, don't judge me.  Turns out, as I've gotten older, I realize that I must have had a lot more "life experiences" than most people I know.  I was having a few drinks with a friend of mine and his wife, ended up telling them about something that happened to me when I was younger and they told me I needed to post this...so here goes.

BTW - This actually happened.  I'm not naming names or places or anything...but for better or worse it did happen.

     I was still rather young.  In my teens.  I lived about an hour away from a pretty nice beach, where groups of lovely young women flocked to every Spring and Summer.  So it became a frequent destination for myself and my close friends.

     My best friend John and I had just gotten off from work.  We worked at the same place.  I won't get into specifics, but there are some great stories from working there let me tell you...

     We're riding to our place when we decide to check and see what our other friend Tommy was doing.  When we get to his sister's house, he's the only one there. He meets us at the door

"My sister went to the beach with her boyfriend.  I got a guy at work to buy me a bottle of Jim Beam..."

     Did he need to say much more?  Now first off let me explain how we drank liquor when I was young.  We always bought a half-gallon. Volume is cheaper.  Everyone had their own chaser, my choice was a bottle of Mountain Dew.  So you sit or stand around, talking , bullshitting and more importantly passing the bottle, or passing anything else that might just “happen” to be around. (Just saying.).

     You take the bottle, you take a big drink from the bottle, then you chase it with a sip of your chaser.  Notice I said ‘sip’ of chaser and ‘drink’ of liquor. 

     The reason for this combination was that the first person who ran out of chaser had to be the idiot who goes to the store first when someone needed something.  There were also various “punishments” for being the first to drain your chaser. That being said..

Another couple of our friends showed up. Things progressed.

Now I feel I must interject here, before the story continues.  When I was young, my best friends and I loved to just get in the car and RIDE.  Didn’t matter where.  There are times we started heading to the beach, turned around halfway and decided to go to the mountains.  It is what it is. Don’t judge me.

     So now it’s dark and later in the evening.  Somewhere between that first drink of old Mr. Beam and the last drink of mean old Mr. Beam (yeah the half gallon was dry) we decided to ride to the store in my car. 

Again, an interjection.  I in NO WAY condone drinking and driving.  For whatever reason I’ve always had a really high tolerance.  I was always the one that drove everyone home.  When I was in my 20s I got pulled over driving a friend home.  He didn’t share with me that his car’s registration / tags were expired.  We got pulled over.  Since my buddy smelled and looked like a wino, he asked me to get out of the car.  I passed the field sobriety test and he let us go.  I had drank just as much as my friend.  So that being said.

     We made it to the store.  I don’t remember what we bought, nothing exciting, probably munchies and drinks.  So we’re leaving the parking lot and I step on a broken bottle that’s in the parking lot.  Did I mention I was barefooted?  I hate wearing shoes, still do.  My feet are calloused enough they don’t easily get hurt, this just sliced me open.  My luck.  I always tell people I’m God’s entertainment when the cable is out.

     My foot is bleeding pretty badly.  I can tell that I need stitches.  I’ve had enough of them, even then, that I knew when it needed stitched up.  At this point I’m now driving my car, it was a 5 speed, with a wad of paper napkins from the store duct-taped on my foot so it wouldn’t ruin my interior.  My buddies convince me I need to go to the hospital to get stitched up.  We all start bitching out loud about how not fun the hospital will be, especially on a weekend night.  That’s when Tommy pipes up with:

     “Hey, the guy I work with, his Dad is a Vet, I bet he’d stitch you up.”  (That’s Vet as in animal doctor, not a veteran. But I’m pretty sure he was both now that I think about it.)

     Sounded like a plan to me.  It was just a few stitches.

     A few hours later, I was stitched up and ready to roll.  Okay there was more to it than that, but the conversation and interaction with that guy’s Dad, his name was Dr. Walters BTW, was worth a story in and of itself.  Did I mention no local or pain killers?  I think he thought I’d back out at that point. Nope, it was my foot. Calloused remember?  It didn’t hurt that much.  No him cleaning it out?  That hurt.

     So now it’s pretty late.  We’ve since decided we are driving to the beach.  Don’t know how we got from A to M, but it happens, and it wasn’t that far away.  Not to mention gas was like $1 a gallon or something.

     Off to the beach we go.  Of course we decide to take back road, being kids that grew up in the country.  As we’re rolling along, I realize I need pee, badly.  Now the road we’re traveling on is a two lane highway, I think we’d passed maybe three cars since we’d been on it.  I see what looks like an abandoned store or something on the right, and I pull over in the parking lot behind it.

     I cut off the car, get out, and hobble over to the side of the building to relieve myself..  The parking lot was gravel, and I was still barefooted (my foot was bandaged up, give me some credit).  By this time both my friends have decided to do the same.  Now I’m standing right next to the building, and it has these wooden shutters that are bolted on.  Out of boredom I guess, I start messing with one of the screws while “aiming” with the other.  To my surprise, the bolt turns.  Before I know it, the bolt is all the way out and in my hand.

     By now, my friends have come over to see what’s going on.  By now I’ve got the second screw out, curiosity is getting the better of me. (Yes, I had already put my appendage back in my shorts). My friends join in, and soon all the bolts are out and the shutter opens up.  The window is open. 

     Somewhere between “Man, the window is open.” And “It’s really dark in there, I wonder what’s in there.” I had been elected to go inside.  So as I’m trying to fit through the window, I realize something is blocking it, it’s not just ‘that dark’ inside.  Before I can let my “Friends” (yes they get quotes for now) know this, they “help” me along by shoving me through.  Whatever it was blocking the window gives a bit, then finally moves…suddenly.  Next thing I know I hear a crash, and I’m inside of the building, laying on the floor, on top of a broken old TV set.  (What was blocking the window).
     The place was an old store of some sort.  Most everything was covered in dust.  The TV was older than I was at the time.  As I’m looking around, I hear my friends (quotes gone for now, they did follow me in at least) climbing in behind me.
     John lights his lighter so we can look around.  We see a counter with a cash register that is already rusty.  I still remember the jar of pickled eggs sitting on that counter.  They were already nasty the day they were bottled, much less after sitting for years.  We noticed there what appear to be some packs of cigarettes behind the counter.  We later notice an older stand up cooler that has beer in it.

     Another note right here: No we didn’t intend to steal anything when we climbed into that place.  We were young and stupid.  I don’t recommend or condone what we did.  And no we didn’t think about the fact that if the place didn’t have lights that would turn on, it wasn’t likely to have electricity powering the beer in the cooler, thus the beer was not going to be cold. Like I said we were young and stupid.

     So fast forward a few minutes and we are carrying some random packs of cigarettes and six packs of beer out of the place.  Yes I said six packs.  All the beer was in this configuration, no easy to carry cases or twelve packs. 

     Tommy makes the first run to the car to unload or ill-gotten goods.  He comes back for another load, as we hand him things through the window.  As he comes back the third time, he’s obviously worried about getting caught, as in really worried.

     “Come on man…hurry up.  Let’s get out of here, I don’t want to go to jail.  Hurry up.”

     Now I feel I must add something else here (yeah I know, sue me), the friend in question, Tommy, was a big, strong, muscular guy. Never afraid to have your back in a fight, I’d never seen him back down, and he was an absolute terror on the football field.  And he’s appearing to break down right in front of our eyes.

     “COME ON MAN…HURRY UP. I’M NOT GOING TO JAIL.”

     Now this worry with being caught didn’t stop him for making specific requests once we discovered a chip rack and shelf with assorted cookies, pastries and of course chips.  I still remember it..
     “Doritos man..COME ON. HURRY UP.  NO, I said DORITOS.  HURRY UP!!!!”

     So fast forward a bit, we’re now in the car.  Somewhere along the line, my buddy Tommy had decided to start the car, I guess to expedite our “getaway”. (I still hadn’t seen or heard a car at this point.)

     I remember noticing it, but not much past that.  So we hop in the car, and haul ass out of there.

     As soon as I turn onto the deserted highway, we notice headlights coming towards us. 

     “Shit, it’s a cop. We’re going to jail…dammit I told you guys, we’re going to jail.”  Tommy wails from the back seat.  The picture of this big, strong tough guy, wailing like a little kid, STILL makes me smile.  Then it comes, random and out of the blue.

     “If we get out of this without going to jail, I swear I’ll kiss you guys.”

     John and I still wonder about that comment.  Tommy had several very attractive girlfriends by that point, and would later accumulate quite a few more.  So, we’re not questioning his sexuality, but it’s still odd.  More funny than anything, but still odd.

     Now my heart is starting to pick up speed as the headlights continue to approach.  But at least they aren’t behind us.  Thoughts of silent alarms and trying to explain to my Dad, if he’d even take the call, why I was in jail were racing through my head.  (Silent alarms in a place with no electricity?  It’s easy to see the problem with that thought now.  Not so much then.)

     As the moment of truth closes, I hear John mutter from the passenger seat beside me.

     “Motherfucker. All this shit and the damn chips are stale. What a bitch.”

     I look over and he’s got an obvious look of disgust on his face.  The Doritos were stale.  As in WAY out of date stale.  Guess it served us right.

     The headlights pass us, and it’s not the police.  It was a pickup truck.  I slowed the car down a bit and listened to the rattle of my heart in my chest.  Adrenaline is a crazy, wonderful thing. 
    
     I’m just getting to grips with the fact we’re not going to jail, at least right then, when something grabs the side of my face, and I feel a warm presence that smells of whiskey and nacho cheese.

     The promise. This kiss.  Son of a bitch.

     It took my about four or five mile markers before I could stop laughing enough to realize I was driving like an idiot.  About that time is when the next bright idea surfaced.

     Now debate has raged on who spoke up, who suggested the action that led to the next turn of events.  To this day I swear it was Tommy.  John swears it was me.  Tommy swears it was John.  At least we’re consistent huh?

     So for argument’s sake, we’ll leave the speaker unknown.

     “Take this turn coming up, looks like an old road, there isn’t even a street sign.  We can check out what we have, so we can actually see it.” (The moon was full and bright that night, I remember that clearly too.)

     Regardless of source, I follow the suggestion and take the turn.  It’s obviously an old, hardly-ever-used combination dirt and gravel road.  Basically two ruts of dirt and a gravel strip in the middle.  It ends a mile or so in, in a wide turn around.
I swing the car around, right next to a large Oak tree and come to a stop.

     At this point I reach to turn the car off and notice the keys are not there.

     Now I definitely need to clarify.  I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth.  I paid for my car with my own hard-earned money, and I was still young.  So needless to say, it was a well-worn piece of shit.  A good running, well-worn piece of shit, I can fix anything.  But this car had a worn ignition switch.  Once started you could pull the key out while it was running.  Keep that in mind.

     After realizing I couldn’t shut the car off, the accusations started to fly.  I don’t remember who started it, but I’m leaning towards me.  I was pretty pissed off at this point.

     I accused John of removing the keys and losing them.  By this time we had thoroughly searched the interior of the car to no avail.  John responded by questioning my lineage and giving me directions for a rather short trip.

     The “conversation” escalated.  However many minutes later, John and I ended up standing in front of the car, engine running, headlights on, yelling and screaming at each other, getting ready to come to blows.  About this time I hear the distinct “jingle” of keys on a key ring.  The sound makes John and I swivel our heads like Pavlov’s dogs after hearing the dinner bell.

     To our surprise we see Tommy.  Standing in full view (full moon remember) with the keys extended in one hand, with a very awkward look on his face.

     “They were in the trunk.  When I opened it at the store.  Thought I better keep the car running in case we had to haul ass.”

     For a split second I’d say it was about to get ugly.  Tommy was a big guy, but I outweighed him by a few pounds and had a few inches on him.  As for John, that was a whole lot of mean packed into a lean 6’ frame when he got wound up.

     Don’t know how long we stood there like that.  Just staring at each other.  Still don’t know who, but someone chuckled a bit, and we all started laughing our asses off.  Well, Tommy didn’t right away.  He still wasn’t sure if we were coming after him.  But he joined in soon enough.

     Right as we started to catch our breath, the a bright light opened up near us.  We all turned to see a little house, that I never noticed when we pulled up…it was on the other side of the tree.

     Frame underneath a spotlight we could see a figure with the door open and what looked to be a shotgun or rifle propped beside them. 

     “What the hell are you doing on my property?”

     The person probably said other things as well.  That’s all I heard.  Hell, we were in the car and heading down the road (now correctly identified as a driveway) before the finished enunciating the word property.

     That’s it.  I think it’s better told than written, but that’s it as it happened.

     It’s been more than twenty years ago, but I still remember certain things from that night with razor sharp clarity.

     The beer was warm and stale.  But it tasted pretty good after being iced down.  I have a scar, to this day, on my foot.  Reminds me of that night.  We did make it to the beach.  I met a girl from Ohio.  I remember her vividly.  After several of those beers, she told me she had a boyfriend. (I hadn’t asked.)

     Then she added a few minutes later…
     “So I can’t have sex with you.”

     Another beer or so later, she climbed under the covers before making the comment, “But I can do this.”

     Memories.

         



Wednesday, February 8, 2012

How can people be so stupid? Really?

We see it everyday.  Dumb crooks, idiot celebrities....you name it, some idiot has done it.  But every now and again, I experience stupidity that makes me question whether or not we should be guarding the gene pool.  You know maybe a scanner like deal...think conveyor belt type apparatus.  Baby is born, taken to table to be weighed and measured, passed through the "scanner", if it reads him / her as an idiot, bam a little zap and they are sterile.


Am I serious....No..but jesus, it's got to end somewhere...people will have to be reminded to breath pretty soon.


This morning I'm driving into work.  This is a large city. Downtown. I've got a green light, not just turned....it's been green since I spotted it two blocks away.  Here come 3 idiots crossing against the light.  SLOWLY.  As in "Please hit me so I can get paid" slowly.


When I don't stop (I have the light) this one stands on the corner and just GLARES at me.  My window is halfway down...I yell;


"Red light stop. Green light go."


They just continue to breath out of their mouth and give me a clueless stare.


Then I'm leaving work..it's rush hour.  There is a lane closed on the road I use to get to the Interstate.  It's been like that for several weeks...nothing new.  I watch the SAME CARS I see day after day, hauling ass in the left lane, knowing they have to get over, as the left lane is closed up ahead....but yet they still do it. And they don't signal and see if you are going to let them over, as much as they just change lanes....assuming you'll stop.  Today I was just not in the mood. This woman in a Lexus just comes over...I lay on the horn and keep going.  As we come to the stop light, she's stuck in the lane that is close through the intersection.  She is honking her horn, I can see her gesturing and talking out of the corner of my eye.  I just ignore her.  Then right as the light turns green, I anticipate her trying to jump the light, and cut me off so she can enter the Interstate, and she's stuck. Literally STOPPED in front of the construction blockade, waiting for someone to let her over.  Normally I would let her over no problem...but this is the third time in a the last few says I've seen this SAME car with the SAME driver, doing the SAME thing.


The funny part?  The herd mentality.  There were 3-4 cars clogged up behind her trying to do the same thing she was.....there was more coming as I entered the Interstate.


Sometimes it's the little things.


When did people get THIS stupid?  I can only think how long these idiots would live if they had to hunt, fish, scrounge or fight for their survival?  


The scary thing is these people hold our lives in their hands when they are behind the wheel of a 3000LB weapon.


Good luck out there.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

BMI............screw you Twiggy.....

For any of you who have ever worked their ass off in the gym, or wanted to get in shape, or back in shape (as the case may be) you've probably heard the term BMI.


BMI = Body Mass Index


The BMI is a guideline for computing a person's body fat based on height and weight.


Note it's a rough guideline, but STILL in today's technology loving society it's widely used and accepted.


A little history. It's also known as the Quetelet index (No, I didn't know that either. Thank you Wikipedia.) It was developed in the 1800's by a Belgian mathematician. 


Body Mass Index is literally defined as a person's body weight divided by the square of his or her height.


Keep in mind the time when it was developed was in the 1800's....good ole' Wikipedia says between 1830-1850.


So I looked around to see how big the average American Male was during this time...keeping in mind the guy who developed this was European...Belgian to be exact, and they are 'on average' shorter and lighter than their average American counterpart.


Most sources were varied. Actual data is scarce, mainly because not many dating profiles were around in the 1800's (if they were, you could simply subtract 2" for all male heights listed....it's called "internet inches"...I won't go into the other aspects of this sliding scale. Be creative.)


One of the few times people were actually measured for height was when they became soldiers, so let's look at that.


In 1850 the average height of a Civil War era soldier was @ 5'7" with an approximate average weight of 146lbs.


As of 2005 that number had increased to a tick over 5'9" and the weight had jumped to 191lbs.


Now there are a ton of reasons why the numbers jump. I could get could all eggheadian (yes it's a word...I typed it didn't I?) on you..but the simplest answer is simple. FOOD. More FOOD and "better" FOOD.


I'm sure cavemen were, on the average, even smaller and lighter. Reason being? You had to go FIND your food and many times KILL your food. All that running makes the average club toting rock head more likely to look like a marathon runner or cyclist versus a linebacker or a pro wrestler. (save the steroid talk for another day).


So why in God's name are many "respectable" organizations still using this f'n "Index" to define modern people?


I'm 6'3" and 250lbs.  Now granted I KNOW I need to lose some weight. Don't get me wrong..


But this shit is nothing new. Hell when I was in the Army, I had to go take a body fat test after I enlisted!!! Christ I weighed 230lbs and was probably in the best shape of my life. I was an athlete, and was working out damn near every day. 


Now how the Army tested for body fat, at least back then no clue what they do now, was they measured the circumference (The distance around...seriously if you don't know what that word means...well...I've give you credit for getting this far. Must take a long time sounding out each word) of your stomach (at the belly button) when you are relaxed and after a long exhale and then they measure the circumference of your neck. They subtract the neck measurement (in inches duh...) from the measurement from your belly...or lack thereof.


Then they had a chart they looked it up on. If remember correctly by "number" was 15...that is 15% body fat.  Even now the accuracy of this test, and all the other tests available now, is hotly debated.  


But back to the BMI....


I recently joined the YMCA near me. It's a good deal for less than $90 a month for a family membership. Considering it's got a heated indoor pool, a huge weight / workout room, locker rooms, gym , all kinds of programs etc etc etc.


So they have this "personal trainer" thing you fill out to help you with your workouts and your "goals". Of course you input your age, height and weight.


When I put mine in...it immediately cautions me that I need to clear my participation in any workout program with my physician...wait for it...because I'm OBESE.


WTF? OBESE?


Obese is not being able to see your belt buckle when your shirt is tucked in and your breath. Bullshit.


That's my rant.


By the way if you search there are several online calculators that have you take measurements of your waist, your hips, your forearm and wrist and input gender, age and weight and it tells you where you are at body fat wise.  This to me is more accurate...common sense tells you if a guy is 5'9" and weight 220lbs, and his neck is 19" and his forearms are 15" he's probably not exactly a fat boy.


Okay back to your regularly scheduled programming.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Exercise, Super Bowl and Halftime shows...

Monday....................


Started back going to the gym this morning.  Now granted I'm no fat cow..but I definitely need to put some work in.  I'm watching what I'm eating, and besides I want to get back in a physical shape that I feel GOOD about.  The health and other benefits that come along with that are just cake.


You know I'd forgotten how GOOD it feels starting the day after a workout.  Sure, I'll be sore as hell come tomorrow...if not tonight..but damn I missed the endorphin kick!!!!




Okay back to our regularly scheduled programming...


So I watched the Superbowl, like I'm sure a lot of people did yesterday evening.


Now of course when they went the halftime and I realized (I guess everyone else know BUT me) that MADONNA was doing the halftime show I was taken aback.  But seriously...I pay a lot more attention to the commercials during the broadcast than I do the halftime show.  But it was playing...we were all talking and I remember seeing most of it. I did see the part where Madonna almost fell and broke her hip...helluva thing at her age...LMAO.


So imagine my surprise this morning when one of the "News" headlines is an article about "M.I.A" flipping off everyone during the performance.


First off, I admit I may be out of touch with current music trends...I couldn't tell you who the hell M.I.A is...or what her "name" stands for...but I totally must have missed the flip off.


Is this that big of a deal?


Really?  


Aren't there more important things to talk about on Monday morning?


Oh well...I don't know why I'm surprised.



Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Video Games, Politics, and holy shit...what was that..

VIDEO GAMES......that's right


Since I'm steeling myself (sounds like something a character on one of those cheezy late night movies on Cinemax would say doesn't it?) to try my best to contribute to this blog every day, here goes my Saturday through Tuesday wrap up.


My weekends are usually pretty full from February to October.  I coach baseball and that eats up a lot of time.


So when I do get actual time off, I usually have a lot of stuff that needs done around the house etc.


This weekend was no exception, but since it was cold AND rainy, and since my wife was working (She works a rotating schedule for her days off and normally works evenings) I decided to waste some serious time and play the latest Call of Duty offering on my PS3.


Yes...I'm a grown man and I play video games...well game.


IT's a great stress reliever.  Nothing like dealing with difficult situations and people all day, then fighting idiots on the drive home in rush hour traffic, to get home and take your frustrations out by shooting and blowing up people...on a a video game.


I know..I know.  There are those of you out there right now questioning me simply because I admit to playing a video game. For those who play it, or at least those will ADMIT they play it, we've pretty much given up trying to explain it to people who don't play or simply don't get it.


I know there is a faction (who big I'm unsure of, but it's probably much too big for its own good) of people out there that are totally against "violent" video games.


I wonder if the children of these same people who protest "violent", "Shoot 'em up" video games watch television on a regular basis?  Just a thought.


I must be considered a bad parent, because my son plays FPS (That's FIRST PERSON SHOOTER for those who don't know) games.  He's really suffered because of it. Let's see:


- He's a Honor Roll Student
- He's well adjusted and doesn't get violent or act out
- He's an exceptional athlete 
- I get nothing but compliments about my son from other adults


No to clarify, my son is also very familiar with firearms and I've taken him hunting multiple times.  I used several demonstrations on how serious of a responsibility owning and operating a firearm is, and the catastrophic effects it can have when used against a living creature.  He understands the difference between REAL LIFE and VIDEO GAME violence.


Video games should not substitute for responsible parenting, but unfortunately that doesn't seem to be the case.


I'm not going to post links, but if you take the time to look, there have been more than a few studies recently that actually are finding out that people who play fast-paced games (such as most FPS video games) actually tend to become better at decision making and multitasking.  It also improves hand-eye coordination.


So that being said, don't knock it until you've tried it.


I have a fried who's a few years younger than me, and he's never been much of a gamer.  He recently played some cooperative mode COD (Call of Duty) with me on night when we were having a few beers.


He called me a few days later to cuss me out.  He has since bought a PS3 (Craigslist to the rescue) and the latest COD game.


And honestly, if parents want to find out how their kid REALLY acts when they aren't around, they need to buy the same video game console as their kids, find the game they play online, but that, and play a game with them (without them knowing it's their parents online) and listen in.


I think a lot of parents might be shocked.  


I know someone might be reading this right now and already thinking how much of a better parents they are because they don't play video games. Well I witnessed how my son interacts with other people online when I'm not around...and I'm pretty damn proud.  Will you be?


Politics...or lack thereof


Seems steam is picking up in relation to the 2012 Presidential Election.  Definitely my LEAST FAVORITE time of the year at work.  Now I will have to begin the herculean task of listening to otherwise intelligent (for the most part) co-workers begin to regurgitate the things they see / read on the television or the internet.  Sometimes almost WORD FOR WORD.  Not to mention all the blatantly idiotic politically motivated emails which will start being forwarded.  I think people who use email must pass a test before being allowed to use the FORWARD button.  It would save millions in wasted bandwidth, not to mention man (and woman) hours.


There are no CLIFF NOTES for your own political views.  You either KNOW what a candidate has done in the past (Voting record or stance, bill signings etc) or you don't .


Repeating what you heard on the evening television show doesn't make you educated.  It makes you dependent on mainstream media outlets that are as close to non-biased as having a jury of University of Virginia alumni in a trial for a Virginia Tech alumni. (insert your favorite college rivalry if it makes more sense to you that way)


I'll address the State of the Union in a separate post entirely. I want the furor to die down.


You know you're getting older when...


I'm NOT YET forty years old.  I'm not obese.  Granted I'll readily admit I could stand to lose a few pounds, but I can still see my belt buckle without sucking my gut in, and I don't have to crane my neck to see my feet when standing up.


I exercise some, but I know I need to get back in the gym on a regular basis, which will be much easier now that my son is old enough to go with me and is already working out.


I know I drink too much diet mountain dew.


I also get more than my share of nicotine.


THAT BEING SAID.


I've never had high cholesterol or high blood pressure.  I have NO Family history of heart problems.  I don't get out of breath or anything like that.


I also don't get sick.


The other day at work my heart started feeling WEIRD.  Not pain.


The only way I can describe it is that it started acting like it was beating out of rhythm. Not super fast, just off.  It worried me for a bit, then it just stopped.


It happened again later that night.  So I ended up talking to my doctor, he told me Heart Palpitations are pretty common....and mostly are caused by issues that aren't deemed serious.


He told me to come in to see him if it happened again.


I've vowed I'll actually put my health insurance to good use and start getting a yearly check up.  


Yes  I do feel old now.







Friday, January 20, 2012

Maybe the Mayans had it right?!?!?!

I truly don't know if I can survive another season of American Idol....


Wait a second. Can I get sued for posting that name here?  Who knows.. Screw it..no really..screw it. Like my Dad always said;


"You can't get blood from a turnip."


So step right up boys, break out your credentials...write your opinions and go for the throat.  I don't give a shit.


I HATE AMERICAN IDOL.


Don't get me wrong, I've watched it.  When my wife is off (she works evenings with a rotating schedule for her days off) she is the Queen of the Remote, and occasionally I do actually enjoy parts of it..


Parts of it beyond the people auditioning who you know, up front, are going to be horrible.


I think they pay these people. Can there be that many people willing to go on National TV and made a total douche of themselves?


Don't answer that. YES, I forgot all about Jersey Shore.


Why the hell do we even call it "Reality TV"? Come on....


So the end of the show is coming on, you know where they show the "Very last" person auditioning in that particular city.  And the person in question is a tall, leggy blonde.  Okay...I see where this is going.


Then it goes into the story of her life basically.  So you know, RIGHT THERE, that she's going to be good.  Come on...they wouldn't waste all that airtime is she wasn't. They obviously visited her at her house, talked to her and her husband, and not to forget the Ryan Seacrest narration...I bet he gets paid by the word.


And she was pretty good.  Then it shows a close up up Steven Tyler...jesus...what is he like 80 years old?


It's about 10 minutes into this whole thing that I realize...when this started, I was getting up to go throw some clothes in the dryer and feed the dog...and probably something else....and American Idol DISTRACTED ME.


Those sneaky bastards...they did that on purpose.


As this is going down my teenage son walks into the living room...and we then progress into me trying to explain how this was all planned. I mean come on kid...they were AT HER HOUSE. The camera was showing her leaving to drive a state away for this audition.  How do you explain that if she just showed up to audition.


Then my son throws out something that leads me to believe, AGAIN I MIGHT ADD, that he's somehow finding the money to smoke some really good dope.


"I bet the people who audition for Idol have to pay. I bet they charge for it."


I'm speechless...okay maybe not speechless, but I had to rethink the first word that was automatically coming out of my mouth.


For those of you who DON'T have teenage sons...let me explain the comment about illegal drug use...don't want to get sued over that too... (but just in case, see the above "turnip" comment...)


When my son was 12 years old he was a highly intelligent, polite, well-mannered, athletic kid. "Yes Ma'am and yes sir" all the way.


The day he turned 13, it was like he became the  21st century reincarnation of Shaggy from Scooby Doo, and I'm not just talking about the hair.


Hell I spent hours looking for his stash, and still can't find it.


He still gets good grades....with a bit of prodding (no..not an electric cattle prod, but thanks for the idea) and he's still athletic...and since he started GROWING AGAIN, he's eating enough every month that I could make the payment on a new Corvette + insurance for a teenage driver..but I digress.


Now he's at that "man child" stage. He's 15...soon he'll be getting his learner's permit. For DRIVING. IN A CAR. ON THE ROAD.


YEAH...ME TOO.


He's right at 6ft tall....and he's been working out (supervised genius...I cut the 'roid doses in half because of the age thing)...so between trips to walk in front of the mirror in the living room downstairs..SHIRTLESS...he tends to say  some things that make me think everything will be okay.


I won't end up divorced when he's 30 because he's still living at home. I won't end up avoiding conversations about what my son is doing now.


Then, usually immediately after the surge of relief has started diminishing, he opens his mouth again...and all hope is lost.


And arguing with him? Jesus...


DAD...ARE YOU LISTENING...


I'm sorry. TRULY. I am.


Now how about adopting a 15 year old...



"Letters to the Editor"...we shall see

Regarding my post yesterday about Mr.Coates' article in "The Atlantic", I submitted the following letter to the editor via their submission form.

I wonder what the odds of seeing it published are?

"I just finished reading Mr.Coates' article "Real Racists Do Real Things". Is truly considered "quality journalism"?

First off, I am not a supporter of Newt Gingrich.  I'm not overly religious.  My views on most topics would be considered moderate. On some issues I would be labeled a Conservative, on others a Liberal.  I don't view myself as a part of the "Left" or the "Right".  I consider myself firmly entrenched in the area that has seemingly disappeared in the American political system...the MIDDLE.

That being said, as we all know (whether we want to admit it or not is another story entirely) when someone talks against a political view or candidate, that person is immediately grouped in with the "opposite" political viewpoint.  I just wanted to clarify that doing that, in my case, would be ignorant and flat-out wrong.

I respect and value Mr.Coates' right to express his opinions.   The thing that makes this country great, that makes it stand apart from so many others, is the same thing that seems to threaten to tear us down and divide us.  The right for people to express their opinions, and the SUPPORT of other Americans OF that person's right to do this.  You don't have to agree with someone's opinion to support their right to express it.

But labeling what Newt Gingrich said regarding President Obama being a "Food Stamp President" and the standing ovation that followed, as Racist?  That's so far out of left field (a baseball analogy, not a political opinion) that it truly befuddles me that this article saw the light of day.

First off, I agree with Mr.Coates' examination of the article he linked to.  Comparing what Mr.Gingrich said, and what happened after, to this country electing its first black President, is just as ridiculous as Mr.Coates' making these statements out to be "Racist".

Voters should not be focused on whether or not they agree with Mr.Gingrich's statement.  They should not be concerned with whether or not this statement was racially based.  The statement was POLITICALLY BASED.  It's the same finger-pointing that's been going on since we ushered in a "Two Party System".

Why is the crowd giving a standing ovation to Mr.Gingrich such an important action?  Common sense would tell most people (well 'most' might be stretching it unfortunately - and common sense doesn't seem to be so common anymore) that the people present for that speech would be those supporting a Republican candidate for President.

So wouldn't that make sense that those same people would support the statement by Mr.Gingrich?

If those SAME EXACT words had been uttered by Herman Cain, and the same standing ovation followed, would that be considered racist as well?

While many of us continue to talk of "making race a non-issue" we continue to bring it to the forefront of discussion day after day.

I actually know people who are uncomfortable being outspoken against President Obama, even when he was still a candidate, for fear of being considered a "Racist".

It was brought up over and over during the election of President Obama that some voters would vote against him, simply because the color of his skin.

Is that a racially biased decision?  Sure it is.  More IMPORTANTLY it's an ignorant decision.  One born out of being driven to focus not on the substance of a candidate. Not on what a candidate stands for, where they stand on the issues that are important to you as a voter, but simply on the APPEARANCE of a candidate.

Now on the SAME topic, we've seen people talk about the fact that at least some voters , by their own admissions, voted for President Obama BECAUSE of the color of his skin.

By the very definition of the word racism, this is no less of a racially motivated act.

If you want to rally against Mr.Gingrich, be my guest.  But do so by pointing out his faults as a politician.  Do so   by looking at his voting record and pointing out what he has done in the past to make you set against him.

Don't resort to dropping the "Racism Bomb".  It's the ignorant, easy way out of a very important discussion.  By doing this you are doing no one any favors, especially the potential voters in this country.

In a society where many people know more about the contestants / characters of a reality television show than they do about the potential candidates for PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, the goal should be EDUCATING readers, not dropping the phrases that will surely gain attention in today's "Buzz Word" media.

Mr.Coates', readers should expect more from you.  You should expect more than this from yourself.

You are in the unique and important position to influence readers. But more importantly, you are in the position to EDUCATE readers and potential voters."

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The New Year.............time's a wastin'

I'm so glad the holidays are over....that plus work has been killing me. So it's back to start contributing to his blog, with a goal of posting at least something every day.

With that being said, I'll guess that will be my New Year's resolution.  It shouldn't be too hard...I mean we only have what...another 11 months or so before the world ends?  (Psst...I use zip lock bags and containers, NOT tinfoil )


http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/01/real-racists-do-real-things/251625/#bio

"Real Racists Do Real Things."

Apparently what Newt Gingrich said about Obama being a "Food Stamp President" is RACIST.

HUH?

I'm NOT a Newt Fan...jesus, who is? And if they are who would admit to it?

But RACIST?  Why because Obama is black?

If I call Bush a Food Stamp President, does that make me racist too?

I wonder if Herman Cain was still in the race...and he had said the same thing?  Is that racist?

I'm sick of the race card being played over and over.  Before we go deeper let's look at the definition of racism, courtesy of Websters:

1: a belief that a race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race.

2: racial prejudice or discrimination.

So straight from Webster.  Where does what Newt said meet the definition? Now again, I am not a fan of Newt Gingrich. He's a politician.  He's been a politician for a long time.  In all honesty he's no different than any of the rest of them..but's that beside the point, at least for this post...

I have issues with Obama as a President, and those issues have NOTHING AT ALL to do with his race.

And I'll address the elephant in the room, I'll ask the question no one else wants to...

If a person of color makes a disparaging comment about a white President, is that racist?

Take a long look at Washington D.C....take a look at the state of politics in our country.  It's not like we have to dig for faults, we don't have to resort to dropping the race card.

So why all the fuss?  I know people who literally act like they are afraid to say anything bad about Obama because they are afraid people will think they are racist...really?

One of reasons things like this grow is the media.  They stir the pot, and it becomes news...or rather they MAKE it news.

Let's be real here.  In a society where people are more likely to be able to name the contestants or characters on the latest reality show than the current Secretary of State or other members of our government, does this really surprise you?

If you can get someone to focus on one thing, it takes away focus from other things.  It's  the oldest trick ever, just ask any magician.

And now we've got the story of Newt's ex-wife talking about how he asked for an "open marriage"....really? That's what is passing as news now?

How many ex wives across the country have positive things to say about their ex husbands?  Come on.

What's my point?

My point is pretty simple.  If you don't want to vote for Newt, that's fine.  But at least KNOW the reasons you don't want to vote for him...and in case you haven't been paying attention, it shouldn't be because of what his ex-wife has to say.

Make an EDUCATED decision.  Look at his voting record, look at where he stands on the issues that are important to you.

So with the Republican nomination race coming to a head, I'm sure I'll have plenty of things to comment on here.....