Wednesday, October 19, 2011

I owe someone an apology...

Last year I was extremely critical of LeBron James. I disagreed (understatement!) with the way he handled his move from Cleveland to Miami. I thought then, and I think now, that it was in bad taste, but I do understand (and defend the fact that) he was well within his rights to do so, I just wish he had picked a better way to do it.

While I disagreed with him that did not give me the right to question the character of a man I don't know and have never met. I, like most people, only know LeBron through coverage of him in sports media and through his twitter account (as if you needed a link), this doesn't mean that I know him. My criticism of LeBron never descended to the grotesque depths of racism that some people did, I'm not even sure how racist people sleep at night, but in questioning his character I did go beyond the pale, and for this, LeBron, I apologize.

Over the summer I've come to realize that despite the incredible amount of vitriol and hatred thrown in his direction, LeBron has conducted himself in a rather honorable fashion. No, he isn't perfect, far from it, but we all make mistakes and we all have our moments, there's a fairly good chance that anyone reading this is somewhat less than saintlike. But if we're to take into account his faults and mistakes we have to also take into account his charity work and good will. Overall, LeBron seems to be a decent person with a good head on his shoulders and a good heart in his chest, which is why I felt bad enough about the things I said to write this poorly written apology at 1 in the morning.

Why am I writing this? Because I feel like he deserves an apology. He took (and continues to take) an awful lot of flak. Banter between teams and fans of teams is one thing, and it's all good and well, but some of the personal insults he's received show an incredible lack of tact and character. Why do I think he cares what you think? I don't, I just wanted to say it.

Friday, October 8, 2010

This religion quiz thing...

Insomnia lead me to take this strange belief quiz (use adblock to be safe) since I don't really have anything else to do, I got this:

1. Liberal Quakers (100%), 2. Unitarian Universalism (96%), 3. Mahayana Buddhism (85%), 4. Neo-Pagan (81%), 5. Mainline to Liberal Christian Protestants (80%), 6. New Age (78%), 7. Theravada Buddhism (75%), 8. Taoism (72%), 9. Orthodox Quaker (72%), 10. Secular Humanism (72%), 11. Baha'i Faith (68%), 12. New Thought (66%), 13. Jainism (64%), 14. Reform Judaism (61%), 15. Hinduism (61%), 16. Scientology (57%), 17. Christian Science (Church of Christ, Scientist) (52%), 18. Nontheist (50%), 19. Sikhism (48%), 20. Orthodox Judaism (41%), 21. Seventh Day Adventist (38%), 22. Islam (34%), 23. Mainline to Conservative Christian/Protestant (33%), 24. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) (30%), 25. Jehovah's Witness (22%), 26. Eastern Orthodox (19%), 27. Roman Catholic (19%).

Obviously, I'm not putting any stock into an online quiz for a rather big lifestyle decision, but the results are some what interesting. I've always admired the role that more liberal members of the Society of Friends played in abolition of slavery in America, their Dovish views on conflict are appealing, too.

Jainism has always been interesting to me, though I'm way too mental to ever be a Jain. It requires an incredible amount of discipline and work. Originally I was shocked to see Neo-Paganism so high, but after I thought about it I really wasn't.

The religion I was raised in -- Southern Baptism -- wound up finishing in the relegation places...err, toward the bottom of the pile. Not really shocked by that, there are reasons I left the Church to begin with.

I've been looking at religions for around a year and a half now and I still haven't found one that fits, usually that only happens with clothes.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Free Kobi!

I really didn't want to end my long blogless streak with a post about professional eating. Actually I didn't care what I ended it with, I just don't like the idea behind professional eating, I think it's vulgar, then again I am more or less a priss. But oh well.

I spent most of Independence Day in bed with a headache, this meant I spent a lot of time channel surfing. One of the recent television staples of July 4th has become the Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest in Brooklyn (the other Brooklyn, not our Brooklyn, Charlotte's not gross). Over the years ESPN has used the sporting lull that is July 4th to introduce us to the characters of this grand affair, people like Juliet Lee, Joey Chestnut and Takeru Kobayashi. Kobayashi (or Kobi, if you're cool with him) is like the Yokohama F. Marinos of hot dog eating, a once dominant and now fading force. Chestnut is like the Urawa Red Diamonds, he has a lot of fans and lately he's been winning titles. Also his fans will fight you on message boards, like Tim D'Annunzio -- who I have figured as a bit of a Kettering Town man.

Anyway, I need to cut to the chase before I start revealing just how little I know about this stuff. Kobi wasn't allowed to eat hot dogs on Sunday because he refused to sign an exclusive deal with Major League Eating, which I guess is like the WWE of professional eating. This is because Kobi is -- in professional gluttony terms -- a celebrity worth a lot of money. He's also very marketable. He knows this, and MLE knows this, this is why MLE wants him to sign a deal, so he can't eat for anyone else. Kobi doesn't want to sign a deal because it would prevent him from eating publicly for his own sponsors.

Drama bomb in here.

I guess Major League Eating is will within their rights to tie up Kobi, I mean, Vince McMahon doesn't let his guys wrestle in other wrestling promotions, but at the same time Vince pays his guys a decent wage, you have to wonder how much an MLE contract is worth. I mean, we can't be talking LeBron James numbers here, can we? With that in mind, I feel for Kobi. I mean, I think he's gross, but he still has a right to make money off his image, and as a professional eater I can't imagine he has a lot of opportunities flying his way.

Oh well, I guess we'll see how this one works out. Unless I lose interest, which I probably will. Maybe I should take up professional eating, I'm thin as a rail.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Emotional Jake a Charlotte sporting legend

Jake Delhomme couldn't contain himself as he broke down during his press conference today. The most accomplished quarterback in Carolina Panthers history found himself in tears and didn't bother fighting back. That's the way he's always been, and the reason he has earned such a passionate fan base in the Carolinas.

It's easy to assume Carolina fans are happy about the decision if you aren't a Carolina fan. All you'll see is Jake's horrible 2009 and his dreadful game against Arizona the season before. What you didn't see was the barely televised game against Jacksonville to start his first season as a Panther. With Carolina down 14-0 at half time John Fox made the call to pull veteran Rodney Peete and replace him with the unheralded Delhomme who lead the team to a 24-23 victory and capped off the season with an NFC Championship.

In the following years Jake would have his ups and downs. He would lead the team to another NFC Championship game against Seattle with a depleted running back corp only to fall short. He would also throw an obscene amount of interceptions and bad passes, and again he would lead the team on seemingly impossible last minute comebacks, like against San Diego where he managed to find Dante Rosario in the back of the end zone while falling down. Had Brett Favre made that same play various ESPN talking heads would've masturbated themselves into comas. But as it stood, Jake made it, so nobody west of Hothouse, south of Hardeeville, or north of Big Creek heard about it.

Off the field he was, and is a gentleman and a role model for young children, especially young athletes. Jake never, ever gave up on his dreams despite some harsh setbacks. He was determined to achieve his goal, and he did. Talent-wise Jake probably has no business in the NFL, especially not playing for championships, but he was there. He often found a hidden gear, a way to out play every other player in the league, and made a career for himself out of emotional, intense play. You never got cocky bravado from Jake, you got results. Sometimes not the way you expected, but he usually found a way to deliver.

He bowed out the same way he played, with intense emotion. Some will be critical of Jake for crying, and tell him to "man up". It's easy to tell a champion quarterback to man up when you're sitting at home. This is a man who played injured countless times and repeatedly dragged himself back to the line in intense pain to manage enough yardage for the Panthers to at least attempt a field goal, a man who was vastly respected by his teammates and loved by his fans. I feel he's entitled to a few tears.

In my eyes he's on the same level as Mike Minter, Muggsy Bogues, and Dell Curry, a Charlotte sports legend, and a world-class gentleman to boot. There will always be a place for him in this town.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Perspective Check

Seriously.

I have depression and I bitch about it, a lot. Both because it sucks and the fact that my current situation only serves to exacerbate it most of the time. Don't worry, this isn't another blog about that. Though for whatever reason those posts play well in Beverly Hills according to my analytics account.

But, I'm alive. I have ground under my feet and clean water to drink. It's not always easy, but if I were to put my head down I could probably free myself from the chains that have been put on me by various things. I've learned this last week that not everyone has that, some people don't have anything, like the people who have had their lives ruined by the destruction in Haiti.



We can all sit around and say "well, this is why it happened" and blame various politicians and other things. Some people Someone actually said that it happened because Haiti had a contract with the Devil, even though that person himself signed a multi-year deal with AC Hell Argyle back in the 1970s and is somewhat of a folk hero down at the Riverside. But enough about him. Talking about stuff like that is anti-productive, it solves absolutely nothing except the feeding of one's own ego by tricking yourself into thinking you'd have done a better job with no natural resources at your disposal. That's why Haiti is so poor, you know, because it has no resources, making it the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere -- by some way.

What can we do then? Well, you can donate, and I know that most people have and that some people can't. The economy is tight all over the world, trust me, I know first hand. If you have a birthday or anniversary coming up and want to help, have people do donations in your name to the charity of your choosing rather than buy you gifts. Material things are nice, but they're only things. People (and animals) are all unique and can't be replaced, a simple blanket or bottle of drinkable water could save a life, or a pair of lives, and people are being found alive everyday. The impact of that simply cannot be spoken for. Here's a list of organizations accepting donations in my local paper. All of those are trusted organizations that won't steal your money. Groups not on that list worth checking out are UNICEF and Samaritan's Purse.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Reckless Driving

Yes, I'm expanding on a blog post she made. No, I'm not copying it.

I nearly got killed today. Seriously.

This isn't like Jane's post where a "techie", or a "Gen-Y", or a "Millennial" was texting her BFF Jill. No, there's a term for this person. This person is a wanker. Full stop.

I don't care what's on television, I don't care who's at the club, I don't care who you have a date with or if you have reservations at the best place in all of Charlotte. I don't care. I stopped at a stop sign, like I'm supposed to do, you don't honk your horn at me when I let a truck that was 10 yards from the stop sign go passed. I'm not holding you up or cramping your style. Those skanks that nobody else wants will still be in that third rate club that no one with class goes to, it's fine. Now, I can forgive honking, that's the natural road behavior of the wanker, everyone comes into contact with these people, possibly multiple times on a single trip. What I can't forgive is you blowing by me at 40-miles-per-hour in a 20-miles-per-hour zone and not only nearly taking the front-end off of my car, and possibly injuring me and my passeneger, but nearly taking the rear-end off the car in-front of us and nearly injuring a woman and her passenger. Her passenger being a child that wasn't possibly any greater than five-years-of-age.

I have anger issues, I really do. People occasionally get a laugh out of them, I even have a cute nickname, "Princess Bobby". But kidding aside they're very serious, and they take a negative toll on my already fragile health. I was able to collect myself and avoid road rage. But this person wasn't done, he didn't beat the next stop-light (Karma's a bitch) and I ended-up behind him, he had another go with his finger. I got a bit pissed, admittedly, but I was able to snuff my fuse one again, but I did get the license tag of the wanker-in-question and you can rest assured it will be in CMPD's databases tomorrow. Will they do anything? Probably not. And knowing that nearly inspired me to take justice into my own hands, but again I was able to hold my rage. I can't have a murder charge on me, my skinny ass is not cut out for the penitentiary. No way.

My personal issues aside, this is a problem. It's happened to Jane before, numerous times. It's happened to others I know, numerous times. If there was a medicial emergency, I could understand, really. There are emergency services that will help you get to the proper facilities safely, use them, your tax dollars pay for them. Mr Wanker didn't have an emergency, he's just full-of-himself.

If you happen to be full-of-yourself, a wanker, or just a douchebag-in-general and are reading this, think about something. I make a genuine effort to be a peaceful person. Yea, I'm a hippie. I don't care what people think about that. But what if I wasn't? Many people in my current position, an emotional wreck on the very end of their last and final tether, could've lost the plot right there. Could've pulled the car up next to him and emptied a clip. Could've shot that wanker dead. It's happened before, and it'll happen again. Just consider that next time you think the world is indeed yours.

Nothing is worth a losing a life. Nothing.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Plush Hobbes Doll

So, I've never sewn anything before. In fact, October 31st was the first time I've ever threaded a needle so I went into this project without a clue as to what I was doing. After watching a few tutorials on how to prepare my sewing area, which is basically my computer desk, I set to work on sewing a plush Hobbes doll.

Jane is a big fan of Calvin & Hobbes, and she's been quiet good to me through some difficult times this year, so I wanted to make her something unique for Christmas. Of course, I'm not the first person to make a plush Hobbes doll, other people have done it with greater success than me (see here, and here). You can't buy them because Bill Watterson -- the creator of Calvin & Hobbes -- doesn't licence his products for retail, it's fine to make them for personal amusement, but you can't sell them. And I actually agree with that, it does somewhat cheapen the image when it's plastered all over everything. I'm not really good at buying gifts for people anyway -- some people are, Jane for instance is great at it -- so I tend to favor making things.

So, here it is. Apologies that I forgot to take photos in steps, I worked on it whenever I got time and it slipped my mind to take photos of the parts.

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The materials before I cut them apart.

I had to make the pattern myself, and obviously if I've never sewn before, I've never made a sewing pattern before. Honestly I was completely lost at this point, so much so that I was using a plush Easter Bunny as my pin cushion. I later found out that paper scissors and fabric scissors are not the same thing!

So, after about 20 total hours of work, and some very sore finger-tips later, I finished the doll. It's 10 inches (a 0.25 meters) tall. In total it's sixty-one pieces. I didn't quite get all the stripes the perfect distance so I had to do some additions to some, the striping was mind-numbingly boring.

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The finished doll on my bed.

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He's not that tiny, I have gigantic hands. And yes, skinny arms.

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I wanted to make his head fatter, but the thread didn't want me to.

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View of the face and front torso.

The tail is a bit loose, and that's really my only worry with it's stability.

I bought the thread and stuffing locally, but the fleece came from a website called Fleece Queen. The price was pretty low, and I'm not exactly made of money, and they got it to me quickly and with no hassle so if you ever find yourself buying fleece online, I recommend them. And no, they didn't pay me to say that, if only they did!

Overall, I'm pretty happy with how he turned out. Jane seems very happy with him, and that's really all that matters. He did survive being shipped 1,100 miles from Charlotte, North Carolina to North Texas on Thanksgiving week, so I'm thankful for that. My friends say it came out well, but then again, they're my friends and they might just be being nice to me.

Though if you want something much cooler, you can buy one of Jane's duct tape wallets, she works hard on them and they've all come out really well. This is mine. You can see the rest of them at her Flickr page. Go to her site: www.janeds.tv to find out how to order one. I guess that's sort of a plug, even though I don't work for her at the moment. (I used to be her PA, for those unaware). They are nice though, Jane's a creative girl.

Okay. That's that. Maybe I'll make more crafty stuff in the future, people are always harping me to do artistic things (and try to qualify for Jeopardy!, but that's a different story), so maybe I will.