Category Archives: observations


“Youth is wasted on the young.” – Mark Twain

If I could combine the energy and enthusiasm of my youth with the lessons I have learned and wisdom I have picked up along the way, then I would be able to get a lot more constructive things accomplished.  I had a lot of energy when I was younger.  Instead of doing something constructive like running for public office or building shelves for my “Hello Kitty” collection, I spent my energy partying until 3:00AM every night when I had a 7:15 class in the morning.  These days, if I don’t go to bed by 11:00PM, then I feel like I am burning the candle at both ends (Even though I don’t have to start work until 8:00AM.)

Another thing I wasted a ton of energy on is avoiding work.  Many times I would have spent less energy if I was to just do as I was told.  Not only did I waste a ton of energy avoiding chores, I ended up having to do them anyway, which used up more energy.

Both my job and my campaigning require a lot of driving and much time away from home.  The driving and the work I do from both tire me out tremendously.  Napping has become almost second nature to me.

There is so much more I want to write about, but i don’t have the energy.  Maybe a young person can write something in the comments below.

[This is part of the A-Z of Life series. Check out the other posts!]


Top Ten Towns I Have Been To (Number 1 – New York, NY)

A town so nice they named it twice.  New York has a lot to offer (though sometimes that is forgotten because it’s so expensive to live there.)  New York has museums, restaurants, beaches, restaurants, a massive public transportation system, restaurants, and a multitude of sports teams in the major sports.  (Not to mention restaurants).

New York is a melting pot of culture.  If you are from another country besides the United States, you will find a neighborhood where people come from your country.  It seems that every nationality has their own festive parade.  In many cases, the parade in New York City is larger than any parade in the motherland.

New York seems to have a parade or a food fair every weekend.  In addition to the parades celebrating various nationalities, there are also parades for heroes and winning New York sports teams (The New York Giants were honored with a parade a few weeks ago.)  and they throw the best Halloween parade on Halloween night.  (Not the Saturday or Sunday afternoon before or after Halloween).

Even if you hate museums, beaches, restaurants, sports, diversity, or parades, New York City still has a lot to offer.  There’s Broadway (with the latest and hottest plays and musicals) and “off-Broadway” with even more musicals and plays (but without the hefty Broadway ticket prices).

My advice for smokers is this:  If you don’t want to have a heart attack, then buy cigarettes, pipe tobacco, cigars, marijuana, etc. before arriving in New York City.  The taxes on tobacco are higher here than anywhere else in the United States.  While there is no tax on marijuana as of yet, it is still somewhat illegal.  The price for a pack of cigarettes start at $11.00 and go up from there.

New York wins.  It is the best place to go because there are more free things to do in New York City than things to do (free or otherwise) in any other city.

Top Ten Towns I Have Been To (Number 3 – Hooterville, USA)

OK the town doesn’t really exist, but it should have.  Although there is no “Hooterville” on any map, I have watched enough episodes of “Green Acres” and “Petticoat Junction” to know quite a bit about the town.  Below is how a trip to Hooterville would have gone for me:

I arrived to Hooterville by train.  It was a nice surprise to see the hotel I was going to stay at for a week was within walking distance.  I walked over to the Shady Rest Hotel and were greeted by Kate and her Uncle Joe.  They were nice people.  Kate sounded a bit like Betty Rubble and Joe seemed so much like he could have been my uncle, I soon started calling him “Uncle Joe.”  (Both of my parents were only children so I don’t have a blood uncle.)

Soon after settling in and unpacking, I headed towards Drucker’s General Store.  I had never been in a general store before, so I didn’t know what to expect.  It had a lot of things that a supermarket has and a few things that a Wal-Mart would have.  There wasn’t much that interested me foodwise because I wasn’t really hungry, but I felt obligated to buy something so I bought a grilled cheese sandwich.

I strolled through Hooterville looking for things to do.  It turns out there isn’t much to do there except for shooting the breeze.  A man named Mr. Haney (I forgot his first name) liked to talk.  He also liked selling stuff.  Like rutabagas and gadgets.  He said he had one thing to say, but that was after he said 40-50 other things.

I soon ran into a farmhand named “Eb”.  I thought he said “Ed” and called him as such, but he said it was “Eb”.  (I wondered if it was short for “Ebeneezer” or for “Ebb”.)  He thought I might have been hungry or thirsty so he invited me to the Douglas farmhouse to get some water.  Lisa was very nice.  She even invited me for dinner.  I thought about it until I heard the pancakes moan.

I drank some water and headed back to the Shady Rest when I was approached by a pig.  He seemed happy, smiling as he was snorting at me.  The pig’s owner soon came out and told me he was just saying hi.  Then he yelled at the pig for cheating in Checkers again.

I was soon back at the hotel and was joined by three hotties for dinner.  Billie Jo, Bobbie Jo, Betty Jo and Uncle Joe and Kate had steak and potatoes and milk.

I would go back to Hooterville if it existed.  I would have to make sure that I brought booze with me.  Billie Jo, Bobbie Jo, Betty Jo, and Uncle Joe all play hard to get when sober.

Top Ten Towns I Have Been To – (Number 4 – Blasdell, NY)

Blasdell is a small town centrally located between Buffalo and Orchard Park (Home of the Buffalo Bills).  It has a Midwestern feel to it though there are subtle reminders that it is indeed in New York State.  I am not just talking about the prohibitive taxes New Yorkers feel. There is a New York aura in Blasdell that cannot be denied.  (By New York, I mean the state, not the city.)

It would be higher on the list, but it does have a few glaring faults.  The first is that it’s in the snow belt.  Getting 4-5 feet snow in a shot is not all that uncommon in these parts.  I like snow, but not that much.  Skiing is too far away as this part of New York is relatively flat.  The other flaw is that it is dangerously close to Canada.  It’s only ten miles from the border and people have to be aware of spies settling in the United States.

Once you get over those hurdles, you will appreciate all that Blasdell has to offer.  There are restaurants, plenty of shopping, and that small-town Americana fell I keep writing about.   The people are friendly (except if you parade around town wearing a Miami Dolphins jersey.)

I could see myself living in Blasdell someday.  Or at least going back to stay for a few days.

Top Ten Towns I Have Been To – (Number 5 – Kernersville, NC)

Centrally located in the heart of North Carolina’s Triad, Kernersville has retained much of small-town Americana while being a short drive to three thriving cities.  It is also less than two hours from Charlotte and the Raleigh-Durham area.

If you like supermarkets, you’ll love Kernersville.  Although it is a relatively small town, it has quite a few supermarkets.  Aldi and Harris Teeter both have supermarkets in Kernersville.  If you don’t like either of those stores, then you can go to one of the three Food Lion supermarkets that Kernersville has to offer.  Let’s not forget the Super Wal-Mart which sells food and general merchandise.

There is more to Kernersville than in the other towns I have listed.  I lived in Kernersville twice.  I moved there the first time in 1998.  I was not happy with the direction the country was going so I decided to run for Senate.  The incumbent was someone named Lauch Faircloth.  His Democratic Party challenger was John Edwards.  If it was a contest about hair, I would have won.  (My hair rocked until 2005.)  The problem was that I was only 25 years old at the time and couldn’t legally run for Senate.  I didn’t want to run for the House because Richard Burr was the congressman and I like Bob Barr.  (I often got the two of them confused.)  By the time I figured out who was who, it was too late to run.

Kernersville has a few parks and a botanical garden.  Though I haven’t been there since 2008 (I will be there next month to visit), I have heard that the parks have gone through renovations and are lovelier than ever.

If you go to Kernersville (known to locals as “K-Vegas”), then make sure to check out what I call “Restaurant Row”.  There are many restaurants on NC Route 66 between Mani Street and I-40.  There are a wide variety in Southern and contemporary cuisine in which to choose from.  Plan on gaining weight and having fun doing it!

Top Ten Towns I Have Been To (Number 6 – Montreal, QC)

It has been a long time since I have in Montreal.  The last time I was there, the Canadiens played hockey in LeForum, the Washington Nationals were the Montreal Expos, and the Montreal Machine was a mediocre football team in the World League of American Football.

A couple of college buddies had decided that Montreal would be the perfect place to go for Spring Break.  It was perfect if you consider Spring being broken and it was obnoxiously cold as “Spring Break.”  It was too cold to think of hotties running around in bikinis.  (Indoors or out).

Most of Canada is in English, but Montreal is in French.  At least the signs are.  Most of the people can speak English or at least understand when you call them “a bunch of stupid idiots.”

The hotel I stayed in had a few American television networks.  I was hoping to watch the season opener of the World league of American Football on ABC.  Unfortunately, the local ABC affiliate in Burlington, VT felt they would have more viewers if they showed infomercials.

My friends and I were on the prowl and decided to check out the nightlife.  Most of the bars were occupied by French-speaking people and the women were not too willing to converse in English.  Unfortunately, the only French I knew was “Ménage à trois” and I only wanted the hottie.  I didn’t want the ugly friend to join.

We finally found a bar that looked like it was an English-speaking bar.  We were correct.  Soon after we walked in, we wished we were wrong.  The bar turned out to be a gay bar.  There wasn’t a woman in sight, not even a lesbian.

Overall, the trip was a lot of fun.  We took a tour of Stade Olympique (Olympic Stadium), Caught a game at Le Forum, and walked Rue Sainte-Catherine.  We even met a hooker as we were leaving Montreal, but by that time, we barely had enough money for a handshake.

Top Ten Towns I Have Been To (Number 7 – Oceanside, CA)

Oceanside is located in northern San Diego County and is 45 minutes from San Diego California.  The weather is ideal year-round (especially along the coast).  One thing I learned from visiting one summer is that you do not have to go far inland to notice a significant increase in temperature.  It can be in the low 70s at the beach and in the 90s just two miles inland.

Oceanside has a nice beach and pier.  Along the beach there is the house most famous for being in “Top Gun.”  The California Surfer’s Museum is near the Transit Center.  The Transit Center has a bus area for local buses and Greyhound as well as a train station for trips to Los Angeles and San Diego.  Parts of the X-Games were held there in 1997 (Surfing and Street Luge).  The International Gymnastics Hall-of-Fame and Museum was in Oceanside until 1997 when it vaulted to Oklahoma City, OK.

Downtown Oceanside is a walk through small-town America.  Many of the buildings have been there for over 100 years.  There is a coffee house that emphasizes the “house’ part as much as the “coffee” portion.

Much of the rest of Oceanside is like modern-day suburbia.  There are large stretches of road with strip-mall after strip-mall and all of the strip malls looking alike.  “It’s the third store in the second strip-mall on the left.”  is one of the way the locals use to describe the location of a specific store.

Oceanside isn’t without its problems.  The biggest problem is that it is in California.  Lots of taxes and lots of regulations prevent Oceanside from being a more enjoyable place to live.  Population has increased by 400% in the last 40 years, which has made the downtown congested.  The rest of the town has compensated for the town increase by having many double and triple-lane roads.  The anti-smoking zealots roost there.  “No smokes for you!”  It also has much of the good things of California – nice weather, gorgeous sunsets, and a copious quantity of hotties on the beach.


Top Ten Towns I Have Been To (Number 9 – Monroe, NY)

#9 – Monroe, NY

I first visited this town in 2010 when I had to pick up my campaign manager after his car died.  There was a couple of ponds that are in the middle of town.  There are plenty of Canadian geese in the park as well as plenty of Canadian geese droppings.  (I bet they were trained to do that by the Canadian government.)  Most winters, the ponds freeze deep enough for hockey to be played.  This winter has been too warm for hockey, so a quick game of water polo will suffice.  (Quick, because the water is still very cold.)

Monroe is chock full of useless trivia.  The town’s name was once known as “Cheesecock”  The town was renamed for former President James Monroe before he became President.  Velveeta Cheese was first made here.  These are all useless trivia bits because none of these tidbits are mentioned on any version of “Trivial Pursuit.”

Monroe is also home to Museum Village.  It is a walk through colonial times with people wearing the clothes of the 18th century.  They have also have various smiths making tools of those days.  For those who are not impressed with going back in time, you’ll be pleased to known that they have 21st century concessions that are charged at 21st century prices.

The town of Monroe is a lot like Museum Village.  It has much of the old small town charm and atmosphere combined with modernized traffic jams and taxes.

2011 NFL Season – Conference Championship Games

Last Week: 2-2 (.500)  Playoffs: 5=3 (.625)

If I was just picking winners and not going against the point spread, I would have been 4-0.  But the rules can’t be changed in the middle of the game.  There are only three games left to pick (two this week and Super Bowl XLVI).  I never mentioned it, but I ended up with a 19-16 record picking college bowl games.  (Not bad since I only watched a few LSU games and a few University of Pittsburgh games – and I got both of their games wrong.)

Date & Time Favorite Spread Underdog
1/22 3:00 ET At New England (14-3)  -7 Baltimore (13-4)
1/22 6:30 ET At San Francisco (14-3)  -2.5 NY Giants (11-7)

I want so much to pick the Ravens (even though I don’t like them). I am tempted to pick them because of their defense. But I have a feeling that the Patriots will score early and often and that Tom Brady is on a mission from Tim Tebow God.  Take the Patriots and give the points.

The Giants are one of those teams.  They seem to play their best football when they are not the best team on the field on paper.  Anf frankly, it sickens this Redskins fan.  Rather than picking the 49ers as a heart pick, I will pick the Giants and take the points.  I hope I am wrong.

2011 NFL Season – Division Round Playoffs

Last Week: 3-1  Playoffs: 3-1

Overall it was a very good week.  It would figure that the one game I picked incorrectly was the team I picked to win the Super Bowl (Lions.)  This weekend’s games look a lot tougher to pick, but I will give it my best shot.  Don’t try this at home.

New Orleans (14-3) at San Francisco (13-3) Line: Saints by 4
This might be the easiest game to pick, but it doesn’t mean I will get it right. I will still try though. The Saints will march into San Francisco only to wish they haven’t. The Saints’ offense will struggle on grass and against the 49ers’ tough defense. Frank Gore will have a pretty good game running on the Saints. Take the 49ers and the points.

Denver (9-8) at New England (13-3) Line: Patriots by 13.5
I think the Patriots will win, but the question will be by how much? The Broncos had a 17-7 lead in the week 15 matchup in Denver. The Patriots outscored the Broncos 34-6 the rest of the game. Can the Broncos play like they did early in the first game or will the entire game be like the second half? Patriots win the game, but the Broncos keep it close. Take the Broncos and the points.

Houston (11-6) at Baltimore (12-4) Line: Ravens by 7.5
Like the Saints, the Texans are a dome team traveling outdoors. Unlike San Francisco, it will be cold in Baltimore. Ray Rice will run better against Houston’s defense than Arian Foster will against Baltimore’s defense. Take the Ravens and give the points.

N.Y.Giants (10-7) at Green Bay (15-1) Line: Packers by 7.5
Conventional wisdom says to take the Packers, but this game trumps conventional wisdom. The Giants are playing their best football now while the Packers have been struggling a bit since clinching the division. I sense an upset here. Take the Giants and the points.

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