Wednesday, November 23, 2011

CNN National Security Debate

I should start off by recognizing that I did not watch the CBS Debate this past Saturday due to being occupied with another task, but heard that the debate did not live up to certain standards. I did, however, catch this debate and it seems like Wolf Blitzer and CNN brought the flow of debating back on the right track. This being after the mishandling of the CNBC Debate. I believe that CNN and moderators like Wolf Blitzer and Anderson Cooper tend to do the best job moderating, even moderators like Brian Williams on MSNBC tend to be as unbiased as possible.

The debate was held in Washington D.C. and featured the eight top tier candidates. In standing order, these candidates were Rick Santorum, Ron Paul, Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann, and Jon Huntsman. The key topic had to do with national security, which included everything from illegal immigration to thoughts on the TSA and the Patriot Act to affairs with countries such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Syria, and our alliance with Israel.

As always, I will grade the candidates as to how well they did with their performance in the debate...

Rick Santorum- Santorum did not have as much to contribute in this debate, as he has had enough time to contribute in other previous debates. More than his percentage usually allows him to. As usual, he pointed out that his relatives immigrated to this country from Italy in the proper way and that we are not fighting a war on terror, but instead, on radical Islam. Not fighting a war on terror meant that he agreed with Ron Paul on something, as Ron Paul tends to disagree with just about all of the Republican candidates with regards to foreign affairs. However, this only goes as far as the title and not the belief. Coming out of this debate, Santorum did not really affect his place in the race, but didn't support it so much either. B

Ron Paul- Ron Paul was most definitely able to shine in this debate. Paul is known for being the most aggressive Republican candidate on the field when it comes to being vocal against our presence in the Middle East. In the CBS debate, he had just ninety seconds of speaking time. In this debate, he had ninety seconds within the first part of the debate. Given that he disagreed with Newt Gingrich in regards to the Patriot Act, saying that it is "unpatriotic." Him and Gingrich fought over Timothy McVeigh, and how we need to handle these kinds of problems. Paul also stated that terrorism is not a person, but a tactic, which means we cannot rid ourselves of terrorism like it's a person. He also reminded us that the Taliban murders occurred on their land, not ours. Paul had himself a really strong night and showed that he means business, especially when it comes to foreign policy. He stands his ground, no matter who the candidate is that's trying to push him off that ground. A

Rick Perry- Perry had a huge flub in the CNBC debate when he was unable to remember certain points. Since then, his support has slipped. However, his seemed to have recovered from his previous performance. Given his position as Governor of Texas, he was able to be hands on with his approach to handling illegal immigration. Other than that, he is no longer being treated as a front-runner like he was back in September. There isn't much of a foil between him and Romney any longer. Then again, Romney isn't having much of a foil any longer. Perry's performance somewhat improved, especially with his final statement about China, but it doesn't mean his campaign will impact. B-

Mitt Romney- Romney has consistently polled within the 20% range and is deemed as being the most electable in this field of candidates. However, several people want to find an alternate and are having a hard time doing so. Romney has been firm on his support for the Patriot Act, his thoughts about foreign policy, and his thoughts on the other fields of National Security. His key moment was when him and Huntsman got into an argument that stalled anyone else's chances at getting in to the debate. He's sitting pretty at the front of the pack and acting like he's ready to take the nomination and the one-on-one against Barack Obama. All he needs to do now is win in the primaries. His debate performance didn't express much difference. B

Herman Cain- Cain didn't have a lot to contribute tonight, as national security is not Cain's strong-suit. Cain is a businessman and has a lot to contribute when the topic of interest is business. That doesn't happen to be the case when the topic of interest is national security. He did give his three levels of action in regards to illegal immigration and he has stated that he would refer to those who know more about foreign affairs when it comes to handling foreign affairs. This shows a side of honesty on Cain's end. This was not a night for Cain to shine and stir waves among the candidates. Cain's numbers have been slipping after being boosted just recently, being the third person to share a boost factor with Romney that Bachmann and Perry once had, and is now being held by Gingrich. B

Newt Gingrich- Gingrich and his performance in the debate held much of an impact. He is now being treated as a front-runner for this portion of the race. He kicked off the debate by expressing support for the Patriot Act and stopping acts of terror before they even happen. This happened to cause him to get into a foil with Ron Paul and how Timothy McVeigh caused havoc to several people. Gingrich was caught under fire on many occasions, especially with his ultra aggression on the topic of illegal immigration. Gingrich is an aggressive candidate and will most definitely be a president that stands firm ground. It wasn't necessarily a night for him to really stick it to those who needed it stuck to, but that was because the moderating was actually good in this debate, so that offsets things on that end. While Gingrich could have been considered controversial, he spoke his mind and was brutally honest. It could have made some difference, but this is a debate and a debate is where you speak your views and answer what's asked. B+

Michele Bachmann- Bachmann is not a heavy contributor on foreign policy, but did provide foil to Gingrich and his views on national security, mainly when he went off on his thoughts about illegal immigration. Bachmann's debate performance didn't provide any difference as to how her campaign is going to turn out as the debate ends. Ultimately, it's going to be do well in Iowa (with a top four finish) or withdraw from the race. That will likely be her mantra. Otherwise, her and the rest of the candidates will be sticking around for Iowa and New Hampshire at the very least. B

Jon Huntsman- This was a night that Huntsman had the opportunity to shine and he savored the opportunity perfectly. Huntsman was the U.S. Ambassador of China from 2009-2011 and resigned from his position to instead run for president. He expressed how China is a threat to our country and how we need to stop taking care of things over in certain countries when the country we really need to be taking care of is ourselves. He also expressed how we need to withdraw 85-90% of the troops in Afghanistan, only leaving a few to make sure things remain in line. Huntsman got back on track in this debate and showed his area of expertise when it comes to foreign policy and issues of that caliber. Having lived in Asia, he does have hands on experience. He brought a lot to the table and foiled with Romney on these views in what was a good debate performance. A

This debate came down to who knew the most about national security and who was able to contribute the most ideas in that category. Paul and Huntsman had really strong performances, as Gingrich also did a good job standing his ground. The other candidates simply did a fine job, but nothing spectacular.

This debate was indeed a fine debate with good moderation and direct answers as to how things should and would be handled. The next debates will be held in Iowa, as the candidates prepare for the Iowa Caucuses. This should really deliver some from of impact to candidates like Bachmann, Cain, Perry, and Santorum. While Cain and Perry may be able to remain until South Carolina, Iowa will be the decider for Bachmann and Santorum (mainly Bachmann, as Santorum will likely receive under 5% in each state) and decide their worth in the race. We'll just have to see how things pan out as the primaries heat up.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Let's Be Brutally Honest: Can I Have A Thanksgiving Menu With More Pizzazz?

I know a handful of people that could say that Thanksgiving is their favorite holiday. I'm more of a Christmas person, but Thanksgiving has its strengths. Thanksgiving is a time to spend with family, be thankful for what you have, watch football, and ring in the holiday season. You heard it right: in my mind, Black Friday is when the holiday season begins. However, let's be brutally honest about Thanksgiving. The menu doesn't happen to be a favorite of mine. I'm just putting it out there and many of you will be likely to disagree. However, I'm pretty sure that there is a way to dissect as to why Thanksgiving food is fairly overrated.

First off, Thanksgiving began as a feast between the New Americans (Pilgrims) and the Native Americans (Indians). Their menu was a bit different from what we eat in this day and age, but it's roughly similar. The main entree on Thanksgiving is of course... turkey. On many occasions, turkey happens to be such a dry meat. It's just very hard to make turkey a meat in which you could bring flavor to as is. I used to like turkey sandwiches and turkey subs, but they were good with oil and vinegar or other accompaniments. For the record, I eat Italian subs or hot subs these days, but that's a whole different story. Since turkey is so dry, that's where the popular sides come in and play a role.

Thanksgiving sides are probably more notable than any other... with the exception of famous restaurant appetizers, and I would likely go for a basket of Olive Garden breadsticks before I'd go for food on the Thanksgiving menu. Stuffing is a good side if it's made right. If it's homemade, then you're alright. If it's Stove Top or anything in a box, then you can take your stuffing in a box and give it to the dog to eat, as he'll likely believe that it's just the right topping for his dog food. Then you have gravy, which is used to give the turkey some moisture and taste. That too can taste good if it's made right. Then there's cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes (which would be appropriate with just about any meaty dish), and a few more guests. For dessert, the star is pumpkin pie. I'm not a pumpkin pie person, but that's just me. I'm not a pie person, except for a pizza pie person. 

So I guess Thanksgiving food isn't too bad, but maybe it's just about the right idea to pardon Mr. Turkey for a year and try something new. On many occasions, families have used ham instead. No matter what the menu is, Thanksgiving shouldn't be about what kind of food is on the table. Thanksgiving should be about spending time with your family and thinking about the things you are thankful for, in many cases that happens to be your family. I would be more than pleased if we served lasagna on Thanksgiving, which would surely give the holiday some pizzazz, but then again, I like Italian food on any day. 

It may sound rebellious to stray away from the traditional Thanksgiving food, but as long as you follow the ethics as to how the holiday should be followed, that's all that really matters. If you like the tradition food, have a good time eating the traditional food. If not, the menu shall be yours!

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Great Debate

Since beginning my adventures on Blogger, I have been able to write about a variety of things with less limits and my very own frequency. I have been able to come up with a variety of segments that have allowed me to organized my thoughts in such clever segments. Now, I will be introducing a new segments that will allow me to put my opinions to a test of more opinions than just my own. This new segment will allow me to debate and collaborate with my writer friends in topics of which we hold common interest. It will allow me to fight my opinion against other writers who either manage columns, blogs, or other forms of writing hobbies of their own.

This segment will be called The Great Debate, and it is named such, because the segment will be a heated debate of what will most definitely be a great debate indeed. The way this segment will work is that this writer friend and I will conduct our debate in a discussion format on another platform, such as our Facebook inbox. We will compromise on a topic that fits both of our interests and also allows both of us to contribute an equal amount to the writing. After this, we will arrange what we're going to write, and then hold the debate. Some of these could be in a collaboration format, where we simply submit a paragraph after a certain topic. However, most of these are going to be in a discussion format, and it will look like we were actually getting together and having the discussion in person, only we were having it in our inbox.

The topics in which we will be debating could range from just about anything. Whether it be a common topic, a top *insert a number and topic,* a debate on a specific product (book, movie, etc.), one of my previous posts or a point that may be up for debate, or anything else that might be debate-worthy and holds common ground for the both of us. With the right debaters, this could get really exciting. First, you had Questions For Caponomics, now there's the next big thing that allows me as a blogger to connect with my readers, which is The Great Debate.

I engaged in one collaboration during my April 2010 submission of my high school newsletter with a friend of mine, discussing our favorite Mario game. That submission was a collaboration in which we submitted a paragraph. With this, it will be the complete discussion in an arranged format. I will organize our discussion, but will NOT edit any opinions or thoughts. I will take care of spelling and grammar, though.

I look forward to beginning this segment and opening up the newest opportunity that I have in store. I'm sure that I will most definitely have myself a good time.

My first segment of The Great Debate will be with Kevin B., who writes for Kevin's Heaven and co-writes for Road Of The Month. The two of us will be comparing our "Top 10 Songs By The Eagles." This means during my spare time, I will be playing music by The Eagles and catching up on all of their several hits. I know a good amount of their songs I already like and definitely have my top three intact.

Let the games begin for The Great Debate!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Roger Craig Wins The Jeopardy! Tournament Of Champions Of 2011

I knew for sure that the 2011 Jeopardy! Tournament Of Champions was going to be competitive. This season had an excellent cast of champions, making for an excellent tournament. The finalists included thirteen of the top winners within the last season or two, along with the winners of the college and teacher tournaments. However, it was Roger Craig who ultimately came on top and won the entire tournament.

Craig, a computer scientist from Newark, Delaware, was dominant in his first games. He won each of his games so far ahead, that it didn't matter how much he wagered in the final round. He wagered such a high amount in the quarterfinals that even though his answer was incorrect, he still won the game. As for the others, Tom Nissley (a writer from Seattle), Buddy Wright (an engineer from Fort Worth), Joon Pahk (the Physics teacher from Massachusetts), Justin Sausville (a urologist from Maryland), Jay Rhee, Kara Spak, Marc Runsvold, and Erin Mathis (the college champ) were good enough to reach the semifinals and collect the $10,000 prize for making it (the quarterfinalists eliminated in round one took in $5,000 each).

The quarterfinals, with a few exceptions, were very one-sided matches. The champions really dominated and there were a handful of powerful wildcards. However, Kara Spak made it to the semifinals as a wildcard who made just a bit over $6,000 in her match. In that case, it went to show you the depth of the matches. The semifinal matches showed why Craig and Nissley were the most dominant players of the season and how Wright is an underestimated contender who plays to win.

Roger Craig, Tom Nissley, and Buddy Wright were the champions in what was a two-match championship. By the end of game one, they might as well have given it to Roger Craig. He made $50,000 in his first match, next to Nissley's $18,800 and Wright's $6,000. Craig's domination came with thanks to the fact he got two daily doubles in a row and decided to make it a true daily double both times. In order for anyone to take this lead from him on the second day, they would have to have had a dominant performance as Craig did. Ultimately, Craig could not be caught.

For winning the tournament, Roger Craig won $250,000. Tom Nissley won $100,000 for taking second place and Buddy Wright won $50,000 for taking third.

Roger Craig could indeed be called a genius. On his first run, he won $230,200 in six days. In one of the days, he broke the record for most money won on an episode with a total of $77,000. He mentioned that he studied which categories come up most often on the show, whether it be about Shakespeare or the U.S. Presidents. Being a computer person, he really stands his ground in knowing a lot of information. Talk about going up against Watson, he would be a prime candidate to accomplish such a task. New Jersey Representative Rush Holt (a five-time champion on the original series) is the only person to defeat Watson. Craig should have a chance to do the same. This may be the end of this season's Tournament Of Champions, but it shouldn't be the end of Craig's time playing Jeopardy! He has $480,200 in game show winnings to his name. It would be really interesting to see if he gets a chance to expand those winnings.

Prematurity Awareness Day

I just realized that there was a Zumba fundraiser in which you would pay $5 to Zumba for the night. I never engaged in a Zumba night before, nor have I had any though to do so. Then I realized that the money was going to the March Of Dimes. Okay, now I should really go to this event. You pay money to dance for the night and the money goes to an excellent cause. I can be such a hardie for certain causes that really don't make much of a difference, but I can also be a real softie for specific causes. The March Of Dimes is an organization with a mission to do their part in ending premature birth and spread awareness to such a cause. It turns out that November is Prematurity Awareness Month and tomorrow is Prematurity Awareness Day. No wonder why there was such an event going on.

Doing what we can to decrease premature birth has been such a strong cause in my mind. I know people who have been born prematurely and I know people who have had premature children. In the majority of cases, those born prematurely have been born undeveloped, most particularly in the lungs. Due to undeveloped lungs, premature babies are often placed on ventilators for a period of time. This time period generally lasts until the time they should have been born. Research show that premature birth is realistically most common among minority groups, the lower class, and among multiple births. This means that those giving birth to twins, triplets, and other multiple births are more common to produce premature babies.

There are other practices that should be avoided when you are pregnant. Smoking, drinking, and drugs are huge no's when you're pregnant. Multiple sources have mentioned that they have contributed to premature birth. Stress has been another factor, so handling your stress and attending therapy if you need to should really be a factor. The Mayo Clinic has even mentioned that keeping your teeth clean is important when you are pregnant. They mention that gum disease has proven to be a factor when it comes to preterm deliveries. Then, you also have to maintain a healthy diet. While you will have to eat much more, that doesn't mean wolfing down four bag of potato chips and then finishing that off with a complete serving of nachos and salsa everyday. We would all love to do this and the baby would probably develop a passionate appetite, but eating healthy would be your best bet for producing a healthy baby.

Tomorrow is Prematurity Awareness Day? What are you going to do? You can find a way to donate to the March Of Dimes or simply learn more about preterm birth. For the women who are reading, this may be valuable information. Of course, sometimes it cannot be controlled, but the only thing that you can do is change the things you can and accept the things you can't. Through learning, the chances of giving birth prematurely will decrease in some kind of way. Not completely, but to some extent. With the progress that we have already made, many babies that are born prematurely grow up to become healthy adults who live a regular life.

Such a cause should be supported everyday, not just one day. However, single days such as tomorrow help us produce such a thought and remind us about such a cause. This cause is one of those important causes. So what are you going to do?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Which Coaches Should Be Fired And Hired In The NFL

This is a little bit past the half way point of the NFL, which means we have somewhat of an idea as to what direction each team is going to go. The Green Bay Packers are 9-0 and the Indianapolis Colts are 0-10 (surprise, surprise), as the San Francisco 49ers have shown that they are the team of the 80's and 90's that just happened to take a decade's long break. Ultimately, a successful team needs a quarterback in which they can build a foundation and a head coach to ultimately help them head in that right direction. When people don't do their job right, they need to be replaced. Being a head coach in the NFL is no different.

I am going to name the NFL coach that will or at least should be fired, even just an examination about the possibility of being fired. Whether it happens or not, that will be up to the league to decide.

Tony Sparano (Miami Dolphins)- The Dolphins are on a two-game winning streak as I write this post, but I still believe that it will not be enough. They are most definitely not making it to the playoffs and if they're lucky, they may go 5-11, but that's about it. Sparano had time to prove his worth during the 2009 and 2010 season, despite the fact that Bill Parcells, who was making executive decisions, decided to leave the team midway through the 2010 season and before they could even head into the right direction that looked like a possibility in 2008. They need a quarterback to build a foundation around and a new head coach.

Jack Del Rio (Jacksonville Jaguars)- He should have been fired several seasons ago. Del Rio was hired in 2003 and is in his ninth season with the team. During his time with the team, he had just two playoff appearances and no division wins (it's hard being in a division with the Colts, but still) in 2005 and 2007. He postseason record as a coach is 1-2. The Jaguars have made several executive mistakes and may be the poorest run team in the league. They should have been the team to draft Tim Tebow and they have several games with a lacking attendance. Firing Del Rio would help them head in the right direction, but hiring the right head coach is going to be the task ahead.

Jim Caldwell (Indianapolis Colts)- The Colts are NOTHING without Peyton Manning. There, I said it! Jim Caldwell was not necessarily placed in the coaching position to lead the team, but at least he should have some kind of ability to coach. Losing Peyton Manning is an event in which the head coach has to take the lead and do everything he can to pick the right person to fill in for Manning and make it so they can continue to win games. When Tom Brady's season ended with an injury in 2008, the Patriots replaced him with Matt Cassel and went 11-5. They missed the playoffs in a year that was incredibly competitive in the AFC (the south and north in particular). The job the Colts are doing is inexcusable for the fans and the team needs to realize that Peyton Manning will not be around forever. Maybe it's time to build the next generation with a "do something" coach.

Gary Kubiak (Houston Texans)- *but only if he misses the playoffs* Gary Kubiak is in his sixth season with the Texans and has failed to reach the playoffs. They would be the #1 seed in the playoffs if the season ended today, but Matt Schaub suffered a season-ending injury that will force Matt Leinart to take the role of quarterback. There really shouldn't be anything to worry about, because the AFC South is the Texans division to lose. Only the Titans have any chance of contending for the division if the Texans slip. I don't see it happening, though.

Norv Turner (San Diego Chargers)- The Chargers were doing just fine with Marty Schottenheimer, but due to management issues, he was fired and replaced with Norv Turner. He has lead the team to three playoff seasons with a 3-3 postseason record, including a trip to the AFC Championship in 2007. On the flip side, there were many mistakes that were made this season and the AFC West has become anybody's division. If it isn't the Chargers, Turner's days may be numbered.

Mike Shanahan (Washington Redskins)- If Shanahan isn't on the hot seat, under Snyder's circumstances, he should be. Snyder brought Shanahan in to rebuild a struggling team. Unfortunately, it hasn't happened and there hasn't been any direction in which it could happen. Snyder made Jim Zorn look like a disaster, when he delivered decent results in the 2008 season, starting out well, but going into an 8-8 slump. It was in the 2009 season when his lame duck status throughout cost him his job. Shanahan's taking this experience for granted, and is causing more friction than anything. Having Rex Grossman and John Beck as your quarterbacks is not doing you any good, thus the best thing the Skins could do is draft a quarterback and build the team around him. It doesn't look like you're going to find your Elway gold with what you have!

Andy Reid (Philadelphia Eagles)- Reid has been fairly fortunate to have a team that has been able to come together and make a run into the playoffs year after year, only missing the playoffs in 1999, 2005, and 2007 during Reid's tenure. Ultimately, it isn't Reid that's contributing to the team, but instead it's Marty Mornhinweg, his offensive coordinator. Picking Juan Castillo, who has never coached defense, as his defensive coordinator, is laughable. He's unpopular with the fans and just making the playoffs has saved him. It will take a few seasons of crumbling, though, to watch him get fired.

Tom Coughlin (New York Giants)- *but only if he misses the playoffs* The Giants are currently winning the division, but have a hard stretch up ahead. The Giants have a problem with the long stretch and falling into a slump. The last three seasons are prime examples, the last two of which ended in missing the playoffs. The Giants need the motivation that they had in 2007, when they went on to win the Super Bowl. Otherwise, but Coughlin and offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride will be on the hot seat. If they reach the playoffs, Coughlin will have a chance are retaining his job. If not, questions will need to be answered.

Steve Spagnoulo (St. Louis Rams)- Spagnoulo is in his third season with the Rams, which have unfortunately been three lacking seasons. They were 1-15 in 2009, 7-9 and short of the playoffs in an incredibly weak NFC West, and this season could very well have a weak record. Spagnoulo has unfortunately not delivered and the Rams may be better off looking for someone else.

Ken Whisenhunt (Arizona Cardinals)- The Cardinals are returning to regular form, but Whisenhunt and his status with the team will depend on whether or not he could come out with a decent record. If he could do this and John Skelton could demonstrate potential, then he might very well be saved.

Now that the coaches who are on the hot seat have been named, here are the potential replacements that could very well be the best nominees for head coach.

Rob Ryan (Dallas Cowboys DC)- The defensive coordinator is outspoken like his brother, Rex, and sometimes he hasn't been able to put his money where his mouth is. However, he is just the right coaching material, coming from a family that includes his brother Rex and his father Buddy. His brother has also been able to turn the New York Jets into an interesting team that's a powerful force against Bill Belichick and the Patriots. Ryan will most definitely have a coaching job during this decade, but putting him on a team like the Dolphins would be incredible, making the AFC East the most exciting division in the league. Even the Colts would be able to benefit with a defensive mind like Ryan's. John Harbaugh has been successful with the Baltimore Ravens, and his brother, Jim, is currently having equal success with the 49ers. Ryan should see some similar brotherly success.

Mike Zimmer (Cincinnati Bengals DC)- The Bengals are a dark horse team this season. I thought they would go 1-15, due to the gaps that made up the team. However, Andy Dalton is an underrated rookie quarterback and the defense is mighty. Zimmer is the mastermind behind this defense and this should be the time that teams look for him to take over the head coaching reigns. While the Jaguars will likely stick to someone currently on their staff, they should look at a strong coordinator like Zimmer. He will most definitely be a contributor to success.

Perry Fewell (New York Giants DC)- I'm positive that Fewell will most definitely receive several head coaching interviews. You have the "Rooney Rule," in which teams must interview minorities. However, Fewell is an extremely talented coordinator who put the Giants back on the right track after Bill Sheridan couldn't fill Steve Spagnoulo's empty space when it took the Rams coaching job. The Giants have produced several head coaches who were defensive coordinators for the team. You had Tom Landry, Bill Parcells, Bill Belichick among many others that can support such a statement. Fewell will surely have himself a new run that was not like his interim with the Bills.

Winston Moss (Green Bay Packers LBC)- He would be the second option for the Rooney Rule and would be a good option. While the Packers aren't doing incredibly strong on defense, they are still winning games and the defense is still expressing their presence. The Packers Super Bowl run last season has a lot to do with their defense, and AJ Hawk and Clay Matthews are forces to be reckoned with. Moss will be the guy who comes out of the woodwork and maybe strike big in the league.

Dom Capers (Green Bay Packers DC)- Speaking of the Packers, Dom Capers is the man behind the defense. If the Packers have themselves a strong run deep into the playoffs, there will be many candidates from the team, unless teams make quick decisions. Capers was the first coach of the Carolina Panthers and the Houston Texans. In his second season with the Panthers, he led them to the NFC Championship. While his time with the Texans ended on a sour note, he deserves another chance at simply rebuilding a team. He is definitely the one to perform the job of rebuilding a team.

Gregg Williams (New Orleans Saints DC)- Williams coached the Buffalo Bills from 2001-2003, but has proven that he is a defensive coordinator to be reckoned with in the league. He proved his worth with the Washington Redskins during Joe Gibbs return to the team and with the Saints, he has created something explosive. There are several coordinators such as Marty Mornhinweg, Rod Marinelli, and Cam Cameron that are better off as coordinators, but Williams could probably do well with another coaching stint if he's granted the opportunity to do so. Though I do feel that Eagles fans would like Mornhinweg as their head coach.

Wade Phillips (Houston Texans DC)- Wade Phillips is one of the top defensive coordinators in the league. He injected life into the Texans struggling defense, just as he did with the San Diego Chargers defense. He's also a decent head coach if you could get over some of the decisions he has made (such as the "Music City Miracle"). He's led the Denver Broncos, Buffalo Bills, and Dallas Cowboys to the playoffs. With the Cowboys, they won their first postseason game in thirteen seasons during his time with the team. If a team needs some rebuilding, they should give Phillips another chance.

Jeff Fischer (Former Tennessee Titans HC)- Fischer is intending to return to the league somehow, unlike Bill Cowher or Jon Gruden, who are having a fine time up in the commentating booth. Even Brian Billick looks content with his commentating job. Jeff Fischer, on the other hand, is more likely to coach on the sidelines again. He has the record to do so. Despite not winning a postseason game since 2003, he did lead the Titans to their first Super Bowl (even though he did lose). The team that picks him up, we'll have to see.

Tom Cable (Seattle Seahawks OLC)- While his run with the Raiders was cut short, he was coaching the Raiders. You don't get much of a chance if Al Davis is your boss. Cable led the Raiders into the right direction with an 8-8 season. While he fell short in the playoffs, he was bringing the team somewhere, somewhere they haven't been since 2002. Hue Jackson will likely get the credit, as he was brought in to reform the team.

Marty Schottenheimer (Former San Diego Chargers HC)- If anybody deserves one more chance, it's Marty Schottenheimer. While it'll be tough for him to claim it if he even wants a position, the way things ended with the Chargers were rough. Another thing going against him is his age, as he'll be sixty-nine next season. George Halas and Marv Levy were the oldest coaches to coach a game, and they were seventy-two. However, he could very easily inject some life into a struggling team.

In the event that they are let go, there's a good chance that Norv Turner, Andy Reid, and Tom Coughlin could get head coaching positions (at the very least coordinator positions) elsewhere. Granted, Turner is the only one with a strong chance of being let go. Even if he is let go, he'll be a head coach or offensive coordinator next season.

There are surely other coaching nominees, but they are generally coaches that are the hottest coordinators on the hottest teams. The carousel at the end of the season should remain interesting, and the coaches that are chosen will surely be chosen wisely... or at least should be chosen really wisely.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Check This Blog: Rant And Rave

If only all of us could get paid to express our opinion. Just a few select people have such a fine opportunity. For now, people who want to express their opinion and become recognized for doing it can start off by blogging. That's what pushed me to start blogging. I'll probably have a better chance at becoming financially successful writing fiction and my column will get recognition via a blog and then see what opportunities arise from there. Even writing fiction and getting it published is a path, but it's not impossible unless you say it is.

Okay, back to my first point. Being recognized from expressing your opinion. In essence, having the opportunity to rant, rave, complain, what ever you want to call it, and have others read about it. Back in high school, a good friend of mine ranted about various topics. Even I've pointed my finger at certain topics of interest. It's the essence of "Let's Be Brutally Honest" and I'll fit it in some of my other works. "Rant And Rave" brought out the flow as to why we love our freedom to express our opinion. It's a clever blog that will bring out the essence of our everyday complaints. Only in this case, the perspective is a completely different one if you know the person behind the ranting.

At the moment I write this post, there have been four blog posts that were excellent, easy reads. The topics of interest included rainy days (and driving out in the rain), Walmart, old people in the supermarket, and holiday shopping. The holiday shopping topic, which will become a relevant topic of interest very soon, was incredibly entertaining for being a current event. There are also suggestions that express alternate and more intelligent actions, thus this blog does not allow for any excuses.

I enjoy this blog. It's as much of an addictive pleasure as eating a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos. One of the best things about this blog is that it's the complete opposite of reading a manual-like submission from someone who sounds like a drone. I feel as if I'm hanging out with someone and we're ranting about random things that just irritate us. Sometimes we get to the point of hanging out where we run out of something normal to talk about, so we just start ranting about a subject. If the person happens to agree with your rant, you have yourselves a conversation. There are so many random topics of interest that could be sprung by this blog, that it's a sure conversation starter.

I will most definitely continue checking this blog, as it's surely addictive. I'm sure you will do the same once you check it out.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The 100th Post

The 100th of anything always comes off as being a special landmark event. There are several celebrations on a 100th anniversary of something, whether it be the 100th anniversary of a company or product, the 100th episode in a series, the 100th of... just about anything. Though I have yet to see a 100th anniversary for a married couple, but that would likely require two people to live past the age of 110. As for Caponomics, this is the 100th post on my blog and it calls for a celebration. I don't have confetti on hand, but feel free to buy some of your own if you would like to celebrate. I had always wondered how long it would take me to submit one hundred posts on my blog. The answer... is eight months. I will likely celebrate many more anniversary, such as the one year anniversary on March 9th or the 500th post, the 1000th post, and so on and so forth. The best way to celebrate is to look back at what was accomplished during the start of such a great experience.

My blogging experience began when I was advised by my high school newsletter editor, Mr. Clark, to start a blog back in March. I created it, started submitting posts, and have been blogging ever since. Caponomics in general goes further back, beginning as a tournament show on my high school television channel back in January 2008. That was when I only wrote about the school tournaments and other events around the school. However, after a key member left the club, I decided I would expand my horizons and write about what ever was on my mind. I originally thought about "Noun Of The Month," but was encouraged to call my last page (aside from the back with the photo poll and word search) editorial section "Caponomics." It was a fine transaction, as my time reporting tournaments on high school television didn't last so long. I continued to write about them for the newsletter until graduating. My first Caponomics was about my distaste for Value City Department Store and how I felt it was a filthy and disorganized place to go to. I found it interesting that it closed just a few months later. Back then, I wrote about similar topics to what I wrote about today, only now, there are many more topics and many more ways to sort these topics.

On this blog, I have had a good time evaluating the previous American Idol season week by week and evaluating each Republican primary debate and each of the debaters. I have also enjoyed writing creative segments such as "Excellent Reads," "Top-Notch Television," "Fantastic Films," "Big Cheeses," "Let's Be Brutally Honest," "Check This Blog," "Thoughts & Points," "My Prediction," "Question & Answer Session," and everything else in between.

According to my stats page, I have had close to four thousand pageviews, which is a big number for a blog that's only on the rise. I have nine followers, though surely more readers. One of my posts, the one about Ebert Presents At The Movies, got several views in just a short period of time. I have heard that this show may be on its way to ending if negotiations don't work out, which is unfortunate, since it is indeed "top-notch television." 

I will most definitely look forward to my many more submissions that are to come within the upcoming time. If anybody wants to suggest ideas or anything they would like to see me write about, feel free to contact me. If anybody has any questions to submit for my question and answer segments, they're also accepted at any time and will be answered as soon as possible on my blog. Feel free to submit any feedback, as it is most definitely helpful. If you also want to share favorite posts thus far or favorite Caponomics memories or segments, feel free to share them as well.

I hope all of you who are reading have enjoyed Caponomics thus far and I promise that I will do everything I'm able to make this an enjoyable, entertaining, informative, and second opinion worthy blog that feeds you just the right second opinion. Thank you.

Excellent Reads: Candice Millard's "Destiny Of The Republic"

I'm an enthusiast for any kind of information pertaining to the U.S. Presidents. I've been this way since I was seven and was introduced through a poster on my refrigerator and a scrapbook of their information. I know as much information as I can about the presidents and if I become stumped with a piece of presidential information once, chances are I will never be stumped again.

A category that is major when it comes to presidential information is about those who were assassinated and ultimately died while in office. When you come to look at it, there were more presidents that had assassination attempted on them, assassination attempts that left them wounded, and assassinations that ultimately assassinated the president. Those under the latter category included Abraham Lincoln, James A. Garfield, William McKinley, and John F. Kennedy. The Lincoln and Kennedy assassinations are by far discussed more than any of the assassinations. Both of them were more famous as being presidents and both were pretty much done after they were shot. Lincoln died the day after he was shot and Kennedy was dead within forty minutes. McKinley survived eight days, and could have possibly survived if the lighting in his surgery room was better. However, Candice Millard, who wrote The River Of Doubt about Theodore Roosevelt, decided to explore the much overlooked death of Garfield. Unlike many of the other assassinated presidents, Garfield could have very well survived if circumstances were better and even so, survived two months after being shot. Destiny Of The Republic: A Tale Of Madness, Medicine, And The Murder Of A President, shows that our 20th President Of The United States as being more than just the man who was assassinated soon after assuming office, but a man on a mission to carry out civil service and promote fairness within the government.

James Garfield was born into a poor family and was the last president to be born in a log cabin. His father was dead by the time he was two and he grew up with his mother and siblings. Millard provides just enough information about how he grew up and ultimately went to college to become a professor. Garfield began serving in government, but was soon serving for the Union army during the Civil War. After the war, he joined Congress. To this day, Garfield is the only President to hold the position of Representative while being elected to office. In 1880, civil service reform was the key issue. Rutherford B. Hayes, the 19th President, was considered a Half-Breed who supported civil service reform, which meant electing people to positions based on merit. He fought against Roscoe Conkling, and the Stalwarts, who supported Ulysses S. Grant and his spoils system, which elected people on personal ties. Hayes, who wasn't thrilled about being president in the first place, had a term plagued by Conkling and his havoc.

At this point, the Republican party was split into the Stalwarts and Half-Breeds. The Democrats were simply the people who dodged being a part of the Civil War by escaping to Canada. There wouldn't be another Democratic president winning the election until 1884 anyway, when Grover Cleveland won. As for the Republican Convention in Chicago during the 1880 election, mean such as Grant, James G. Blaine, and Treasury Secretary John Sherman were possible nominees for the presidency. Garfield had no intentions of running nor any intentions of being nominated. He was just going to give a speech for Sherman. However, support for him began to rise and rise high enough so that Garfield was the Republican nominee. Much to his dismay, he would go on to win the election and assume the office of President Of The United States.

Throughout the book, Charles Guiteau, who was eventually the assassin, was followed. He was an insane man who supported the Stalwart message and felt that God was sending him on a mission to spread the word of such an idea. When constantly barging in to the White House didn't work, then he felt God was sending him a message to assassinate the president. Guiteau was rightfully portrayed as being insane and just a man who was one card short of a full deck and should belong out of the public eye and in the asylum. We learn a good amount about his back story and how he came up.

On July 2, 1881, Garfield was shot twice at a train station by Guiteau. One of the bullets went into his back and lodged itself deep in. However, he was far from being a dead man walking. He had a chance of living if the medical team handled the situation properly. Unfortunately, they did not. Dr. Doctor Willard Bliss, who led the procedure, engaged in some negative practices. They did not have clean hands or tools, which very often led to procedures that ultimately failed. Doctors stuck their hands that were not sanitized into Garfield's wound and only stuck to one side when operating. Even Alexander Graham Bell, who invented the telephone, tried to detect the bullet with an invention of his. Garfield would live two months before succumbing to practices gone wrong.

Destiny Of The Republic gives you just the information that you need and does it incredibly well. Reading this book, you not only begin to learn more about Garfield's assassination, but you also begin to learn about Garfield himself. You kind of learn about who Garfield was as a person and how he would likely want to be remembered as oppose to being "The President Who Got Shot A Few Months Into His Term." Garfield was outgoing, loved his family, treated those he was talking to as it they were great friends of his, and an avid croquet player. Speaking of his family, the relationship between he and his wife, Lucretia, was discussed to a tee. Unlike him, she was extremely quiet and reserved. The two of them did not have much of a chemistry when they first met. Garfield at one point went with another woman, but realized that she was the woman for him. She forgave him, as long as he wouldn't have any more affairs. He also was a compassionate father who enjoyed time with his children. If it were up to him, he would be spending time with them while working as a Representative in Mentor, Ohio.

It is very shocking to think that while Garfield's assassin engaged in such a wrong deed, the doctors may have been the ones that ultimately caused his death. Given that had Garfield (or any president in exactly the same position) been shot in the same exact way, they would be out of the hospital quickly. Joseph Lister began performing sanitized surgeries in Britain, but they continued to be ignored for butcher-esque practices. These thoughts can really get you to think and think hard.

Millard also does a fine job on explaining the personalities of the many figures. Whether it be Guiteau and his insanity, Conkling and his self-indulgence and ignorance, Bliss and his narrow-mindedness, Chester Arthur and his inexperience (and how he suddenly changes his stance, signing the Pendleton Acts to bring forth civil reform), Lucretia Garfield and her reserved personality, or Garfield and his jolly, outgoing, and optimistic disposition. The story sticks to telling you what exactly happened while being an animated lesson at the same time. You didn't question whether something was real or not, but at the same time, it wasn't like it was monotone or textbook-like.

Definitely check this out. It will be a history lesson and a fine read all put into one.

An interesting fact about Garfield that I don't remember reading in this book was that he was our first left-handed president. At the same time, he had the talent to write in Greek with one hand and Latin with the other.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Thoughts And Points For 11/11/11

"Thoughts And Points," like last month, was a way for me to briefly go over current events and currents things that were on my mind during this time. They are morsels of potential post ideas all brought together into one. What better time to do it than on 11/11/11, a day that will not occur for another long while. A lot is going on, so here we go...

Joe Paterno's Legacy Is Shattered

Joe Paterno, the head coach of Penn State since 1966, has been fired from his position due to his part in a sexual abuse scandal. The scandal involved his long time former defensive coordinator, Jerry Sandusky, and how he sexually abused eight boys some years ago. Paterno was informed about this, but did not report it to the police, as the law requires him to do. When this event leaked out, Paterno was caught and ultimately fired by the college and rightfully so.

Paterno was on his way to producing the most memorable legacy of any college football coach, if not, any football coach (except for maybe UCLA's John Wooden or Green Bay Packers legend Vince Lombardi). However, this scandal just about destroyed it. Paterno would have likely remained with the team until either his death or when he could no longer physically coach the team. That's not going to be the case. He's out of Penn State and any or all of the key figures involved in the scandal will be facing imprisonment.

Those who hold Penn State pride may still show support, but no pedophile (first hand or second hand) deserves support. Paterno will no longer be remembered for what he did with Penn State, but instead what he didn't do when there were children in need.

Piers Morgan Is Leaving America's Got Talent

Piers Morgan realized that doing his CNN talk show, Piers Morgan Tonight, plus America's Got Talent was just too much to handle. He will continue his CNN show and leave the talent competition. He left Britain's Got Talent last season in order to concentrate more on his American shows, but for him, one show is enough.

As for his replacement, it ought to be a good one. With Sharon Osbourne and Howie Mandel on the panel, the replacement will have to be someone who is brutally honest and a voice of reason on the show. Ever since Mandel joined the show, him and Morgan would often argue over acts, as to who was good and who was not. Mandel would allow joke acts to advance, just to get on Morgan's case. Osbourne would often side with Mandel, thus allowing some acts that were not "live show worthy" to compete in the live shows. If the replacement isn't good, then the show may end up having a very weak judging table.

Simon Cowell could be a possible nominee for Morgan's position if he has the time. It was his American Idol contract that stopped him from judging in the first place. Now that he's no longer with the show, but instead with The X-Factor, that's the only thing that stands in his way. If it's not too much, he should take the open position on America's Got Talent, one of his fine creations. If not, he really needs to pick a judge that can do the job and do it well.

Piers Morgan was the last remaining person from season one on the show. Regis Philbin, the original host, and Brandy, an original judge, both left after season one, as David Hasselhoff left after season four.

Veterans Day

Veterans Day is a holiday to think about those who are serving or have served for our country, and also a time of commendation for those who are thinking of serving. However, Veterans Day is not as "happy" of a holiday as it should be, and many of veterans should feel happier about what they contributed to their country. Unfortunately, circumstances, such as death or returning to financial issues, readjustment, physical or mental injuries, or many other personal issues have brought down these veterans who return from combat. Life is most definitely not the same, and only they know exactly how it feels.

Veterans should most definitely feel good about the bravery, courage, and life that they put in to defending our country, no matter what the reason for being in war is or how they are treated by these authorities after they return home. Thank you to all of the veterans and God bless.

These are three key things that are flowing through my head that pertain to current events. There's a bunch more that I missed, but that's the way in which the mind continues to flow. Have a happy 11/11/11 everyone!

CNBC Michigan Debate

Two days ago, a Republican debate was held in Michigan. This debate was not up to par with the rest of the debates and far from being exciting. The candidates didn't answer the questions as directly as they should have and the moderation was just really poor. Maria Bartiromo had an attitude and Jim Cramer, who contributed questions, did possibly the worst moderating job I have seen. Cramer ought to be banned from moderating. Otherwise, the eight top-tier candidates, Rick Santorum, Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, Herman Cain, Rick Perry, Ron Paul, and Jon Huntsman were the participants. The topic of interest was the topic that most concerns Americans at this point... the economy. As always, I will grade the candidates, but as far as the moderating goes, I may very well give them a big fat F. Anyway...

Rick Santorum- Santorum really didn't get much speaking job, as he's gotten much more than people of his percentage usually tend to get. He really didn't have much of an opportunity to break out for any particular reason or contribute anything that those who were watching would be talking about the next day. He didn't do anything to break his chances, either. While they're saying that candidates may be dropping out at this time in the race, I strongly expect Santorum to stick around at least until Iowa. He has that aggressive personality that will garner him numbers in about the single digits (probably 4 or 5% in Iowa). At that point, he may think about withdrawing. His personality got him to this point in the presidential race, but he broke even at the debate, not contributing any reason to go up or down. B-

Michele Bachmann- Bachmann really seems to be a reasonable contribution to these debates. Her message of needing to repeal Obamacare and Dodd/Frank is becoming just as much of a tagline as when she constantly mentioned that Obama will be a one-term president. These taglines allow her to stick out. Though her personality seems to be turning into a Palin-esque kind of thing in the way that they present themselves, I don't see Bachmann releasing a reality show anytime soon. Many of the debate performances didn't make much of a difference. Perhaps, she could get some of Perry's support. We'll have to see. B

Newt Gingrich- There really wasn't any huge Gingrich moments in which he put the pedal to the metal on his key targets... the people who contributed to the struggling situation. He targeted Ben Bernanke, he targeted the media, and he brought up how he wants to challenge Obama is seven three-hour Lincoln-Douglas style debates with a time keeper, but no moderator. Bartiromo went off on him and stepped out of her "journalist box," but Gingrich seemed to keep cool. Wasn't a huge night for him, but his strong debate performances are allowing him to gain numbers in the polls. Between that and Cain's scandals going on, Gingrich may surprise us come January. B

Mitt Romney- Romney had as good a showing as he could. His answers were direct and he showed that the chances are that he remains in the frontrunner position. Now with Herman Cain's numbers likely to drop, Romney may really gain ground and push ahead of the pack. He gracefully dismissed commenting about any of Cain's personal issues as the audience booed to such a question, as they did more than ever. Goes to show you the differences in networks. Romney presented himself well in a pool of liberal leaning moderation. B+

Herman Cain- Cain has had to deal with several battle scars after five women accused him of sexual harassing them. Whether or not he did it, we do not know. Regardless, it will do some form of hurting to his campaign. As for his debate performance, it wasn't off so much. There was one mention to his taking in the current events, but otherwise his main contributions were his 999 plan. He also happened to have the quote of the night, which was "the other problem with Dodd/Frank is Dodd and Frank," referring to former Senator Chris Dodd and current Representative Barney Frank. The current events may hurt him, but this debate shouldn't hurt him so much. B+

Rick Perry- Perry came in looking like he was going to have a good debate. He finally gave details as to what he plans to do to boost the economy, but then... it all crumbled. He forgot the last department that he wanted to eliminated, having to be assisted by other candidates. That in itself could be the worst move in the debates thus far. In 2000, George W. Bush ran for president as the Texas governor. Twelve years later, Perry is doing the same. Bush came out of the White House with an extremely bad taste in the mouths of Americans, so much that the votes ended up giving the Democrats not only the presidency, but also two-thirds of the Senate AND Congress. Perry came into this race having to be a contrast to Bush, as Americans are very likely looking for something different than four years back. Perry didn't really do much to convince Americans on holding a different stance, and it may very well cost him the nomination. This is where differences are made, and when it comes to making a difference, Perry may have slid down farther than any candidate has slid in this primary. D

Ron Paul- Ron Paul had a fair amount of time to speak, and it really benefited him. He really took advantage of expressing his points, and especially started a wave as to how health care SHOULD work. He's the candidate that most candidates in the race tend to disagree with, but he really started a notion as to how health care should be between the doctor and patient. Not much can rattle Paul's tree, as we've seen in the 2008 Republican primaries. He is projected to have moderate showings, enough to allow him in the January debates, but if his supporters come out in droves, he may really surprise people. Even when McCain won the nomination in March, Paul stayed in the race until June. It's very likely that he'll be sticking around for a decent amount of time this race. His debate performances continue to help him stick out in the pack. A-

Jon Huntsman- Huntsman seemed to have just one opportunity when he came to giving a strong statement. Otherwise, he didn't do much to stick out. He missed the Las Vegas debate last month, and his return this month was just an okay debate performance. Not really any big hot moments that he has been known for having. Then again, there wasn't really much confrontation between the candidates, period. Huntsman has his attention on New Hampshire, and he will very likely drop out if he doesn't come out with an excellent showing. In order to even make New Hampshire, he has to have good showings and debate performances, otherwise there will be candidates, such as Romney, Gingrich, and Paul, that surpass him and surpass him in fine numbers. He may even come it closer to Gary Johnson and Buddy Roemer on the second-tier. C+

The CNBC Michigan Debate will go down as being memorable for being a rocky debate indeed. It goes to show you how CNBC and MSNBC are the liberal equivalents to FOX News and their conservative stance. I did not see a single Democrat debate on FOX News in 2008, maybe soon the Republicans will be doing the same with CNBC and MSNBC. Maybe it was just the specific moderation, as not every channel has the best cast of moderators. As for the next debate, it will be tomorrow on CBS. The same eight candidates will be participating and will be set in South Carolina.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Top Notch Television: Storage Wars

Due to the hectic schedule of mine, I will be doing many of my blog posts from now until close to Christmas time in "chunks," as in several posts in a few days. Fortunately, we are really close to the 100th post, as this is post #96. For post #96, I am going to suggest that you check out a random, yet addicting little television show. It's called Storage Wars and it's on A&E. You can catch several episodes consecutively and at different times, so that only quenches the addiction even more.

Storage Wars is about four guys (and one guy's wife) who go to auctions that are auctioning off storage lockers. They are allowed to look inside, but cannot go in or move anything. After looking at one locker at a time, the bidding begins. The highest bidder claims the locker. This process continues until each of the lockers are sold (or at least the ones being highlighted or bought by participants of the show). Then, each of the auction hunters goes through their locker to see how much it's worth and whether or not the deal was a good one. Each of the hunters has different motives.

Dave Hester, "The Mogul," sticks out the most. He's considered to be the antagonist for his aggressive style of bidding and his motives of instigation. He is known to drive up to numbers for the sake of standing his ground and is known for his long and loud "Yep!" when driving them up. At the same time, he has come out with the most profit and gets the most per every dollar he spends, so ultimately, his motives work. Darryl Sheets, known as "The Gambler," is Hester's key foil, and has good reason to be as he seems to play the hunter who has the next most accurate direction. Sheets has had success of his own while participating on his show, though he seems to be less confrontational than Hester. On the contrast, Jarrod Schultz, "The Young Gun," is a struggling hunter who is running low on money. He brings his more conservative and stubborn wife, Brandi Passante, with him to each of the auctions. The two of them have a motive of getting back on the right track and are doing a decent job, especially for being in an aggressive pool of hunters such as Dave Hester. Hester has begun to serve as a foil to Schultz. Then, there's Barry Weiss, known as "The Collector." He has the most experience and is simply in it to find some treasures. He makes a profit, but he's extremely laid back as opposed to the other three when it comes to making profit. He seems to be satisfied with where he stands and his appearance and the cars he drives confirm it.

Storage Wars is like an addictive bag of potato chips or box of cookies that are very hard to become bored of. While the premise remains the same, the lockers, the interaction between the hunters, and the motives of each of the hunters changes each episode. Some days they hit it big and some days they simply fall into the red. This show has successfully brought four different personalities with the same goal, and placed them in a bidding war. This can most definitely become a brawl, a brawl that will be hard to forget.

Storage Wars has completed two seasons and will beginning its third season on November 15th on A&E. The lockers that are featured, the motives that each hunter has, and how each episode turns out will be seen at this third season begins. It should be exciting. Given that there are repeats on very often, it shouldn't be a grueling task to catch.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

RIP Andy Rooney

It's unfortunate that just one month after I wrote about Andy Rooney's departure from 60 Minutes, I would be writing about his death. Anytime I look back at this, I begin to remember that Andy Rooney had no intentions of retiring from contributing his "Few Minute" segments that he has been doing since 1978. However, he began to contribute fewer segments during this year and ultimately decided to call it a career just last month. It turned out that during the last few weeks of his life, he was having surgery. He never recovered from the surgery and died yesterday at the age of 92. Andy Rooney must have known that his days were numbered, because him and retirement didn't really make for a pairing that made sense.

Andy Rooney was born in 1919 and served in World War II. He had always been into journalism and began his career with CBS in 1949. His segment, "A Few Minutes With Andy Rooney" began as an occasional segment in 1978, but ultimately became a weekly segment by the next season. For 1,097 segments, he discussed what ever happened to be on his mind. Whether it was his opinion about the Winter Olympics, his thoughts about going into Iraq, or other types of current events, or simply his thoughts about the quality of milk, gifts received by fans, or the names of current politicians, Andy Rooney was just good at giving his opinion in a way that the everyday viewer could connect to.

I had written a lot of similar things just last month about how Andy Rooney made a name for himself and how he is one of my writing influences, but I have him to thank for a lot of things having to do with my writing style, how I express my opinion, and the foundation for my column. When I decided that I wanted to do a column/editorial for my high school newsletter, this was during a time where I only wrote about the school tournaments. I had gone back and forth about whether or not I wanted to express my opinion about random things, but then I decided to jump on the opportunity. When I thought about how I wanted to deliver my message, I wanted to do it in an Andy Rooney-like kind of way, where I would end each newsletter with my thoughts about what ever happened to be on my mind for that month.

Of course, there is nobody like Andy Rooney and there will never be anyone like Andy Rooney. It will be extremely difficult, if not impossible, for anybody to do what he did. I as a writer simply look up to him as a role model and an influence to the columnist side of journalism. I, like millions of others, will most definitely miss Andy Rooney's segments and miss Rooney himself contributing anything he might believe. It will be incredibly different without him in that world of exercising the first amendment to its full extent.