The Heat is on. The LeBron-athon continues

I’m writing this because I have to. My mom counseled meAnd so goes the Miami Heat countless times when I was growing up “If everybody else jumps off a bridge into the river that doesn’t mean you have to do it too!” Well, yeah I did. I was a kid.

And we need to keep that in mind with LeBron and buddies down in Miami. They (figuratively, since none graduated/attended college) are the three guys a few years removed from graduation that finally found that angel investor jackpot that would make their dreams of working together come true. They’re giddy with excitement and say and do really stupid things. Their families have deeply mixed emotions; for some the prodigal son is leaving home while others welcome with open arms their newly adopted sons.

This reminds me of the genesis of the Hollywood super-team Creative Artists Agency. For grins and giggles I edited the Wikipedia entry on CAA (immediately below) to reflect what just might be a perverted parallel developing in the Miami Heat triumvirate (following).

“CAA agents employed by the “William Morris Agency” Mike Rosenfield, Michael Ovitz, Ron Myer, William Haber and Rowland Perkins — met over dinner one night in 1975 after they discovered that they all had the same idea in mind: creating an agency of their own. Before they could obtain adequate financing for their new venture, they were fired.

By early 1975, Creative Artists Agency was in business, with a $35 line of credit and a $21,000 bank loan, in a small rented office outfitted with card tables and folding chairs. The five agents had only two cars among them, and their wives took turns as agency receptionist. Within about a week, according to one industry insider, they had sold their first three packages, a game show called ‘Rhyme and Reason’, the ‘Rich Little Show’ and the ‘Jackson Five Show’.

At first, CAA’s founders planned to form a medium-sized, full-service agency — one that was as unlike Morris as possible in approach and feel. Ovitz, who shortly assumed de facto leadership of the agency, described the company’s corporate culture as a blend of Eastern philosophy and team sports. ‘I liken myself to the guy running down the court with four other players and throwing the ball to the open guy, he once said. Their partnership was based on teamwork with proceeds shared equally. There were no nameplates on doors, no formal titles, no individual agent client lists. Practices followed the company’s two ‘commandments’: Be a team player and return phone calls promptly. There was an endless stream of meetings and talk. Because of this, others sometimes referred to CAA agents as the “Moonies” of the business according to the authors of Hit and Run, the best-selling Hollywood insider account by Griffin and Masters.”

WR2’s poetic license: Dwayne Wade?

“NBA agents employed by the various NBA teams, LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh, — met over dinner one night at the 2008 Beijing Olympics after they discovered that they all had the same idea in mind: creating a team of their own. Before the next collective bargaining agreement they needed to obtain adequate financing for their new venture.

By mid 2010, The Miami Heat was in business, with a millions of dollars in guaranteed contracts, the keys to the city and large rented offices outfitted with mahogany tables and Herman Miller chairs. The three agents had only two-hundred cars among them, and their better-halves took turns on the agency receptionist screening committee. Within four years they had won their first three championships, redefined Miami’s luxury living market, and built the Boys and Girls Club of America a condominium resort on Miami Beach.”

The good, the bad and how ugly can it get?At first, the Heat founders planned to form a full-sized, medium-service business— one that was as unlike Cleveland as possible in approach and feel. James, who shortly assumed de facto leadership of the team, described the company’s corporate culture as a blend of Eastern Conference philosophy and team sports. ‘I liken myself to the guy running down the court with two other players and throwing the ball to the open guy, he once said. Their partnership was based on teamwork with proceeds shared equally. There were gold nameplates on doors, majestic titles and a collective agent “little black book’. Practices followed the company’s two ‘commandments’: Be a team player and return Tweets promptly. There was an endless stream of meetings and talk. Because of this, others sometimes referred to the Miami agents as the “Monies” of the business according to the author of the best-selling The Book of Basketball II: The NBA According to The Sports Guy written by Bill Simmons.” 

Just sayin’…..


“To build may have to be the slow and laborious task of years. To destroy can be the thoughtless act of a single day” ~ Winston Churchill

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Salvia and the madness of Edgar Allen Poe

Edgar Allen Poe, the RavenThere are a lot of responsibilities with being a parent to a teenager these days and one of those is understanding what our kids are facing. I’m a product of the Lost Generation or those of us born between the baby boomers and Generation X. Our parents were more concerned about the draft, Viet Nam and the transition of government after JFK. We surreptitiously snuck in there; the Lost Generation, free to develop our own culture replete with large imaginations and not shackled by the confines of prurient thoughts. We put a man on the moon ~ we can do anything.  

We also experimented freely with drugs. Remember Bill Clinton’s infamous “I didn’t inhale”? Yeah, sure. And he didn’t snort cocaine either he was just hiding it in his nostrils. If we’re honest with ourselves we weren’t doing anything our kids won’t be doing. Herbs, fungi, synthetics ……who am I kidding here…..we tried all the basic food groups. I vaguely remember rappelling down Devils Chin at 2:00 in the morning with all sense of time and space masked by peyote. There can be a very fine line between illusion and delusion.  

Which segues us to the salvia. If you haven’t heard about this stuff I’d recommend reading up on it as this plant and its extracts are legal in the majority of the states. You can buy it at 7-11 and it’s marketed as incense right alongside K2 the synthetic marijuana. Incense? Right!

So what do I do? I did what any good dad would do and bought some yesterday to try myself while she spent the night at her friends. My parental experiment would have gone much better had I understood the relationship between the size of the bowl and the strength of the salvia. Bowl size is subjective such as the difference between a dessert bowl and salad serving bowl. Probably of more importance is Salvia’s strength rating system. Salvia is rated by ‘X’ factors such as x1, x2, x5 and so forth. Think of it like alcohol proof. Having grown up in a society of ‘if a little is good more must be better’ I naturally bought 40x. Big mistake.

I prepared the bedroom after piecing together information found on the web; quiet dark room, no anticipated interruptions and hid from myself all the weapons and ammo in the house. The latter wasn’t in any of the instructions but the last thing I needed were headlines in tomorrow’s paper reading “Naked Crazed Lunatic Roams Quiet Neighborhood Armed with 12 Guns, a Machete and a VHS Copy of Barney’s Great Adventure” Once I’d mentally prepared myself I loaded the bong bowl full and took one gigantic hit, laid down, held it and exhaled. The last thing I remembered thinking was “I don’t feel anything”

Warp Speed Scotty!!!!Seconds afterward I felt a hot flash pulsing through my system as if I’d been struck by lightning. My mind reached into an area I didn’t know existed. I was transported through the galaxies at warp speed. The digital clock and DVD lights appeared as nebulae and seemed at once to be both near and unreachable. I had visions that could only be constructed by abnormal brains cells linked together simultaneously by forces far greater than logic. The quietness was deafening. I was thrashing and screaming (I think) in a mad attempt to escape this unfolding nightmare. I was the kitten chasing a ping-pong ball in the bathtub. This was pure hell and I was Satan.

What seemed like hours were mere minutes. In my post-experiment haze all I could liken the experience to was a living breathing version of Edgar Allen Poe’s The Raven. Poe had his absinthe and our children have salvia and having partaken of absinthe in Europe I can assure you Poe had the better end of the deal. I’m tolerant of a lot of things but this stuff should be illegal like stealthy Mexican immigrants.

I can only hope and pray my daughter never succumbs to the temptation of trying this ‘incense’. I’d read somewhere this stuff doesn’t show up in drug tests. I’d also read no one had ever died using it.Nevermore quoth the Raven

How would they know?  

Quoth the Raven. Nevermore.

“I wouldn’t recommend sex, drugs or insanity for everyone, but they’ve always worked for me” ~ Hunter S. Thompson

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Guns and Gringos – A Perfect Storm

Pecos Bill returns to fight the MexicansFinally. Many thanks to the NRA for their tireless efforts in ushering through the courts the lawsuit regarding American’s right to keep and bear arms. They represented the majority of our legal population and I’m still puzzled why it even came to lawsuits. Hopefully this will put-to-bed any further holistic discussion of the issue.

But that’s all merely pollyannaish thinking. There is a perfect storm brewing in the U.S. and I can see it unfolding. Frankly I’ll be surprised if we don’t eventually cross this bridge. The avalanche of chorus and cry from the citizenry over the illegal immigration issue will not go away and the Supreme Court just inadvertently empowered clueless Americans to take the law into their own hands. Don’t misinterpret my words; I’m in no way condoning violence from Joe Citizen towards illegal immigrants. And yes, I’m fully aware that Arizona and other border states already have armed constituents. I’m not the least bit concerned with responsible gun owners. My concern centers on the ignorant and unfortunately we can’t legislate against imbeciles.

To the casual or ‘headline only’ observers the press coverage is screaming “It’s OK America –arm yourselves against the invaders” when in reality that is far from the intention of our Supreme Court.  It’s a timing perspective. The court simply affirmed what our founding fathers incorporated into our constitutional rights which simply are as Americans we are entitled to possess firearms for self-defense.

Vigilante justice?

Listening to Michael Berry on his radio show this afternoon we just allocated $135 million for additional border security in Arizona. Here’s the rub ~ We’re giving Mexico $300 million to secure their side of the border. Isn’t that the equivalent of hiring the fox to guard the hen house? The leadership (I use the term very loosely) of Mexico is all but encouraging their tired, poor and criminal to break our laws and take up residency in our country. We’d be better off just building a damn bridge and posting signs that state “Come on in –  We’re open” Maybe I’m incredibly naïve and there is a real need for the Mexicans to stop a mass exodus of Americans into their country like a stampede of Old West outlaws.

And maybe that’s just what our government is anticipating; Americans fleeing our country to escape prosecution for defending ourselves against the criminal element. Make no mistake whatsoever; the illegal immigrants are criminals in the U.S. the moment they step across our border. Some, criminals in their homeland already and none too few that are mules for the drug trade. Mark my words that there will be some misguided fellow Americans that see the headlines and infer that it’s ‘open season’ on illegals. This is a recipe for an unmitigated disaster and the Brady nuts will seize even the slightest of toeholds and scream “I told you so” before the smoke clears.

Robert Krentz and brother, rest in peace RobertI sincerely hope I’m wrong and I feel for the folks that are less fortunate but if Mexicans can’t stay in their own country and affect change what benefit are they going to bring here? We don’t need more followers we need more leaders. Moreover, we need to lead with brains and not the business end of a firearm. Please don’t tell me I’m not a compassionate person. Tell that to the friends and family of Robert Krentz and see where that gets you.

July 1, 2010 update. Obama announced today immigration measures are coming. So if you live south of the border do you wait – or cross before reform? Perfect storm.

“We must Americanize in every way, in speech, in political ideas and principles, and in their way of looking at relations between church and state. We welcome the German and the Irishman who becomes an American. We have no use for the German or Irishman who remains such… He must revere only our flag, not only must it come first, but no other flag should even come second.” ~ Theodore Roosevelt

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Haven’t you wondered?

A man's complex mindMen’s minds are as complex as a Rube Goldberg diagram. Women’s minds are Escher on acid. But I digress. Humans are curious by nature and we tend to fixate on unanswered thoughts. We wonder if our cars will start or are there 3 eggs and not 2 left in the fridge. We wonder if our breasts are big enough or if we can eke out another tasty serving of Alpo Essential for fido. Weird questions pop into our heads that seemingly come out of nowhere such as “How do you take an accurate picture of the White Album?” These thoughts pepper our daily processes and provide a demarcation for insanity. Let these thoughts consume you and you’ll wind up in a designer straitjacket. I wonder if my insurance policy covers that.

Some questions are best left unanswered.   

What happened to James from High School? He collected cheerleaders and more ‘Most Likely to’ awards than anyone in school history. As it turns out, even though he was selected ‘Most Likely to Become Wealthy’ none of us had predicted ‘Most Likely to Commit Wire Fraud’. I also wondered what ever became of Little Lisa from way back in grade school. She was always quiet, pretty in her way and came from a devout Catholic family. They moved off to a mysterious state called Wyoming (have you ever met someone from Wyoming?) and the last I heard she was divorced with 4 kids and living the lesbian lifestyle in a double-wide on the outskirts of Walah Walah. And Carrie Anne Moss? She went from über hot Matrix babe to Mrs. Doubtfire completely bypassing the MILF years. What happened to my beloved Trinity?

Born in the USAI wonder how a sitting President of the United States can’t locate his birth certificate when he has the FBI in his employ. With a MasterCard and a phone I can get a certified copy of mine from county records. I’m not sure whose incompetence I’m more concerned with ~ our President’s or the FBI.  I wonder why is it politically correct to say “I hope I’m right” instead of “I hope you’re wrong”? How must it have felt to be sitting in the Los Angeles City Council chambers hearing the response from Arizona read aloud regarding the boycott and thinking “am I the moron that forgot to mention this minor detail?”

You’d think Tiger Woods gets up every morning and assaults himself with a Calloway while screaming “I’m married to a hot blonde Swedish nanny. And she’s a twin!” You wonder how BP Tony sleeps at night or why he doesn’t have his yacht and crew enrolled in the Vessels of Opportunity program. You wonder how Sarah Palin even gets up while simultaneously craving a bowl of Fruit Loops. How can one man stand on a celestial body and marvel the spectacle of Earth yet we can’t locate another in spite of the misguided efforts of a disturbed patriot?

Sometimes I wonder about the thoughts women have and get aEscher, Portrait of a Woman's Mind headache. 

Yes, I wonder about all those things that worry us so. To keep from crossing over that elusive line of demarcation I constantly need to remind myself of how fortunate a person I am. How lucky to have the ever present love of family in my life. Blessed with the little things like water so many of us take for granted. And Fathers Day is the day I wonder if I can ever be half the man my father is.    

“If one synchronized swimmer drowns, do all the rest have to drown too?” ~
Steven Wright

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Hey! Give me back my 3D goggles!

Beam me up Scotty!Ok, I get this we have to march forward idea. First we had the keyboard and mouse combo, joysticks, voice recognition, pen-based, iPhone and so forth. Now the hottest new thing on the horizon is 3D ‘motion gaming’ and ‘total immersion’. The basic idea is the more bomb-like devices you have strapped to you the more life-like the virtual experience. If you’re not sure what I’m talking about its similar to when those guys on CSI waive their arms around like a blind mime and make shit move around on the monitors. I’m not convinced the technology is cooked just yet.

I went on a vacation to a resort in the Bahamas that had these really cool futuristic rooms. Your “well appointed den” has all these gadgets and gizmo’s to make your stay more enjoyable. “Everything is automated” they said. Your wish is our command. Fine, that sounds real nice on paper but reality is a whole different beast. I checked out and discovered every time I had sneezed I bought an hours worth of My Johnson Has a First Name on pay-per-view. Being a neat-freak I reorganized my mini-fridge. I had no idea the items sat on pressure switches and that little exercise ended up costing me $320. Trust me on this: Never argue a mini-bar tab after spending 4 hours at the Wiggle Room.

And don’t even get me started on the application of theseI need a 40 weight chaser please contraptions for virtual sex. Carpet cleaners everywhere are cringing at the thought.

There’s a twisted irony in this whole motion gaming movement. If you think about it, it wasn’t more than just a few years ago when everyone was whining about how all their kids ever did was sit like a potato in front of the TV. Then we gave the potatoes keyboards. Soon after came the light sabers, Guitar Hero and those goofy looking helmets. They migrated inside to escape exercise and now we’ve got them hopping around like 4 foot screaming penis’s. Brilliant parenting. We’re also the ones that are going to be buying them virtual knee pads, baseball bats and James Bond armored dinner jackets. When I see my grand-daughter leave the house in the future I won’t be able to tell if she’s got a date or is going to Libby’s to play Marilyn Manson Lives

Anyways. Remember when Wii first debuted and husbands were clocking their wives while engaged in a calorie burning game of virtual boThe game roomwling? How about a virtual version of MMA on this get up? “No worries honey, remember it’s a game. When I body slam you onto those marble floors you-just-had-to-have you won’t feel anything. No worries at all. Tighten that buckle would ya?”


“A computer once beat me at chess, but it was no match for me at kick boxing” ~ Anonymous

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Just after midnight

Betsy Ross. What were her ideals?Is this what I sacrificed my life for?

All those hours on the force, the boot camps and the drills. When I hear our National Anthem I get the slightest of shivers, barely perceptible and controlled by the pride swelling from within my chest. We’ve come a long way. We fought for our independence and built a foundation that will survive all holocausts. Our children’s children will be guided by these same principles. We’ve been poor and we’ve been prosperous. We’ve done well, yes?

This stuff is getting heavy.

Since I woke up this morning my day has been anything but routine or casual. I can understand it yet the questions permeate the air around me. My environment is one a kept animal in the zoo might perceive; I know they are watching me and I can hear the whispers. Even Amber down at the Starbucks was acting odd. Not at all her usual bohemian, care-free self.

Death awaits you, the grim reaperThe quiet is a bit unnerving.

I can’t smoke a cigarette in here so I do the next best thing and pop another Nicorette in my mouth. I think that’s my 4th one in the last hour, time to slow down. I’m guessing Ellen and the kids made it to moms alright. They left the house when I did and I’m confident they were well provisioned. The car is getting older but she’s still got some legs in her according to John down at the shop. We need to start saving for a new car in any case before it’s too late. Boy is that ironic.

There he is. There’s the man I’m going to kill.

He looks scared. Rather it’s a look that can only be defined by those that have seen it before. Ronnie Lee Gardner has that look. Ronnie Lee knows that look himself. That’s why we’re all here the bastard. Ok, that’s what I need. Get angry. This son-of-a-bitch took innocent lives in cold blood. He deserves more pain than what he’s getting. Maybe I’ll miss by a few inches? Yeah, I’m liking this.

The murmurs are everywhere like hollow voices from executions past. I feel kind of creepy. This isn’t like the hyper speed of close quarters combat. That’s all training, muscle memory and reflex. This is more like indoor range practice. Unless I got the blank round? A true marksman knows his weapon and his ballistics. We’re not supposed to be able to tell the difference between a live round and a dummy round but I’m not so sure. Damn! Now I’ve talked myself into making perception reality.

It’s just after midnight and I’m home now. I’m glad Ellen and theReflection kids aren’t here; that was a wise move and the advice from a previous executioner is appreciated now more than ever. I’ve got some serious thinking to do and distractions, no matter how much I love and miss them, don’t have their place. Not here. Not right now. How long will I let myself twist in the wind on this? Someone had to do this right? Now is not the time to second-guess myself. I honestly didn’t feel any difference in the kick of the gun. Seemed normal if shooting a man from just a few paces can be considered normal.

Is this what I sacrificed my life for?


“Strange – is it not? – that of the myriads who
Before us passed the door of Darkness through,
Not one returns to tell us of the road
Which to discover we must travel too” ~ Omar Khayyam

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The Book of Eli, the movie

The Book of Eli, the movieReview of the recently released DVD movie The Book of Eli. Spoiler alert!! Please do yourself a favor and don’t read this if you intend to see the movie.

Wow. I’m sitting here like someone just passed me a live hand grenade. I have no idea what to think. But yet thinking is all I can do. The clues were everywhere, right in my face the whole time. Subtle, yet in hindsight more powerful than the virtual hand grenade I’m holding. I’m a smart guy but I never saw this coming.

The ever present insomnia and my continued recovery equates to a lot of time on my hands. My cable bill is literally my most decadent expenditure these days. That stated I see more than my fair share of TV and movies. My tastes, and tolerance levels, have expanded exponentially and I can now better appreciate movies I love on a different level. 12 Angry Men with Henry Fonda is a prime example. To read the story outline “12 man jury locked in a room the entire movie debating the fate of the accused. Black and white” you’d be yawning. You’ve probably skipped over it a hundred times late at night when seeking relief from insomnia. Or you might have watched it for the same reason. If you’ve watched the movie it sticks with you like the aroma of freshly lit incense.

Locked into your memory.

8mm, the movieThe Book of Eli is such a movie. Believe me it wasn’t even in my top 1000 until that absolutely stunning sucker punch of a conclusion. This movie has substance. And then some. You don’t even feel the punch, it’s those spinning seconds afterward when you’re asking yourself “what just happened?” And you’re still not sure. The last thing you remember is the ‘light bulb moment’ when the avalanche of previous scenes all came crashing together and overwhelmed your senses.

This movie is not for those with a hair trigger gag reflex. Or a gag reflex period. It’s gory, suggestive and offensive. Eli is a full on, no holds barred, assault on the human condition and it makes no bones about it. It will make you uncomfortable. And at the end-of-the-day that’s exactly what they were trying to do. This is one of those movies like 8mm that you continue to watch even after your brain has told you it’s a bad idea. You go to a NASCAR race to see the car wrecks right? You know it’s wrong but you’re strangely attracted. When it actually happens it’s anti-climatic because you already knew it was going to happen. The only surprise is the level of wicked.

And that’s what separates the men from the boys; the great movies from the pretenders. You knew this was a train wreck waiting to happen so when it almost casually pulled into the well appointed station you’re as surprised as any human could be. But if you hadn’t taken the journey, the station would have seemed pedestrian.

Eli and the bow

I had not seen or read anything much about the movie before noticing it on the shelf at Blockbuster. It stuck out because it was one of the few available in BluRay and I’ve always liked the acting of Denzel Washington, and he didn’t disappoint here. It’s a cross between Dune and The Matrix. The Book of Eli is a movie that greatly rewards those that allow themselves to become immersed and is at its most engaging the first time you see it.


“I believe in God, but not as one thing, not as an old man in the sky. I believe that what people call God is something in all of us. I believe that what Jesus and Mohammed and Buddha and all the rest said was right. It’s just that the translations have gone wrong” ~ John Lennon

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