Tater Remembers The Purple One

Yesterday, I headed out at 1 to get my $1 sub at Jimmy Johns. As I stood in the line, I did what I always do and looked to my phone for entertainment. I went to Facebook and saw a post from Michael Ausiello about the death of Prince. It was reported first by TMZ and as much as I argue with people that TMZ is now a legitimate news source, I held out hope that it was wrong and I would discover it was a hoax. Unfortunately, as I stood in line(it was a long line) it was confirmed that Prince was really dead. I’m still stunned by the news as I watch the tributes and listen to the Prince tribute channel on Sirius.

I can’t remember the first time I ever heard a Prince song. I recall hearing the songs Delirious, 1999 and Little Red Corvette and loving them, but it wasn’t until Purple Rain that I really became a Prince fan. I had the Purple Rain cassette and listened to it a lot all the way through college. I remember the first time I saw the movie on VHS. There wasn’t a bad song on the album. I know most people love the songs Purple Rain and Let’s Go Crazy(and I do as well) but my favorites were The Beautiful Ones and I Would Die 4 U. I also enjoyed listening to Darling Nikki because I knew people like Tipper Gore hated it. While I was a kid who liked a variety of music, I generally listened to more of the hair band stuff, but I loved Prince. His was the type of music that could appeal to everyone. I was a great example of that. While people make fun of the movie Under the Cherry Moon, Parade was another album I loved. I also owned the cassette for that one and listened to it over and over again and again, I loved every song on the album. I loved Kiss, but again loved lesser known ones like Anotherloverholeinyohead and Sometimes it Snows in April more. I have not loved a lot of his newer stuff as much, but The Gold Standard has made its way in to my playlist a lot recently.  As I moved on to listening to more pop punk stuff I had forgotten how great his music was. Listening to the tribute station today reminded me of how much I loved it. I’m sad that he is gone and that I never went to see him in concert. I don’t think I will let another icon’s concert pass me by because of price or inconvenience. You never know when it might be the last time you have the chance.

I was going to spend some time ranting about the people who have emerged to complain that we care about his death and not the death of x. Or the people who think it’s good that he’s dead because they were offended by his Baltimore concert. Or the people asking if he had AIDS like that matters at all. I could spend a lot of time telling them what I think of them and I might still do that at some point, but instead I am going to go for a walk and listen to some more Prince. RIP

Tater’s Takes on Odds and Ends

Flying While Arab –A student was recently removed from a Southwest flight after another passenger heard him speaking Arabic. Just another instance of judging others because they aren’t like us. Best case scenario is that this random other passenger speaks Arabic and actually heard him say something threatening. Most likely scenario is that an Islamaphobe heard Arabic and got scared. I would rather fly with the student than with someone who panics because they heard another language. Grow up people.

Cry Baby Trump:  Anyone who knows anything about politics or had paid any attention to the  presidential race this year has known for months that a candidate needs a specific number of delegates or there could be a brokered convention. Anyone who knows politics knows this could lead to the delegates choosing anyone as the nominee even if they never actually ran for the nomination. Now that it appears that Trump may not get the delegate he needs he is crying that the system isn’t fair and that they are stealing the nomination from him. This is the way the system works. Maybe it isn’t the best system, but it is the way it is and if you paid attention you knew this going in. Crying about it now is immature and ridiculous. Grow up.

Do do, don’t don’t:  I see a lot of posts from religious people who are full of don’ts. Don’t drink, don’t use profanity, don’t let your kids read books with s-e-x in them, don’t this, don’t that. I can recall going to library conference sessions where they talk about signage and they warn against posting a lot of “don’t” lists because you want people to feel welcome. They aren’t saying get rid of the rules, they are just saying maybe don’t sound so negative and don’t lead with the don’ts. I would say this could also be said for the church Focus on the do’s and not the don’ts. When asked about commandments(which, btw, don’t mention any of the above) he didn’t go to a list of don’ts. He went to a short list of do’s. Do love God with all your heart. Do love people. Short and simple and if you do these it will generally lead to not doing the don’ts from the commandments given in the Old Testament. We tend to focus on the don’ts and not so much on the do’s. I think we would all be better off focusing on the do’s. Love sounds like a good way to go.

What the Duck?

Since the duck guy was back in the news recently…

The World's Common Tater

Yesterday in Facebook trending topics I found articles about the guy from Duck Dynasty speaking at an event. During the speech, he told a story which was basically the plot of a snuff film about an atheist family being raped and murdered. I’m not even sure what point he was trying to make with the story. Non-Christians don’t know that murder and rape is wrong? Non-Christians deserve to be murdered and raped? Christians are safe from murder and rape? If anyone has a clue what exactly his “snuff parable” means, please let me know.

What I do know is that this is not the person Christians should be holding up as an example. We spend so much time talking about doing what Jesus would do. Jesus loved. Jesus healed. Jesus taught us to love our enemies. To do unto others as we would have them do unto us. He ate…

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Tater’s Take on the North Carolina and Mississippi Laws

So, I’m starting this post not really knowing exactly what I plan to write. I’ve had some stuff pop in my head this week, but not enough for a full post. I really need to start taking notes through the week. I also dreamed I wrote a really good blog post this week. Apparently I’m a much better writer in my dreams. edit: turns out I’m writing about one topic. Keeping this here, because I really didn’t know where it was going when I started. Edit #2: I knew I was against the laws. I jut didn’t know the whole pot would be on the subject.

One thing I’ve been thinking about this week are the new laws in North Carolina and Mississippi that basically legalize discrimination. Imagine these laws, but replace LGBTQ with African-American, white, Christian, etc. Actually, I will help you with that:

“It would violate my religious beliefs to be forced to serve African American customers”

“I don’t believe in interracial marriage and should not be forced to bake a cake for them”

“As an atheist it is my right to refuse service to Christians”

Now, I know there are people who will say they would be OK with that, but I find it hard to believe that the people who believe someone saying “Happy Holidays” is religious persecution would be OK with the third quote.

Also, it is not violation of your rights to be asked to bake a cake for someone. It would be a violation of your rights if you were told someone else’s religion prevented you from marrying the person you love or if you were forced to marry someone you didn’t want to marry.

Also, I find it interesting that a lot of the people who are OK with refusing service to the LGBTQ community are the same people who are furious that businesses ban guns from the premises. I guess their slogan is “Guns, not gays”. Seems weird to me. Personally, if given a choice I would rather be in a restaurant with a member of the LGBTQ community than a random person with a gun. I’m pretty sure LGBTQ people have never been used in a mass killing. Someone can correct me if I’m wrong.

And, finally, the whole bathroom thing. We are being told that allowing transgender people to use the restroom of the gender with which they identify is dangerous to our kids. Personally, I would rather my kid be in the restroom with a transgender person than a US politician.

Senator pleaded guilty, reportedly after bathroom stall incident

Jon Hinson Gets Caught in the Men’s Room

Florida state Rep. Bob Allen guilty in bathroom-sex case

I really don’t get how anyone can claim thee laws are OK. Legal discrimination is not OK. I thought this had been determined a whole back. Do we really want to move the country backward?

Lessons I’m Trying to Learn

In an effort to be a calmer, less angry person I am trying to learn several lessons that I think will make me a better, as opposed to a bitter, person.

  1. I Don’t Care: Obviously, this doesn’t mean be an asshole who doesn’t care about anyone but themselves(more on them later) but more about not caring about stuff that is annoying, ridiculous and just plain stupid, but in the long run don’t really matter. I care too much about things that really shouldn’t matter to me. I need to learn to ignore, or maybe laugh at, the stupidity in the world instead of letting it get to me.
  2. Ignore the Apples: Apples here actually mean assholes. Apples is the result of someone’s amusing auto correct. There are people in the world who are just not nice people. They care only about themselves and go through life not worrying about how their actions affect others. Some of them pretend to be your friend, but stab you in the back first chance they get. Some of them don’t even bother to pretend. Some of them might be too dumb to realize they are acting like assholes. They might be the worst ones of all. They are hard to ignore, especially when their actions are affecting you. So, I will vow to spend as little time as possible with these people and only deal with them when I have to. You can’t avoid them all, but you can limit exposure.
  3. Don’t Drive Angry: I have a serious issue with anger while driving. I don’t get to the point that I will start a fight with other drivers, but I get way too angry when people do dumb things on the road. Music doesn’t help, listening to books don’t help. I have no idea how to fix this one, but I’m going to try. As long as they are not making the road dangerous, their stupidity will not keep me from getting home. Just relax and enjoy the drive(I hate driving).
  4. Put the Phone Down(said in Nic Cage Voice) – I complain to my daughter when we are watching a TV show or movie because she is staring at her phone, but I do it as well. I don’t spend the entire time on the phone,  but I glance at Facebook, Twitter, sports scores etc. way too much while watching TV and movies. I also spend time doing this when I should be reading. This also causes some of the above issues because social media is full of apples and stupidity. Why am I willingly reading this stuff? I, on the other hand, am interesting and hilarious. Please continue to read my blog, Facebook and Twitter.
  5. Laugh more: Unfortunately, funny people like me are not supposed to laugh at ourselves and I’m the funniest person I know(and the most humble) so finding laughs can be hard. There are some TV shows that are funny, but it’s not the same as laughter with friends. I do have some funny friends, but we tend to focus on 1 & 2 above more than just having fun. I need to have more fun.

I’m sure there are more, but they are hard to remember when you frantically type these things out on your lunch break. If you know me in real life and see me doing this stuff wrong call me out on it.

Tater’s Take on March Madness

This is the month we get the best event in sports: March Madness. I love the upsets, the buzzer beaters and the thought that any random team can go on a run and win it all. Normally, it is even more fun for me because My Kentucky Wildcats are there until the very end. This year, though, I’m adjusting to life without the Wildcats being around. It’s hard, but I’m still watching.

Buh Bye: I am happy to see that Duke, Wisconsin and Indiana have all been eliminated from the tournament. There are still plenty of teams that I don’t like, but I’m very happy that none there seams will win it all. I was even happier with the way they lost. Duke and IU are beaten easily and Wisconsin choked. I guess it’s petty to watch in hopes of others being disappointed, but I don’t care. I laugh at the defeat of these teams. Also, this picture is still valid


Shut Up: Of course Duke and rat face Coach K@#@$$@ couldn’t go quietly. Coach K@##$@#$ decided to lecture an Oregon player for taking a shot at the end of the game. Not as the clock expired, but as a shot clock expired with time still on the game clock. I guess the polite thing to do is to hand the ball to Duke instead of continuing to play the game. This took place after trippy Grayson Allen refused to shake hands with the Oregon players as the clock expired. The same Grayson Allen who tripped at least two opponents during the season and was not punished. I’m sure coach K@###@$@$ would have been OK with the Oregon coach lecturing Allen on sportsmanship, right? To make things worse, when asked about it, Coach K@##$$ lied about the exchange and said it never happened. Stay classy, Duke.

Frauds: UNC and Syracuse are in the final 8. Both teams are teams that have committed academic fraud. UNC still has not been punished. Syracuse got in the field because the committee felt their losses while their cheating coach was suspended shouldn’t count against them. Yet somehow people still say Calipari is what’s wrong with college basketball and we hear more complaints about UK players going pro instead of the academic fraud issues. We need to get rid of the one and done rule and let the kids who have no interest in college go pro. That might help with the need to commit academic fraud to keep players on the court when they can’t do what it takes in the classroom.

Refs: College basketball officiating is horrendous. You know it’s bad when someone like Doug Sirmons is considered good enough to officiate a tournament game. The NCAA needs to find a way to fix this. They are ruining the game. Limit how many games they can call in a week. Actually review their work and install consequences for screwing up. Suspend the ones who call technical fouls when none are warranted. Fire the ones who are consistently bad. As long as they can be bad at the job, penalize people who complain about them and suffer no consequences, there is no reason for them to want to improve.

My Dream Final Four: I don’t have much love for any of the teams left in the field. I guess I will go with a dream final four of Oregon(though Oklahoma would be fine), Villanova, Virginia and Notre Dame. Most of those picks are because I dislike the other teams, not because I like the ones I picked. It would be interesting to watch the announcers blatantly ignore the academic fraud issues while calling a Syracuse/UNC gme, but not enough for me to want to see them win.

Reflections on the Season and the Loss

I know some will think it is bad timing to post a basketball blog on the morning of the attacks in Brussels, but this is the first time I’ve had the time to type out my thoughts on the season. So, here goes:

Early this season when Kentucky lost to teams like UCLA and Ohio State, I would have said a second round loss was to be expected. The team looked OK, but not great and a second round loss wold not be a surprise given what I saw on the court. Unfortunately, wins against Duke, overtime against Kansas and a surge in the SEC tournament made everyone think the team was finally getting it together and had what it took to get to the championship game. This week against Indiana we discovered that the team was who we thought they were early in the season: a team with two great guards, but not much else A team not built for a long tournament run. It’s disappointing, but we are spoiled. This is only the second team in the Calipari era to not go to the final eight. That’s a pretty good run and there is a monster recruiting class coming next year.

I will miss watching Ulis and Murray play. They were one of the best guard combinations we’ve ever had. I wish we had them for another year, but we can’t expect a kid to pass up millions of dollars to stay in college one more year. I will miss good Poythress and even inconsistent Poythress. I can’t say I will miss Skal, because I barely saw him play, but I wish him the best in the NBA. Once a Cat, always a Cat no matter how much you were on the floor. You still wore the uniform and that’s enough. I will look forward to next year and the hopes of another final four run and will always be a fan no matter the results.

Now, the rest of the tournament field: Normally, I would want the team that beat Kentucky to go far so that we at least lost to a team on a championship run, but that team is Indiana. I can’t cheer for Indiana. Especially after Yogi Farrell’s mom tweeted trash about Ulis after the game. Learn how to win with class. It would be interesting for UNC to win since that might mean Roy Williams would retire and shake up the coaching world, but I can’t cheer for UNC(plus I can win money if they lose). No way I can cheer for Duke, Syracuse or Kansas(plus, again, I can win money if Kansas loses). So, I’m left with the Gonzaga Fighting Wiltjers(once a Cat, always a Cat) as my heart choice and the Oregon Ducks as my head choice. I guess an A&M win would be good for the SEC, so that would be OK as well. But, really, basketball is over for me and I will look toward the rebuilding Braves as my next source of sports frustration.