Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Jesse Ventura and feather boas...Whoops I might get sued

Dear Jesse Ventura,

Jesse Ventura has held many titles over the years. He’s a veteran who served as a member of the Navy Underwater Demolition Team (UDT). He left the military life to pursue a career in the professional wrestling field where he picked up the title “The Body” which he is still identified with today. From there he moved into the acting world with unforgettable parts starring alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger in the “Predator” and Sylvester Stallone in “Demolition Man”. After failing to win an Oscar, politics was obviously the likely next step in his career path. From small town mayor he ran a grass roots campaign and won the Governorship of Minnesota 1998. Once out of office, “The Body” did what most political figures do, he turned to a lucrative career in television with a reality series, numerous news spots and political commentary to his credit. You would think that he would ride off into the sunset and enjoy life in his later years….WRONG!!! This is the so called “Body” and he felt that he needed to add something more to his long and poignant career……D-BAG. Yesterday he received $1.8 million dollars from the estate of the now deceased former Navy SEAL, American hero and best-selling author Chris Kyle to settle a defamation lawsuit concerning an excerpt from his book “American Sniper”. In the book, Chris Kyle describes a fight that he got into with someone famous who was bad mouthing SEALS and the military in general. Although “The Body” was never mentioned by name, Kyle did state in later interviews that it was in fact the man who use to sport a feather boa as a fashion accessory. Being that “The Body” has run out of conspiracies to chase the next viable option to make a buck was to go after an American hero who has done well. He filed a lawsuit against Kyle and the accusations in the book to the tune of $28 million dollars. That “Body” is a stand-up guy. Chris Kyle donated his time to helping soldiers with post-traumatic stress disorder. It is because of this that he lost his life at such a young age when a fellow veteran that he was helping turned a gun on him and took his life. So you would think that with the tragedy that struck the Kyle family that “The Body” would drop the lawsuit and move on…..WRONG!!! He pressed on until he was eventually paid the aforementioned amount. “Body”, you gained nothing by winning this lawsuit other than holding the current title of “World’s biggest D-Bag” which is not an easy thing to do with the Bieb’s everyday antics. If you want to truly protect your image as you’ve claimed in numerous interview since the verdict, give the money back to Chris Kyle’s widow and her children and if you can’t bring yourself to choosing “Plan A” of doing the right thing move on to “Plan B” and donate it all back to a fund that helps wounded soldiers and their families. Take a page from your wrestling days and be the “good guy” instead of the “heal” and don’t worry you can still sport that pink boa, no judging here….

PS. Happy Hump Day peeps on this last Wednesday in July, hope it’s been amazing for you and remember….The real power of a man is defined by the size of the smile of the woman sitting next to him.

#jesseventura #thebody #chriskyle #americansniper #empireliving

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Faith: Bringing out the best in our community

Dear faith and human spirit,

I use to think that the measure of “given” could only be quantified in two ways…Monetary and time based. The recent tragedy that struck the Chico State Alpha Gamma Rho family when fellow alumni Lowell Forward was paralyzed from the chest down as a result of an unforeseen accident and the events that took place after has changed my thoughts concerning this. Last week I stated that the outpouring of support for Lowell, his wife Jennifer and their children in such a short amount of time left me speechless. Now those of you who know me can attest that this does not happen often. Another thing that transpires about as much as the previously mentioned subject is my ability to generate tears. This usually only takes place for one of the following reasons:

1.       A Cowboys playoff victory.
2.       The loss of a loved one or pet. (Those of you who knew Kobie can attest to this.)
3.       When a bartender or waiter/waitress informs me they don’t serve Tito’s vodka.
4.       Movies including: “Field of Dreams”, “8 Seconds” and “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure”.
5.       The day your dad tells you he loves you.

Well, I’ve got another one to add to that list. Yesterday, I received a message from Lowell’s wife Jennifer and could not get through it without losing it. Please forgive me for not sharing this touching letter with you but out of respect her some things are better left private. Something dawned on me once I read this. There is another way to give and that is through “faith”. The definition of this word has a couple of meanings. The first obviously being; “the existence of God or strong religious beliefs”. The other definition associated with this word is just as unmistakable as the first with it stating; “A strong trust in someone or something”. The given of money and time are always appreciated when it comes to helping someone out no matter how menial or large that task may be. By adding faith to the equation it motivates a person that much more. Faith is what picks up the human spirit and drives most people towards their goals. This is what triggered the outpouring of support for Lowell and his family in this time of need. Speaking of that I would like to update you on where the donations currently stand. Over the course of the weekend the goal of $10,000 was met within a few short hours and currently sits at almost $20,000. Once again…Speechless. As I continue to receive updates as donations pour in from not only here in Chico but from people across the country it brings a smile to my face in knowing that all of us are bound by these things: Chico State, Greek, AGR, Family, Friends, Faith…..If you ask me these are all great things…..

PS. Happy hump date peeps on this cool end of July day. Continue to send donations to and remember.....It’s not about the number of no’s you hear in life it’s about the times you hear yes.

#lowellforward #gofundme #Chicostate #AGR #faith #family #empireliving

Friday, July 18, 2014

Lowell Forward: The AGR family has your back

Dear Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity (and the entire Chico State Greek system),

Life can change in the blink of an eye. One minute you are going through your daily routine like you have over and over again for what seems like a lifetime and then one moment whether it is small or significant can put you on a path that you weren’t prepared for. A few days ago Lowell Forward, a Chico State graduate, AGR alumni, teacher, husband, father and great guy experienced this. While working on the roof of a home it gave way on him unexpectedly and he crashed to the floor breaking the T-4 vertebrate in his spine in the process. The result from this injury will leave him paralyzed from just below the chest line for the rest of his life. Now if you know Lowell, this tragedy will not be treated as a setback but as motivation for the rest of his life. Since you now know some background on the adversity that Lowell and his family are going through I want to brief you on the reaction that the Chico State AGR community has had to the actions that have taken place. A web page though the crowd funding website “” was set up by a close friend of Lowell’s named Todd Swagerty with a goal of raising $10,000 for medical costs and allowing for a ADA remodel of his home. It was quickly posted to a group page that the Beta Kappa Chapter (Chico State) has set-up on Facebook which purpose is to get the word out about the goings on at the fraternity currently and alumni updates, so in other words perfect for the task at hand. Upon seeing this unfortunate news concerning a fellow alumni I did what any of us would do….Help a brother in need. When I first viewed the post it was sitting at around $200 in total donation and had been live for about 20 hours. Between working the phones and the talent that God blessed me with when it comes to the power of social media and the gift of gab the AGR community along with their mothers, fathers, friends and family made that number jump to over $6,000 in the matter of a couple of hours. By this morning that number had grown to the goal of $10,000 in a few hours and continues to increase with the current money count at almost $12, 000. This outpouring of monetary support along with the pledges from brothers who will donate their time, labor and materials needed to make the necessary changes to the Forward’s home has done something that I thought couldn’t be done…..I’m speechless. The Greek Community at Chico State continues to take a beating from Paul Zing and local law enforcement as the “problem” that is wrong with Chico and the university. We are blamed from issues ranging from alcohol to crime to lackluster performance in academics. We are called “drinking clubs” who have no business being part of an institution of higher learning. Paul Zingg…This is a shining example what the Greek Community truly is. We are a group of men and women both active and alumni who like our cocktails and fun like the rest of society but who come together and support our own in a time of need that is unmatched. I am proud to call myself Greek and to have been part of the Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity as an active member and now as an alumni. Stay strong Lowell and know that you’ve got the power of thousands behind you…..Go Wildcat’s!

PS. Peeps, here is the link to the website: Every little bit counts and remember……Paying for your friends last a lifetime.

#Lowellforward #chicostate #greeks #AGR #paulzingg #gofundme #betakappa #betapilove #empireliving

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Hello there drought, I would like to ask you to leave now

Dear California Water Crisis,

Fun fact for everyone out there: California is in a drought. There are many reasons on why and how we have come to this point ranging from the lack of storage facilities in the form of new reservoirs (bureaucrats) to unmet conservation measures (city dwellers) to inadequate and outdated irrigation methods (farmers) and finally to the lack of rain and snow that we have seen fall (Mother Nature). What I’m trying to say is that there is not just one person or persons to point the finger at and blame for California’s current water or lack of water situation. In the last week I’ve seen all these ugly aforementioned realities first hand. Flashback to Saturday and a quick trip to Lake Oroville to enjoy an ice cold beverage and much needed time on the water (I know, I don’t get enough of it). The lake which has just over 3.5 million acre feet of storage and holds on average around 2.7 million acre feet during the month of July was sitting at 1.3 million acre feet, so roughly 1/3 of total capacity. Now I know that we all didn’t call Chico State home for 6 years so numbers might not be your expertise but the point I’m trying to make is that without above average moisture during the winter months we are in trouble. It should not take someone 20 minutes to walk from the launch to the water no matter what shape they are in. I live in a fairly nice section of Chico which I like to refer to as the “Hollywood Hills”. Trees line the streets along with rich luscious foliage and all with well-trimmed, green lawns….Except for mine. Sprinklers run at all hours as each neighbor tries to outdo the other to achieve a front yard that would make AT&T Park look like a parking lot. Sunday as I was driving to SoCal (this is what they like to call anything south of Butte Co. in these parts) I passed numerous older blocks of trees that were well past their prime production years and shall we say not being farmed with best management practices in mind. Weeds were prevalent throughout along with the different methods of watering systems being used during the peak heat hours of the day. The point that I am so eloquently trying to make with the picture I have painted is that we are all in this together. The only solution that will solve the immediate problem is for the skies to open (preferably after harvest) and it to rain and snow like we haven’t seen in years. The more long term solution is to address all these issues. Let’s invest in the future with more storage facilities. Make conservation a priority. Don’t water your lawn 5 days a week along with washing the car. If you farm, continue to monitor your usage and update your irrigation systems. When times are good like they are currently in the industry put it back into the product. All stake holders must put aside their differences for the benefit of us as a whole. Until then I’m going to keep praying for that rain….

PS. Happy Thursday peeps on this cool, yet southern feeling day in the north state. Enjoy it and remember….Tell someone special they’re beautiful, they won’t get tired of hearing it.

#drought #California #jerrybrown #empireliving

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Soccer...Ain't no one got time for that

Dear World Cup,

It’s been a week since the United States was eliminated from soccer’s version of the Super Bowl and the collective hope of 10’s of peoples dream of soccer being relevant to the rest of us across the nation came to a screeching halt. What is the fascination with a sport that is popular among the 6 to 12 year old suburbanite demographic but can’t seem to catch on with the rest of the country? Every four years we are inundated with a media blitz of Olympic proportion that attempts to convince us that soccer matters. I’m here to tell you in the bluntest manner that it doesn’t. The facts that back this assumption up are insurmountable to the purists of the sport. You see we are a developed nation with tastes that lean more towards sports that take more skill than running up and down a field for 80 minutes with not a score in sight. Running around and chasing things and not scoring is something I did in college. It was below average then and even worse now. God gave us hands for a reason other than creating fire and tools. They are meant to throw balls and also catch them along with controlling wood and metal objects with the sole purpose of hitting the previously mentioned ball. We like our professional sports figures to have preferably two names thus given us the opportunity to at least pronounce one right. This point alone eliminates over 120 million people who call the Southern United States home as a potential fan base. Americans most of all like our athletes tough and full of heart. Think Kirk Gibson hobbling to the plate in the World Series, Jack Youngblood excelling in the Super Bowl with a broken leg or NBA legend Willis Reed limping onto the court with a torn muscle in his leg to lead the Knicks to a victory all those years ago. Hell, just turn on a National Hockey League game on any given night to see athletes that leave everything on the playing field. Soccer players get within 10 yards of each other and they are falling, flailing and grabbing appendages as if they just ran across an IED. Stretchers are meant for people who have been hurt or maimed, not grown men who’s unsavory choice in dental care only outweighs there stylist. The argument that soccer sucks continues to add up with each point laid before you. This is not must watch TV, its three weeks of CSPAN in primetime. You want me to like soccer? It’s simple, don’t be soccer and keep handing out those Capri Suns and orange slices because everyone has time for that….

PS. Happy hump day peeps and sorry it’s been so long, work and writers block are a terrible thing when you’re trying to bring smiles to the masses and remember…..If there’s one thing you can be sure of in life, its corn dogs.

PS2: For those of you who love to see follow me as a stagger through life in style, check me out on Instagram @ Riceking501. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

#worldcup #USA #Brazil #soccersucks #thirdworldsport #empireliving