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...

Monday, October 4, 2010

Monday is my fun day?!

Have you ever been so tired you couldn't focus? I don't just mean you had a lack of focus, but you were so tired you kept losing all control of your head and it would free fall towards your desk or keyboard? That's where I'm at today. Fortunately, to this point, I don't have the imprint of a space bar on my forehead, and I haven't impaled myself with my staple remover or pen. It's odd too, since I went to bed a little before 11 last evening, after driving back from the Red Sox final game of the season. It's just one of those days I guess.

Speaking of the game in Boston yesterday, it was bittersweet, to say the least. It was the final game of the season for the Red Sox. They came up short of making the playoffs this year. It was a tough year, losing several key players for extended periods of time as well as getting lackluster performances out of Josh Beckett, John Lackey and Jonathan Papelbon. What was nice about it was that we beat our hated rival, the New York Yankees. Now, the Yankee fans we sat near were a pile of major jerkwads. I'm not saying all Yankee fans are this way, but so many of them have this swagger, one that makes you want to smack them. Now, I'm sure Yankee fans say the same thing about us members of Red Sox Nation, but I don't care about them, ha! It was nice to be able to keep the Yankees from winning the A.L. East Championship, but the "Yankees Suck" chants just aren't the same when they are going to the playoffs and we aren't. Now it's time for all the "experts" to predict what will happen this offseason. I guess I'm a Phillies fan for the rest of this season...

While on the subject of sports in New England, the Patriots play this evening down in Miami, a place they don't typically play well. I've heard a variety of predictions for this game, everything from a win by double digits to a loss by double digits. I'm sort of on the fence on this one. I'm trying not to project this one with my heart, because my heart says the Pats win big, by at least two touchdowns. They have a very dynamic offense with lots of weapons at Tom Brady's disposal. On the other side of the ball, however, they are less than stellar. In fact, the defensive unit scares me, and I don't mean a little. This team needs to outscore the opponent, because the defense isn't stopping even the bad teams (see last weekend against Buffalo as an example). I don't see Miami as a better team as a whole, but I don't see them as a bad team at all. I feel they have an average offense and a better than average defense. Question is, who will control their mistakes on offense better? This could be a shootout with both teams scoring in the 30's. I'm going to go with the Pats on this one, but in a close, barn burner, 37-36. I see Gostkowski making up for a few recent missed kicks by putting one between the uprights to win the game late.

While on the topic of sports, the Second Annual McCullough Polish Horseshoe Tournament was this past Saturday. If you all remember from a previous post, the organizers purposely planned the tourney for the past weekend because they knew Nichole and I couldn't make it. I'm not exactly sure how the first round or two went, but it sounds like Championship scores were 21-19 and 22-20, with both games being won by a 3 point bottle shot. Team Merlotte, comprised of the home team, the McCullough's, picked up their second consecutive championship. Does anyone else find it funny that they host the tourney each year and they have also been the only winners to date? Is it home field advantage or is some sort of cheating going on? We will find out next year when Team Marcole stroll in and take them down. I'm just saying...

Friday, October 1, 2010

Let's lighten things up a little on this dreary Friday...

The news is horrible right now. So much doom and gloom is being reported. Add to that the crappy weather heading our way thanks to Hurricane Nicole, and there isn't much reason to smile on the New England coast today. The Red Sox have been officially eliminated from playoff contention, after a rather difficult season. The Patriots are in full swing, but face a tough test in Miami, where they always struggle. As the greatest coach in Boston Celtics history (sarcasm), Rick Pitino, once said, the negativity in this town sucks. Let's look at the headlines for something a little less depressing...

U.S. apologizes for syphilis experiment in Guatemala. This is real, I swear. The U.S. government, in the 1940's, deliberately infected Guatemalan prison inmates, women and mental patients with syphilis. Now, 70 years later, whoops, our bad?! Should we send them a card? And does Hallmark make a "sorry about the syphilis" card?

Saving Koalas From Chlamydia. Again, this is real, no joke. Apparently the number of koalas with chlamydia is increasing too. I ask this, how exactly does this happen? Note to self, even though they are cute, don't sleep with a koala.

Dutch outlaw squatting. Apparently this doesn't mean anything even close to what I first thought when I saw the headline. I assumed you weren't allowed to sit while going to the bathroom in the Netherlands, which is an odd thing to outlaw, right? Turns out, it means that you are no longer allowed to move into an abandoned building and call it yours. Wait, people were allowed to do that? Talk about cheap office space for your new marijuana cafe! Unfortunately, I missed the bus on that one.

Greg Giraldo dies at 44; quit law to become a stand-up comic. No jokes here, this is actually sad. He was a really funny guy, appearing on the celebrity roasts on Comedy Central, among many other places. He graduated from Columbia University and got a law degree from Harvard. Dude wasn't just funny, he was smart. Turns out, he hated law, and made a much better comedian. Another great comedian taken too soon from a drug overdose, why can't we lose Carrot Top or Andy Dick instead?

That's about all I've got for today. Weekend is upon us, and it is a crazy one. Early mornings, late nights, Red Sox vs Yankees at Fenway and another trip to Eagle's Deli should provide me with a story or two for next week. Have a great weekend all. I'm just saying...