Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Nancy Lanza: No Victim--She's the Cause

Nancy Lanza with her eyes closed

I know it’s been awhile since I’ve written a blog, but I’m back, and the only thing on my mind is the same thing that’s on everyone else’s, Newtown, CT.   
Except  I’ve got another thought that I haven't heard on the news. 

The media keeps telling us that Nancy Lanza was a victim.  They also say that she was a responsible gun owner.  Are they kidding?   That statement is inaccurate, if not utterly stupid.

Victoria Soto, one of the real victims
Nancy Lanza is responsible for this entire tragedy.  She was no innocent bystander.  She was the cause. 

This devoted, delusional mother was a gun enthusiast, who stored firearms in her house under lock and key.  And she actually thought her home was safe?   Adam was twenty, not a toddler, and he knew where the key was and could easily unlock it.  What was this mother thinking? Her son conveniently gathered the guns, and in a matter of minutes, murdered her and 26 innocents.
Noah Pozner, the youngest of those killed

Adam was plainly nuts and she knew it, yet she taught him how to shoot.  She handed a mentally ill person the means to commit mass murder.   

CNN interviewed a young man who was Adam’s babysitter in junior high.  Before Nancy Lanza left the house that day, she told him to watch her son every minute.   She ordered him NOT to even go to the bathroom.

So if Adam couldn’t be trusted for a minute, how could she trust him with guns?  She was the one who was nuts, delusional, and out of control.  Nancy Lanza was hardly a victim.  She was an accomplice, if not the major contributing factor for the deaths of these innocent, beautiful, life-loving children, and their teachers.

When one cop heard the story, he asked that if she wanted quality time with her son, why didn’t she teach him how to bowl?  But guns were her passion.  I cried for the children and teachers, but I have no tears for her. 

Friday, November 23, 2012

I Wanna Big Wheels for Christmas

I always loved Big Wheels.  I loved watching my kids fly down the drive, admiring their closeness to the ground, their speed, the utter thrill of racing.  Of course sometimes they zoomed by too fast, and I warned them to slow down, yet I was always a little envious.

As a baby boomer I got born in the wrong generation.  We only had those regular sized trikes where the rider sat upright and pedaled in short stunted spurts.  Working hard, we got nowhere fast.   An anesthetized turtle in the next lane had an even chance of finishing first.  

Adults on kid-size Big Wheels
But I always wanted to try one.    And I remember I did.  Squeezing into the seat, I attempted to fit my feet on the pedals without slamming my knees against the handlebars.  Two pedal moves later, I was done.  For once, my legs were too long.                              
Large and small Big Wheels
But not anymore.  Matt Armbruster, 44, a member of Generation X, felt that the Big Wheels were the symbol of his childhood freedom and wanted to ride them again.  Not able to fit on the miniature trike, Armbruster became the manufacturer and sole employee of High Roller USA, a company that produces adult sized Big Wheels.  

Yes, they’re for grown-ups!  But unlike the plastic structures of his childhood, the new ones sport steel frames and “are designed for people who change diapers instead of wear them.”  The cost, $600 each.

Lombard Street
Am I the only one excited?                            
In 2000, the first Bring Your Own Big Wheel Race was held in San Francisco on Lombard Street, one of the crookedest roads in America.  This year the number grew to 1,500 and moved to Vermont Street, with most adults still struggling with the kid-sized Big Wheels though more and more were riding on the adult sized racers.

Two other companies are also producing the models, fashioning the Big Wheels into shiny steel machines that have one rubber tire up front and two plastic ones in back.  This provides less traction, making it easier to spin out.   
Spin out?  Never thought of that.  I just wanted to race down the drive, and then maybe keep on going.  How about over to Disney and then across to the beaches, and up the space coast...

Okay, I’ll probably get winded by the end of the cul-de-sac, but at least I’ll have tried it.   And I’m grateful for the thousand-plus Big Wheels buddies from Generation X and Y.  They’ve kept the spirit flaming, kept their childhood dreams alive.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Where Have All the Heroes Gone?

Petraeus and Broadwell
Wonderful General David Petraeus, the symbol of truth, honor, and the American way--Superman to me and to millions of others--succumbed to the sins of the flesh and utterly destroyed his reputation and his entire life's work.


The man who stood for integrity is the star of a truly trashy story, where his mistress Paula Broadwell sent angry emails to a woman in Tampa she believed also desired the general.  And now they say that Broadwell might have revealed state secrets.  And then there's Petraeus' wife Holly, who's madder than hell.
Petraeus with wife Holly
Well how about us, the believers left blowing in the wind?  Who do we got left?

A couple weeks ago I wrote a disparaging but sympathetic blog about Lance Armstrong and sort of defended him at the time.  What was I thinking?  He's a slug and a criminal to boot.  People with excellent reputations and their livelihoods to lose, risked everything to support the insurmountable evidence against him and stand by the truth.
Armstrong with 7 jerseys

Yet yesterday that bottom feeder tweeted a picture from his family room where he lay on the couch surrounded by his seven jerseys.  NONE of those jerseys belong to him.  He stole them all and jokes about them now. 

"Where have you gone Joe DiMaggio, a nation turns its lonely eyes to you..."

During the height of the Vietnam War, we thought that America was crumbling into hell.  Kids were dying but nobody was listening anywhere in Washington.  Who could we trust?  Would you buy a used car from tricky Dick?
Jeff Gordon

And so the story continues.  Yesterday another champion bit the dust, or became a dust bag, whichever you prefer.  Jeff Gordon--never my hero--but to thousands of others, he stood for something.  Yet he deliberately wrecked Clint Bowyer's car in Phoenix, and they fined him a hundred grand.  They accomplished nothing.  The penalty was just a slap on the wrist because the hero showed no remorse.

That's what I don't understand.  How come so many people exalt in their own glory and then let it blow up in their faces?

I say forget the big and famous, and remember the regular folks who keep our lives real--the first responders, the men and women fighting overseas, the parents who sacrifice everything for a child, and the rest of the givers of the world.

I'm already bored with the Petraeus story.  I've mourned my hero, and I hope that America thanks him for his service and wishes him a good day.


Monday, October 29, 2012

Sandy the Hurricane.? A Silver Lining Beneath

Sawyer before the rain
Well there’s no other news today, tomorrow or forever this week, but THE STORM.
I’m sitting in sunny Florida—well it’s actually dark here this minute—yet calm, cool, and most of all placid.   It’s hard to fathom “the storm of the century.”  

That’s what Al Roker called it this morning, but come on.  Really?  Did people forget Andrew in ’92 or Katrina in 2005?  Some news reporter on CNN said that a hurricane was equal to 19 nuclear bombs!    
I hope I never know that reality, but this one's more powerful than all of those.   

reporter braving the elemBut this
And besides the torrential rain, there’s a blizzard to boot, and the two together will overlap and create the perfect storm.  
This one's called Sandy.  I got best friends Sandy and a first cousin too.  Why didn't they name him Elroy?  I'd never miss repeating that one again.
So I'm watching the news, and they're all describing a nightmare.   Okay, I get it already, though a few things elude me.
     If there's 19 nuclear bombs going off, how come the reporters are still standing outside?  I saw Diane Sawyer soaked in the rain, her hair and makeup dripping. And Erin Burnett from CNN with the police commissioner of NYC battling the elements at the edge of Battery Park.
Reporter Matt Gutman in the water

I guess the storm alone isn't enough of a story.  They need to get clobbered too?   Or must we witness the drama of those we’re supposed to emulate dragged into the ocean and tossed like a bunch of throwaway dolls.     
Oh, and how about those idiots that refuse to evacuate?  Why should anyone risk their life to pull them to safety?   Gee, I love it when the reporters find the stragglers after the storm—freezing, hungry, and often injured.  Like comedian Kathleen Madigan says, somehow CNN finds the lowest of the low, the redneck who’s wearing the hat, “Who Farted?

But there’s always that silver lining.  Today the candidates are taking a break!  And so are the reporters!    The storm's even too big for them!
 And the results are unbelievable.  No one's sitting around a table tonight analyzing endless crap.  
And if we can miss this week, the election will be over.  Over, I tell you!  So the storm is upon us, and I’m waiting it out in ignorant bliss.
I just hope you all stay out of harm’s way.   Play it safe and be back next week.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Trying to Keep Up, Honey Boo Boo and Lance

Honey Boo Boo

Sorry for the delay in my blog, but I’m taking a writing class and it’s a bitch to get the assignments finished in time.   But, yes, I’ve tried keeping up with the news, and I won't be so tardy again.

 Hey, aren’t the elections coming around soon?  And I hear that there’s this child sensation called Honey Boo Boo.  She’s a chubby little girl from a white trash reality show, and Rosie O’Donnell’s so taken with her, she paying for Boo Boo’s house renovations.  Cool, I thought, calling Rosie and asking if she could do my house too.  I’ll let you know when I hear from her.
Lance Armstrong

And then there’s Lance Armstrong.  Nike and everyone else dumped him the other day because the newest doping evidence “is insurmountable.”
Really?  You mean it’s taken them all this time to figure it out? 
According to a number of former teammates, the seven-time Tour de France winner bragged about how he suppressed a positive test in 2001.  The head of the lab admitted that the results were questionable but said that the science at the time could not further evaluate the results.   
So why did the International Cyclist Union (ICU) refused to allow the US Anti-doping agency to re-examine the findings?
You see Armstrong is a generous guy.  In 2005 alone, he donated $125,00 to the ICU.  They were thrilled with the gift, and those personally involved said that the union worked closely with the cyclist for the succeeding years to come. 
The ICU went on to say that they weren’t the only ones who knew about the positive results.  
 So they admitted it and covered it up anyway?  How did they get away with it?
But you know, I still can’t help but admire him.  And I bet others do too.  It was more than chutzpah that pushed him up those mountains for three grueling weeks a year.   It was a steely, all-encompassing obsession that he’d fight to the end.  And he did.
Yes, he’s a cheat, but he raised $300 million for his cancer foundation.  And that wasn’t a fraud, only based on one. 
Still, I wonder.  Would I buy a used car from this guy?  I’ll think about it and get back to you.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Silent Disco: Dancing to a Whole New Beat

Party at the Zoo
Did you know there’s a bunch of new exotics at the London Zoo,  donning earphones, masks and makeup, and dancing around the walkways?  They wiggle to a beat only the wearer can hear.

What’s this?   A silent disco, and the craze is spreading.

It started at European music festivals after rock bands magnified the decibels a hundred fold.  The tunes became overpowering, deafening, mutating into nothing but unadulterated noise.
That’s when someone came up with a whole new idea.  

crowd at London Zoo

What if people rocked to the band’s music, or even their own choice of tunes that poured from individual earphones?  Outside there’d be no sounds at all.  

The idea swept the U.K.—and caught on at the London Zoo.  Desperate to fund raise without disturbing the animals, zoo officials decided to try it.   And the crowds swarmed in for more.          
During June and July this summer about 6,000 people visited each week.  Paying sixteen to forty bucks a ticket, the party goers jammed through the park, joining the best of both worlds.   And it was easy to do.
  Upon entering the caged areas, each participant was handed a set of earphones with a couple of choices—classic rock like Motown or one of the newer stuff.  After making their selection, they started to stroll, many role-playing the behavior of the animals themselves.   Of course the beasts were the biggest hit of all, i.e. before their 9:30 bedtime, while the zoo became flushed with funds for its conservation efforts.

What an idea, I thought.   Why not try it on other venues?   How about weddings where the message is always redundant?  Do you Roger Dumstead take Dena Donutmaker to be your lawfully wedded wife?  If you think she'll say no, listen on.  If not, get some other words of wisdom into your head or catch the top twenty tunes.   
Ever consider funerals?  Some are sad and the rest are phony.  I mean when did anyone ever tell the truth about crooks in their coffins or unloving mothers?  The eulogy might instruct us that arsonists are friendly and organize picnics, but we never hear the part about them setting fire to the trees.   And negligent mothers produce screwed up kids, who overdose while searching for a substitute.  Did anyone ever pronounce blame to the body of an uncaring bitch?

But today we got a solution, something to alleviate the boredom and cover the lies.   How about a little Rod Stewart, Carrie Underwood, or Plain White T’s?

And let the silence keep streaming.   If nothing else, more baby boomers will pass their hearing tests.