Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas: The Aftermath

Two days ago one of my favorite days of the year finally presented itselft. When kids are asked what is their favorite part of Christmas, most of them say the opening of presents. As for me, I am very similar but I have a one that comes just before it. I know what is better than presents, well i have the answer. Trivial Pursuit. Every Christmas night i go to my aunts house in Northfield and three families are there every year. We all have do a gift exchange and eat a magnificent dinner, All 15 of us. Then it is after dinner when my favorite part of Christmas happens. Every year we play Trivial Pursuit and it gets very competative. We played for maybe 2 hours and there was non-stop laughter and yelling. The reason this is my favorite part of the holiday is because when I am playing I forget about all the presents I have gotten, the food I've eaten or the things I am going to do tomorrow with my presents. I am just truely happy to be with family and I think that is what the Christmas Spirit is all about.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Wait We're in a Recession???

For the last 12 months our nation has been at an all time low economically since 1980. But for some reason even though our nation hasn't seen it this bad in almost 30 years it seems as if we weren't in a recession at all. I was inspired by Adam "Gutty" Gutman's post about the meaning of Thanksgiving when i realized how much high school kids in the North Shore are really effected by this so called recession. These past months the news of the economic crisis has been chaotic and plentiful. The news keeps saying the Dow was down 600 points today and mortgages have been at an all time low but in the North Shore i haven't seen a huge difference in my way of life this year than in past years. In February i got my driver's license and that was right before gas prices began to rise. When i saw the gas prices soar over $4 a gallon i thought i was feeling the economic crisis pretty bad. Now these last 3 months the price for gas has been way down and i feel as if I'm in no prediciment at all. My main point is that living in the North Shore creates a blanket over the so called crisis. Obviously the crisis is hitting our parents more than we think. All i hear in New Trier's hallways is "God my dad didn't buy me the new Blackberry Storm. Oh ya do you like my new UGGS." That sentence right there just totally cotradicts what is going on in our world right now. Parents are buying kids unnecessary gifts just to please their kids. In the rest of the country families are cutting back so much that actual necessities are being put by the way side. In closing, the North Shore is blinding us, high school students, and may hurt in the long run because it is sheltering us from the "real" world.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Is it Civil to take away our Liberties?

The limitation of civil liberties has been the hot topic in class this past week. Starting off with the the election of 1800 and now with our class presentations of America's wars. The limitation of civil liberties is an interesting topic. Arresting people for not agreeing with America's decisions is ludicrous. Taking away the rights of people during perilous times is exactly what u shouldn't do. If people get their rights taken away then they will freak out. America is a nation of regularity, once something goes a little skew everyone will freak out. For example, The stock market, even though it has been down for a significant period of time now, it seems as if everyone loses it when the Dow is down 600 points. It is the same for their rights. If i lost my freedom to press then I would be furious and scared. If i new that i could be arrested for saying 'America is wrong' then i wouldn't say anything at all. If i had all my rights then i wouldn't feel so paranoid about what i'm saying. America should have never suspended Habeas Corpus, Freedom of Speech and Press.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Sorry Walt

It was just about 10 o'clock and I was sitting with my dad watching the same screen for the past 3 hours. All of the sudden a screen on the television popped up and said that Barack Obama was publicly announced as the winner of the 2008 Presidential election. During this election season i have witnessed many things but nothing compared to the fluctuation of the view's of my parents and my sister. in the 1st primary my Sister voted for McCain, my dad voted for Obama, and my mom voted Hilary. When it came time to vote only 1 of them stuck with their original vote and this person has only been 18 for 6 months. Yes, my sister stayed with McCain and my mom and dad both jumped on the bandwagon. I was most surprised with my dads vote swing to McCain. Earlier in the 2008 year my dad volunteered for Obama's campaign but didn't even end up voting for him. Another interesting statistic on my family's election process was that my dad, mom, and sister were the only one's in my entire family to vote McCain. my aunt, uncle and three cousins all from Connecticut voted Obama. My aunt and uncle from Georgia also voted Obama. Even my Grandparents both voted Obama. I thought it was kind of funny to hear that the only people in my entire family to go McCain lived in Illinois. All in all tonight was a very exciting night for myself and millions of Americans across the Nation. Walt, I know you probably aren't too excited about this blowout of an outcome but hey look on the bright side at least it hasn't been 100 years since your team won an election.
Here's a link to see how the entire country voted for their respected candidate Yahoo Political Map

In the words of Adam Gutman (just changed slightly due to the circumstances), "I can't wait to see reserve lineman Walt Lyon cry as Barack Obama stares him down after he wins by almost 200 electoral votes"

Walty you just gotta wait 4 more years maybe...

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Safe Rides a Safe Bet?

Safe Rides is soon going to be up an running. This very popular school program is also a controversial one. Many parents, faculty, and students believe that Safe Rides shouldn't be around. Then on the other side there is also parents, faculty, and students that believe this is an essential program because it keeps kids out of danger. People believe Safe Rides is a bad thing because it gives kids who have been drinking alcohol a free ride home so they don't have to worry about driving drunk. This is a valid point because if there is a party where drinking is occurring then these kids just need a ride to the party, get drunk and then call Safe Rides to pick them up with no consequences. This is a high school kids dream. The make things fair, this program is very important to the safety of the students and other drivers in the area. If Safe Rides wasn't around then it might force kids to drive home drunk and put their lives and everyone else on the road at stake. Safe Rides is also a very strict on who they give rides to. Safe Rides doesn't start until 10:00 in the evening which means kids can't call safe rides just because they don't have a ride or need some place to go. I believe this student run program is a helpful resource for our high school and will save lives by getting drunk drivers off our roads. Last year there was no Safe Rides due to change in the law about driving age, curfew, and number of passengers allowed a car at once. This year it is back into the swing of things and will be making an impact of NT students like prior years.
If you would like to read the bill Senator Shoenberg passed to reinstate Safe Rides here is the link.
Schoenberg “Safe-Rides” Bill Passes Senate

If you are ever drunk and aren't able to drive or just need a ride home always call Safe Rides

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Head of State

This past Sunday night I was in a hotel room because I was on my way home from Hartford, CT after visiting my sister at Trinity College. Sunday night I turned on the TV and the movie Head of State was airing on TBS. I haven't seen that movie in a long time but i forgot how funny it was. That humor wasn't really what got me. I was really surprised that they would air a movie like this during election season. Mays Gilliam played by Chris Rock is a black man who came from a tough neighborhood and doesn't have any political experience. This character is very easily associated with Barack Obama especially when the man Mays Gilliam is running against is an older white man who has been apart of the government for many years. This man resembles John McCain. Showing this movie, I think really showed that TBS or the Turner Family is for Obama. In the movie Mays Gilliam comes out of nowhere and ends up winning this election. There is a scene where Gilliam and the other candidate, Brian Lewis are in a political debate. Gilliam totally obliterated Lewis in the debate. I think by showing this movie was shown to help advocate Barack Obama. I don't think that is necessarily a bad thing but I was just surprised that politics were now taking place in movies. Here is the political debate that Gilliam and Lewis had.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Tonight's Debate Not so Political

John McCain (left) stands with Barack Obama after their first debate on 26 September Tonight is the second time Obama and McCain with face head to head in a presidential debate. I personally haven't follow this election season as closely as possible, but I do know some stuff. I didn't watch the first presidential debate or the vice-presidential debate. In this debate I was shocked at how much each candidate "subtly" bashes the other. It is coming from both sides. If I wasn't trying to listen to the political issues I would be hearing two men just insulting each other. I guess I'm just naive and didn't know how many insults were used to bash the other opponent. Getting back to the political standpoint of the debate...While I am listening I have heard the word "Healthcare" a ton. Even though these candidates are talking about healthcare most of the talk is just about what the other candidate is or isn't doing. Obama and McCain haven't really been specific in what they want to change but just that they are going to make change. I will continue to watch the debate but so far I am unsatisfied because of the lack of specifics. I am also following the debate by live updates from another blog. This blog is simply stating the facts of what the candidates said for each question. I am surprised how unbiased this blog is but it still effectively states the facts. I will keep going back to the blog during the night. You can follow this blog by this link Think Progress: Presidential Debate.
Oct 21/08- It has almost been a week since the third debate and looking back on the third one now I noticed that the second and third debates were very similar in their "insultiness" if you know what I mean. The only thing I observed is that the third debate, the insults were much less subtle than the last debate. I could tell McCain was very frustrated in how the debate was going so he started to lash out on Obama. McCain wasn't the only one using insults though. Unlike the second debate though, I did hear more specifics in each of their plans to help revive our nation from these "perilous times". Just as an added note, while watching the debate i personally thought McCain did better overall but once it ended and I heard analists' points of view, my view on the debate was the exact opposite from the analists. They all said Obama won the debate and I didn't agree with them. Reporting on this now I don't remember really why I thought McCain won but I felt like he did. Overall i was very surprised on how many public bashes each candidate used on eachoter and I guess I never really understood the "dog eat dogginess" election season was until these past few weeks.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Another 100 Years?

Currently I am not watching the abismal CUBS get dusted by Manny Ramirez and his dredlocks. I am huge Cubs fan but right now i am beyond disgusted. Where is a Lou Pinella flip out? That could be the only way the Cubs stop thinking about 1908 and actually get a hit. Chad Billingsly? Who is this guy? He's making my home team look like Mr. O'Connor after he slid into second...Broken. I'm not really sure why the Cubs, who scored 56 more runs than any team in the N.L. can't scrap more than 2 runs in a game. If you fans can remember all the way back to last year's NLDS agianst the D'Backs and you are watching this series there should be one thing in our minds.. Déjà vu. This team was predicted to win the World Series is now trailing 2-0 in a best of 5 series. By watching this mockery of what we call Baseball I have learned one thing, never bet on the Cubs. The only bet I would think about making with the Cubs would be that I'd bet my life that the Cubs will win a World Series before I die. I will end it like this...200 years?

Monday, September 22, 2008

Boo Weekly Riding the Bull

Original Video- More videos at TinyPic
Boo Weekley holds the title for most amusing act in the Ryder Cup with his bull dance on the 1st tee. This was a catalyst for the US crowd's energy the entire day.

The Cup's Back on Our Side

Paul Azinger
This past weekend is a very special one for my family. It is special for 1 reason and that is the Ryder Cup. Since I have been 10 years old my dad and I have played numerous rounds of golf. As time has past I have gotten much better and have very close matches with my dad. These rounds of golf means nothing compared to the competition of the Ryder Cup. For the last 6 years i have watched the Ryder Cup with my dad on both Saturday and Sunday. My dad is a huge golf junkie and when Ryder Cup season rolls around he goes into his own world. This weekend i watched the heavy underdogs, the United States of America, shock the world with their upset against Europe. With Tiger Woods injured it seemed that there was no chance of US victory. Paul Azinger (man holding cup at top of screen), the US captain, had complete confidence in his players and never doubted them one bit. This US team was filled with 6 rookies to the Ryder Cup. On this team there was no standout MVP, but in reality it was the quintessential team effort. Winless since 1999 the US was desperate for a "W". As the weekend progressed the thought of the US winning became greater and greater. On the final sunday as all the matches were in progress the score was almost even and fluctuating constantly. It wasn't over until the very end when I knew the US would hoist the cup for the 1st time in 9 years.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Looking Back on 9/11

It was a Tuesday morning and I was sitting in Ms. Curran's 4th grade class. I remember I was sitting next to one of my best friends from Sunset Ridge Trey Surpless. It was a normal morning, since it was only 4th grade not too much was going on. Then all of the sudden my Principal came onto the intercom. I remember it him saying, "Hello this is Dr. B and I have some horrific news. Today around 8 am New York time, an airplane flew into the side of one of the World Trade Center towers. Only fifteen minutes later another plane flew into the other tower. I will keep updating you all throughout the course of the day." granted it was 7 years ago some of this could be a little off. After I heard my Principal say this i wasn't really sure to think because i had no idea what the World Trade Center was or the significance it had on our nation. My 4th grade as a hole didn't have a real knowledge of the situation so the day was all in a blur. When I got home from school that day I saw my dad sitting in front of my television. This was very confusing to me because it was much too early for him to be home. My dad and I talked about what had happened for a little. I was most frightened when my dad told me that Chicago was theorized to be a potential target. My dad, at the time, worked in the 3rd tallest building in Chicago. He said told me all of Chicago had been evacuated for every one's safety. Just the mere thought of my dad being in danger scared me. I was just happy to see him home. That's the most of what I remember of this historic day. What really got me today was when I was on my way home from school today I passed the Northfield Fire station. They had the ladder one of their fire trucks stretched out with a big American flag attached on the end.
The flag waved in the wind right over the road. While I drove under the flag goose bumps appeared on my arm. At that moment I really felt like I understood the patriotism and pride in our great nation. The anguish and horror America felt 7 years ago finally set in to me. At that moment I was truly proud to be an American.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Which Gordie is Better?

Howe or Campbell that is the real question. Though I might have a slight favoritism for myself, i have to make it a fair contest. Mr. Hockey is known to be one of the best players to ever lace up a pair of skates. I am a little different, I am know for my 4th of July egg toss championships. I'm going to compare Howe's accomplishments against mine. Mr. Hockey has scored the second most points in the history of the NHL. He averaged more than 1 point a game. For all you non-sport fanatics a point is either credited as a goal or as an assist. So he made his presence felt in every game. My hockey claim to fame is scoring the most goals in the 3rd grade house league with a total 36 goals. I give the edge to Howe in the Hockey portion of this contest. I win the non-important sports contest. I have been a 4th of July egg toss champion 3 out of the last 4 years. I have yet to find any egg toss wins for Mr. Howe. The contest is tied at 1-1 and it all comes down to this contest. LOOKS. I'll break down the looks. We both have a full head of hair. I have fewer wrinkles but he has more facial hair sadly. He is 6 ft, I am only 5'10''. It is very close but this catergory will decide the winner...My nose is smaller so I win! Sorry Mr. Howe you might be a better hockey player, but I am better looking.