A Missed Opportunity

Lost-Opportunity

There is a line in the movie Clear and Present Danger that I have always liked. I’m sure it’s not the only example, but it’s the one I’m using here. It comes when Jack Ryan is in the Oval Office with the President and his advisors, discussing what course of action the President should pursue as it relates to the killing of a family he was friends with. The problem for the President, in this case, is that after the murder, it was discovered that the victim was involved in some illegal money laundering. The advisors all agree that he should play down their friendship. Jack Ryan, of course, disagrees, and then comes the relevant quote. “You can’t disarm a bomb after its already gone off.”

Now, I’m sure you’re asking yourself, “Where the heck is he going with this?” I’ll tell you where I’m going. I’m going straight to steroids in baseball. A, sort of, revisionist look at how the whole thing went down. More importantly, a look at why Jack Ryan could have saved the reputations of so many Hall of Fame players, if they just took his advice.

The reason why Jacks advice worked in the movie, is because he was asking The President to just tell the truth. He had been a lifelong friend to the victim, and denying it would have only raised more eyebrows. By admitting his friendship, he took the attention off himself, and put it back on the larger issue, which was his friends criminal involvements and who killed him.

We all know how the steroids issue was exposed. Jose Conseco was broke and he decided to cash in on Major League Baseballs dirty little secret. Hardly what I would call noble. Nevertheless, the bomb had exploded. Unfortunately, the vast majority of the public didn’t believe him, so the players AND the league thought they could deny it. The problem is, that the vast majority DOES NOT mean everyone.

Some journalists and investigative reporters started digging, and before long, they began substantiating Conseco’s claims. Little by little, the vast majority wasn’t so vast anymore. With each passing week, more and more information started coming out. Meanwhile, the denials from the players started piling up. Just as Jack Ryan had intimated, with denials come more raised eyebrows. Then BALCO came along and completely removed all doubt about steroids in sports.

Certainly, this is not exactly new news, but that’s not my point. Remember, “You can’t disarm a bomb after its already gone off.” That, however, is exactly what Major League Baseball and the players tried to do. Guess what? It failed miserably. Now, a who’s who of Hall of Fame worthy players, may NEVER get in, and they have nobody else but themselves to blame. Not because they used steroids, but because they denied it.

Imagine, for a moment, that when the evidence began building up, and the Commissioner decided to move forward with the Mitchell report, that the players got out in front of it. Before BALCO. Before Congressional hearings. Before testing. Just a group of players, young and old, journeyman and star, standing together, shoulder to shoulder, admitting the problem that they had in baseball, and wanting to fix it. Not pointing blame or asking anyone to feel sorry for them, but just an honest explanation of how they had gotten to this point.

What an idea. Honesty. Something that most people would have understood and accepted. Maybe not at first, but inevitably. Furthermore, in an effort to keep the players involved, from being thought of as the only ones, you get some high profile, and not so high profile players, from the 60’s and 70’s, to stand up and be counted for the “greenies” and cocaine use of their era. All this truth would do wonders for the current batch of players who are going to have trouble getting in the H.O.F. How can you keep someone out, when users are already in? You can’t change the past, but all the current confessions make it hard to deny admission to the present day guys. The traditionalist voters would make a stand for a few years, but in the end, the players that we all know deserve to be in the Hall of Fame would get in. Eventually, the story would be history.

Unfortunately, the players AND the league blew it. Most baseball fans believe that steroids use was rampant from the late 80’s until about ’05. Probably a lot closer to Conseco’s 80% than we thought. However, all parties involved thought that they could disarm a bomb that had already gone off. Thanks to their stupidity, the Hall will be missing many deserving players. Most notably, the best 5 tool player ever, and arguably the best pitcher ever.

The funny part about it, is that they could probably still do it now, and salvage their legacies………………..but they won’t. It’s truly sad.

It’s Really Not A Lot

vocal minority

My Dad always used to say to me, “Figures lie, and liars figure.” I never really understood at the time what it meant. As I got older, it became quite clear. People will use numbers in the way that most benefits them. I have often cited cigarette smoking statistics as a perfect example. Now, I am in no way endorsing smoking, as I have quit myself. I am also fully aware that cigarettes can kill you. My issue has always been with how likely it is to kill you.

Assuming 25 years is considered a generation, take this example. In 1962, there were approximately 70 million smokers in the United States. In ’87, it was 80 million, and today, it is down to 60 million. Presuming that half of the smokers in ’87, smoked in ’62, and presuming the same for todays smokers, that means there have been about 140 million smokers in the U.S. in the last 50 years. This number is likely higher, but a higher number would only make my point more valid. I wanted it to be hard on me.

So here it is: About a half million people die every year from cigarette related deaths. Over 50 years, that’s 25 million people. Some of the 25 million aren’t even smokers, because second hand smoke is bad, too. Even if 24.5 million of the deaths are actual smokers, that equates to about 16%. This means that 84% of smokers will never die from cigarette related death. Yet, the people against smoking will merely cite the fact that 500,000 people a year die from cigarettes, because they know that’s a big number and it gets attention. It’s a manipulation of the numbers. I still think it is bad for you, I just don’t agree that it’s as bad as they want you to believe it is. Hell, 300,000 people per year die of issues related to obesity. You can die from eating too much food. It’s all about moderation………..and genetics.

Now, that’s not what I really wanted to talk about, but I just wanted to give an example of getting figures to say what you want them to say. I really wanted this blog to be about how large numbers can make people believe things that are not true. Case in point, the One Million Moms boycott of J.C. Penney choosing to use Ellen DeGeneres as their new spokeswoman. They actually believe that having one million members gives them some real influence. NEWSFLASH: There are 360 million other people in this country. You make up less than .3% of the population, you dumbasses. Unfortunately, in this instance, they are blinded by the fact that they think one million people is a big deal, because it’s a big number.

This way of thinking is also what is driving the gay marriage controversy. I would concede that there are more than one million people in this country against it, which is what is causing the delay in legalization. However, there are FAR more people in this country that are in favor of gay marriage, and all other gay rights, for that matter. Yet, whenever a large group of people think one way, they also think that makes them the majority. It’s ludicrous. Having a large group of morons that think like you, does NOT mean that the rest of us do. I guess in this instance, figures confuse, and the confused figure.

These examples only highlight the naivete of people. I “believe” that taxing the rich more, is a good idea. However, I “know” that the amount of money it would generate is hardly big enough in comparison to the actual debt. Therefore, it’s hardly the solution. See, isn’t that easy to figure out? I think so.

Now, grab a butt, head to J.C. Penney, support gay marriage, and enjoy your life. 😉

If I Were Coach Bill On Superbowl Sunday

FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 22: Robert Kraft, team owner of the New England Patriots celebrates with the Lamar Hunt Trophy after his team defeated the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Championship Game at Gillette Stadium on January 22, 2012 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. The New England Patriots defeated the Baltimore Ravens 20-23. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Gentlemen.

I don’t think I have to tell you how proud I am of this team, and of every one of you as individuals. You have stepped on the field, week in and week out, and steadily improved in all aspects of the game. This is to be commended, considering the valuable members of our team that have been unable to play in a number of games this year. That being said, we never made excuses about those injuries, and the players who have stepped in have done progressively better as the season moved forward. Those improvements have led us to 10 consecutive victories, a trip to our 5th Superbowl in 11 seasons, and an opportunity to put all that we have learned this year to the ultimate test, in the single most important game you will ever play.

Now, in the other locker room is a team that has had their own set of adversities this year. With 2 games to go, the playoffs began for the Giants. They have played 5 consecutive win or go home games. 3 of them on the road. We have played 2. Both at home. They have been handling pressure since Christmas. Their defensive front is relentless, and their quarterback is playing as well as he has ever played. The debate about Eli Manning being an elite QB is over. HE IS ELITE! Get that in your head right now. If you walk out on that field thinking otherwise, than we’re going to be in big trouble. Additionally, they have an outstanding head coach. Tom Coughlin has one of the greatest football minds this league has ever seen. He took the Jaguars to 2 AFC Championship games, and he has the Giants in their 2nd Superbowl in 4 years. Make no mistake about it, this is a great team we’re playing, and they came here to win.

But we’re not going to let that happen. We are going to go out on that field for 4 quarters and DO OUR JOB. Plain and simple. Not because we want revenge for our week 8 loss. Not because we lost the Superbowl to them, 4 years ago. We are going to go out on that field, play Patriots football, and win this game for one reason, and one reason only. MYRA KRAFT AND THE KRAFT FAMILY!!!!!!! I don’t care about personal accomplishments. How many rings I have. How many rings Tom has. The legacy of this team. Our place in history. Dynasties. I don’t give a damn about any of that. My only concern is this game. This Championship. This trophy. In my entire career I have never wanted to win a game more than I do this one, and that’s because of the Kraft family. The loss of Myra Kraft was a huge blow to the Patriots family and I’ll be damned if we’ve come this far to let it slip away. I would give up every single accomplishment I have EVER had to be able to deliver this Championship to Bob Kraft and the Kraft family, and I know you all feel the same way. She touched us all differently but in the end, she meant something to all of us. I can’t think of a better way to honor her memory than to walk out of the tunnel tonight, play every play like it’s your last, leave it all out on the field, and BRING THAT TROPHY BACK TO NEW ENGLAND, WHERE IT BELONGS!!!!!!!!

Ya Gotta Love ‘Em

i_love_you

I put it out to my Facebook friends to give me a topic to write about, as I had not done a blog in over a week, and I was itching to write about something. After a few suggestions, some good and some bad (shoes? Really, Julie?), the idea of writing about my kids was the choice I went with. First, because more than one person thought it was a good idea, and secondly, because I really do have some things to say on the subject. I hope that I do a worthy job of conveying my thoughts on my children and my parenting, over the years.

Where do I start?

How does one truly encapsulate the raw emotion that is created within a person when they have a child? To put to words all the things that only a parent can understand. It’s a daunting task, to say the least. Especially, considering the fact that the people without kids, will read it and either “think” they understand, which they don’t, or become saddened by the fact that they have yet to experience it, which they shouldn’t. Ultimately, this will just be a small glimpse into what my life, as a parent, has been like.

Raising children is the most difficult experience that a human being can have, while simultaneously being the most completely joyous. Not a day goes by in which I don’t want to beat the crap outta my kids at some point, yet the love I have for them is deeper and stronger than anything in the universe. That feeling. That connection. That utter contentment, that comes from the innocence of your child, is virtually beyond description. But to those of us with children, it is a feeling that we experience every hour, of every day. And it is wonderful.

For me, personally, the journey began on April 26th, 1994. I remember looking at my son right after he popped out and thought, “Is he supposed to look like a conehead?” Of course, I was only 23 at the time and I had as much knowledge about babies as I did about quantum physics. Although, in retrospect, nearly 18 years have passed since that day and I have to believe I could have learned more about quantum physics during these years than I have about parenting. Who knows. What I do know is that I was undoubtedly immature for what was required, and equally unprepared for the effect that a child would have on me, emotionally.

Unfortunately, my son’s mother and I were not together. This presented me with situations that I wouldn’t wish on anyone. Most notably, having to go days at a time without seeing him. At first, it didn’t matter very much. He couldn’t walk or talk, and was generally pretty boring. But then comes the first smile, the first laugh, the first Daddy, and of course, biggest of all, the first I Love You. Then it ALL changes. I think it’s because no matter how much that little person means to you, that meaning increases 10 fold on the day you know that you mean something to them, too. On that day, reality sets in and you know from that point forward, that you are living your life to make their life as great as you possibly can.

Of course, there is no guarantee of success. In the case of my first son, I made a lot of mistakes, as did his mother. We worked together, as best we could, to do things right, but have forgiven ourselves for the things we did wrong. At least I have. Our son has had his share of bad behavior over the years, but deep down he is genuinely one of the most caring and loving people I know. He is also very smart. Much smarter than he thinks he is. However, as is the case with some teenagers, he rarely applies himself. He’s also very lazy. More so than most teenagers. That is one of the hardest things to take as a parent. Mostly because you think like an adult and can’t grasp the idea of loafing it. You doubt yourself as a parent and constantly attempt to go back in your mind, trying to pinpoint where you began messing things up. That never works though. Ultimately, you have to stop dwelling on the past and think about the future. Sometimes it takes action to get your kids to straighten up and fly right. Sometimes tough love is necessary. Good parents know this, and do what they have to do. It hurts, and you hate it, but ignoring it and doing nothing could have much worse longterm consequences.

One of the biggest quandaries you will ever face as a parent, of a teenager, is trying to convince your child that you “understand.” NEWSFLASH: They Won’t Believe You. In their world, nothing is, as it was, when we were kids. They are the gatekeepers of the present, and we are just lucky that they let us get away with listening to LMFAO. They think we can’t possibly understand how it is for them today. You can tell them until you’re blue in the face about how you had “take the keys” parties in the 80’s, but they think you’re full of it. “You just don’t want me to have any fun” & “Tim and Mike’s parents are letting them go” will be the complaints du jour. Of course, when you tell them that you said the exact same thing to your parents 25 years ago, it will only compound the distain that they have for you, at that moment. You are now mocking them………..and enjoying every minute of it, I might add. Yes. Yes, I am.

Sometimes, after a long break in the action, you decide to give it another go and have more children. In a lot of ways, I think this is a good thing. You’ve had plenty of time to grow up and mature. More importantly, you have unlearned many of the bad habits that you had the first time around, and can attempt to do a better job this time. At least that’s what I keep telling myself. Chances are, I will just make all new mistakes this time. Oh well.

In the past 5 years I have had two more children. A boy and a girl. This time the family structure is intact. No part time parenting. An everyday commitment that requires many skills. Cooking and cleaning. Teaching, punishing, negotiating and rewarding. Best of all, kissing, hugging, loving and laughing. Although I know I’m not covering them all, as parents we appreciate all aspects of our job. In many ways, my youngest kids help to remind me of the all great moments I had with my oldest one. I am so thankful for that. It feels great to remember.

It also feels great to remember my own childhood. At 23, I don’t think I cared to remember, but at 41 it’s fantastic. Trying to think back to 1975, shortly before I turned 5, and extracting snippits of memories. Then looking at my boy, who is almost 5 and thinking, ” Man, that’s how big I was when “that” happened.” It’s crazy. Children are a window into our own past, in more ways than we realize. Not a single day goes by, where my two little ones don’t put a smile on my face. The strange thing about it though, is that it’s never for the same reason two days in a row. One day it’s an accomplishment, the next it’s a thank you at just the right time, or one day it’s because you quietly come around the corner in time to see your son fixing the covers on his sleeping sister, so she doesn’t get cold. Those moments, make anything bad about your day, disappear. They may cause you a great deal of stress sometimes, but when the stress comes from something other than them, they know how to make it all go away, with the simplest of actions or the most comforting of words. “Daddy, I love you” is the greatest stress reliever ever.

That is, of course, until they realize that those words might actually get them out of trouble. Then, the reality of parenting slaps you right in the face. Bastards. 😉

The NFL Playoffs, As I See Them

nfl-playoffs

Well, the divisional round of the playoffs is over. The AFC played out pretty much as expected. Tom Brady and the Pats brought Tebow mania to a screaching halt, and the Ravens beat the shorthanded Texans in Baltimore. This sets up a long awaited playoff rematch in Foxboro, where the Pats would like to get some payback for the ugly loss they suffered at the hands of Ray Lewis and Co. in 2009.

In the NFC, the weekend was a lot different. The two high powered offenses of the Saints and Packers were not enough to keep them moving on in the playoffs. In the end, their defenses were just unable to keep the other teams from scoring. Couple that with the fact that both of their opponents had a solid D, and it spelled the end for both of them. Now we have a rematch from week 10, in which the 49ers bested the Giants 27-20.

Now, being that the NFC Championship game is a little surprising, let me take the time to break down why it really isn’t.

First of all, the Saints were 5-3 on the road this year. Hardly what I would call dominant. They played against 3 top 15 defenses and went 2-1. The loss being on the road to the 2nd worst team in the NFL, the Rams. Although they had the #1 pass offense in the league this year, it was definitely complimented by the #6 rush offense. Unfortunately, the 49ers had the #1 rush defense. This forced Brees to throw more, which was reflected by his 63 attempts. They became 1 dimensional and stagnant. Which should not be surprising considering that San Fran has played, and beaten, 3 of the top 10 offenses in the league this year. Conversely, the Niners run game was killing the Saints D, averaging 6.5 yards per carry. Even if you take away the perfectly executed bootleg by Alex Smith, for 28 yards and a touchdown, the average would still be 5.5. That’s awesome. This ultimately opened up the pass game. New Orleans had absolutely no answer for Vernon Davis. I know the last 5 minutes turned out to be very exciting, but the fact that the Saints lost should not be surprising, considering that their only real quality victory this season was a road win against Houston. This makes 2 years in a row that the Saints have proven they can’t win on the road in the playoffs. Better luck next year.

As for the Packers, they haven’t played a quality D all year. Aaron Rodgers has spent the whole season carving up inferior defenses. The only top 15 D they played against all season, was #11 K.C., and they LOST. In addition, the 3 teams they played this year that had good offenses, SD, NO, & NY, all put 30 plus on them. If not for Tom Coughlin and his ludicrous reasoning for calling pass plays instead of running plays, at the end of their week 13 matchup, the G-men might have beat them then, too. Green Bay looked flat from the beginning and New York looked hungry. If not for the worst non fumble call, in the history of the NFL, the margin of victory would have been larger. The roughing the passer penalty was a joke, too. Both bad calls kept drives alive that ended in Green Bay touchdowns. Ultimately, the Giants, as a team, showed they have improved greatly since their earlier meeting, while the Packers had not. End of story. Go get your discount double check.

Not to be unfair to Houston and Denver, but their games were not considered to be upsets, and therefore I don’t need to present a long explanation as to why they lost. It’s simple. Houston was without their quarterback and their best defensive player, and the Broncos have a fullback for a QB. No more Tebowing this year. Thank god. Ha ha. Look, I made a funny. 😉

Looking toward this weekend, I think we will see one good game, and one great game. The great game being the S.F./N.Y. matchup. I believe it will be a low scoring affair, and will likely come down to the last possession. I know the 49ers are favored at home, but I think that the Giants are really hitting their stride at the right time. They have literally been playing playoff football for 4 straight weeks, while the Niners coasted to the 2 seed and had a bye. True, they still looked very good, but I like a team that has been playing well under pressure. The Giants have done that. Giants 17 Niners 14

So that leaves the Pats and Ravens. I know the Pats lost to the only two teams they played with a winning record. I know the D gives up a lot of yards, and I know that the Ravens have a very good defense. However, I also know this. The Patriots played 9 of the top 15 defenses this year, and went 8-1, and scored 30+ points in 6 of those games. The only loss was to the #1 D in the league, Pittsburgh. Ironically, Baltimore was the only team to play more top 15 defenses than N.E. They went 8-3. Nothing wrong with that. Hell, there are teams in this league that couldn’t go 8-3 against the worst defenses in the league. Baltimore is good, no doubt. However, the Ravens have only played one top 10 offense this year, San Diego, and they got killed. What’s more, is that the game was important at the time. I know that every game is important in a 16 game season, but the second half of the year is crunch time. The Pats haven’t lost since week 8. Sure, they let Indy back in a game when they were killing them. You can do that in the regular season when you’re up by 4 touchdowns. Yeah, they let Miami and Buffalo look good for 15 minutes, too. Then they buckled down on D, dropped the hammer, and scored at will. Great teams make mistakes and fix them, and that’s what the Pats do better than any team in the league. The Ravens are a great team. No doubt about it. But much like the Giants, Brady and Co. are hitting on all cylinders, and they are finally healthy. McCourty is definitely glad Chung is back. Flacco is suspect at best, and Ed Reed is not 100%. Not only do I see the Pats winning this game, but I really don’t think it will be very close. Belichick will go no huddle with 3 wide, and a 2 TE set, and the Ravens will be down 14-0 before they know what hit them. Rice then becomes irrelevant, and it will all be on Flacco. Not a good formula for Baltimore. Pats 35 Ravens 14.

Then it’s on like Donkey Kong. Payback’s a bitch Eli. No David Tyree. No Plaxico Burress. No missed picks on the sideline. No escaping the 4th down sack while the refs watch the Pats D get held by 3 guys and don’t throw a flag. Oh yeah. We remember. You’re gonna go down hard. The Pats will be at full throttle ALL game. Be afraid. Be very, very afraid!

Pats 45 Giants 21. Brady MVP. GREATEST QB EVER!!!!!!

We Are So Naive

adulthood

How do you know when you’re really an adult?

It seems like a pretty simple question. What’s more, is that it seems like it should have a pretty simple answer. But it doesn’t, does it? Especially when you consider how many times in your life you actually think you ARE an adult. How many times can you be wrong? You be the judge.

Let’s start around 18. You’re out of high school. You’re now independent. Unless you went to college, in which case, your adulthood has been put on hold until you graduate or drop out. Let’s face it, college students are NOT adults. If you pass on college and get a job, then I guess you ARE independent. Sounds like an adult to me. At least it did then. Looking back now, you realize you were just a child. Big deal you had a job. If it was full time, it was the first time. If you were still living at home, you weren’t independent. What bills did you have? Room and board? That’s rich. What I wouldn’t give to throw someone $100 a week for everything under the sun. To have a nice house to live in, a phone in your room, and cable tv. To get up everyday knowing that there is food in the fridge because my money paid for someone to shop for me. Sounds awesome, to say the least. Of course, you know now that that’s not real life. You may have been an adult in the eyes of the government, but you most definitely, were not an adult.

Then comes 21. Oh, to be 21 again. You’ve taken that big leap since 18, which is to say, now you can drink legally. Wow, what a leap. Chances are at this point that you look down on 18 year olds as dumb kids who know nothing about real life. That’s because you have hopefully moved out on your own and started having some real world responsibilities. You know, like who’s coming over to party that weekend and how much weed am I gonna need. You pay your bills, when you can, because the worst case scenario is that you move back in with your parents. It must be nice to have such an easy backup plan. I’m sure they’ll be thrilled. You’re content to live off ramen noodles, doritos, oreos and coke and oh yeah, if it can’t be cooked in the microwave, except the ramen, it’s not for you. You have now failed to be an adult again.

Then you get to your mid 20’s. Now you’re finally there. You’ve been on your own for some time now. The club scene is still cool, but you’re past the party days. Your apartment is a little nicer, as is the food in the pantry. You’ve managed to be employed at the same place for a few years, and you have your first out of the house expense. A car payment. In addition, you think you’ve found “the one.” You haven’t! You’ve had your cable shut off. You’ve been late with the rent and you’ve had a baby scare. Oh, don’t forget about the baby scares. Now you have accumulated some real world experiences. However, you’re likely not married, and don’t own a house, and you’re still voting for guys who play saxophone on The Arsenio Hall Show. Whoop whoop whoop.

Aaaaah, 30. Certainly you must be an adult by now. There’s a good chance that you are married or have been. Oh yes, many of you are divorced by 30. Mainly because you were too naive to realize you weren’t an adult yet. Haven’t you been reading this blog? 😉 You may have kids, and own a house by now. Well, have a mortgage. You don’t own anything if you’re still paying for it. Of course you know that already because you’re an adult, right. If you’re still single, without any signs of a companion on the horizon, you are probably ahead of the married people in a lot of ways, but you’re miles behind in relationship experience. That’s a huge deduction for being an adult. I know thinking you don’t need anyone makes you feel like an independent adult, but it just means you have commitment issues. Issues = non-adult. Just my opinion.

Then comes 40. By now, you are, or have been married, so you know what it takes to make a relationship work, or not work. You have kids, and your heart has ached for them everytime something bad has happened to them. You have a job, but you’ve probably lost one in your life when you couldn’t afford to. You actually know a little something about the politicians you are voting for, but you are genuinely frustrated at the job they do. You’ve watched your favorite team FINALLY win it all, and then your second favorite team, then your third and your fourth. However, you remember not winning, but who cares about that? 😉 Someone close to you has died, but you are able to remember a special moment with them easily. You have had every bill known to man, and likely have been unable to pay each one of them at some point in your life. You have had almost all the experiences that one person needs to have to qualify as an adult. So, you’ve finally made it to adulthood.

Until you realize that you’re drinking out of the milk carton, hoping nobody catches you.

Gone, But Not Forgotten 2011

InMemoriam

It’s New Years Eve, and as I think back on 2011, I want to take the time to remember the good people…….and the bad. They all had an impact on my year.

A bunch of dead bad guys in 2011. Comments for you will be brief and uncaring.

We got ya Osama, so suck it. Way to go Seal Team Six. Religious or not, the rest of the world knows that you are NOT chillin’ with 72 virgins. Too bad for you, jackweed.

You too, Khadaffi, Gadhafi or whateva your name is. In your case, you got it like you gave it, by the same people you gave it to. I hope it hurt REAL bad. Karma is a beeeotch!

Kim Jong Il, is Kim Jong dead. Good ridence. On to the next crazy family member.

Unfortunately, we lost a lot of good ones, too. I can’t name them all, just the ones that had my attention or meant something to me personally.

First and foremost, Steve Jobs. What can I say that hasn’t already been said. Best quote I heard, was from President Obama. “The world has lost a visionary. And there may be no greater tribute to Steve’s success than the fact that much of the world learned of his passing on a device he invented.” Perfect

Liz Taylor was an icon in the movie industry. ICON. 50+ years of being relevant is a big deal, and so was she. There will never be another.
NEVER.

Harmon Killebrew will always have a place in my heart. Aside from the fact that he was a Hall of Fame baseball player, I had a ball with his autograph on it, that was given to me by someone who meant a lot to me. That person has since disappeared from my life, and I ruined the ball long ago, before I ever really knew who Harmon was. I think about the ball and the person who gave it to me often.

Heavy D was responsible for the soundtrack of my 20’s. I loved a lot of different hip hop, but his music was most representative of “me”. His music was fun and upbeat. Never condescending or disrespectful. It always put a smile on my face, and still does. I think that the passing of “the overweight lover” was probably the first, of the celebrity nature, that made me truly emotional and sad. Have A Peaceful Journey.

Randy “Macho Man” Savage was definitely one of my favorite wrestlers. He was bad, then good, then bad again, and probably good again. Considering the way wrestlers have died over the last two decades, the craziest one of all dies in a car wreck. Go figure. I will never hear Pomp and Circumstance again, and not think of Randy. Oooooh Yeeeeaah!!

Amy Winehouse burst on the scene with a song about rehab. Who knew that it would truly be the theme song to her life. When most musicians become famous before becoming train wrecks, she was already there from day one. Interestingly, that is a testament to how good she was. It’s too bad she left us so early. I can’t imagine what she would have accomplished if she got straight and lived another 50 years. So sad.

Christopher Hitchens. As an atheist, I find very few relevant people who publicly admit that they don’t believe in god. This man screamed it from the rooftops. I was literally sitting in my car, reading his book, “God is not Great”, when I heard of his passing. He was brash and in your face with almost every topic he talked about. He was also very, very smart, well educated, and well versed in many important subjects. I didn’t agree with everything he said, but he always made me think. Thank you, sir. Thank you very much.

Lastly, Karlis Skrastins. I never knew who this man was before September 7th, 2011. Although the news of the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl plane crash was all over the news that day, his name would likely have never crossed my path if not for the fact that he and his family lived in Dallas. My job as a chauffeur had me bringing his family to the airport after they got the news. It was heartbreaking. I hope that his family is doing well. He was supremely loved by those who knew him. Peace.

I know that 2012 will bring the passing of more people. I was lucky to not lose anyone I actually know this year. Hopefully, 2012 will be the same. Love and Peace to all. Happy New Year.

Ode To Christopher Hitchens

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“The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one.” ~ George Bernard Shaw

“Religion easily has the best bullshit story of all time. Think about it. Religion has convinced people that there’s an invisible man…living in the sky. Who watches everything you do every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a list of ten specific things he doesn’t want you to do. And if you do any of these things, he will send you to a special place, of burning and fire and smoke and torture and anguish to live forever, and suffer, and burn, and scream, until the end of time. But he loves you. He loves you. He loves you and he needs money.” ~George Carlin

“If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed.” ~ Albert Einstein

“The most henious and the must cruel crimes of which history has record have been committed under the cover of religion or equally noble motives.” ~ Mohandas Gandhi

“It ain’t those parts of the Bible that I can’t understand that bother me, it is the parts that I do understand.” ~ Mark Twain

“Shake off all fears of servile prejudices, under which weak minds are servilely crouched. Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call on her tribunal for every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God, because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blindfolded fear.” ~ Thomas Jefferson

“What can be asserted without proof can be dismissed without proof.” ~ Christopher Hitchens

“With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.” ~ Steven Weinberg

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” ~ Edward Gibbon

“Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day; teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime; give a man religion and he will die praying for a fish.” ~ Unknown

“There’s a phrase we live by in America: “In God We Trust”. It’s right there where Jesus would want it: on our money.” ~ Bill Maher

WHY?????

Why do people care about the Kardashians?

Why can’t a great offense beat a great defense? (Rhetorical)

Why am I willing to die or kill for my family?

Why are NBA players too stupid to realize they’re ruining the league?

Why do politicians do things they KNOW are not good for the country?

Why can’t gay couples get married?

Why is marijuana illegal?

Why is sex the only thing not allowed outside the marriage?

Why can’t I win the lottery?

Why can’t someone close to me win the lottery?

Why can’t someone close enough to loan me 20k win the lottery? 😉

Why can’t I just win 20k? LOL

Why did I ever leave Boston?

Why do people still believe in God?

Why did the Red Sox fire Tito?

Why are Max and Ruby always home alone?

Why does hip hop suck now?

Why did they make the last Indiana Jones movie? Aliens? Really?

Why did Bob Burr never make the pros?

Why DID Doug Flutie make the pros?

Why are my Dad and I so philosophically opposed?

Why was Mr. Armour so cool?

Why was Brian Cookson such a dick to me in high school?

Why, when I became twice his size, was he no longer a dick? Hmmmm

Why did Julie Harlow have to die?

Why does a child’s laugh warm the heart so much?

Why are people STILL racist?

Why can’t an average Joe become President?

Why do less than 5% of my friends share or retweet my blog? What up wit dat?

Why does Goofy talk, but Pluto doesn’t?

Why is the dog the only animal that doesn’t talk on Word World?

Why doesn’t Dora just kill Swiper? Problem solved!

Wally. Wally. It’s not watchu think.

Why do we hate LeBron? Nevermind, I know that one. 😉

Why are Texas drivers soooooooo bad?

Why do Americans only care about themselves?

Why does anyone think that Puffy can act?

Why can’t someone knock Kanye West out? PLEASE!!!!!

Why did the sequel to The Italian Job never get made?

Why can’t we stop using gas?

Why have we not figured out cold fusion yet?

Why do I believe that I will never die?

Why did the Patriots end up with the greatest QB of all time?

Why do I love maple sugar candy so much?

Why is Casey Anthony free?

Why does a doctor take the fall for Michael Jackson being crazy?

Why does Lindsey Lohan get so many chances?

Why do I absolutely hate beets?

Why do I absolutely love beats?

Why is Coke #1 in the world, but #2 in America?

Why didn’t I buy Google stock in 1998?

Why didn’t I take high school more seriously?

Why did I enjoy this blog so much?