Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Quote by Susanne Aldrich

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Tyson Brothers

My old buddy Roy Dodman and I were talking the other day and came up with a funny idea involving two celebrities with similar names. See the result below.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

The N Word, the R Word, and the NFL

The National Football League has proposed a new rule that would make use of the N word on the field a 15 year penalty. A player that utters that word a second time would be ejected from the game. There has been much discussion on sports talk radio about whether this is a good idea or not. On one end of the continuum is the group that says the N word is vile and degrading and should be removed from our language entirely. On the other end are younger players who say that the word carries a different meaning today and the NFL's edict is unnecessary. I'm not going to discuss the NFL's motives or people reaction to this new proposed penalty. Instead, I'd like to discuss the NFL's hypocrisy.

The NFL feels that the N word is offensive to African Americans and should be banned. And yet the team in this nation's capitol goes by a name that is offensive to Native Americans. While it's true that in college football certain teams are named for Native American tribes; the Florida State Seminoles and Central Michigan Chippewas, for example. But those tribes are indigenous to the area and are supportive of the colleges using the nickname. "Redskin" is a derogatory term for all Native Americans. The is no "Redskin" tribe and no support for the name by anyone it purportedly describes.

A case could also be made that this situation shows an institutional racism in the NFL. As one former NFL player said on a morning talk show, white players don't use the N word on the field or there would be a fight. Players of African American descent use it among themselves. 70% of the players in the NFL are of African American descent. 100% of the owners are white. Team nicknames are decided on by the owner. Other owners could put pressure on the Washington franchise to change their name. They have not.

I understand that there is a long tradition in Washington of using the "Redskins" name. I am here to offer a solution. Keep the name, but change out the mascot. Instead of a caricature of a Native American the new mascot could be a redskin potato. The team could keep their colors and their name. Think of the promotional tie-ins. Redskin Potato Fries. Redskin Heads (think Green Bay cheese heads). And in the luxury suites, Redskin Potato Vodka. I've even taken the time to create a new helmet design.

No need to thank me, a couple of season tickets to the New Redskins will suffice.

Monday, February 17, 2014

5 Reasons to visit Beer City USA this week

The Winter Beer Festival is happening in Grand Rapids this Saturday. I wrote an article for Examiner.com about the 5 Reasons to visit Beer City USA this week.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

I haven't mused about music in a long time. According to the sub heading on this blog that's one of things I'm supposed to do. 

I was doing chores and web stuff around the house this evening. I often have music on when I do this kind of thing. Tonight I was listening to the adult alternative music channel on Comcast. (We can discuss the horribly named catch-all genre later.) Anne Lennox singing "Why" came on and stopped me in my tracks. I have always enjoyed her music. In fact, I think Anne Lennox has one of the best singing voices in the world. On this track her voice is clear, strong, and full of emotion. The song is from her 1992 album "Diva". That was 22 years ago. That's amazing. Sometimes music transports us to an earlier time and fills us with old memories. (Perhaps that explains the popularity of oldies stations.) But tonight "Why" made me live in this moment. There was something about it that just seemed to envelop my entire being. The song started, I stopped what I was doing and just sat down and listened.

Saturday, January 04, 2014

Grumpy old man rant

Now that's it's finally snowing I'm going to start my rant about the weather forecasters. Or should I call them "The Legions of Apocalyptic Doom."? Seriously, every change in the weather does not have to be greeted with hand wringing and teeth gnashing by the TV weather dudes and dudettes. Last week one of the stations announced a Winter Weather Advisory for parts of southeast Michigan. "Better pay attention" I said to myself, "this could be the big one." The forecaster then went on to predict that the area could receive 1" of snow. 1"? One inch? Since when do people in Michigan have to be warned about a single inch of snow? In January? If this was Texas than an inch of snow is news. In Michigan we don't even get out the shovels for an inch. I can sweep that up with a broom.

A quick aside. Several years ago we were in Texas over Christmas and on the day we were leaving it snowed an inch. The Texans freaked out. To be fair, they have no snow removal equipment and no one down there knows how to drive in the snow. So an inch of the white stuff was a pretty major concern. On the radio they were telling people to stay off the roads. Which was good for us, we made it to the airport easily. Unfortunately, the snow "storm" delayed flights and rendered the elevated shuttle trains at the Dallas-Fort Worth airport inoperable. We almost missed our connecting flight, even though we had a three hour layover.

As I said, an inch of snow in Texas is cause for concern; in Michigan, not so much. In the last few years school days and evening events have been cancelled based on the forecast of bad winter weather. It seems like at least half the time the anticipated storm is much less fierce than predicted. The gloom and doom forecasters need to dial back the gloom and doom. Now if they are tracking a hurricane or a tornado has been spotted that's a different thing. But predicting snow in Michigan in the winter is like predicting sunshine in southern California in June. It's just going to happen so, no pun intended, chill out.

The main reason this annoys me is the "boy who cried wolf" effect. If we keep getting winter warnings for minor (or non-existent) storms, pretty soon viewers will stop believing the weather people. Then, when a serious storm does threaten, people will ignore the forecast. This could lead to injury or death. So, weather people, do this grumpy old man a favor, ease up on the overly histrionic forecasting. It's winter so don't worry about the couple inches of snow. We expect that on a daily basis. If we are going to get 6" of snow in less than 24 hours, make that an advisory. A warning should be reserved for a foot of snow in 12 hours or less. This is just my suggestion. Excuse me now. I'm going to make a hot toddy, cover up in a blanket,  and watch the snow fall outside my window.