Friday, August 30, 2013

Mousketeers are not role models

Dear Miley Cyrus,

As someone who took in the spectacle that is the MTV Music Video Awards like millions of people around the globe I to was witness to the next great celebrity train wreck…..Miley Cyrus. Yes, that same Miley Cyrus who parent’s have made very wealthy with their numerous purchases of anything and everything Hannah Montana for their children are now cringing at the fact that the former Disney protégée is now singing about the hippie lettuce and molly while grinding against a married man dressed in the Men’s Warehouse latest “Beetle Juice” line of clothing. People have reacted in shock and anger at the antics of the latest Mouseketeer to go off the deep end once she was exposed to the freedom of adulthood. I want to let you in on something…..Miley Cyrus is not a role model. She is a 20 year old kid who is making the same mistakes that a lot of kids do just on a much bigger stage. Hit up any party or club in cities across America and you will be exposed to the exact same thing you saw on TV minus the dancing bears. It’s not her job to raise your kids it is yours as a parent. If you disagree with what she does on stage at her shows don’t go to them and stop buying your kids her albums and merchandise. It’s a simple idea….Tell your kid “NO”. It works like this; “Mommy, can I get the new Hannah Montana PCP flavored glow stick?” Simply respond with “NO”. See how simple yet so eloquent that is?  The more parents who follow this lead the less you will see of her. It is such a novel idea. It seems like I am always referring back to how a person was raised. Most child actors and musicians are thrust into the spotlight at a young age and are not giving the time or environment to grow up “normal” like the rest of us. There image is carefully cultivated by their parents to appeal to the segment of society who will bring in the largest profit at the expense of a well rounded childhood. Just because Billy Ray preaches about down home country living and God doesn't mean that’s how his kid was raised. It is an image that he wanted you to perceive, how achy breaky of him. I continue to wonder why people are appalled when they see something like this from a celebrity.  From Madonna faking sex acts on stage to Britney participating in foreplay with a python and now Miley trying to convince us that a constant tongue wag and an ass that has Hank Hill laughing is sexy and provocative there is always going to be another disaster waiting to happening courtesy of a misguided young celebrity. Years from now we will forget Miley’s performance just as we have forgotten the numerous jaw droppers that have come before her. There will always be someone new trying to push the envelope of what we call entertainment and sex and I’m hoping the next one doesn't resemble a Japanese animation experiment gone wrong…..Kate Upton did you hear me???

PS. Happy Friday peeps on this holiday weekend. With harvest starting next week this farmer is going to enjoy it with some cold beers, lake views and maybe some dove on the BBQ and remember…..The magic happens outside of your comfort zone. 

Friday, August 23, 2013

Highlights of Fall...Football, harvest and school

Dear college students,

There are a lot of reasons to love the season we call fall. The mild weather signals summer coming to a close and harvest is fast approaching. It brings with it meaningful baseball games and the kickoff of football season around the country. As I've driven around town recently I've been reminded of what else fall brings. Crowded stores, parents with a lack of direction when faced with one way streets, no parking spots within a 5 mile radius of downtown and numerous kids walking the streets dressed in the best outfit their tuition money could afford and accessorized with a backpack full of whatever cheap beer or booze they could smuggle out of their parents liquor cabinet or have a sibling purchase for them (I myself was a Keystone Light man). Yes folks it’s that time of year again and the landscape of college towns across America are starting to change.  School is back in session and as a resident of a college town you have to take the good and bad it brings. As one of the fortunate ones who were able to stay and find employment where I attended school there are always highlights to this time of the year for me. As mentioned before there is something about the mass migration of freshman who roam the streets in search of a party that may offer them free beer that puts a smile on my face. This is also the time of year when the newly minted 21 year old girls wait patiently in line at Riley’s wearing something that seems less revealing then their own naked bodies as the temperature dips below freezing and not a jacket in sight to warm them. If you had the pleasure of attending Chico State you know what I’m talking about. I would like to give sage advice to new and returning students everywhere. First, go to class and get good grades and participate in whatever your major offers. For most of you your parents have saved their whole lives to send you to school and give you the tools for to have a better life than they have. Take advantage of this because an education is something no one can take away from you. Secondly I recommend that you all step out of your comfort zone. You have been in a tiny bubble from elementary to high school. Expose yourself to new things that you may never have the chance to experience elsewhere. Finally, have fun! Go out and get drunk, hit up the parties and play some beer pong. Join a fraternity or sorority and don’t go home every weekend to see your old friends. Enjoy yourself and make mistakes along the way and if you were raised with the right values you will learn from this and use these lessons everyday in your life. So as the first weekend of freedom is upon us and you see a young looking fellow at your local drinking establishment rocking some blue plaid and a smile on his face, buy that man a beer and thank him because it just might be me….

PS. Happy Friday peeps and get a cocktail in your hand soon because you deserve it and remember…..According to chemistry alcohol is a solution. 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Downtown Chico: Summer destination of the homeless

Dear Chico City Council (yes you again),

It seems that I am always writing you concerning something but your actions continue to warrant my opinion. At your council meeting last night you chose to turn a blind eye on one of Chico’s biggest problems. In a 2 to 4 vote with one abstaining you shot down an ordinance that would have kept people from calling Chico’s downtown area home and using its sidewalks and business entrances as bedrooms from the hours of 7am till 11pm. I frequently visit the downtown area on the weekends and as I move from one drinking establishment to another and being one with future political aspirations I like to chat it up with my potential voters. Some of these people are the ones that litter every corner of the downtown area with sleeping bags and guitar in hand and a dog by their side. After numerous conversations I’ve learned that the majority of Chico’s homeless are not there for unforeseen circumstances but by their own choice. Yes people, most of them come from good homes and just want to live the “free life”. It’s not that their parents didn't hug them enough; it’s that they didn't spank them enough. These same people who could be productive members of society are drinking, smoking the hippie lettuce, leaving trash and harassing the numerous people of this town who try to stimulate its economy. Instead of voting this ordinance into law and giving them 16 hours every day to go out and find a job and actually contribute to society you've giving them reason to celebrate. I know there are exceptions to my argument. Mental illness is a horrible thing and can strike anyone and I’m all for helping someone who is down on their luck. The news is full of stories everyday of someone who ended up on the streets and fought their way back from the brink. The key message to this is that they took advantage of the help they were offered. Ask one of the many who call Broadway or Main street home at night if they would like a job and they laugh at you and ask you instead to drop a dollar in the hat for their next bottle of cheap booze or sack of Humboldt’s finest and why do most of them have dogs? If you have to live on the streets you by no means can afford to feed a pet. People who own businesses in downtown Chico along with towns across America put their heart and souls into them. It’s their way of life. Why is it that the homeless continue to dictate if there businesses succeed or fail? The more this issue is left alone the more Chico store owners suffer. It continues to add to the problems that are chasing people away from this town that has seen its charm fade as it turns into just another spot on the map. I call on business owners, locals, students and alumni to show the city council that we want the town back they continue to take away from us….We are Chico, California

PS. Happy hump day peeps on this southern weather having afternoon and remember….You don’t have to like my politics, you just have to agree with them. 

Friday, August 16, 2013

Values according to Ashton Kutcher

Dear Ashton Kutcher,

You know when you least expect it Hollywood goes and surprises you with another blockbuster and no I’m not talking about the latest in big budget flops that many of the studios have decided to crank out and call entertainment yet are more deserving of the straight to DVD bin that they are eventually destined for.  I’m talking about the speech that Ashton Kutcher delivered at the Teen Choice Awards on Sunday. If you failed not to catch it, in a Reagan-ish performance that lasted just under five minutes he laid out the framework that every person should follow from their childhood to being an adult on how to be successful in a lifetime. His three main points were as followed:
1.       Opportunity looks a lot like hard work.
2.       Intelligence is sexy.
3.       Build a life, don’t live one.  
They are so simple yet so eloquent and powerful. For the most part actors and actresses fail as role models because of numerous scandals, run-ins with the law, drug arrests or choosing to appear in public with Kim Kardashian.  Ashton is by no means a choir boy and has made his fare share of mistakes in his life time just as the rest of us have (yes even me). He though it seems to learn from these setbacks and move forward and this can be traced back to his upbringing. Raised by middle class, hard working parents with conservative values in Iowa they instilled in him those same values that make him the person that he is today. Yes, America, they chose to raise their kid to respect hard work, to know right from wrong and there are rewards and consequences for everything you do. Yes, it is such a novel concept. These simple values that parent should emphasize to their children everyday would make this world that much better of a place. I’m not saying it’s going to make them President or someday find the cure for cancer but it might keep them out of rehab or jail. Chris, I've always been a fan from the days of you thwarting aliens and getting the girl with the “Stifmeister” all the while trying to find where you parked that elusive car of yours dude to you rolling with Fez and the rest of the crew in Red’s basement. Through it all you have always stayed true to your roots and values. Keep up the good work and I hope you didn't just punk myself and the rest of the world…..Because I really would hate to see Dax Sheppard make a comeback.

PS. Happy Friday peeps on this hot August day. I hope you all have a great weekend filled with ice cold cocktails and some paleo friendly BBQ and remember….When life hands you lemons make history. 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Remember when boys weren't allowed to use the ladies room

Dear Jerry Brown,

In high school I never had to stop and think to myself which bathroom I should use. It has been pretty straight forward for me and the rest of society that if you had a penis you went in the door marked “men” and if you had a vagina you used the door marked “women” to take care of your business. Recent legislation signed into law by Governor Brown has gone and turned something so simple into a perplexing choice. The law states that California’s public school districts cannot “bar a student from a single-sex setting such as bathrooms, sports teams or locker rooms” (out of state friends once again I can’t make this stuff up). So what you are trying to say that if I’m feeling my feminine side I can stroll into the ladies locker room and participate in whatever activity is planned for that day and then hit the showers with them to clean up before my next class? I’m saying where was this law when I was in high school?! Another advantage of this law that I missed out on was the athletic aspect. If I was allowed to play for the girls basketball team I could have definitely been all state or being an avid fan of volleyball I know that I could have helped the women’s team and would have looked damn good in those orange bloomers. Whether you are a guy and you like Kate Upton or have feelings for Bradley Cooper or a girl who fancy’s Chanum Tatum or has a poster of Blake Lively on your wall you were born that way. Being born either a male or female and wanting to be transformed into the opposite sex goes against what Mother Nature created and no logic can defend this as narrow minded as it sounds. It takes the science of hormone treatment and modern surgery to change what you were born with and therefore it’s called a “choice”. Also ask yourself who does this law really benefit? There are already laws in place for students who are still trying to decide if they should go through life as Mike or Michelle that prevents them from being discriminated against. This opens the doors for what will be a free-for-all for everyone’s favorite species the lawyer. The California public school system is already in decay with a lack of funds and adding numerous lengthy and expensive lawsuits to it because Johnny wants to play women’s tennis or Sarah wants to use the men’s room will be to the determent of the youth who attend class every single day. Let’s get back to the basics of what our educational system was created for. For kids to not only get a free quality education but also to learn about themselves and enjoy the comradely of their peers whether it be in the classroom, stage or on the ball field……I still think I would have looked good in those bloomers.

PS. Happy hump day peeps and I hope you are having a splendid day and remember….Sometimes let her know that she looks like Christmas morning. 

Friday, August 9, 2013

Two words that can end a business...labor unions

Dear Labor Unions,
There are a lot of words that you can say that will offend a person and if you know me I use quite a few of these in my everyday vocabulary. I do filter myself when I’m in the presence of adults who are enjoying my company for the first time and children but for the most part you get me raw and uncut. There are certain words that I chose not to use because the very thought of them repulse me and I know you find it hard to believe but yes I do get offended. Last night on my downtown to enjoy another Thursday conquered with a celebratory cocktail I was interrupted by a phone call from a close friend who continued to upset me and turn my mood from joy to anger by repeating the most offensive words in the English language…..Labor unions. Yes, I’m talking about the same labor union that is defined my Webster’s as: “an organization of workers formed for the purpose of advancing its members' interests in respect to wages, benefits, and working conditions” but in reality makes money for the ones put in power while the people they represent continue to gain little benefit as the businesses they work for fail as they succumb to outrageous demands. Let me paint a picture for you about the evil of unions that you should already be all too familiar with after seeing the government take over numerous automakers and Detroit go bankrupt along with the Twinkie finally meeting its demise which for the record no one predicted could ever happen. This aforementioned business currently employs 15 people and pumps over 3 million dollars into its local economy every year. The employees who are mostly Hispanic and some lacking a high school education take home close to $60,000 per year doing a job that simply requires them to have a valid driver’s license, very little manual labor and the ability to back up a truck. The business owner was recently approached by a labor union representative and told that he had been talking to his employees and that they were going to ratify and join. He was then told that if he did not go along with this it would cost him hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees that he doesn’t have.  If he chooses to give in to their demands and the employees become union members it will cost him around $150,000 per year in benefit packages under the Teamsters “plan 10”. Yes, that same loveable group that helped Jimmy Hoffa relocate his office to under the end zone at Giants Stadium. With a business whose profit margin sits around 4% this added cost would likely cause it to close its doors, thus leaving the people who work there unemployed and also affecting numerous families and other businesses who rely on the services it provides. Unions continue to stifle businesses and do the exact opposite of what they were formed to do. Instead of creating opportunities for the American worker, they close them while the people in charge line their pockets with profit.  Working conditions today are a far cry from what Upton Sinclair wrote about over 100 years ago (FYI he was a Socialist also…I’m just saying). In today’s economy, business owners both small and large need to take a stand whether it be at the local, state or federal level and let labor unions know who is really in charge, the person who takes that risk of starting a business and providing much needed jobs for the people of this country….Now if I could just get Clint Eastwood to narrate this we may have the start of something special.

PS. Happy Friday peeps, I hope you get out and enjoy that weekend and remember….England’s greatest gift to the world was the United States…Merica. 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Hard work...the original performance enhancing drug

Dear Major League Baseball PED users,

We all have dreams as children of what we want to be when we grown up. Some kids want to be firefighters and policemen while others dream of being doctors and pilots. If you were a boy growing up in America at a time when spankings were doled out as punishment instead of timeouts and you recited the Pledge of Allegiance before class started every morning in elementary school I’m betting my Powerball winnings tonight that you at one point you wanted to be a professional baseball player. There is just something about the crack of the bat, the smell of leather or a game of catch with your dad that’s magical. The late 90’s and early 2000’s where considered by many at the time to be baseball’s “power” age. Sluggers such as Barry Bonds, Jose Canseco and Mark McGuire were treating pitchers as if it was afternoon batting practice and marveled at homeruns that were once only possible with the ping of an aluminum bat. Fans and owners alike didn’t blink an eye when these same players who the previous season had physiques of a man built to swing a bat were all of a sudden now looking like they belonged in a wrestling ring. Eventually the brain trust in baseball along with Congress caught on and began to rid the game of the drug addicts that were tainting it. As baseball fans we thought those days were now behind us and we could enjoy the game again in all its purity. Recent actions by some of MLB’s top talent including probably the most gifted player to play the game have once again showed us that “if you’re not cheating, you’re not trying”. Not being the most gifted talent athletically I used the gift that God gave us all….Hard work. My Cream was endless hours of practice and my Clear was my desire to not fail. Numerous athletes out there and most current major leaguers share this same sentiment with me.  Why is it that so many think it’s ok to cheat at the risk of tarnishing a legacy of a lifetime?  Does that extra million mean that much to you that you would risk having to tell your kids that daddy’s a fraud? The words “hero” and “role model” get throwing around a lot when it comes to athletes. I’ve always said that you can find hero’s every day whether it is the farmer who brings food to your table or the neighbor who volunteers for anything that is needed. Just like any profession there are people that will fail you but like with anything the good will always rise to the top. Give me a beer drinking, Copenhagen dipping .300 hitter that hustles to the first base on a routine pop up and I will show you a fan with a smile on his face and willingness to spend $10 on a beer and $20 on a hot dog. So cheers to all of you out there in the minors or currently in big’s who are doing it the right way, keep up the hard work and we will keep cheering….Play ball!

PS. As a now famous camel once said; “Happy Hump Day!” peep make it a good one and remember….Bad decisions make great stories. Fact. 

Friday, August 2, 2013

Chico...Let's take back our party town

Dear City of Chico,

Many things can define the American dream. Some of the opportunities that this country affords an individual are the right to a free education, the ability to go to college, buying a home and to open your own business. Recently actions taking by the City of Chico and its police chief have made me question if I still live in the “land of the free and the home of the brave”. A proposal this week was presented to a subcommittee of the Chico City Council that greatly restricts a business owner be it a bar, restaurant or liquor store to operate let alone survive. Some of the proposed restrictions include prohibiting “happy hours”, banning alcohol advertisements from public view, no sales of alcohol in bottles or cans and no sales of booze and beer after 11pm. I know you are all reading this and saying to yourself; “All these years he’s been telling us he grows rice but after reading this, he has to be growing that hippie lettuce and sampling it himself.” No folks this still drug free future congressman cannot make this stuff up. Why is it that the people that we vote into power continue to fail us? Preventing businesses the opportunity to succeed is not the way towards economical growth for Chico. As you continue to blame drinking and the numerous establishments that serve alcohol the city continues to fall deeper into despair. The sidewalks are littered with homeless people that harass the patrons of downtown, people continue to be stabbed on a nightly basis and it is not safe to walk anywhere alone for fear of being mugged. The crime rate continues to increase in this town and I know it’s not from some drunk kid stumbling home after a Buck Night with a burrito in his hand and a hope that the girl he spent all that money on actually gave him her real phone number but yet the police and the city council keep piling the blame on alcohol. I have some ideas that will promote an actual solution to the so-called “problem” that drinking as become:
1st. Address the actual problem that this city has….illegal drugs. Drunks don’t   attack people and stab them, people hopped up on meth and other of Oroville’s finest elixirs do.
2nd. Leave established businesses alone and give new ones the opportunity to   thrive. Let the public decide if they can make it or fail.
3rd. Buck Nights and other drink specials that can be found in any city don’t kill people irresponsible people kill themselves. Take responsibility for yourself, it is something you should have been taught at an early age.
4th. Business leaders of this town need to take a stand against elected officials. This town gets its character from the people who call it home.
As someone who was one of the lucky ones who attended college here and had the opportunity to stay and call Chico home it is sad to see what makes this town special being taking away from us. I’m asking locals, students and alumni to show your support and show the city council, the police chief and President Zingg who runs this town….We the people. Go Wildcats!

PS. Happy Friday peeps and sorry for coming up short on hump day. Enjoy your weekend and don’t do anything I wouldn’t do and remember….Stop making stupid people famous.