29 June, 2008

Youth Is Wasted

"Youth is wasted on the young". I've always hated that expression. Unfortunately though, as I get older the more I realize the truth of it. That's not to say that young people don't know how to enjoy life. To be sure, there are many that take every opportunity presented to them. I've had friends that have taken road trips, traveled to other countries, had adventures I always regretted not having. Naturally, life is full of regrets regardless of who you are. Life is filled with moments not savored properly, of doors never opened. In times of reflection I've often regretted not being bolder with my choices, with not savoring that certain kiss even longer (note to wife:yes, there were girls before you) or with not going away to college. I've regretted not ever have gone to Europe or Japan or even on a cruise. Yes, some of those things I can still do but when you have kids it's a little harder. When everyday life is always there, spontaneity is taken away. Scheduling an adventure is just not as good as being able to leave it open ended. There have been relationships I've regretted not pursuing, friendships I wish I would not have let go of. There are regrets with my children, even though none of them are yet teenagers. I'm afraid I've not been as good a parent as I could have been. In fact, I know I have not. So yes, youth is wasted on the young. It's not as insulting as it sounds. It's just one of those facts of life that makes bitter memories just a bit more so.

28 June, 2008

Summer in New Orleans

I've remembered what my least favorite thing about New Orleans is...summer. This is kind of a problem because it is almost always summer in New Orleans. The heat is ridiculous and the humidity makes it even more so. If you are not from the southeastern or southwestern part of the U.S. do not tell me that you know what it is like to deal with humidity. You don't. I've been and lived in lots of places north of say, Tennessee, in the summer. Yeah, it can get hot but it is still nothing like what we endure in the Deep South. I can't speak for other parts of the world having never been anywhere other than Canada (for a day) and the Caribbean (for a week). Another problem with the summers here is the endless amount of rain. Seriously, it rains here every day and usually it is a torrential rainfall. I know, people in Seattle are thinking "suck it up, whiner". But if you live in Seattle you have it a lot better than we in New Orleans do anyways. This summer weather makes me even happier that I have started my new job. It's indoors and it's air-conditioned. Plus it's not too strenuous (always a plus in my book). I know this sounds like unnecessary complaining and maybe it is. I'm just sick of the rain and the heat and the humidity already and it's only June. Oh well.

21 June, 2008

Better Late Than Never

This is the first chance I've gotten to offer congratulations to the Boston Celtics for winning the NBA Championship last week. It is very rare that a team I pick to win it all before the season starts actually goes on to do so. I was very glad to see Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and P.J. Brown (a New Orleans area native) finally win a championship after so many years. I was also happy for Ray Allen (who always has seemed like a class act), Doc Rivers (who I loved watching as a player) and for Glen "Big Baby" Davis (an LSU guy in his rookie year). What made it even better is that it came at the expense of Kobe Bryant. I just can't stress how much I don't like this guy. Yes, I realize all athletes are prima donnas to one extent or another. And he certainly isn't the first to push publicly for a trade. What made that worse though was that he demanded a trade from a team he created. He's the one that pushed for Shaquille O'Neal to be traded to the Miami Heat (where he promptly won a championship). He helped push Phil Jackson out the door even thought Jackson later returned. What's even more annoying about the guy are the comparisons to Michael Jordan. Of course, Bryant has no control over what others say about him but it's ridiculous to compare Kobe to Michael. Is Bryant one of the top players in the league right now? Of course he is. Is he so far above everyone else? Of course not. To insinuate that is so is ludicrous. LeBron James is at least Kobe's equal if not superior. Kobe has benefited from playing in a major market his entire career and with perhaps the greatest center ever in O'Neal. Let's be realistic. If Kobe played in Memphis or Portland or Charlotte people would say he's a good player but nothing special. What does he do that any other franchise player does not? Nothing. Okay, this has become an anti-Kobe rant when it was meant to be a celebration of the Celtics. Sorry, I just can't help it. Kobe really rubs me the wrong way and even worse are the supposedly knowledgeable people who perpetuate the hype. Anyways, congratulations Boston. Hopefully, the Red Sox will continue the Boston party this fall. Too bad the Patriots blew it on their end.

Pardon the Interruption

The cat's way out of the bag on this one but it drives me insane every time I see it. If you watch t.v. for even only five minutes, regardless of what station, you've noticed the ridiculous amount of pop-ups that appear on the screen every couple of minutes. Most of them are for shows that you're going to see a commercial for in about six minutes but that doesn't seem to matter to the powers that be. The most egregious example I've seen is on TBS. Not only do their ads take up half the screen, they've now taken to pausing their shows to advertise the Bill Engvall Show. I've never seen the show. Maybe it's a great show. But I'll never watch it just because they've pissed me off so much by freezing the show I'm watching so Bill can do his little spiel. I really want to throw my remote through the t.v. sometimes. I realize it's way too late to do anything about this problem. It's only going to get worse. I just had to get this off my chest. It's a good thing I love to read. Luckily they haven't found a way to put pop-up ads in my books yet.

14 June, 2008

Checking In

Haven't much to say this time around. I started my new job this past Monday. I can't really say if I like it or not yet because all we are doing is sitting in orientation classes for the first two weeks. It doesn't seem like it will be a bad job as most of the machinery is fully automated. There is some physical labor involved depending on the department I end up in but certainly nothing worse than some of the jobs I've had. It pays well and the benefits are good so I think any aggravations will be outweighed by my paychecks. On other fronts, my wife and I still have not had any luck selling our house in Tennessee. We are both starting to get worried because there is no way we can afford rent and mortgage. We have family we can stay with here but obviously with a baby on the way that is not an ideal solution. So we shall see. Not much else today. Life is kind of on hold right now with waiting for the baby to arrive and trying to get fully relocated back in Louisiana.

08 June, 2008

Red Ring of Death

Well, my day is starting great. My oldest son was attempting to play a game on the 360 when he told me it kept freezing and the screen was going red. When I went to investigate and turned it off and then on again we got the dreaded "red ring of death". If you're not a gamer you have no idea what I'm talking about. If you are, then you are probably cringing with me. For those that don't know, the red ring basically means your unit is fucked. Now, I heard that Microsoft was replacing units that get the red ring but I'm not sure if they still are or if it matters when the manufacture date of your unit was. We purchased the extended warranty from the store when we bought it so hopefully we can get something done. With a baby on the way and us relocating to Louisiana the chances of me buying a new one anytime within the next year are virtually non-existent. Anyways, that's how my day has started. The good thing is that I start my new job tomorrow. It is the same one my wife and I were hoping I would get so we are both very excited. It's not like we will suddenly be living in the lap of luxury but once we sell our house in Tennessee we will be doing alright at least. I guess you really do have to take the good with the bad sometimes. That's a ridiculous statement, but true nonetheless.

01 June, 2008

David Stern Gets His Wish

Let me say first that I generally do not believe in conspiracy theories. I especially think it is absurd to believe that sports can be manipulated to fit into a pre-ordained outcome. Having said that, it sure is remarkable that the NBA actually ended up with the Finals match-up it most desperately desired, Celtics vs. Lakers. Of course the Celtics were the cream of the crop in the East. Their only serious competition this year came from the Pistons and the Celtics just flat out wanted it more than the Pistons did. However, by no stretch of the imagination were the Lakers head and shoulders above the rest of the Western Conference. Yes, they were the number one seed but that was only by a game and only because the Hornets faltered the final week of the regular season. They were decidedly superior to both the Nuggets and Jazz in the playoffs but then drew likely the easiest match-up they could have in the conference finals when they got the Spurs. Yes, I know the Spurs were the defending champs and no, this is not bitterness because they ousted my Hornets. The Spurs were lucky to survive New Orleans. Yes, lucky. Just compare their shooting percentages from the New Orleans series to the Lakers series (and the Hornets played excellent defense against them). So the Lakers got the older, less athletic team which had no legitimate answer for Kobe, Gasol, or Odom as opposed to the one that did. Now, did the NBA influence the outcome of the Spurs/Hornets series? I wouldn't say that but they sure got lucky. Now they get the Finals match up that will likely give them their highest ratings since Jordan retired the second time. The ratings in Boston and L.A. alone will probably be higher that last year's bore fest that was Spurs/Cavaliers. So David Stern is jubilant and Kobe gets the spotlight (which is all he really cares about). But my hope is that Kevin Garnett (a more complete player and classier guy than Kobe could ever be) gets his first championship. I won't give a prediction as far as how long the series will last but I will take the Celtics all the way.

Lost in Transition

This is the first chance I've had to comment on the Lost finale which aired this past Thursday. I have said before that I think this has been the best season thus far and the finale did nothing to disabuse me of that notion. I remember having a conversation with a friend sometime during the second season in which I insisted that the show would start to suck if they ever had contact with the outside world or, worse, actually got off the island. Well, it doesn't happen often but I was wrong. I believe this season has been so good exactly because they got off the island. The fast forwards have shown that there is so much at work here that may or may not have to do anything with the island at all. The writers of this show do an excellent job of changing our conceptions of the characters and showing that choices are never "right or wrong" or "good or evil". It all just depends on perspective. I am very interested to see where the writers lead the characters. We have already seen many of them change dramatically through the use of the flash forwards employed throughout this season. If you used to watch this show and gave up because of season 3 (admittedly weak except for the jaw dropping finale) I would strongly urge you to catch up before fall. This show is strong again and it would be a shame to miss the ride.