Monthly Archives: January 2014

My Big Game Challenge

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We all know what is supposed to happen next Sunday although the weather may have some say in the situation, the Big Game (like Valdemort only the fearless dare write the words “Super Bowl”).  I have  seen stories on the national network news  about who will sing the National Anthem; I have heard commercials for the morning shows talking about what the commercials will be during the game;  I have seen ads for how to make your Big Game party the best Big Game party ever.  It seems like everywhere you turn there is a Big Game Challenge.  Well here is my big game challenge – just don’t watch it.

Call me crazy, but let’s be ultra radical, counter cultural rebels this year and just ignore the whole thing.  Why?  Because this whole thing has gotten completely out of control.  This is a football game, albeit the big championship game, but it is still a football game.  Why do people watch this football game?  They watch it for the commercials and the half-time show!  People spend time, effort and money to host a party to watch commercials?  And you think I’m the crazy one here?

A number of years ago, I awoke on the Sunday of the Big Game, turned on the TV BEFORE going to church and the pregame show had already started.  The game would not be starting for several hours.  That day, a little light went on for me and I decided I would never watch another Super Bowl.  I will flip to the station a time or two or check the score on the internet, but I refuse to watch the game.  (I will make an exception if the Bengals ever make it back, but what are the odds of that happening?)

Think about it, this next week we will hear all the questions about the Big Game, some might even make sense; however someone will probably come up with a gem like the one that was asked Dallas running back Emmitt Smith prior to Super Bowl XXVII.  A brilliant journalist asked him, “What are you going to wear in the game Sunday?”

Some people watch the game for the commercials.  This Sunday advertisers will pay $4 million for a thirty second commercial, for Super Bowl I, that same amount of money would have bought fifty minutes of commercials.  If any of the commercials are good, I can always watch them on You Tube.

Some people watch it for the half-time show which is regarded as one of the most watched events in the country.  Early on, the halftime featured college and high school marching bands.  Over the years the halftime show has featured Al Hirt three times, Carol Channing twice, Up With People a record four times, Michael Jackson and wardrobe malfunction sister Janet, Diana Ross, Blues Brothers and who could forget 1989 when halftime featured, Elvis Presto an Elvis impersonator AND a magician!  In 2012 three million more people watched the halftime show than watched the game!  Maybe this is not a championship football game with a halftime show; maybe it is a fifteen minute show with half a football game before and after it?  Since the show is usually lip synched, maybe a great choice next year would be Milli Vanilli.

Come be a rebel and join me in my quixotic quest, we can change the world one television set at a time.

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WHY DID THE CHICKEN CROSS THE ROAD?

ImageToday there is hope that we may finally get a definitive answer to this age old question. If you have heard of Fairborn, Ohio, it is most likely because of Wright Patterson Air Force base and the USAF Museum or perhaps you know it as the home of Wright State University.  However, these days, lurking behind the education and defense industries is a chicken problem.  It seems that one neighborhood in this city has been overrun by about 100 chickens and yes they are definitely crossing the road often with little or no regard for traffic laws.

Over the centuries many philosophers, poets, scientists, thinkers, writers and pundits have attempted to answer this question.  Aristotle observed, “It is the nature of chickens to cross the road.”  Voltaire declared that, “I may not agree with what the chicken crossing the road, but I will defend to the death its right to cross the road.”  Kant postulated “Chickens, being autonomous beings, chose to cross the road of their own free will.”  Shakespeare pondered, “To cross or not to cross, that is the question.”  Mark Twain reminded us that, “the news of the chicken crossing the road has been greatly exaggerated.”  Einstein wondered whether the chicken crossed the road or the road moved beneath the chicken.

More recently Dr. Seuss’ asked “Did the chicken cross the road? Did he cross it with a toad? Yes, the chicken crossed the road, but why it crossed, I’ve not been told!”  The Mythbusters demonstrated that if you fire a frozen chicken out of a cannon; not only will it cross a road, but it will be a lethal projectile in the process.  Baseball great Pete Rose did not offer an answer to the question but claims that he never bet on whether or not a chicken crossed the road while Alex Rodriguez adamantly denies that chickens are crossing the road due to PEDs.

Some have tried to turn a profit on this question.  Microsoft is planning on releasing eChicken8 for Windows which will not only cross roads, but will lay eggs, organize your important documents and photos and connect you to all social media.

The folks in Fairborn are dealing with chickens crossing the road, chickens on their porches, chickens in their trees, chickens chasing their children and chickens making lots of noise.  But most of these folks are not crying fowl, they are sympathetic to the chickens because it is “not their fault.”  They just want the chickens to find good homes, but admit that they are hard to catch. 

Federal representatives from the Department of Agricultural as well as the F.B.I. have been dispatched to watch and observe this unique opportunity.  It is also rumored that representatives from Popeyes and KFC have also been seen in the neighborhood. 

One long-time resident reflected, “In my day, we didn’t ask why the chicken crossed the road. Someone told us that the chicken crossed the road, and that was good enough for us.”

When asked for comment, one local politician offered the following, “I’m sure, if we all just work together, that we can, as a people, help these chickens to cross this road. It’s time to end the cynical politics of the past that says chickens should stay on their side of the road. “

A scientific side note, it has been observed that there have been no prior reports of hundreds of chicken eggs in the area, so we can deduce without a doubt that indeed the chickens came before the eggs.

Blondes in Winter

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This past week certainly brought many a strong dose of winter weather.  So, I thought it was time to thaw out a few blonde jokes. 

A Blonde Driver
As a trucker stops for a red light, a blonde catches up. She jumps out of her car, runs up to his truck, and knocks on the door. The trucker lowers the window, and she says, “Hi, my name is Heather and you are losing some of your load.” The trucker ignores her and proceeds down the street.

When the truck stops for another red light, the girl catches up again. She jumps out of her car, runs up and knocks on the door. Again, the trucker lowers the window. As if they’ve never spoken, the blonde says brightly, “Hi my name is Heather, and you are losing some of your load!” Shaking his head, the trucker ignores her again and continues down the street.

At the third red light, the same thing happens again. All out of breath, the blonde gets out of her car, runs up, and knocks on the truck door. The trucker lowers the window. Again she says, “Hi, my name is Heather, and you are losing some of your load!

When the light turns green the trucker revs up and races to the next light.

When he stops this time, he hurriedly gets out of the truck, and runs back to the blonde. He knocks on her window, and as she lowers it, he says,
“Hi, my name is Kevin.” “It’s winter here in Ohio and I’m driving the SALT TRUCK!”

Another Blonde Driver
It was snowing heavily and blowing to the point that visibility was almost zero when the blonde lady got off work.  She made her way across the parking lot to her car and wondered how she was going to make it home. She sat in her car while it warmed up and thought about her situation. She finally remembered her daddy’s advice that if she got caught in a blizzard she should wait for a snow plow to come by and follow it. That way she would not get stuck in the snow drift. This made her feel much better and sure enough in a little while a snow plow went by and she started to follow it.

As she followed the snow plow she was feeling very smug as they continued and she was not having any problem with the blizzard conditions. After quite some time had passed she was somewhat surprised when the snow plow stopped, the driver got out, came back to her car and signaled for her to roll down her window. The snowplow driver wanted to know if she was all right, since she had been following him for a long time.

She said she was fine and told him her daddy’s advice to follow a snow plow when caught in a blizzard. The driver replied that it was fine with him and she could continue if she wanted, but he was done with the parking lot and was going over to Wal-mart to plow their lot next.

Norman and His Blonde Wife

One winter morning a couple was listening to the radio over breakfast.

They hear the announcer say, “We are going to have 8 to 10 inches of snow today. You must park your car on the even numbered side of the street, so the snowplows can get through.” Norman’s wife goes out and moves her car.

A week later while they are eating breakfast – again, the radio announcer says, “We are expecting 10 to 12 inches of snow today. You must park your -car on the odd-numbered side of the street, so the snowplows can get through.” Norman’s wife goes out-and moves her car again.

The next week they are again having breakfast, when the radio Announcer says “We are expecting 12 to 14 inches of snow today. You must park…” Then the power goes out.

Norman’s wife is very upset and with a worried look on her face she says, “Honey, I don’t know what to do. Which side of the street do I park on so the snowplows can get through?”

With the love and understanding in his voice that all men who are married to Blondes exhibit, Norman says… “Why don’t you just leave it in the garage this time ..”

Monsters in the Basement

Among the allure of New Years is the hope for a new start which is why we make resolutions.  One of my resolutions is to confront the monsters in my basement.  The problem in my basement was not always that bad, but over the years the monsters have grown and multiplied to the point that one can hardly find a path through them all.  Of course there are not literal monsters in my basement; I mean the stuff that has accumulated over the years, the monsters of my past.

For the first couple of decades of my adult, married life, we moved fairly often.  My wife used to say that when the baseboards needed to be cleaned, it was time to move.  The moving has slowed down and we have been in the same house for more than a decade now.  The baseboards have long passed the need for that initial cleaning and as the years have drifted by, the basement has filled up.

It is a daunting task to tackle one’s past, to clean out the junk and organize the things that are useful, to decide which sentimental items to hold on to and which to let go of.  Even finding a starting point is not easy.    I am not, never have been, never will be a handy person, and so I figured the place to start cleaning out the monsters was on the work bench in the basement.  My first thought upon sorting through the junk piled on the workbench was wondering how, why and when a person as unhandy as me managed to accumulate such an assortment of nails, screws, nuts and bolts.  My second thought was trying to remember if I ever worked for a phone or cable company because it looks like I have enough wire to take care of a small subdivision.

After a day and a couple of trips to take out the trash, the workbench was clear but there is still a lot of work to be done.  There are the toys, toys that belong to boys who are no longer boys, toys that have followed me through my life and books filling bookshelves and in boxes as well as an abundance of miscellaneous stuff.

But I have made a start on ridding myself of the monsters in the basement although there is much work that remains.  It also occurred to me that this is an exercise that is fitting not just for my basement but for my life as well for over time we let our lives get filled with stuff too.  So this year my resolution is to take control of the monsters, those in my basement and those in my life.

Leonard