Tuesday, February 25, 2014

A.D.D. Doesn't Exist!

As someone who was diagnosed with ADD in 1996 and prescribed Ritalin, then Dexedrine, then Adderall for nearly 10 years I can confidently tell you that ADD doesn't exist.

Whoever came up with the name Attention Deficit Disorder didn't have it and obviously wasn't thinking.  Most of the people treated for ADD are children and teenagers.  What is the message we send?  I know it affected me.  Caleb, there is something wrong with you, you have a deficit, you are lacking, you have a disorder. You need to take this medicine so you can be normal.  It wasn't good for me.  What was wrong with who I was and why did I need to change?  I still don't get that whole idea.

What is "NORMAL"?  Who determined that ADD wasn't the norm and it was everyone else that was off?  I'm going to come up with a term and flip it on everyone.

Let me first address the medicine.  The drugs listed above don't cure or fix ADD.  Sure they may help you concentrate and focus but they don't help you make the right decision. You could take a pill and just hyper-focus you on what ever it was you decided to do.  For me, sometimes it was cleaning, or video games, or occasionally homework.  I learned, especially in college, that I had to schedule my classes a certain way so that I could utilize the pill's effectiveness while I had the chance. Let's be honest, I wasn't going to go home and do homework. So to fix that I would schedule a math class or a class I knew would have lots of homework and then an hour or two hour break before my next class. I knew that if I was on that pill I needed to do the homework while I had Superman focus. I learned to harness the pill's power and channel that into the things I didn't want to do while I was on it.

It was tough though. I remember sitting in the hall doing my homework and my body would be freaking out on the inside.  I had stand up from my chair and physically calm my body down. These drugs are stimulants and they can mess you up.

Speaking of school, I am notoriously bad at math, algebra mostly.  (It was actually a math teacher that suggested to my parents that maybe I had ADD.)  When I got to college I took math 1010, Intro to Algebra, FIVE times before I passed it.  Not because I was terrible at it but because I didn't put myself in a position to succeed.  Also because algebra doesn't interest me, at all

First time I took it I didn't have a teacher.  We sat in little cubicle desks and had a work book and the work book was supposed to teach me hot to math.  There was a TA that would walk around an answer questions if you had one.  It didn't help that I had a snowboarding class on Thursdays that didn't technically overlap with my math class but the first bus up to the mountain left when I was supposed to be in class.  Snowboarding...now that interests me.

Next, I took an online course. Fail. You can't expect me to do something I don't enjoy because it is the right thing to do.  You can call that ADD if you want to but I call it normal.

Finally after a few more attempts I passed math 1010. Next up was Math 1050 and I failed it. Took it the next semester and got a teacher that spoke my math language.  I don't know what it was specifically but the guy helped me understand it.  I passed it easily.  Then calculus. I took it from the same teacher and passed it again first try.

While I am not naturally gifted in math per se, it just took the right teacher to help me understand the concepts in a way that made sense to me.  Because look, I think it is stupid to have an imaginary number 'i.' Also when you ask stupid questions like, if a turkey comes out of the oven at 250 degrees how long does it have to cool before it reaches a temperature of 165 degrees given that room temp is 71 degrees and it cools at (X) rate.

That is a stupid question on several levels. The answer is: IRRELEVANT. No sane person would wait the hour it takes for it to cool to that temperature. You have to wait at least 10-15 minutes because if you cut into a turkey without letting it rest the juices will will bleed out and ruin it.  That's a cook talking not a math wizard.  But also you have to take into account when you carve the turkey it will cool off at a much faster rate.  I'm not going to do math to determine when it is safe to eat a turkey once it has been cooked.  My mouth has the ability to sense heat.  If it is too hot I won't put it in my mouth.

Tangent. Sorry.

My point is that there is a lot to be said about teaching methods.  Not everyone learns like you do.  Some are visual, some prefer lectures, some need hands on real life experience with it before they understand it.  I wasn't great at physics in high school but I did build an award winning catapult in that class.  My ability to build out the concept was better than my ability to prove or explain it on a piece of paper.

If you took a look at my college transcripts you would see that in the classes that involved my major (marketing) I got really good grades.  Those classes: Principles in Marketing, Sales and Sales Management, Promotional Marketing, Marketing Research, Internet Marketing, Strategic Management, ect., were all classes that I was interested in.  These concepts and subjects captured my attention. Where economics, finance, geology, accounting didn't float my boat and my grades suffered.

I don't have trouble paying attention to the things I like paying attention to.  I find it strange that people find that strange. Your ability to focus on certain things, different things, doesn't mean I have a disorder.  It means I like to do what I like to do.  That shouldn't be strange or weird or wrong or diagnosable. If we don't think the same way or learn the same way doesn't mean your way is better than my way.  Your ability to determine when to mathematically eat a turkey doesn't mean you can cook one.

People are different and have different brains that see things differently.  I've used this example in the past.  Take a drinking fountain.  When you see one, what goes through your brain if you were to really stop and think about it?

A biologist may think of the germs on the handle and spout.  An engineer may think about the mechanics of how the water is pumped out.  A physicist may see the effects of gravity on the water as it is pulled down the drain. A plumber may see the inner workings of pipes and drains. A personal trainer may be reminded that people need to drink more water every day. A mathematician  may see it and think about how to calculate the parabola the water forms. A marketing person may look at it and think, how can I improve this so I can sell more drinking fountains?  That is the beauty of life and humanity.  There are people who like different things and who are good at different things. 

You can try to blame ADD for your child's misbehavior but it isn't ADD.  In all honesty, your child is probably bored.  Your child is not interested in certain things.  That is a fact of life.  You know what happens when kids become bored and disinterested?  They start looking for things that interest them and it usually causes some kind of disturbance. 

If you think your child is "suffering" from ADD maybe it is because they are not being stimulated by the right things.  What is it they like?  Find out and steer them in that direction.  Be careful not to judge their interests as worthless or dumb.  If the kid likes to work on cars or build things or solve puzzles, GO WITH IT!  If they like to organize, clean, cook, play sports, teach, or dance; feed that passion and desire.  You will find that suddenly there is far less deficit than you thought.  Don't make them grow up into something you think they should become.  Let them become them.

My dad told me that when he was young he would get in trouble in grade school because he would act out and disrupt the class.  It wasn't because he was stupid or wasn't learning the material, it was the exact opposite.  He was really smart.  He learned more quickly than the other kids.  So while they caught up to him he became something of a trouble maker in the teacher's eyes.  They thought he may have had a learning disability.  Turns out they were exactly wrong.

You can say ADD exists if it makes you feel better about yourself or works as an excuse for your child and their behavior but you are just selling yourself short.  The fact is, ADD doesn't exist.  Some people just do things differently than you and you don't understand it.  I have come to terms with it and it is time you do too.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Find a Person with 'No Regrets' and You've Found a Liar.

I always hear people say that you should "live life with no regrets."

"I never regret anything. Because every little detail of your life is what made you into who you are in the end." --Drew Barrymore

"If only. Those must be the two saddest words in the world." --Mercedes Lackey

I've never understood why people say such things when they are obvious lies; and if not lies, than at very least, farcical.

Let me explain. Take Drew's quote up there.  She is saying something many people believe. Every choice you make determines who you are. You don't think she regrets an acting role here or there?  Sure, maybe she learned from her mistakes but that doesn't mean it wasn't a mistake. 

Don't like that stream of thought?  How about this.  Using that same quote, what if you are a terrible person? Mr. Scrooge anyone?  He changed eventually but he hurt a lot of people along the way long before that change ever took place.  Think he doesn't have any regrets? He could have changed lives long before he did, had more joy and love in his life if he had made some different choices.

That is why I don't believe anyone that says, "I lived so I had no regrets."  That's just lies!  There is no way you can do it.  I'm not saying that is a bad thing either.

If you live in a way so that you regret nothing you are living a life that is void of true passion. My view is that if you care about things, any things, enough to feel an emotion over them, then you are going to regret something along the road of life.

Sure, it's a movie but I see a little regret there with old Sean, Captain of the Red October.  He brought his best friend and 2nd in command on a hopeful voyage to make it to America.  His friend didn't make it. You don't think that once he made it safely to the shores that he had a little regret that he wasn't able to share it with his Bestie?

“I would alter nothing of the journey made for it is in this road travelled that the sweetest of lessons are learnt.” -- Truth Devour, Wantin

I don't see anything wrong with some regret.  It is a recognition that we are fallible, that we make mistakes, and that we can learn from those mistakes.  That is the beauty of what regret is.  It is a reminder to be better, to improve, to live.  As long as it doesn't become a burden, a weight. Don't let it negatively affect you.  THAT is what you need to take away from all this.  Regret is OK as long as it doesn't destroy you.

I have a few regrets.  One that comes to mind.  I had just graduated college.  I was working a little here and there.  There was this girl that I had a bit of a relationship with.  We weren't technically dating or anything but I really liked her.  She liked me too but I wasn't sure how much.

Anyhow, she was driving home to Oregon with her mom after school was finished and got in a terrible car crash.  She had broken her neck and was in a hospital in Idaho probably 5-7 hours away from me.  I got a phone call from a mutual friend explaining the situation.  I distinctly remember the place and time, where I was standing; it is vivid still.  I remember the feelings, the emotion, the decision.  I wanted to leave right then and go to her. I wanted to be with her.  I, I was in love with her. 

I talked myself out of such a crazy idea.  What kind of guy just shows up?  I don't know where she is exactly in Idaho.  I don't know if she can have visitors.  What if I show up and she is paralyzed?  I don't know if I can handle that.  What is I show up and she gets weirded out and ruins things between us.   I can't miss work.  It's a long ways away.

I was scared.

I didn't go.

I regret not going.

I am sad I didn't take the opportunity to express my love and concern.   I don't know what would have happened had I gone.
  • Maybe we would have fallen in love and gotten married and we'd have a family and I wouldn't have spent the last 10 years alone.  
  • Maybe she would have made it clear that things were not going the way I thought they could have. 
  • Maybe neither and we would have continued on as friends.
There is no way to tell now.

A couple years later we had a little long distance thing.  I had the best night of my life with her on a cool, moonless October night by a fire on a beach in Carmel.  There was a moment where I had everything I ever could have dreamed I wanted and I was completely satisfied with life.  That never would have happened had I made the decision to go.

I've had hundreds of great things happen to me since then that I am happy to have experienced.  I am also very aware that this decision, this regret I feel, will at some point go away. I'm going to meet someone that makes that night at the beach feel like a bad scout camp out in the snow.  You know, unless I die or something tragic like that. (God forbid)

It is fine to have regret, but don't LIVE with regret.  I don't.

Friday, January 03, 2014

Hope to Hopeless

It is hard to press that "Call" button on your phone when the person on the other end is a girl that you are totally sprung on.  It seems counter intuitive.  Why would you be scared to call someone you like and are interested in?  The answer is simple: HOPE.

Wait, what?

True story. HOPE is the thing that keeps the little light shining in your heart and in your head lit up.  Let's be real for a minute or two.  In that space between "We've never met" and "The End" is where all the HOPE is.

Two weeks ago I didn't know this girl existed.  She was just some girl.  I had no feelings one way or the other.  She was immaterial, nothingness.  But the second I found out she was real, BOOM, HOPE.

It starts off as intrigue.  Whoa, this girl is pretty.  She looks like angels sing. Her hair is all perfectly flowing.  Her smile makes you smile.  What ever it is about her that makes her special, you notice it.  Yeah, her hair flows perfectly like there are invisible fans and fairies that blow and position every strand so the sun hits the highlights just right.  You notice that stuff and you feel kinda stupid for noticing but you can't help it.

The situation presents itself where you can talk to her.  You freak out inside because the HOPE builds.  Are you going to say something stupid and ruin it?  Will she give you the time of day?  I don't know this girl.  Maybe she's the meanest girl ever.  It's all questions, theory, speculation.  You don't know what to expect.

She bites. What ever just happened somehow worked. More HOPE.  She has your number.  Will you ever hear from her again or is that the end?  Will there be an awkward run in somewhere down the road where you call her out?

No. She texts you. What? WHAT! Your insides feel like they are doing jumping jacks in there. It's a wonderful feeling. HOPE springs.  It grows.  So you chit chat.  Make some tentative plans. You meet up.  After it's over you analyze...way too much.  You enjoyed it, things went well from your end.

Did she like it?  How long do you wait?  Timing is everything. You don't want to sound too eager but you are! You would turn around right now and go spend more time with her if you could because everything she said and did only made you HOPE that there would be a next time.

You try to play it cool but you're not cool.  You're losing your marbles.  More analyzing.  It's terrible.  Did it go THAT well?  Did you say too much? Were you TOO open?  Will you see her again?  When? Does she like you?  Is she at her house thinking about you?  Did you even get a second thought after the fact?  What do you say next?  When do you say it?  You don't want to come off as desperate...but you ARE!  Right now all this HOPE inside of you is making you want to run up to her and tell how you really feel.  But that is crazy talk.  You can't just tell a girl stuff like that.  Movies got your mind all messed up. That's not real life.

You give it some time.  You find something you talked about and bring that up.  Shoot her a text.  Out of sight, out of mind.  Not if you can help it.  "Hey, fyi, you should check this out because I just found saw this and you said you liked that."  The HOPE is she takes that as 'oh, he actually listened to me when I was talking.' But maybe she doesn't. Analyze it.  Wait for a response.  Will one come?  How long will it take for her to see it?  What is she doing right now?

Man, you like this girl. You genuinely like her.  That scares you.  You have invested time, maybe a little money, those things matter less.  You have invested FEELINGS.  You have taken that HOPE and built it up into a possibility.  That feeling that maybe this is the girl that could change your life.  Maybe this is the girl that you would want to change for.  You HOPE she is.

So you continue to try and play it cool. The hours, the days, they creep by.  You pull her name up on your phone and you stare at it.  Is it too soon?  What are you going to say?  You want to ask her out. That is the plan.  But it isn't a plan. It is an idea.  You look at her contact picture, you smile.  She' a babe.  Minutes pass.  Your phone goes dark.  You have to unlock it and it opens up to her.  Your brain is freaking out.  Just push "Call."

But what if...

What if she doesn't want to go on a date?  All this HOPE.  The desire for her to be that girl.  It is all on the line.  It is a terrible feeling.  You don't want it to be the end so you put the phone down. Stupid feelings.

This process goes on for an hour, half a day, a day. Finally, you press the button.  It rings...and rings...and rings.  Oh crap.  Voice mail. Do you leave a message?  What do you say?  You weren't prepared for a message.  You can't ask her out on a voice mail! Too many thoughts. Click.

Now what? Analysis.  Duh.  There are a thousand reasons that she may not have answered the phone.  But the only image in your head is her picking up her phone, looking at who it is, and putting it back down.  That HAS to be what happened.  There's no way she's in a movie, or in the shower, or taking a nap or the 997 other things it could have been.  No. She screened your call and didn't want to talk to you.

You blew it.  It's over.

That's what you think to yourself, right?  You have all this HOPE inside of you, that she wants to hear from you, that she likes you, that maybe she will give you a chance.  I mean, you aren't the only guy after her.  You know that right?  Take another look at her real quick.  Yeah, that face, remember the flowing hair? You think you're the only one who notices that?  She's got options and you are somewhere on that list but you have no idea where. A list that is probably at least a half dozen dudes deep.  They all want her too.  Maybe not like you do but that doesn't matter.  She doesn't know your intentions from theirs.

So there you are, you HOPE you get a fair shot.  "Please. Just give me a chance."  You want to beg for it but you know you can't. You're not asking for everything. Not yet anyway. For now, you're happy with a fair shake. Play the cards...gamble.

Your HOPE is that she is going to invest as much thought, feeling and time as much as you have.  That's the ideal.  The worst feeling is realizing you aren't even on that list.  You're on some "friends" list maybe.  She has no real intention to ever actually like you. But she's polite.

You wait another day and go through the same routine. Staring at her picture, wanting to call, not knowing what to say if she doesn't answer the phone again.  The HOPE turns into trepidation.  You're nervous. Too much? Too fast?  But you call.

Voice mail.  This time you leave a message but it's no good. You erase it and leave another message. Nope. 27 tries and 18 minutes later you figure that message will have to do.  Who are you!?! Who really does that?  You're suddenly a scene in some romantic comedy.  But this is real life and you're embarrassed for yourself because all that just really happened.

Now you have to wait.  Every minute you think about how she might never call back.  That HOPE that a girl you like may actually like you back is turning into something else. FEAR. You want it to be something special but what if it is just like every other time. No dice.  It's a terrible feeling. FEELINGS!  Grrr.

Waiting is the worst feeling in the world. No news is bad news as far as you are concerned. At this point in life though, what else do you expect?

Monday, November 11, 2013

This Girl!

I'm driving myself crazy over this girl. I literally dream about her...more than I should really.  I don't have her number. I don't know where she lives.  Rarely do our paths cross. I know enough to know that she is all I want to know about.
  • She is stylish.  
  • She is smart. 
  • She is funny.  
  • She is her own person.  
  • She owns who she is.  
  • She is gorgeous.  
  • She has this face.
The main problem is that she hasn't spent a half a second losing sleep over me.  She doesn't dream about me or think about me.  She doesn't know me.  She hasn't bothered to and I don't think she ever will no matter what I do.

That makes me sad.

You know, you build someone up to a point where the idea of who they are is almost always better than they really are.  I am 100% sure I am doing that.  I know there are problems, issues, realities that I simply don't know and am not aware of.  I get that.  But through the rose colored glasses that I see her, she is something else. 

Monday, October 21, 2013


That is the name of my imaginary restaurant.

  • One big table that would seat about 20 people.  
  • Family style seating.  
  • There would be up to 2 seating times per night. 
  • Fixed menu each night and would include 3 courses. 
  • Reserve seats in advance for the dinner you feel like eating. 
The Menu:  I have worked on a few dishes that I would feel comfortable scaling and doing in larger quantities.  I want to be able to provide a variety of meals that range from family friendly to selective up-scale dishes.  Each night would be priced differently but a flat fee.  Some would be an all you can eat style some would be served 'as is.'
  • Herb Crusted Pork Tenderloin on Rosemary Polenta topped with a sweet raspberry sauce. 
  • Pan Fried Balsamic Lemon Peel Chicken with risotto. 
  • New York Strip with whipped potatoes and roasted asparagus.
  • Homemade Lasagna of freshly made pasta and red sauce. Fresh baguettes.
  • Macadamia crusted Ahi with a mango salsa.
  • Breakfast at DINNER! Eggs, bacon, sausage, pancakes, french toast, grits, hash browns.
  • Grilled TeryiakiPork Tenderloin on coconut rice and grilled pineapple, sauteed leeks.
  • Roasted Sage Chicken with scalloped potatoes and green beans. 
I would bake fresh breads and make my own dressings and desserts. Or I could open dessert up to a local sweets maker and have them sponsor it. Coupons, gift bags, etc.  

I also thought it would be fun to sell the leftovers for people that wanted to take what was left home.  Waste not.  I also wanted to make some cookies each night to send home with each party. A little something to remember me by.  Or maybe the Reeve hand dipped cherries and mints.

Anyone have any thoughts?

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

What a Long, Strange Trip It's Been

I'm gonna start this post with a title that young people won't get.  That is sort of the point of this post.   BTW - It is a Grateful Dead song. Go use the internet to figure it out.

I've had a rough week emotionally. My age, even though I feel youthful and young, apparently is something that is becoming quite obvious to younger (than me) people.  It is troubling because I don't feel like these people should be labeling me as "old."

My problem is, while I am ONLY 33, it obviously looks different from some younger eyes.  What these people don't know is that I don't FEEL 33, I don't act 33, and I don't like being 33.  I liked 23 much better.  I still feel 23, a bit wiser for sure but I am still a carefree, fun-loving fool.  Maybe I am just scared to embrace it.  I mean, I listen to talk radio...I don't know how that happened but I guess my age is showing in more ways than one.

Here are the things I remember that have scarred me in the past few days.

1) I subbed and taught some 9 year olds in Sunday School.  They kept telling me I was old.  I had to explain that I was still younger than their parents. (thankfully)

2) A girl I work with told me I reminded her of Phillip Seymour Hoffman from Along Came Polly.  FML.

3) Tonight at Karaoke some kid brought a guitar and asked if he could sing a song about transforming into an Indian. (feather) The DJ told him no but he could sing. I was right there and said that he should sing a song from The Doors. Jim Morrison seemed to have a thing for them. It went like this.
Kid: You mean 3 Doors Down?
Me: No The DOORS, Jim Morrison? Light My Fire? The End?
Kid: I don't know who that is.
Me:Shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii, really?
I didn't know if I should punch him or myself or just beat him with his won guitar.

4) Separate event at Karaoke. 4 girls probably 18ish, I'll go +/- 1 year, are at the DJ booth trying to pick a song.  I ask one of the girls, "What song are you going to sing?"  She looks at me and says, "Sir?"  Time out. WTF?  Did I just get Sir'ed? So I ma'am'ed her back and she just got more confused.

5) Some girl on Twitter said (to someone else, not me) "it is no wonder you are 25 and single." F. I'm 33 and single.

6) A couple of days ago I was trimming my facial scruff and I noticed for the first time in my life I had 3-4 gray whiskers.  I freaked out a little inside. I wasn't expecting that...for about 15 more years.

In the midst of all this, for the past few weeks I am using this app called Tinder.  The fact that you have to look it up or don't know what it is should be reason enough...  Basically you look at a profile and like them or pass.  If a person you like also likes you, you are notified of a mutual interest.  This is what I hear happens because in the few weeks I have used it, I have liked PLENTY of girls on there in all age ranges, I have yet to have a match. I am a little embarrassed to admit to it but whatever.

So there you have it.  I'm gonna go make some references about the 80's since none of them were born yet.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Les Miserables: The Breakdown

As I watched the movie for a second time tonight, I realized that probably the biggest reason I love the story so much is because I can relate to each of the main characters so easily.  I see their plight and I am moved. (It helps that the accompanying musical arrangements are so moving.)  Music goes a long way to make the story more meaningful, at least to me.

Valjean:  I think for the most part I am a good, caring person but at the same time I am not perfect; there are things I have done that I would wish to escape from.  You run from the past, creating new opportunities.  You struggle to make the right decisions as life comes at you.

Fantine: I have hit some hard times.  You do what you can to scrape by.  You feel slighted and people have done me wrong in my mind.  Maybe it was "just business" or a by-product of an uncontrollable bad situation but it still messed up life.  You pay your debts as best you can and hope that is enough.  Sometimes people come to bail you out.

Javert: Do we not all feel a sense of duty?  Haven't we all been so blinded by that "duty" or by taking that hardline approach that we aren't able to see what is fair and reasonable past what is "right?" His unceasing discipline to law and justice are admirable and sometimes in life that is all we want for people.  I hope they get what is coming to them.

Cosette: Dreamy, aloof, blindly optimistic even though you know you are being kept in the dark.  Suddenly you see the light and your focus becomes clear.  There is meaning.

Marius: Oh my have there been times where I was struck to the bone in a moment of breathless delight!  I have felt that longing, the angst that comes from loving someone and only want the best for them and to be with them.

Eponine: It always seems like On My Own is a theme.  Unrequited love.  Never getting back what you put out.  Never the bride, just the dude facilitator for others to find their happiness. That hurt of not being loved the way you wish you could be loved.

I have spent a little time as each one of them during my life.  I have felt their pains and struggles.  I have walked in their shoes...or bare feet as it were in some cases.  I love the musical so much. The story is magical, emotional, meaningful.

Thanks French Revolution and Victor Hugo!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

On Gun Control - Potential Enhancements

I'm just spitballing here. I own a gun, I am a reasonable person, so I am throwing out some ideas that could potentially help.

I mentioned a couple of ideas in my last post that could help as well.  This included written and field testing to ensure people know the laws and can effectively operate the firearm they are purchasing.  I also suggested a requirement to possible join a properly formed and certified militia that would help in these training processes and address the issues of safety, proper storing and use of firearms.

Here are a few other ideas that I am not opposed to.

States could give their teachers the option to conceal carry a firearm for their protection and the safety of their students. Additional funding could be provided as well for armed security or law enforcement at each school.

Gun control could be more like cars. Guns could have a title with them. So when you sell a firearm to someone, the title is transferred as well.  There is documentation of the sale/purchase.  I line of ownership can determined, traced and followed.

There could also be a potential governing body, probably the ATF, that would house a central database for these transactions.  Laws could be put in place if guns are sold improperly.

The background checks could search deeper than they do.  There could be something similar to the No Fly List for guns or the sex offender registry.  A place where people can go to see if who is on that list. This would be effective for people at gun shows who are selling guns privately.

I understand that this won't solve the problem. Aliases, fake IDs, dishonest people could all find ways around this. Look at Mexico, they have tighter gun laws than we do and yet criminals and cartels, all the people you don't to have guns, somehow have them.  But we can take steps to try and do something.  I don't think any reasonable, responsible gun owner wants innocent people to be slain, by any weapon, especially guns.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Gun Control - What Can Be Done?

Here are some of my thoughts on the Gun Control issue from the past.  As always I have kept an open mind and heart to the whims and rhetoric of both sides of the issue as events occur.




What has happened today, events just this year, and also in the past years, have been terrible, atrocious, and horrific. I do not condone them. I am pained by the actions of these people who commit heinous acts of violence, especially towards innocent children. My heart hurts for the loss of life.  I love children.  It is so sad to me that someone could do something like this.

This person was obviously disturbed.  As have been the people who have committed these violent acts in the past.  I have yet to see a responsible, level headed, gun owner go on a shooting rampage and kill dozens of innocent people.  To me, it is similar to drunk driving.  There are people out there who are responsible when they drink.  They have a designated driver, they call a cab, they limit their consumption.  It is the same with gun owners.  Some, unfortunately and tragically, decide to abuse the powers they have been given.  It is so with guns and these mass shooting we have seen recently.

I don't think guns should be outlawed entirely.  That is not what needs to happen.  I think a better screening process and training could be put in place.  Something similar to a driver's license could be issued that needs to be renewed annually or biannually.  It would list what guns you own.  A test would look at different factors relating to gun laws. i.e.

  • What are the local laws that regulate gun use in your Town, City, State? 
  • Knowledge about what federal laws regulate gun ownership?   
  • Can a person demonstrate that they can use a gun properly? (I think a field test should be necessary as well.)

Or maybe another option is that in order to own a firearm of any kind you must belong to an official militia.  This militia would be governed by laws created by congress and enforced by the ATF or another responsible government entity.  It would not be something where meeting the qualifications is nearly impossible but something a reasonable person can sign up for.  They can assemble for regular meetings, trainings and where local issues could be discussed.  It also satisfies the literal definition of the 2nd Amendment.  In addition, there may come a time when we have to defend ourselves FROM our own government if there is ever severe oppression.  The 2nd Amendment speaks to that as well.

It is for these reasons I argue that guns should not be outlawed completely but well regulated in a manner that doesn't create an impossible set of requirements but shows dedication, appreciation and respect for weapons that can cause such tragedies as the one we have seen today.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Believe - Real Salt Lake

As you may know I am a big time Real Salt Lake fan. I have been involved with the team on several levels.  I was a marketing intern in 2008 and got to be on the field for the MLS All-Star game. I have been a part of some of the fun stuff they do as well.

I am going on my 3rd year of being a Season Ticket Holder. I have 2 of the best seats in the stadium. Seriously. They are amazing! 

So many things are going right with the team even amidst the personnel shake up happening. (Which I don't foresee being a hiccup to the upcoming season.) Attendance is growing; selling out games on the regular! More and more season ticket holders are joining the ranks.  We even have an anthem that we sing.  It gets the crowd (and the players) PUMPED!

For the next level I think it would be fun to bring 2 great traditions together. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the RSL Believe Anthem.  Wouldn't it be fun to get in the Tabernacle with the organ blasting  it while the choir sang their hearts out?

I do.

There is nothing wrong with what we have currently but maybe we need a few more verses to bring it all together.  Now I don't profess to be a master lyricist by an means but I wrote a little verse that may be suitable. You tell me.  If you don't like it or think you can do better, go ahead and comment with a verse of your own.  I will compile what I get and we can put it to a vote.

Here is what I came up with:

In the heart of Zion a Lion has been found
Rally the Battle Cry
Royal the Army retreat will never sound
I am Salt Lake for Life

In the meantime, I will work my connections to get the performance bit worked out. You know, my connections...with MoTab and old Tommy Monson. My grandma is a widow so... (Tongue in cheek people.)

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

The Election Reaction

There is probably a need to talk a look at a 3rd party in this country. Not a crazy one with a singular issue but a robust encompassing party that can do things better than left or right, red or blue.  I call it, The Coalition.


Saturday, October 13, 2012

Writing is Therapy.

Sometimes all you can do is write because the words are the only tangible thing you have to make sense of what is going on in life.  Sometimes I write because if you spell it out and let the thoughts flow onto the screen it will help put the pieces of the puzzle together or bring blurry frames into focus.  So you write the words down in hopes that it helps.  Then you feel embarrassed when you post them for anyone to see because it is cliche and really, why would anyone care?  But you do it anyway because maybe it will kinda make you feel better for doing it. I don't doubt the therapeutic benefits of spilling the ink.  My first instinct is to write a poem. The words don't come out any more.  I feel like I have written it before. Its all the same crap in a different order.  The themes haven't changed.

But I want to write.

At times I look back.  Actually, its not that I look back.  It is more that I feel the empty, that hole, that missing.  I feel and recognize the void in my life that should be filled with an undying, deeply meaningful love for a wife I don't have and children that I desperately want.  I'm lonely. I'm tired of being lonely. I hate being good at being single. I'm really good at it. I can be alone. I am used to it. But my tank is on empty. That little orange light seems to be getting brighter with every day that passes.

It makes me sad.

I look at myself and wish, not that things were better, but that they were different.  I am too old to not have babies.  I am too old to not have spent years in love with a girl that makes me smile every time I see her or hear her voice or look at the ring on my finger.  I feel old.  I am old.  Maybe not old by the standards of the world around me or my life expectancy but by my own expectations. But I have spent too many years alone in bed with no one. No cold feet touching my leg, no covers being stolen and waking up freezing. Too many years waking up with nothing and no one. 

It wears me down.

Friday, September 07, 2012

Tupac - A Tribute

When I was in High School the guys I was friends with were into classic rock.  I listened to a lot of Pink Floyd, Zepplin, The Doors, Grateful Dead when I was with them. We would rock out and learned a great deal about that era of music.

But when I was on my own, for some reason, I somehow became enchanted with rap. I got involved with it.  It talked about places and a life I didn't know anything about growing up as a young, faithful Mormon living in suburbia with a mom, dad and 4 sisters.  Gangster rap and that lifestyle was something totally alien to me. 

I remember listening to the Beastie Boys while I sat outside of my sister's closed bedroom door.  It was the mid 80's so I couldn't have been more than 7 when License to Ill came out.  I remember being in 3rd grade and 2 Live Crew dropped Me So Horny on the radio waves.  But while riding the bus to school, I heard the unedited version.  It was filthy, something I wasn't used to.  I blushed. 

My next experience with rap was when MC Hammer blew up in 1990.  Please, Hammer Don't Hurt Em was the first tape I ever bought.  On New Year's Eve 1990, we had just moved to California and our parents surprised us with a visit to our old house which hadn't sold yet. So I was in the basement of that unsold house in Medfield Mass, radio on, listening to the countdown of the top 40 songs of the year. All I had hoped for was that U Can't Touch This was #1. It was! I was thrilled.  Shortly thereafter, Vanilla Ice got huge and I bought that tape.  The first 2 albums I had ever purchased with my own money were rap. I was 11. 

I got a job in 1994 at Thrifty's selling ice cream.  I worked with a dude there, I can't remember his name, but he made me a mixed tape full of local Bay Area rappers that I had never heard of before. Luniz, RBL Posse, and others.  Rap was growing on me.

It wasn't until my Junior Year in High School when I realized how much I liked rap.  Dre, Snoop, Ice Cube, Too short, E-40, Mack 10, ...the west coast rap game had me. The east/west rap war was real to me. I chose a side. I was throwing up the Dub because I felt affiliated somehow.  Sure I was just a skinny suburban white kid in one of the wealthiest places in the USA.  What did I know?

When 2Pac came out with All Eyez on Me that was it. It had everything I needed. The beats and sounds were right on the money. Tupac's delivery was uncanny. He spoke from the heart.  I think I connected with rap because they were speaking from the heart. They were emotional about the life they were living, the situations that were surrounding them.  I liked rap for the same reasons I like Les Miserables, Pink Floyd's ablum, The Final Cut, and ended up listening to Dashboard Confessional.  That raw sense of feeling was what captured me. I know that sounds crazy but I think its true.

I listened to that 2Pac CD (yes, I was now buying CDs) relentlessly. I had my favorites: Ambitionz az a Ridah, California Love, How Do You Want It, Life Goes On, No More Pain and 2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted.  Those were the jams for me.

Then, Sept 7, 1996, 2Pac was shot in Las Vegas after a Tyson fight.  I heard about it on the radio before school.  Seven days later he died.  I was sitting in my car, Wild 107 was on with the Dog Pound morning show.  They made the announcement that he died.  I couldn't believe it.  I sat there in amazement. How could he not pull through?  What had just happened?

Things got real. I felt the loss. I sat there in my car for several minutes processing it. Looking back at it, I didn't realize how big of an impact his music had on my life.  He was a John Lennon or Marvin Gaye to me; he was my Elvis.  I got out of my car, I was late for class.  On my way I happened to walk by the flag pole.  There was Old Glory, hanging there, limp in the morning air.  I stopped, looked at the flag for a few moments.

I lowered it half mast, secured it and walked to class. I don't know if anyone noticed it that day. If they did, I'm almost 100% sure they didn't know why the flag was at half mast.  But that is a memory for me that doesn't really fade with time.  Sentimental? For sure.

As my high school days came to a close yearbooks got passed out.  I remember signing people's books with Pac's quotes. "Remember me smilin/with Gs in my pocket/have a party at my funeral/let every rapper rock it."  It would be fun to see the different inscriptions I left for people. 

So tonight being the anniversary of Pac getting shot I thought it appropriate to send some love in his direction.  He may not be a role model in many sorts, but his passion and drive are something to admire.

I still love rap. That mid-90's era is the golden age of hip-hop.  I know that the message isn't a great one most of the time but I can appreciate it for what it is and not what it celebrates in many instances.  Thank you Tupac for your contributions to the music world and to some great memories.  Rest In Peace fool.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Mexican Vacation

Here are a few pictures from the week I spent with my family in Real Del Mar, a little private community north of Puerto Vallerta.
  •  Had a solid 30+ hours of pool/beach time
  • Saved my neice from drowning
  • Golfed in Punta Mita
  • Spent a day in Sayulita, a small little surf town
  • Took 2 bubble baths

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Summer Weddings and Other Highlights

I have been in California the past couple of weeks/ends for my mom and dad's weddings. (They married other people, not each other again.) I just thought it would be nice to share a few of my favorite photos from the trips.

 Watching Snow White and the Huntsman with my sisters in Carmel.
 Just a little piece of a gorgeous yard at my mom's place.
 Dallas, brother-in-law, handling business like a boss. 
 Putting green and 1st and 10th holes at Roundhill Country Club.
 Ribera Beach below my mom's house where I go sea glass hunting.
 Behold my sheaves! What an array of glass!
 I thought the drop of water in the flower was sweet looking. The flash made it sparkle.
 At the Giants game on a sunny afternoon with Krista, Kara and Chris.
 The Monterey Bay Aquarium. The sea turtle. Life is better with turtles.
 A via of San Francisco from the south coming up the 101.
 A quality Father's day picture if you ask me.  This guy still loves his only boy and I love him back.
Little me on my first birthday. 

You can see more of pictures like theses on Instagram. Follow me @calebreeve