Wednesday, June 22

Ohio State University loses head coach and tattoo parlor

I will bring you up to speed on the heated discussions in Starbucks in case you are one of the three people in Naples who did not attend Ohio State University.
The owner of Fine Line Ink tattoo parlor in Columbus, Ohio, was investigated in December 2010 by the FBI and other law enforcement agencies for drug trafficking and money laundering. During a raid, the FBI guys found oodles of evidence supporting their investigation and also found Ohio State football team memorabilia including Big Ten championship rings.
Apparently multiple players went to the tattoo parlor and traded their Buckeye team possessions for money and tattoos (not drugs…).
The head coach of the Buckeyes, Jim Tressel, was contacted regarding his players’ transgressions. Coach Tressel tried to sweep the mess under the rug but apparently he left a bump in the carpet because the situation quickly became front page news. The NCAA does not look kindly on players selling team memorabilia and especially coach cover-ups. Consequently, the offending players have been suspended and Tressel has resigned as head coach of the Buckeyes.
First and foremost, Ohio State fans are seriously perturbed because from their perspective the Big Ten championship rings belong in Tiffany’s, not tattoo parlors. I have a friend that is a big Ohio State fan so I called Fine Line Ink tattoo parlor to see if they have anything left, or if they knew where I could get a ring, or even a shoelace, but the number has been disconnected and Edward Rife, the owner, is in jail.
The Ohio State fans that I spoke with had strong feelings regarding the outcome of the events and Tressel’s resignation. I wanted to solicit their opinion, but the smoke pouring from their ears when I said, “But they did break NCAA rules, right?” drove me away.
I decided to get some outside, objective opinions on the situation from local football professionals. Turns out, that’s more easily said than done.
I tracked down the general location of Indianapolis Colts football star, Edgerrin James for his view because I’ve heard that he’s really friendly. I think I was at the right house, but no one answered the door even though I tried to dodge the well-placed cameras. I think I would have had more success if I’d been wearing a Girl Scout sash and selling Thin Mints cookies.
I tried to stalk Sonny Jurgensen, sports commentator and former Washington Redskins quarterback, but I really don’t know who he is, what he looks like, which house is his or if I was even on the right street.
After many calls, I finally reached Charlie Gogolak, most recently placekicker for the New England Patriots. Gogolak said, “Tressel looks like an accountant to me…but he was not running a tight ship and a head coach has to be close to his players.”
I’m pretty sure coaches and athletes go unlisted because of people like me.
Ultimately, I agree with Gogolak. Every ship (think Titantic) needs a captain, every bank (think Barings Bank) needs an accountant, every team (think Buckeyes) needs a coach that pays tight attention to the details and every neighborhood needs a front gate.

Sunday, June 19

134 Chances to a fascinating 2012 election

The 2012 election is already shaping up to be fabulously entertaining. For the candidates, there is a new dimension to the campaign. The content of their message is important, but now the delivery of the message is significant as well.
Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty topped Newt Gingrich’s Twitter announcement on Sunday with a web video that included an original soundtrack.
In his video he said, “I could pass out stickers and cupcakes, I could promise that we could eliminate a $14 trillion debt….or, I could try something different, I could just tell you the truth. The truth is our country’s in big trouble.”
I don’t know why he can’t do both? I like cupcakes and stickers. I’m not suggesting that he pass out cupcakes and stickers to the entire American population as 311,404,000 cupcakes seem a bit unwieldy, especially since so many people have allergies these days.
However, he could announce ahead of time where the cupcakes and stickers will be on his campaign trail and then, those interested could rendezvous at the cupcake/sticker meeting point. Perhaps, since Gov. Pawlenty is obviously web savvy, voters could even sign up online ahead of time indicating flavor preferences so that his aides would have a better cupcake count.
I think the cupcakes and stickers would give Pawlenty a leg up against the 134 individuals who have filed a statement of candidacy with the Federal Election Commission (FEC). Of those, there are currently nine publically declared candidates with more likely to come. I look forward to at least a year of amusing “Saturday Night Live” shows but I see a few speed bumps ahead. There aren’t enough cast members to play all the characters in one skit, nor is there enough space on the stage.
My hope is that all 134 announce their candidacy. The more the merrier in my mind. Unfortunately real estate tycoon and hair helmet expert Donald Trump has already declined to run. Additionally, the naked cowboy, Robert Burck, a surefire source of entertainment, announced his candidacy in 2010 but still hasn’t filed with the FEC. Maybe I will email Burck the link to the FEC website in case he doesn’t know about that step in the process.
No matter what, I’m really looking forward to the 2012 election and the presentation of each candidate’s strategery, cupcakes and promises for a better America.

Tuesday, June 14

My Mexican Sombrero

My son’s preschool class is in the midst of “international month.” In my opinion the sum total of international month is a lot of oversized craft projects. Thus far, the crème de la crème of the international craft projects is my son’s sombrero obviously made in honor of Mexico.
The problem with the sombrero is that while it’s outstanding rehearsal dinner fodder, it’s extremely large. I have multiple boxes filled with my son’s important stuff and mementos that hopefully he will one day cherish as memories of his childhood. No matter how adorable or important the sombrero may be, I’m not keeping it. The sombrero doesn’t fit in any of the boxes.  In fact, the sombrero won’t even fit in a large plastic storage bin unless it’s folded like a fajita.  
Why can’t the teachers select more compact craft projects? Why couldn’t they just color pictures of a taco or a chili pepper? The sombrero has been sitting on our kitchen counter for two weeks and every time it accidentally slips into the trashcan my son somehow manages to discover its location and he rescues the sombrero from its impending doom. 
The sombrero, like so many of its supersized craft cohorts takes up unavailable space all over the house and worst of all - the car. I know mothers with even the most orderly homes that have rolling garbage cans for cars. Every parent battles with the daily challenge of trash litter, but there’s nothing more annoying than the glitter glue, oil paint, multi-felt piece, awkwardly shaped craft projects in various stages of assembly scattered all over the car. Every time I speak to my friend Courtney she says one of three things, “I have to clean the car” or “I just cleaned out the car” or “I can’t talk because I’m cleaning the car.” Courtney’s car mess is in great part due to the supersized, glitter glue art projects. Courtney is fighting a losing battle that will not end until her children go to college. 
I’ve been observing my friends with older children. As the children advance in years, the supersized projects become increasingly costly, complex and mentally challenging for the parents. In my opinion, someone needs to reign in this potentially explosive situation.
I decided to take matters into my own hands for the benefit of all of the moms in my son’s class. I gently pointed out to the teacher that the large craft projects not only take up a lot of space, but also use up a lot of paper, which frankly is not very ‘green’. I provided other data points which I thought effectively presented a bipartisan case. I even mentioned the bit about high school, when ninth graders are expected to produce tri-fold freestanding pictorial boards with a supporting PowerPoint presentation. At the time, my point seemed extremely well received.
I am now responsible for the international crafts in my son’s preschool class. 
The next country on the international month schedule is China and my mind is a blank. I scoured the internet for ideas and every craft project I found involved permanent pens, sharp scissors or worst of all, paper mache. I thought about having the children make fortune cookies but there are two problems with that idea. First, the Chinese don’t eat fortune cookies. Fortune cookies are a completely fabricated American, Chinese restaurant dessert. Second, the children can’t write much beyond their own names, so the fortune would be blank. A blank fortune cookie would undoubtedly be bad luck in any country. I may be on the same path as the sombrero – doomed.
It’s highly likely that my son will be contagiously ill the day I’m supposed do the Chinese craft project. Also, I will never again complain about, or for that matter, volunteer for an educational project.
I don’t know why I was so eager to send the sombrero back to Mexico. I should have been relieved they didn’t make a piñata.

Saturday, June 11

Rep. Weiner admissions: Evidence of abnormally low IQ?

New York Democratic Representative Anthony Weiner has admitted to sending sexually charged messages to women (not his wife), some of which included lewd pictures via Twitter and Facebook. He stated, “This was me doing a dumb thing, doing it repeatedly, and lying about it.”
Reince Priebus, Republican National Committee chairman, was the first congressman to demand the resignation of Weiner. Priebus stated, “Congressman Weiner’s actions and deception are unacceptable and he should resign…. We do not need an investigation to know he lied and acted inappropriately, we need a resignation.”
Weiner doesn’t need to resign from Congress for his unacceptable, deceptive behavior; he needs to resign because he’s a moron. Primarily because his last name is “Weiner” and he sent a picture of his groin (thankfully covered in underwear) which really isn’t picture worthy. Who would subject themselves to a lifetime of self-induced “Weiner” jokes?
His lame attempt at a lie in the “hackers were responsible” skit was an insult to the intelligence of the entire American public. I asked exactly 63 people, some of whom I would classify as dumb, and none of them believed Weiner when he claimed he was the “victim of a prank.”
A prank would have been a picture of Weiner with the face of Einstein Photoshopped on his shoulders. Anyone over the age of 12 knows that anything posted on Twitter, Facebook, or for that matter any social media site is immediately public fodder. Weiner is a moron if he thinks his messages and pictures will not be proliferated all over the Internet. After all, that is the sole purpose of the World Wide Web — information can and will be indiscriminately spread to all corners of the globe.
If Weiner didn’t have the technical knowledge of a 12-year-old, or the skills to effectively cheat and lie then he must have at least one aide that is aware of pop culture who could have offered guidance. Any reasonably intelligent intern could have suggested, as an example, “Rep. Weiner, even my mom has figured out how to read my texts and get access to my Facebook page so I never send messages that could get me in trouble.”
Weiner has demonstrated no understanding of the basic concepts: “If you are stupid enough to cheat on your wife while in public office, be smart enough to make sure you don’t get caught” and “If you are going to tell a lie, make sure it’s air tight, complex in plot and delivered convincingly, make it an Oscar winning performance, or don’t tell the lie.”
At this point, Weiner would be well served to contact Arnold Schwarzenegger, the political Houdini of extra-marital affairs. Schwarzenegger can offer political advice on everything from lying and cheating to acting and photography. The real question is whether a political disaster recovery specialist like Schwarzenegger can really help Weiner? Schwarzenegger has 10 years of well hidden lies under his belt and a lifetime of impressive photos. The congressman has no successful lies, a bad photo and is now the butt of every bad Weiner joke.

Thursday, June 9

The Mystery Behind Arnold Schwarzenegger

Where, when, why and how did Arnold Schwarzenegger have a child with a member of his household staff? OK, never mind the ‘how’ I guess we all know that bit of the story. But when, where and why did he start another family? His home must have been occupied at all times with children, staff and occasionally his wife, Maria Shriver. Granted, his special friend was one of the staff, but wasn’t she busy dusting or answering the phone? Presumably, as governor of the great state of California, he must have been very busy with his stately duties as well as the obligations of family and friends. I can’t figure out how he had the time to make a new friend and add another family to his list of responsibilities. My day can’t possibly be as busy as his and I can barely make it to car line on time much less socialize with my existing friends. It might be nice to meet someone new, but I can’t imagine adding another relationship, more children and exponentially more homework. Putting the moral bit aside, I am oddly curious about the general mechanics of extra-marital affairs, additional children and the complicated transgressions of public figures like Arnold Schwarzenegger.
I believe it is the mystery of multi-family management that strangely drew me to the TV show Big Love. The show is about a polygamist family and the main character is Bill Paxton, a man with three wives and too many children to count. I’m fascinated with the idea that one man can manage not only the costs but more importantly the emotional needs of so many wives. I can’t imagine being married to three of me. How can one man function successfully at work and at the same time appropriately respond to the demands of three wives whose monthly hormones could result in a circus-like atmosphere with three side show freaks on an emotional roller coaster?
Arnold Schwarzenegger

Public figure or not, it seems to me that additional wives, special friends, and children only leads to a level of complexity that I for one couldn’t manage. I believe in the age old parable K.I.S.S., keep it simple stupid. One spouse and a set of children seem to be the simple stupid path to my greatest chance for a successful and happy life.
Frankly, I believe Arnold should be considered for re-election based solely on his talent for precision timing and logistics management. I am so impressed with his ability to multi-task I think I could write the tag line for his platform. “If Governor Schwarzenegger was able to hide a second family for ten years, think of all the other things he must be able to hide” wait, that didn’t sound so good, did it?