For the next month, teams representing thirty-two nations will battle for futbol supremacy in the FIFA World Cup. Whenever the World Cup comes around, people like me become soccer fans for the first time since our kids played in the league down at the rec center.
There is one big difference between kid league soccer and World Cup games. When the kid games end, all the players get a juice box and orange slices. After a World Cup game, the players take off their jerseys and swap them with players from the other team. This is a really nice gesture of respect and a great way to get a cool jersey as a memento. Read the rest of this entry »
I don’t think much of politicians. Once you get away from them, I’m really loathe to lump people into a group. But I’m not shy about saying that I don’t think much of people who run for office. I’ve never met a politician who had all the answers. I’ve never known one who didn’t think they were the one who had all the answers.
That said, the news that former president George H.W. Bush parachuted from a helicopter to celebrate his ninetieth birthday is the inspiration for me to start planning my own ninetieth birthday stunt. This is the only time I have ever been inspired by a politician.
The choice of a skydive seems a natural choice for the WW II fighter pilot turned president. He’d jumped seven times before, including once when his plane was shot down over the Pacific. I think it would have been funny if he’d celebrated by reprising the 1992 incident where he vomited on the Prime Minister of Japan.
Time To Plan
Ninety years old is a few years away for me, but it’s never too early to start planning. Like Bush, I had a cool career job title. While ex-fighter pilots can fly a private plane or skydive, there is no recreational equivalent for retired hostage negotiators like me. I won’t be able to arrange for a despondent person to take hostages in a convenience store to celebrate my ninetieth birthday.
So I’ve got thirty-seven and a half years to dream up my ninetieth birthday stunt. Read the rest of this entry »
Music is something that different people experience in different ways. Some of us enjoy different styles of music. We’re all moved by the lyrics we hear; those lyrics move us to different places.
Lyrics are subject to being mis-heard. One of the brightest people I will ever know once believed that Jon Bon Jovi was singing “head full of lice” in the chorus of his band’s hit “Dead or Alive”. The words to other songs are confusing. For instance, what was Bob Seger talking about in his song “Fire Lake” when he sang “you remember Uncle Joe; he was the one afraid to cut the cake”?
The Uncle Joe is a mystery to so many, but like I said, people experience music in different ways. I hear “Fire Lake” and the line about Uncle Joe far differently than most of you. You see, I do remember Uncle Joe. There aren’t many left who know about my Uncle’s struggles, not just with cake, but with all baked goods. Read the rest of this entry »
Twice in recent history we’ve been faced with families who are in a difficult position – they have loved ones who were kidnapped or held by a foreign government while traveling in rather sketchy parts of the world.
In 2009, three American hikers were taken into custody by the government of Iran for accidentally entering that country while they were hiking. Now the headlines tell the tale of a couple who chose to travel through Afghanistan. To the surprise of virtually no one on the planet, this couple was captured by the Taliban and has been in their custody for about twenty months.
We Just Want Our Kids Back
I’m not insensitive to the plight of the families these wayward travelers left behind. They want their loved ones back. Who can blame them? . If my son were kidnapped while he was on a casual stroll through Afghanistan, I would be asking my government for help in getting him home just as the families of the 2009 hikers did and the Afghanistan traveling couple are now.
But you will never see me asking for help getting my son home from Afghanistan. Why? Because my son is no fool. And being a fool is at the heart of the mistake that these families make in requesting help.
I am proud to announce that, through the miracle of the internet, I have become an ordained minister.
This move might surprise some who know me well. Given that I’ve not been an organized religion sort of guy, I can understand why. Let me explain my decision to become a man of the cloth, in the way a man of the cloth like me would explain:
Lo, it has been said that the Lord works in mysterious ways. There’s no way that anything is more mysterious than my decision to become a minister, yet a minister I am. Read the rest of this entry »
I’ve written of my ambition to become a musician and record my own music. Perhaps you’ve noticed that you haven’t been able to buy my albums yet. That is because the music industry is not ready to support an artist who can’t play an instrument or sing – unless they are a rapper.
I’m not a rapper.
My ambition to break into the music business still burns. It burns like your ears would burn if you ever heard me sing. Relentlessly pursuing my dream has taken me in a different direction. I’m becoming a record producer. I’ve thought this idea through to the point that I’ve already developed the concept for the first album I’m going to produce.
I think we can all agree that Mr. Roboto (recorded by Styx in 1983) is one of the oddest, greatest songs ever recorded. Anyone who can’t agree on that point is misguided, because it is. My first album as a producer will be a tribute to the majestic weirdness of Mr. Roboto. Read the rest of this entry »
Rapper 50 Cent added his name to a long list of celebrities whose performance throwing out the ceremonial first pitch at a baseball game proves why celebrities should not throw out the ceremonial first pitch at a baseball game. Let’s examine Mr. Cent’s “throw”:
In the words of the immortal Bob Uecker, that was “just a bit outside”.
You could call this a good throw if, perhaps, you have a problem with photographers. And who doesn’t? Photographers think they’re so cool with their weird little tan vests and their one-legged tripods. Well, they aren’t. And if they ever looked at the world through something other than a camera they might see that they’re the only ones wearing those vests. Read the rest of this entry »