Tuesday, March 30, 2010

When I'm Gone

One day, you're going to hear a horrific story about my untimely demise. It will shock you, it will sadden you, it will bum you out.

Then you'll be standing around at my funeral. Perhaps in front of my casket at the venue. Or maybe outside after the service. Or in the graveyard after my body has been lowered into the ground. You'll be amongst my friends, and someone will say, "I'm not surprised by this. I knew Paul would do something crazy like that that would get himself killed." And you'll nod in agreement, maybe with an auditory gesture of disappointment.

Just wish I could be there to see it. And nod in agreement with you.

Ed. Note: There is nothing wrong with me. Thank you for your concern.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Fritz's Golf Tips

It's spring, so that can only mean one thing. Golf courses around the Midwest are starting to open up. I'd like to take this opportunity to provide some tips on improving your game, from the lessons I've learned over the past three years.

  1. Slicing the ball? Close your club face (rotate it towards your front foot) and open your stance (move your front foot back).
  2. Topping the ball? If you're hitting the top of the ball on your drives, raise the height at which you tee off. I suggest using longer tees. If you're topping the ball on the fairways, from the rough, or in the bunker, choke up on the club and/or stand closer to the ball.
  3. Focus on a smooth, fluid swing. Don't try to kill the ball.
  4. If you wanna go Happy Gilmore-style, make sure you make good contact with the ball. Again, don't try to hit the bejeezus out of it, just keep your eye on the ball.
  5. And keep your eye on the ball. If you swung and whiffed or otherwise hit the ball wrong, you probably took your eye off the ball.
  6. The sign of a good drive? A broken tee. (Thanks for that tip, Dad).

Most of all, do not forget the words of the philosopher Kennedy: "The moment you stop learning to play golf is the moment you stop playing golf."

Friday, March 26, 2010

How to "buy" a pony

I don't know if you'll find this of interest to you now. I'm working off the assumption that you're my friend, and if you have a child, that child isn't any older then four or five. But I don't think that invalidates my point.

So, you're son or daughter is asking, BEGGING to get a pony. Here's how you go about doing that...

1. Ask your friends if they know someone who owns horses. If not, you may need to scour the internet for horse farms. I highly recommend using other social networking tools to find such operations.
2. Once you locate someone who owns horses, ask if you can "pretend" to buy a horse for your son or daughter. Tell them that you'd like to exchange money for the ability to bring your child out to the farm and let him or her ride, feed, and care for the horse.
3. When the transaction is completed, get your kid in the car, drive out to the stables, and "give" them the horse. They'll be thrilled!!
4. After that first encounter, install the fact in the child that they see the horse any time they want, but they have to ask to go see it. If a visit won't work for either you or the owner's schedule, come up with a clever lie as to why you can't see the horse.

Look, I know it's not nice to lie to your kids. And this one is gonna be a whopper!! However, as a parent, I would think it's your responsibility to bring happy memories into their lives. A couple of happy visits to "their" horse, and they'll love the heck out of you.

I never said this was a GOOD idea...

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The future of the organ business?

Repo Men came out in theaters yesterday. It looks pretty terrible (and the reviews seems to agree with that sentiment). It's too bad, because I think it brings up a great slate of moral/ethical debates that I want to discuss.

And since I'm not going to see this movie, and I don't know anyone who is/was, I'll just throw them out there here on my blog.

To those of you unfamiliar with the plot, Repo Men is about the future, where people who cannot pay for their artificial organs get them repossessed. Jude Law and Forest Whitaker are two of these repo men who are responsible for hunting down the delinquent payers.

This leads to the first interesting debate. Is it right to let someone DIE for not being able to make payments on these life saving devices? I know this isn't much different than our current health care situation (and I don't want this to turn into a health care debate; that's a topic for another day). However, there is a key difference between this movie and reality. In reality, someone would eventually die for not getting the medical care they need. In the movie, the owner of the artificial organ would IMMEDIATELY die. In other words, you don't make the payments, the penalty is instant death. Is that right? Tough call. On one hand, whomever sold the artificial organ is entitled to payment and should be allowed to take action to recoup those lost payments. On the other hand, it sounds like the practice of a mobster. Killing people who don't pay you. I don't think two wrongs make a right in this situtation.

Let's extend this argument a little further. Instead of artificial organs, let's say a company was able to use stem cells to grow replacement organs for customers (and let's not get into a stem cell debate either). Do things change if they're repossessing organic organs, rather than artificial?

Regardless of how the repossessed organs were "manufactured" (grown in a human body, grown in a lab, or produced in a factory), if you needed a new vital organ, would you be comfortable with a used organ? Granted, with the current process of organ transplantation, people are currently getting "used" organs. But how many additional owners would scare you off from obtaining it? Would you accept a heart or a lung if it'd been already been in two, three, or even more human bodies? Where do you draw the line? Or, do you look at the counter-point: "Hey, it's already kept two people alive and hasn't failed yet. It's a quality product, so I've got nothing to worry about!!"

I'm maybe only scratching the surface of these ethical dilemmas. But I'd love to hear what you think. Please, keep the discussion on the topic of organ transplantation and repossession.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Tom Petty was right

The waiting IS the hardest part.

So many things to look forward to this year. The snow to melt. Golf courses to open up. Trips to the Twin Cities, Lawrence, KS, Dakota Magic. The Nickelback concert at the Fargodome.

Thanks to this online course I'm taking from SetFocus, I'm not going to have the time or money to take a big trip or buy big, fun stuff. My friends in Fargo are dwindling (not really, but they aren't as available to hang out as I'd like them to be (not that I'm blaming you, either)).

So, I'm essentially stuck waiting for these big planned events to come around. At an average of about one a month.

There's only one thing I can do about it. Take it on faith, and take it to the heart.

It's going to be a very LONG year...

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Why does almost every hero on TV, in the movies, and in print, have to be dark and troubled? I mean, "Yay!!" for overcoming your adversities, but isn't it getting a little ridiculous at this point?

Most heroes in the real world are just normal people who make the tough decisions to risk their own lives in dangerous situations to help their fellow man. They don't have interesting backstories; they're just like you and me. Unfortunately, that doesn't make for good ratings. There always needs to be that angle. If it's not there, the media has to make one. It's sad.
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