my message posted on my fantasy football league message board

October 23, 2012 Leave a comment

FEAR ME

Tremble as you look upon me, underlings.  The power rankings are in and I am number one.  I now lead the league in points scored for AND I am second in points scored against.  And yet I am merely ONE game back of first place.  Todd and Bryce may have better records, but with the cream puff matchups they’ve been feasting on, their ranks are merely a house of cards.  You hear that boys?  It’s called strength of schedule*.

My challengers bring their “A” game every week and still cannot take me down.  Danny only leads the league in points against because HE PLAYED ME LAST WEEK.  I took pleasure in stopping his best week of the season.

But do not abandon all hope yet, inferior league members.  Nothing is certain in life.  You may still find a way to the championship, but beware: your road must go through ME.

 

*While on the topic of Bryce’s and Todd’s soft opponents, Bryce picked the perfect week to play me.  It just so happened to be when two of my regular starters combined for 80 points ON MY BENCH.  And I stand by that benching.  They needed to show me that they were committed to this team.  It may have cost me a few trifling stats in the short term, but the long term reward for their renewed spirit will be SWEET.

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Voodoo Doughnuts – an email I sent my buddy

October 7, 2012 Leave a comment
Dude I need your honest opinion: is Voodoo Doughnuts completely ruined or is it still kind of cool?  A friend of mine was just up in Portland visiting and had her first Voodoo doughnut and was all excited about it.  She posted pictures of the shop and it about ruined my night.
It’s huge now?   What happened to the hole in the wall?  What happened to the tattooed, pierced, STD-ridden workers?  What happened to the drunk patrons?  There are multiple locations now!  There’s an effing food truck!  And it’s full of small children from the suburbs.
Every person on the west coast seems to know about it, too.  Oh, you’re going to Portland?  Make sure you have a Voodoo doughnut.  I saw it on the Travel Channel… and Discovery Channel… and ESPN… and the freaking home shopping network.
I’m sorry but I thought it was just a weird little place you visit when you’re in downtown Portland late and you’re bored and you’re a little hungry.  Or maybe you’ve had a bit too much to drink and need some food in you to slow the alcohol absorption.  I thought it was just a place you took your out-of-town friends because it wasn’t terribly well-known and it would be memorable for them and it would kind of represent what the city of Portland was all about.
Now it’s just become a sell-out.  Can’t say that I blame the owners – I probably would have gone after the payday, too – but it is disappointing.  Voodoo’s not the same; it’s not Portland.  It’s like how Times Square still tries to pretend it’s real New York.  No, you’re just a place for tourists.  The thing about Portland is we don’t get many tourists.  Actually, we don’t get any tourists, we just get people who are there for other reasons and want to see the city a little bit.  So it’s just sad.  At least we still have Mo’s and that dumpy burger place in downtown Lake O that only Greg likes.  And the Rialto with that bartender that hates you.
Am I off my rocker again or is this kinda how it is now?  Geez, I sound like a cranky old man.
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Grandpapi told my papi back in my day son

September 5, 2012 Leave a comment
First, read the article.  The first few sentences will suffice.
This is why my greatest fear is that my dad will get Alzheimer’s and it will kick in right when I can’t find the spare key.  Only Dad’s more likely to have a .45 or a 20 gauge near the door.
The best part may be how the dude sat in his chair and waited for the chump to come up the stairs.  If this was a game of 007 Goldeneye, you’d accuse him of peeking at someone else’s screen.  Or at least camping.  But that’s how WWII vets do it.  It killed Germans.  It killed Japs.  And it kills punks from Richmond.
And with all this talk about “stopping power”, lil’ ol’ rimfire makes it happen.  While I’m looking at magnum cartridges, +P loads, full metal jackets, hollow points, and stinger rounds, Grandpa “served under Patton and thought he shoulda slapped that soldier harder” brings the thunder with a single shot from a .22.  I mean, holy crap – did this guy spend his whole life at the single-shot .22 range at scout camp or did he hunt wolves in the far north with his grandpa when he was just a boy?  I can’t believe I wanted cutbacks on medicare – we need this guy alive as long as possible.
Not that he needed the gun.  I’m sure if the .22 was any farther from his chair, this guy probably would have just thrown his empty beer can and somehow decapitated the loser.
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If I start a post with the words “not to get political but” does that make me a douche?

July 12, 2012 Leave a comment

Gay Marriage

Not to get political but can we just cool our jets on the gay marriage debate and look at it from a different perspective?  This isn’t an argument for or against; this is an argument in support of points that no one seems to be making.  Or, at least, no one I listen to.  OK, so five people haven’t been making this point, and so it’s up to me.

You may have heard some of this before, but bear with me.  I think I will get around to something kind of unique.

Where, as a society, are we basing our position that gay marriage is morally acceptable?  Why, when we define the right to marry, do we have to stop at gay marriage?  Why can’t we include incestuous marriage or polygamous marriage?  “Oh, we can’t do that!  Those things are wrong!  Those things are unacceptable in our society!”  Why?  What makes gay marriage morally acceptable but polygamous marriage abhorrent?

The whole contention of the gay marriage advocates is that gay marriage is only outlawed because it is in opposition to traditional societal norms.  They contend that gay marriage should be acceptable in a tolerant, civil society because the people practicing it have the same human rights as heterosexuals.  Fine.  But who decides what is right and wrong in any society?  From where do we get our standards of morality?  Do we as a people decide this?  How do we make it known?  By voting?  But that doesn’t provide a good answer, because gay marriage advocates do not usually accept this point.  They contend it should be a right – not something left up to the whims of the voters.  Look at the lawsuits that result when the people vote down gay marriage.  Look at the politicians that defy their own laws and grant gay marriages and then are praised around the nation.  Again, this is not an argument against gay marriage – I am trying to better define gay rights advocates’ arguments (that’s right – three words in a row ending with the same sound; go ahead, read it out loud and enjoy).

So where do we get our societal morals from?  God?  Not to go Bible-trump-card on you, but I think God has been fairly clear on the matter.  And, in our current society, we tend to resist using traditional religious morals as a basis for our policy (at least officially).  So let’s take God away from the debate.

Then we ask again: where do gay people derive the right to marry?  There doesn’t seem to be a well-defined standard.  On second thought, let’s not stray too much into a debate in philosophy, because that argument is centuries old.  Instead, we’ll just suppose that the gay rights proponents are correct and gay marriage is a human right.  But without a standard like religion or tradition, drawing the line at gay marriage seems every bit as arbitrary as drawing the line at straight marriage.  If gay people are given all the same human rights as straight people, why not people who practice incest or polygamy? *

The point is, by their own argument, people fighting for gay marriage should be in favor of marriage between any two parties, even if those parties include multiple people or are blood relatives.  If we argue in favor of human rights and, by this argument, desire that the government – as the enforcer of our societal morals, independent of tradition or religion – define marriage, we must then allow everything.

This begs the question: Is gay marriage really about human rights or is it about “getting in the club” and forcing everyone else to accept the chosen lifestyle by the government (as a proxy for society) giving its stamp of approval?  Because the thing about getting in the club (as opposed to “da club” where we be drankin’) is that it’s no longer cool if everyone is in it.  If gay marriage advocates will support incestuous and polygamous marriage, I’m cool with what they say.  If not, they are hypocrites… and uncool in terms of this article.

Like I said, all of this (including the charge of hypocrisy) is contingent on the argument being that gay marriage is a human right, regardless of what our traditions or our voting majorities say.  As I see it, the only other solution if the government defines what is marriage, is to define what is socially acceptable by our votes.  But then everyone has to accept the outcome!  Don’t take it to the Supreme Court or call people bigots unless you are going to fight for marriage of all types.  Because people who vote against gay marriage are no more homophobes than you are an incestuaphobe (I just made that up!) – unless, of course, you argue for marriage for all.

So then, if everyone can get married, what’s the use of the government defining marriage at all?  Isn’t marriage about two parties getting together and pledging their love for each other in front of their friends and loved ones?  Isn’t marriage only as important as the devotion the participants give to it?

Conclusion: As a society, we are left with three options.  1) Grant government-sanctioned marriage to any and all willing parties as a human right.  2) Define marriage state-by-state through voting based on how individuals define morality on a personal level, whether it be religious or whatever. 3) End government sponsorship of marriage all together and allow free people to form clubs, churches, or other associations in which they recognize whatever form of marriage their fellow members deem acceptable.  Lastly, if we chose option (1), isn’t it just easier to go straight to option (3) via the argument in the preceeding paragraph?

Civil Unions

For those of you wondering about the gaping hole in this article that should have addressed all the benefits granted by the government to married people (like tax breaks or hospital visits), let me sum it up briefly: If we replace the word “marriage” with “civil unions” above and grant those benefits through civil unions, the argument is almost identical, only now we just have options (1) and (2).  The logic is the same.  In mathematics we would say the remainder of the proof is trivial and is left to the reader.

Equilibrium: Combining civil unions and marriage we have four worlds.  1a) A world in which marriage is defined state-by-state and civil unions are given to all. 1b) A world in which both marriage and civil unions are defined state-by-state.  2a) A world in which there is no government definition of marriage and civil unions are given to all.  2b) A world in which there is no goverment definition of marriage and civil unions are granted state-by-state.

(1b) is how we currently live.  I think (2a) results with the highest number of people going home happy.

Mostly, I’m just tired of the hate that has filled this debate.  It need not be so.

Additional Notes

Yes, I know much of this reads like it was written by a libertarian-minded conservative who opposes gay marriage.  Cut me some slack – it’s really hard to control tone.  Notice that there is no conclusion as to which side is right or wrong – just an attempt to reframe the debate around more sensical talking points.  I also use lots of dashes, colons, and statements phrased as questions – most of the time used correctly.  You’re welcome.

These thoughts were almost completely fleshed-out one night through a long discussion with my brother, Keith (http://keithandportland.wordpress.com); someone thinks clearly and logically enough that I can always solidify my thinking just by talking to him.

Footnotes

* Don’t talk to me about studies or anecdotal stories that may show negative results for polygamous or incestuous marriages because I don’t think anyone wants human rights defined based on some statistical analysis.  Extend that idea to all our rights and that’s a dangerous place to go.

Well-played Ronald. Well-played.

July 11, 2012 Leave a comment

“How can limited government and fiscal restraint be equated with lack of compassion for the poor?  How can a tax break that puts a little more money in the weekly paychecks of working people be seen as an attack on the needy?  Since when do we in America believe that our society is made up of two diametrically opposed classes – one rich, one poor – both in a permanent state of conflict and neither able to get ahead except at the expense of the other?  Since when do we in America accept this alien and discredited theory of social and class warfare?  Since when do we in America support the politics of envy and division?”

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It’s never too late to jump on the bandwagon (ok sometimes it’s too late): Newsroom

July 1, 2012 Leave a comment

No need to rip this show apart with some snarky comments about how it’s sanctimonious horse-drivel.  I don’t even know what that means.  The following will suffice as my review:

Ever in a conversation and there’s this incessant noise in the background that you ignore so as to not break your conversation? And as that noise gets more and more intrusive you naturally get louder and louder trying to ignore it and even as you do so you don’t give the noise conscious attention? And when you finally tune into it and freak out and turn off the noise you get the greatest satisfaction and relief? That show was this noise. And there was no conversation. And that’s how I felt when I turned it off 29 minutes in.

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OKC aka SucksKC

June 3, 2012 Leave a comment
I can’t stand the Thunder.  I’m not sure exactly why, but I think there are a number of things that just straight up annoy me and together, make me hate the team with hot fire.
1) Their stupid, stupid fans.  It’s not a college game.  Sit down, quit trying to “whiteout” every game, and watch the game like an adult.  Learning the rules might be a productive activity.  Example: Spurs accidentally toss the ball into to the backcourt and it’s slowly bouncing down the floor as Tony Parker jogs after it.  Obviously the refs won’t blow the whistle until TP touches it.  Obviously, any fan base with brains starts cheering as soon as they see it go into the backcourt.  Thunder fans?  They don’t know it’s their ball until the ref blows the whistle and hands it to them.  They cheer like the MBA tools that were at the bar for the last Pacquiao fight I went to.  They knew nothing about boxing, but damn it, they were there to cheer for Pacquiao no matter who he was fighting.  So they got really loud whenever it seemed like something was happening.  And those idiots on ESPN talk about them like they’re the best fans in the league.  Screw them.
2) Zombie Sonics (reference: Bill Simmons)
3) Jealousy.  This should have been my team.  My team would have been better than this team with the players we had.  But bad luck (and an inept front office) has sent us back to the lottery.
4) James Harden.  Dude has game, but I hate that beard and I hate how he walks around bumping into to people without really looking at them.  He doesn’t have the balls to straight up talk trash or threaten but he likes to just be there, right behind your shoulder, bumping you after every play, just waiting for you to load up with your elbow and….
5) Kendrick Perkins.  Dude, you suck at basketball.  You may be a big body, you may be strong, but you have no discernible skills beyond this other than looking like a giant black ogre.  Quit tough-talking and mean-mugging the effing ANNOUNCERS.  They just accurately described your abysmal pick and roll D.  I can’t even end that with a sarcastic “sorry.”
6) There are more, but I think 5 reasons is enough.
That’s enough.  I will say it was nice to watch game 2 of the Heat-Celtics and the Youtube compilation of game 6 of the 2002 Lakers-Kings series to remind myself once again that this league is fixed.  And then David Stern’s team won the lottery.  Well, I’ll let that one slide since I was praying to God that the Bobcats wouldn’t get the Unibrow. (whoops, I mean this.)
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