Thursday, January 27, 2011

I am back!!

Well, after taking a long,long hiatus from blogging and seeing as how 2011 is just about a month deep already I thought I should do some blogging!! I know a lot of people are wanting to talk about resolutions and plans for the year well.....I'm not really going to be any different ha ha. But I think I will break these up into 2 sections one about my personal goals and another about sports.
First up, ME!! I have decided to make 2011 the year where I try to do things that make me happy and move me forward to the goals and ambitions I have for myself. The most important one is too move into at least a rental house. I have been spending the last 2 months or so researching and looking. Although, for once, I am early on doing something. After talking with several rental people. I have found out that most places that rent out only want to start talking about things about a month in advance so seeing as how my lease is not up til March I am still having to wait before I really hone in on what I need to do. The only thing I know for sure at this point is the simple fact I am headed back to Chandler. I am just not an apartment guy, I got no garage and no grill so the "man stuff" doesn't really work without it. But I loved my house before and that's where I want to go again.
One of the next things I have planned for this year is to get my schooling back under way. I have put it off with excuses of no money, no time. Well to get to where I want to go means that I can have NO excuses at all. But perhaps in some regards the delay has helped as our great governor is deciding to cut state's budget and one of the major programs getting cut is the education budget. How f'ed up is that???!!! Well, it has brought a thought back into my mind that I didn't really think would come back and that's the thought of staying in Arizona. My plan that I was comfortable with was for me to stay in Phoenix another couple of years while I finish school, then when I was done with that I would move up to Northern Arizona. I had narrowed down to someplace in either Show Low or Payson, Flagstaff was also a possibility but that was more of the last resort kind. Well with budget cuts that means some teachers are losing their jobs and schools will close and with smaller town schools it will be even harder to get into one. So, moving to Oregon has come back into my mind as place to go when school is done. I am going to have to research more about the teaching field in the state and see how things work but one way or another I will be teaching our future generations and hopefully leaving an impact on them.
Another goal for 2011 is to be more outgoing and not so reserved all the time. I realize that regardless of where I move I will have to meet new people and create new friendships and unfortunately that doesn't happen sitting at home waiting for a knock on the door. Plus, I am going to be 30 this year. Yes, 30 it's hard to believe with my boyish good looks, but it's the honest truth :). I want to have kids before I am too old and once again the ladies just don't come knocking at the door. So, I am hoping that with being more extroverted I can meet new ladies and perhaps start a new relationship and go on from there. Of course, tying into that is the traditional resolutions of eating better and more exercise. Which in 2010, I made good positive advances in both so now it's just continuing to eat right and then getting back on the ball with exercise. I plan for my 30th birthday to be my best looking birthday.
The final resolution I have for myself is for me to be more giving. I have wanted to volunteer as a Big Brother for quite sometime and just like with school I find excuses to not do it. Well, that will change this year, I enjoy spending time with kids and just being that person that can be their friend and also be someone they trust to talk to when things are going rough. I know a lot of friends have asked me for advice on just about every subject so why not help kids who may have no one that can really see what their side of the issue is. It all seems pretty lofty but with a little time management and some luck all of these can be done and make 2011 a year to remember for a long time.

On to sports....the whole point of my blog!
Let me start with football, probably my favorite sport next to baseball. The Super Bowl is just a over a week away so its been some great games over the past weeks to get there. Sadly, my team was no where to be found for this season's playoffs. So, here are my resolutions so my Cards can make another run to the Super Bowl. The first and perhaps the greatest resolution is to find a GOOD quarterback. I know that with a possible lockout, more on that in a bit, we can't really sign anyone until that is resolved. But should it get worked out in time, I don't know if draft a QB with our #5 pick is wise but if they decide to go that way "DO NOT TAKE NEWTON" I don't think that he is a good choice for us as we need a down field QB not a scrambling QB. I would take Gabbert from Missouri he has a great, big arm, good field vision, and most importantly of all accuracy. That was something sorely missed this past season. I would much rather look at a veteran QB, someone like Marc Bulger, Kyle Orton out of Denver, even Carson Palmer from Cincy. I think we need someone who can take control of the team and say we will not play like crap!
The next thing we need is a good Defensive Coordinator. Our defense had a down year this year but has the talent to be a top tier defense and with a coordinator that will be more in the face of players I think will make all the difference in the world to our team. And perhaps Coach Whiz should get an offensive coordinator as well, I think it's too much to ask for him to do all the offense and head coaching jobs just too much work to be done.
Speaking of defense, 2 more positions we need help in is cornerback and outside linebacker. We need some to help cover the other teams wide receivers and as well as some to help on the pass rush for those plays where the other team looks down field. We got eaten up by the pass all year, the run we didn't do well on either to start but did get a little better as the year went on. One of these positions is where we need to focus during the draft. But I am not consulted on these matters but given the chance I think the team would value my input!!!
Like I mentioned before there is a chance for a lockout of the NFL this upcoming season. I for one hope this doesn't happen. It took baseball a long time to recover from the 94 strike and it took performance enhancing drugs to do it apparently. However, this is a lockout from the owner's who think that players get too much. I am no expert on things, but I do agree with a rookie pay scale, $50 million guaranteed before the kid even takes a snap, that's ridiculous. I think that is the problem with sports nowadays anyway with the amount of money paid to athletes in the first place. But I will leave that subject for another time.
My final part of the post tonight deals with baseball. My team, like the Cardinals, stunk out the place last year. But some good things to come from that season we fired the idiot general manager and in his place came one of the better GM's in baseball. My whole thing last year resolved around 2 big issues, a crappy bullpen and no veteran leadership. Luckily, some of these issues have been addressed and I for one am looking forward to the upcoming season and not just because I am getting to go to a handful of games, thanks to an awesome Christmas present!!! Our new GM has essentially made our bench out of solid veteran players who will do the small things necessary to help the team win. Laying down bunts, shallow hits to move the runners, extending an inning. Things that we just did not and would not do last year. So, hopefully with the mix of players young and old we can find the chemistry we had when we made the run to the NCLS. The pitching staff, mainly bullpen, has gotten better we have a defined closer to start the season. Assigned roles for a lot of the other bullpen guys. Our starting rotation, however, may not have the lineup that puts fear in the other teams hitters but I think we have enough good pitchers that hitters will earn what they get.
So here is hoping to a great 2011 in all sports and to everyone, hope this is the best year ever. May all your wants be fulfilled and may your beer be forever cold.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Random Thoughts

Its been a few weeks since I have last posted and thought it was time to make sure the interweb has not forgotten me. I usually have an overarching theme that I like to use that helps me write and focus on what I want to say. Well, tonight I am just throwing things out that are in my mind. Like for starters, my mom has found out that after battling cancer last year, she has a mass on her brain. Of all the people in the world to have to fight something as terrible as cancer and beat with out it ever bringing her down, only to have something just as if not more scary appear is not really fair. She has never done a bad thing that I can think let alone enough to have to face this. I am not a religious man in the church sense but I do contain a very spiritual aspect to my life. And I am asking God to help her thru this and make sure that everything turns out as smoothly as possible. She deserves to just be able to experience life the way she wants and not have to deal with all the things that she has the last year. She is going to talk with a neurosurgeon tomorrow to find out when they will do the operation to remove it and plan out the schedule for radiation. The radiation is only supposed to take 3 weeks which is going to be good for her so she can get it all done before Christmas and she can enjoy the holiday with everyone.
I am not someone who will broadcast my problems for everyone to see and hear or read, but this is something I feel I just need to voice my frustrations over and comment on how unfair and actually scared I am at this turn of events. My mom is one of the single most important people in my life and the one that I pull a lot of my own drive and motivations from. And I am just sick and tired of seeing good people suffer. There are many more people out there who are struggling with one thing or another and they also have all my good thoughts and wishes that things are going to turn around quickly and they will be able to move to happier moments.
I am not going to make this whole thing a bad news post, I do have some good news, well potential good news. I have sent my transcripts off to be reviewed at Rio Salado so that I can be placed in a Bachelor's program for Elementary Education. I know it's a community college but it is allowing me to do something with my life that I actually want to do instead of working at a place where I never get anywhere or ever be truly happy at.
I enjoy being around kids and being involved with kids. I want to be able to teach them since I am not having my own kids anytime in the near future I want to make sure that I am able to make an impact that while may be not known right away they say the teacher really helped me to understand and took time to make sure I get it. I am sure this something that all teachers say but this is something that I will actually do. I have always said I wanted to leave a mark on the world and this is the way I am going to do it. So once that is completed I will know how many if any underclassmen classes I will have to take as I went to a technical school to get my Associate's degree. I will get to start no matter what on teaching classes so that will be awesome so in a couple of years I will be teaching, Hooray!!!
So this brings up the house buying situation I have been making a main focus but with school I want that to be priority one. Since I can't get approved anyway I can work on some how starting to save money on things and put it away so that I can have a good down payment. I will be able to save more soon since I have paid off my credit card and my car will be paid off in the first couple months of the year. So I am very excited about that development a few other small bills and all I will have to pay each month is my monthly services bills. I am on the cusp of feeling like things may finally be going my way. A few other areas I need or want to improve but one step at a time.
I can't wait to feel good when I wake up every morning and know that I am headed on the right path. It's been a very long time since I have felt that way. I am still learning to not think very far ahead as that is what has caused me issues in the past
I know there is more that I was thinking of saying but I have been sick all day and my mind has just been out of it all day.

Saturday, October 2, 2010


In just about every sport there is one over-riding factor that makes it a sport and the factor is teamwork. There are a few sports that are primarily individually focused but the majority of sports have some sort of group structure which requires teamwork.
Teamwork is the most essential piece to building a winning team without it teams will not succeed and while some individuals accomplishments will be outstanding the team will go nowhere. This why teamwork is a must regardless of whether you are playing a sport or working at your job or helping out friends and family without it there will be no success.
You would think that everyone would have the inept ability to want to work as a team to better the entire situation well in my nearly 30 years on this planet I have learned that its actually a very small percentage of people that are willing to be team player. Sacrifice a little of themselves to the betterment of someone else. It's both disheartening and disgusting.
I, for one, am willing to do just about anything to help others in a time of need because I understand the concept of teamwork and working towards something better overall. I feel like I have become a minority in today's me me me society. I am comfortable in most instances in my life a few thing to be desired of course but I have most of what I want. I am working towards the things that I feel are missing. But not all in my family are willing to make the same determination and it quite frankly pisses me off. Credit scores and money mean nothing when you are gone so what if I have to pay more interest or don't get the absolute best deal on something I still have it no big deal. Then if a situation arises where you may have to move or make a somewhat drastic change to get things on track for a better future why not sacrifice some to help that person out. As hard as some of the things would be to get worked out its only going to be a temporary situation things will be back to normal soon. Teamwork!!!!!!
Maybe I am just different and like to help others regardless of how it may affect me I can sleep at night knowing I did right and someone is in a better spot than when they woke at least for one day. I didn't play a lot of sports to learn teamwork but I was in boy scouts where working together is essential and band was another area where I had to help out and work together because without my contribution the music would be incomplete. So I know what teamwork is, others do not or chose not to participate and it only helps to drive a wedge into an already wide gap.
So if there is one thing I could impart on everyone it this pull your heads out of all your asses it's not a pretty view and it quite honestly stinks. There is so much more to this world than what can I get and not have to help out on. The old phrase "turnabout is fair play" or "Karma runs in a circle" come to mind in these situations, And there will be a time when you need help or an assist then what will you do when you have no one that is willing to help you in your time of need.

Friday, October 1, 2010

The hope for next season

What is it about our favorite sports teams that leads to the eternal optimism of. "There is always next year." Being a long time Cardinals fan that was a phrase that was said around Halloween every year. I am definitely what you would call a "homer" meaning I love to root for my hometown teams. We all know my love for the Cardinals and my 1A love for the Diamondbacks, and I can't forget about the Suns they are right there with these two teams.
Now that the baseball season is about to finish up the regular season, I am already looking forward to the Diamondbacks coming back for spring training (it's only 5 months away). I have been watching the games more closely the last couple of weeks for the D-Backs and I feel that we actually be a team to reckon with next season. "Next season" there it is the hope that my team will somehow use the mistakes and trials faced this season to build and improve upon as to be in a better position this time next year. I, for one, am excited to see what our boys in Sedona Red are going to look like. We have a core of good young hitters and pitchers that can be a staple for years to come. Kids like Ian Kennedy and Daniel Hudson are going to help fill out a pitching rotation that will include John Saunders and possibly Brandon Webb. That has the ability to be a fearsome rotation. Kids like Justin Upton, Mark Reynolds, and Chris Young can be a potent part of the middle of the batting order. Toss in veterans like Adam LaRouche and Kelly Johnson and we have a team that can compete with any team in the league. The issues of the bullpen will be addressed very quickly by new General Manager Kevin Towers and his eye for making great decisions in the areas of pitching. The only thing I have to add is that hopefully Kirk Gibson will be hired as the full time manager for next year he has really done a good job working his style and mentality on this team and that is something that will only benefit us. So "next season" is coming already and its going to be a damn good one. Quote me on that
That brings me to the other team that has "next season" attached to its name for this season. Our Phoenix Suns the longest tenured team in basketball to never win a championship is starting training camp this week and after an amazing run to the Western Conference Finals this past May the general feeling for this season is that the Suns are the last pick to make the playoffs and be eliminated in the first round. Why the disrespect there "basketball experts" if i recall many of you said the Suns would probably not make the playoffs. You say the same things we play no defense, Nash is another year older, and who is going to be doing the rebounding? This upcoming season the new question is, "How can the Suns possibly replace A'mare Stoudemire and all he brought." Well I don't think the Suns lost all the much when he left, sure he average 27 points a game and had great dunks but how many rebounds was he pulling down in the regular season he average a little more than 9 a game and his defensive presence...well thats a subject in and of itself and its not a good one.
The Suns made some very smart basketball decisions this summer we picked a sharpshooting Hedo Turkoglu who is going to be that pick and pop 3 point guy that is going to make opposing defenses spread out when Nash drives to the inside, they collapse on him he throws out to Hedo or Jason Richardson. Perhaps he hands off to Robin Lopez for an easy throw down or he takes to the rim himself.
The next smart move signing Josh Childress. Being a huge fan of Shawn Marion when he played for us this kid is going to be out perimeter defender that we have lacked since Shawn left. He can come out on the shooters to disrupt timing and create general havoc on the floor. Same thing can be said for Jared Dudley he is going to be a much more important aspect of the offense this upcoming season just wait and see. So there is a good start to the A'mare void. Scoring points will be spreadout more Richardson, Turkoglu. Nash, Grant Hill, and Channing Frye will have plenty of good open looks to make up the points that A'mare has taken with him. We will still be in the top 3 of the league in points per game.
We will have a bench that is just as deep as any contending team in the league. Dudley, Childress, Goran Dragic, Gani Lawal, Earl Clark, Hakim Warrick and a couple other bench players we have individuals will contribute in just garbage time but when the starters have put the team in a hole these guys can play just as hard and as tough as the starters. So have no doubts when the bench players come in about how much longer til so-so comes in. We have a team that can play with any team's starters and damn sure anyone's bench.
So please continue to devalue this team, we have a very special group of players that are looking to put the team first and get us to what every Suns fan has wanted for over 40 years a NBA Championship. So instead of, "There is always next year" how about, "There is this year"

Joel - The armchair bleacher bum

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

First Blog

I have decided to join the masses of people in the world who feel their opinion is the most important and start a blog. Now I know my title would lead one to believe that I am going to throw out my opinions based on everything sports, not entirely accurate. I have a wide range of thoughts about my family, friends, pop culture, movies, music, video games, you name it chances are it's going to eventually find its way on here.
However, since this is my first one I should make it a memorable one or at the very least leave you with a feeling of, "You know what I actually want to hear what this idiot has to say in the future." I will poke fun at myself all the time while I write since humor is the best way to cure so many ills we face in our daily lives. With a humor and a smile this world would really not really be worth the effort in my opinion. So please find something that makes you laugh or smile whether it be about yourself or some Youtube video you see there is alot of humor to be had and it's something I feel there needs to be more of.
So on to my first topic what shall I talk about the upcoming 2010 MLB Playoffs, the first month of the NFL season, the Chase in NASCAR....ok probably not the NASCAR thing going left for 3 hours not all that entertaining to me, sorry folks!!! No, I think the first blog I will write about will not be a sports related topic but perhaps a personal subject. Where I am at in my life and where I am going to go from here.
As of this writing I am 29 years old and will be 30 in jsut about 7 months so I have been very introspective about what I have accomplished. I would say my greatest growth has come in the last 4-5 years its been during this time that I have really began to focus on what my future will be and being in my mid 20's to think about that some would say is a little in the game, I beg to differ. I have already been an assistant store manager of Blockbuster and was one for nearly 4 years so I learned what it was like to be that person in charge of making decisions without having to confur with anyone else as to the betterment of the situation. A lesson learned right there. But thats not where I learned the most about what I wanted to do.
I have been to school over the years for a number of different things and it was all positive eventhough I didn't always finish those degrees. I have been to school to learn meteorology, journalism, game design, computer networking, and human services (social work). Quite a diverse span of areas isn't it!! But I realized doing all this that I crave the knowledge of learning about so many different things. I can thank my mother for the undecidedness of my career path :). But with all this work in different aspects of life and work it has helped me to understand that people are so different and learning how to work with those people from all different areas is the greatest challenge of all. So how does this affect my future plans you ask?
Well all the roads while different and set with their own perils and downfalls was actually helping to steer me on to the path where I am supposed to be going and that is becoming a teacher or instructor in some aspect. So what if I took the extremely scenic route to get there, you have to enjoy the ride before you can enjoy the destination.
That's where I want to go it's just getting the car to finish the trip. I know what I want that would fill a gap in my life that I have been searching to fill for quite sometime. There also some other things missing in my life right now that I want to happen as well. I live in an apartment which I despise in every fashion, I am someone who needs those weekends projects, a yard to maintain, a garage workshop to build and play in soon that will change and thats one more aspect that is fulfilled. Will it happen as quickly as I want, nope because I wanted this like yesterday but like I said I have to enjoy the ride. I have learned how to manage a budget better and things that I used to think I could not pass up are easy to leave behind when I know what's just a little further down the road.
This is one strange post I just kind of went off on a rant there, wow!! But there is plenty more to come I can't give it all away on the first day then what's the point of coming back so check back often as I will try to post as often as I can and I promise the posts won't always be this serious...

Joel, The armchair bleacher bum