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August 31, 2007

Men and women…

Filed under: Observations — sbj @ 6:18 pm

It has been said: “women marry men thinking they will change, and they don’t; men marry women thinking they will never change, and they do”.

I used to look at this as a silly little ditty, not really appropriate for the real world.  However, as the mass of my experiences approaches critical… I am beginning to see the wisdom of those words.

Frequently, this phrase is considered more of a condemnation of women than it is of men.  I do not agree with this.  More often than not, men have some serious changing to do.  Worse, those unchanging men are, at times, the lead factor in the changes that manifest themselves in women.  So, please do not confuse this as a rant against women, it is not.  I do, however think there is a point in here worth mentioning.

Women, pick your spots to try to effect change in your men and try to remain true to yourself.  He did not enter the relationship with you in hopes of changing you… he wants you just as he found you… and he loves you just like that.  Growth is good and natural, do not ever give that up, but, stay true to your core self.
Men, try to be open to some level of change.  Contrary to your beliefs, she probably has quite a bit to contribute, and can help you grow to be more fully the man you are capable of being.  Additionally, be wary of what you do that effects the person she is, or you may face the reality someday that you are the architect the person you not longer want to be with.

I’m just say’n…

August 30, 2007

Williams, Vick, Craig…

Filed under: Observations — sbj @ 5:03 pm

What the hell is going on around here. People… if you do not want your fame and fortune… there are millions of us that work hard, honestly and with integrity and we’d be glad to have it. You do not have to shoot yourself in the foot (or other places) to get rid of it.

How much intelligence does it take to realize you have it made. These people drive me absolutely crazy. In fact, in retrospect, I cannot even write about this… such a waste.

I will say this though. If you make a mistake, don’t compound it by denying it and blaming other for it (Especially the local paper that then has carte blanche to roast you alive, Larry). Stand up on your own two feet, admit you are wrong and will do whatever you can to fix what you have done (then actually do whatever you can to fix it). In case you missed that lesson growing up… that is how a person should handle their mistakes and shortcomings.

August 28, 2007

Post sin-city…

Filed under: Just life — sbj @ 7:31 pm

I am beat, exhausted, tired, worn out, and so ready for more!!! Beat me, whip me and call me biotch… I’m ready to get the party (re)started!!!! Vegas was amazing. From the afore mentioned high speed chases and gambling adventures, to discovering Brazilian cuisine… the trip was full of surprises. Not the least of which was my craps mojo falling apart. I guess 3 months in a row of winning has to end sometime.

Because I’m bright (not) I went out last night and played poker with he boys… until around 3:30. Oops! You can take the boy out of the poker room… (or something like that).

Next year the plan is to go for longer (a full week perhaps). I have begun saving for this trip already!

(in case you are looking… there is no really interesting story in this post… just me glamming on about Vegas.

August 24, 2007

New casino strategy?

Filed under: Just life — sbj @ 2:42 am

So my first few forays into craps did not bear fruit at all. $300 into the drink. Then… we are walking out of a casino and I dropped down $100, asked for one chip and put it on the don’t pass line. Boink… I hit and doubled up. As I was walking out of another casino I did the same thing… the first roll was a crap so I doubled up, I left 100 on the dont pass and hit that too… so now I’m even… go figure. Fewer bets, bigger stakes… we’ll see how that works…

What happens in Vegas…

Filed under: Just life — sbj @ 2:38 am

Is now on the internet for everyone to read!!!! Another item to cross off the “to do before you die” (or perhaps as you die) list. I have now participated in a high speed chase through the Vegas strip, complete with running stop lights, shortfuts through garages, multiple u-turns in teh middle of traffic and even a few well intentioned but out of their depth bike cops. I should point out that this was a cab chase. It appears when someone hijacks a cab, the cabbies try to take care of their own before calling in the police (refered to as “Metro” here).

We were in our cab, in front of the Harley Restaraunt when the call came through that the hijacked cab was in the same location. We looked two cars ahead in the middle lane and there it was (identified by number). the cabbies started plotting their strategy, which initially was to box him in and stop him. Our cabbie asked if we could hold off a few minutes. Del: “Do what you’ve got to do man”… and the chase was on. We ran two traffic lights, passed numerous cars in bus stop turnouts etc., chased him through the underground garage of one of the casinos (I missed which one) and onto the back streets of Vegas. Eventually, he shook us, but we could hear the other cabs giving chase on the radio. We know that the passengers (yes there were passengers in this cab) eventually jumped out at a stop… and were picked up by one of the chase vehicles.

All of this before we even checked into our hotel… this should be a great trip!!!

August 19, 2007

High School Musical II – Movie Review (sort of)

Filed under: Movie Reviews — sbj @ 9:56 pm

Well, first I must follow up on my post of Friday night. High School Musical II was the closest thing my son has had to an anticipated viewing event. This movie had a two week uber-build up and he was so ready for it to start he was practically jumping out of his skin. this was all very cool.

Unfortunately, after coasting on pure anticipation for about 45 minutes, he finally gave in to the reality of yet another poorly done sequel. There is an off chance he might have like the far more adult themes had he actually been a teen ager, however I doubt it. the movie reduced cast rather than expanding on it. Narrowed the story lines rather than exploring new ones. Even the musical numbers failed to satisfy (for the most part… I don’t dance seems to have stuck with Shahien at least).

You would think someone at disney would have the talent to put together a better production (especially since HSM I was pretty decent)… but I guess the same fine folks that produce Raven, Zack and Cody, et. al. should not be expected to step too far out of their depth. It’s on free tv (if you have cable), so if your kids want to watch it, do so with them (that way they get company and you get to explain the numerous adult situations that crop up in this movie for kids).

2 (a very weak 2) of 6, I was very disappointed.

August 18, 2007

There is a first time for everything…

Filed under: Just life — sbj @ 12:38 am

There will be more on this tomorrow, but just I have to say… its cool watching shahien watch his first superbowl!  No, there is no football, in fact, he is not even interested in football.  However, High School Musical 2 is on tonight and he has anticipated it as much as any pigskin fan has anticipated the NFL championship game.  It has been programmed on the DVR for two weeks, and he is not missing a single minute of it (I have had to pause it once for a bathroom break already because he does not want to miss the commercials… remind you of anything???).

This has been, and will continue to be, a great night at the Jacobsen compound!!!

August 17, 2007

1408 – Movie Review

Filed under: Movie Reviews — sbj @ 10:26 pm

Reminiscent of The House on Haunted Hill, this movie started out brilliantly… then went overboard.  Conversely it did not wait until the end to make its departure from the relative safety of the lito-deck (yep, thats a love boat reference, all you children of the 70′s).  However, it is a “scary” movie and your willing suspension of disbelief is supposed to be at its most willing, right?

Personally, I really wish the movie has stayed true to the first 30 minutes or so.   I was “scared” (which means I bought into the concept and was very interested), kind of like I am every time some clever director puts a litte girl in her sunday best at the end of a hallway, motionless, staring at me.  I would rather face alien *and* predator than that little girl… she scares the heck out of me!!!!  I can relate to a big scary monster, more to the point, I can relate with how to deal with a one.   However, there is just something subtle and disturbing about a little girl at the end of the hallway.  I have chills just writing about it.

Anyone that can relate to the last paragraph will think the first third of this movie is brilliant, and the rest is a touch overdone.  Those of you who relate more to the scene in Scary Movie where the gal fights the specter from The Ring (i.e. it takes more than a girl at the end of a hall to “scare” you) will like the whole thing.

Nevertheless this movie was more than worth the price of admission.  The line from the preview, something like “the police are in the room, they say it is empty” was enough to get me in the door, and the movie backs up the hype.

A very strong 4 out of 6, on the now infamous 1-6 rating scale.

It keeps going and going and going…

Filed under: Observations — sbj @ 8:18 pm

I met with my sons (potential) new teacher for next year yesterday. We were discussing the class objectives, priorities, etc. and language came up. I found myself asking a rather interesting (to me) question. What I wanted to know was how much emphasis would be placed on punctuation.

Email, instant messaging and text messaging have become ubiquitous in todays society. I know several people that consider the phone the final line of communication. Forget pen and paper, those went out with your smith-corona (if that reference means nothing to you, this entry is probably about you!), the postal service gets by on bills and junk mail these days, and the occasional birthday card, I suppose.

This means that, by and large, there is no venue readily available to todays youth in which to actually write. Some will suggest weblogs like the one you are currently reading. However, even blogs foster informal writing filled with ellipsis, parentheses and even less structured forms of run-ons.

I am deeply concerned about my childrens ability to reach adulthood and be able to write an essay or short story that is actually readable. It is one thing to have to read this informal style in a blog or text message. It is another thing entirely to expect someone to tolerate it over a few pages.

I was happy to hear that considerable time still goes into basic structured English. Between school and my efforts at home, my two boys should be fine… but… I hope you are paying attention in your homes… or your kids will wind up writing like me!!!!!!!

What you admit to yourself…

Filed under: Just life,Observations — sbj @ 4:49 pm

One of the most meaningful conversations I ever had in my life was about sex. This conversation shaped the person I am (or at least try to be) to this day. It also was the first step toward me falling head over heals in love with my first great love. Not bad for a conversation on that particular topic!

I was in college (freshman), the woman in question was still in high school (Senior), although we were the same age (18). This conversation takes place in her bedroom, around 2:00am, hours after I had arrived with the Haagen Daaz rations (Raspberry Sorbet for me, Rum Raisin for her). I understand this must sound dubious at this point, and you are probably wondering if you should be putting the children down before you read further. Fear not, my relationship with her at this point was (and to be accurate… for the most part always has been) entirely platonic. Not that I was overjoyed with that arrangement, mind you. However, in the vernacular of today “it was what it was”.

At any rate, somewhere around 2am she decided that there was value in her knowing if I was or was not a virgin. Of course, to an 18 year old boy, this was progress, so I readily answered, and in what I thought to be good parlance, volleyed the query right back at her. It turns out it is not quite good form to ask this question of a young lady, even if she has just inquired as much of you. However, we got beyond that, and down to the business of her response. Without getting into details, I was surprised by her reply, and asked her if it were true. Her answer to *that* question provided the primary guidance for the development of my character over the ensuing years of my life. What follows is a (poor) paraphrase of that response, and a glimpse into how I try (with varying levels of success) to live my life:

I never lie, beyond being a disservice to the person I’m talking about, it puts me in the position of admitting there is something about my life of which I am ashamed. I do everything in my power to live my life, and make my decisions in such a way that I have nothing to be ashamed of, essentially eliminating the possibility of lying before the occasion presents itself.

Rather simple don’t you think? Yet… remarkably effective when you think about it and take the time to implement it. As I mentioned in one of my asides, I have varying levels of success with this practice, but I know for a fact, I’m happiest when I am living by those words.

August 14, 2007

A little perspective please…

Filed under: Observations — sbj @ 2:42 pm

I was reading this morning (oh shock oh surprise, it was the sports page) and ran across this article about the whole Vick/Dog fighting thing. Much like the author of this article, I would like to start by saying I am no one’s Micheal Vick apologist. I believe bad people that do bad things should receive bad results. He should be suspended (at the very least), assuming he is convicted of what it appears he did. In fact, he should probably pay a larger price than that.

There is (or at least was) a company out of Texas (I’m pretty sure it was Texas) that allowed people to hunt via their computers, controlling remote control weapons form their living rooms (or studies, or bedrooms, or whereever they got off by shooting animals long distance). This is not conjecture, I know about it because I listened to the fine Senators of the state of Idaho debate a bill about it just last year).  Think about that for a minute, the same society that is outraged with what Vick is doing, is promoting (at least to the point that the company is staying in business) a company that lets you shoot animals from hundreds or even thousands of miles away for sport.

While we are at it lets throw in side order of idiots running from bulls (and then killing them)… thats good sport too, right?

Dear Society,

You are enabling the Michael Vicks of the world.

Respectfully,

Reality, Dose of

PS You might want to make up your mind about your moral position, before you start preaching… just a thought

Having said that, however, my issue is not about Vick, or any of the treatment he has received. Rather, it is with the countless other high profile people who continue to walk around above reproach for committing far worse (or at least as egregious) crimes against other people.  As mentioned, you have people that have killed other people, people who have raped other people, and the list goes on.  Why, in the middle of a trial where it looked for all the world that he had committed a rape (a trial that was further along than Vicks) were Kobe’s jerseys not pulled from the shelves, for example?

I do not understand a society that appears to put a higher standard on how animals are treated then on how people are treated.  I do not understand a society that hand picks which of its “stars” will be given the red carpet and which will be given the shaft in the court of public opinion.  It has been suggested to me that Kobe is “white enough” and Vick is not (keeping in mind we are not comparing the exonerated Kobe… we are talking about the slice of time right after, when he was indicted and looked guilty as can be).  I truly hope it is something other than that…

August 13, 2007

A quote… from somewhere… from someone (no idea who or where)

Filed under: Just life,Observations — sbj @ 7:29 pm

This showed up as a MySpace post today… thought it was worth sharing…

It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing. It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love for your dream for the adventure of being alive. It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon… I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shrivelled and closed from fear of further pain. I want to know if you can sit with pain mine or your own without moving to hide it or fade it or fix it. I want to know if you can be with joy mine or your own if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful to be realistic to remember the limitations of being human. It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself. If you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul. If you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy. I want to know if you can see Beauty even when it is not pretty every day. And if you can source your own life from its presence. I want to know if you can live with failure yours and mine and still stand at the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, “Yes.” It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair weary and bruised to the bone and do what needs to be done to feed the children. It doesn’t interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the centre of the fire with me and not shrink back. It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away. I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.

The long ride home…

Filed under: Just life — sbj @ 5:29 pm

I took an overnight trip to Jackpot Nevada this weekend (Saturday night to be specific… left Boise at 9:30 pm, got back at high noon… no sleep for the wicked).  Taking a 2.5 hour drive alone can (and usually does for me) do two things to a person.  1. strip away all semblance of a voice and/or pride based on hours of singing much too loud and proud along with the radio and 2. give you way too much time to think about life.

I’m not going to talk about my singing, except to say that it appears scratchy voices are attractive to women as well as men, since I got numerous comments about my voice in the casino after my marathon solo-concert (AKA drive to Jackpot).   However, the thinking about life produced some interesting threads in my mind.

We will dispense with the mundane (i.e. “what the hell are you doing, at your age, driving to Jackpot by yourself for a night”) or the summarily dismissed (e.g. “Perhaps I should just keep going until I get to Vegas, actually, screw Vegas, Costa Rica, here I come!!!”).  Moving on then, to the important (as defined by me) thoughts…

It occurred to me that, despite doing everything in my power to be good in this roll, I may not have been exceeding (or dare I say even meeting) expectations in the eyes of my children, as their father.  I spent a great deal of time pondering this.  I thought about how I record decent learning yet entertaining tv shows for them (Myth Busters, for example) so we can watch them together (and I even let them record “Hannah Montana” and “The Suite life of Zack and Cody”… ick!!!), how I take them places, teach them things, how I even play their video games with them, how I try to talk to them often, etc, etc, etc.

However, at the end of the day, before the ultimate judges, I really don’t know how I measure up.  So, while playing in the creek with Shahien yesterday, I asked him, “How can I be a better father to you?”.  I left the question wide open… I did not want to focus his response at all.

It appears I am quite deficient in the area of familiarity with Mario Party 8, and it would be better to play more sports with him in real life (rather than watching them on tv or playing them on the Wii).  Other than that, I am a “fantastic father” “2000% compared to other fathers”.  I think I can live with that (I say as I brush off the tennis racquet’s and the soccer ball, he’s outta luck on Mario Party 8… a kids got to have something that is his own… right???).

I can’t wait until Tuesday when I ask Preston… although he is nearly a teen, my guess is that the bar will be a little higher…

how can I be a better father

August 10, 2007

Underdog – Movie Review

Filed under: Movie Reviews — sbj @ 10:43 pm

There’s no need to fear… unless, of course, you are forced to see this movie!!!! I had high expectations, because I spent my youth watching the cartoon. My hopes were sunk like a gangster with concrete galoshes. If you saw the previews, and saw anything that looked funny (because in the dark recesses of my memory, I think there was something funny in there), you have probably milked this movie for all it is worth. My 7 year old liked it, he was the only one of the 6 people (4 children and 2 adults) in our group who can say that.

I have struggled for some time trying to come up with something positive to say about this movie. Some silver lining to encourage someone to see it. Despite being a fairly imaginative guy… no such luck. The video to the rap song (performed by one of the Disney channel youth actors… sad that I know that, sadder still that I have seen it multiple times) is better than the movie.  The best I can say is that if you have a 7 year old… with limited movie going experience… you might have a hit on your hands. Bring your cell phone, put it on silent and get caught up on your text messaging.

1 of 6… because 1 is the lowest number from 1 to 6

59 days…

Filed under: Observations — sbj @ 10:12 pm

Sheesh, it has been far too long!  I will catch up on a few movies I have seen over the next couple of days.

During my absence Barry Bonds set the lifetime home run record in major league baseball.  Interestingly, as the most revered record in American sports fell, at least half the conversation was of steroids.  As a sports fan, I was, of course, asked my opinion.  I will try to convey my response here (keeping in mind that I do not proof blog entries at all, nor to I take longer then it takes to type them when composing, it’s a blog, after all!!!).

When evaluating a record across generations, what I believe is important, is whether the playing field is level.    For example, I do not believe 5 tennis championships in a row today are any less valid than they would be 50 years ago based on superior equipment.  This belief stems from the fact that 50 years ago everyone was using wooden racquets and today everyone is using the “superior” equipment.  In other words, if the guy/gal across the net from you is using the same equipment as you, you have no benefit over someone from another era who was using inferior equipment.

Similarly, the question, to me, is not whether Bonds is juicing, the question is whether the majority of his peers (specifically the pitchers he is facing) are.  If so, it does not matter if he is or not, with regard to the record, thereby making it legitimate from my perspective.

There are a couple of things I feel compelled to explain.

While I do not believe this is the key issue here, I want to be clear that I do not, under any circumstances, condone, let alone encourage, the use of illegal, controlled or performance enhancing substances.   They are bad for people, bad for the game, and a horrible example to others.  I loath the idea of people giving up on themselves before they even start (and, yes, all you chemically altered athletes out there, I’m talking to you).  If you believe you cannot compete, that you are not good enough, without juicing, then you have given up on yourself, and you should be ashamed.

How many games did Babe Ruth et. al. miss because there was no such thing as a cortisone shot, electro-shock therapies, etc. that keep modern players in the games despite various ailments.   If you are going to put an * next to the record, I really think that is a better reason to do it. Again, assuming that most players are “using”.  Even with a level playing field, if you get an average of say 10+ more games a year over your career, you have an advantage (don’t even get me started on the short seasons during Ruth’s career, and the * next to Marris’s former record).

When I say “if most people are juicing” I’m not talking about other hitters.  I’m talking about pitchers, which is the relevant position with regard to offsetting any advantage a batter is getting.   It is my belief, sadly, that more players (including pitchers) are using.  As such, Bonds should be credited for his record, but that credit should come with an *.  Not because of steroids but because of the advantages of modern medical treatments and the longer seasons (with regard, specifically, to Ruth).

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