Archive - April, 2011

Step Up Your Game.

Tonight’s the night Blazer Fans.  Tonight we find out if Brandon and LaMarcus can play at a high level at the same time.  As a Laker Fan I’m pulling for it. I’m also pulling for Gerald Wallace to paint his face blue and go “William Wallace” on Jason Terry.

Contrary to popular opinion, it’s easy to be a Laker Fan in Portland, Oregon. This is mostly because Blazer/Laker rivalry only runs one direction; the success of the Blazers doesn’t make Laker fans angry.

I actually enjoy watching the Blazers win. It makes me feel good to see the little guy break someone’s nose on occasion. Portland has a team that’s incredibly unique; they are successful without being insufferable.

This has a lot to do with the team’s accurate self perception; they don’t act any better than they are and they don’t let anybody push them around.  I think they deserve fans to match. Follow me on this:

When you find a team that no one hates it’s usually because they are so terrible you pity them… unless that team is the Clippers, and in that case even your home city despises you.  The Blazers aren’t hated, yet they win consistently.

If the Blazers keep winning, the love won’t last unless Blazer Fans take a few steps to broaden their horizons. Eventually this team is going to win the big dance again, and when it does, the fans have to be prepared to step into the national spotlight in a way that doesn’t embarrass them.

Here are some things that Blazer Fans are going to have to do to fit in among the ranks of the basketball fan elite.

Do throw heavier objects in the direction of Mark Cuban…
When a guy’s skull is made of thick granite you need to throw granite not wadded up paper . Always bring a gun to a gunfight.

Stop lying about “being there” the night the Blazers won it all…
I have rarely met anyone in Portland older than 40 that hasn’t claimed to have rushed the court in ’78, yet paid attendance was about 15 people and NBA popularity was at an all time low.  You can still have been a fan and listened to it on the radio fellas.

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Surviving The Candy Dish

My young years were spent in the company of the aged.  My father was a preacher, which means I drank a lot of leftover grape juice and grew up around rest homes and mortuaries. As a result I learned a great deal about senior citizens and today I want to tell you this; “The elderly are holding out on us.”

You read me correctly, The AARP set has lived long enough to know exactly what they are doing, and if you assume that they’re doddering around waiting for death to grab them then you’ve walked into a trap like Han Solo on Cloud City.

They’re letting us think that we’re living it up with our tight dungarees and high maintenance hairstyles, but imagine how much fun they’re having in retirement.  Right now stress is killing us but we could be reading the paper, having an light lunch, hitting the links for 9 holes, beating the crowd to a buffet dinner, and winding down with a bowl of Jell-O and Alex Trebek…  while wearing breathable fabrics and a Gilligan hat.

The most egregious place they are holding out on us is at the coffee table candy dish.  Do you seriously believe that people who keep the Tic Tac company producing the orange flavor really enjoy the terrible candy that they leave out for the guests?  This is the generation that delivers the See’s candy at holidays; they whip out the good stuff for the invite only viewings of “Murder She Wrote.”

Having spent endless afternoon hours sampling the contents of countless Swarovski bowls here are my tips for surviving the perils of a septuagenarians candy offering.

5 candies you’re likely to find and how to handle yourself around them.

The Root Beer Barrel– Most of us enjoy a Root Beer Barrel from time to time, but it’s not the flavor you have to watch out for with this candy, it’s the seam along the edge.  Root Beer Barrels split at the seam and then open up in your mouth like a Bic-Twin shaver.  Wedge it in your cheek but be careful changing positions, the Root Beer Barrel is second only to Cap’n Crunch in damaging the soft palate.
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Stronger Than The Power Of Death.

If you don’t own John Mark McMillan’s “The Medicine”, your wallet is $8 too heavy.  You’re also missing out on a remarkable album of working man’s rock that sits squarely on the same shelf as Neil Young’s “Rust Never Sleeps” and everything that Bruce Springsteen has had the good fortune of not “over-saxophoning”.

The album has the added distinction of being profoundly powerful, achingly deep, and comprehensively honoring to God, as revealed in the person of Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit. What’s rare about this combination is that while its focus is squarely on the supernatural workings of the heart of God with the heart of man it’s also refreshingly honest, free of cheerleading, and it’s never trite.

Generally speaking, I’ve found that most music utilizing the word “Christian” as an adjective is conceived of, and produced for, commercial reasons. While it’s true that people involved in the process do want God to be recognized as “amazing” or “awesome”, for their song to be recorded and heard they also have to fall in line with a system designed to sell an appealing package of physical beauty, accessible melody, and credible “spirituality”.

This industry functions much the same as the pop-country industry. It collects readily available, positively focused, spiritually themed songs and combines these with readily available, fresh-faced, earnest, entertainers.

Because they serve the commercial ends of efficiency and expedience, Industries rarely produce art.
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