Monthly Archives: December 2012

I Remember….

How much you need son?

A friend of mine told me one time, and I still cannot get over this, when he was a young boy every Saturday his father would give him a dollar for whatever, I guess as sort of an allowance.  He told me he would go to the movies, which at that time costs 9 cents, and then he’d spend the rest on candy and a toy.  I never recieved any allowance or weekly stipend.  If I wanted it I had to beg, find pop bottles to cash in, or luck out and find a few pennies here and there.  Anyway when I did ask for some money I usually got a dime.  A dime!  A whole dime.  A dime does not leave alot of room for several choices, when you got to the store it was one and done.  Pick something.  Chips were dime, pop was more, so your choices were very limited with a dime.  Anyway one time, and I don’t remember if I asked or my dad just gave it to me, a quarter.  Holy crap that was like hitting the lottery, the store was now wide open to almost whatever I wanted.  This was a good thing because once you go forward you cannot go back, meaning once he gave me the quarter he can’t go back to giving me dimes, and I don’t think he did.  Regardless dimes or quarters, it was a different time and that was a treat back then. You see parents didn’t take you to the store and get you what you wanted, you got what they gave you and you went and fended for yourself.  Regardless I wouldn’t give up the memory of this for anything.  The only reason I mention my friend is because his dad was giving him a dollar every Saturday back in the 40’s and I was getting a dime in the 60’s and as I understand it his family wasn’t wealthy when he was growing up.  Still doesn’t seem fair to me now, and I’m all growed up.

People Control, Not Gun Control….

The carnage of the Newtown Connecticut shootings have once again caused the ugly head of the gun control debate to be reared.  On the one week anniversary of these shootings the chairman of the NRA spoke before congress and what he had to say was eye opening if true.  Is there really a TV video game called Kindergarten Killer?  His points about the media glamorizing killers and thugs, video games and movies that are desensitizing young people, I think somewhat hit the mark.  We bring it upon ourselves.  He also stated that the only thing that can stop a bad person with a gun is a good person with a gun.  Disagree.  I’m not a gun person so I unbiasedly can say the gun is not the root cause.  An unbalanced individual not under control is the cause here.  We need people control.  Name a shooting where the mental state of the individual was not in question going in.  I know two things if I know anything at all, guns and unbalanced individuals will always exist in our society and unless I miss my guess, there is someone else as I type this, who is planning something similar.  Gun control is not the end all but it certainly needs to be addressed and I’m not really sure what congress has in mind or when they will act on it.  My thoughts, all guns are to be registered, period.  It should be a federal offense to possess a unlicensed firearm, period.  There should be a national database with the registration of all guns and owners.  If you sell a gun to someone else, just like a car it has to be registered to the new owner.  Some will argue that it’s no business of the government how many or what guns we have.  These same ones don’t care if the government knows all about their cars, boats or houses etc, why should they care if they know about their guns.  There’s an old saying, “only those that cheat on their taxes fear the audit”.  Must have something to hide?!?  Secondly just like a car, until you pass firearm training you cannot purchase one.  Once again a national database for all these trained individuals.  Before you can drive a car you have to pass a written test and a driving test.  Buying a gun, a five minute phone call and you got it.  Gun shows are a joke, hell Charles Manson could get one there.  Will these controls solve the problem?  No, but I bet it would slow down.  Unlicensed guns are always going to be floating around and into the wrong hands but controls similar to what I mentioned above may prevent a few guns from getting into those hands.

The chairman also proposed a plan to put an armed security person in every school in the country that wanted one.  Not saying I agree with this either but it deserves a think.  It’s a sad state of affairs when we have to do this.  His reasoning was, we guard banks (our money), government officials, stores, entertainers, buildings and sporting events, but our children we leave defenseless.  On the flip side what if one school chooses not to take this security measure?  Just like electricity, the perpetrator would choose the path of least resistance.  Arming teachers?  Hell no.  My God imagine the message your sending to the children, perhaps scaring them into thinking something may happen and trying to learn in an atmosphere of fear.  Some schools use what they call a “resource officer”.  I guess used and approached properly this works.  I can’t believe we even have to discuss this, back in the day the only time a cop showed up at the school was to teach you how to cross the street safely.

People always know individuals who are unbalanced but do nothing.  Of course what do we do?  Who do we tell?  It never fails that after the fact someone always says they knew it would happen.  Someone always saw strange or bazaar behavior beforehand.  My opinion is that these individuals feel they have been wronged by someone or society and this is their way of payback.  I’ll show them, so to speak.  Law enforcement officials will be the first to tell you that unless they have done something wrong there is nothing they can do.  Frustrating!  Then there is the issue of infringing on an individual, ie stating their unbalanced when they are not or claim not to be.  Parents too have to face facts, if their son or daughter needs help they cannot turn a blind eye to it.  This is where the greatest difference to help society can be made.  If a child will threaten a parent or rebel against a parent, harming the outside world is not a second thought to them.  As we’ve seen churches, schools, malls, businesses, stores are not off limits.  Furthermore if there was ever a hint of copycat crimes this may be it, with one idiot trying to outdo the next.  Believe it, there’s another Adam Lanza out there, and another right behind him.

Don’t We….

Things are so out of whack in this world it’s sometimes unfathomable.  There’s’ a word you don’t hear everyday, and I spelled it right the first time too.  I remember back in 1978 Earvin “Magic” Johnson was coming out of Michigan State University as a superstar basketball player.  He did go on to a long and successful NBA career.  He was special and well liked to boot.  In regards to those skills the Los Angeles Lakers gave him a contract of $25 million for 25 years.  I couldn’t imagine getting $25 million to just play basketball, or anything for that matter.  Who was worth that?  The 25 years part didn’t hit me too much, hell he just got $25 million, that was the focus here.  Of course over the years he renegotiated and received more and more as he was the reason the arena was filled each night.  Pretty sweet deal,,,,,,,,, for back then.  Flash forward.  The Los Angeles Dodgers just signed pitcher Zack Greinke to a contact for, better sit down for this one, “six years for $147 million”!!!  That’s $24.5 million each year.  Makes Magic’s deal look like a booger.  And you know what?  He’s their no#2 man, not the ace of the pitching staff.  If you know anything about pitching he’ll probably only pitch every third or fourth game, twice a week at best.  As long as the fans fill the parks and buy the jerseys the money will flow, sure the Dodgers want to win but making money is good too.  Like I said it’s the fans who pay those salaries.  Don’t we have something better to do with our money?

There are several resturants that my wife and I frequent where the walls are literally covered with dollar bills.  These dollar bills have drawings, peoples names, when they visited, sports logos, scores and George’s picture has taken a beating on some of them.  You name it is written and drawn all over the them.  I guess the object is for people to deface American currency, give it to the manager and he will in turn staple it to the wall.  Someone told me this one resturant we know had an estimated $10,000 in dollar bills defaced and stapled to the walls.  I wonder how many of these people who join in this silly crap would gladly ruin and staple a dollar bill to the wall of a resturant but would walk right past, say, a Salvation Army Volunteer and Bucket collecting for a good cause.  Don’t we have something better to do with our money?

I remember a friend of mine telling me one time that he entered some sort of Reader’s Digest contest way back when and 1st prize was $100 a month for life.  He told he thought if he won that “he’d be set for life”.  Back in the day that was probably true.

I’m Confused….

If the ACLU wants everyone to say “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas” doesn’t that mean they admit there is Christmas?  What other holiday is there?  What other holiday do they mean?  It would make more sense to me, not that I agree with it, but it makes better sense for them to try and stop it all together.  Right or wrong here?

Government In Action….

The company I work for makes corrugated containers, most folks know them as cardboard boxes.  I hear and know quite a bit about what other companies make, how they market it, the do’s and dont’s of what to buy, not to buy, insider secrets of how to use them, etc etc etc.  The other day I was on a manufacturing line with a sales rep and he was telling me he had to visit a customer because this customer was being questioned by the federal government about possible contamination in the packaging (boxes) they were receiving.  The feds were concerned over the dark and light brown specs you sometimes see in the kraft or brown paper corrugated boxes are made from.  Those specs in all actuality are fibers from the boxes and bags that were recycled to make the paper now in question.  It’s really the glue from those recyclables you see.  It’s harmless.  Almost all brown or kraft paper have these specs as almost all paper has some percentage of recycled material in it.  Very rare to see virgin material, ie paper made entirely from trees or wood fiber.  Anyway I was incredulous at this thought of the federal government questioning that when the cartons we were making were for the packaging and distribution of cigarettes!!!  Week after week we are running 10,000 and 15,000 piece runs, the customer is filling each one with 20 cartons of cigarettes, people are smoking them up and the feds look past that.  And we only run a small portion of the business.  I said Charlie “people are buying this product and knowingly inhaling smoke into their lungs and the government’s only concern is that paper fibers may contaminate them.  Are you kidding me?  I’m not saying they need to do something about the smokers, smoking is the person’s business, but why waste government time and resources on this.  Really!  Why?

It Was All Downhill After Loris….

A moment to reflect on a mission accomplished.

Little did I know that we won the state title three weeks ago when we played Loris.  The first go around I thought it was a fluke that they played us so close.  How could a team improve so much over one year?  The second time we played them I was convinced it was no fluke, but at that same time I was not convinced we had played our toughest opponent yet either.  That’s when I said we may not be ready.  The last two weeks were not exciting, they were thrilling.  We manhandled Timberland and controlled Fairfield Central.  Neither game was exciting in the fact that it was very competitive and I for one was thrilled we won pretty handily.  It actually got easier after Loris.  No one can say they expected that.  I wrote last week that the old saying goes “defenses win championships”.  Ask Timberland or Fairfield Central about that defense that only gave up 8.07 points per game for the season, 6.5 during the playoffs.  A friend of mine told me all they commented on in the press box at state was how they didn’t believe the QB was only 14 years old.  If he progresses as a QB normally does for the next couple years he’ll get offers from every college in the country by the time he’s a Junior.  This team doesn’t lose much and could be better next year.  But I’m ready to take a break for now!  Thanks Wildcats!

 

Michigan Meets SC….

January 1st, Tampa Florida

Saturday night they made it official.  The Michigan Wolverines will meet The South Carolina Gamecocks in the Outback Bowl in Tampa Florida on New Years Day.  This will be their third meeting, with each team winning one of the previous two.  In 1980 SC came away with a 17-14 win with the help of running back George Rogers, who won the Heisman Trophy that year.  Five years later in 1985, Michigan returned the favor and beat the Gamecocks in Columbia 35-3.  My wife and I were there, smack dab in the middle of the student section.  The opening line put Carolina a 4 1/2 point favorite.  On paper they stack up pretty good in comparison (see below).  During the regular season I do pull for the Gamecocks to win, however in this instance I will have to go with my Wolverines.  Our defense gives us a pretty good chance just so long as the offensive coordinator puts Gardner and Robinson on the field at the same time.  That is a must.  The SC defense is too good and we have to give them alot of options to defend.  If for some hairbrained reason he puts Robinson out there alone, like he did in the 2nd half of the OSU game, we’re sunk.  He can’t pass with his arm being injured, and that only leaves them to defend the run.  Which they do well.  Offensively Carolina is good, not great, and I don’t believe our defense will let them run up and down the field.  Points will be scored in this one but I don’t think it will be a scoringfest either way.  Couple of fun stats; Michigan is 23-7 against teams from the mighty SEC and 7-4 against them in bowls.  Regardless the ribbing has already started.  It’s going to be fun leading up to the game.  Go Blue!

South Carolina 2012 Statistics & Michigan Comparison

 

SC UM
 
Opponent
 
Points Per Game
31.4 | 30.0
 
17.4 | 18.8
 
Rushing Yards
1,715 | 2,248
 
1,428 | 1,872
 
Rush Avg. Per Game
142.9 | 187.3
 
119.0 | 156.0
 
Avg. Per Rush
3.6 | 4.9
 
3.1 | 3.8
 
Passing Yards
2,754 | 2,377
 
2,319 | 1,862
 
Pass Avg. Per Game
229.5 | 198.1
 
193.2 | 155.2
 
Total Offense
4,469 | 4,625
 
3,747 | 3,734
 
Total Off Avg. Per Game
372.4 | 385.4
 
312.2 | 311.2
 
Kick Return Average
20.9 | 22.1
 
23.5 | 23.1
 
Punt Return Average
13.4 | 8.6
 
4.0 | 7.6
 
Avg. Time of Possession
30:25 | 29:31
 
29:35 | 30:29
 
3rd Down Conversion Pct
43% | 51%
 
36% | 36%
 
Sacks By-Yards
40-253 | 19-166
 
35-242 | 15-109
 
Touchdowns Scored
49 | 45
 
24 | 23
 
Field Goals-Attempts
11-15 | 15-18
 
14-17 | 21-28
 
Red Zone Scores
(38) | (38)
 
(28) | (33)
 
Red Zone Touchdowns
(30) | (26)
 
(17)  | (18)