Good Reasons for You to be Happy

Good to be happy!I’m not sure what I’m going to write about on my blog today. Any suggestions?
What are you going to write about?
I said I’m not sure. I want to write about you guys. What do you think?
I don’t know. Just write about something good.

This was a conversation I had with BR.

Pretty good suggestion by him, I’d say. After all, have you read the newspaper lately? Seriously.

Between riots and wars and mass murders, it’s damn depressing out there.  After catching up on the news, it’s hard not to be upset. In fact, you should be upset after reading the news. If you aren’t upset after watching the news, I’d be worried about you.

BR does not worry about the news. In fact, he barely follows it. His big interests are Minecraft, You Tube, and baseball. Yet, his suggestion to focus on something good is wise beyond his recognition.

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Six ‘News’ Items That I Don’t Care About

Celebrity news - I don't care.

Is this news?


We live in a world obsessed with celebrity, and thanks to the internet and social media, it’s all out there 24 hours a day.   These stories are passed off as news. 

I suppose there are some people that care about these ‘news’ stories. Don’t count me as one of them.

Here are six ‘news’ stories that have recently made the rounds that I do not care about:
1.       Jay-Z, Beyonce, and Solange – The media is all over this family tussle. Yes, famous celebrities and pretty people are involved – I get it.  Full disclaimer – I did not even know the name Solange until yesterday and could not pick her out of a lineup. By the way, would anybody be surprised to see her end up in a lineup?  
2.       Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s wedding – This story – shudder as you say that – is on the cover of every supermarket magazine. Trust me – I do the food shopping in my family. What is she wearing? Where is the bachelorette party? Will North be the ringbearer?  Sigh. Enough of these needy celebrity whores.
3.       George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin –  Hey, George Clooney, Mr. Bachelor, is engaged to be married. I have to admit I read an article about the happy couple. And one was enough. In fact, it was plenty.
4.       NFL Draft – I love sports, football included. However, between the pre-draft, draft, and post-draft analysis, the hype on news outlets has been overkill. Seriously, how can the draft experts grade the draft the day after it happens? If the NFL Draft was such an exact science, why did Tom Brady go in the sixth round?
5.       Donald Sterling – His words were disgusting. His attitude toward African-Americans is abhorrent. But the story has passed. The NBA has done what it can do. No interview with him, or his wife, or his girlfriend are necessary. It drags out an ugly episode when it would be best to move forward. Sterling has gotten 15 minutes more than he deserves.
6.       Star Wars Cast – Yes, the original Star Wars movies are timeless and beyond popular. Yes, I will probably see the new movies. However, the new movies are not coming till the summer of 2015. The no-name actors stepping into the roles are being analyzed, reviewed and discussed as if they are running for president.  Just let the movie be made and released before it gets analyzed to death.
What ‘news’ stories have you shutting down your phone or turning off the TV?
Original Pic is courtesy of Google Images.

Appropriate for Children

The news is bombarding us, the public, from every angle in the aftermath of the tragic and heinous Colorado shooting. There is discussion of many topics: what made this man go on a rampage, gun control, how people and neighbors need to be aware of the unstable signs of those around them, what security measures can be taken to ensure this does not happen again in the future, etc. However, while I have paid attention to the news regarding the topic, one angle that has particularly caught my attention is how to talk to your children about a tragedy. This aroused my interest because I have no intention of talking to my children about this tragedy.

Children are born innocent – a blank slate if you will. As parents, we have many jobs including deciding what to expose our children to – whether it be movies or tragedies and everything in between. Of course, each child is different and maturity does not occur in some predetermined linear fashion. What about parents? What role do we parents play in our children’s maturation process? I have not done nor is this the place for a formal researched paper. However, I am quite certain parents and environment play at least some role in the development of a child’s maturity.

I am a protector. As such, I do not want my children (5 & 8 year-old boys)  watching the news, for the most part. My children are exposed to all forms of media; the internet, radio, and television. They read, hear, and see things that I think children their age should not. While I try to monitor what they read, listen to and watch, I can’t protect them from everything nor do I even want too. They will see both the good and the bad in the world – it is inevitable and necessary to be a functioning, thoughtful, and sensitive adult. I do want them to grow up and be mature. However, their development should come in time and naturally with the guidance of my wife and I and not be based on the news cycle.

The Colorado massacre is a terribly sad and horrific event. I grieve for those who lost family members and friends. I am concerned what this means for public safety. I wonder what, if anything, can be done to help ensure such a tragedy never occurs again. However for my children, let them watch Nickelodeon — even Nick Jr. — as long as they can.

Works to Ability

When it comes to report cards, there is a large selection of prepared comments I can select from. I doubt students or their parents realize this, but one of the most meaningful I can give a student is when I select ‘works to ability.’  I respect when people work hard and utilize whatever gifts they have been blessed with. When students don’t fulfill their potential – whatever that is – and settle for something less, I am annoyed. How dare you not do your best?

On that note, I wade into the Whitney Houston discussion.  This former gospel singer burst on the scene, and everyone fell in love with her. How could you not love her? She was fresh, beautiful, and gifted.  What an amazing voice!  She was eminently likable.  She was a commercial success beyond belief – having sold 170 million records.  Who can forget the performance she gave at the Super bowl? Every performance since has been measured against it. When I hear people eulogizing her, this is the woman they are talking about.

However, her last big album (not in comparison to the earlier albums) was in the late 90’s. It is also since that time period that she has been a drug addict and an alcoholic.  According to rumors/press, she has gone through rehab at least once, but as evidence shows, those trips were unsuccessful. In addition, it seems her daughter is on the same destructive path. So, when people call her death tragic, I can’t agree. The last decade plus of her life was a lost opportunity.  She was the opposite of someone who utilizes their skills to the utmost.  I view her similarly to Dwight Gooden, an immensely talented baseball star whose careers was tarred by addiction of various sorts. He had some spectacular and unforgettable performances.  I remember watching Dwight Gooden pitch a game against the Phillies in 1985.  The hitters were so overmatched that it didn’t seem fair.  I looked up the stats and saw he had 13 strikeouts that game while letting up 3 hits and 3 walks.  They never got close to scoring, and I remember being happy when they simply made contact. Dwight Gooden’s career stats are pretty good, but he could have been one of the greats. 

In this country, people have a chance for redemption. We are all about second chances – hell, even Marion Barry got elected to a second term.  Whitney Houston was spectacular. She fell from the pedestal and had repeated chances to redeem herself. That is sad. She wasted her talents. That is sad. Whitney Houston did not get the most out of her talents. That almost makes me angry.