Wednesday, November 21, 2012

No Thanks....

I know everybody in the free world is talking how thankful they are for this or that this time of year, but truth be told, I'm not a big fan of Thanksgiving. To me it's a bit of a waste of a holiday. Here's why.

First of all, the house is always 100 degrees. No matter where you are, or who's house you're in. It's always 100. Grandma and Grandpa like it warm, somebody has been cooking all day, you're wearing an itchy sweater. It's 100 degrees, period.

You sit in uncomfortable chairs you don't normally sit in, no lounging around in your sweat pants on the couch all day. You have to sit up and be pleasant. You eat yourself into a food coma. Everybody brings something you like, so you have to eat it. And lets face it, none of it, besides maybe the turkey, is good for you. Think about all those carbs. The noddles, the stuffing, the mac and cheese. You've got yams, yeast rolls and tons and tons of deserts. And if one meal wasn't enough, you know you're going around that table a couple of times. Which in the end, equates to being miserable.

So with all that being said, let me present the Guy's guide to the Top 5 Holiday's

5. New Years Eve/New Years Day: I know it's two days but it's hard to separate the two. You get cocktails and great college football games.

4. Father's Day: It's like the only time of the year where for 3 or 4 hours your kids pretend to like you. So while it's not high on most peoples list of great holidays, for me it's top five.

3. Labor Day: Kids go back to school. Which means we stop "laboring" over the kids.

2. Fourth of July: Cocktails, grilling out my favorite foods. Blowing up stuff. Beach/Pool and relaxation.

1. St. Patrick's Day: People are generally in a good mood, and you've got March Madness. College basketball and green beer, what could be better for a guy.

So there you have it.
Enjoy your itchy sweater.
This post was actually a rant by one of my favoite sports talk radio host, Colin Cowherd from ESPN. I thought it was spot on.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

We're Moving...

I'm moving to Colorado...
By now I'm sure everybody has heard that on Tuesday Colorado passed Amendment 64 which legalizes the recreational use of marijuana. Ok I'm not really moving to Colorado, nor do I have any desire to move there so that I can legally get baked. But whether you support the legalization of marijuana or not this is something we must take notice of.
It's true Amendment 64 passed, and it is now legal for anyone over the age of 21 to smoke pot, however Federal Law still prohibits such use, so there will still be some battles between the federal government and state governments in the very near future. I'm not a pot smoker myself, personally I think it makes you dumb, after all there's a reason Spicoli wasn't a straight A student, but hey, smoke em if you got em.
Sure you'll have to be 21 to purchase marijuana just as with alcohol, but what the local, and federal government for that matter, have failed to understand is that the legalization of marijuana will initially be like Lennie from the book, Of Mice and Men. Remember Lennie? He had a new toy, a puppy. Something he loved with all his big dumb heart. In fact he loved it so much he ended up killing it. Why? Because he didn't know how to handle it. And that's exactly the way the American people will be with weed. We'll be a bunch of big dumb Lennie's. We'll get this new toy and not know how to handle it. Oh sure all you Phish followers out there will be cool, but what about the rest of us?
We haven't had any education. No real guidelines have been set. Say I go home after work, smoke a dubie then get drug tested the next morning. Will I pass? Will I lose my job? Isn't it the same as going home and having a beer? And what about driving a car? There's no testing, that I know of, such as a field sobriety test that determines if someone is high or not. Because of today's drinking and driving laws most folks know not to get behind the wheel after they've had a few drinks. We know the dangers. Getting caught, losing our license, killing people. We know this. So we don't do it. But think about how long it has taken us to figure this out. Prohibition ended in 1933. I can remember when I was young, my uncle drinking a beer while he was driving, and it wasn't any big deal. Or at least society didn't think so. Even though the affects of the alcohol were the same then as they are now. So will the legalization of weed be different?  Or is this one of those, let's just get it legal and we'll figure out the details as we go along.
Oh sure, I hear ya out there. But weed is a gateway drug! It will lead to coke or heroin. The next generation of our youth will be a bunch of Anthony Kiedis' living under a bridge. No, actually caffeine, tobacco, and alcohol are the gateway drugs. Grade schoolers drink soda. Middle school kids drink energy drinks like Red Bull and Monster. We sneak behind the garage and fire up a pack of smokes we stole from the Ol' Man when we're 12 and 13. Or we down our first beer at 14/15. Truth be told, most kids don't smoke pot until they're in high school or college. By that time our bodies have already experienced gateway drugs.
Honestly, for me, I'm all for legalizing pot. Not that I'm protesting on the steps outside to courthouse  for my state to legalize it, but why not? I know people bring up the argument, do you want your surgeon getting high before he cuts you open? Well no, of course not. I don't want him drunk, taking pain pills or sniffin' glue either, but he could. I guess that's the faith we put in our doctors. I'm sure there's going to be some cases where people make bad decisions directly related to getting high. I didn't want some Exxon Mobil Captain getting drunk and spilling tons and tons of oil in our oceans either but I don't think we should ban Goose and Juice because of it. 
As with every hot button debate, there are pros and cons, and the legalization of Mary Jane is no exception.
So tell me Lifers, what do you think? Are you for or against legalizing the bud?

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Conquering the Mountain...

In the 1986 classic movie Stand by Me, there is a scene where one of the boys gets caught in a junk yard and narrowly escapes an attack by the feared junk yard dog. In the movie the junk yard owner calls out to the dog, Chopper sic'em, but the boy, his mind clouded by fear, hears the owner say Chopper sic balls. Sometimes we let our fears control our minds.
I was a ten year old boy when my fear controlled my mind. So much so that the events of that day remained with me for the next 25 or so years. I was at Disney World in Orlando Florida standing in line to ride the roller coaster, Space Mountain. It's a coaster that is inside a large building, and Disney does a wonderful job of creating a Space atmosphere on this ride. It's pitch black inside, you can not see the track in front of you, and you have no real idea where the curves and hills are coming from. And it has haunted me for nearly all my life.
As a young boy, standing there, I knew I would hate it. I was petrified. But I heard my dad say, Oh don't be a sissy. It won't be that bad. Now maybe my dad said something like it's ok if you don't want to ride it, it's no big deal. But just like the boy in the junk yard, my mind heard something completely different. So I had to ride it.

I screamed the entire time. I may have even cried. I held on for dear life. I just knew that with each turn and hill I was going to fall out of my car and plummet to my death. I could hear my father as the police investigated my lifeless body below the tracks. At least he didn't chicken out.

A few minutes later it was over, and I was spent. Yes I had made it. I didn't die, like I thought I would, but I also didn't feel better for riding it. I didn't feel like I accomplished anything, or that I was brave because I rode it. I hated it. It was five minutes of pure hell. A hell that stuck with me for a long time. I didn't ride roller coasters or much of anything else after that experience. I was truly traumatized.

Last Saturday, now a grown man, I stood in that same line, and relived those memories. Once again I had that nervous feeling inside my stomach. I was standing just a few feet away from the very thing that had started it all. And once again, I had to ride it.

It was still just as dark as I remembered and the hills and curves were still just as surprising as when I was ten. The bar that strapped me in felt more snug and I didn't bounce around on this night like I did those many years ago. I looked around more and noticed more of the Space atmosphere this time around as opposed to closing my eyes and putting my head down. I remembered my dad and the memories of that vacation from when I was young. Finally, it was over, much sooner than I remembered. And this time, I actually felt like I had accomplished something. And I didn't cry nearly as much.