Wednesday, September 28, 2005

‘Roids n’ Voids

The first time I went paintballing I went to a field. A field is like a screened in arena with a shop adjacent, to rent or buy gear and stuff. At a paintball field there are referees to assign fair teams and keep order. You get tagged and your out, shooting at close range and your out, etc. The first time I played I had paid admission ($25), rented all my gear ($50) and was psyched as hell to finally play (priceless). As I stood there ready to be placed in my first team the ref said “Ok, every one with rental guns on this side and all the regulars with your own guns on this side.” I was in total disbelief as I stood there on the opposite side of the field looking at fifteen guys with shiny new automatic, high-powered, rapid-fire, CO2 powered paintball guns and me with my shitty single fire pump-gun. Long story short the “renters” got creamed and that was pretty much how the rest of day went. All of us with or inaccurate, single-fire, crap guns getting wasted by guys who did this every weekend and could shoot us from well out of range with total accuracy. You could have been friggin’ Rambo and lost. Was it fair? Hell no. Did I ever go back? Same answer.

Seems like a reasonable solution to the problem right? I mean the way they operated their field wasn’t fair so I didn’t play there anymore. Apparently major league baseball thinks differently on the matter of unfair competition. The issue, of course, is steroids. After all sorts of scandals, court cases, and player suspensions the MLB is being spanked by lawmakers to clean up its act. Despite the national leagues saying they will take care of it the feds may get involved anyway because, well lets be honest, they haven’t done jack to fix the problem.

The proposal went like this: first violation of drug use the player gets a 10, maybe 50, day suspension. Second offense the player is suspended from 30 days to 100 games. Third strike and the player faces 60 days to a lifetime ban. Notice that nothing was said about any record books or Hall of Fame (not yet anyway). Of course after the baseball commissioner’s thought about this they came back saying, “Well, maybe 20 days on the first offense but no mean old lifetime ban.” This was swiftly rejected of course and rightly so.

Damn it! Remember when a major league player was thought of as a really exceptional, hard working athlete. Then you find out Mark McGwire and Rafael Palmeiro were hopped up on drugs to perform like they did. Every game they ever played in is now under question. Who should have really won those games? Should this player be allowed to keep any of his awards? Should he be fined for playing while using steroids? Gee, let me think…Hmmmmm. Well, maybe we should let any cheater keep their ill-gotten spoils.

Remember the snowboarder who competed in the winter Olympic games and was later found to have used marijuana the night before he competed? He had to give his medal back and not even for using a performance-enhancing drug. I feel that if you get busted for using any kind of steroid there should be some incredibly harsh punishments. For instance, a player is busted on a drug test he gets an appeal to see if there is any reasonable explanation (I don’t know maybe the blood samples got switched in the lab) but regardless he is removed from the field until the matter is solved. If he is found guilty then he is either kept from ever winning any awards including entry into the Hall of Fame, his record voided and his salary is capped as low as the lowest paid person on the team. If he wants to be transferred he will be kept at that salary for the rest of his career. Essentially the player is blackballed. ‘Course you could just void their contract and send ‘em packing.

Am I being too harsh? I don’t think so. Cheating is cheating no matter if you use a dirt bike to win the Kentucky Derby or if you use steroids to get the edge on your competition. It is un-sportsman like and should have punishments too harsh to make it worth even thinking about. I don’t want to see sports heroes get busted. I just want to see players who are on even footing. Otherwise you’re just watching a group of “renters” getting pummeled.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

T-Shirts Inc.

A little while back my crafty wife got into T-shirt stencils. Since, she has actually made and even sold self made T-shirts. Me being the forward thinking, trend setter that I am, I decided that it would be cool to make some of my own T-shirts so that I wouldn’t have to be walking around in some over priced, campy, cheesy logo T that wasn’t my campy, cheesy logo T. Now I can have all the flare I need and can make just the right statement by making the designs myself! I just got done with my last one (A Venture Brothers design) that I haven’t even worn out yet and I’m psyched as hell. Here are all the shirts I’ve made thus far…

Kills for bill$ front Kills for Bill$ Back

  • This one is just an idea I came up with while LJ, Mike and I were discussing possible company names and logos for our non-existent company that never happened! I liked it but they thought we wouldn’t be putting out the right image for a calendar company. Oh well.

Pac-Man Front Pac-Man Back

  • This is one I did for an eighties night at a club. I weathered it so as to look as authentic as possible. The back, in my opinion, looks great.

Venture Front Venture Back

  • This is one that I did for my love of the [Adult Swim] show The Venture Brothers. If you haven’t seen it then you have really been missing out. Cartoon Network just started making T-shirts for their shows but I think mine is way cooler.

Game Skull Front

  • This last one some of you may recognize. This is a logo I made for my blog’s button (which can be found at the bottom of the side bar). I call it Game Skull. Now, if I start seeing this design around on shirts or blogs or business cards (because God knows it’s on mine) I’ll be expecting some royalties.

So there you have it my entire fall line. Yes you can expect to see me around town sporting these trendy new T’s. They are perfect for school, sporting events, and weddings…really anywhere.

Coming soon…
Half-Assed T front Half-Assed Tback

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Medical Mayhem

Half-Assed Opinions: Your source for baseless medical information and indiscriminate biological ramblings.

I have been receiving a shit-load of hits (7 or 8 a day, which is a lot for me so shut up) for the post I did entitled “Sty in the Eye". In fact when I traced it back it appears that my blog is listed 22nd on Metacrawler and just 5th on MSN, just below The Mayo Clinic’s web page. I have been getting so many hits recently due to this that I am considering writing medical info posts to keep up with demand. For my next medical installment I will be discussing diagnosis and treatment of diarrhea. For example, a good sign that you may have diarrhea is if you are sliding into first and you feel something burst. Treatments for this can be as simple as eating fewer Taco Bell three bean burritos or driving in your Chevy less (so as not to feel something heavy), but I don’t want to give away too much baseless medical data just yet.
I just think its funny as hell that people would actually come to my blog of all places to find medical information; funnier still that I am ranked so highly on MSN. However, people who use MSN as a web browser deserve what they get. For now though I’ll enjoy my ill found glory and revel in it, as I tend to do. Maybe I’ll start diagnosing people on the street and then give them my credentials if they ask if I’m a doctor. “Well, Ma’am it seems obvious to me that you have chronic and recessive footyfunkitis. This is a foot stankifacation that can only be remedied by giving me five bucks. Ma’am I am listed just beneath The Mayo Clinic on (*some) medical web searches.”

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

I Pledge?

Here we go again. On Wednesday a federal judge in San Francisco ruled that reciting the pledge of allegiance in public schools was unconstitutional. This of course opened the floodgates for a nationwide panic! Now, across America our religious denizens are huddled in their homes both outraged over the decision of this “non-moral” judge, siding with a heathen (for Gods’ sake), and for their poor children who will have to go to school now without the reinforcement of their daily affirmation of citizenship. Woe to the masses. This is truly a black day.
I was at work when I heard the story. Newt Gingrich was interviewed on FOX NEWS about it. He was appalled at the decision and hoped that the president’s speech later would give some direction to the country. I almost hope that the president goes on tonight and DOES address this issue. I hope he says something to this effect “Honestly, I have no response for this court’s decision. Frankly people I have a war in Iraq, a city in Louisiana that is underwater not to mention thousands of displaced people to worry about, an oil crisis and bear market. Guys…I have badder fish to fry. Besides I am not the one who makes changes or interpretations in law. You people are thinking of the Supreme Court and, as I recall, they dodged this case only a few years ago. Now, I promise that if Congress decides to put a bill on my desk regaurding the matter then I will give it some consideration but right now I don’t have the fucking time.” I know it won’t go down like that, but one can always hope.
I never really saw the point in the pledge to be honest. Yeah, yeah, I know it is supposed to be about patriotism and honoring the soldiers who gave their lives and reaffirming our youngsters with “American” ideals. However, lets try and be honest for a moment. It isn’t. At least lets look at the origins of it. It was basically started out as a gimmick used to sell monthly periodicals and flags. Then instituted by our government to help Americanize the youth. Think about the words for a second. Nowhere in there does it say anything about our forefathers or fallen soldiers or our fundamental notions of a free and democratic society. Besides most kids don’t know what more than half of it means. “…And to the republic, for which it stands.” Ask any kid what that really means and I’ll bet they couldn’t tell you. In fact I’ll bet most high school students couldn’t tell you with any real acuracy.
I’m not opposed to God and I’m not opposed to patriotism but I am opposed to blind institutionalized propaganda. You don’t need for kids to stand up every morning and do this because you did it and your parents did it, that isn’t a good enough reason. This is a dogmatic practice at best. In a truly free society you shouldn’t have to pledge your allegiance to anyone or anything. Why don’t we stop all this crap and discuss what this is really about, prayer in schools and separation of church and state.
I know our forefathers believed in a God and I know that the word God appears in many of our founding documents and currency. What our forefathers believed isn’t the issue. They weren’t trying to subtly say that religion has its place in our government, just because they believed in a God. Again, they were the ones who were trying to make a free country without religious sway one way or the other. That was the overall goal people. Why did they leave England?
Honestly, do you think the religious people out there would be pissed if instead of the word God (which is obviously Judeo-Christian) we had the word deity on everything? Of course they would. They want their God recognized above all others.
So where do I stand? Well you’d think I would be siding with the judge in San Fran right? Not really, I don’t think this is any kind of real issue at all. Say the pledge, don’t say the pledge…whatever. Just don’t force anyone to take part in something they don’t want to. Personally, I never stood for the pledge when I had the choice and I didn’t care what others thought. You can’t make someone believe in something like this just by going through the motions, be it religion or be it patriotism. This is a non-issue that the press and some groups (religious and Atheist) are taking WAY out of proportion.