My Facebook Thoughts

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Clash With The Twinkies

Silly sports. Silly games played with sticks and balls. Yet in all its silliness grown people are paid millions to play, people pay billions to watch, and kids and adults scream at the top of their lungs when their team does well.

Some might say, given the country's current "economic crisis", that paying so much attention to games is silly.

I say, "Boo Yaa!"
(Well, I don't really say that, but it sounds really cool.)

The Chicago White Sox won yesterday. Yessss!
That means they play again today against their nemises, (or is it nemisi?), the Minnesota Twins. The Twins are a great opponent because they too were shunned at the beginning of the season.

In Chicago and Minnesota more people will be crunching baseball statistics than economic numbers. Some goofy people will also be cheering for the Cubs today, yyyyyyyaaaaaaawwwwwnnnnnn.

The bottom line here. The economic "crisis" will be dealt with by money people. The rich will get richer and the rest of us will still be forced to struggle.

The baseball fans will be treated with one more silly game. There will be a winner and there will be a loser. I don't make predictions, because I have a very bad track record. But, I can say I will be yelling and screaming.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Fickle Fans Forget Fast

I am a White Sox and Bears fan. In recent days and weeks these two teams have taken me and other fans on a tremendous roller coaster ride. I can't help it, I love it. I don't know why, but I do. There are thousands of us that get on the ride. Are we nuts?

Let's start with the White Sox. This team at the beginning of the season were thought to be chumps. All the others were more improved then us, we had no chance. For the record, I said this to my friend Gill, (not his real name),
"I don't think Detroit is going to be as good as everybody says."
Yep, I told Gill that while we were at a restaurant, Gonghorn Steakhouse, (not the restaurant's real name).
And over the year the White Sox have been the team to beat in their division. This past week they could have walked away with their division and sailed into the all important playoffs. But, that didn't happen. The White Sox lost 5 games in a row. I cursed them. "You Gother Guckers, you Gidiots", (not the real curses). They ripped my heart out.

On Sunday, they won. They were awesome. I love these guys, in a manly chest thumping sort of way. I forgot about the five previous days. The past is history so why dwell.

Then there's the Chicago Bears. They started off the season beating the team that beat them in the Super Bowl.
We were awesome!
We could be going back to the Super Bowl baby.
Then they lost their next two games.
These guys were idiots.
They don't belong in professional sports.
Why do I waste my time on them?
Then they won last night.
We were awesome!
We could be going back to the Super Bowl baby.

Do I illustrate the pattern well? And I know I'm not the only one that does this. All sports fans do this weird dance with their teams all over the world. And yet, there are those who could care less. I don't know how they do it.

I know if my team wins I feel good. If my team loses I feel bad. Either way I'm fine after a short while. I don't obsess over this stuff.
Oh crap, I gotta go!
The White Sox makeup game starts in three hours, I have to go paint my face.

Go Dodgers!

Friday, September 26, 2008

The above video is just a small example of how scared the Republicans are to have Sarah Palin speak. She has nothing to say.

Republicans will slam me and throw out the stale line that, "She's more qualified than Obama." But, if you stop and think about it, when have you heard Palin speak outside of a prepared interview?

Just because you say things like, "she's qualified", doesn't make it true.
Or does it?

I will now pretend I am a Republican. Everything I say is truth.

Bush is a great leader.
McCain is a true contemporary.
Palin could handle world leadership if needed to.
Joan Rivers is funny.
The Cubs will win the World Series.
Paper cuts are invigorating.
A clump of hair in your oatmeal is a tasty treat.

See it's easy to come up with things to say, but it doesn't make them true. As the world gets to know Palin they will see she a political trophy. She looks the part, but please don't ask her to talk.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Get It Right

When I plan on spending more than $50 I take my time to assure my wife and myself that I'm not making a mistake with my money. I still have gift certificate my brother gave me for Christmas because I can't decide which product would be best. I'll probably go with the automatic air pump because it will make inflating Jimmy's toys and basketballs a lot easier. But, that 8gb memory card could be quite useful as well.

That's what I do. It drives me nuts sometimes, but I know I will have gotten the decision right. With Congress taking their time trying to how best spend nearly a trillion dollars, I say, "take your time and get it right".

The magnitude of this banking crisis is forcing Republicans and Democrats to work together. Some say that Congress needs to move faster because stock prices are falling fast. I say, "take your time and get it right". The amazing thing about stocks is that they go up and down all the time. Warren Buffet, arguably the wisest man in the financial industry, announced that he was going to invest $5 billion into Goldman Sachs.

Both Presidential candidates are using this situation to their benefit. They should, because come November, this mess belongs to one of them.

I say, "take your time and get it right".

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


$700 Billion.
I'm willing to bet not all that money will end up where it is intended to go.
I was reading that Congress wants and needs to move quickly to approve this amount of money. One of the sticky points is executive compensation. In other words, they want limits as to how much the executives should be paid during this banking crisis.
Here's a thought, HOW ABOUT NOTHING!
The executives that were in charge of creating banking's worst financial mess should either have to pay it all back or go to prison. But, what will really happen is they will get millions. I'm sure lawyers are already scheming on how to get their grubby little fingers on some of that $700 billion.

Fortunately, Congress is making demands for oversight. I wish they would put provisions in this bailout that would get my home's value back where it belongs. While the greedy money grubbers will get their money fast, the rest of us will have to wait for the market to return to normal.

Both sides of Congress better get this right.

Monday, September 22, 2008


I was going to blog about politicians and bankers, but I decided to brag instead.

My son's soccer team, Romania, won the 2008 CSC CUP. Don't know what that is? Well, that is the Crestwood Soccer Club's All Star championship weekend.

We are so new to soccer and all that goes with it. We were adjusting to practice once a week and a games on Saturdays and Sundays. This All Star weekend was wild. Each team was divided in half. One half played on Saturday the other on Sunday. Instead of 7 on 7 it was 4 on 4, no goalies, 2 12 minutes halves normally it's 2 20 minutes halves. Each group would play three games. The top four teams advance to the semifinals.

Game 1.
We won 5-0 (I think). Jimmy scored his first ever goal on a penalty kick.

Game 2.

We won, I forget the score. Jimmy was all over the field, and not always in a good way.

Game 3.

We lost, score is irrelevant. Game was sad as other team had some over baring parents and a foul mouthed coach.

We qualify for the semifinals.

We win 5-3. Jimmy has played more soccer in one day than he has ever played. He is melting down. Despite that, our team wins.

This game is a rematch of Game 3. This time we are prepared for them. Our team plays a tight game. Jimmy finds his second wind. The game is tied 1-1 late. At one point, late in the game, Jimmy has an open field. He perfectly dribbles the ball to the goal. The shot is his to take. A potential championship winning shot. The goalie, the only player shorter than Jimmy, was all that stood between Jimmy and destiny. Every parent, coach and team mate was cheering him on. The only time Jimmy had heard cheering and yelling this loud was when he was going the wrong way with the ball.
Jimmy stops and turns. Destiny detoured. The game ends in a 1-1 tie. We have a shoot out to break the tie. Each team gets 5 shots. Each team connects for 4 out of 5 shots. Because we had six players, who ever didn't take a shot before must take a shot. That meant Jimmy was to shoot. The other team shot first, score. Now it's Jimmy's turn. If he misses, we lose.

My wife is dying. She is thinking, "that's too much pressure for a five year old." I tell her Jimmy has no idea what's happening. He's just psyched to get to kick the ball at the net.
Jimmy steps up to the ball.
He runs up, cocks his leg back and fires the ball straight down the middle, goal. Game still tied.
The other team misses their next shot.
Our team hits it.
Game over, Romania wins!

As a parent I couldn't have been prouder. Not just because we won, but how we won. Our kids played hard and they played well. Each member of our split team contributed to the championship. Our coach coached through encouragement not intimidation. Our parents cheered equally for each member of our team and as well for the other team's players.

Yes, this was only Widget level soccer. But, it was also a lesson in life. If you try hard you can succeed. Every member of a team contributes to the team's success' and failures. Leaders can get great results via encouragement. There's no pressure if it's fun.

Romania Rocks!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Welcome Home

Today is a special day in our house. On this day in 2003 our son Jimmy was brought to us. As excited as we were to meet him, he was sleeping.

Nothing in this world can prepare you properly to be a parent, nothing.
Books, read them.
Videos, watched them.
Websites, surfed them.
Family, talked to them.
Friends, listened to them.

You see, while all those things are great tools for learning, the baby can't read, his hands were too small to operate the remote, he couldn't left click, didn't speak, and understand English yet. So here is the most dependent little guy in the world, and he's no help.

The best tool to help raise a child is time.
As each minute would pass we gained confidence.
Each hour gave us strength for the next hour.
Then each day brought us wisdom.
The weeks gave us the experience.
The months created trust and bonding.
These years have given us life.

The worst tool to help raise a child is time.
Each day we see our baby grow we realize how fast time goes by. Our baby is not as dependent as he once was. He can ride a two wheeler and tie his own shoes and he's a kindergartner. As parents, we couldn't be prouder.

There are also days you wish you could fast forward time. Just to see how things turn out. But, you know you just have to wait. Thank you God for bringing us that sleepy little baby.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Things That Make Me Go, Huh?

I'm always thinking about things to write. I take great pride in entertaining all 5 of my readers. I wish I had a voice recorder with me during the day so I could capture all my witty thoughts. As it is, you only get he 5% of the things I remember.

I had to laugh when I heard fellow blogger, like I know him, NFL Tight End Chris Cooley, "accidentally" posted a photo of his genitals. WHAT!
I post photos on my blog all the time. I look at photos all the time. I would know if there were anybody's genitals being posted here. Why is he taking pictures of his pigskin anyway?

We all know all politicians like to have fundraisers. The most popular, I think, is the fundraiser dinner. For Obama, recently in Beverly Hills, there was a $28,500 per plate dinner. For McCain, in Florida, there was a $50,000 a plate buffet.
(I'll pause while you digest those numbers.)
The McCain buffet would have me worried because when I go to a buffet I will use up to three plates. That would be $150,000 for me. It would show greater fiscal sense to just go to the Old Country Buffet.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Has Anyone Seen My Equity?

Hi, my name is Mark and I am a financial moron.
I admit it. When it comes to all things financial I am like a one armed man clapping. I can balance a checkbook and I usually don't bounce checks, but that's about it.

Despite my admission I know our country's economy is extremely shaky, especially with some gigantic financial institutions filing for bankruptcy. Yet here is what Republican Presidential nominee John McCain had to say about our economy,

"Our economy I think, still, the fundamentals of our economy are strong, but these are very, very difficult times,"

I'm sorry, but that assessment doesn't leave me feeling warm and fuzzy. I have some stocks and other investments on the side for those "golden years". My biggest investment, like many, is my house. Our "strong" economy has cost me 21% of the value of my house. Even I know that's not good.

While I realize whoever the next president is neither has a magic wand. But, you have to realize there is a problem before you can fix it.

Friday, September 12, 2008

We Have Your Resume, We'll Call You

I watch two parts of Sarah Palin's (my spellchecker still doesn't recognize her) interview with ABC News. She, at times, reminded me of myself during a job interview trying to answer questions I had no idea what the answer was.

On that level, I can understand Palin. She is applying for a job. In essence, we are interviewing her. She wants to answer all the questions. Problem is, and I have been there, she doesn't know a lot of the answers. Now, when I would be in that situation I would start talking. For those who know me, know I can talk. I know a little bit about a lot of things, so I will talk when asked. Sarah Palin is a bullshitter(that, spellcheck knows). And I say that with respect, for I too, am a bullshitter.

I love watching bullshitters do their thing. I call it, The Art of Conversation. To watch this yourself get 2 or more men, you can use women, but men are more predictable. Drop a line about current events, then stand back and watch. You will see a lot of arm movements. Different levels of volume. Head movements. Hand gestures. Each movement and gesture means something. Some moves indicate dominance while others mean submission. In the end, nothing is truly communicated during these vocal dances. It's just bullshitting.

Sarah Palin never answered any tough questions for ABC News. She just talked a lot of talk. This would be entertaining if we were at a family picnic talking about how to remodel a bathroom. But, she is talking about running the most powerful country in the would. I need more than a bullshitter to help clean up all the crap we've had to deal with the last 8 years.

One more thing. Now we know what the "B" stands for in the word "blog", Bullshit!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

God Bless America

For the last 7 years I've always tried to think of the appropriate words to say about this day. Last year was the first time I had a blog on this day. But, I wrote about going to a casino with family. Instead I wrote about 9/12, another important date.
I've written poems, emails to friends and family, journal entries, and chatted with people about this day. This morning as I was thinking about what to say two words kept hitting me.

God Bless.

God Bless all those killed or wounded by animals from hell.
God Bless all those who died trying to save or help the victims.
God Bless all the families who lost a loved one.
God Bless all the people who volunteered to help on that day.
God Bless all the people who could do nothing more than cry and pray.
God Bless all the soldiers who have been put in harm's way because of this day.
God Bless the brainwashed terrorists who jolted this country into remembering what makes us strong, each other.
God Bless the politicians who have been using the memory of today to scare others to forward their own careers.
God Bless those who complained about how much compensation they received in comparison to others.
God Bless those who use this day to grandstand.
God Bless those who might try again to harm innocent people and that they might find peace in their soul.
God Bless all.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Fly The Friendly Skies?

Much to my son's unhappiness I don't fly on airplanes. I'm not afraid to fly, I just prefer driving. I realize that my family could get from point A to point B much sooner than driving yet I still choose the road. I would rather endure 22 hours of inane questions from my son while driving as opposed to 2.5 hours while flying.

But why you ask?

Well, since you asked. The main reason I don't fly is the baggage handling. If I fly my wheelchair must go in the baggage area of the plane. Now I realize millions of items are checked into baggage everyday with no problems. I also realize great care is taken with almost all those items. Yet I just feel uncomfortable parting ways with my $20,000 wheelchair.

Now I know some of you out there are saying,
"Mark, an airlines would take extra special care of your wheelchair because they understand how important it is to you. Don't worry."
To you I say, "Miguel Olaya."
And you say, "Who?"
And I say, "Miguel Olaya."
And you say, "I heard the name, but who is it?"
Then I say, "Don't get snippy, I'll tell you."
You say, "Snippy? I'll show you snippy. I got your snippy right here pal."
Then I'll...(never mind)

Um, Anyways,
Miguel Olaya is a man from New York. His wife died of cancer. He wanted to bury his wife of 26 years in Ecuador. All the arrangements were made. Problem was American Airlines lost his wife's body.
For four days the airlines had no clue where the casket was. Imagine the man's heartache wondering where his wife's was and how it was being handled.

Now if a dead person can't be handled with care, there is no way I'm turning my wheelchair over to the baggage department.

So I have to say to my family in Cali (I'm so cool), "We'll see you in a few days." As opposed to "We'll be there in a few hours, please pick us up at gate 7."

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Don't Let The Pretty Lady Fool You

I keep wanting to write about something other than politics, but I can't help myself. The latest election polls have McCain leading. Ever since he announced Mommy Hypocrite McCain's numbers have been rising.

People please do your research. This lady is a self serving ego maniac is a dress. Let's go to the tape. Oh yeah, I forgot this is a blog not a TV show. Ok, let's go to the links.

A smart look at Sarah Palin from the Daily Show, click here.
An interesting point from The Nation, click here.
An opinion from someone who actually knows Sarah Palin, clink-a-rino.

Now some things I've been pondering.
Palin is absolutely against abortion even in cases of rape of incest. She is Pro-Life 110%.
Palin is a longtime member of the NRA. She believes people have the right to own guns for hunting and protection. So, it would be alright to kill a rapist, but not the baby he left behind. She also supports the death penalty. She also supports McCain on Iraq. A life is a life, you can't play God and decide who lives and who doesn't.

Palin stated that she is proud of her daughter Bristol despite being 5 months pregnant. Yet, she triedto hide her pregnancy. Only speaking the truth when they were forced to by false rumors. She is proud of her future son-in-law, despite not traveling with him until forced to do so.

And one more thing.
McCain is a strong supporter and protector of the sanctity of marriage. I guess that is why he has been married twice. Read about how he loves marrige. He has a past of extramarital affairs as well. Source.

This McCain/Palin ticket must be looked at closely. Remember, it has been the Republicans that got us into this mess. They can't get us out.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Is There Another Writers Strike?

The other night during the Republican Convention it was viewed by an estimated 40 million people. I'm going to assume that people who are interested in politics watched the speeches. Yet, today on CNN I'm hearing McCain/Palin using all the same catch phrases from last week. In fairness the Democrats did the same thing following their convention.

I want some fresh stuff.

It should be easy for the Republicans as Palin says whatever McCain says. So they just need one speech written. With a word processor it's easy to change all the "she's" to "he's". Actually, the Republicans have it even easier as they just have to write something about 9/11 or a P.O.W. camp and they'll be finished.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Where's The Kool-Aid?

I try to be as open minded as possible. When I see good or bad ideas I try to be objective and honest with my opinions. I fear, sometimes, this has cost me friends over the years. But, I have to be me.

I watched each political party's national conventions. Ultimately, they are just really expensive pep rallys. The delegates on the floor are all zombies for their parties. They cheer and clap for whoever is speaking on stage.

I make no secret here that I support the Democrats more than the Republicans. Personally, I would have preferred Clinton as the VP choice. More people were energized during the primaries because Obama & Clinton were fresh faces of change. Biden is a good choice, but hardly inspirational. He fills the International experience gap that Obama's critics are sure to exploit. Together they make a good, not great ticket.

John McCain said one thing last night that I agree with. He said politicians should share ideas more and not worry about who gets credit. As much as I love that idea, it is a pipe dream. The delegates at the Republican Convention were clapping and cheering for Sarah Palin longer than they actually had heard of her. Unless you're part eskimo I doubt many knew who Sarah Palin was two weeks ago. My friend Bill (It might be his real name, but I'll never tell.) found this article about the "highly qualified" Sarah Palin.

We must get this country back on its feet. The Republicans have had eight years to create a huge mess. Nobody can disagree about that. There are no guarentees the Democrats will fix everything. I just want to stop digging the hole down, and start climbing up.

Thursday, September 04, 2008


I could talk all week about how I think the Republicans are wackos. But, I wont.
I could argue McCain ONLY chose Palin (Sidenote: My spellchecker doesn't even know who Palin is.) because she is a woman. But, I wont.
I could ask, if Hillary Clinton had won the Democratic nomination would McCain have picked Alan Keyes as his running mate? But, I wont.
I might ponder why nobody has criticized Palin's daughter for have pre-marital sex. But, I wont.

I'm not going to talk about anything important.

Just like the Republicans.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Do As I Say, Not As I Do

As a kid growing up I was often confused by two things my father would say when I would do something wrong. "Do as I say, not as I do." and "Whether I'm right or wrong I'm always right." I never knew my father's politics, but I think the Republicans have adopted his philosophy.

I can't get past the whole pregnant daughter thing. The Republicans are acting like it's no big deal, but I think it is because it goes against two major cogs of the GOP platform.

Protecting Marriage
The GOP believes a man and a woman should marry because marriage plays a "vital and unique role played by mothers and fathers in the raising of children, and the role of the family in shaping, stabilizing, and strengthening communities and our nation."(John McCain website)

They should add in there that shotgun marriages help to be less embarrassing to parents that might be nominated to President or Vice President of the U.S. Why should these kids be getting married? If the daughter wasn't pregnant would the parents allow her to get married? Getting married just because you're pregnant is generally not a great idea. From about teenage marriage;

"more than 1/2 who marry in their teens will be divorced within 15 years. That is a pretty sobering statistic.

Additionally, according to the Center for Law and Social Policy, "Compared to girls who marry later, teenage brides have less schooling, less independence,and less experience of life and work." Teen brides are also at more risk for being abused and living at poverty levels."

Abstinence only sex education
This is an issue the GOP stands firm on, despite the fact that THEIR OWN VP NOMINEE PROVED IT DOESN'T WORK.
Today's kids are exposed to so much. Good and bad. Kids need as much information as they can get their hands on. Why deny them knowledge?

So clearly the GOP will continue on. They don't offer plans that work, just plans that sound good to voters.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Lie #1

John McCain's people has told the American people its first lie. They have stated that they knew his new running mate's daughter had successfully mated. This proves the Republicans think the American people are stupid.

The Republicans are strong believers in abstinence. No hanky panky without a ringy dingy. So why would the Republican candidate select a VP candidate whose own daughter violated one of their core talking points? THEY DIDN'T KNOW THERE WAS A BUN IN THE OVEN.

So now the GOP spin team goes into action. How do we make this work? If we tell the truth that we were blind sided by our new running mate, the voters wont trust her and they will not vote for us. We must tell the stupid voters that we knew she was pregnant and that it was a "family matter".

Personally, I hope her daughter is healthy and safe. I also hope Palin is aware that she was only selected because she is a woman. The Republicans are looking at the 18 million voters that chose Hillary Clinton like a kid looks at bowl of ice cream. Sarah Palin is their spoon. Because again, the Republicans believe American voters are stupid. Select a woman VP and women will blindly vote for us. I think American women voters are a lot smarter.

If the McCain-Palin team had no problems with her daughter being pregnant, why did they cover her up so much when they first introduced the family?