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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Tennis and Accomplishments

So I have found a new love in the athletics world. Tennis. I've been playing that sport at least twice a week for the past month and I still don't feel like I can ever get enough. I played volleyball for a while, and it was ok...but the problem with volleyball is that you need at least four people to play - and that's with sand volleyball. Playing on a hardwood gym floor requires at least eight people, but preferably twelve. It's pretty understandable how difficult it can be to get twelve people together to play volleyball. You pretty much have to start a league that meets the same time every week, which is what I did.

With tennis, you only need two players. You can play four (doubles), and its just as fun. I also feel like I get a much better work out playing tennis. It's just an all around fun sport to play.

Buahahahahahahaha!! I google imaged 'funny tennis' and the above picture came up. I still can't stop laughing.

In other news, my grandfather "Poppa" just celebrated his birthday yesterday. Everyone apparently thinks that he looks like me. Other than the nose, I can't say that I can really see the resemblance. See for yourself, and tell me what you think.

Currently, Poppa is in the hospital under 24 hour care. It's a very trying time for the family, but my Grandmother has been getting a lot of sleep since the weight of taking care of him has been lifted off of her shoulders. I love my grandparents, and of course prayers and thoughts are welcome and much appreciated.

The lovely miss Erin Carlisle has returned from Italy. I'm still jealous that she got to go visit the region of my dominant ancestry, but technically I've been to Italy before anyway. Unfortunately, I was in my mother's womb at the time and did not get to see anything...but I did get a special blessing from Pope John Paul II. If he was alive today, I wonder if he'd try to revoke that blessing since I'm no longer practicing Catholicism. Anyway, we at IUS are all very happy that Erin has returned to us safely.

Congratulations to Taylor U'Sellis on landing her 'Dream Job' with Resident Life and Housing at the University of Louisville. As sad as we all will be to see her leave IUS Resident Life and Housing this is a spectacular step for her, and we all wish her well!

I remember when I first stepped foot in Unitas Tower at a freshman at UofL. That place was nuts. I know the elevators caught fire at one time, we had a rat infestation, plumbing problems galore, a malfunctioning fire alarm system, and several power outages. I think Unitas Tower looked something like this...


Anyway, short blog today but I will probably update again tomorrow morning. I'm actually going to play some more tennis and probably run. It's great that my 'sedentary' Lexingtonian ass is actually getting out there and exercising!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The 'Pride' of the Bluegrass

No...this blog is not about the Lafayette High School Band.....

But after a four day break, I felt it was necessary to update this thing again.

I'm going to start with the biggest news that I've heard all day that is already made it into Paul Felice's World Famous Mokracy Blog. Apparently, our wonderful city of Lexington, Ky has been ranked as the number 1 most sedentary city (Story). Basically its saying that my hometown is full of a bunch of lazy shits who never go out an exercise. It's already being criticized as being a flawed statistic, but when you think about with all the cities there are in the United States, its embarrassing that we'd even be CLOSE to the top in this category.

I guess the folks in Lexington are too busy wearing blue shades to notice that this is a serious concern that should be addressed.

It's certainly good that we haven't yet been ruled as America's Fattest town. We aren't necessarily fat....just lazy.

And Paul was gracious enough to share this little gem on his blog. My heart cries every time I see it (after laughing hysterically for five minutes, of course)....

It is a little ironic that since I've moved to Indiana I've started exercising more and eating healthier. I play a variety of sports every week from Tennis, Basketball and Volleyball. And as of late, I've been on a nightly routine of running a couple of miles every night. I'm trying to push myself to three miles by the end of next week. It really feels great that I am doing this because over the past ten years I relied on daily work to keep myself in shape - however, working twice a week and being in school has halted my natural tendencies for physical activity.

Hellz yeah.....

ARGH. I hate how every time I want to go to a new site THIS happens.

It only started happening recently......and I thought my pop-up blocker was on. Not sure how it got turned off...if it even did. But so far I've been offered $500,000, a new ipod, and a credit card with no interest for 6 months till they slam me with 21%.

I must have watched that video at least a thousand times and I STILL laugh.

Here's an interesting stat my brother also came up with in his blog today. Apparently, gas has gone from a low of $1.30 per gallon in 2001 to a high of $4.40 which is a 238% change. Where is my "WTF" Kitty Picture? Oh well. Needless to say...that is ridiculous. I mean, right now it has fallen from the 4 dollar mark is was at in May to about $3.48. I hear its even lower than that now, but have been to 'sedentary' to get up and see. I guess its my Lexington heritage shining through. Still, I can't believe people are actually jumping for joy. The only reason its going down is because we tapped into the oil reserve. I'm ok with that, but people need to realize this is a temporary solution.....and some people believe it could backfire and cause oil prices to skyrocket in coming months.

Canadians like to whine and say their prices are worse...but don't they realize that the value of currency is lower in Canada? That's why all their prices are higher, and their minimum wage is somewhere around $9/hr I believe. So that's kind of a stupid argument to make. Us damn whiny Americans. thoughts exactly. Anyway, that about does it for today. Thanks again for taking the time out of your busy day and reading this blog.



Friday, June 24, 2011

Economics vs. Happiness

Good morning world.

Before I begin today's blog, I think everyone should read Paul's segment on his World Famous Mokracy Blog called "Cancer of Hatred". It is a really really good argument and defines the reasons that I left a $40,000 a year job to go to school and follow my dream.

In retrospect, it seems foolish to make that kind of a gamble. After all, money is what pays the bills and keeps us from living off the street begging people for loose change. And society has evolved to us believing that the more money you have, the further away from that life you will be. But are people that make a lot of money really whole? I was living a decent life up in Monticello, Indiana a couple of years ago. They had provided me a house to live in along with and a $30,000/yr job at Indiana Beach as their Operations Manager. Not really a bad gig for a guy who dropped out of college. But then the paperwork came. Then the budget, in which I was told I had this much to spend and I had to ensure that every ride in the park was open. The numbers didn't make fact, the task at hand was impossible without either eliminating any sort of a training program or illegally taking employee pay rates down below minimum wage.
I think this is what we call 'no-win' scenarios.

Then came the vendor bills. According to our job descriptions, part of what we did was to ensure that our vendors got paid at the end of the year for the services they had already provided. So we ordered, took the services....then when bill time came: E-mails sent asking the money that went to Corporate Office to be released. No money released. E-mails sent the following week. No money released. In e-mails were even respond
ed to
. Well finally, they did respond and said that they need to axe a percentage of their full-time employment in order to pay the bills.....

My thoughts exactly....

So let's look at this in simpler terms. Johnny's parents tell him to go pick up the milk from the grocery store. Upon arrival, Johnny tells the clerks he needs some milk and will gladly pay them at the end of the month when his parents pay him his allowance. When Johnny returns - his parents are gone. He waits and waits, even past the end of the month and they are still gone. Then they finally return months later and tell Johnny that in order for the milk to be paid for they must put him up for adoption because they can no longer afford to pay for him to live.
At what point did that every become ok? Perhaps this is an unlikely scenario in the family world, but it happens all the time in corporate america.

Like Paul said. "F that." If it works out fine for some, then more power to them but I'm happy living the musicians life. There maybe only so many couch cushions I can overturn looking for change, but at least I'm going to be happy with my life and won't be stressing out over when the next time I'm on the chopping block of some major m
oney-making corporation.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Emilee Carver, who turned 21 yesterday. To celebrate we all went out to Carrabba's last night and had a great time downing shots and drinking beers. If you don't know Emilee, she is a really awesome person and a lot of fun to hang out with.

Yes....that's me drinking a Blue Moon. The pinky was STAGED and not my idea, but when you are under the influence sometimes its hard to fight for your dignity.

Has anyone been having a lot of problems with pop-ups lately? Like these stupid surveys that claim you could win an ipod or $500,000? They are really getting on my last nerve....and have been happening a lot recently. I mean...why not skip the survey BS and just give me an ipod or $500,000 outright?

I wish I had $500,000. That's half a million dollars. The first thing I'd do is pay off all of my debt. Then I'd buy a house and a payments. Just use the money to buy those things. And not the most expensive house or car....keep in mind I'd have to pay the government a percentage of that. this point I'd be happy with $100,000. Wouldn't really be able to afford a decent house unless that was all I was using it for.....but it'd still help me
get outta debt.

Still hilarious.

And Calvin and Hobbes on economics....

I guess the whole point of this blog is that Money is just paper that is gained as easily as it is lost. What you are truly passionate about is what will really make you happy because you will never lose it. Don't let the Benjamins dictate where you will be in life.

I have spoken. Now on to figuring out what the hell I'm going to do with the rest of my weekend. Thanks for reading, folks!

Thursday, June 23, 2011


Here's a jeopardy question for you....

More on this later......

Good morning, everyone! Hope you are doing well!! I would like to say that I am but I got told that my career choice is linked to a 'frivolous' agency that the Government is wasting money on so that kind of put me down a bit.

Her name is Sarah Palin. You remember her, don't you? She was the former Governor of Alaska and running mate of former Presidential Candidate Senator John McCain. Tina Fey also does a bang up impression of her. Well anyway, in an interview on a Fox News talk show described the National Endowment for the Arts as a 'frivolous' agency and claimed that it should be one of the first things on the Government chopping block. I guess she's ok that around 5 million jobs will be lost as the agency desperately searches for private contributors with that kind of money.
Recently in a blog I made an argument that the classical side of the the arts is dying and attacked certain successful musicians such as Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber. Let me clarify - these are artists as well as they could potentially suffer from this move. THE ARTS AS A WHOLE IS DYING.

This is a hard topic to discuss because I once supported Sarah Palin alongside my mother. But the more and more I learned about it her and her plans for taking the Government completely out of the picture I became very disgusted with her ideals. The Tea Party, to me, seems like a precursor to Anarchy....and that is most certainly what we DON'T want. Don't get me wrong, I don't want the Government to have control of every waking aspect of my life (cough cough Healthcare cough cough), but a lot of things that they do fund do a lot of good in society. NPR, The National Endowment of the Arts, and many other organizations in Arts also generate quite a bit of profit which is taxed so a lot of that money is going back into the Government anyway. The Arts is not the problem.

There is no way in hell I can support anyone that believes that the Arts is 'frivolous'. Anyway, feel free to discuss this below or e-mail/message me privately about it. The full article is available HERE.

Please be sure to check out Paul Felice's World Famous Mokracy Blog! He updates it every day and it usually has a lot of entertaining ideas and picturesMore fun from the Los Angeles times...

The more I watch this video, the more disturbing the idea of it gets.....

So I managed to pull out an A+ in my summer math class. I think it pulled my G.P.A up a hundredth of a point, but more importantly I never have to take another math class during my undergraduate studies! It's a shame that there is a lot of math in just about any science, however and I still have to take three of those. Incidentally, Indiana University Southeast apparently offers a course in Dinosaurs. Yes....JUST DINOSAURS. HOW COOL IS THAT? I have a friend that took it and said its actually a really tough course. My reply to that.....I loved dinosaurs growing up so the only way it would be tough for me is if we actually didn't talk about dinosaurs.

Speaking of, I watched Jurassic Park last night with my roommates. What an awesome movie. For a long time it was my favorite movie, and I would literally watch the VHS copy we had every day. It brought back a lot of memories after watching it last night. It's also important to remember that it was made in 1993 (holy crap, that was 18 years ago!) and the CGI used in the movie was cutting-edge technology. This makes it all the more AWESOME.


Well, I don't have a whole lot to talk about today particularly because of the dead period in sports. Yes.....I'm aware that the Chicago Cubs are currently playing. Well, they are hardly playing - they are talking the field and attempting to make plays. Yeah....the Cubs suck right now. Quade won't be with this program long......maybe they really should have gone with Ryne Sandberg. He would have at least been a better face to have in the dugout.

Anyway.....Go Cubs. Maybe they can win the World Series next year just in time for.......ARMAGEDDON!!!

Have a nice day, everyone....and thanks for reading!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Capitalism vs. Socialism, Religious vs. Atheist, and Fiasco vs. O'Reilly.

Hey look, I'm updating a blog consecutively with a blog update yesterday!!! I may try to do this every day so I'd appreciate if you'd follow me and add to the discussions!

Before I begin today's rant, which is quite political, I'd like to first say that I respect people who disagree with me and love when they discuss their opinions in a civilized manner. I welcome differing opinions but will repel anything I take to be a personal attack. Politics, like religion (and the Great Pumpkin if your name is Charles Schultz) is a sensitive topic but particularly because people don't know how to discuss them without getting angered when someone disagrees with them. I've been bashed for my beliefs on numerous occasions, but rarely does it get to me in the manner that I throw out nasty name-calling or the severing of ones friendship.

Now on to the real concern. This all began yesterday when I posted a humorous, but in some ways sad, story about a man who robbed the bank for $1 so he could go to prison and live off of the free medical care he would receive ( In the status comment that went along with the article, I posted the following "Keep in mind that our taxes will be paying to keep this nutjob in jail, for his medical care, and for the psychiatrist they will hire to find out what the hell is wrong with him." Following this, I was of course attacked by supporters of Obama care who said it was a genius idea.

Maybe I'm old fashioned, but since when would anyone consider forcefully putting yourself in jail to be a genius idea? I also got attacked for making a judgement about someone I didn't even know. Actually, I did quite the opposite. The ones that believe that maybe he had a good reason are the ones who are making judgement. I'm simply generalizing that breaking the law to better your situation is a selfish and pathetic way to get what you 'need'. I don't understand how anyone could support that lifestyle.
I was also raised to believe that stealing in any form was wrong. In some countries, you aren't locked up for stealing. Your hand is cut off. But big bad capitalist America - we are TERRIBLE.

Getting onto the subject of Capitalism vs. Socialism because that was a hot topic in this particular post, I need to be very clear about some things. I will not join the likes of Travis Taylor and suddenly believe that Socialism is the ONLY way to go and Capitalism is the problem because as far as business is concerned, Capitalism - the SYSTEM is not the problem, and Socialism would only make things worse before they became better (if they even did). Yes, Socialist ideas work in some form - necessary services such as the Police force and Firefighters in which a percentage of our tax money goes to keep in business. I'm ok with that. I can live with that, even if I never physically USE these services. What I CAN'T live with is having a large percentage of a 'rich person's money' stripped from them and given to me. I'm sorry....I don't have it in my heart to do so that. Maybe in a 'Robin Hood' fairytale where the government is horribly corrupt and only spends the money on self-worth, and strips money from those they feel are fine without it - that would be fine. But guess what....a lot of Rich people actually do a lot of good in this world. Several of them have started research foundations designs for finding cures for such terminal diseases like cancer. Rich People create jobs to try and keep unemployment down. The problem I have is when people LABEL the Rich as being evil greedy people when in fact they probably worked their ass off growing up to become the rich person they are. And people want to strip them of their money because they make more than someone else???? Cry me a fawking river.....

As someone who has bashed large corporations on numerous occasions, this may sound a bit hypocritical. But I'm not blaming the system, or these people for being Rich when I spew my venom on them. I am blaming what I believe to be the ultimate source of our economic downfall: GREED. And not just corporations.....or rich people. Greed is taking control of this world. You can deny this all you want, but until I stop seeing people throw temper tantrums because their cashier didn't fill up their LARGE FRY at McDonald's all the way to the top I will always believe this to be the problem in America. Settle down, Fatty....there are more important things to worry about in life then the fact that you got 'cheated' at McDonald's.

The problem is that Greed is not really measurable. When I say a certain rich person isn't greedy, someone who sees that he owns a Lexus may consider that to be a sign of greed. Maybe the truth is that since people know in their hearts that greed is the problem but isn't measurable, they attack something they know also exists and IS measurable: "CAPITALISM" To me, it just makes no sense that anyone would be ok with someone who works 10 times as hard as someone else getting the same paycheck as a lazy person.

Someone else made the comment that if I'm so against Socialism that I must hate Social Security because that's a Socialist idea. I don't hate Social Security and I love what it was designed for. But I hate the fact that when I'm 65 there will no longer be social security. It kinda makes you wonder if socialism is really working when certain socialist ideas are FAILING.

I don't think Socialist is a route to the devil by any means, and honestly I commend people who wished that everyone could live peacefully in harmony, have everything they need, and not have to worry about how many figures they were making on their salary. HELLO??? WAKE THE F UP! While that can be commended, its also extremely naive. That is NOT the world we live in. If that's the world you want, then start reading the Bible and go to church because if you believe what Christians believe you will go to a place like that when you die if you've hived a virtuous life.

Here's another interesting story. Don't get pissy because its Fox News - the top article is from MSNBC.

Moving from a question of politics to religion I think this is way overblown and that we have plenty of other things to be worrying about than how offended people that DON'T BELIEVE get when religious beliefs are made public. Religious beliefs are made public on a daily basis, and yes sometimes paid for by the government and generally people leave it alone. This is nothing more than a pathetic publicity stunt for these New York atheists.

I'm just waiting for the day when they push to have all current currency banned and reprint without the statement "In God We Trust". THAT will be great for the economy.

Now for something a little more lighthearted and fun, but still Political. Apparently Bill O'Reilly invited a rapper, Lupe Fiasco, only to tear him to shreds on his statement that Obama and The US Government are terrorists. This is why I really like Bill O'Reilly. Left-wing people that don't like him have probably never actually watched him very often and only dislike him for his association with Fox News. But of all the idiots at Fox News, he's actually closer to the middle and his opinions are based on facts. I mean....he's defending a Liberal President!!! Anyway....feel free to enjoy, and comment on what you think!

Well, that about does it for today folks. Thanks for reading, and I'm ok if you disagree and express your disagreement! That's what makes these so fun.....just keep the personal attacks to yourself!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The 21st of June

It has been a while since I have updated this blog, but I felt today was an appropriate day to do so. June 21st has quite a lot of significance for me. Other than being the day of the Summer Solstice - and if this day is really longer than the previous ones, I may kill myself - I have had some other unfortunate events occur.

I will start with the most traumatizing event that sticks out in my mind. June 21, 2007. The day Katlyn Lassiter, a 13 year old girl from Tennessee, lost both of her feet in a tragic accident at my former place of business, Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom. Don't recall this event? Click here. Its strange that its been 4 years since that happened, but also crazy to think that back then I was
forbidden to talk about it as part of my job security. Now, considering the CEO of the company is gone and the park that this occurred at is currently collecting dust near downtown Louisville, I don't think it matters much. I spent a lot of time defending our company but now in retrospect - its shameful just to think what that girl had to go through and how the employees of the park were treated following the incident. Being one of the employees on hand to witness the terrified girl and bloody appendages, I tried the counseling. After one day, it didn't help at all so I didn't return. What really helped was talking with family members and others about the incident long after it happened......which we were all told not to do. Just more proof that no matter how much a big corporation tries to brainwashing you into believing they actually care about you and your well-being, they a
Ok, enough about that. Another significant thing that took place. June 21, 1999. The day I met Jennifer Rasdon, now Jennifer Kannappel. This would be the girl that I would be in relationships on and off for around 10 years, with about a six year gap in between. Ultimately, I got the last laugh when I left her with no clue how she was going to pay to keep her house and maintain financial stability. For a while I felt pretty guilty, but I was emotionally abused and manipulated - so I don't feel any remorse. And I'm on the verge of getting a college degree and besting my career while she is still looking out the window wondering what could have been. The only bit of sadness I have is that her kids have to live in that mess of a lifestyle. Anyway, this is the second time I've really talked about her in well over a year - so of course I HAVE let go. And I have more important things to deal with than worry about the past.

The third most significant date, which I'm not 100% sure happened on this date, was when I broke up with my fiance Jennifer Wallace. This one was a little bumpy, but not what I'd call ugly - considering we are still friends and still talk. And she has a great life for herself, which makes me happy because despite the fact things didn't work out the way we planned - she was always a hard worker with a lot of ambition and deserves the goodlife she has.

Relationships are always fun, but every time I go through
a rough one I always tell myself....

"At least I'm not married to HER....."

Eeek...she looks crazy just by smiling. Is it the drugs talking?

Enough about me...the following link will also tell you about exciting events that occurred on this date and who was born and who died.

Just for fun, here's some great headlines that were released duri
ng the whole Anthony Weiner incident....

"Weiner Pulls Out"

"Boehner won't bite on Weiner"

"Weiner Clings to House Seat"

"Disgusted Democrats letting Weiner Shrivel"

Ok...enough of that. I apologize if were reading this during lunch.....or any other extraneous activity that shall go nameless.

I guess at this point I should go ahead and announce that my work for Concert Band, "Fantasy on An American Folk Hymn" is going to be premiered by the IUS Concert Band in the fall, directed by Philip Thomas. Mr. Thomas has been the principal trumpet player in the IUS Orchestra for 11 years and took up the helm as the Associate Director of Bands in the spring of 2011, replacing Male High School Band director Nan Moore. The Concert is set for November 6, 2011 at approximately 3 PM. Everyone that I know that attends this concert will be awarded a free Subway cookie from you better be there! Their cookies are pretty good.

The piece is based on "What Wondrous Love is This" by William Walker. Not familiar with that tune? Well click on the above link or look at the picture below.....

Well, that about does it for today. Thanks for reading, and now that my summer class is over I will probably be updating this blog a lot more frequently!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Greatest

NME, a Magazine that publishes music news, has released a poll that currently shows that Michael Jackson is in the lead for the 'Greatest Singer of All Time'. I have quite a few problems with this. First of course being that the man in second I truly believe could sing circles around MJ vocally. That man being Freddie Mercury, who I consider to be one of the single greatest vocalists at least of our generation. Freddie Mercury had a solid four octave range, and the harmonies he recorded are to this day unmatched. He was also an extremely talented song writer and shattered the supposed limitations to songwriting. If nothing else, it would be fair to say that Mercury was the Beethoven of rock music. But of course, we are talking about singing and not song writing.

The second problem I have with this is how can you even decide who is the greatest 'singer' of all time. Seems like a pretty broad genre to me. Greatest singer would have to also include operatic singers like Placido Domingo, Luciano Pavarotti, and Andrea Bocelli. Or what about Broadway stars such as Michael Crawford or Barbara Streisand. Streisand brings up another great point. Can you really categorize women and men together? The vocal abilities of men and women are vastly different, and sometimes preference plays a dramatic role in the choices of who the better singers are.

Ok, so let's be realistic. Michael Jackson was a good singer, and maybe you could even call him a great singer. But what is lifting him in this poll is clearly his iconic nature as one of the greatest entertainers of our time. Ask fifty people on the street if they know who Michael Jackson was and they will tell you. Ask the same fifty people who Freddie Mercury was and I'd be surprised if half of them knew.

Well perhaps you can judge for yourself...

Still not impressed?

Ok, so yeah he's pretty unbelievable. But I'll go ahead and throw in some Michael Jackson clips to be fair.

So if we were to have a dancing contest, Michael would mop the floor with Freddie. Still....a pretty impressive vocal performance, just not quite as good as Freddie.

So what is your opinion? Who is the better singer, Michael or Freddie? And if neither of them you consider the greatest singer ever, who and why? Share a video clip and let others judge!