Bill and Warren, do this.

Sports, we love them! Between the NFL, MLB, NHL, and NBA we are offered 124 professional sports teams to root for. An MLB regular season consists of 2,430 games, NBA 1,313, NHL 1,230, and NFL 256. This gives us a grand total of 5,229 professional sporting events to cheer on, not including playoffs of course. I am also not counting NASCAR or golf because those are not sports. These thousands of games are filled with millions of fans, billions of TV viewers, stats, commentary, highlights, 3 ESPN networks, and a full section in the 4 remaining print newspapers. How do we get people to follow politics as closely as their local team? How do we get people involved? Our politicians certainly aren’t making things easy, or getting anything done. So, I have an answer, but I will need Bill Gates and Warren Buffett in order to pull this off. You see, Bill’s net worth is $67 billion, Warren’s is $53.5 billion. With over $120 billion in purchase power I suspect these 2 could buy out all 124 professional sports teams, all of them. Maybe Larry Ellison and his $43 billion would have to chip in, but it could be done. Now what? Cancel the seasons. Every league, every game. Then draw a line in the sand. If you want to watch your Dallas Cowboys play, ever again, let’s do something about medicare. It sure would be fun to see if LeBron can get another ring, well, let’s close Guantanamo first. Total and complete political power would be given to these men without any elected office.
Bill and Warren would have to watch their back for an army of angry cheeseheads, but things would get done.
The thing is, I like sports. I check up on my Kansas City Royals daily, in disgust, but the amount of attention we collectively spend on these arbitrary events is astonishing. Sports are like the “other” category of our food pyramid. It’s fine to indulge a little, but clear your plate first.

Memorial Day

Heading into situations most of us could not fathom, our military defends this country without question. We can’t say thanks enough for what has been given up on our behalf, and we certainly can’t do it by adding a day onto a weekend in May.
Memorial day is a time to honor all of our fallen war heroes, and as I think about our current situation in the Middle East, our traditional Memorial day celebration is done all wrong.
We started in Iraq, a horrible dictator, and confirmation of WMD’s. One of these was false, and as time has passed it has become more and more apparent that this war was really about oil.
Since 2003 we have lost over 4500 US troops in Iraq.
This weekend thousands of Americans took to the roads using the long weekend to celebrate the start of summer, and it seems like a slap in the face. Burning through what our troops have fought for on a weekend meant to Memorialize and give thanks.
I had a recent discussion with a gentleman that made a fortune in Iraqi oil over the course of this war. Somehow we got on the topic of cars and I said something about getting rid of his “gas guzzler”, a 2004 suburban.
He replied by saying he thought that was the “biggest bullshit statement ever”, that he had the right to drive whatever he wanted, and if he could afford to pay for the amount of gas he uses, then he has that luxury. True. I can’t argue with that. But we are using a finite resource, oil will run out, the less we use, the longer it will last.
I offer a counter to this “biggest bullshit statement ever”. If you have the money, you shouldn’t use it to mindlessly fill up your tank. If you have the money, you owe it to those that have fought hard for what you pour into your vehicle to purchase something that doesn’t waste it.
I think that would be a better way to say thanks.

Coffee

Henry sat there red faced stabbing away at the keys, a fury of words appeared on his screen. They were just a blur from where I sat, but that blurred mass was growing impressively fast. He stopped and furrowed his brow, taking a second to read his energetic thoughts. His lips moved as he read to himself. A loud exhale came out from his bulging stomach, and he sat back in his chair. Henry’s head popped up as he surveyed the room. I casually looked down at my magazine in hopes that he wouldn’t notice my obvious spying. He quickly wiped his sweaty forehead with the short arm sleeves of his stripped white button down shirt. Right then left. Now refocussed, he cleared his throat and starting murdering keys again. I couldn’t help but stare. What appeared to be a full size laptop looked like two graham crackers lined up at a 90 degree angle. Henry was massive, and apparently writing a novel.
I don’t know Henry, I have only drawn the conclusion that his name is Henry by the empty grande cup sitting next to him on the table with “Henry” written on the side, and the second half full cup inked with the same name. I had errands to run today, but they took far shorter than I anticipated. So here I sit, and do what everyone with a laptop does, grab a drink at Starbucks.
Henry chugged the last of his coffee, and sat for a minute with the chubby fingers of his left hand covering his mouth, the tops of them disappearing into his bushy brown/gray mustache.
He slowly closed his computer and put it directly into a black leather briefcase that was far too large to hold it with any sort of stability.
Gathering every atom of his giant structure, he eased out of the store with many, many small steps.
I wonder what is in Henry’s giant head, what story he passionately struck out on that keyboard. And in a non narcissistic way, a way that would be more interesting than anything else, I hope that he wrote about a tall skinny guy named “Eathine”.

Cycle to Spin

There is an extremely popular spin studio a block from my house. Classes start very early in the morning, and run late into the night. When you walk by you can hear the instructor blasting commands from what I can only assume is a headset that wraps tightly around his or her respective jawline. I have not been to a spin class, I am sure that it is great exercise, and while it doesn’t sound like fun as I stroll past, some people must really enjoy it. They don’t have a parking lot at their site, but they do have a consistently packed bike rack. Yes, people ride their mobile bikes, dismount, remount on a stationary bike, and start peddling again.
“Did you just spin class to spin class?”
“Yes, yes I did”
I am a resident of Southern California, a place where a bike ride is something you can do any day of the year. You can ride uninterrupted on the paths near the ocean, or weave through city streets and hills. You could bike just a few miles and hit roads in the mountains, or off road trails, pushing yourself through nature and personal limits. Instead these students avoid the beauty of a sunny day (usually), pedal something that doesn’t move, pay for it, and use the real bike they purchased as transportation to bike class.
At least they are getting some exercise, true, and yes, I am being a little judgmental and harsh, but really, live a little bit.