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Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Gun Control in America


I've been weighing whether or not to write a post on this particular topic for quite some time. Immediately after the Parkland shooting I felt tempers were too hot on both sides so I waited. This won't be long but just wanted voice my personal opinion with all the others.

First off, I am not a gun person. As weird as that sounds being a white male living in Texas, I am not. I have several friends who are though and I did go to a shooting range once for a friend's bachelor party. I can remember firing a higher caliber handgun and shaking afterwards. I remember thinking to myself, "How the hell is this fun? My nerves are shot!" I think I fired 1 more clip and that was enough for me. Now, with that being said, I think as Americans, we have a right to bear arms. I mean, that pesky 2nd amendment states it right there. So I don't take any issue with my friends who go to the range and shoot. If that's what they want to spend their money on, more power to them.

The particular tricky bit about the 2nd amendment however is the part about the "well regulated militia".  WTF does that mean? In 2018, the only type of "well regulated militias" that I know of are the armed forces. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, National Guard.

I guess all that I'm trying to say is that it's a tricky issue.  I understand that you should be able to protect your family with a gun. But is the family unit similar to a militia? Hmm...

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Holiday blues

  Thought I would update with another post now. Took a personal day at work today. No reason in particular, I could've gone. But with my parents off camping in Galveston with Rusty, I have the house to myself and wanted a day for myself as well.

Slept close to 10 hours last night, and I still felt dead today. Took care of some errands around the house. It's beautiful weather outside so it was very enjoyable today.

I think part of the reason I slept so much is because I am feeling a little down and depressed. I just am beginning to hate myself again. Hate that I am single. Hate that I'm fat. And it sucks. I know what I need to do. Hot the gym and continue going out on weekends and finding social events but it's hard. Lots of times I just want stay home and be on my PC or watch TV. I know that God has a plan for me but I'm still trying to figure out what that is.

All these sexual harassment charges being brought up in the news is truly stunning. Seeing these famous people being fired is truly stunning. I guess people tend to abuse power. And it is truly discusting seeing what some of these men have been accused of doing. They thought themselves invincible but they were wrong.  The thought of these women having to carry this baggage for so long is terrible. I am hopeful for the future though. Now that so many women have come forward, it should let others know that it's ok to speak out. And hopefully that will bring about change in the workplace.

Take care everyone. 2017 is almost over. Christmas and a new fresh year are just around the corner.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Houston Astros

This post has been a long time coming. I just wanted to take a chance to express my appreciation for everything the Houston Astros have done and how much they have meant to me in my life. IF you aren't a sports fan you might want to skip this post because it will probably quite long.

First of all, I never expected to say this next sentence. The Houston Astros are World Series Champions. The team that started out as the Houston Colt 45s way back in 1962 finally have won a championship. It might have taken longer than expected (55 years!!!) but it finally happened and for that I am eternally grateful.

I started loving the team back around 1988 or 89, when I was about 6 or 7. I can remember my parents taking my and my sister to games back at the old Astrodome. I still remember the first autograph I ever got. It was the Astros all star first baseman Glenn Davis. He was at Westwood mall which is now closed. It was amazing.

The Astros were always a decent team in the ninetys and aughts (2000-2010) largely in part to their 2 soon to be hall of famers, Craig Biggio and Jeff Bagwell. I was a huge fan of both and enjoyed watching them play their whole careers for this franchise. They got close several times but never quite sealed the deal. Prior to this year, they only made the World Series 1 other time back in 2005. That team had Roger Clemens, Andy Pettite, and Roy Oswalt anchoring down the starting rotation. After a stellar playoff capped my numerous exciting moments, they got swept in the World Series by the Chicago White Sox. The bats went ice cold, there's no other way to explain it. Both teams had dominant pitching but their offense was able to get a few more key hits in places than we did. My dad somehow got my tickets to that Game 5 in 2005. I had just graduated college and seeing my team in the World Series (as well as the Steelers Super Bowl win!!) was icing on the cake. Unfortunately it was bittersweet seeing the other team celebrate on our home field. Many Astros fans had sold their tickets and the stadium had a lot of White Sox fans. I have always kind of liked the White Sox also (it started with my research report in high school on Shoeless Joe Jackson) and I remember congratulating a random fan wearing White Sox apperal, but it did sting because you never know when the next time you will be able to make it back there to the championship game. The season is so long and you never know how injuries will play out.

After failing that year, they didn't get back. They tried to reload with veterans while selling the farm system and it never happened. A new owner bought the team later and then the team switched leagues. After growing up watching nothing but National League baseball, it was very odd to see them play with a DH (designated hitter that bats for the pitcher). We were now direct rivals with the Texas Rangers which I thought was kind of cool, but it was all so different. Those first years after we switched leagues starting in 2013 were very rough. 100 loss seasons and low attendance. Being a big baseball fan though, I was optimistic. We have a new owner, a new GM in Jeff Luhnow who I really liked a lot coming from the Cardinals, and the minor league system was finally being rebuilt. We signed Jose Altuve and Dallas Keuchel, we drafted high (those high picks came from the losing seasons) and signed George Springer, Carlos Correa, Lance McCullers, Alex Bregman, etc. Seeing these young guys progress was very exciting, even if it didn't translate to wins and losses yet.

Signs of life started to appear starting in 2015. They made the playoffs for the first time in a very long time. They won the 1 game wild card playoff with the Yankees but then lost the series to the eventual champions, the Kansas City Royals. I went to Game 4 where I saw us lose the lead and bullpen collapse. We lost 9-6 and went on to lost Game 5 in KC. The following year in 2016 they had an off year. There's no other excuse, the team just didn't play well. The finished the year at a respectable 84-78 but it wasn't good enough to get into the playoffs. Then this year came.

The 2016 off season started with some huge Free Agent signings. They signed Josh Reddick and Brian McCann, both former All-stars. They then signed back Carlos Beltran. He was much older now but he played for the team back in 2004. I could be wrong but I still believes he holds the Astros franchise record for most homeruns in the postseason. The team looked like it was starting to jell and they went into spring training with a very clear goal, win a championship. Keuchel was coming off a bad 2016 after winning the Cy Young award in 2015. Altuve was still looking absolutely dominant. Springer was looking awesome and Bregman looked to have a lot of talent that was just finally coming together. They had a dominant first half and went into the break with the best record in baseball. Then they had a huge slump in August and somehow were able to pull off a trade for Justin Verlander before the waiver deadline ended. I was absolutely shocked. Being that we didn't pull of a trade before the trade deadline, I just assumed that we were going to finish the year with the team we have and see where it takes us. Now that we have Verlander and September was starting (last month of the regular season), it was getting real.

The main team that I was worried about in the playoffs was Cleveland. They won 20+ games in a row during the regular season and seemed to be on fire. Luckily for us, they lost out to the Yankees. We beat the Red Sox and Yankees and faced the LA Dodgers in the World Series. It was the first time since 1970 that 2 teams faced each other in the World Series that each won over 100 games in the regular season. These 2 teams were absolute juggernauts and I knew that it was not going to be easy. Especially for the fact that LA had home field advantage.

Long story short, we won in 7 games. We won. I still can't believe those words. After years of being a Houston sports fan in general and not winning a championship in any sport since 94-95 with the back to back titles the Houston Rockets won, we are once again a championship city. This one was for you Kimberly (my sister who passed away in 93), this one was for you Keven (my brother who passed away in 2014), this one was for the city of Houston and all the people that lost property and possessions from Hurricane Harvey. This one was for Mattress Mack, who generously opened his doors during the storm to people seeking shelter and food. This one was for all of us. We are all champions. We are Houston Strong!

Saturday, October 7, 2017

On the right track...

For the first time in a really long time, I finally believe that I'm on the right track. More to come soon.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Hurricane Harvey BS

Damn. That was a hell of a storm. Worst hurricane that I've ever experienced in my 35 years on this planet.

According to NASA scientists, Houston received so much rain that the whole city sank 2 cm. Let that sink in (pun intended).

So with all the water, it's obviously fucked quite a few things up around the city.

UH's first game with UTSA was cancelled. Several roads around the city are still closed, and traffic is terrible. Luckily, I am fortunate enough that I can work from home so I did that this week. My normal commute of 20 minutes got stretched to an hour and a half on Tuesday.

My parents are fortunate that they didn't receive too much damage from the storm. They do have a small roof leak but that's it. Several other Houstonians were not as fortunate.

The one thing that's made me smile and warm my heart through this whole endeavor is the generosity of people. My faith in humanity has been restored.

All of us may be divided politically but deep down, we're all Americans and good people looking out for our fellow neighbors.

#HoustonStrong

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Happy 4th

Happy 4th of July!!!

Right now I am relaxing at my Aunt's house in Pennsylvania and I thought I'd give some attention to my blog since it hasn't been updated in awhile.

Recently I shared that I had some big news to report but I never got to it.

I've finally gotten of my lazy ass and at least made an effort to date again. One thing I've realized is that it doesn't matter how old you get, dating is never easy. Especially now with all these apps and websites like Tinder, Match, etc. So far nothing really concrete has developed. One girl I currently feel like she's more if a friend than someone I would like to get romantically involved with, the other girl I just went on 1 date with her and just didn't feel a connection.

I've been getting much better on my acoustic guitar which I am very happy with. I can play along to 3 songs now and am able to switch chords on time to the beat which is awesome. I'm currently trying to learn power chords and some Nirvana songs. My goal is to get comfortable with the acoustic first before I switch to my electric.

The Astros have the best record in baseball. That last sentence is something I never thought I would type. Looking back at those 100+ loss seasons, it seemed so hopeless. I trusted in Jeff Luhnow to rebuild the team though and he has come through tremendously. I have such high hopes for this team. They are very fun to watch.

I hope that everyone out there has a fun and relaxing holiday. Take care friends.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Chris Cornell

Unbelieveable. I thought it was just a dumb internet rumor when I woke up yesterday and got a group MMS from some friends about his death. He was only in his 50s, this can't be right. Yes the 90s grunge movement in general was heavily influenced by drugs but surely he's been clean now right?

These were the first thoughts that I had yesterday morning. Chris Cornell, the lead singer of Audioslave and Soundgarden has died. I discovered Soundgarden later than usual for some odd reason. I listened to Nirvana, STP, Alice in Chains, and Pearl Jam but somehow Soundgarden slipped my mind. I first started listening to them in college in the early 2000s. At this time Audioslave was big. Chris had such a soulful voice. In my opinion, him and Layne Staley were the best frontmen of the 90s grunge bands with Kurt Cobain a close 3rd. Chris Cornell was the very definition of a rock star. I can still remember the Stone Temple Pilots Reunion tour that I went to and the reaction he got when he stepped out on stage to join Scott Weiland. I don't remember what song he sang with him but does it matter? This guy was bigger than life.

I felt terrible all day yesterday and still feel bad today. I'm not too proud to admit that I cried a little yesterday on hearing the news. His music was a big part of my life and still continues to be. My prayers are with his family and friends during this tough time.

We've been losing too many great musicians lately. Atleast a small part of him will always live on in his music. God speed Chirs. May you rest in peace in the Superunknown.