Moron’s Guide to being Outside

With springtime comes the migration from the gym, (or the couch) to the outdoors, enjoying walking, biking, running, whatever tickles you.  Much of this activity takes place in public parks, especially in cities however; this information should be equally valid on streets and sidewalks as well.  The following is the Top 10 List of what you would think are “Common Sense” things, but in my experience, the sense is a lot less common than originally hoped for, so here goes, lets make this spring and summer safe and fun for everyone.

 

 

  1. If you’re on a path or sidewalk and you must stop, get off to the side and out of the

way.

 

You might think this one is easy, but so many people see friends, neighbors or relatives and stop to talk, which is fine, just remember, others are continuing to move and you’re screwing up the traffic patterns, so get out of the way and off to the side!

 

 

  1. If your Rug Rats don’t know left from right or stop from start, keep them off bike

paths.

 

Again, you might think this is a DUH moment too, but so many young, proud parents are so sure the rest of the world will love their precious crumb crunchers as much as they do, so they allow them to wander all over a bike path, totally screwing up traffic and causing mayhem to those of us actually trying to exercise.  HEY, MOM, DAD, find a nice vacant parking lot and let your kids learn whatever it is you’re trying to teach them someplace SAFE.  As much as I love my own kids, yours, not so much.

 

 

  1. If your dog is aggressive, barks incessantly, and is badly behaved, leave him home.

 

Once again, another “NO- BRAINER” to everyone except the owner of the obnoxious animal who is famous for saying to everyone who is being mauled by the dog, “don’t worry, he’s just playing, he won’t hurt you.”  This said after your shirt is covered in mud your skin is scratched from Rovers long nails and his 8 inch tongue which but a minute ago had been in his anal cavity is now swabbing your face.

 

 

  1. Retractable Leashes are really not leashes at all…..

 

You’ve seen these wonders of invention, a leash that allows the owner to release yards of line, letting Rover bound all over the place, fine if you’re in a meadow walking your dog, not so fine when the animal is now across the street and you can’t quickly enough reel him back in.  These versions of leashes ought to be outlawed in parks, they do nothing to keep others safe and allow lazy dog owners to let the dog run without them moving their fat asses trying to keep up.

 

 

  1. Wanderers

 

This is especially annoying in a park on a bike/walking path, where, again, you would think that everyone born here in AMERICA knows that normal traffic flows are on the RIGHT side of roads, paths, walkways and sidewalks, but without fail, some nimrod either walks right down the middle, which causes problems for everyone coming in both directions, or the complete moron that walks on the WRONG SIDE, and is then offended when you bring it to his attention.  KEEP TO THE RIGHT DICKWEED, HELLO???

 

 

  1. Group Walkers

 

I don’t know why, but almost every time I see this particular group, it is usually early in the season, (probably because they are pledging to do better this year in getting out, and then that pledge goes to hell and they don’t come back) and this group is almost universally obese as well as clueless.  Here is how it goes:  Usually in a park, on a walking/bike path, you come upon 5 to 10 of these people, walking side-by-side completely oblivious to others, looking up in the sky, mumbling, generally confused, and then completely frightened and startled when you come along and zing by on your bike.  As the Twinkies and donuts fly, a few even manage a few threatening words, right as if any of them could catch you……  Again, GROUP WALKERS, welcome to the park, but please, if you’re insisting on walking abreast of your fat friend, at least get one of those orange triangles and hang them off your ass so I can see you from a distance,  those grey sweat pants blend right in.

 

 

  1. Scolders

 

I love this group.  It usually is an older woman, sometimes and older man, but in both cases, they are doing something in violation of the park rules, (usually walking in the wrong direction or on the wrong side of the path) so when you come up on them while biking, they are startled and let you know it by yelling that you’re either, “going to fast”, or you’re “dangerous”, or something like that.  When I have stopped in the past and pointed out to these self-righteous morons that this would not have been a problem if they had been obeying the rules, universally they accept none of the responsibility and simply become more shrill and loud in their indignation.  These are the same people who spy on their neighbors, hate kids and call the police a few times a week, just to chat.

 

 

  1. Ear-Buds and Head Phones

 

By definition, this group is always under 30 and they may well be the most clueless of the bunch.  By shoving the ear buds in or donning the giant headphones, these assholes are telling the rest of the world to LEAVE ME ALONE.  God forbid they hear the sound of a bird singing, or the water rushing along the riverbank, or the nice HELLO from their fellow man, but no, LEAVE ME THE HELL ALONE, I’M LISTENING TO MY MUSIC.  This group of self-absorbed dildos can all go fornicate themselves.  As if anything these morons are listening to could be as good as the great outdoors all around them, talk about missing the point.

 

 

  1. Cell Phone Talkers

 

Almost as big of dip-shits as the above group of the anti-social breed, this is always a single woman, walking along like she is on a mission, talking as fast as she can spit the words out.  Again, completely oblivious to her surroundings and clearing ignoring everything and everyone around her because what she has to say is just so freaking important it simply can’t wait!

 

 

  1. Texters

 

Finally, the KING of the morons.  These sub-human dolts are my personal favorites.  They are walking along, head down, drooling onto their phones, COMPLETELY DEVOID of all human emotion, have no idea where they are in space or time.  Fire up YouTube and watch a few of them walk into traffic; it’s so refreshing to see.

 

 

And so my friends, there you have it, the Morons Guide to outdoor enjoyment.  Have a great summer.

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Happy easter

 

Two Thursdays before Easter I was scheduled for a colonoscopy.  I’m a terrible patient and the prospects of the unknowns scare me so bad that it makes the run-up to events like this almost unbearable for me.  Unable to sleep the night before, I picked up my fathers little Bible that sits on a table beside his picture.  The Bible was given to my dad from his minister, a going away gift to a 17-year-old on Palm Sunday, 1945.  My dad kept that pocket-sized Bible with him every minute of his time in the Navy until World War II finally came to an end.

 

In the darkness of early morning, I randomly opened the book, page 424, the Book of Philemon, the third shortest book in the Bible, only 335 words.  Verse 7 made me smile and the rest of the day was a breeze.

 

“For we have great joy and consolation in thy love, because the bowels of the saints are refreshed by thee, brother.”

 

That next Thursday, just 3 days before Easter, I was working in rural northern Pennsylvania, just outside of the village of Troy.  I had some time to spare, so I wandered down a stone covered road, completely at random, simply taking in the spring scenery and enjoying a little downtime on a beautiful day.  As I approached a small bridge spanning a creek, I decided to park the car and take some pictures.  I stood in the middle of the short span looking upstream and took some photos.  An image that seemed out of place caught the corner of my eye, off the bank of the stream in a dense patch of vegetation.  A wooden cross was nailed to a small tree.  The wood was weather-beaten and it appeared as if it had been there for a very long time.  I took a moment to say a short prayer and acknowledge to God that I was paying attention, thanking him for the moments in everyday life that bolster my faith.

 

I hope that you too find the signs and images of God in your life.  Happy Easter.

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Mommy? Mommy? Mommy?

kid

Two young women walked into the restaurant just about 11AM on a Saturday.  I was there having a late breakfast and pouring over the weekend edition of the Wall Street Journal, happily enjoying none of the normal weekday pressures of heading to the office.  The women each had a toddler, about the same age, maybe 3 or 4, a boy and a girl, both nicely dressed.

 

As they got themselves seated and situated, each mom took out computer tablets and quickly gave them to the kids.  Just as quickly, the mom’s began peering into their own electronic devices, enthralled in their tiny, private screens.  So much for that magical, personal interaction and parent-child bonding, so important to a healthy relationship.  These four people might as well have been in separate rooms, walled off from each other courtesy of electronics.

 

The kids devices were obviously set to play games, which involved loud and annoying to the adult ear game arcade noise clearly inappropriate in a restaurant where people may want reasonable levels of background noise in order to perhaps carry on a conversation, not to be drowned out by kiddie arcade nonsense.  Then the kids began to act out, get loud, complaint, whine and cry as the mommies, now clearly annoyed that their own gadget time was being interrupted, scrambled to find other distractions for their kids.

 

As a seasoned, single father of two and now grandfather of one, let me give these women some fatherly advise.  Turn off your phones, put the tablets away and pay attention to your kids.  It really is just that simple ladies.

 

There is plenty of time to turn your kids into the self-absorbed, leave-me-the-hell-along, ear-bud wearing, screen zombies they are sure to become, but before that happens, and they happily fall right into your glorious footsteps, try paying a little bit of attention to them, one-on-one and quit using the tablet as a pacifier and substitute for your time and attention.  Check your phone once the kids are sleeping.  What a concept!

 

Restaurant patrons everywhere thank you.

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Capitalism in straight sets..

The case to justify equality of prize money for men and women in professional sporting events is a deeply flawed one.  What determines value is the marketability of the product not some vague concept of sameness masquerading as equality.

 

To make the simplistic argument that two athletes, one male the other female, both number one in their sport are otherwise monetarily equal strains common sense.  Putting them in a contest with each other would provide humbling proof of this myth.  Athletes are not commodities; they have unique and very different brand applications, appeal and merchantability.

 

Because world number one tennis star Novak Djokovic commented that men’s tennis is worth more because of bigger audiences and Indian Wells tennis tournament CEO Raymond followed up with a comment that woman’s tennis success, ..”rides on the coat-tails of the men.” may both be described as indelicate remarks, but that does not make them inaccurate ones.

 

US federal legislation in 1972, commonly known as Title IX, ushered in women’s athletic opportunities in the nation’s schools by making it law that resources and programs equal to the existing men’s programs be put in place for female athletics.  This is federal legislation that applies to educational institutions that receive any form of federal funding.  There is no Title IX compliance obligation outside of that federally defined parameter, in the real world, markets determine access.

 

Equality of access to programs and resources is not the same as insuring equality of outcomes as a result of that participation.  That concept is the antithesis of competition; athletes compete in order to defeat their opponents.  Equality of outcomes would make sporting events senseless.

 

Basketball’s March Madness is the perfect example of this nonsense of “equality.”  Practically the total annual NCAA budget is underwritten by television and sponsorship revenues from the Men’s National Basketball Championship tournament, some $900 million dollars worth.  A team’s appearance, even without a win is still a $1.67 million payday, $8.3 million if they make the Final Four.  TV ads are well over $1.5 million for a 30-second spot.  Nine billion dollars, or more than twice the amount wagered on the Super Bowl, will be wagered on this college basketball tournament.  Almost five times as many TV viewers will watch Men’s versus Women’s tournament basketball.

 

The NCAA Woman’s Championship involves no money back to teams and not one women’s basketball program in the NCAA is profitable.

 

The Declaration of Independence states that,  “All men are created equal..”  This does not mean that they stay that way; it simply provides a starting point in a contest we are all participants in, the game of life.

 

There is a dangerous breed of thought alive in this country that believes that the equality of access to opportunity is the same as the guarantee of an equality of outcomes.  This is not only false, but it undermines success, self-esteem, competition and the rugged individualism that defines this great country and her citizens.

 

The market defines value through its willingness to pay for the experience, it makes no difference if its men’s sports or women’s, deal with it.

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Oz 2.0

Polarity augmented by the extreme, demonstrated by both political parties in this run-up to the nominations for candidates for the United States presidency is having unintended consequences the likes of which no one would have ever guessed.

The liberal Millennial’s, naively hopeful like dreamy-eyed toddlers on a snowy Christmas Eve, unaware that Santa, in the form of Bernie Sanders doesn’t exist and can’t deliver, will not be happy upon discovering their deceit.  The co-opting of Bernie’s Babies to Hillary is far from a foregone conclusion, with her likeability and credibility both in the toilet and her message, so far out of tune as to be only a stray-dog whistle; it leaves that group up for grabs.

What has passed for “conservatism” and the real guts of the Republican Party now begins to come under surgical examination as the likes of Donald J. Trump muscles his way into the supposed “Big Tent”, only to be unwelcomed and vilified by the ruling class, afraid of an outsider they can’t control.  That level of fear in the hearts of party bosses is apparently a sirens song to the multitudes of the Finally Fed-Up, who are showing up in droves to vote.  A good, hard look at what’s behind the curtain in the politics-as-usual arena shows those with a gathering interest just what it showed Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz; a fat, big-mouthed, fire-breathing omnipresence as fake, faulty and make-believe as the movie set.  The Ruling Class in all of its splendor, finally outed.

Unlike any other candidate ever to run for the presidency, Trump is independent of outside financial support and fully capable of running a campaign that is beholding to no one.  Every other candidate has big money support which buys influence and access.  Quite the contrary for Trump, he is unique in the fact that as a successful businessman, seeking favorable environments and workable regulations, he has been on the giving side of the influence peddling machine, not on the receiving end.  This former position as a supplier to the financial gluttony of politicians makes Trump a man that knows too much.

When Republicans, Democrats, Wall Street, the New York Times, Mitt Romney, Bob Dole and in essence the entirety of the political machine demonstrate seizure-like reaction to a Trump possibility, it invigorates the heretofore uninvolved but now energized Great Unwashed, those Americans sick to death of political correctness, left marginalized by the softening of America, never buying into pop culture, but lacking the platform to say so until now.

As the masks, shields, covers and veneers continue to be peeled, ripped, torn and tossed off of the emperors that have for too long now shared the bounty of The Ruling Class, the sameness of party becomes clear and the need for wholesale change becomes obvious.  No longer do we believe.  Let the sky fall, pray the tents be torn from their moorings and blown into oblivion, along with the old guard of contemptuous sultans that have played us as fools for the last time.

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Trump Card

 

 

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton share something in common; both have successfully tapped into the emotions of voters.  Trump, by unhinged liberals while energizing everyone else propels Republican voter turnout to record highs.  Clinton; so yesterday, so haggard and flawed, reminds one of that nasty aunt or creepy gym teacher from their childhood, shrill, indignant and just plain unlikable.  She has accomplished the unenviable goal of lessening her own electability, even when the creepier Bernie Sanders, ancient social studies teacher from your past, is hers to easily beat, she struggles.

Never in my lifetime has any candidate aroused emotions and rationality like Trump,  playing the media like a pinball machine, forcing them off script and co-opting them into a gaggle of campaign advertising agencies, ironically freely giving it away to the guy who can afford it the most.  Unlike any politician who has ever lived, Trump is beholden to no one, no organization.  Quite the contrary, as a businessman, he has been on the feeding end of the political gravy train of favoritism and influence peddling.  This fact makes him unimpressed by lobbyists and special interest groups.  Because those same folks own, operate and control the machinery of politics and its titans, he is equally uncontrolled by them as well.

This makes the likes of failed candidate Mitt Romney very afraid, so the old guard trots him out to sully Trump, with the mistaken notion that anyone outside of the beltway cares what they have to say.  Yesterday’s politician is nothing more than a felon on the friendly side of the bars.  People not only don’t care, they see these efforts as proof of the expired shelf life of this old and broken system in American politics.  Old-guard tribalism mistakenly thinks that a blueblood in a blue blazer wearing a four-hundred dollar tie can shame the new thinkers into submission.  Their panic only serves to empower the great unwashed, signaling that they’re really onto something.

Never has the contrast between the salvation of traditional America and liberalism been more distinct, derisive and divisive.  The next president will define the Supreme Court for a generation.  The divide is vast, there shall be no compromise, America, Americans and our proud, rich history must prevail over the failed social experiment that has infected America since the concoction of President Johnson’s failed Great Society experiment in the 1960’s.

Traditional, proud and patriotic Americans have studied themselves in the mirror and they don’t like what they see themselves becoming.  Decades of failed policy, the soft racism of the liberals expectation of low outcomes, government encouraged neediness, the dismissal of the family unit in it’s importance, replaced by a government that encourages entitlement at the expense of dignity, all needs to stop if we are to survive as the great nation we once were.  Today’s reflection is not who we see tomorrow.

Donald Trump is offering voters something no other candidate has; he tells us that we can make America great again.  What better hope is there?

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Time’s are Changin

Donald Trump has tapped into a broad cross-section of frustrated American voters that have in common not so much a shared political ideology, but a shared outrage for the political status quo, whatever its persuasion.  For the first time in my lifetime, we are witnessing the coalescence of a protest movement that is more focused on wholesale change than it is on the traditional, incremental and ideological nuances that voters are beginning to recognize as meaningless.

I believe that voters have cracked the code on our traditional political landscape.  Republican or Democrat, all of the mainstream politicians have been homogenized over time, and by a corrupted system, into simply members of the ruling class.  Once the corrupt system forces its ways onto the legislators, it becomes obvious that these lawmakers, even though they claim ideological differences, simply work closely with each other to divide up all of the goodies in such a way that they can still convince their constituents they are “fighting the good fight”, while actually co-opting the entire process for their own benefit.

Trump has none of this baggage and lots of folks find that refreshing and willing to take the chance on wholesale change.

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