Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Holiday hogwash...

Here we sit, just a few days away from the fat man delivering us presents. Christmas snuck up pretty quick this year, I'm not going to lie. Fortunately, Marcole was prepared, and we won't be racing around Thursday and Friday finishing up everything. Now, perhaps I just dropped my cards in the mail about 10 minutes ago, but hey, we did them! It's always been a little difficult for me to fully get into the spirit when there is no snow on the ground, it just doesn't seem like it is possible to be late December already. Don't get me wrong, I'm not asking for snow, I just find it harder to be mentally prepared for Christmas. However, since we are so close, I've found myself spending some time recently trying to figure out how in the hell we all believed the crazy story of Santa Claus. Let's break it all down...

A fat man in a red suit lives in the North Pole, has tiny elves that make all the toys for the kids, and when Christmas comes, he puts everything in his sleigh and flies all over the world to climb down each families chimney and deliver presents with the help of reindeer. I don't think there is a single part of that story that makes sense. Why, even though we were just kids, did we not ask more questions?!

There are, what, 6 or 7 billion children worldwide? How many elves work up in the North Pole? And why are they short? Do short people work harder or faster, or is it that Santa wants to ensure that he is the biggest guy, so people don't forget he is in charge? And where do all these pointy eared shorties get all their toy making smarts? I mean, as a kid I remember getting a television one year. Nowadays kids are getting cell phones, iPods, Wii's and many other advanced electronics. Where did the elves learn to make all those crazy things?

Lets say that there are 6 or 7 billion children in the world. How in the hell would all those presents fit in one stinking sleigh, and how in the world would it fly?! I was a gullible little bastard! Speaking of the sleigh, how did the concept of reindeer flying come about? Really?! Flying reindeer? Why not birds, or even unicorns?! At least they fly. Reindeer, not so much. And Rudolph with a glowing nose, was he sniffing around a nuclear waste spot? How did he get a red, glowing nose? And how fast did they go in order to make it all over the world in one night? I guess my limited knowledge of time zones was how I justified it in my head?!

When delivering presents, Santa, who is fat, slides down the chimney to enter the house. First of all, a fat man is not fitting down a chimney. A skinny man isn't fitting down most chimneys. And what about people that live in apartment buildings that don't have a fire place with a chimney for Santa to climb down? You leave the door unlocked in the projects and you won't have presents delivered, you'll have all your shit removed!

Milk and cookies. Were did that start? Why not chips and dip and a beer? If I were Santa, I would want people to leave me grilled cheese sandwiches and PBR. I might be drunk by the end of the night, but it would make for an interesting night! And how the heck could one person possibly eat something from every home he visits? I guess that explains why he is fat. He must also be diabetic too!

It's funny, looking back, I wonder why I didn't question things a little more. I think it was because I was duped for so long, I just wanted to believe it was all real. That was always one of the joys of Christmas, believing that Santa was coming to deliver presents to my sister and I. I'm hoping my daughter never stops believing, it is what makes Christmas so much fun to me. Which reminds me, time to drop her letter to Santa, that she just gave me this morning, in the mail! I'm just saying...

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Holy crap, snow!

Alright, wow. I mean, seriously, wow. One hour and ten minutes to drive from the parking garage at the Portland Harbor Hotel to Howie's Pub on Veranda Street, just off Washington Ave. I'm pretty sure I could have walked it quicker, but no, I was driving. Now, I have lived in Maine all of my "driving years", and no matter how much or how little it is snowing, the concept is still the same. Slow it down a bit, give a little extra room between yourself and the car in front of you, and don't drive like a jackass. Well, tomorrow may just go down in history as the largest shit show on snow that there ever was.

It started to snow late in the afternoon yesterday, and despite the weather people actually predicting it, a large number of people were completely unprepared and collectively shit in their pants. I left the office at 5:40 to pick up my beautiful wife in Monument Square and then head over to Howie's Pub for 2-1 pizza and cheap ass Rolling Rocks. I had no idea what I was getting myself into until I rounded the corner on the back side of $3 Dewey's and saw traffic at a stand still in every direction. Something must have happened, there was maybe 3 inches of snow, it's not like that many Mainers can't drive in a little snow. Shit, in The County, that is a dusting, and might even happen in July. This is nothing.

Well, apparently in the time that passed since our last snowfall, last spring, everyone completely forgot how to drive in the fluffy white stuff. It took me nearly 5 minutes to pull out of the parking garage, and of course I'm directly behind the dumb ass in a tiny car with 4 bald tires. Quick note to those of you who don't have a vehicle that is good in the snow, don't slam on the gas, that doesn't help you. This foolish broad was just dropping the hammer on the gas pedal and all she was doing was making the roads more slick, and further hampering her attempt to move forward. Finally, after about another 10 minutes, we make it up past the light on Fore Street, and I'm all the way up next to Walters. Sitting. Waiting. Swearing. Unfortunately I'm still stuck behind the brainiac with bald tires, and we have a steeper incline, awesome!

At this point, people are all over the road, so there is really no way for me, in my SUV, to sneak past them while they search their memory bank for a way to get their car moving. Before I go any further, I'm going to make a quick plug for my buddy Nick and his business Tire 2 You. Check him out, he is great! Anyway, I finally have enough room to sneak past this stupid car and people push her up the hill and she stays in front of me, damnit! Now I'm up by the Nickelodeon Theater, and it's been probably 25 minutes.

Anyways, I could continue to tell you about the entire drive, but I think you get the picture at this point. Several things I learned and feel the need to share with the fine drivers or Greater Portland and beyond. If you don't have snow tires and need them, get them (Call NICK!). If you have snow tires and you are still having a difficult time, get a new car. If the light is red, don't try to make it through and get stuck in the middle of the intersection, that makes a freaking mess and screws everyone over. Oh, and remember, we live in Maine, you've been through this before. There is absolutely no reason for 3 inches of snow, that the meteorologists told us we were going to get, should cause any sort of traffic issues. Here's hoping the next storm brings less congestion and confusion, oh, and less rage! I'm just saying...

Monday, December 20, 2010

Just to clear things up...

Last night was the first annual "**** ******'* Family Reunion", which was a gathering of past and present employees, as well as regulars. Another former employee and I were chatting a month or so ago, and thought it would be fun to get everyone together and catch up. Many of us have remained very close, hanging out on weekends, continuing to work together at other establishments and getting together for random parties and other events. As we have all continued to grow, whether it is in a career, relationship, school or family, we have continued to remain in touch, but getting everyone together has been difficult. This was simply a wonderful opportunity to bring our "family" together and enjoy each others company for a few hours.

Well, what was intended to be a friendly gathering quickly turned into something it wasn't, all based on a phrase that was, quite honestly, a joke. See, there is a reason many of us are former employees of this establishment. While we loved working together, enjoyed what we were doing, and had some of the best customers in town, there was something always bringing us down. I'm not here to bad mouth anybody, and I'm certainly not holding ill will or a grudge. To be honest, that is the furthest thing from my mind as I was setting this gathering up. True, I wasn't a fan of the boss, I'm not going to lie. It is my opinion that an owner hires the right people, they make his/her business successful, and he/she rewards them. It doesn't have to be monetarily, it can simply be a pat on the back or an encouraging word or high five from time to time. What I have never understood is why an owner continuously looks for faults in people and never gives credit where credit is due. This was the norm here, and it wore on people.

Anyways, back to last night. I set up an invite on Facebook several weeks ago, sending it to a couple dozen past and present employees, and they mentioned it to others that were not originally included. We were all meeting up at Bayside Bowl for some bowling, beers and to enjoy each others company for a few hours. Well, in the process some messages were sent around and the now infamous term was coined, as a joke. Like I have previously mentioned, this great group of people share a common bond, many of us met each other either at this establishment, or directly because of it. I'm talking life long friendships, too. There was another common bond for many of us as well, but certainly not all. There was a general dislike for our former employer, and that is why many of us are no longer there. No big deal, right?

Well, it turns out someone didn't like where we went with all this joking, and took it upon themselves to turn it into a bigger deal than it ever should have been. I should be talking about all the fun we had last night. However, here I am, letting people know that some peoples panties need to be slowly removed from their rear ends, as they have clearly bunched up a bit! Those of us that did take part in the joke, which was just a couple of former employees, have every right to make the joke, and if that means you use what power you have and put my picture up on your wall in an effort to keep me out of your establishment, then so be it. The intent was never to ruffle any feathers, and none of us were looking to get ourselves kicked out. It was simply a joke amongst friends, nothing more.

Like I said earlier, I don't hold a grudge, and I certainly don't look for opportunities to bad mouth people. None of us were looking to cause a stir or get anyone in any sort of trouble. Was the joke in bad taste? Perhaps, but remember, if you are an ass, don't be surprised if people don't like you. I'm just saying...

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Cindy Lou Who, brave or crazy?

While lounging on the couch last evening watching the Jim Carrey version of How The Grinch Stole Christmas with Kerrigan, the memories of watching holiday movies as a child came flooding back to me. I remembering getting giddy with anticipation for Rudolph and Frosty, and my all time favorite, A Christmas Story. Now it seems like the whole Christmas movie market is grossly watered down. I mean, ABC Family is playing a different movie every day this month?! What happened to the handful or terribly animated shows we had, with a couple of old movies we had as kids?

Speaking of Christmas, have you all made your list for Santa? I did mine this morning, and I'll be putting it in the giant mailbox at the mall later. I really hope he gets it in time! I assume, since he has a helper at the mall (I know he isn't the real one, there are just too many malls for him to be at all of them), that he will get it in time to make me the things I really want. This year I put things on my list in order of most wanted down to would like to have but if I don't get it, it isn't the end of the world, but I really still, deep down, want to get it. My list looks like this...

1. The Patriots, Celtics, Bruins and Red Sox to all win a championship in the calendar year 2011. Things are looking good so far, at least on paper.

2. A 2011 Toyota Prius and/or a 2011 Toyota Tacoma. When you drive 50+ miles a day, a car that is great on gas is never a bad thing. As for the truck, I could ask for a trailer and a hitch for the CRV, but I'd much rather drive a new truck to the dump each weekend.

3. All of the necessary supplies to finish our basement. I have a man cave, but it can and will be much better soon. With Santa's help, much sooner.

4. A riding lawn mower. My current mower sucks, which I may have mentioned before. I'm not asking for a John Deere, unless the elves can make it happen.

5. A 4-wheeler with a plow on the front. This would work for me year round, since the plow would come off in the spring/summer/fall. I don't want to have to pay that douche, Tony, again. He sucks.

6. A Red Bull fridge and a years worth of Sugar Free Red Bull. With our schedules, we need this. Sorry Santa, a years worth will probably fill the sleigh!

7. A record contract. I can't sing or play an instrument, but I want to be famous. I figure if all of these worthless "musicians" can make millions selling shitty records, why can't I?!

8. Ownership of a funky dining/drinking establishment. I realize this isn't something you and the elves can whip together, but you know people, you can make this happen, right?

9. Diamond stud earrings. No, I don't have my ears, or anything else for that matter, pierced, but I would love to give some to my wife. I can't afford Cubic Zirconia earrings, so if you could hook a poor bastard up, that would be sick. I'm not talking huge, but 3 carats each ought to work. I don't want them turning her ears into those funky things some of those African tribes had in National Geographic magazines I saw when I was a kid!

10. Peace on earth. I know this is a stretch, especially as long as their are Democrats and Republicans, but I can dream, right. If you can make this happen, I promise I won't write any posts making fun of Sarah Palin or Glenn Beck for all of 2011, I swear!

I feel like it is a pretty modest list, especially when compared to some of the crazy lists I made when I was a kid, or the one my daughter made out of the American Girl catalog, damn that place is expensive! Here's hoping you all get everything on your list, just like I will! I'm just saying...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Holiday party time...

It's holiday party season, and we've all been to one. Some places do a little breakfast, others close early to do a Yankee Swap and snacks. I've worked for a couple of different drinking establishments that have closed down for the evening and opened up the bar and had a band play. First of all, why is it that a restaurant/bar can do more for a holiday party than most any office I have ever worked for?! Anyways, the holiday party is always a good chance to get to know your co-workers, though, usually in a way you never cared to, especially when it is open bar...

Many of you know that Nichole and I started our courtship thanks in part to the open bar at the Bull Feeney's Christmas party back in 2006. The free flowing of shots and beer made it much easier for me to approach her and work my "game". Also that night, there was a whole lot of crazy going on all around us. I, unfortunately, was witness to a bad case of fire crotch at one point. It's funny, but red heads still scare me a little. If you've seen the movie "Waiting", picture the scene where that chick flashes her bush, and it's very unkempt. Yeah, I still have nightmares. Anyways, this goes back to my statement that these parties usually give you a chance to know your co-workers in a whole new way.

Well, back to the present. Buck's Naked BBQ had their holiday party last night. They rented out Venue on Forest Ave in Portland. Velorasaurus kicked out some jams and the drinks were on the house. Now, apparently all the ladies decided to dress up. Looking back, I'm not sure dressing up is the proper term. I might call it dressing out. Why? Well, you give this group of barely 21ers a few drinks and what the skirt is intending to cover up is covering nothing at all. At one point Nichole and I each had ourselves a little Britney Spears upskirt moment with this one chick. Shortly after that I had the misfortune of seeing another chick haul her skirt up to scratch her upper thigh. Wow, hot mess comes to mind. Speaking of hot mess, since when did 2 drinks over the course of a little over an hour get a person sloppy drunk?! Jesus, either I drink way too much, or these chicks cannot handle their booze. At one point, after the Yankee Swap Smackdown, this one girl was so drunk she couldn't even keep her eyes up when she was trying to convince me to switch with her. I'm still not sure what she said, but she was entertaining for a few minutes.

All this brings me to a very important question, which is, what is it about holiday parties that makes us just not give a shit about how we act? Can you think of one time when there wasn't at least one person bombed, making an ass of themselves? I can't, even when the parties were tame there was always at least one drunk jackass that would eventually piss in the punch or motor boat the bosses wife in front of everyone. Unfortunately, I may have to be that guy if we end up having our little breakfast here at the office this year, since somebody has to do it! I'm just saying...

Friday, December 10, 2010

Sort of like "Deep Thoughts" with Jack Handy, except I'm not Jack Handy, and my thoughts aren't too deep...

It's Friday, and I'm pretty sure I've never been more excited about it. It's been a fun, but long, weekend. I have a trio of cousins in town from San Diego whom Kerrigan and I haven't seen in years and Nichole has never met. They got in late Wednesday night, and we've been up late the past couple of nights just catching up and shooting the shit. It's great seeing family, especially when it's been so long in between visits. What hasn't been good is the minimal amount of sleep I've gotten, my ass is tired! That's alright, I'll sleep it all off later.

Christmas came early on Yawkey Way in Boston this year. Theo and company were able to make the trade that has been rumored for a couple of years now, bringing lefty slugger Adrian Gonzalez across the country to play first base for years to come in Boston, and then signed speedy left fielder Carl Crawford, who has owned the Red Sox over the years. If we can sign or trade for an arm or two in the bullpen, Beckett and Lackey pitch to their potential and we stay relatively injury free, we have to be considered one of the teams to beat. This must be where that bridge Theo was talking about last year was bringing us, it all makes sense now.

We had our annual road association meeting last night, and boys oh boys was that fun! It was a pot luck gathering, where we discussed the upcoming plowing season and any other issues people may have. Why is this important to you? It's not, it was boring as shit. However, towards the end of the meeting, the association president brought up the installation of the CMP Smart Meters. She went on a long schpeel about how they are dangerous for us and if we are uncomfortable with them then we should contact Central Maine Power and tell them not to install it. Also, they install them while wearing haz-mat suits, so they have to be bad, why else would they wear them, right? My guess is that the person she saw, or more likely, was told about wearing the haz-mat suit was probably wearing a rain suit to stay dry. I have this sinking sensation that these are no more dangerous than our cell phones that are always up to our ears or even our microwaves that we are warming up food and drinks in. Let's just say that I'm not going to start wearing a tin foil hat around the house any time soon.

One of my favorite lunch time haunts is closing today, and I'm sad to see it go. Mousse Cafe and Bakeshop in Monument Square, right next to Longfellow Books has been a regular spot for Nichole and I for a while now. They do a killer breakfast and have some great paninis and sandwiches. What sold me was their sweet treat selection. The peanut butter bars are amazing! In fact, I'll be right back, I'm going to get one right now...

Alright, I'm back. Quick walk up the hill to grab a treat, and I come back with a story, I love it. As I'm walking back down toward Commercial Street, where my office is located, I round the corner by Arabica Coffee and I'm about 8-10 paces behind and older gentleman. All of a sudden I hear this ripping sound, as if he just pushed a giant fart out. Then another. And another. So on and so on for another 5 or 6 farts, a total of 8. He just kept on walking, not worrying about a thing in the world. All this while I'm walking behind him, trying not to burst out laughing, as well as trying not to choke on the distinct smell of old man fart!

I promised my daughter we could decorate a giant gingerbread man this year. We have done gingerbread houses in the past, but last year I swore that I would never do another house again. The sections of roof were supposed to securely fasten to the house with some frosting, that was supplied by the fine makers of the product. However, they didn't work, not even a little. I ended up going through an entire tube of super glue, and all that really did was stick my damn fingers to the house and plate we were using. I have never been so frustrated putting something so simple together. After something like 2 hours and, I'm sure, a few curse words, Kerrigan and I decided that we would never do that again. This year she gets to decorate the gingerbread man while I watch, that I can handle. I'm just saying...

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Let's go eat a goddamn snack...

I was anxious to watch last nights Patriots game against their bitter rival the New York Jets. It turns out, the Jets were anxious to sit around and watch the game happen as well! The Patriots started quickly, getting out to a blistering 17-0 lead after the first quarter. Well, it didn't get much better for the hapless Jets last night, as Tom Brady and company picked them apart to the tune of a 45-3 shellacking at Gillette Stadium. It turns out that Rex Ryan and company need to spend a little more time practicing, and a little less time eating a goddamn snack...

On an altogether different note..

As we were enjoying our usual Monday night pizza and beer at Howie's Pub on Washington Ave in Portland last night, word came through that the Democrats and Republicans came to a "deal" on the Bush tax cuts. Now, I always thought a deal meant each party involved got less than they wanted, but overall, it worked out for both sides. Well, apparently, in politics it means that Republicans get exactly what they want and Democrats concede everything. What the hell happened?! Republicans ran the mid term elections like they were for working people. They wanted to reduce the deficit and bring in the out of control spending. They said it repeatedly, we all heard it. So, as their first big move after the elections, they decide to say that they won't do anything until the full Bush tax cuts are extended. Well, they got exactly what they wanted, a full extension for two years, adding billions more to the deficit. In return the Democrats were able to get 13 months of extended unemployment benefits. Not even the same two years, a measly 13 months.

Alright, now I know I have asked this question before, but I'm still waiting to hear an answer from somebody. How can you call yourself a fiscal conservative that is looking out for working Americans when you just threw a hissy fit in order to give the richest in this country a tax break and were not willing to extend unemployment benefits on those that are out of work until the tax cuts were extended?! You would rather see struggling Americans go without then see the rich pay more in taxes?! Who is more likely to spend their respective money, a millionaire getting a tax break or an out of work person living unemployment check to unemployment check? A millionaire will still be a millionaire, even without that tax break. A person that is denied unemployment just before the holidays is devastated, could be kicked out of their home and forced to live on the state. Who are John Boehner, Mitch McConnell and company really looking out for? Seriously, somebody please answer this for me, I am clearly missing something.

On a much brighter note, my daughter was selected by the Maine Red Claws to be the ballgirl on December 26th! Everybody should buy tickets and come cheer her on as she hits the court for the first time. I can't wait! She is probably going to kill me for this, but I think it will be too stinking cute! I'm just saying...

Monday, December 6, 2010

Why do weekends go by so damn fast?!

Another week started without consulting me first. I wasn't ready for it, not even a little bit. However, here we are. This week is shaping up to be a bit nutty, but what else is new I guess. I guess I better just pull up my big boy pants and suck it up. Anyways, here is a quick recap of what happened over the past weekend.

I coached my first basketball game for 3rd and 4th grade girls on Saturday. Funny thing is, they listened better than the JV boys team I coached back in like 2000. We played two games and split them. Overall, I am impressed with how quickly these girls are picking things up. Should be a fun and entertaining season.

The Red Sox traded for Adrian Gonzalez. Thank god! This has long been rumored, and finally has come to fruition. This guy is an absolute stud, both as a batter and a first basemen. Now if Theo and co. can sign Carl Crawford and find a reliever or two, I will be one extremely happy Red Sox fan.

I read that Governor-Elect LePage is encouraging the new Attorney General, William Schneider, to join 20 other states in a law suit to overturn the Affordable Care Act. If Maine joins the suit, taxpayers would end up spending as much as $400,000 in legal fees while the state's input would have no effect on the outcome of the case. Not a great start for the so-called "fiscal conservative"...

The US Senate voted down to proposals on a rare Saturday morning session regarding the extension of the Bush tax cuts. The first was to cap the extension on individuals making $200,000 and couples making $250,000 a year. That was quickly shot down. Next up was to cap the extension on individuals making $1,000,000 a year, which was also sent packing. All of this is happening while over 2 million individuals have lost their unemployment benefits because the Republicans won't vote on anything until the Democrats allow everyone to continue with the tax cuts. So, I guess that, at the end of the day, Republicans don't care if unemployed people get minimal benefits, but they are super concerned that millionaires get tax cuts. Interesting... Dear Democrats, you better get this point across!

Big football game tonight. I realize this didn't occur over the weekend, but it's been the talk of sports radio, and is being dubbed as the game of the year. Now, I'm not great at predictions, in fact, I'm probably wrong more than I am right, but I see good things coming for the Patriots. I think that Tom Brady and company have a big night and the Pats win it handily, 34-21. What makes it even better is that Brady and former Jet Danny Woodhead will both perform well enough to give me a fantasy football win over old friend Adam and his Pelican Silencers. Hey Adam, the Pelican's will be screaming tonight! I'm just saying...

Friday, December 3, 2010

A few things I need help with on a Friday morning...

It's Friday morning, I'm tired after a rough sleeping week, and I find myself scratching my head over a few things. I'm not typically one to let silly things invade my thoughts at night and keep me awake, but some of the following may do exactly that. Honestly, I'm really confused, someone please help me!

Rush Limbaugh wants reparations from Native Americans for deaths from smoking tobacco. Wait, what?! Is he talking about the same Native Americans that we decimated with war and disease? The same Native Americans that settled here before us, we kicked them out, stole their land and took all the credit for discovering this land? The same Native Americans that have absolutely nothing to do with mass producing cigarettes, and make zero profit from the sales of tobacco? Rush, I understand that you are an entertainer, but you are really just a giant tool. How can you even say that with a straight face? You are a despicable man!

How come whenever I go in to a public restroom that has a urinal in it there is ALWAYS piss on the floor? How hard is it to aim and hit the rather large target that is a urinal? I understand how at a bar there might be some pee on the floor, dudes have a hard time standing still and their aim is a bit off, I get that. But every time I go to the bathroom and there is a urinal in it, there is piss on the floor. And not just some splash. It looks like someone just full on pissed on the floor. Why?!

Senator John McCain wanted to wait for a report to come out before deciding what he thinks we should do regarding the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell. Well, the report came out stating that and flip flop McCain is at it again, stating that he thought the report was flawed because the Commander in Chief Barack Obama, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mullen are not qualified to determine whether the policy's repeal will harm the troops, in his opinion. Look, I've never served in the military, so I don't know what the big deal is, first of all. What I do understand, though, is that men and women that want to defend our country are being singled out because of what goes in in their personal lives. Here's something for you to think about McCain. You know how you don't like the personal choices that the homosexual soldier beside you has made? Guess what, he says the same thing about you. The only difference is that he isn't holding it against you. Let's cut the bullshit, stop judging people and come together for the common good.

Why do chain restaurants always have shitty beer selections? Sure, you can grab a Sam Adams, but, meh, it's alright. Do only people with no actual taste buds eat at chains? Why can't I get a Guinness a Dogfish Head or a Sierra Nevada? Why is the local beer always Shipyard Export? Why does Chili's still have Pumpkinhead on tap? Why did we go to a chain for drinks expecting something different? When is a good, non-chain, going to open near the mall for bastards like me that are Christmas shopping?

Another quick look into the mind that is mine. Again, not keeping me up all night, but certainly some head scratchers. Leg brain may be keeping me up a little at night, but that is a different story for a different day. I'm just saying...

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

What the American people really want is someone to just say no for them...

I had no intentions to talk about politics today. In fact, I wasn't even sure I was going to write anything today. Didn't sleep real good last night and have a pretty full plate at work, didn't plan on spending much, if any time on here. Then I had to read this headline, "GOP says it'll block bills until tax cuts extended", on Yahoo while eating my lunch. Now, I suffer from high blood pressure as it is, so stories like this aren't helping me very much. Now that I have finished eating, and taken a minute to calm down, I have a few questions.


Are you kidding me?

Seriously, WHAT?!

Ok, but seriously, I guess I need someone to break this down for me. I have spent more time than I should have reading about the Bush era tax cuts and I must be missing something somewhere. Republicans want to extend what has been dubbed the Bush era tax cuts to all tax paying Americans, including the wealthiest, while Democrats want to extend it for tax payers making $1,000,000 or less, and not continuing the cut for the top earners. Republicans say raising taxes in a down economy is never a good thing. Democrats say that the top earners would only save the difference, not spend it, so it isn't helping the economy at all.

I ask this to Republicans - If we just blindly extend these cuts, how do we pay for them? You want to balance the budget and reduce our deficit, how can you possibly do that when the extension would cost $3.7 trillion over the next ten years. Is that what the American people want? I don't think so.

Another question I have for Republicans that want to just say no to everything. How does not continuing unemployment benefits for 2 millions Americans that are out of work right now, due to this down economy, help? These funds will be going directly back into the economy, right? And forget about the fact that it will happen just before the holidays. How will this positively impact Americans?

What about the Dream Act? Are you going to tell me that an 18 year old that was brought here illegally, 14 years ago, who is going to college to get his/her degree should be kicked out of the country? What about the 18 year old who is fighting for our country? I agree, he/she didn't come here legally, but at 4 years of age, did that child have a choice? I would say that this affects people of this country, as it either means that they have to leave or they are allowed to stay.

How about Don't Ask Don't Tell? Are you telling me that this isn't affecting Americans? There are troops that have been kicked out because of their sexual partner of choice, which has absolutely no bearing on their performance protecting our country. Why are we still fighting, in 2010, for equal rights to all people? Where in the Constitution does it say that you can fight for our country, but only if you are straight? No, seriously, where does it say that?

See, what I don't understand is, why are we trying to make a political point on this? There is a lot at stake for people all over this country. When are we going to stop worrying about getting our way and remember that we are all impacted differently from moves these politicians make. Politics, like life, needs to be full of compromise. It can't work with the mantra "my way of the highway". The President has offered an olive branch, looking to work together with Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, Eric Cantor and company, but it seems that they just don't give a shit. I'm just saying...

Monday, November 29, 2010

A few requirements before flying...

Late Saturday evening marked the return of my lovely wife from her vacation to Guatemala, in Central America. Kerrigan and I made the drive to Boston to meet Nichole at Logan Airport, and had a great time in the process. We had a nice little visit to the Museum of Science and then a dinner date at the Cheesecake Factory. After spending some quality time together, we headed over to the airport and took a little nap in the car before Nichole's flight landed just before midnight. She brought back with her many cool gifts, some amazing photographs, and some entertaining stories. One of the more entertaining stories, in my opinion, had nothing to do with Guatemala. In fact, it took place on the flight home, from Miami to Boston. While I found humor in it, Nichole was less than impressed. However, it did bring to mind a few things to keep in mind when flying...

If you have smelly feet, don't take off you shoes. Trust me, as a fellow smelly foot person, leave you damn shoes on. It may not completely mask your swamp foot, but it is better than exposing your sweaty socks to your neighbors. Nobody wants to know you that well, believe me.

If you have some goblins hiding out in your nose, your seat is not the place to start making your finger dance all the way up to the second or third knuckle. If you need to pick something out, make your way to the bathroom and use a damn tissue. Nobody wants to see you digging for gold in your nostrils, especially if you find something! Along those same lines, if you have a runny, stuffy nose, blow it out. Don't sit there and snort it back up. This sound is enough to make some people puke, and that is never good on a plane.

Before flying, take a shower. Nobody wants to sit next to a person that wreaks of body odor. Don't know if you smell bad or not you say. How about this, lift either arm and do a quick armpit sniff. If you don't think you smell good, the person in the seat beside you won't think you smell good. The showering process is very simple. Don't be afraid to try it out. And don't forget your deodorant!

I know that the arm rests are small, but be considerate. Don't just assume that the middle one is yours for the entirety of the flight.

If you have the urge to fart, ignore it. If you can't ignore it, make your way to the bathroom. Your neighbor does not want to smell your smelly butt air. It's not like you can open a window to make the smell go away.

Have long fingernails? Cut them before you leave. Didn't have time before you left? Tough shit, wait until you land. If the person in the seat beside me ever cuts their nails mid flight, they are going to get elbowed in the teeth. I don't want to ever find somebodies fingernail clipping in my vodka tonic or pretzels!

If you are prone to snore, don't nap. If you aren't sure, and you do snore, expect me to drive my elbow into your ribs. For example, I snore. Because of that, and the fact that I am too damn tall to fly comfortably, I don't sleep. Crisis averted.

The reason this all comes up is because Nichole sat next to that guy on her trip home. The thing is, I bet she isn't alone. I bet this same guy has sat next to you on flights as well. Now, these are pretty basic requirements in my opinion. Simply put, don't get on the plane unless you are clean. I don't think that is too much to ask. Remember, you are not flying alone, you have others around you. I'm just saying...

Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday, more like Crack Friday...

Well, I decided there wasn't a chance in hell I was going to drag my happy ass out of bed before the sun came up this morning. No thanks, all set with that. Now, I get that there are "great deals" and "doorbusters" at all the retailers, but I'm not fully convinced that there has ever been a deal on something I actually was interested in purchasing. To me, it's kind of like shopping at Shaw's. Sure, I can save a couple of bucks, but I'm not necessarily buying something I would normally want or buy.

Kerrigan and I did, however, decide to brave the crowds later in the morning, around 9 o'clock. We assumed the crowds would still be big, but at the very least we would have full bellies from Governor's first! After grabbing breakfast we went to Best Buy, tooled around for a bit and walked out empty handed. Then we went to my favorite retailer in all the world, Wal-Mart. Why is it my favorite retailer you ask? Have you ever been there? It's amazing. You can't walk out of that place without seeing at least one person that cracks you up for one reason or another. Well, we were not disappointed. We left here pretty much empty handed too. I got another package of cough drops and a tree ornament for Kerrigan, which is a yearly tradition for us.

All in all, we survived our abbreviated version of shopping on Black Friday. Things I learned today would be that I still hate shopping on Black Friday, even later in the morning. I've decided that I want to shop online or at small, local retailers from now on. Either that or everyone is getting a case of home brew this year. I'm just saying...

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Things to be thankful for...

I hadn't intended to write anything today, but I'm a little overwhelmed by the many great posts on Facebook. It inspired me to tell all of you some of the many things I am thankful for. Now, family and friends are an obvious one. I have supportive and loving parents, an incredible sister, awesome grandparents, the greatest daughter and the most amazing wife, not to mention all of my wonderful aunts, uncles, cousins and in-laws of all varieties. I also have more incredible friends than one guy deserves. Obviously, I am eternally grateful for all of you guys. The following are some things that you may or may not know that I am thankful for...

Boston sports teams. The Red Sox, Celtics, Patriots and Bruins have brought much frustration to my life, but they have brought infinite amounts of joy as well. I have been a huge fan for years, and will never abandon ship. I remember dreaming of one day being the next Larry Bird, then realizing I wasn't good enough to be the next Eric Montross, but I watch every game I can, even back in the late 90's and early 2000's when the Celtics were terrible. I'll never forget the sheer pain I felt as soon as I saw the ball come of Aaron "F&cking" Boone's bat in 2003 (I still haven't actually seen the ball clear the fence), but couldn't wait to see the Red Sox get back on the field in 2004, when they eventually won the World Series. Good or bad, I'm thankful for the entertainment you provide me.

Beer. Dogfish Head, Marshall's Wharf, Geary's and Stone Brewing. I love you guys. Hell, I love most all breweries out there, and there are way too many to ever mention. Whether I am just drinking it brewing it myself, I love it. I will be forever thankful for the wonderful combination of water, hops, malt, barley and yeast.

Cheese sauce from the Great Lost Bear. If you haven't had it, what the hell are you waiting for?! It's good on everything. I might actually drink it by the pint. GLB, thank you!

Phish. I have been following the Phish boys since 1997, when I heard they were coming to Limestone for a three day festival that later turned out to be Lemonwheel. Since then, I have seen them 6 times, have purchased about a dozen cd's and downloaded a ridiculous number of songs and shows from the Internet. I love how every show is different. I love just watching the people at the shows. I love the randomness of the lyrics. There isn't much I don't like about them. I am also thankful that they decided to get back together!

The Daily Show. Jon Stewart and company have given me so much joy over the years. The way they point out all of the craziness going on in the world around us is greatly appreciated. I also love the way they mock Glenn Beck, that just never gets old. Jon, if you are reading this, I would love to have an opportunity to be one of your correspondents some day...

These are just a few of the many things I am thankful for on this Thanksgiving. I'm excited to spend the day with my family and Kerrigan, though we will be missing Nichole, while she is hanging out in Guatemala with Auntie Dawn and friends. I look forward to her safe return late Saturday evening, and hope she has a wonderful Thanksgiving south of the border. Here's hoping everyone eats themselves silly today! Happy Thanksgiving everyone, you are the best! I'm just saying...

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Rumblings and grumblings...

Oh, hi! Remember me? Yeah, I've been on deaths door now for a couple of days. After taking the afternoon off yesterday and getting a measly 15 hours sleep, I'm back today. Of course, I get back to the office in time for an early close. Oh well, fine by me! As we get ready for the biggest eating day of the year tomorrow, I'll leave you with a few thoughts bouncing around in my head...

Everyone is making a huge deal about the new TSA screenings at the airports. What is this all about you ask?! Well, basically, if they feel you look suspicious they can ask you to get patted down, and if you refuse the pat down you can have the full body scan. Now, the full body pat down consists of just that, a full body pat down. Now, call me crazy, but I'm fine with a full body pat down if it means I am safer on the airplane. I'm not a huge fan of flying in the first place, so anything that makes the experience a little safer is just fine with me. Perhaps everyone should take an extra minute before heading to the airport to ensure they look a little less suspicious...

Bristol Palin came in third on Dancing With The Stars, and she was upset about it. Bristol, dear, you only made it as far as you did because mommy paid ABC to keep you there so the Palin name was in the news. You sucked. You were so bad you caused a guy in Wisconsin to shoot his television set. Now, as if a show about dancing wasn't bad enough, now the geniuses at ABC are putting out Skating With The Stars. Hey dude from Wisconsin, hopefully you have more ammunition for that gun...

Now, I'm obviously not a NY Yankee fan. In fact, I despise them. Along those same lines I really don't like Derek Jeter. Sure, he's had a good career, but all the love he has garnered gets old. His stats are declining, he's getting older, and he's not worth a huge contract at this point. That being said, he's been the face of the Yankees forever, and they should just overpay him like every other player and make this all go away. Since they are not, I say the Red Sox make a gross offer to him, see if they can lure him away from NY. How amazing would it be to just sign him to say F U to the Yankees! Again, he wouldn't help us at this point in his career, but it would be pretty funny!

The big Harry Potter movie just came out, and I have to say, I just don't get it?! What the hell is the big deal? Can someone please explain why these movies have people wetting themselves with excitement? Sure, they may be enjoyable movies, but I truly am bewildered by the way people get into them. To me, the Potter series, the Lord of the Rings movies and the Twilight series are an absolute mystery to me. Magic? Werewolves? Wizards? Vampires? I'm sorry, I'm not following. I'd, honestly, rather watch Gigli (that disaster of a film with Bennifer in it) or any movie with Carrot Top or Gilbert Godfried in it...

Thanksgiving is tomorrow and I'm pretty sure I'm going to eat myself stupid. I get really excited for green bean casserole, stuffing and putting gravy on everything. What I don't get excited about is that goopy cranberry "sauce" stuff. What the hell is that? It looks more like Jello than any kind of sauce. Perhaps it tastes good, but I'm not putting that weird looking stuff in my belly when I could have a second (or fourth) helping of stuffing.

Well, I want to wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving tomorrow. I'll be heading over to my parent's place with my daughter. If all goes well, we will eat our respective weights in dinner and desert. Our family tradition is to go to L.L. Bean in Freeport after dinner to walk around and try to burn off a little bit of what we ate. Also this year, the Patriots are playing against the Lions. It will be nice to be able to care about one of the teams playing on Thanksgiving for once. Anyways, I hope everyone has a great weekend and we'll catch back up on Monday! I'm just saying...

Thursday, November 18, 2010

All in due time, and it's not that time yet...

I realize the commercial factors involved in every real, and quasi, holiday in the United States. I totally get it. However, what I don't get is the timing of it all. I really need someone to explain to me why the day after Halloween we have Christmas items hitting store shelves. Did I miss something here? Isn't there another major holiday stashed in there between them? Sure, Thanksgiving isn't quite the commercial megaholiday that Halloween and Christmas are, but it's still there, sitting almost exactly in the middle. It's real, it happens, I've been there for it 30 times already. Why, then, is it necessary for me to walk into any retailer on November 1st and see aisles of Christmas decorations from floor to ceiling? Give me one holiday at a time, let's not get carried away and get ahead of ourselves here. I want to be able to cram enough turkey and stuffing into my body that I can't move for several hours first, then go Christmas shopping, not vice versa.

Now, I'm sure I'm going to get some shit for this, and that's fine. Someone has to say this, because I know a lot of you are thinking it, and I mean both you ladies and you guys out there. Tom Brady's hair is freaking magnificent! I mean, that bastard has a beautiful head of hair. Now, perhaps I say this because the best I can grow on my 31 year old head is about what a 6 week old baby has, or perhaps it is because it is just plain awesome. Besides, for all you haters out there, if any of you got Giselle drunk enough to marry you, you would pretty much do anything she wants, and if she wanted you to have long, flowing locks, you better believe you would be going shaggy as fast as possible!

Back to the Christmas thing, when does everyone put their decorations up? Growing up, our family tradition was to put everything up the day after Thanksgiving. My sister, mother and I would be bouncing around the house, filled with all sorts of the "Christmas spirit", while my father would just shake his head at us until about the 20th of December, when he finally joined the rest of us. To me, any earlier than that is simply wrong, but beyond that, it's kind of a fire hazard, right? I mean, that's a long time to hook electricity up to a drying piece of timber, isn't it?! Why not just use candles like the old days, I mean, no quicker way to start a fire than with actual fire! I'm just saying...

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A little bit of this, some of that, and a whole lot of something else...

I had every intention to give you all some happy crap today, but as my day gets more annoying, you are going to get more ranting than anything else today. I'll start with a quick recap of last night, and then it's all over...

We went to the Merrill Auditorium last night and watched those hosers, the Barenaked Ladies, perform another highly energetic, highly entertaining show. It's the first time either Nichole or I saw them, and they were a lot of fun. I knew probably 90% of the songs they played, which is always nice when you see a band for the first time. It was cool to see people of all ages there as well. I really enjoy the way they keep the banter going throughout the show, and the occasional raps are worth the price of admission. I've been a fan for years, so it was nice to finally check out a show. I would recommend checking them out, even if you only know a few songs, they are a lot of fun.

Quick public service announcement from yours truly to all pedestrians out there. If you are not in a crosswalk, or if you have a Don't Walk sign flashing in front of you, you are now fair game, and I will no longer attempt to stop. I've given you years of leeway on this, and it ends today. That doesn't mean you stop, look at me, see me coming, then put your head down and act as if you didn't see me. This also doesn't mean that because you are in a crosswalk you have the right of way. For your convenience, in the Greater Portland area, more specifically, downtown Portland, there are fancy lights that tell you when and when not to cross the street. If you can't read them, learn, your time is up. I don't care if you are a business professional, a homeless person, or an art school hipster, if you don't follow the simple pedestrian rules, you better hope you have insurance.

Four Loko, the wonderful combination of malt liquor and caffeine is in hot water due to its high ABV (6%-12% depending on state regulations) and high levels of caffeine. Four Loko is one of those fun drinks that keeps you going all night with its energy component, and gets you blind drunk with its malt liquor aspect. Sounds good, right? Turns out it has fast become the drink of choice on college campuses and among high school students because it is dirt cheap and potent. When alcohol and caffeine are combined people report feeling reduced sensations typically associated with alcohol believed to result from caffeine counteracting the depressive effects thus keeping the individual more alert. However, when the caffeine wears off the person feels the full effects of the alcohol. Then we find ourselves drinking in excess because we still don't feel drunk, then bam! Completely destroyed! Now, do I think it needs to be banned? I'm indifferent. I see it as no different than Vodka and Red Bull or Jager Bombs. I would never drink Four Loko, so it doesn't bother me. Though, if I had to choose a side, I say ban it.

Word just came through that Lisa Murkowski, the right in candidate in the Alaska Senate race, pulled out the win, over Sarah Palin endorsed Joe Miller. I'm also hearing that Palin is strongly considering running for President in 2012, not that this comes as a surprise to anybody that follows politics. I'll give my two cents on the subject, and I feel it's not too far off. If you can't get enough people to vote for the candidate you endorsed in your home state, I don't see how you have a snowballs chance in hell winning in the primary, let alone the Presidency. Besides, wouldn't you rather be hanging out in the Alaskan wilderness than in an office? I mean, you did say that, right?

Speaking of the Palin's, did you see that Bristol is still doing her thing on Dancing With The Stars? I'll be honest, I have never watched that show. In fact, I would actually kick my own ass if I did. However, I stay on top of all this pop culture stuff, and I have seen that she has been one of the lowest scoring dancers week in and week out, and she is still there. Now, I'm not big on conspiracy theories, but me thinks something is going on here. Did the Palin's pay the producers to keep her around as long as possible to keep the Palin name in the headlines?

I noticed on Twitter today that Eva Longoria has filed divorce from her basketball playing husband, Tony Parker. Apparently they have a few "irreconcilable differences" that they are unable to work out. I'm guessing one is that she is smoking hot, and he has not been nearly as good on the basketball court as she once thought he would be. She sees the writing on the wall, she will be fully supporting him within 5 years, and she ain't having it. The good news is, if Nichole lets me, I have a chance again! I'm just saying...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Fantasy football, and some old fashioned frisbee flinging fun...

So, I recently made my first real attempt at Disc Golf in a good many years, and I have to say, I'm not horrible. I mean, forget the one disc I lost in the middle of a pond, right after fishing it out from the side of the very same pond. You would need to ignore my first drive too, where my throw might have gone 30 feet to my left. There was also that one hole where I chucked it directly into the woods on both the first and third shots. But, other than that, I did decent. Once I figure out the best way to chuck the damn thing, I should be a pretty good frisbee chucker. The one thing I did learn while playing was that it uses some different muscles than I am used to. My back, sides and elbow were a bit sore the day after.

Fantasy football season is now over half done, and for the most part, I'm completely screwed! First of all, I have too many teams, which was my own damn fault. I typically have a couple of teams, one I pay for, one I don't. I have always seen it as a great way to pay attention to the whole league, not just the Patriots. However, with five teams, I am constantly put in a position where I need to cheer for one guy in one league, and against the same guy in another league. Not fun. Take last night, for example. I needed Jeremy Maclin, WR from the Eagles, to give me 20 plus points to win in one league, but I need Michael Vick, QB from the Eagles, to have a bad game in a different league in order to win. Now, unfortunately for me, Michael Vick had a huge game, but Maclin didn't do enough to give me the win, causing me to lose in both leagues, but such is my luck this season.

Across my five leagues, I am a combined 18-31-1, which is pathetic, especially considering I have good teams in each league. I have not caught a break, in fact, I'm a whooping 0-10 in one of my leagues. I haven't won a damn game, nothing, nada. Terrible. I am a consistent top 5 finisher year in and year out, but this year is looking mighty different. I think next year I will go back to 2 teams, maybe 3. It's too hard to have to cheer for teams like the Giants or individuals like Ben Roethlisberger or anybody on the Jets. It makes me feel ill having to root any of them on. I'm just saying...

Monday, November 15, 2010

Weekend wrapup, more like weekend nap up...

Going into Friday night I was basically death warmed over. I had been hacking and coughing for a couple of days, my nose was running like an out of control faucet and I was so tired I needed toothpicks to prop my eyes open for the evening commute. That, my friends, is an awesome way to start your weekend! Well, let me tell you, I decided to ignore how craptastic I felt and put on my dance pants... No, no I didn't. I ate my dinner in bed and was lights out while watching the Celtics game. In fact, that was most of my weekend. I literally slept most of my weekend. Feel much better today though, so I would say it was well worth it.

Sunday was a different story, and thank god. We got moving at a fairly decent time and took our furry, brown pooch to Bradbury Mountain in Pownal. Now, mountain may be a bit of a stretch, but it's a great place to go for a hike or a bike ride, and it was just gorgeous there yesterday. We hiked up the South Ridge trail and eventually made our way to the summit to enjoy the beautiful view. It was a great hike and Yawkey, our rambunctious lab had a blast. From there we went to Brunswick to run a few errands and poke around the indoor flea market. After getting a few things we needed, a few things we didn't, and not finding other things we did need, we made our way to the Lion's Pride.

For those of you who have not yet been to the Lion's Pride in Brunswick, what the hell are you waiting for?! As they put it, it's where art, food and beer meet, and boy oh boy are they right. They have a great selection of hard to find beers from all over Europe and a few closer to home, and they have an excellent food menu. I got my favorite, the Chimay Burger, which is covered in the most amazing cheeses. Nichole got the steak and cheese, which may be moving up the list to my new favorite, as it was incredible. The staff there are awesome. They are extremely knowledgeable, very passionate about both their beers and their food, and they are just plain fun to chat with. Nichole and I tend to go at an off time, like around 3:00. We usually have the bar to ourselves and have a good time trying different beers and chatting up the bartender. I highly recommend getting your butts to this fine establishment in Brunswick, and soon!

We capped the weekend with a viewing of the Patriots game from our sweatpants on the couch. I may have only seen the first half and woke up covered in sweat at 1:30 AM, but it was nice to know that the Pats smacked the Steelers around a little and even though Tom Brady didn't give me enough fantasy points to beat Pierson's Pats, I'll take a New England Patriots win every time. All is all, it was a damn good weekend, and I'm feeling 100% better today. I guess it's time to tackle another week. I'm just saying...

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Someday I want to take my talents to South Beach too...

I had a whole post done earlier today, and when I went to post it I lost it?! I'll give you the Cliff Notes version and call it good, I'm too flu-like to type it all again...

The Patriots lost to the Browns, and that makes no god damn sense. I'm hosting tryouts this weekend, we can put together a better, more consistent bunch, I'm sure of it. Good news is we have the Steelers and Colts coming up...

Lots of celebrities took part in the NYC Marathon this past weekend, including Jared "the Subway dude" Fogle. He was quoted after saying that "If I can do it, anybody can get off the couch and do one to two miles." True, Jared, but that was a dick move, it's going to be much harder for me to get out of running next time Nichole asks. NOT COOL my friend, NOT COOL!

Did you know that the Giants are no longer in New York, they moved to San Francisco? Hell, they even won the World Series. I had no clue! And they have a pitcher that colors his beard and has a mullet. I normally pick up on crap like that, huh.

Speaking of baseball, it's time to talk free agency. The wonderful time of year where baseball teams across the country over pay aging players with diminishing talents. How much will the Yankees overpay Derek Jeter? Who will the Sox get to replace those awful pitchers in the bullpen? Oh, hot stove, time for you to heat up, I've missed you!

Dear NFL Commissioner Roger Godell, stop fining players for hard hits. Unless they are a blatant helmet to helmet hit, stop! Football is a mans sport, and it is meant to be played at 100%. These guys know what they are getting into. Besides, I love seeing moments like those of Brett Favre against the Patriots, where he didn't know his ass from his elbow. Couldn't have happened to a better person. Except maybe that ass hat Eli Manning. What a useless turd that guy is.

Jon Miller and Joe Morgan are out as Sunday Night Baseball announcers on ESPN. If it weren't for Tim McCarver and Joe Buck, Joe Morgan would be the worst announcer alive. I'm very excited to know that I won't fall asleep during every broadcast he does, it will be nice to have someone with a pulse doing the games, hopefully. Now, who do we talk to at Fox to get rid of McCarver and Buck, they are terrible.

The Bowl Championship Series, or BCS for short, is such a crock of shit. Until there is a playoff in college football, I'm not going to take it seriously. I will, however, continue to root against Notre Dame, Florida and Miami, while continuing my allegiance to the Florida State Seminoles, despite many years of mediocrity. Ugh.

This is the sports world according to me, I'm just saying...

Monday, November 8, 2010

Hey dude, nice mullet!

Brew Fest weekend. I'm already excited to plan the festivities for next year. That's how much fun we have every year at this annual event. Saturday did not disappoint. For those of you that were there, our large group could be seen roaming the Portland Expo building sporting our W.W.J.B. t-shirts, and pretzel necklaces. What the heck is W.W.J.B. you ask?! Well, that would be short for What Would Jesus Brew, of course. Our group, who we have coined The Brew Crew, has grown over the past few years, originally starting out as a small group of friends that wanted to turn the annual Maine Brewer's Festival into something more than just a chance to try some different barley infused offerings. Our first year was a modest dozen or so people taking a limo to and from the festival in some locally printed t-shirts that we designed. Last year we rented a school bus from the fine people over at VIP Charter, and they were kind enough to transport us again this year. Our shirts have evolved too. We've sported everything from "I'd Tap That" to "Chug Life" to this years "W.W.J.B.". We've even created a Facebook Fan Page for everyone to be able to stay up to date on what we are working on next.

As for the festival itself, it was a great time again this year. I had the opportunity to try some new offerings that I had not yet had, like the Sebago Barleywine, which was aged in Bourbon barrels and kicked me square in the jiblets, damn! Sebago also had their Local Harvest (an APA made with local hops and barley) and Hell Awaits (their imperial porter) on cask, which were excellent! Peak Organic had some excellent selections, and Geary's, one of my top Maine breweries, had their Wee Heavy and Imperial IPA, two of my favorites. There was some good music playing in the background, and there was lots of food options. As usual, a great event.

Our group of about 45 people, all wearing our matching t-shirts, were a rowdy bunch, as usual. We all enjoy a good time, and want everyone to be having fun along with us. Our shirts got a few looks, mostly smiles, but a few hairy eyeballs were seen amongst the crowd. To those people I say, go to your local 7-Eleven and buy yourself a sense of humor. No disrespect was meant, just trying to be a little tongue-in-cheek. We actually sold a half dozen or more to patrons in the crowd, the shirts were a big hit. The bus ride back from the Portland Expo to Gritty McDuff's in the Old Port was entertaining also. We picked up about a half dozen new people (for a small fee, and yes Nichole, Amy paid), and had lots of drunken photos snapped. Post brew fest we all went in different directions, and a small group of us landed at Sebago for dinner. Apparently, from what I have since heard, we acted up, which I totally disagree with and would call bullshit on. I have been told that one of the manager's posted on his Facebook wall "what would jesus brew? he wouldn't act up in a restaurant". The the manager at Sebago that posted this, I say suck it to you my friend. We didn't act up, we did nothing out of the ordinary for a group of 10 in the Old Port on a Saturday night. Now, if you are jealous because Brew Crew was having fun while you were working, I'm sorry, take the night off and join us next year. Until then, get over it.

The night would end early for Marcole and Casey. One member of our trio was slightly intoxicated, and I won't mention names, but when Casey and I convinced Nichole that she was too drunk to drive, despite her repeated attempts to prove us otherwise, we caught a ride back to New Gloucester from my father. Normally a ride home from the bars from your father would be embarrassing, but when faced with the idea of getting an OUI, I'll take the ride in the far back of a Ford Escape from my father any day of the week. The ride was great, the farts however, were less than great. Though, looking back, I guess I contributed to a bit of the overpowering stench, and for that I am sorry.

All in all, the Maine Brewer's Festival 2010 was a great time. Brew Crew did it up again, and we did it right. I look forward to a new theme and some new faces next year. Until then, check out our page on Facebook, and send it along to your friends. In closing, I offer you this... Can you imagine what would happen if Santa Claus, Count Chocula, Chuck Norris and the Easter Bunny hooked up after a night of Patron shots and pizza rolls? Neither can we, but we do know that you don't want to miss out on the Brew Crew! I'm just saying...

Friday, November 5, 2010

A new format and a commitment to consistency...

The past few weeks were crazy. I barely remember half of it, and the parts I do remember involved lots of running around and work. It's nice to finally be able to take a deep breath. While I'm still not over what happened Tuesday night / Wednesday morning, it's nice to see things slow down a little. I would like to apologize for not being more consistent on here, it was hard to focus my thoughts onto the page with all the political happenings going on around me. With all that behind us, I plan on putting more emphasis on the blog, but in a much more structured way. I've been very political lately, some people enjoy it, some people won't read it. I'm looking to start doing a little something for everyone going forward. I also have a hidden agenda...

I've been thinking about how I want to structure things on here, and I feel like the best way to move this forward is to have specific topics discussed, and scheduled for certain days. Going forward, my plan looks like this...

Monday - Recap the weekend events, either personally or from the news.

Tuesday - Discuss the sporting world.

Wednesday - Pot Pouri. No, not the smelly stuff you have in a basket in your house. This is more of a day for whatever. One week it might be discussing global warming, the next it could questioning why monkeys like to throw their poop, I just don't know what the topic will be, but it will be different each week.

Thursday - Rant day. I need to have a day to just get shit off my chest. This will probably turn into a day of Glenn Beck or Sarah Palin bashing, but it will depend on what is going on in the world.

Friday - I plan on doing something different every other week. One week will discuss the state/national political scene. The other week will be a platform for me to toss out my thoughts and ideas. I plan on running for office at some point, so I will use it as a chance to get feedback from all of you, be it positive or negative. I have a mental plan in place for how I want to go about running for office, but I want to use the time leading up to it as an opportunity to talk to all of you, get your feedback and thoughts, even if you tear me apart, I want to hear it.

I figure with a specific topic scheduled for each day of the week you will know what to expect going in to it each day. Now, this of course puts some pressure on me to deliver. I have been less than stellar at being consistent on here, so I'll have to get my shit together. I just want to go back to having fun on here. I've been so caught up in politics that I have pushed the blog to the side, and I'm back. Thanks to everyone for continuing to read and follow along, this has been fun so far, and it's only going to get better! I'm just saying...

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Now that the dust has settled, I want the dust to come back...

I had planned on having a nice long celebratory post yesterday. However, here I am, on Thursday, just now able to swallow the bitter pill that the underwhelming majority of Maine voters fed me. As you all know, our next governor will be none other than Mister Paul LePage. It actually hurt my fingers to type that, and I have to admit, I threw up in my mouth a little. Now, I'm not going to sit here and tell you that I want to see him fail, that's just dumb (please note that a good number of Republicans have said that about President Obama). I mean, if he fails, all of us Mainers fail. We don't want that. We need to change things in Augusta, and LePage has promised lots of that. I'll be the first to tell you that I don't think he is the right person for the job, in fact I think he is far from the right person for the job.

LePage ran on the Tea Party platform, despite his many attempts to tell you otherwise. Hell, he even had the head of the Maine Tea Party lead the people gathered during election night in song. Part of the Tea Party platform was feeding off anger. Voters across the state and across the country are angry. We are angry that so many people are still out of work. We are angry that the economy hasn't gotten better. We are angry because we don't feel our elected officials are always working for us, which is what they should be doing. That being said, we aren't looking for a dictator or a fist shaker. We need to have a diplomatic leader that is able to work well with both sides, not just a few from one side and all of the other. Politics is no different than a relationship, you need to give and take to make it work. It can't be all one sided, and you certainly can't act like a bully. There are going to be times when you agree to something you aren't a big fan of, but you know what, it has to be done for the greater good. Do you think I wanted to go to "Clueless: The Musical" last time I was in NYC? Not exactly, but my beautiful wife did, so I went along. We have to make concessions along the way to make this state better. Will LePage be able to do this? Time will tell.

Voter turnout was less than stellar considering the magnitude of this election and the contrasting differences between the 5 candidates, as well as the few write-ins. Maine typically expects about 50-55% of registered voters to get out and cast a ballot. Gubernatorially speaking (made up word, I know), we had a whooping 46% vote this time around. First of all, that bothers me a little, but that is beyond my control. Secondly, LePage needs to keep in mind that he won this election with just 38% of the total vote. While that worked out to be the majority, it's underwhelming at best, and might I point out that it also means that 62% of Mainers voted against him. Nearly two out of every three people didn't want him to win, so he has a long way to go to get the approval of the actual majority of voters.

Having been very involved in this election, I got to see things a different way than normal this year. I also saw a lot because I was supporting the Independent in the race. I am a registered Democrat, and I have to say, I am more than a little bothered by the lies, distortions and half truths they put out against Eliot Cutler. It was very disturbing that they would play that game. Now, the Republicans didn't do anything to win me over, let's not forget that they did much of the same. The Independents in this race kept it very clean, with none of them personally running or approving any mudslinging. Some people say that the dirty way works, but I have to be honest with you, I hate it. I really don't care what you say your opponent will or won't do, I already know that from following along, what I want to know is what you will or won't do, according to you.

As for all those commercials and mailers, please stop! I mean, I don't want to put anybody out of business if they are the people producing such materials, but they are a waste of money. Instead of the candidates, or the many PACs and groups funding the candidates giving all this money to smear the opponent, why not take and dump all that money directly into the economy. Why not donate it to struggling non-profits or to improve a local school or library? What about applying it directly to the state deficit? I know none of this will ever happen, but all that money raised by Karl Rove's crew and the others just like it could be used a whole hell of a lot more wisely if you ask me.

Needless to say, I could go on and on, and I have before, about why I don't think LePage will make a good governor, but now we have to just wait and see. Let's see if he sticks with his promises that he has made and see if he keeps ruling with that short temper that got him into more than a few scrapes along his way to winning the election. If I thought hiding in my basement for the next 4 years would make this go by faster I probably would. Perhaps now is a good time to hike the Appalachian Trail like I have always wanted to. Either way, the real question on everyones mind is this, how long before he punches someone in the face or gets thrown out of the Blaine House? I don't think he makes it two years without facing some serious investigation. Problem is, Maine will have a much worse black eye than whomever is on the other end of LePage's fist. I'm just saying...

Monday, October 25, 2010

I noticed a few noteworthy notes...

As we get closer to the mid term elections next Tuesday, there are lots of things going on in the news these days. I could keep busy keeping you up to date on everything, but I'll just toss a few fun things your way today. Enjoy...

Did you hear about the Democratic candidate running for Governor in Rhode Island? Apparently he didn't get the endorsement from President Obama he was hoping for, so he has told the President to "shove it". Reminder to Frank "Shove it" Caprio, it's one week away from Election Day but you are free to go home now, there is nothing more for you to see here. I'm not suggesting that not getting the presidential endorsement would kill your campaign, but by telling the commander in chief to shove it, you just lost your base to the Independent and your chances of winning are quickly vanishing. Well done, dumbass.

Sony is no longer making the iconic Walkman that we all carried proudly back in the day. Remember those clunky music boxes? We would make our favorite mix tape and clip the Walkman onto our belt and groove to the music. Damn you Apple for making a much smaller, much better version that didn't require carrying your entire cassette tape collection, having to buy stock in Duracell, as well as wearing bulky headphones. The world was a much better place when the Walkman was king.

For those of you that were not aware, the rent is too damn high. Don't believe me? Ask this guy...

The World Series starts this week, did any of you know that? I know, who knew?! Turns out, the Texas Rangers and the San Francisco Giants not only are real baseball teams, but they are playing for the World Series title. Actually, I'm really happy for both teams and would have to say that I am rooting for the Texas Rangers. Something tells me though that this isn't the dream match up that both Fox and MLB were hoping for...

Again, these are just the tip of the news iceberg right now, but thought I would do my best to keep you informed. Don't forget to book your trip to Washington D.C. for this Saturday to attend the Rally to Restore Sanity with Jon Stewart. This is exactly what this country needs right now, a little sanity! I'm just saying...

Friday, October 22, 2010

Politically correct or bust?

As I'm sure many of you have heard, Juan Williams, former reporter for NPR, was fired on Wednesday for a comment he made while on the O'Reilly Factor on Fox News regarding Muslims. On Monday, O'Reilly asked Williams if there is a "Muslim dilemma" in the United States. Williams, a longtime Fox News contributor, agreed with O'Reilly that such a thing exists, and added that "political correctness can lead to some kind of paralysis where you don't address reality."

"I mean, look, Bill, I'm not a bigot," Williams continued. "You know the kind of books I've written about the civil rights movement in this country. But when I get on the plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous."

Now, tell me, is that a case where someone stepped over the line and said something that isn't politically correct? Should this have been a fireable offense? Is this much ado about nothing? Where do you stand on this? My take is this, I mean, I like Juan Williams, I think he is good. He has always appeared to be a pretty middle of the road guy, seeing both sides to everything. Should he have been fired, hell no, I don't think so. Was what he said right? I mean, I guess that is a feeling shared by a lot of people. Do I think it's right, no, not at all. Honestly, it bothers me that people feel that way. The Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, killing 2,402 people and injuring another 1,282, but are you scared every time you see someone of Japanese descent? No, not at all. So why are we blanketly blaming all Muslims for September 11th?

I guess what bothers me about all of this is that we are blaming NPR for everything. Again, shame on them for firing Williams, that wasn't necessary. What I don't think is right though is that we are ignoring the major issue here, which is our intolerance of people different than us. Why do we still have this much hate and fear in our hearts over people that don't look or think like us? If it isn't Muslims then it is gay people. It's always someone or something we are intolerant of. What happened to liberty and justice for all? I'm just saying...

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Are we all doomed, or is this just our "awkward phase"?

It's pretty hard to deny that we, in the United States, are all going a bit crazy. Reality television, constant media "news" outlets and our love of all things celebrity have gotten, let's be honest, a little out of hand. Suddenly everyone is crying that they are losing their First Amendment rights and we are suing everyone for little to no reason at all. At what point do we realize we have turned into a giant, never ending episode of The Jerry Springer Show? I mean, seriously, what gives? Musicians are nuts, politicians are bat shit insane, athletes do whatever the hell they want, and the rest of us follow their every move. What the hell is wrong with us, all of us?

Those examples are national, stupid shit isn't happening right here in Maine, is it? Well, I'm afraid it is...

A Hermon High School student was just expelled from school for penning a rap song, to the beat of an Eminem song, that was full of poop mouthery and even called out school employees by name. Some are claiming that the lyrics are even threatening. Now, I haven't heard this sure to be number 1 gem, but methinks it was a dumb idea in the first place. The student is claiming the school is not allowing him to exercise his First Amendment rights, claiming it is free speech. I would say this in response: kid, you're an idiot! I have no problem with him doing it, feel free. Just don't be surprised when your school, the target of your rap, hears it and expels you. Put it this way, if you wrote a rap song about your employers and called out co-workers and ownership by name, are they going to give you a raise, or will they move your office to the basement and take away your stapler? Long story short, don't be dumb.

Portland High School has banned "grinding" from all future dances, and students are pissed about it. Many students are planning to boycott the dances because, well, they say grinding is the only way they know how to dance. First of all, sweet jesus, are you serious? Let's get one thing straight, I'm not a future candidate for Dancing With the Stars, mainly because I'm not a star, but also because I can't dance, but to boycott a dance because you can't drive your male pelvic region into a lady friends ass is crazy! Perhaps part of their curriculum should be actual dance lessons?!

Those are just a couple of local examples of the silliness that is happening all around us. In other words, we really need to take a minute and get our collective shit together! Remember when we were a super power in the world? Yeah, people think we are a joke now. I say we stop giving lunatics their 15 minutes of fame, end the frivolous lawsuits and sit back and enjoy a nice cold beer. It'll make the world a better place. I'm just saying...

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Woooaahhh! Easy killer...

For those of you who have spent the last couple of months living under your favorite rock, we are two weeks away from electing a new governor in Maine. Nichole and I have both been very involved in the Eliot Cutler campaign, volunteering as much time as we can. It took me a long time to have any interest in politics at all, and it seems as though I am slightly obsessed at this point. I've learned how everything done by our government not only affects me, but also my daughter. I've also learned that people are extremely passionate about politics, to the point of being completely insane! The following is an actual exchange on Facebook between two guys I don't know, a woman I don't know and myself. Please note that no matter what candidate you are voting for, she is crazy!


Mark Stevens: Martin, have you got a short attention span? LePage has said one thing after another that are rather unfavorable. I'm NOT defending Mitchell, but you can't ignore things on one side and get all angry when the other side does the same thing. I would dare define that as hypocrisy, no?!

Jim Marandola: Mark.... You said "LePage has said one thing after another that are rather unfavorable." I'm just curious as to what some of those things might be. I know about his statement regarding what future headlines might look like....but I'm curious as to what other things he has said that are unfavorable.

Martin Bumann: Jim, He can't come up with any.Maybe the things the dems don't agree with are rather unfavorable to them,they are kinda' selfish creatures

Mark Stevens: Jeez guys, sorry i didn't respond to your questions sooner, I've been volunteering all day. Jim, I seem to remember LePage saying something like "let's cut the bullshit". I would say that is unfavorable by a gubernatorial candidate. Or how about when LePage said he "wants to punch AJ Higgins"? Joke or not, again, unfavorable. And, of course, his comment that he would be telling "Obama to go to hell". Once again, unfavorable. It's time to stop wearing blinders and realize that your top guy is FAR from perfect. He makes you all warm and fuzzy because he angrily shakes his fist about reducing the size of governent, which he WILL NOT do, he will just reduce the stuff he doesn't like, while increasing it in other areas he does want. His promises to the various special interest groups do NOTHING to lower the budget shortfall, they will actually make things worse. And please explain to me how his plan to sue the US Govt to repeal universal healthcare will help my brother in law, who has a pre existing condition? Preaching anger will accomplish nothing and will put us further behind after 4 years then any of the other candidates would.

Sarah S. Pearce: And what Cutler wants is ok? He is associated with the WORSE president (so far) in history. Anyone that wants that belongs in a straightjacket.
I know passion is foreign to most democrats. but it's what made this country great.

Mark Stevens: Eliot Cutler plans on going over the budget, line by line to determine where we are spending wastefully. He plans on changing the culture of the spend now, figure out how to pay later way of thinking that has been happening for some time now. He plans to work with both sides of the aisle, without the special interest promises, to create a climate where businesses not only want to come to Maine, but they thrive. Oh, and he will get this all done without angrily shaking his fist and spewing rhetoric at every turn. He plans on turning around our education system, so our children realize you should have said "WORST", not "WORSE". He will be willing and excited to take input from both Democrats and Republicans and make Maine the state we all know it is capable of.

And Sarah, there is a difference between passion and anger.

Sarah S. Pearce: Plans! Grand plans! Jimmy Carter had plans, too! Obama has plans! There is a reason people go by actions, not words. Plans don't mean crap when coming from a politician, ANY politician.
As for WORSE, excuse me for the typo, some of us work for a living and are exhaused.

Mark Stevens: You do realize that at this point all they can have are plans, right? None of them are actually the governor, so plans are what we voters are listening for to determine who we think would be the right person to vote for. Once Eliot gets elected, he will put his current plans into action and we will all benefit from it.

Oh, and thanks for that attempted work jab, but I put in 60 plus hours a week at several jobs, volunteer and spend time with my family, don't talk to me about being exhausted.

Sarah S. Pearce: Actually, Mark, if your head were screwed on straight you would remember that Paul LePage has the most experience in this area.
Why do you need several jobs, Mark? Maybe because democrats like Cutler have taxed us to death?

Sarah S. Pearce: Got a theme song for old Ellie...

Mark Stevens: Most experience in what area, making plans? I thought they were crap coming from politicians?! LePage has created what, about one hundred low paying jobs at Marden's? With little to no benefits, right? His own employees need to go to the state for help. His own employees are the very people that he wants to "put on a bus to Massachusetts". Jeez, can't wait for him to provide more of that for the good people of Maine, that'll make us a better state.

And I choose to work several jobs because I enjoy the work, the social aspect and the extra money to provide for my family. Taxes have absolutely nothing to do with it, and when exactly has Cutler "taxed us to death"?

Sarah S. Pearce: I said Democrats like Cutler, little man. I see you are jealous of Paul... thats ok, most democrats are. Boy are you gonna be ticked that first tuesday evening in november!
I know you don't read real news, or you wouldn't be a Cutler brownnoser, but Paul is mayor of Waterville...ever heard of it?

Sarah S. Pearce:

Mark Stevens: Oh, here comes the sarcasm and continued posting of links, fun!

Cutler joined the race as an Independent and is the only one of the top three polling that would be able to work with both sides of the aisle in Augusta. He brings more experience and knowledge to the table than LePage, and has the temperament to get things done without flipping his lid when something doesn't go his way.

Have you noticed that Cutler has been running a clean campaign, with no party spending thousands to back him? LePage and Mitchell can't say the same thing. Cutler is focusing his time and energy traversing the state, meeting people and getting his message out, not throwing mud at his competition.

Jim Marandola: Worked great for Angus King....... He basically got NOTHING accomplished except to let the Democrats continue to run the state into the ground...Oh, and of course the "lost money" in the budget.

Jim Marandola: And BTW, Mark..... Once again you have misquoted the "go to hell" statement and your "Joke or not" comment, in my opinion, is "unfavorable". You see...whether or not a comment is "unfavorable" or not, depends on the attitude of THE LISTENER.........NOT the person making the comment. You find these THREE examples as "unfavorable" because you don't support LePage. I find Eliot Cutler "unfavorable" because he has spent the last decade working with countries OVERSEAS (like COMMUNIST CHINA) to help THEIR economies while killing AMERICAN jobs..........if you really want to get into "cutting the bullshit". He has a LOT of nerve even asking for American votes.See More

Jim Marandola: Here's a nice little QUOTE from Eliot Cutler from an article in Reuters in 2007:
Cutler said that: "China suffers from a too small and too weak central government."

THAT is position that most people would find hard to believe. JUST the type of thinking we want in a state that is already to bogged down with regulations and government intrusion. If he thinks that RED CHINA doesn't have enough government much does he think is enough?

Sarah S. Pearce: Focused? Cutler? The only thing Cutler is focused on is making money. Cutler himself said over and over that he has NO plan for Maine. He has NO idea what to do, he has NO answers. Don't quote his new "I wanna get elected" website, study the facts.
When he was the OMB's Associate Director his selfish inaction got 39 people killed. He couldn't be bothered to force the dams to get inspected, even after 333 people died. That led to the Kelley Barnes dam in Ga's collapse. You willing to let that kind of man have this state? I am not.

Mark Stevens: Jim, I have not misquoted Lepage. You are trying to spin it my friend, and people are starting to wake up. I don't find them unfavorable because I don't support him, I don't support him because he does and says things that are unfavorable. I want a governor who will not only bring Maine out of the slump we are in and make it thrive, but I also want someone that won't give Maine a black eye for doing and/or saying unfavorable things. Like I have been saying for a while now, I get that people are angry, I'm angry too, but the majority of the population, MANY Republicans included, realize that LePage is one disagreement away from snapping and actually punching somebody. How many times does he need to slip up, appologize, only to slip up again, before you realize he isn't this perfect person you make him out to be?

When has Cutler ever said he has no plans, Sarah? He has said he is making no PROMISES to special interests. There is a big difference. If memory serves, which it does, LePage has made at least a couple of promises that will actually drive the deficit even further into the red. And to say Cutler is responsible for anyones death is absolutely absurd. Dial back the anger and hate, it's going to be alright, I promise.

Sarah S. Pearce: Wow Mark. What flavor was that koolaid? I am sorry you are so misled.
I do give you props for having the balls to lie on the internet. Or are you just a moron?
P.S. There is nothing wrong for standing up for your beliefs. I know it's foreign to a Democrat, but republicans do it all the time.

Mark Stevens: Well Sarah, I love a good back and forth, but when the personal attacks start, that's when I draw the line. I would love to say it was great talking to you, but I wouldn't want to actually "lie on the internet".

I'm sorry for how long that was, I just really wanted to illustrate how people are passionate about politics, and some are over the top. There was actually more to the back and forth, but I kept it out in order to not make this too long. Something else to keep in mind is that people kind of create things that aren't real to get a point accross sometimes. For example, most of Jim's point about Cutler and China are completely fabricated and untrue.

What makes this world great is that we have different views and ideas. If we all thought the same way, just think about how boring this world would be. That being said, people need to get ahold of themselves! The Portland Press Herald, yesterday, decided to turn off the capability of readers to comment on stories because of heated exchanges, just like some of the things Sarah was saying from above. It's not about Republicans or Democrats, both sides toss out some pretty stupid things. Everybody needs to take a step back and realize we are all working towards the same goal. Nobody is trying to hijack the state or country and turn us into a third world country or burden our grandchildren with more debt than they can ever imagine. That is simply not what is happening here. We are staring at some tough times, and getting out of this mess is going to take some time and some teamwork to make it happen. Both sides need to work together and get past their differences or we are all completely fucked. I'm just saying...

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

I knew it was bad, but ewwwwww!

I'm not a big fan of McDonald's. I basically wrote it off after watching "Food, Inc" a few months ago, only having it once since, and even then I think I had a hard time finishing it. Now, I'm officially done. Like, done done. Curious to know why? I know you are, you are just dying to find out, aren't you? Here we go...

Click here and read the caption on the picture to the right? Yup, you are reading that correctly. An artist and photographer from New York City bought a Happy Meal back in April and left it out in her kitchen in an effort to see how it would hold up over time, and by time I mean six months. Turns out not much changes, with the exception of it getting harder over time. The burger and fry have been sitting out, in the open, and have not even grown any mold, none. What?! How is that even possible? In fact, Sally Davies, the woman doing the experiment claims that "the food is plastic to the touch and has an acrylic sheen to it." NASTY!

Now, this isn't shocking news, we all knew McDonald's wasn't good for us, but this brings it to a whole new level for me. When even the bread stays mold free, something is wrong! I've noticed how quickly a loaf of bread made by a local bakery goes bad, and how long a cheap loaf from Wal-Mart lasts, but those are usually left wrapped in plastic. This was left out in the open, and still no mold. That is wrong in so many ways. It must have enough preservatives in it to mummify your insides when you eat it, right? I'm just saying...

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Some things that annoy me would be...

I have been known to get a little worked up on here from time to time. To me, that is alright. It's better for me to get out my anger on here, than, say, punch MPBN reporter AJ Higgins, right? Anyways, here are a few things that are getting me all worked up today...

SunChips are getting rid of their biodegradable bags because customers are complaining that they are too loud. Now, I realize that, as a company that provides a product, it is smart to listen to your customers wants, and as the old saying goes, the customer is always right. Bullshit, they are wrong in this case. Let's ignore the environmental impact because the bag is loud?! Now I can't sneak some without my wife knowing, boohoo. I'm sorry, but bring on the noisy bag, especially if it means less waste in the landfills.

Randy Moss is traded from the New England Patriots to the Minnesota Vikings. Now, that in itself doesn't have me worked up. I mean, I am a bit in shock, I really like Randy Moss, and think he adds a good amount to the offense by opening up the field. His numbers are down this year, and he is unhappy, which we know can spell disaster for Randy, he's done it before in Oakland. What I am worked up about is the New England fans that are now trashing Moss. Through a measly four games, his numbers are down, when compared to past seasons. Moss is a sure fire Hall of Famer. He is still, even at the age of 33, a feared receiver in the NFL. He is always a deep threat and will always get the attention of the best cornerbacks as well as double teams. He opens up the middle of the field for Wes Welker and the rookie tight ends. Fair enough, he didn't help bring a championship to New England, but let's not forget that we just traded one of the best wide receivers of all time away from the team. Let's just hope this doesn't have a negative impact on the offense going forward.

Did you know that nearly 3000 millionaires claimed unemployment benefits in the year 2008? That's right, millionaires filed for unemployment. 2840 of them to be exact. Now, I understand that unemployment benefits are there for anyone that loses their job. I get that. But really? I mean, with so many people on unemployment, and still struggling to pay their bills, it's kind of a slap in the face knowing that millionaires are filing for unemployment compensation as well. Remember, these are the same people enjoying big tax breaks. But no, let's all feel bad for the rich people. Jealous? Maybe, but I still think there should be some sort of cap on who can claim unemployment benefits.

By now, I'm sure you have heard about this church full of idiots that is protesting outside of funerals of fallen soldiers. Talk about the lowest form of scum. They formed protests outside of the funeral of Lance Cpl Matthew Snyder, holding signs that said "Thank God for Dead Soldiers", "You're Going to Hell" and "God Hates the USA." He was killed in a Humvee accident in 2006, and has absolutely no connection to these whackos. Now, the Supreme Court is having a hard time deciding what, if anything, they can do about it. What they are doing is, technically, protected under the First Amendment. What they are doing is also, in my opinion, one of the most ignorant things they could do. I'm getting really sick of people, all of a sudden, using the Constitution to argue their case, especially when they are using it for harm, not good.

These are just a few of the contributing factors to my higher-than-it-should-be blood pressure right now. Of course, the Nick Lachey Burger from Eagle's Deli in Boston surely didn't help my cause, but that is not the point. Now, if the Yankees can lose in the first round, the Miami Heat fall flat on their collective faces and U2 never put out another album, I will be feeling much better! I'm just saying...