Monday, September 20, 2010

Death and Taxes...

I have a wonderful, smart, beautiful, stylish and gifted Aunt. She is sick. She has been sick for 7 years. ALS is the culprit, and it has been a long, difficult struggle. I went and visited this Aunt over the weekend with my sister. I don't like sad feelings very much, so being the person I am, I usually don't like to think/talk/worry much about the situation she is in. At all. It hurts my heart, because she just so happens to be my favorite Aunt. We used to kneel across from each other on the side of the bed and have a silly/weird/scary face contest. It was awesome. She didn't believe in the whole, "if you make a funny face and the wind changes, your face will stay that way"...soooo, we used to do it, quite often. I also wanted to marry her, when I was little, apparently. No big deal. My mom told me. In my little head, it just seemed logical. She was awesome, and I loved her. In a 6-7-8 year old's head, people that are awesome and love each other, got married. P.s. we didn't get married.

ALS is a horrible disease. It is hard to see her, immobile, tired, struggling to talk and eat, knowing what kind of lady she was before this mess caught her. The amazing thing is, she has thee, most, positive attitude I could never imagine myslef having in her situation. Once in awhile, she likes to look us in the eye, and say things like..."I'm done"...which is understandable, but 99% of the time, she is her old self, wrapped up in a disease-riddled body.

So, as sad as it makes me feel, I am in awe of her strength. I love her.

Also, on a side note, she has some wonderful help in the form of compassionate, positive, loving ladies that come and work at the house day-in and day-out. My hat's off to them.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Throwing flies.

I fish. I used to fish a lot. Most people, that are acquainted with me, even remotely, know I have a quite, almost reverent love for fly fishing. Recently I have noticed, after a fish-filled spring, my rod has gotten a little dustier than usual. I hate that what seems so important (i.e. real life) always gets in the way of what really is important. I envy the guys down at the local fly shop (Western Rivers, check 'em out) as they sit all day amongst hand-tied flies, telling stories, and swapping the latest "get out on the water and here's what you should use" advice. Plus, most of them have figured out how to fish for a living...I have always said, if I could use a fly rod to support a lifestyle, and eventually a family, I would sign up for that gig immediately!...maybe that is something I need to pursue...

Why the love? A lot of my buddies always excuse themselves from the fun with, "I don't have the patience" or "it seems like such a hard thing to learn." Pure silliness. Sure, it might be a bit more challenging, then say, throwing a worm out on a hook, and waiting until something bites...but the challenge also counts as the fun in this instance. It's just me, the water, and a rising trout. All I need to focus on is, "how well can I present this fly, to that fish, to get it to bite". If he bites, then you work him in...if he doesn't bite, there is still some satifaction in the hunt. I'm pursuing a fish, but somehow, everytime I am on a stretch of water...I seem to learn a little more about myself. So, call this a confession/statement of intent, if you will. I'm gonna dust that rod off, and keep it wet more often than's to the trout waiting to be caught.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

D Revis, the man known as Favre, and other musings...

August has arrive. Already. Which means: a) there is still a lot that I have to get in before the leaves do their annual thing, and b) football season is making its final approach. I LOVE FOOTBALL.

Seriously...for how much the hardwood of hoops has a special place in my heart...there is nothing, nothing, like football.

Now on the football front, there are a few things worth mentioning. First off, and briefly...Favre has hung it up. Personally I am on stand by. If he does, great, if he doesn't, great. I like to watch him play, I hate hearing about him retiring. Second...Mr. Darrelle Revis. C'mon Jets, just pay the man. I think its sick when players, who bytheway are already paid really, really big amounts of money, complain about how they aren't getting more really really big amounts of money. In the case of Revis though...he is really really good at shutting down star recievers, so, he actually deserves the really, really big amounts of money he is demanding. Enough with the "really's"...29.4 yrds/game to the opposing team's lead reciever. Guess who covered those lead catchers game in and game out? DRev. Pay him. All he wants is to be paid more then the highest paid DB position man. The downside for the Jets? That man happens to play for Al Davis, who leads the league in throwing money on speculated talent. If Asomugha makes $45.3 million...offer Revis $45.3.1...and ink the deal!!!

Monday, July 19, 2010

To RUN or not to RUN?

That sounds like a political reference. Inadvertent. I am not running for any office. Although, that one day might be on the agenda. For today I am talking about the "putting one foot in front of the other" type of running. For some strange reason, I have this intriguing bug in my head about running. I might blame it on my pops, who was a marathoner, back in his heyday, or the fact that my sister is relentlessly busting through her running goals. I am a competitor. The problem is though, that me and the road just aren't getting along as well as I would have hoped we would. My shins hurt. My feet don't enjoy it. Worse still is that the little bug in my head still hasn't burst into a "I HAVE to run to feel better today" inexplicable joy that so many often talk about, but have a hard time describing.

Enter Trail Running. This, my friends, is the answer. I like hiking. (Wow I just wrote 3 different forms of kinky while attempting to spell hiking. Awesome.) I like mountains, I want to like running. Why not the mountains...on a hiking trail?!?! Problem solved. So much solved, that I signed up for my first a month. I'll keep you posted. Now I need to get some shoes...

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

This might just work...

I might have gotten a little excited today. I watched the "Three Kings" of South Beach interview in its entirety and for the first time since LBJmania hit full swing I had a visual of this craziness actually having a chance at success. At first, I was (maybe still am, a little) skeptical, for obvious reasons:

LeBron bailing on Cleveland kinda puts a bad taste in my mouth, not gonna lie. Part of me wanted him to be loyal, badly. After "The Letter" though I rescind my need for loyalty.

All the "Chris Bosh" and "superstar" in the same sentence talk. (Bosh is good, but superstar status?). I mean how many playoff appearances in HOW many years in Toronto?

Lastly, D-Wade v. LBJ v. Bosh...oh wait, on the same court, on the SAME team?

All in all it just seemed like way too ridiculous of an idea.

Now though? I am on board. If nothing else I just want to see what actually happens when all three, wearing the same Heat logo'd jersey, step on the court and play 48 mins of hoops. Together.

The reasons it works?

1. DWade is a killa. I always thought so. Behind Kobe, he's second best at closing games. 3.4 seconds left, down 2?...The ball is in DWade's hands. No question.

2. LeBron might not have as killer as an instinct as many of us would like to believe he does. I feel like the man just likes to ball. Period. He just happens to be really, really, ridiculously good at playing. So the world then adds this unnecessary weight to those broad shoulders and has the nerve to judge him by how well he carries it. You know its true. You've done it, I've done it. He draws it to himself because he is that good. That being said, if DWade is allowed to close, LeBron will then be allowed to ball. Ball to the tune of 25, 12 and 10 night in and night out.

3. Then we come to Bosh. I look at Bosh like a Gasol/Odom mixture. (Sorry about the double Laker reference). With the right pieces, i.e: LBJ, DWade, Bosh will do nothing but excel.

So for those of you that are still walking the line of *like* or *dislike* think about it.

It wasn't Jordan and a bunch of scrubs. Bird had a full cast of characters to work with. Magic, Kareem and Worthy. Hell, I'll even throw a KG, Pierce and Allen bone in there. It has worked. It will work. I'm excited to see it work.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Dan Gilbert the hater.

I really can't believe this guy. A PERSONAL GUARANTEE. It's amazing that the thought, when it was forming in his "puffed up 'cause my pride hurts" head, even vaguely seemed like a good idea. The best part about the "letter" is when Mr. Gilbert, so wisely says, "It's time for people to hold these athletes accountable for their actions. Is this the way you raise your children? I've been holding this all in for a long time." First of all, since when do we hold 20-something, multi-million-dollar contracted, superstar-athletes accountable for ANYTHING? You, the owner, Mr. Gilbert are as much to blame as anyone in the "Hold these athletes accountable" situation. The question I have...why in the world do we pay these dudes SO MUCH MONEY? And how do we think they will act after they live the life of the rich and famous, that each one of us who even remotely enjoys a sporting event pay for through tickets sales, enormously overbuilt stadiums, tv contracts, shoes, jerseys and other miscellaneous paraphernalia?

To the King: Props to you. Go to Miami, smile in South Beach, and win. I'm not sold on the idea of a new Big 3 down south, but LBJ had to leave Cleveland. All I want now is to see Mr. Gilbert's face when a trophy is hoisted in anywhere-but-Cleveland.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

R. O. E.

This subject has turned into the perfect storm for me, my thoughts were building like a storm surge in the Gulf of Florida during hurricane season. I'm reading a book called, "The Lone Survivor" which is the eye witness account of a navy seal operation-turned-tragedy in the mountains of Afghanistan.

Great book. Unless you are might not like is as much as I did.

Regardless, the Seal Team Leader talks about the dilemma of the Rules of Engagement imposed upon our military by the "suits" back in Washington. These rules impose two major problems:

1. Excessively tight ROE can constrain a commander from performing his mission effectively, called a Type I error. It is typical for the political leadership to constrain the actions of military commanders. This is often a source of tension between the political leaders, who are trying to accomplish a political or diplomatic objective, and the military commanders, who are trying to make the most effective use of their forces.

2. Excessively loose ROE can facilitate the escalation of a conflict which, while being tactically effective, negates the political objectives that the use of force was meant to achieve. This is a Type II error or "escalatory" error. A common contemporary Type II error would be the use of excessive force, such as air-strikes, in an area with high numbers of noncombatants where such force would result in unintended collateral damage.

With this on my mind, the headline news of the last two days has come to light as Gen. Stanley McChrystal has stepped down as Afghanistand War Commander.

Simple point, made by me. Let the men and women chosen to direct operations with "boots-on-ground" make decisions about how, when and where to act. Politicians sitting easy in Washington, with seperate agendas, let those you have chosen for the job, DO the job.