Sunday, November 25, 2007

Back in my day...

I was working with my son, a new Cub Scout, on his Bobcat badge tonight. He has learned the proper salute, handshake, creed, motto, etc, just like I had to when I was in Cub Scouts over 35 years ago.

One thing we need to do now to earn the badge, that I didn't back then, is go over the rules and policies concerning child abuse. Specifically, about adult and peer sexual abuse. While I'm certainly mature enough to have this conversation, and I believe my son is almost as mature as I am, I felt bad that we had to talk about some of the things that bad people are capable of.

He understands that if he is ever threatened or abused, he needs to tell me about it. I assured him that although I may get upset, I would never blame him or be mad at him if he were taken advantage of. I told him that it is a parent's job to get upset whenever something bad happens to their child, and no matter what happens, I need to be told about it.

I explained that I might want to hurt whoever harms him, but I'm sure that Mom would calm me down, and I would let the police handle it. What he doesn't know is that I've already been told by the local Chief of Police that my chance of arrest would be small if I were to crush the knees of a sexual predator with a baseball bat.

One of the charms of living in a small town, I guess.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Heady times, these

So much to comment on, so little time.

Barry Bonds: can't wait for the trial. Remember, Jason Giambi admitted ingesting a whole host of things during the same grand jury. He didn't lie. This isn't a witch hunt for steroid users, and it's not about race. It's about lying to a grand jury.

Catholic Bishops Conference: Let me get this straight...if I vote for a candidate who doesn't have a strong anti-abortion position, I'm going to hell? You know, this isn't my fight. I've never knocked up a girlfriend and had to consider an abortion. I don't abuse my daughter, and I don't rape. I don't advocate abortion, and I'm hoping that my daughter never has to consider having one. I really think I've got a personal handle on abortion. But, guys, I've got a hundred other concerns right now that I need the next President to work on, and abortion is really low on that list.

To me, the abortion issue is a local one: I can't stop other people from having abortions, I'm 1) not personally putting anyone in a position to have one, and 2) trying to educate my kids so they are not a party to one. There may be an acceptable reason for getting an abortion, and as long as it isn't a frivolous convenience, I'm not sticking my nose in it. If everyone, man and woman, respected themselves and each other, this isn't a big issue.

OJ Simpson: Do I really care?

Drew Peterson: Come on, man, 'fess up already! Why are scumbags like him such chick-magnets?

Monday, November 05, 2007

Green Day

My good friends over at Univeral/NBC are jumping on the Green Bandwagon, which means that for awhile (until folks stop tuning in) they will provide programming on their three-hundred and fifty networks that tell us about how environmentally friendly they are, and how we are complete scum because we watch other channels.

Last night's kick off (no pun intended) was during Sunday Night Football, and the big gimmick was shutting off the studio lighting for the half-time show. Yawn.

Their half-time shown generally consists of scores, highlights, and Keith Olberman's clever essay. I'm not being snarky; I like Keith. He's down the hall politically from me, but I know entertainment when I see it, and he's smart and funny. He's not Owen Wilson, but his hair is better. I'm also a kindred spirit in that no matter how great the job I have, I want it to be better and on my terms.

Anyway, I'm sure turning off the studio lights and asking the nation to join them in conserving electricity will make the suits at NBC happy. Until folks stop tuning in because they are just tired of the message. Yes, we know we need to conserve, but as long as the power flows when I flip the switch, I'm going to suck electricity from the grid.

Anarchy begins 30 seconds after the switch doesn't work anymore.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

In Praise of Owen Wilson

I watched The Wedding Crashers last night. This pretty much explains the timing of my life. I'm 2 1/2 years behind the times. And that's optimistic.

My first memorable exposure to Owen was in Shanghai Noon with Jackie Chan. Since then he's been in tons of movies, and I really liked him as the voice of Lightning McQueen in Cars. Of course Bonnie Hunt was better, but she's the world's most perfect women (sorry, Jill). He's funny, smart and easy on my wife's eyes.

I don't read the tabloids much, it's really not any of my business what celebrities do in their spare time. I guess he's hit a rocky patch, but I'm sure he'll recover and get it together.

As much as I like Owen, I hated his hair in The Wedding Crashers. The mess, the bangs, the poochie thing on the top of his just bugged me. It seemed to have so much product in it, I thought it was a hairpiece. Thankfully, the sloop scene proved it was all his own hair.

I'm not trying to be a hater, I'd would just like to issue a challenge to the great hair and make-up folks in Hollywood: Make his hair look better next time.

Now, don't let me get started on Vince Vaughn. I still annoyed that Jennifer Aniston let him get within five feet of her.

Yes, it's the 21st Century

My family gave me an iPod Shuffle for my birthday, and I spent several hours trying to open the box.

No, really, my daughter opened the box for me...I spent several hours realizing that I don't own many CD's made after the year 2000.

I know that the Shuffle is at the low end of the Apple speed spectrum, but I love this thing. It weighs a couple of ounces, is smaller than a matchbook, and holds more music than I could listen to in a year.

I know, I know, I'm an old fart, and all the kids have been using iPods for years. I've always enjoyed portable music, and with no moving parts or heaving equipment, the Shuffle is simply perfect. I wish I could glue the earbuds on. Now I can walk the treadmill and ride the exercize bikes and lift the weights with my own little soundtrack running through my skull.

Wait, let me go get it and put it on.

You know, when Trisha Yearwood wails at the end of Garth Brooks cover of Billy Joel's Shameless (how's that for confusing references?) it's like an angel screaming at me. I love it.

And when you shuffle, you never know what's going to play next, but you know you are going to like it. Yes, you already know this.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Hard Hog Hockey

Tonight is the home opener for the Rockford IceHogs. It is also Boy Scout night, so my son and I are going with his pack. His pack has been chosen to present the colors before the game, so he will get to walk out onto the ice. He's very excited about it.

The IceHogs won the UHL Colonial Cup last year, and this year they have jumped up to the AHL and are affiliated with the Chicago Blackhawks.

In the 'old days', I was a big fan of the Fort Wayne Komets, back when the IHL was primarily a Midwestern league (I think it has returned as a Midwestern league since it was crushed by over-expansion several years ago). Some of my best memories as a child were of somehow convincing a parent to drop us off at Memorial Coliseum for a Saturday afternoon game (I think the tickets were $2.50-$4.50) and watching the great Terry Pembroke (good ol' number 5) play defense. The Flint Generals, Muskegan Mohawks (now called the Fury), Port Huron Wings, Saginaw Gears, Toledo Hornets, Dayton Gems; all great team names.

Speaking of great names, the Icehogs used to have Robin Bigsnake, who is now with the Texas Brahmas of the CHL. I think Robin spends too much time fighting to make to the NHL, but he's a old school kind of player.

The Icehogs will host the San Antonio Rampage tonight, and we're hoping for a fun-filled, if not peaceful, evening of hockey.