Thursday, December 30, 2010

The End is the Beginning...or 2011 - The Year of Opportunity

2011 is a mere 36 hours away. 

Time to put the best and worst of 2010 behind. 

Time to make resolutions (and stick to 'em!).

A little something we should all do in 2011...

We are going to open a book.
It's pages are BLANK.
We are going to put our own words on those pages.
The book is called "OPPORTUNITY".
And it's first page is New Year's Day.

From me and mine, to you and yours...Have a Happy, Healthy, & Prosperous New Year.

Until next time...

Friday, December 24, 2010

An Angel Went Home Today

So this is a blog I wish I never had to write.  I wish the Mayo Jar was truly gonna be my last blog of 2010. 

The Man Upstairs had other plans, though.

Ten years ago, I met my future cousin-in-law Alyssa.  She was 9.  She was wearing a soccer uniform...her jersey was red.

She had amazing brown eyes.  Those big brown eyes that drew you in, and would make you give her anything she wanted...another minute of playtime...another scoop of ice cream...another few minutes before having to come inside for the day.

She had the brightest smile I'd probably ever seen. 

And she had a laughter that was contagious...heartwarming...and pure.

She was beautiful...stunning...both inside and out.  I joked to her mom and dad that she should go into modeling.

She grew up to be a wonderful young girl, and into a beautiful young woman. 

She babysat our children; they loved her, and she loved them.

She sometimes was dealt a pretty crappy hand, but she didn't fold.  She kept her poker face on and stayed in the game...even when it seemed like there was nothing good that was going to come from the proverbial cards she was holding.

She had character.

She had heart.

She had a love for life, and life loved her back.

Everyone that met Alyssa loved her. 

You couldn't help but not to. 

She had "it".

But, for whatever reason, God thought it was time for her to come home at 3am this morning (12/24/10). 

She would have been 20 on Monday.

The Lord works in mysterious ways.  Sometimes so mysterious, that we say to ourselves, "What the heck are you trying to tell me, Lord, because this isn't the way I need to hear it!"

Today is one of those days for me.

I got to see her and hang with her for a bit at Cheeseburger in Paradise last night...she was planning on coming over to the house on Christmas Day after dinner to see the kids and spend some time with us because it had been awhile...the whole hustle-and-bustle had caught up with her and with us.

The last thing she said to me as she was heading out to meet up with some of her friends was , "I'll see you tomorrow"...

I fall back on something my Grandmother said to me after my Mom and Dad passed away a few years back...Mom-Mom said, "Matt, one day this will all make sense...maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but one day, you will know why it happened the way it did".

I pass those words on to Gary, Kitty, Holly, Christie, Ryan, and all of the Bennett' all of Alyssa's friends and family.

One day, it will all make sense.

Just not today.

She was the little sister I never had.

She was a bright light in a dark sky.

She was an angel.

And she went home today.

Rest in Peace, Alyssa.  We love you and always will. 

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Mayo Jar...or 2010's Final Blog

Dateline:  Monday, 12/20/10, 7:07am

Barring any major new story that I have a rant about, this is probably my last blog of the year, considering how hectic the next 11 days are sure to be with Christmas and New Year's and all of the hustle and bustle associated with each...and that very hustle and bustle always reminds me of a story a professor told his college class...a great lesson here....ENJOY!

Wishing you and yours a Verry Happy Christmas, and an equally Merry New Year.

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him.  When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls.  He then asked the students if the jar was full.

They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar.  He shook the jar lightly.  The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls.  He then asked the students again if the jar was full.

They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar.  Of course, the sand filled up everything else.  He asked once more if the jar was full.

The students responded with an emphatic "yes."

The professor then produced two bottles of beer from under the table and poured them both into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand.  The students laughed.

"Now," said the professor as the laughter subsided, "I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life."

"The golf balls are the important things.  Your family, your children, your faith, your health, your friends, and your favorite passions...things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full."

"The pebbles are the other things that matter.  Your job, your house, and your car."

"The sand is everything else.  The small stuff."

"If you put the sand into the jar first," he continued, "there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls.  The same goes for life.  If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you."

"Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness.  Play with your children.  Take time to get medical checkups.  Take your partner out to dinner.  Play another 18.  There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal.  Take care of the golf balls first, the things that really matter.  Set your priorities. The rest is just sand."

One of the students raised their hand and asked what the beer represented.

The professor smiled and said, "I'm glad you asked.  It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of beers with a friend."

See y'all in 2011...

Saturday, December 18, 2010

What Christmas is All About...

Happy Saturday, Beatdowners!

A quick one again...I watched Charlie Brown's Christmas this week with the Littleheads, and had completely forgotten about the scene above.

Linus delivers the mother-of-all monologues telling Charlie Brown what Christmas is all about.

Thank you, Charles Schultz for this. In the trite and commercialized quagmire that the Christmas Season has become, you have the balls to drop some knowledge on why we celebrate Christmas to begin with...yes, it's awesome to get all festive about the fat, jolly old elf, Santa Claus, and Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, and Frosty the's great to hear the songs about Jingle Bells, Sleigh Rides, and the Holly Jolly time of year...but that's all just the pretty paper on what Christmas TRULY is - the birth of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the King of Kings.

I'm shocked the ACLU hasn't deemed this unfit to air on TV and sued know, in their spirit of the season.

The symbolism in this scene is pretty epic as well. In any and all of the Peanuts cartoons, Linus is ALWAYS scene holding his security blanket. ALWAYS.

Yet in the scene above, he drops the blanket when saying this verse from the Gospel of Luke (Chapter 2):
For behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angels a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on Earth peace, good will toward men.

Pretty significant, don't you think?

Celebrate the Reason for the Season.

Until next time...

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas Food Court Hallelujah Chorus

This is simply stunning. Worth the 5 minutes of your time. And again, perfect for the Season.

Damn shame this couldn't happen in the USofA without fear of reprecussions from the ACLU.

Until next time, Beatdowners...

The Almighty has done great things and Holy is His name,
He has sold strength with His arm,
He has scattered the proud,
He has filled the hungry with good things,
And the rich He has sent away empty,
He has brought down rulers from their thrones,
And has exhaulted those who were humble...

And He shall reign for ever and ever...

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Worth Sharing...or Something All Parents Should Read

Happy Thursday, Beatdowners!

My buddy Pete sent me a link to a story on CNN that I HAVE to share...the article is written by Jamie Gumbrecht...text below (link -

(CNN) -- Katie Goldman's universe extends from her home to her first-grade classroom. She is a big sister to Annie Rose and Cleo, a piano player, a Spanish student, a wearer of glasses. She loathes the patch she has to wear for one lazy eye. She loves magic and princesses and "Star Wars," an obsession she picked up from her dad.

The 7-year-old carried a "Star Wars" water bottle to school in Evanston, Illinois, every day, at least until a few weeks ago, when Katie suddenly asked to take an old pink one instead. The request surprised Katie's mom, Carrie Goldman. It didn't make any sense. Why would her little sci-fi fan make such a quick turn?

Goldman kept pressing for an answer. She wasn't expecting Katie's tears.

Kids at school insisted that "Star Wars" was only for boys, her daughter wailed. She was different enough already -- the only one who was adopted, who's Jewish, who wears glasses, who needs a patch. If sacrificing Yoda for the color pink would make her fit in again, so be it.

Goldman's heart sank.

These weren't nameless, faceless bullies who taunted her daughter. They were good kids Katie ran around with on the playground. They were getting older, though, and starting to see what made people the same -- and different.

Now, it was about "Star Wars," but Goldman wondered what lunchroom teasing would progress to in middle school, high school or college.

"Is this how it starts?" Goldman wrote in her blog, Portrait of an Adoption. "Do kids find someone who does something differently and start to beat it out of her, first with words and sneers? Must my daughter conform to be accepted?"


A few days later, in Orlando, Jen Yates clicked on a link that led to Goldman's blog. Yates couldn't shake Katie's image when it flashed across the screen -- a little girl with long blonde hair, no front teeth, square-rimmed glasses.

"When you hear about bullying, it's like an abstract concept," Yates said. "When you put a face on it, an adorable little girl's face, with glasses, it brings it home."

Yates remembered the isolation of being the weird kid at her high school. She was the teen who hit "Star Trek" conventions on weekends and got snide comments about it the rest of the week. She was the lone geek girl among her friends, mostly geeky boys.

Bullying tragedies dominated headlines this year after a spate of suicides. Studies revealed how deeply the bullies at school, home or online can traumatize kids. The federal government laid out new anti-bullying guidelines for educators trying to combat the issue.

It's tough to lay out anti-bullying rules for kids so young, but tougher still to know how to protect the bully's perennial target: geeks, nerds and anybody whose interests stray from the norm. Whole genres of pop culture are devoted to ridiculing them and Yates knew that Katie's story was how it starts.

"We've all had those kinds of experiences, if you call yourself a geek," Yates said. "It was about Katie, but it was about every girl out there, every geek out there. It transcended gender, it transcended age.

"I know a Katie. I was Katie."

So Yates did what any geek would -- she went back to her computer.

"My fellow geeks," she wrote on her blog,, "I need your help."


Later that day, in yet another time zone, Catherine Taber clicked Yates' post about a little girl and her "Star Wars" water bottle -- Katie.

Taber grew up on science fiction and fantasy, from Stephen King to "Star Wars," but she wasn't bullied. She was an Army brat, always the new kid at school. With each new place, her parents reminded her to be whatever she wanted, and be proud to share it with the world.

Catherine Taber, who voices Padme Amidala, saw Katie's story, and shared it with her castmates."I immediately had to say something," Taber said. "The whole theme of the 'Star Wars' universe is an anti-bullying theme. It's good versus evil, standing side by side with your friends, doing what's right. One of the most important things to stopping bullies in their tracks is to empower kids to stand up for themselves."

Taber found Katie's mom's blog, sent it to everyone she knew, and left a comment she hoped would help.

"I am [the] actress who has the great honor of being Padme Amidala on 'Star Wars: the Clone Wars!' I just wanted to tell Katie that she is in VERY good company being a female Star Wars fans," Taber wrote. "I know that Padme would tell you to be proud of who YOU are and know that you are not ALONE!

"THE FORCE is with you Katie!"


Back in Evanston, Carrie Goldman was feeling good. Since she had written about the water bottle incident, other parents at Katie's school had talked to their kids. School leaders were supportive, and working on an anti-bullying program.

Something else was happening, too: Traffic on Goldman's blog was exploding.

Some 1,200 people had left messages there for Katie. Readers were coming from Yates' blog, where more than 3,000 more comments stacked up. There were links from "Star Wars" message boards, parenting blogs, tech sites. A Twitter hashtag, #maytheforcebewithkatie, streaked across social media.

Guys and gals of all ages wrote about how they'd been bullied, and how life had gotten so much better since then. They shared that they loved "Star Wars," that they wore glasses, that they were adopted -- just like Luke, just like Leia, just like Katie.

ThinkGeek, a nerdy online retailer, sent Katie a lightsaber. Artist Scott Zirkel sent a cartoon of Katie as a Jedi, glasses and all. A first-grade class in California sent letters to Katie as a show of support.

Taber and the rest of the cast of "Star Wars: The Clone Wars," sent "Star Wars" merch. Ashley Eckstein, who voices the female Jedi Ahsoka Tano, sent Her Universe clothes tailored for girls. Tom Kane, who voices Yoda, escorted the Goldmans to a screening near their home.

Ashley Eckstein, center, the voice of Ahsoka on "Star Wars: The Clone Wars," sent Katie some girl-friendly gear.The thousands of comments left online will be bound into a book for Katie to read whenever she needs it. To keep a sense of normality at home, the family reads just a few every night.

Katie, and her parents, have learned that the universe is so much bigger than the first grade.

"You realize how, if you want someone who has something in common, all you have to do is reach out," Goldman said. "It feels really, really good. What we want is for it to feel good for other people."

Katie is donating many of the books and toys to other kids.

A fan created a Facebook event suggesting that people wear "Star Wars" gear on December 10 to support Katie. The Goldmans also asked participants to donate Star Wars toys to charities for the holidays. About 20,000 people have signed up.

"What strikes me is how these individuals who were once so isolated are now part of a very tight community," Goldman wrote on her blog this month. "They have found each other; they are plugged into each other, and they have each other's backs. Now they have Katie's back, too."

Katie isn't doing any more interviews. There are scales to practice, Spanish words to memorize, baby sisters to play with. She still has to wear the dreaded eye patch, and eat lunch with the kids in her class. She is very busy being 7.

But on December 10, her school will host Proud To Be Me Day. Kids will be encouraged to wear something that shows what they're interested in, whether it's princesses, sports, animals and anime.

Katie will have the force of thousands behind her, and a "Star Wars" water bottle.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A Gift...

Worth 10 minutes of your time to view the video...

We are each given a gift.

What gift will you give this Christmas Season?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

A Holiday Blog...or The Season of Giving

Happy Thursday, Beatdowners! The Christmas Season is alive and kickin' in the Stone household...I hope you and yours are well on your way to having a very Happy Holiday Season, regardless of which one you celebrate!
So last year, I saw the movie Fred Clause for the first time.

Loved it.

Definitely one of my favorite Christmas movies.

This (above) is one of the better scenes in any Christmas movie - the elves gather around the snow globe and watch all the children open their presents on Christmas Day, while Sinead O'Connor's beautiful rendition of Silent Night plays in the background.

I gotta admit, the first time I saw it I got a little choked up.

Anyhow, there is a line in the movie where Fred says, "There's no naughty kids...every kid deserves a present on Christmas".

I couldn't agree more.

Times are tough. The economy still is shaky at best. Spending has been reeled in a bit, probably from almost everyone.  And giving to charities has, generally speaking, been put aside as every penny counts a lot more than it used to.

But I ask a favor, of anyone that reads this blog...forward this message to anyone and everyone you know.

Go out and spend a few dollars on a new, unopened toy and donate it to Toys For Tots, your local Church, the Salvation Army, Santa Claus Anonymous, any children's home/orphanage, or any other charity you believe in supporting.

It doesn't have to be a Xbox. It doesn't have to be the latest and greatest tech gadget.

It just has to be something that lets a child know that there is hope.

It just has to be something that lets a child know there is joy and happiness.

It just has to be something that lets a child know there is good out there, and something that lets them smile.

It just has to be something that lets a child know there is a reason to believe.

Because when you sit down and think about it, "there are no naughty kids...every kid deserves a present on Christmas".

Until next time...

Friday, November 26, 2010


They just don't make 'em like this anymore.

This is as EPIC a performance and song as you will ever find.

This is AWESOME.

This is blues.

This is something crawling on the floor of some hole-in-the-wall, dark, skanky, sweaty, smoke-filled gin-joint sitting at the gates of Hell.

This is Muddy Waters.

This is Mannish Boy.


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Thanksgiving Blog

Greetings and Salutations on Thanksgiving Eve!

So here we are, the start of the Holiday Season - tomorrow is Thanksgiving.

Here in the good ol' USof A, Thanksgiving has been an annual tradition/Holiday since 1863, and marks the celebration that happened at Plymouth Plantation (Massachusetts) in 1621.  You see, back then the Wampanoag Native American Indians helped the Massachusetts pilgrims harvest the land, saving them from certain starvation; and, together they had a celebration steeped in traditions of harvest festivals that were commonplace in Europe at the time.

Anyhow, Thanksgiving has become a time for us to reflect on things we are thankful for...a time for us to take a personal inventory, so to speak, and give thanks to those around us and to the Man Upstairs, and to count our blessings, no matter how big or small.

So here is my list of what I am thankful for this year...

1. I am thankful for Steph, Gabriel, and Michael.  It goes without saying, you are the push and the inspiration for me to keep going.
2. I am thankful for Gordon, Kim, Greg, Nancy, Ethan, Eric, Alex, Izzie, and Kelly for all being the best brothers, sister-in-laws, nephews, and nieces anyone could ever ask for.
3. Even though they aren't physically here anymore, I am now and forever will be thankful for Dad, Mom, and Mom-Mom...everything I have today is due to you guys and the foundation you provided.
4. I am thankful for my own and my family's health.
5. I am very thankful for my friends, my extended family, and my friends who are family - you know who you are, and I love you all.
6. I am thankful for my home, which keeps me warm when it's cold, cool when it's hot, and dry when it's wet.
7. I am thankful for my car, which allows me to get where I need to go and when I want to go.
8. I am thankful for the food in my fridge.
9. I am thankful for the beverages in my bar.
10. I am thankful for my job, which allows me to keep and maintain #6, 7, 8, and 9!
11.  I am thankful for the mistakes I've made, the challenges that I have overcome, and for the personal growth that has stemmed from them all.  Right, wrong, or indifferent, I'm okay with who I am today.
12. I am thankful and grateful for the brave men and women and their families who serve our country, and ensure my freedom.
13. I am thankful for believing...
14. I am thankful for opportunity...
15. I am thankful for today...
16. I am thankful for where I've been...
17. I am thankful for wherever I may be heading...
18. I am thankful for my many blessings...
19. I am thankful for all the small things in life that I seemingly take for granted every day...


20. I am thankful for being able to rock AWESOME like no one else.

Ask yourself today, tonight, and tomorrow - what is it that you are thankful for?

Here's hoping that you and yours have a wonderful Thanksgiving...

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A Quote I Forgot...or My 50th Blog!

Forgot to throw this one in there last night...

Is it cheeseball?  Probably.

Is it pertinent?  Abso-friggin-lutely.

"We all need somebody that we can lean on,
When you wake up look around and see that your dream's gone,
When the earth quakes we'll help you make it through the storm,
When the floor breaks, a magic carpet to stand on,
We are the World united by love so strong,
When the radio isn't on you can hear the songs,
A guided light on the dark road you're walking on,
A sign post to find the dream you thought was gone,
Someone to help you move the obstacles you stumbled on,
Someone to help you rebuild after the rubble's gone,
We are the World connected by a common bond,
The whole planet sing it along..."

from We Are The World 25 for Haiti.

I sure wish more people around the world would subscribe to this one...

Is This Seriously the Way to Start the Season...or WTF?!?!?

Holy smokes, Beatdowners...not even 24 hours removed from my feel good quotes blog, this is the headlines today...

South Korea Vows ‘Enormous Retaliation’ After North’s Deadly Island Bombardment

Ain't that grand?!?!?

South Korea was doing some naval war game activities, the North didn't approve, and they take it upon themselves to shell a boarder island that is part of the South.

The North follows with a statement on their official Central News Agency saying that if South Korea "violated" their disputed sea border "even by 0.001 millimeter", they'd continue the military strikes.

The South throws some gas on the fire by saying they would strike back with the aforementioned "enormous retaliation" if they are hit again.

Talk about a proverbial powder keg....

And the underlying factor that is pretty friggin' scary (at least to me)...China fully supports the North, the USofA fully supports the South, and China is PISSED at us due to our plan to print some $600 billion and devalue the dollar, which would directly impact China's export business.

North Korea vs. South Korea is not awesome.  China vs. the USAis EPICALLY unawesome.

Keep an eye on this one - A new hi-tech nuclear facility in the North was uncovered over the last few days, and now this...stock markets around the world aren't reacting favorably to the news.

Pray for peace...'Tis the Season, afterall.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Random Quotes

Happy Monday, Beatdowners.

The Holiday Season kicks off officially in 3 days...make sure you remember what the Season is about.  Be thankful for all that you have, and worry a little less about what you don't.  More importantly, do your part - spread good tidings, festivus maximus, and awesome merriment!

A quick one tonight...

I've been reading a ton the past year...and listening to tunes and watching flicks...and listening to and/or seeing way too many political speeches during the past few months. 

And man, oh man...what a collection of quotes I've gotten from all sources!  Some are epic, some are fun, and some make me scratch me head...and some even make me wonder to myself if that person has any clue what's going on in the real world!

Here's some of my favorites, for varying reasons...enjoy.  And maybe apply some of them to your daily never know it may make you just a tad more awesome!

"The best way to serve the age is to betray it" - from Brendan Kennelly's The Book of Judas.

"Trajectory is everything.  One inch out as the rocket launches and you miss Mars and end up on Venus.  If you're lucky - and I have been - you discover it was always where you wanted to go" - Bono, from U2BYU2.

"It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains" - from Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith's Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

"I get excessively drunk at inappropriate times, disregard social norms, indulge every whim, ignore the consequences of my actions, mock idiots and posers, sleep with more women than is safe or reasonable, and just generally act like a raging d*ckhead.  But I do contribute to humanity in one very important way: I share my adventures with the world" - from Tucker Max's I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell

"But we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of controversy" - FORMER House Speaker Nancy Pelosi during a March, 2010 speech during the Legislative Conference for the National Association of Counties.


"Families is where our nation finds hope, where wings take dream" - President George W. Bush in a speech he made in October, 2000, LaCrosse, Wisconsin.

"There’s an old saying in Tennessee - I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee - that says, fool me once, shame on, shame on you.  Fool me - you can’t get fooled again" - President George W. Bush in a speech he made in September, 2002, Nashville, Tennessee.

"If Latinos sit out the election instead of saying, ‘We’re going to punish our enemies and we’re going to reward our friends who stand with us on issues that are important to us’, if they don’t see what kind of upsurge in voting in this election, then I think it’s going to be harder, and that’s why I think it’s so important that people focus on voting on November 2" - President Obama during a radio interview on Latino station Univision, October, 2010.

"But joy is a very hard thing to conjure and happiness won't do" - Bono, from U2BYU2.

"Supermodels are beautiful girls, Will.  A beautiful girl can make you dizzy, like you've been drinking Jack and Coke all morning.  She can make you feel high full of the single greatest commodity known to man - promise.  Promise of a better day.  Promise of a greater hope.  Promise of a new tomorrow.  This particular aura can be found in the gait of a beautiful girl.  In her smile, in her soul, the way she makes every rotten little thing about life seem like it's going to be okay.  The supermodels, Willy?  That's all they are.  Bottled promise.  Scenes from a brand new day.  Hope dancing in stiletto heels" - Michael Rapaport in Beautiful Girls.

And a perfect one to end this rambling and set the table for the upcoming Season...

"There's no naughty kids, Nick. Every kid deserves a present on Christmas" - Vince Vaughn in Fred Claus.

Until next time...

Friday, November 19, 2010

A Feel Good One...or Don't Let The Opportunity Pass You By

TGIF, Beatdowners!

So this is just a quick one that I think is worth Aunt Janet sent this e-mail out to me today, and it's got a good for today, don't hold anything back, and most of all, tell the people that matter and that you care about the most that you love them...TODAY.

Thanks for reading.  Thanks to Aunt Janet for forwarding this one.  And love to you and yours.

Until next time...
One day a teacher asked her students to list the names of the other students in the room on two sheets of paper, leaving a space between each name.  Then she told them to think of the nicest thing they could say about each of their classmates and write it down.

It took the remainder of the class period to finish their assignment, and as the students left the room, each one handed in the papers.

That Saturday, the teacher wrote down the name of each student on a separate sheet of paper, and listed what everyone else had said about that individual.

On Monday she gave each student his or her list.  Before long, the entire class was smiling.

"Really?", she heard whispered, "I never knew that I meant anything to anyone!", and, "I didn't know others liked me so much", and other comments like that.  

No one ever mentioned those papers in class again.  She never knew if they discussed them after class or with their parents, but it didn't matter.  The exercise had accomplished its purpose.  The students were happy with themselves and one another. 

That group of students moved on.

Several years later, one of the students, Mark, was killed in Vietnam, and the teacher attended the funeral.  The church was packed with his friends.  One by one those who loved him took a last walk by the coffin.  The teacher was the last one to walk by and pay her respects.

As she stood there, one of the soldiers who acted as pallbearer came up to her and asked, 'Were you Mark's math teacher?".  She nodded yes.  Then he said, "Mark talked about you a lot".

After the funeral, most of Mark's former classmates went together to a luncheon.

Mark's mother and father were there, and they wanted to speak with his teacher.

"We want to show you something", his father said.  The father took his wallet out and said, "They found this on Mark when he was killed...we thought you might recognize it".

Carefully opening the two worn pieces of notebook paper that had been taped, folded, and refolded many times, the father held it out for the teacher to see. 

She knew without reading the papers that it was the list of all the good things each of Mark's classmates had said about him so many years ago.
"Thank you so much for doing that", Mark's mother said.  "As you can see, Mark treasured it".

All of Mark's former classmates gathered around.

Charlie smiled and said, "I still have my list.  It's in the top drawer of my desk at home".

Chuck's wife said, "Chuck asked me to put his in our wedding album".

"I have mine too", Marilyn said.  "It's in my diary".

Vicki, another classmate, reached into her pocketbook, took out her wallet and showed her worn and frazzled list to the group.  "I carry this with me at all times...looks like we all saved our lists".

That's when the teacher finally sat down and cried.  She cried for Mark and for all his friends who would never see him again. 

The density of people in society is so thick that we forget that life will end one day.  And we don't know when that one day will be.  So please, tell the people you love and care for that they are special and important.  Tell them, because one day you won't be able to.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Through The Looking Glass

Happy Monday, Beatdowners!  Hard to believe there are only 10 days 'til Turkey Day, and (GULP!) 40 days until Christmas...perhaps it's the warmer weather we've had over the past week or so, but it surely doesn't feel like that Most Wonderful Time of Year is right around the corner!

Anyhow, a quick one...

I really, REALLY do not like getting my picture taken.  Random, posed, whatever - I just hate it.  I find imperfections in any photo, and regardless of what anyone else says, there is no such thing as a "good" picture of yours truly. 

Facebook doesn't help matters with that whole "Tag" feature...I'm bound and determined tonight to figure out a way to disable that darn thing...because it's always the worst of the worst pictures possible that end up tagged (thanks assh*les).

Now I've come to the general conclusion that I am not what you would call a good lookin' man - all is well and good though, I make up for it with my shear awesomeness. 

But still...every single picture I see of me, I would hang in basements to keep the rats away.  The images I see could stop a friggin' clock.  Really.  If you are in a picture with me, I'm certainly going to make you look a whole lot better lookin' than you really are.  If you are having a day when you aren't feeling too pretty or handsome, take a look at a photo of me and you'll instantly say, "it could be worse, I could look like that".  Forget the ugly stick, or the ugly tree...I got hit by the ugly forest in most pictures.

I make due with the cards I've been dealt in the looks category...and I've done pretty well with what I have.  But man, oh, man do everyone a favor and don't get camera happy around'll end up UGLY!

Have a great Monday...and until next time, stay handsome out there!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thank You, The Hits Keep Coming, and Remember...

Happy Thursday, Beatdowners!

First and foremost, THANK YOU to all of the brave men and women who have served the United States in the past.  THANK YOU to all the brave men and women who serve today.  And THANK YOU to the brave men and women and their families who have given the ultimate sacrifice to defend our freedoms and our country.

Today, to honor those men and women and their families, I hope for ALL of us to lose the label of Democrat, Republican, Liberal, Conservative, Tea Partier, Righty, Lefty, etc., and subscribe to the only label that truly matters...AMERICAN.

Now on to a quick one...not too sure how to feel about this one...often worried that the world is going to Hell in a hand basket because of stuff like this...

The United Nations' Security Council charged a panel (made up of representatives from the U.S., the U.K., China, France, Russia, Japan, and South Korea) with the undaunting task of monitoring the enforcement of the already imposed UN sanctions on the North Korean regime that effort blocking their advancement of a nuclear program. 

Some of these sanctions are aimed to ban North Korea from exporting or importing weapons, nuclear technology, and/or missile technology.

The panels findings, which finally went to the Security Council yesterday (China had been doing its best to prevent the report from being distributed, but finally allowed it), shows that North Korea, despite the UN sanctions, exports $100 million in weapons and missiles each year.

$100 million.

The report (all 75-pages worth) also provides evidence collected by the International Atomic Energy Agency, different governments across the world, and varying news reporting agencies that states North Korea is involved in "nuclear and ballistic missile related activities in certain other countries including Iran, Syria, and Myanmar (Burma)".

The report does cite that the sanctions seem to be limiting North Korea's arms sales, but still...$100 million?!?!?

Now I'm not saying we, or any other government, should go in and engage North Korea militarily.  This isn't saber-rattling.

Just something to keep an eye on...dangerous times.  Bad sh*t all around.  Wars and rumors of wars.  Regimes Hell-bent on wiping countries and people off the face of the Earth.  It's a sh*tshow out there.

The Holiday Season is right around the kicks off in a mere 2 weeks. 

Regardless of faith, regardless of nationality, regardless of political affiliation, remember one underlying and unified basic fact about what the Season is all about:

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Holy Sh*tballs...

Happy Tuesday, Beatdowners.

I dig conspiracy theories.  They are sometimes amusing, sometimes fascinating, and sometimes down right scary.

Ever hear of the Web Bot Project?  Look it up - interesting.  A quick summary - the collective unconscious of individuals can be used to predict certain future events based on words people use in internet search engines.  Kind of ridiculous and a stretch, but intriguing.

Anyhow, the Web Bot guys, Cliff High and George Ure (they call themselves the Time Monks - snicker, snicker), have been noted as saying there would be some major "tipping point" between 11/8 and 11/11 that would lead to a catastrophic nuclear confrontation in the world.

That'll suck...really put a damper on my weekend plans.

Anyhow, nuclear war or some massive war breaks out this week...or some actions that "tip" the pendulum of war, and we start speeding down that spiral.  Interesting read, makes me go, "Hmmmm", and makes me hug the Littleheads a little tighter the next few nights at bedtime.

No harm, no foul.


I look at the news today and come across this headline...

Missile Shot Off Los Angeles Still a Mystery for Pentagon Officials

Anyone hear about this last night?  Doubt it. 

But a local CBS news copter filmed the mystery missile launch that happened around 5pm PST about 35 miles off-shore west of Los Angeles.  As of this afternoon, our government, our military officials, or commanders at the North American Aerospace Defense Command can not explain what the projectile was, where it came from, or (gulp!) if it was one of ours.

The Missile Defense Agency has went on record saying it did not launch any test missile Monday night that could possibly explain what was filmed.  Better than that, both the United States Navy and Air Force couldn't come up with anything to explain this launch.


Thirty-five (35) miles off of the American coastline, a missile is launched and we don't know where it came from, who dun it, or why it happened.


Almost 10 million people live in the Los Angeles area, an apparent big-ass missile is shot off that could have easily reached the city's population center(s), and we have no friggin' clue what's going on?!?!?!?

If that's the case (and the military isn't just playing dumb), we're f*cked.

Should be interesting to see the spin on this one the next few days.

Here's hoping we aren't about to all get blowed up! 

Until next time...

Friday, November 5, 2010

Someone Got It Right...or Not Throwing In The Towel on the US Just Yet

TGIF, Beatdowners!

A real quick follow-up to my blog from 10/25/10 - the one about the woman who had a civil rights complaint filed against her for posting an advertisement at her Church in which she said she was seeking a "Christian" roommate.

As previously blogged about, the Fair Housing Center of West Michigan accused the young woman of posting an ad that "expresses an illegal preference for a Christian roommate, thus excluding people of other faiths".

What a crock of sh*t.  I still can't believe that...essentially saying it's illegal to choose who you want to live with. 

Anyhow, on to the update...the U.S. Housing and Urban Development Department did the right thing...they dismissed the civil rights complaint.  Their statement said:

"In light of the facts provided and after assessing the unique context of the advertisement and the roommate relationship involved in this particular situation potentially involving the sharing of personal religious beliefs, the Department defers to Constitutional considerations in reaching its conclusion. Accordingly, the Department finds that there is no reasonable cause to believe that the Act was violated in this matter".
FINALLY!  Common sense prevails! 

While my frustrations continue, things like this make me refrain from throwing in the towel on the good ol' U.S. of A...for now.

Hey Republicans and Tea Partiers - a quick note to you - WE gave you a chance to work to fix all that is wrong with the general state of the Union...don't blow it...if you do, we'll fire you in November of 2012.  Everyone in DC needs to understand one basic fact - COMPROMISE IS NOT A DIRTY WORD.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Questions...or Things That Make Me Go "Hmmmmmm"...

Greetings and salutations from a cool and rainy Maryland, Beatdowners.

Just a quick one...some questions that sometimes keep me awake at night...

1. If you have relations with a prostitute and roll out without paying, is that considered shoplifting?

2. Is it possible to cry underwater?

3. What characteristics must a person have to be considered assassinated rather than just plain ol' murdered?

4. Why is it a "spork" and not a "foon"?

5. People "put their two cents in" to conversations, but only receive "a penny for their thoughts"...where exactly is that extra penny going?

6. In the afterlife (Heaven or Hell), are you seriously stuck for all eternity wearing the clothes you are buried in?

7. Pizza is round, but it comes in a square box...why?

8. How is it that man has walked on the moon well before someone thought it'd be smart to put wheels on luggage?

9. Why do people say they "slept like a baby" to denote a good night's sleep?  Last I can remember, babies wake up every few hours and generally aren't really happy when the do.

10. Why are actors IN a movie, but ON TV shows?

11. Why do toasters have a setting that allows the bread/bagel/waffle/etc. to be burned to the point of resembling a charcoal briquette when there is NO way any normal person would consume it?

12. Jimmy cracks corn, and no one cares...then why the song?

13. Goofy and Pluto are both dogs...why does Goofy walk like a person and Pluto remains on all fours?

14. Gilligan's Island...the Professor...he could get all MacGyver with a coconut, but he really couldn't fix a hole in the boat?

15. Wile E. Coyote apparently had a ton of money lying around to buy all of those crappy Acme items he used to try to catch the Roadrunner...why didn't he just use that money to buy himself some dinner instead of always being blown up by whatever it is he bought for his latest ploy?

16. Why do Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star and The Alphabet Song have the same tune?

17. You just tried singing both of those songs to see if I was right or wrong, didn't you?

18. Why is it that when you blow in a dog's face, they get pissed, but when you throw 'em in the car and roll the windows down, they happily stick their head out of it and get buffeted with 20, 30, 40 MPH-plus wind gusts?

19. Why is "bra" singular and "panties" plural?

20. Is there something wrong with me since I can't lick my own elbow?

That's all I got.  Have a good one, Beatdowners.

Until next time...

Stop can't lick your elbow either!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Ain't It Awesome...or The LEFT or RIGHT is WRONG

Rant time, Beatdowners.

I live in Pasadena, Maryland.  Polls here close at 8pm, and our area code is "410".

There is a "202" area code calling Maryland residents right now.  It's a robo-call, as they call them (automated mass calling message).

Again, polls close at 8pm here.

The message is the recorded voice of a female.  She states:
"I'm calling to let everyone know that Governor O'Malley and President Obama have been successful.  Our goals have been met.  Our polls were correct and we (inaudible).  We're okay.  Relax.  Everything is fine.  The only thing left is to watch on TV tonight.  Congratulations and thank you."
Plain, simple, and undebateable - tactics to keep people from going to the polls and voting.

"Psh, why bother, O'Malley has already won".


This sh*t is WAY out of line.  When called back, no one answers.

O'Malley and the Democrats, or the GOP and Ehrlich...someone is playing games here.  Whatever. 

These are the individuals you want running our state and our country?  EPIC FAIL.

Go ahead, my left leaning readers - blame this one on Bush, too. 

And to my right leaning readers, if this was a GOP trick, you would be okay with this kind of leadership to bring about an end to your (and my) frustrations?!?!?!?!? 

Whomever is responsible, stop adding to the problem.  Take your blinders off.  COMPROMISE IS NOT A DIRTY WORD.

More importantly, THIS is what America has become, over the last 2 years, the last 10 years, etc. 

Aren't you proud?

An Election Day Blog...or Obvious Generalizations

Happy ELECTION DAY Beatdowners!

Do your part.  Go out and cast your vote today.  Regardless of your party, your views, or who you intended to vote for, take part in the's one of the greatest "freedoms" we have as Americans.

Now then, on to some obvious generalizations...take it for what it is...and understand that when the actions of the few summarize the many, no body moves forward.

If someone on the right doesn't like guns, they don't buy one.  If someone on the left doesn't like guns, they want all guns outlawed.

If someone on the right is a vegetarian, they don't eat meat.  If someone on the left is a vegetarian, they want all meat products banned for everyone.

If someone on the right is homosexual, they quietly lead their life.  If someone on the left is homosexual, they demand legislated respect.

If someone on the right is down-and-out, they think about how to better their situation.  If someone on the left is down-and-out, they wonder who is going to take care of them.

If someone on the right doesn't like a talk show, a talk show host, or a news programs, they switch channels.  If someone on the left doesn’t like a talk show, a talk show host, or a news programs, they demand that those they don't like be shut down and deem them as a non-news entity.

If someone on the right is a non-believer, they don't go to church.  If someone on the left is a non-believer, they want any and all mention of God and religion silenced.

If someone on the right decides they need health care, they shop for it, or they choose a job that provides it.  If someone on the left decides they need health care, they demand for the rest of us pay for theirs.

If someone on the right reads this, chances are they'll get a good laugh.  If someone on the left reads this, they'll probably get angry, blame Bush, and delete it because they are "offended".

Again, take it for what it's worth. 

And again, regardless of leaning right or left, VOTE TODAY!!!

Monday, November 1, 2010


Yes, this is about Monday being AWESOME.

On my way into work this morning, I'm listening to 98 Rock (, as I do most days.  And what wondrous BREAKING NEWS do I hear?

June 22, 2011.
M & T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, Maryland.

Anxiously monitoring my e-mail for the pre-sale info for my subscription.

The Irish are coming to Baltimore.

And I'll be there.

It certainly is a BEAUTIFUL DAY!

Happy Monday, Beatdowners!

55 days 'til Christmas, BTW...make this Holiday Season count!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Another Political Blog...or a Quick History Lesson

So here is another political blog, Beatdowners.  Sorry.  But some things I reading, hearing, and seeing has me beyond frustrated with the direction this country is going.  The grid-lock sucks.  It's time for people to COMPROMISE.  It's time for people to take blinders off and stop blaming Bush.  Sure, his administration made some mistakes.  But so did Clinton's.  And so is Obama's.  Get over it.

The word FORECLOSURE is becoming a little TOO repeated, don't you think?

Here's a quick history lesson...and by all means, double and triple check my facts.  I can assure you, I am right.

Over the last decade or more, there has been a strong liberal base in Congress (this includes left-leaning Republicans) that pushed hard...perhaps even MANDATED...for banks to give mortgage loans to just about anyone, regardless of poor(er) credit histories and perhaps "inadequate" fiscal means to repay the loans, especially after certain grace periods of low interest rates expired.  We have seen, since 2008, the obvious...a large percentage of these loans were defaulted on, and foreclosures have been happening at break-neck speed.  All of these foreclosures contributed significantly to the housing and mortgage meltdown, which has served as THE foundation for the current mess our economy is in today.

The housing market tanked, the economy tanked, and the inevitable started - businesses shutting down and laying people off.  Hello current unemployment crisis (face it,'s WAY more than a mess, even when we see good numbers like came out today).

My opinion...when ultra-left liberalism succeeds, America fails.

Some points of historical FACT:

1977 - Jimmy Carter (D) signs the Community Reinvestment Act, guaranteeing home loans to low-income families.

1999 - Bill Clinton (D) puts the Community Reinvestment Act on a whole new level by pushing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to increase the number of sub-prime loans they approve.

2003 - The Bush Administration cites Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as a "systemic risk".  The White House urges Congress SEVENTEEN SEPARATE TIMES to enact new regulations.

2003 - Good ol' Barney Frank (D-CN) boasts that Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac are "not in a crisis".  He straight bashes any and all Republicans for "crying wolf".  Further, Mr. Frank says Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are both "financially sound".  The Democratic Congress blocks the Republican-sponsored regulation legislation.

2005 - Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan warns that the accounting principles of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are "placing the total financial system of the future at a substantial risk".

2005 - Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) states, "I think Fannie and Freddie over the years have done an incredibly good job and are an intrinsic part of making America the best-housed people in the world...if you look over the last 20 or whatever years, they’ve done a very, very good job".

2006 - Senator John McCain (R-AZ) takes up the calls for reform.  He says, "For years I have been concerned about the regulatory structure that governs Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the sheer magnitude of these companies and the role they play in the marketplace...the Government Sponsored Enterprises' need to be reformed without delay".

2006 - The Democratic Congress AGAIN blocks reform legislation, this time that had some bi-partisan support.

2008 - The housing market collapses...and, without hesitation, Democrats blame the Republicans and the Bush Administration.

Again, double and triple check my facts.  They are spot on.  To my liberal friends - sorry, facts are facts.  Take your blinders off.  Stop being sheep.  Open up to other ideas.  Obama is NOT the savior he was touted to be.  Palin is certainly NOT the answer.  The only answer is REAL and TRUE representation.  PAC's, Special Interest Groups, and ideology that doesn't work don't belong in government; they never did, but their influence has swallowed the system and made it a whore.

To BOTH sides of the isle - stop pointing fingers.  Stop slinging mud.  Stop the perpetual campaigning.  COMPROMISE.  Our country is in the proverbial sh*tter.  Work to pull us out.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I, Enemy...An URGENT Political Blog

It’s Wednesday, Beatdowners, and time for a quick political blog...

Dateline: MONDAY, 10/25/10

President Obama did a radio interview with the Spanish-language Univision network to drum up support for his party’s candidates in the upcoming midterm elections. No big deal, right? After all, politics today has become all about re-election bids and holding on to power and less and less about the common good for us, the average, ordinary citizens.

However, during the interview, the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES said this (direct quote here, too):

If Latinos sit out the election instead of saying, ‘We’re going to punish our enemies and we’re going to reward our friends who stand with us on issues that are important to us’, if they don’t see what kind of upsurge in voting in this election, then I think it’s going to be harder, and that’s why I think it’s so important that people focus on voting on November 2”.
Seriously. President Obama said this.  "...PUNISH OUR ENEMIES...".

Days after his remarkably distasteful remark during another campaign stop where he said, “We don’t mind the Republicans joining us. They can come for the ride, but they’ve got to sit in back.”

He didn’t say “political adversaries”.

Hell, even “political enemies” would have been more tolerable.

No, he just referred to John & Joan Q. American as his, his party’s, and Latino’s “enemies”.

Let it sink in.

A few questions, Mr. President…

Who are the “enemies” you are referring to?

Are they the vast majority of Americans who wish to see much-needed immigration reform?

Are they the vast majority of Americans who wish to see immigration laws enforced?

Are they the vast majority of Americans who wish to see our borders secured?

I’m fairly certain you were talking directly about ME.

And well, Mr. President, I am no enemy of America. In fact, I am more American than you ever will be.

Your “enemies”, Mr. President, will hopefully come out in droves on November 2nd and vote as you called for.

And, God willing, they will vote people like you out office...for the betterment of the United States of America.

I’ll finish with a quote and an opinion…

The late Ronald Reagan, on March 28, 1985, said this in a speech to the students, faculty, and staff at St. John’s University in New York, New York:
If we’ve learned anything, it is that government that is big enough to give you everything you want is more likely to simply take everything you’ve got. And that’s not freedom, that’s servitude. That isn’t the way Americans were meant to live.
Opinion – the system is broken. WE have the power to fix it. VOTE. Run for office. Get involved.

The more we sit on the sidelines, the more we continue down this slippery slope, the further our freedoms evaporate, and the further into servitude we slide.

Vote all of the bastards in DC out. The United States Congress and the President of the United States have my vote of “NO CONFIDENCE”. Join in that vote and replace them.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

T-H-E Rant About Beautiful Girls

Greetings and Salutations this fine Tuesday evening, Beatdowners.

I'm thinking of swithcing things up a little on here...rather than only posting somewhat long and complex (I use that term VERY loosely) blog entries, I'm just going to start throwing a little more randomness in the mix. A little more free form.

So here goes nothing...

I stayed up last night until nearly 3am watching one of my favorite flicks...Scott Rosenberg's 1996 classic, Beautiful Girls (directed by Ted Demme, starring Timothy Hutton, Matt Dillon, Uma Thurman, Michael Rapaport, Mira Sorvino, Noah Emmerich, Pruitt Taylor Vince, Max Perlich, Lauren Holly, Rosie O'Donnell, Martha Plimpton, Natalie Portman, and Anne Bobby).

I won't go into detail on the plot. It is NOT a "chick flick" is awesome. You will undoubtedly find yourself relating to one, if not all, of the characters, depending on where you are in your own jounrey through life.

One of the best scenes in the movie, and one of my alltime favorite movie moments comes when Michael Rapaports character, Paul, is telling Timothy Hutton's character, Willy, why he has pictures of super models hanging all over his room, and exactly what a beautiful girl is and can do.

It's epic.  Enjoy...

Monday, October 25, 2010

Why the US is a Sh*tshow...or EPIC FAIL

Someone has a case of the Monday's today, Beatdowners.

So I'm getting on my soapbox for a minute.  Deal.

I 110% firmly believe our once great country is going to Hell in a hand basket.  Seriously. 

Sexual affairs of pro athletes is top news stories. 
Lindsay Lohan's run-in's with the law are top news stories. 
EVERY elected representative in DC is out for one thing - themself, their reelection bid, and whoever contributes the most money to them and/or their campaigns. 
"Political Correctness" is reaching extreme levels.

And that "P.C." thing is what this blog is about.

Last week in Michigan, a civil rights complaint was filed against a woman who put an advertisement on her church's bulletin board back in July searching for a Christian roommate. 

Yes, you read that correctly.

The woman posted the ad on her church's bulletin board and someone who saw it decided to be a friggin' jitbag and complain to the Fair Housing Center of West Michigan; and of course, the Fair Housing Center of Western Michigan (who obviously has WAY too much time on their hands) filed the civil rights complaint on grounds that the ad "expresses an illegal preference for a Christian roommate, thus excluding people of other faiths".

Let that sink in.

Whether there are laws on the books or not regarding this (the Fair Housing Act prevents people from publishing an advertisement stating their preference of religion, race or handicap with respect to the sale or rental of a dwelling), in a nutshell and very plainly, the woman's right to have a roommate with a background of her choice is unimportant.  All that matters is offending someone with the ad because it specifically says CHRISTIAN ROOMMATE WANTED.

People have a right to pick and chose who they want to live with, be friends with, hang with, etc.  But apparently in America, you only have that right if you don't offend anyone.

No one (religious belief, color, nationality, sexual preference, etc) should have to worry about being punished by the government for being whatever it is they are - Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Black, White, Asian, German, Irish, Indian, straight, gay, etc.

It's a sin to bring any civil rights issues against a young, single Christian woman for PRIVATELY at her church to look for a roommate with a similar CHRISTIAN background like hers.  Maybe I'm wrong, but that should be protected by law...1st Amendment, Freedom of Religion...we have the right to live with someone of the same religious faith. 


Another example of taxpayer money being wasted for BULLSH*T.

Take away our liberties.
Take away our freedoms to live as we want as long as we aren't hurting others.

And you know what hurts my feelings and offends me?

Being frowned upon for saying "Merry CHRISTmas", "GOD bless you", " nation under GOD...", "in GOD we trust"...reading that the ACLU doesn't want to see any religious symbols on federal property...hey assholes, tell that to families of the brave men and women buried in Arlington National Cemetery that have crosses, Stars of David, etc., marking their loved one's final resting place...the same people who made the ultimate sacrifice to give you the freedom to take up causes intent on destroying our country and causing divide instead of unity and tolerance.

It's a shame we have become a nation of sheep.  Wake up before it's too late and we aren't allowed to do or say anything without facing fines, criminal charges, or worse.

Think about these things before voting next week.

And if I offended you, go F yourself.  If America is so unfair and biased against you, move.

Happy Monday Beatdowners.  Until next time, wake up, take America back, take your freedom back, and may God bless you and yours...

Friday, October 22, 2010

If I Had A Million Dollars...or Killin' Time on a Friday Afternoon

TGIF Beatdowners!

Quick update on the work-out/bettering myself plan...

Been to the gym 6 out of 7 days per week since I rejoined.  Feeling 100x better.  I'm loving the work-out high.  I find myself challenging myself, too..."One more minute on the treadmill", "Just another quarter-mile", "5 more pounds on this set", etc., etc.  Still a ways to go to get where I want to be, but enjoying the first few weeks!

Quick Halloween costume side bar...

I'm dressing up as Jesus.  I'm hoping He will forgive me.  I'd be willing to bet He was a cool Dude with an awesome sense of humor.  No offense intended.  Just kind of snicker when I think about it.  I'll be posting pics on my Facebook page, I'm sure.  Lord, please forgive me.  I'm an a-hole.

Now then, on to the blog...

The Mega Millions jackpot is up to a staggering $101 million.  That's a MOBYDONKULOUS amount of loot.  I'm buying tickets for it tonight without a doubt.

$101 million.  Could you imagine?  I'd immediately go for the cash option, which I think is in the neighborhood of $70 million.  From everything I've heard/read, you clear about a third of the cash pay-out after taxes, etc.  A third of $70 million is $23,333,333.33.


I'm finding the day is dragging, and I've mentally checked out, so what better way to pass the time than to figure out what to do with that kind of loot...

I won't bore you with the obvious...I'd donate to worthy charities, I'd help family and friends (Tommy J. would get that $0.33), and make sure my 2 Littleheads had a trust fund.

But I'd have some wicked fun, too.  And here is some of what I'd spend recklessly on...

1. I'd rent a sky box at Ravens Stadium for the remaining home games.
2. I'd go to the Super Bowl.
3. I'd by a few new cars...all of them LOADED.  In no particular order: a Ford F350 Crew Cab, black, with a big ol' lift on it...a Black BMW X6...a black Chevy Camero (the new ones)...and an old, fully restored 1970 Chevy Nova
4. I'd buy a personalized jersey for every NFL team...I'd buy the home, away, and alt colors for a few of them, too.
5. I'd buy a bar.  I'd let someone else run it, I'd just bar tend there.
6. I'd buy a big piece of land, and have a log cabin built on it...a big one...a rancher...with an enormous man cave of a basement full of sport memorabilia, a full service bar, a few TVs, including one ginormous one (60+ inch).
7. I'd go to Ireland, Scotland, England, and Germany.
8. I'd buy an RV and do some fun road trips across the country.
9. I'd spend a week in NYC during the Holiday season.
10. I'd go to Vegas.  On a chartered private jet.  'Nuff said.
11. I'd quit my job, and go back to school.  I'd get a minor in Pop Culture Studies from UB, just because (A) pop culture fascinates me, and (B) one of the requirements for the minor is a class about zombies.
12. I would throw a concert on some big-ass farm, sell tickets to it, and throw all proceeds from ticket sales to a children's center/orphanage to ensure a good Christmas for all of the kids there.
13. On Black Friday of this year, I'd wander around and give complete strangers $100 every 30 minutes, and wish them a MERRY CHRISTMAS.  Take that you ACLU fer's.
14. I'd go to a few of my favorite watering holes and pick-up the tabs of the patrons.
15. I'd buy some major beer brewing equipment and a garage and start my own brewery; after someone teaches me how to brew beer on a distributor level.
16. I would sponsor a bar crawl through Federal Hill sometime in December; the catch - you have to dress like Santa, an elf, or Mrs. Claus to participate.
17. I'd buy a condo in Ocean City.
18. I'd start my own wine cellar...just for shits and giggles.
19. I'd get tickets to as many U2 shows for their Summer 2011 North American tour as I could handle - and I'd travel to them in the aforementioned RV.
20. I'd hire Philly J to film me going to bars across Maryland (again in the aforementioned RV - with a hired DD) for a reality TV series a la "Man vs. Food" or "Zane Lamprey's Three Sheets".  It'd be a Direct-to-DVD project.  It'd probably sell 3 copies.  But it would be legendary.  Title TBD...the words STONE and AWESOME would certainly be in the title somewhere.

There's a Top 20...and I'd be willing to bet I haven't even spent $2 million yet. 

It's good to dream.  Especially when you have to kill the remaining 118 minutes left in the work week.

A toast for all of the Beatdowners...

Here's to a long life and a merry one.
A quick death and an easy one.
A pretty girl and an honest one.
A cold beer—and another one!

Bottoms up! 

Until next awesome to each other.  And party on, dudes.

Friday, October 15, 2010

An AWESOME Friday Blog...or WWPD?


There are 3 things in life I am 110% certain about.

1. There is a God.

2. I am not Him.

3. I – Matt Stone – am awesome.

How did I get so awesome?

Good question.

It wasn’t easy.  While it’s hard to admit (choking back the tears of this painful memory), there were times when I hard to say...simply normal...perhaps even slightly lame.

However, I persevered.

I worked long and hard and became special.  I enjoyed it there but knew I had more inside.

I kept pushing and broke through the barrier of being truly great.

Just for shits and giggles, I even tried out being infamous.

And then, like a phoenix rising from the flames, the inner awesomeness that was always there broke through, and continues to shine to this day.

Obviously, very few of you will be able to reach my levels of awesomeness.  However, you can try day-in and day-out to achieve my heights of brilliance; and, as a public service, I will point you in the right direction, so that one day you can proudly say, "I am almost as awesome as Matt Stone".

A Guide to Awesomeness

The single most important part of being awesome is to exude awesomeness in all that you do.

In today’s world, you are immediately judged by your appearance.  So looking awesome is the first step.

Now don’t get me wrong...I in no way, shape, or form can make you beautiful, handsome, tough, or show you how to find a style that best suits you.  But what I can do is tell you that having an "I Don’t Give A Sh*t" sense of style goes a long way to cover up any imperfections you may have and need to compensate for.

If you are a guy, you have 2 options – (1) Never cut your hair, or (2) shave it off, Telly Savalas style (I opted for option 2 here).

How does this contribute to awesomeness, you may ask?  Take a look back at history.

Long hair – Jesus. There was a dude who is to this day world renowned, and billions still talk about Him daily.  We don't know a whole lot about Jesus’ everyday life, with the exception of what is in the Bible, but take a look at most renditions of him in art...nearly all artists depict him with awesome long, flowing locks of hair.

Bald – The Dalai Lama.  He is a righteous dude...and he's bald. ‘Nuff said.

Having long hair or being bald undoubtedly boosts your sexual potency.  Either style will certainly result in frequent promotions at work, sometimes even jumping 2 levels on an organizational chart.  Long hair or the cue ball will definitely make everyone think you are in a rock band.  And lastly, by nixing the haircut or by shaving your own head, you will save countless amounts of moola by never having to go to your local barber again.

Any hair style remotely in between baldness and long hair results in you looking like you have been assimilated into being one of "them".

Dress like you are awesome.  Get the wicked cool t-shirt I saw at Target that has “PROUD TO BE AWESOME” emblazoned on the front of it.  Definitely wear sunglasses indoors.  Unquestionably never – E-E-E-Ever – wear anything that jitbags or posers would wear (the popped collar, the skin tight painted on jeans, the emo, the extra small t-shirts to make you look more "buff", etc).  If you have any articles of clothing that may be seen on an episode of Jersey Shore, burn them immediately...I guarantee that your levels of awesomeness will increase immediately.

Ironing. Completely and totally not worth your time.  All it does is make you look like one of "them"...don’t do it anymore.  Ever.

No Smoking.  Smoking is NOT awesome.  If you smoke, take a look in a mirror while pulling a drag.  That alone should make you quit cold turkey.  If not, smell yourself after a few cigs.  You smell like shit.  And that isn’t awesome...not even a little...not even at all.

Now the important – perhaps THE most important – part of being awesome.

Feeling awesome is just as important as looking awesome.  It truly isn’t all about the appearance. 

It most certainly is about having an attitude that screams, "I am so awesome that if awesome was an energy source, I could power the entire Eastern seaboard".  That's the kind of attitude that distinguishes the awesome from the also-rans.

How do you develop and hone that attitude? It’s quite simple.

Give less of a shit.  The constant inner-debate over every single little daily decision (i.e., is the road is clear? Should I have that beer?  Is hemlock actually perfectly safe in small doses?) does nothing but waste the most precious commodity there is – time that could be spent being awesome.  Don't fret over the smaller things in life...they always work themselves out...and if they need some extra attention, that’s what your groupies (those that hang out with you in hopes of being awesome by association) are for.

Be enthusiastic, about everything you do and everything that happens to you.  God forbid something tragic comes your way, but if it does, the only thing you can do is embrace it.  For example, if you are stuck in a lame meeting at your job, or if you are still in school and knee-deep in the most boring lecture, embrace the horror by asking a question every ten or fifteen minutes...or better yet, offer to get up and take over the meeting or teach the class.  And of course, if your co-workers or professor would oblige and hand the reigns over to you, run with a lecture centering around your own awesomeness...or mine if you are still taking baby steps towards the goal.

Walk everywhere, as much as you can.  Why?  Because no one can see your awesomeness if riding in a vehicle solo, and public transportation only confines the awesomeness to the privileged people around you.  Also, walking will ensure that you ALWAYS arrive fashionably late.

Publicize yourself.  Create your own magazine or blog that showcases your awesomeness.  Make all of the articles or entries about YOU.  Get business cards made that simply have your name and the word AWESOME on them.  Hand out flyers with your face on them that, in 25 words or less, proudly and definitively proclaim your awesomeness.  Get a megaphone and state your levels of awesomeness to anyone and everyone within an earshot.  Grab any and all...or better yet, CREATE your own...opportunities that will make you (and therefore your magnitudes of awesomeness) known to the "them".  The more people that know you and your degree of awesomeness, the more awesome you will become de facto.

Think like a pirate.  Beyond a shadow of doubt, pirates are universally considered to be awesome.  I should clarify, I’m talking Jack Sparrow or Captain Hook pirates, not the jitbags in and around Africa or the Middle East...they suck, and are the lamest of lame.

I digress...if you are ever in a situation and are having any inclination of doubt about a course of action, ask yourself WWPD? – yes, I went there – What Would Pirates Do? 

Unquestionable guaranteed success.

Example: You are out with a lady friend and she asks you to hold her purse for a minute. You ask yourself, "WWPD?"  Obviously, you quickly whip out your cutlass sword, stab everyone in sight, and plunder their booty...follow it up with slinging your wench over your shoulder, swing on a rope back to your ship, tie her up, and get slurringly, shitcan drunk on rum and grog.


Read it.  Learn it.  Live it.

Have a great weekend Beatdowners.  Rest assured, I’ll continue being awesome.

Until next time...

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Say What's On Your Mind...or Grow A Set

Happy Thursday! Feeling more and more like Fall...and I'm loving every second of it!

Quick update before I dive into my tirade...over a week into my adventures back to the gym, and I'm loving it. I've been every day except last Friday (day of rest) and Sunday (Gold's closed at I went for a long jog around my 'hood). So I've been at it for a bit, and I'm feeling good...REALLY good.

Now then, on to my latest rant...this is coming from multiple angles, some past, some present. But it's something that drives me flippin' ape-shit.

Why can't people speak their minds?

Why can't they say what it is they should and want to say instead of ignoring whatever situation they want to speak about in hopes that it just goes away?


We've all been there, done that, seen that, heard that.

At work.

At school.

In relationships.

With friends.

With family.

Advice to the quiet, the meek, and those that won't say what's on their mind...


One of the best things about being a person is individuality. And a SIGNIFICANT part of individuality rests in the opinions and feelings people have, on a wide breadth of subjects.

Don't hold them back!
Say what you think.
Say what you feel!
Otherwise, you are no one.

Otherwise, you are vanilla.

Sure, there are going to be some who don't appreciate your opinion, and even more who will get mad or hurt by what you think and feel.

Honestly, who cares? You have to stay true to yourself.

Case in point - a few of my bestest friends in the world (Ex and Ra) are MOBYDONKULOUS liberal. Like so far left, they can't even see the right. Rest assured, when we get together, politics ALWAYS comes up...and we are polar opposites. The spout their liberal theology at me like a preacher pushing redemption. I disagree with 75%+ of what they say. And they always say my counter arguments are asinine...and of course, they blame my opinions on W. Anyhow, we are still bestest buds, and we have (at least in my mind) the utmost respect for each other, in no small part because we speak our minds.

Opinions are like assholes, everyone's got one, and they all stink.

Now on to relationships. I am so sick of seeing guys and gals playing the game, so to speak...and I know the game because I've played it far too many times in my life...and won't get out of relationships or situations because they don't want to hurt someone's feelings, be it the person they are in the relationship with or a circle of friends who approve of that relationship.


At work...too many supervisors try to be "buddies" rather than supervisors. If someone is working FOR you and they F up, be honest. The only way someone will grow is to be challenged. Sink or swim was a phrase used far too often at a previous job...but I FULLY get it now. You can't do someone's job for them because you like them/feel sorry for them/want to be friends with them. Not only are you being a schmuck, but you are doing the person that reports to you a HUGE disservice by keeping them from growing professionally.

I speak my mind ALL the time.
I hurt people's feelings because they don't like what I have to say.
I make people angry because they don't necessarily agree with my point of view or my feelings.

But at the same time, people know they will get 100% blunt-force truth when asking my thoughts on something.

Am I always right? HA! Not even close.

But I'm always true to myself, and in the end, that's what matters.

Stop avoiding issues in hopes that it will correct itself and go away.

Stop going with the flow just to make sure you won't rock the boat.

Start being YOU, even if you have to ruffle a few feathers.

Do me a favor Beatdowners...if you have something on your mind, GO OUT AND SAY IT, ESPECIALLY IF SOMEONE IS ASKING YOUR THOUGHTS OR FEELINGS!

Off to the gym as soon as my sweatpants are out of the drier.

See y'all soon...until next time, be awesome, don't whore anyone up, and for God's Sake, let people know what you think and feel!