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This is EXACTLY Why the Majority of New Jerseyans Can’t Stand the Hateful NJEA
October 25th, 2010 | Added to Idiots, Morons, & Fools, Local People & Politics, The State of New Jersey | No Comments »

Thanks to my roommate for telling me about this awesome link… even though I heard the second video played in its entirety on NJ 101.5 earlier tonight on my ride home from the office. And as my roommate said when he commented on these ridiculous videos, nearly every teacher or person involved in education that I know thinks exactly like the people in these videos. It’s utterly ridiculous. And – just like the hateful, intolerant liberals at NPR who fired one of their own for his repeated independent thoughts on FOX News – the vast majority of left-leaning folks living in New Jersey are so brainwashed into being intolerant that they would see the videos and not immediately condemn them.

Let me make this very clear, folks. There is not one thing in either of these videos that is defensible. Not one. And now, for your viewing pleasure disgust, the hateful, grotesque New Jersey Education Association as presented by the same guy who brought us the ACORN videos last year.

Feeling sick to your stomach yet? Look folks – enough is enough with the NJEA. This hateful organization needs to be dismantled and the local teachers unions need to be empowered. Just like any good bureaucracy, the people at the top of this chain have forgotten their mission and values and need to be removed. Let the local unions handle the local issues – not some filthy, unethical, immoral group of scum in the NJEA’s Trenton office.



Monmouth University Posts Basketball Schedule – Season Starting at 6:00am
August 24th, 2010 | Added to College & Fraternity Life, Local People & Politics, Sports | No Comments »

Oh boy. After last year’s early morning away game against St. Peter’s College was aired on ESPN, the Monmouth University men’s basketball team is getting ready to get some more early morning national exposure from The Worldwide Leader in Sports. Late last week I popped over to GoMUHawks.com and looked up the men’s basketball schedule for the coming season. Turns out that not only will the Hawks be playing another 6:00am game on ESPN, but this time they’ll be home playing against Stony Brook University… and it’s the home opener!

That’s pretty crazy.

This, of course, means that I’ll be at that game in my first row seats bright and early at 6:00am. It also means that I’ll be getting up at about 4:30am that morning so I can be at the Varsity Club pregame area by 5:00am when it opens. Then from the game I’ll walk over to Bey Hall, teach the 8:30am course that I’m teaching this semester, and then head over to Trenton to go to work until I head back to Monmouth in the evening to teach my 6:00pm class. Talk about a full day!

These early morning games are pretty fun and a good way to get national exposure. However, as a big supporter of college athletes (and student athletes at all levels of education, really), I know that these games add an extra layer of stress to the players. Forget about the fact that the game is being broadcast on ESPN and, thus, all around the world; these students are waking up at an unreal hour and prepping themselves to get ready to play against some stiff competition. Add on the fact that it’s going to be the home opener and the pressure only continues to mount. I wish these guys the best of luck.

Anyway, I’ll be nice and bitter by the time I get to that 6:00pm class at night!



Not Such Great “Takes” From the CSA Farm Lately
August 12th, 2010 | Added to Local People & Politics, Sustainable Living | 2 Comments »

It’s the summertime and that means that every Saturday morning I’m heading to the local Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm to get some fresh produce. Well, sorta… It turns out that my local CSA farm hasn’t really produced very many good weekly “takes” in the last few weeks. In fact, take a look at my latest take from the local CSA farm:

Eh. Scant at best.

Pretty scant, huh? All that I was able to pick up in addition to what’s in the picture is some berries. I am, of course, heading back to the farm this Saturday morning so I’m hoping that there is a better take this week. In any event, I’ll post the results here.



Someone Needs to Get the Oakhurst Post Office Under Control – NOW
August 2nd, 2010 | Added to Idiots, Morons, & Fools, Local People & Politics | 1 Comment »

Even though this is my first day back from my trip to Massachusetts, I’m going to save my, “I’m back!” post for tomorrow because I’m pissed off right now. Earlier today I went to the Oakhurst Post Office in Monmouth County, New Jersey and the service that I received showed why the United States Postal Service is a failing enterprise.

First, the post office was packed. I don’t know why, but every time I go into the Oakhurst Post Office it’s jam-packed with people. On any other day, I would suggest that they are jam-packed because most of their employees are slow as slugs, but since I was in there today around lunch time I’m going to assume that a bunch of working professionals were in there getting their mailing done while they were on lunch break.

Right off the bat, if my assumption is correct, then it makes sense for the post office to have extra people working during this particular time of the day. Don’t tell me something stupid like, “Well, the people that work at the post office have to eat lunch, too.” Yeah, they do. But the post office is a service organization which means that when people need to be served, they need to be there to get the job done. In other words, eat your lunch before 11:30am or after 1:30pm.

Second, the post office had two tellers working. One was a woman who has helped me in the past and the other one was this mean, ornery old man who gives every person that works for the post office a bad name. I stood in line (with about 6 people in front of me) and eventually made my way up to the counter to be “served” by this old buffoon.

I had some packages to pick up, so he went and got them for me. I had a letter to send with a stamp already on it, so he put it in the “outbox” for the branch. I had two money orders to purchase and he helped me with getting those taken care of quickly. Then came the problems.

The money orders were for my landlord. I send them to him each month via certified mail with a return receipt. I always fill out the certified mail slip, return receipt form, and the envelope before I go into the post office and this time was no different. In fact, I usually get the money orders at Wal-Mart before I go to the post office because they’re cheaper there, but I wasn’t able to do that today.

The guy gave me the first money order and I began filling it out. As he handed me the first money order, the young woman working behind the counter left to go to lunch. I repeat – during the lunch hour when working professionals are trying to utilize the post office before they have to be back in the office, one of the two folks working the registers went to lunch. Amazing. And yes, the line kept growing and was now about 15 people deep.

Anyway, I’m filling out the first money order (oh, I only fill out my landlord’s name and the month of rent that the check represents – very quick and easy) at the desk and I complete it and put it in the envelope. The second money order comes along and I write the first letter of my landlord’s name and the nasty bastard behind the counter guys, “Can you do that over there?!” as he motioned toward the space in the back of the now-overcrowded office where folks usually prepared their items before stepping up to the counter. I said, “Well, I’ll be just ten seconds here – almost done.”

And the filthy prick responded, “Can you go over there? People are waiting!” And the idiot was right – there were more than a dozen folks waiting to get up to this counter including the guy behind me – a gentleman with about ten different large envelopes, each being sent certified and each with a return receipt (in other words, he was going to be there for a while). So I looked at the guy behind the counter and said, “Okay. I’ll be back in about ten seconds, though.”

Well, I was incorrect. I took out my cellphone and timed how long it would take me to finish writing my landlord’s name, the month and year, and stuff the envelope. It wasn’t ten seconds – it took me fifteen seconds. I guess I’m a little slow or something. After I was done with that I walked right back to the front of the line and waited for the guy with the large envelopes to finish his transaction.

And I waited.

And I waited.

About twelve minutes after I walked back up to the side of the front register, the man with the large envelopes left and I handed my prepared letter and forms to the bumbling fool behind the counter. He snatched it from my hand (and I mean snatched it; he didn’t take it from me, he grabbed it like he was pissed off). Now I was getting confused. What did I do wrong besides want the United States post office to value MY time?! In fact, I didn’t even want them to value a lot of my time. Not an hour, not a half an hour, not even a minute! No. I wanted them to honor less than a minute of my time – some 15 seconds of my time. This poor dunce behind the counter couldn’t manage that and I guess that made him mad. Hey, that’s what it’s like dealing with a dummy, right? They’re irrational.

He processed my letter and I paid before he literally threw the change at me and handed me the receipt. Then he stood there. I looked at him and said, “You’re welcome.” He looked at me and called out in a loud voice, “Next!”

And I was shocked.

If this was a few years ago and I still had some fire left in me for publicly humiliating idiots, I would have stood there and read him the riot act in front of that crowded room. Instead, though, I sort of shook my head in disgust at him and left. Again, in my younger days I would have come on this blog and said that I wanted to kick his ass or beat the shit out of him or something. I don’t want to do any of that for a few reasons. First, I’m older now and I don’t kick asses as well as I used to (though, as Toby Keith would say, I’m as good once as I ever was). Second, the man is clearly miserable. He’s got to be in his late 50′s or early 60′s and he works on his feet all day in a post office the size of my bedroom. If that was my accomplishment in life, I’d probably go postal, too (sorry, I had to do it). And third, I wouldn’t want to see this old d-bag encounter any physical harm. No. Instead, the worst thing that could possibly happen to him is, I think, for him to continue living with himself. And for good measure, I hope that he spends the rest of this month encountering people that are as miserable and discontented with life as he is – one good turn deserves another just as one miserable son of a bitch deserves another.

For the sake of that post office branch, I hope that creep retires and that someone from the regional or national arms of the post office reviews why the Oakhurst branch is so inefficient.



Results and Pictures from My Recent Attendance at a TNA Wrestling House Show
July 10th, 2010 | Added to Entertainment, Local People & Politics, Sports, The State of New Jersey | No Comments »

About a week ago I promised you all the match results and nearly 150 pictures from my recent attendance – along with my younger brother, roommate, and buddy – to a TNA Wrestling house show. Well, wait no longer. Below are the match results followed by about 150 pictures from the show. Some of the pictures are blurry, but I think that you’ll enjoy flipping through them to pass the time.

Some of you may know that I already posted this information on the wrestling website that I own at TNAStars.com. If you’ve seen this all already, then I apologize, but I wanted to share the pictures with all of my audience! Enjoy!

__________

Source: TNAStars.com

What’s up, everybody!? Most of the time, we scour the internet looking for the best set of house show results to share with you great fans. However, for the Asbury Park house show I was actually in attendance with my roommate, my buddy, and my younger brother (and about 1,200 other TNA fans) so here are some results and notes on the show directly from me!

Attendance: I’m not the best estimator of attendance at these types of shows, but I would suggest there might have been about 1,200 fans in attendance. When I went to the Asbury Park house show in 2008, there might have been half as many people there so to more than double the amount of attendees in two years shows tremendous progress in this fan’s eyes. When the official attendance numbers come out, I’ll report them here.

Excitement: While the action in the ring was mediocre at best (the house show two years ago had more exciting action), the fans seemed into almost every big move from the start of the show through its completion. I’ve been to two TNA house shows and a TNA pay-per-view thus far and I think that this crowd (comprised mostly of younger fans and their families) were the most “into” the show that I’ve seen for this company. Frankly, they were more into the show than the people at the iMPACT! Zone ever seem to be (and why is there always a high pitched girl screaming in the iMPACT! Zone? Somebody shut her up already!)…

Acoustics: Just like two years ago, I found the acoustics in Convention Hall completely over modulated and hard to understand. For some reason, all of the wrestlers and knockouts that opted to use the sound system also opted to yell into the microphone which, to my ears, resulted in an electronic muffled sound that had way too much reverberation on the output. No one normally writes about these things, but for me it was such a pronounced pain in the neck that I felt compelled to put it on here.

Pictures: Coming soon in another post – I’m going through them (I took over 300 pictures) and weeding out the crappy ones (about half). When I have the pictures weeded out and uploaded, I’ll place a link to them right here. Update: The pictures are available below this post!

Sightings: My buddy, roommate, and I met Jeff Hardy at The Beach Bar which is connected to Convention Hall and overlooks the Atlantic Ocean and Asbury Park’s southern beach. It was about as brief a meeting as you could imagine – he walked by, shook our hands, and went on his way. In my view, he was shorter than I thought he’d be; all of these online listings show him at 6′ 1″ or 6′ 2″ tall and I’d say he’s maybe 5′ 9″ or 5′ 10″ at most. Either that, or he was incredibly slouching when my buddy, roommate, and I met him (and I don’t think he was slouching).
 
 

Homicide vs. The Amazing Red vs. Brian Kendrick

This match was a pretty strong show opener and it got the crowd excited. I admit that I didn’t get a chance to really watch the full match because I was looking for my brother, roommate, and buddy during this match, but I did manage to see The Amazing Red jumping around like a crazy person. Brian Kendrick also had a few good moves, too. Red took the match in the end.
Winner: The Amazing Red
 

Angelina Love vs. Sara Del Rey (Jersey All Pro Wrestling Women’s Champion)

I’m pretty sure that Angelina Love took on Sara Del Rey in this match, though I didn’t catch her name and I can’t see facial features too well. The match wasn’t so bad and in my humble opinion I think that the action in this match (and the one following) was among the best on the entire show, period. Angelina Love was quick and smooth with her moves, as always, and Sara Del Rey certainly did the JAPW organization proud in her loss. The winner of this match was awarded with a title shot against Knockouts Champion Madison Rayne.
Winner: Angelina Love
 

Angelina Love vs. Madison Rayne

As soon as Angelina Love beat Sara Del Rey, Madison Rayne came out and beat the hell out of her to begin their match. Apparently, the match was “supposed” to take place later in the night, but Madison Rayne took the opportunity to beat up on a weakened Angelina Love and eventually beat her in about 5 or 6 minutes. Overall, though, it was a good match and even though Angelina Love was fresh off of her match with Sara Del Rey, she did a good job fighting back against a fresh Madison Rayne.

Earl Hebner was the referee (he received a decent reaction when announced to the crowd) and this match ended with a spot where he happened to catch Madison Rayne in a swooning position and the crowd egged him on to kiss her (which he did). Then he did this weird dance that got the crowd going. Angelina Love was laughing at it until Earl went up to her and smacked a kiss on her, too. More dancing after the kiss, of course, Madison Rayne used the distraction to roll up Angelina Love for the win and Earl Hebner did a little more dancing out of the ring area.
Winner: Madison Rayne
 

Desmond Wolfe vs. Jay Lethal

Lots of “Woooooo!” hollers from the audience for Jay Lethal, who was way over with his home state crowd. I would say that next to the Knockouts, Jay Lethal was among one of the most “over” guys on the night’s card. Lots of good back and forth action in this match that ultimately saw Jay Lethal pick up the victory. Jay Lethal did some of his Ric Flair impressions by strutting a little bit on the ring apron before the match started and chopping Desmond Wolfe throughout the entire contest. I would have liked to see these guys fight for another five minutes or so.
Winner: Jay Lethal
 

Kurt Angle Promo

Kurt Angle came out and thanked the audience for coming to the show. He said that people in attendance may be WWE fans, but he’s here to tell everyone the truth – that TNA is better (mixed reaction from the fans, but mostly in agreement). He was holding a can of some type of energy drink in his hand during the entire promo, which he eventually tossed across the ring on his way out. Nothing major to report here.
 

Abyss vs. Jeff Hardy

The most annoying part of this match was that Jeff Hardy seemed to thank every single fan that had their hand out during his introduction. Seriously, his entrance might have lasted almost ten minutes – they had to restart his music. Abyss did a good job of playing the monster heel, which is a role that I think he is more naturally suited for than the Hulkamaniac shtick. Jeff Hardy brought some fan signs in the ring before the match started – not sure what they said but you can check them out after I post the pictures.

Not much to say about the match here. Both men did their signature moves and Jeff Hardy eventually won by hitting The Swanton. After the match, Jeff Hardy took one of the cameramen’s camera and went around ringside taping the fans (I assume this is for TNA Today on TNAWrestling.com and YouTube.com).
Winner: Jeff Hardy
 

Intermission

Before the Intermission began, Don West came out and hyped his brown bag special and his super duper exclusive Ric Flair t-shirt that “you can only get here tonight and nowhere else!” During the break, Angelina Love had a line for autographs that literally wrapped around the entire inside of the arena. My buddy said that they were going for $10 each, so TNA and Angelina Love definitely made some money off of her signing autographs. There were hundreds of people in line to meet her – it was pretty nuts. My group and I took the opportunity to get up and go to the other side of the arena during the intermission.
 

Ink, Inc. vs. Team 3D

Team 3D was extremely over with this crowd. After they were introduced, the “E-C-W” and “We Want Tables” chants were deafening. So… this match became a tables match. The action was crazy to start this one as Brother Ray beat the hell out of Jesse Neal in the ring and Brother Devon took it to Shannon Moore on the outside of the ring. At one point, Brother Ray ran into the back and came back with a shiny new steel garbage can, with which he promptly smacked Jesse Neal in the head. After some posing, Jesse Neal took the garbage can and cracked it over Brother Ray’s head completely bending and destroying the can.

Once the match got along a little bit, Team 3D hit their “What’s Up!” headbutt to the balls before the crowd yelled for Brother Devon to get the table, which he did. And once the table was set up in the ring, it wasn’t too long before Jesse Neal went directly through it and Team 3D picked up the win. Funny note from after the match – Brother Ray asked Brother Devon to get some kids to give pieces of the ring to and he went up on the stage to grab a kid, but the kid was horrified and grabbed his Dad. Brother Devon tried to tell him what was going on, but in the end settled for a different kid off of the stage and a kid from the front row. Team 3D posed for pictures and thanked the crowd as Brother Ray said he was heading to Bar Anticipation in Belmar to find some Jersey girl (he used other words) for the night.
Winner: Team 3D
 

A.J. Styles vs. Rob Van Dam

Rob Van Dam was easily the most over guy on the card tonight, thanks in part to his entrance theme which encourages the fans to chant and yell for him. Both of these men looked good during the match, but A.J. Styles may really be taking his new heel role too seriously since he stalled the beginning of the match by about ten minutes (which was probably longer than the entire action part of the match). It was a bit excessive.

The match came to a head when A.J. Styles missed his flying punch from the top rope and Rob Van Dam hit his Rolling Thunder which set him up for the Five Star Frog Splash. At some point, A.J. Styles went to hit his Pele Kick and I have to tell you – it didn’t look so good. Anyway, Rob Van Dam picks up the win and the show comes to an end.
Winner: Rob Van Dam
 

After the show was over, Rob Van Dam stayed around and posed with fans in the ring with the championship belt for $20 per each group. This is the same thing that Kurt Angle did after the Asbury Park house show two years ago.

A final comment – the interwebs sometimes say how TNA’s house shows are the most profitable part of their business. Well, after attending my second TNA house show I can clearly see why. These people (led by Don West) sell, sell, sell! They are selling t-shirts, DVDs, autographs, meetings with the wrestlers, etc. TNA shows really have a type of fan interaction that you don’t get at WWE shows, but it would admittedly be hard for WWE to pull off this type of interaction with 15,000+ people at their shows. Overall, I thought it was a fun show even if the action in the ring was mediocre at best.



It’s a Bit Late, But Here’s Our Second Take from the CSA Farm
July 8th, 2010 | Added to Local People & Politics, Sustainable Living | No Comments »

Alright – I know that this is a bit late in being posted to the blog, but I’ve been busy! Below you can see a picture of our second take from the local CSA farm (which we actually picked up about two weeks ago). Granted, none of this food actually exists any more since we’ve either eaten it or given it away, but I wanted to share our second take with you folks anyway!

Take #2 for the 2010 Season

Just like the first week, you’ll see some kale and garlic scapes in there. Also, there was some red leaf lettuce as well as some collard greens and red kale (I think).

I should have taken a picture of what we picked up this past weekend – huge bulbs of organic garlic dominated the take and I’m not sure when we’ll ever actually use all of them. However, it’s better to have this stuff than not, right? Stay tuned – I’m trying to get some CSA take pictures up each week or at least every other week.



What the Heck is Going on with Monmouth University’s Men’s Basketball Team?
July 7th, 2010 | Added to Local People & Politics, Sports | No Comments »

Before you read this entry, bear in mind that I write some of these things well in advance of when they actually appear on the site. In fact, I’m writing this entry on Sunday, June 20th in the evening and there is a good chance that some of the issues embedded in this story have changed. So there – that’s my disclaimer.

What the heck is going on with Monmouth University’s men’s basketball team? I ask this question after reading an excellent article posted by Steve Edelson from the Asbury Park Press wherein he asked a great question – why are the Hawks administrators taking a “bunker like” mentality when it comes to dealing with the press about the many issues facing this program? That’s a great question and as an alumnus of the university I can tell you that the administration over there is very insular. They are very slow to recognize obvious faults and make the changes needed to move programs in the right direction. For some God-awful reason, the university has created this internal mindset where students and their concerns are nothing more than four year events. In other words, if a student brings an issue to light that absolutely must be addressed immediately, the administration strings the kid along until he or she graduates and then guess what – problem solved! The student is gone and the administration (as well as the original problem) can return to the status quo.

I’ve seen this happen time and time again at Monmouth University, but the problem with the men’s basketball team is much, much different. This time, there is a $57 million building that is screaming for people from all over the Jersey Shore region and, really, all over the state of New Jersey to come and see what’s going on. In short, you can’t build an athletic center like the MAC Center and expect to keep the administrative mindset that you’re dealing with a small-time program and small-time people. Mr. Edelson wrote it perfectly in his article:

All the while, there’s a $57-million building devoid of any atmosphere and plenty of fence-mending to be done within the locker room and the department. This is a time to be laser-focused on solving the internal issues and turning the program around, without spending so much as a second on anything you can’t control.

But instead of strong leadership, there’s a bunker mentality.

There isn’t a Div. I hoops program in the nation that anyone gives a damn about that doesn’t have a blog where fans can express their opinions, or observers who voice their support or criticism.

I added the emphasis on that last line because I think it bears repeating and gets to the heart of the matter. Monmouth University wanted this attention. They literally built a $57 million building hoping to get this attention. Well, here it is – congratulations! You have the attention of the Northeast Conference as well as the local media – and you even have the attention of “fan” blogs like mine! My message to Monmouth – don’t go run and hide now that the spotlight is on the problems of your men’s basketball program. Do NOT do what you’ve always done and bunker down from investigative eyes – you aren’t allowed to do that any more and there fifty seven million reasons why you aren’t allowed to do that any more.

What happens when you have a failing basketball program with players and assistant coaches leaving? You get fan reaction like the comment below. I pulled this directly from the “comments” section on Mr. Edelson’s column:

For everyone’s sake, Coach Calloway should do the right thing and resign from the program. Monmouth made an enormous commitment to basketball by building the MAC. In order to do so, the University energized its constituencies with promises of great things to come. Now MU should now deliver. Loyalty? Calloway has already had 13 seasons to prove his worth. The bottom line is – he has a losing career won/loss record in a dreadful conference, low attendance at home games, players quitting and coaches walking. Oh, and about the drug problem that one player is alleged to have had (JackieB) – it is unlikely that any such drug problem originated at the University – that’s a recruiting problem squarely on the shoulders of the coach. Thanks to Steve Edelson, Tony Graham and the Park Press for publishing this story!

Hey Monmouth – this is the exact type of scrutiny that you asked for by building the MAC Center. Stop shunning the questions and start answering them.

For what it’s worth – an Asbury Park Press online poll asks whether fans agree, disagree, kinda agree, or kinda disagree with Mr. Edelson’s column. At the time of this writing, 230 votes have been registered with 201 votes saying that they agree and another 15 votes saying that they kinda agree.

It’s time, Monmouth. Do what’s right.



 
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