Friday, May 21, 2010

Germans approve Euro rescue plan

SO the Germans have approved the monetary bailout for Greece. In some circles, there is jubilation and in others, despair. Incidentally, no one knows if these measures will in fact work, or even if something must be done. Spain and Portugal are in clear and present danger, as is the rest of the EU. With that said, America and the rest of the world's markets and economy are also in danger. At the very least, it seems as though things will get worse, before they get better, if in fact they ever get better.

Interestingly, the majority of the worlds populations have no clue what a default on its credit obligations will actually mean for Greece or the rest of the world. I'm talking dollars and sense...what exactly could, would, should or may happen? I don't know what any of this means for my life and that of my family, but I do know what we should be doing.

If this is not a wake up call, I dont know what is. Since the turn of the century, it seems that every two years there is some kind of financial crisis threatening world order. Eventually bread and milk is more expensive, energy savings are counseled, and various other measures are proposed. Simply put, this is the way things will be forever. The world and its capital markets and financial systems can no longer carry the load of capitalism. Its time to change our value system.

What does it matter what kind of car we drive. Seriously, the feel dies off after a few months or years at most. Why exactly do we need to have a a 10,000 square foot home, and take 3 vacations a year, and have a 42 inch flat screen, and 100 count bed sheets? I mean, everyone likes to have nice stuff, but ultimately you cant take it with you. More importantly, what does it do for you when you are sleeping? That is, it doesn't give you peace of mind, but rather, you need to worry about maintaining such things and preventing their damage. On top of that, you need to make sure that no one steals all of that money you got saved because then you have to sell all of your things. Thats extreme, but really, is your life really enriched to any degree? What enriches life is the question we sould be asking ourselves...

The things that enrich life are our families, friends, hard work, relaxing and knowing that we are well regarded, or rather our reputations. In the end, no one remembers the house that you built, but rather if you were a true friend that will be missed. If you were there in times of need, if you took good care of your parents when they got old and your children when they were small. If Greece needs the money, every nation that could be affected by its default should contribute frankly, but that is just my opinion. That doesn't matter. What does however matter is that regardless of the outcome, we need to reevaluate the things we find most important in life. The things we put on television and give our attention to. These financial incidents don't have to make us crazy. We just need to understand, that such issues should not be what defines us.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

New York, Lebron and Championships...

Over the last few seasons since Lebron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh signed their 3 year opt-out contracts, professional sports has changed. You didn't notice? Well, its a fairly subtle change but one nonetheless. Superstars are now expected to win a championship or are forever cast in the Charles Barkley, Dan Marino, Cal Ripken mold of 'best to never win' a title. Sure that existed before to a certain degree, but the dynamic has changed with the advent of the new media. Is the old New York Giants quarterback Phil Simms better than Dan Marino because he was a big part of two titles? I can remember a time that Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler were most definitely superstars in regards to talent, but only after winning a title in a Michael Jordan-less NBA did they become legendary. Dominique Wilkins was a superstar in every sense of the word, as was Charles Barkley. It was not held against them with the intensity that it is now until fairly recently. Lebron's failure has only exacerbated the situation. Shawn Kemp was one of the most popular players and along with Gary Payton formed one of the best teams in Seattle. Somehow though, nobody talks about them two players being of the best to never win a title.

Now however, after Dwayne Wade won his Shaq-assisted title in Miami in '05, there is absolutely no mercy. Championships are won by players intangible drive and instinct. Who would you rather have though, Lebron or Wade? Never mind that winning and losing has so much to do with teammates and coaching. It also has to do with the organization, and continuity (of course the Celtics championship makes them the exception). Lebron in many minds, has about 5 or 6 championships in him so when he wins his first (there it is again) he still will have a long way to go. There have even been articles written about him being perhaps the best ever based on his potential. Realistically, Lebron surely wont equal his (purported) potential and win the 5 or 6 Championships to equal Jordan. There are too many great players if you figure Carmelo, Kevin Durant, Chris Paul and Deron Williams, Dwight Howard and a few others are and will be in the mix. Dwayne Wade had better win at least two or three more to cement his status as a truly elite player, though without a doubt he is already one. Lebron and his heart has been questioned because he has not yet won as we all thought he would. He might just be better off starting a new legacy from scratch in New York. Never mind the fact that his team was out-coached, and his supporting cast consists of a shadow of Shaq, and a pseudo-All-Star in Mo Williams who would not start for any of the teams left in the playoffs.

I find it interesting that expectations heaped on the broad shoulders of NBA players now carry with them the expectations of a title. You cant say the same thing for baseball, as we all know that every year the big market teams will be in contention. In the NFL it seems to be a matter of quarterback play and coaching. However in the NBA, one player is expected to be able to dominate the entire league and win a title by force of will alone. Thank Jordan for that. Remember, once Shaq was traded from L.A., Kobe missed the playoffs. Once he was given a decent supporting cast he was able to get back to the Finals, and he was only finally able to win (post-Shaq that is) once Pau Gasol came aboard. Does Kobe really have that 'killer instinct' and the intangibles that Lebron doesn't have? Can Lebron change that in New York?

It seems Lebron would be very keen to understand the implications of his moving to New York. For if he does, he may win a title at the earliest in year three. After the Knicks find a suitable second fiddle to play next LBJ, the coaching is then the next step. The days of a star like Jordan dominating the game and the league are over, but when will the rest of the world get the memo?

Saturday, May 15, 2010

I hope you packed your lunch...

I can do this all day buddy. This is meant merely to keep me rolling when I need a break from empire building and what not. No, I dont vent by getting drunk or overindulge in drugs and the like, but rather, I write. Not very well I might add, but you know what they say, practice makes perfect. It is what it is. As a trained technical writer, I can research, conceptualize and write about your software, hardware, your systems and publish it to a variety of formats. Here however, I am writing about abso-lu-tely nothing. Yes I know I spelled it wrong but you get my point. Its 3 a.m. where I am located and I am having a smoke and blogging all by my lonesome. No images to post, no news, just blabbing about how much fun this is. Did I just break a rule there? I'm not supposed to be having fun talking to myself am I?

Well, let me tell you a little bit about myself. I watched A Beautiful Mind last night and I thought "hey, that guy might be me...", albeit without the mathematical genius. Or genius of any sort for that matter. Someone called me a philosopher about a year ago, but that was more of an insult. A thinker with no apparent skill at anything aside from thinking. So the one thing I might be good at I hesitate to accept. Aside from that I am a little blue that my Cavaliers of Cleveland lost and the town is crushed. On Facebook nobody even wants to talk about that one. We knew it was gonna happen. Even with the best player in the world, but alas, dude comes from the radius of Cleveland. Just look at Ben Roethlisberger (I'm not looking up that spelling, you're going to have to trust me on that one). Even still, I hope you could learn a little about this blogger unlike any other. One who is just here to participate in the conversation.

And thrilled to do it. Thanks for your time, and please if you don't do anything else today...get at me!

Friday, May 14, 2010

The Cleveland Lebrons, Indians and Browns...unlovable losers

The difference between a winner and a loser...

I was born and raised in Cleveland. WHen I was a teenager, I went away to Phoenix to live with my brother and his family in Phoenix. I went to school, found a nice girl and lived a life of sun and fun in the desert valley of the sun. I traveled to Vegas and Puerto Penasco, Mexico, and eventually to California. I finally settled in Germany where I traveled even more, made lots of money and founded my own business. In some circles, I am considered a success. My first son came in second as the cutest baby in the whole city of Jena (pop. 100,000). We Clevelanders lose like no other. I wont go on and recount the many notable losses, the spectacular fashion we lose or the legendary careers that were launched after our defeats. No, just a few words or so. We lose better than anyone ever has. Not just one sport, but all the major sports.

At least we can claim that, and we do proudly. No one else can claim our title for we are the unlovable losers. Our teams lose despite all odds, over and over again. We have heroes sure, but they never deliver. It hurts like hell, but we will still fill Browns stadium to the rafters. No we arent the Red Sox pre 2004, or the Cubs for all eternity. We have more history than the Raiders or the Nets. Our last championship was in fact in the mid-nineties by the Crunch soccer team. No we dont like it, but damn we wear that badge like no other. We know who we are and we roll with the punches in the gut.

The best is yet to come should be so lucky.

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