The SamuraiMarine

Thoughts, Philosophy, Life and Love

Month: April 2006

An Addiction Divine

What is your addiction??

There once was a time when coffee was old hat. It is what your mother and father drank at the morning breakfast table, or after dinner.

These days, with the help of such storefronts as Starbucks, Supreme Bean and the like, coffee is as popular as soda and tea. It is not just the drink of choice for adults anymore either, you see all sorta of people ordering drinks there from all ages.

One occasion that stands out for me is when I was in Monterey on business, I went to a Starbucks… the one in the Del Monte Center, for those of you that know the area, and I saw a kid… maybe about 10 or 12 years old, and order a Cafe Mocha with an extra shot. This floored me… I was not aware that coffee drinks like this were that popular with kids. So… being the kind of guy I am… I went and asked the “Barista” about this. She told me that there are several kids that come in.

What do you think? Should kids be allowed to order coffee drinks? I mean, when I was a kid, I would never have considered ordering a coffee. I had tasted it once, but at the time I thought it was disgusting. Yet my father and mother could always be found with a cup of coffee and a cigarette after dinner and pretty much the same for breakfast… but I did not care for coffee at all… that is until I joined the Marine Corps. In addition to various other things, they trained me to like Coffee. I especially enjoyed the coffee at the end of the day, when the big urn had been sitting all day and that last little bit of coffee was in the bottom of the urn… you had to tilt the urn a little to get that last little bit out. Oooh Yeah!

Me? When I order my coffee at Starbucks, I ordered something called the Triple Red-eye… This is basically a very strong coffee and three shots of espresso. Let me put an amendment to that… I DID order this until just recently when my doctor politely told me to lay off the coffee… especially after a blood pressure of 140/110. So these days I am ordering decaf… and I am almost through the withdrawals.

So, again, what is your take on children being allowed to order these coffee drinks, and what do YOU order when you order coffee?

The fall of Heros

Face it… there is no Superman, Batman, Aquaman or the like. We live in a world where we look for Heros in life. People that we can look up to and admire or even aspire to be. For some people that is a scientist or doctor, for others it can be a Rap star or athlete. Which brings me to my topic.

When I was young, I followed such sports stars as Bruce Jenner, Steve Garvey, Reggie Jackson and Pete Rose. I will be the first to admit that they were no saints, and they had their issues, but compared to the things we are seeing from today’s players… they were pearls.

I consider myself to be a pretty good judge of character, and fairly knowledgeable in the way people think; which is why I am truly perplexed when I see people like Darrell Strawberry, Barry Bonds… etc, who think nothing of pumping crap into their system, then get mad when they are caught.

Let’s go back and do some comparison… and we will start with my Childhood hero… Steve Garvey.

Steve is one of the many of the “boys of summer” that NEEDS to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Just look at his record by clicking here, he is truly one of the greats. He was not perfect, though. He later had some issues pop up regarding messing around with women other than his wife. There was also a suit regarding a diet program that he hyped, but this is probably as bad as it got.

Now to Pete Rose.

Every time I think of this guy I just feel sick. Here is a guy who has been up to bat more than 14,000 times, and raked up 4,256 hits… and because he gambled, he was kicked out. Talk about your raw deals. Because of his involvement with gambling, he is not eligible for the Hall of Fame. When I think about this, it makes me wonder how gambling is so much worse than using drugs… Because unless I missed something in my research, were he even have as good a player, Darryl Strawberry would still be eligible for the Hall of Fame. Now THAT is sad.

I love baseball… and I am dedicated to two teams. Saint Louis Cardinals and the Toronto Blue Jays. I watch them as often as I can. But Baseball as a whole is disappointing me these days. I look at the book that Jose Conseco wrote, and cannot help but wonder if it was a blessing or curse for those of us who are baseball “truists”. We learned about something that most of us really did not want to know about, and that many players did not WANT us to know about. Suddenly the baseball great of the modern time, are not so great. They are teaching us that a little hard work to get that extra edge is no longer required, just a friend that can provide you with some steroids. How is this NOT cheating? How is this NOT giving yourself an unfair advantage? Can anyone out there tell me that what they are doing is creating a positive image of themselves?

If we look back, knowing what we know now, to the “Challenge” between Sammy Sosa and Mark McGuire, back in 1998, we cannot think about it without a little bit of skepticism. Was the incredible feat they created that year them or was it the needle? In fact, this question was answered. Sammy may have actually answered the question by not answering it in this interview with Rick O’Reilly. To make matters worse, Conseco’s book reports that McGwire used steroids in 1998 as well. So this Home Run race was a farce.

Baseball has long been the “Great American Pastime”. Players were respected, lauded over and considered American icons. They made people, youths especially, feel that with hard work and keeping you eye on the prize, you too could be one of them. Today? What once were Heros and inspirations for the kids are now walking advertisements for cheating. They carry with them the advertisement that if you are obnoxious enough, do drugs or use steroids, you too can be the next Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire or, god forbid, Darrell Strawberry.

While it probably does not make headlines as much, I am sure that this goes on in other sports, but they just do not seem to be as visible.

If I had some say… Testing would be mandatory… all players in all sports would be tested. If you are found to have Steroids or other drugs in your system, you would be given a one year suspension… at the end of that year, if you still test positive then you are banned for life. No “third chances.”

Mind your mouth…

When I was a child, I was forbidden to use fowl language.

Our house, though that means just my mother and I, was very strict in that sense. In fact, I was so well trained that I never even cussed outside of the house, for fear that somehow my mother would know that I had done it.

By today’s standards, so I have been told by some, I was abused. I think not. See, when I was growing up, my mother led the house with a set of rules that were rigidly enforced, and they were enforced with a belt or spatula that was always in easy reach of my mother. But she never hit me for anything other than a well deserved reason… like the time I stabbed a fellow classmate in first or second grade with a pencil.

That being said, and now you, the reader, understanding my upbringing, I can continue.

Up until the time I joined the Marine Corps, I never cussed. However, if there is anything that the Corps taught me, it was how, when and where to cuss. You will find very few Marines, or many other soldiers for that matter, that do not use their fair share of foul language.

Now a days, though, I am noticing a sad trend. More and more children are cussing, and in public, not caring who hears.

I have two major questions about this…

1. Why are these kids so free with their language?
2. Why are their parents not doing anything about it?

I feel that part of the reason there is so little control over what kids do and do not do these days is that parents either will not or cannot discipline their kids. I have met both of these types of people, and they simply amaze me. Here is what I see, in a nutshell.

Will not discipline –
A good example of this is a person I used to work with. You go to their house and the kids are running crazy. No control, yelling, throwing thing, etc… I am trying to talk to this person about a problem we are having at work, and can barely get a sentence out before one of the kids runs up and interrupts us. At one point a toy, and not even a small one, flew over and hit him in the head then broke a glass. At this point I could not contain myself, and asked why he did not do anything. His response sticks with me today… “They are just kids, what am I supposed to do?” Now for the bomb. These “Kids” were about 11 and 12 respectively. Old enough to know better, but with parents that are either too lazy or too irresponsible to discipline them. At that age though, even if the parents decided to start, the kids are too far along to do anything about.

Too affraid to discipline –
One of the things that prevents a lot of parents, these days, from turning junior over their knee and giving them a good paddling are two things… 1. Well meaning but nosey teachers that think that any time a child says that they were paddled means that they are abused, and 2. Kids that play the system and report that they were beaten when in reality they were not and are just trying to retaliate for the fact that they were punished.

In California especially, it is too easy to be arrested for child abuse, and there have been several cases where parents are questioned for and even detained for child abuse, when all they did was punish their child. The system is TOO quick to go after a parent for potential abuse, and not investigate the claim carefully first.

This is not to say that there are very valid claims out there, but spanking your child in not abuse, not even close. There is nothing wrong with a good spanking, as long as the person giving the spanking is not doing it out of anger… then it CAN go to far.

Maybe a child might think twice about uttering some colorful language if the next time they drop that f-bomb or s-bomb, they get popped really good in the mouth, or maybe have to take a teaspoon of Dawn (Dishwashing liquid).

I said earlier that I did not cuss when I was a kid… well, that was not entirely true. See, when I was about 14 years old, and was begining to think I was smarter that my mom… like most 14 year olds do, I told my mother to “Go F*** yourself.” Next thing I know I was on the floor, holding the side of my face. Yes… I learned my lesson, and NO… I never said it, or anything remotely like it to her again.

I have nothing against the use of OCCASIONAL use of some foul language… it is a good was to vent, but there are places and times for it. It should not be a regular part of your vocabulary.

So to the people who do use foul language as a regular part of their daily dialogue, try to act like you have some education, even if you do not. Find a better way to express your opinions.

Wash your hands!!!

This is a little different than my usual posts, but enjoy.

I pay attention to things, little things and big things. I also tend to dwell on things that bother me. That being said, I will vent a little here about something I noticed some time ago, and then started taking a mental score of.

How often do you wash your hands?

I am not so much talking about washing up before meals or after spending the afternoon working on the Ford. Moreso I am talking about washing your hands after you have used the toilet.

Being a regular user of toilets myself, and having been so for most of my life, I have noticed that this number is surprising low. Myself? I am rather anal about this topic, I turn the water to hot (if hot water is available) then wash my hands in near scalding water with lots of soap, then on my way out of the facility I use a paper towel to open the door.

What my rant covers is how many times I have used public restrooms and listened to people come in, do their business, then leave… WITHOUT washing their hands.

Now… What a person does regarding their own health is none of my business, in fact there are some people that I could really care less what they do to themselves, however washing your hands after using the restroom is not about personal hygene as much as it is about courtesy and PUBLIC health.

Who knows what problems a person might have that they could be sharing with others through their own lack of forethought? Imagine someone using the toilet, not washing up, then grabbing a doorknob with their hand… now another person, say maybe YOU walk through that SAME door on your way out… you may have washed your hands, but now that you grabbed that same knob, you now may be sharing some of the same funk that was on the other person’s hand.

Now you go out and enjoy a hot dog or Hamburger, or and other food that requires use of your hands to eat… but you are not just eating that food, you are also enjoying any of the funk that came off the other person’s genitals.

Yes, I know that this is disgusting, and probably many of you have already stopped reading at this point. Yes, I also know that there are not many diseases or illnesses that can be transmitted this way… but that is not the point.

The point is that not washing your hands after you have visited the toilet is a disgusting habit that you should break yourself of, quickly.

When you think about it, you might not even want to know how many times a day you shake hands with, are touched by, patted or even served food by someone who may have just finished wiping their ass and decided that washing their hand was a little too time consuming.

Think about that for a while, then be polite to yourself and to others and wash your hands the next time you visit the toilet.

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