Sunday, August 31, 2008

George Bush Made Me Do It

I'm going to be a hot commodity over the next 60 days. As a registered Independent I represent that small group of undecided voters that both political campaigns are spending millions to swing. In my lifetime I have voted for both Republicans, Democrats and a few Independents too. I like to vote the person, not the party. Despite the rhetoric, if we really sat down and looked at the historical facts we would all realize that no one party has the corner market on all of the good ideas, or all of the BAD ideas either. Each has plenty of both, so I get a little annoyed when both parties point their finger at the other and tell voters how bad they are. I feel like I'm back in kindergarten.

So, I decided that it was my civic duty to listen to Obama give his acceptance speech this week. I liked a lot about what he had to say and enjoyed his message of hope, of working together and of trying to do our best. But I had to laugh each time he talked about how the Country, the economy, and any parking tickets you may have had are a direct result of "the failed policies of George W. Bush." As if George Bush was some kind of a wizard who shot lighting out of a magic wand. That's a pretty immature view of how our government works. True, the Presidency is a powerful office. But that's exactly why the founding fathers diluted that power to 1/3. But presidential campaigns rarely bring that up, rather they would have us believe that one person is responsible for all of the worlds woes.

So I'm going to conduct a little experiment for the entire month of September to see if Obama is right. For one entire month I am going to blame George W. Bush for everything. "Uhhh Mr. Nielsen, can you tell me why you were going 55 in a 35 MPH school zone?" Why yes officer, I was speeding because of the failed policies of George W. Bush. "Hello Mr. Nielsen, this is the library calling to see if you have returned those books that are overdue?" Well, I would have returned them but I couldn't, because of the failed policies of George W. Bush. It sounds ridiculous when you think about it, and I hope that Americans are too smart to fall for it, from EITHER party.

So my friends, I share this little tidbit with you. In January 2009 either McCain or Obama will be our next President. And despite the hysteria, the absurd rhetoric and finger pointing from both parties, things are going to be ok. Seriously. The sun will still rise in the morning, the bus will still arrive to pick the kids up from school and the same bills that have been arriving in the mail for years will still keep coming. The good news is that for the next four years we will have someone entirely new to blame for it!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Suuuuuure They're 16...

I LOVE watching the Olympics. I remember watching the US Men's Hockey Team "Miracle On Ice" beat the evil Soviet empire at the 1980 Lake Placid Olympics. I was watching with my Dad and it will be a moment that I will never forget, bonding us together in American Sports History. I love watching sports with my Dad.

Now that I am a Dad, I like to encourage my kids to watch with me. They are intrigued, but not nearly as much as they are watching the X-games. Somehow flying hundred of feet in the air on a motorcycle with no hands is much more cool to watch than the Olympic balance beam. So with Lisa working this weekend I have been watching a good deal of the Olympics on my own. Like a lot of sports fans, this is my first exposure to current gymnastics, swimming, beach volleyball and badminton competition in four years.

So you can imagine my surprise when the Chinese women's gymnastics team took to the floor. I thought it was cute that the Chinese had their own set of dwarf children cheerleaders. I kept waiting for the REAL athletes to come out until I realized that the 5 year old kids WERE the Olympic team. According to official Olympic rules all of these girls will be 16 years old this year. Well, NONE of these girls looks 16 years old and the fact that the team was breast feeding during the rotations made me suspicious. There is no WAY that these girls are 16 years old! Would you trust any of them to drive a car? Still, whether they are 6 or 16 they all perform like little bottle rockets and I am amazed at what these athletes can do. I hope we wipe the floor with them anyway.

I was walking by the TV set tonight and saw what I thought was a mistake on tv. Two people diving at the same time. I guess it's called synchronized diving and yes, it's an Olympic event. It's one of the most absurd things I have seen in a long time and I am stunned that NBC would cover it over the boxing matches that were running at the same time. If they were going to give a synchronized medal for anything, they should give it to the 15,000 Chinese performers who entertained the World during the opening ceremonies. Now that was synchronization! AWESOME.

So I don't understand the whole synchronized ANYTHING event. To me it cheapens the medals that other people train for in real athletic contests like ping pong. If they are going to give medals for synchronized diving and swimming they should give medals for roshambo (rock, paper, scissors) and thumb wrestling. I'm actually pretty good at roshambo. On the count of TWO I like to flash "paper" to my opponent and then hit them with a rock on THREE. It totally throws off their timing. It takes a trained athlete like myself to perfect the sport of roshambo and the concentration level is just too far to reach for most people. I'm definitely Olympic material, look for me in a white leisure suite at the 2012 Olympics in England. I'll be the one eating cupcakes during the assembly of Nations.

So enjoy the Olympics this year friends and family. And if your two year old happens to wander out of the house, look for them in China. They are probably training for their gymnastics team.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Urkel Fashion For Women

This week I came across a website that talks about the then and now of famous people from years ago. Urkel was one of them. I don't think that I ever watched an entire episode of the show he was on, but I do remember his character. I remember that he had an annoying voice, dressed like a complete geek and always wore giant glasses with the granny chain attached to it. Naturally, when I think about Capri's, I think about Urkel.

I will admit that when it comes to fashion I am completely clueless. I couldn't tell you what is in, or more importantly why I should shell out mega bucks to wear it. So please feel free to take this post with a grain of salt. I still have parachute pants and high tops in my closet from 1985.

Part of my fashion fear is that I feel I am being duped by the designers themselves. Have you ever seen the end of a runway show when they bring out the designer for a standing ovation? Inevitably the designer isn't wearing a stitch of clothing from his own line, rather a dark pair of jeans with a black T-shirt. The message to me is "hey pal, I just design this crap, it doesn't mean I have to wear it." I tend to dismiss fashion as a rouse and stick with the jeans and t-shirts myself.

That's why Capri's are a fashion mystery to me, so if anyone can clue me in, I'd appreciate it. Capri's are neither shorts, nor pants. They are more "sh-ants, or p-orts." To me they look like an older sister who got caught raiding a younger sisters closet just to prove she can still stuff those hips into a size 2. Humm, maybe it's an ego thing. OR Capri's solve the problem of showing off to much leg as well as not enough. Either way I don't like them. Capri's remind me of Urkel.

But because "flooding" is a popular look with females, I must be missing something here. I've thought about this for a long time and the only thing that I could come up with is that a woman's comfort zone must be controlled in the back of her calves about half way up. Not the knee and certainly not the ankle, just mid-calf controls the comfort temperature. Or it could be that Capri's are the perfect attire for the undecided and timid. "Well, I don't want to look too casual, and I don't want to be real formal *wringing hands*, so my Capri's should cover me either way. That is probably the safest bet..." Well IMHO the only "safe" thing about them is that they look ridiculous. Come on, take a look at your day and either go ALL the way casual, or ALL the way conservative. Don't be timid, just go for it!

Ladies, I for one, would have a lot more respect if you just picked one and went with it. Believe me, I'd rather have you in a pair of shorts at a cocktail party than in those sh-ants. Capri's are ugly and I would like to vote that they be outlawed, or banned, or burned....maybe banned (but I do like the burned....). Humm, now I can't decided if they should be banned or burned. Since I can't make up my mind, maybe I'll put on a pair of Capri's my self (Man-Pris?) and think about it until I come up with an answer. I'll let you know in a future post on what I have decided, until then I'm going to cut all of my pants at the calf, grab a bowl of popcorn and watch a few episodes of Urkel to get my bearings again.