Friday, February 24, 2012

My first last post on the GOP primary

Why is Ron Paul still running? Don't get me wrong. I'm very thankful that he's there to be the voice of fiscal reason and keep the discussion focused, but I don't understand why HE is still in this. He has to know he has no chance. I'm mildly surprised they even put makeup and a camera on him. Maybe he's just in it to shape and focus the discussion. If so, good for him. If not, he's delusional.

As for the other three, I almost don't care anymore. They all have their warts and they're all vastly better than Obama, but I have my doubts as to whether the mainstream media will let any of them beat him. Whoever the nominee is will be attacked relentlessly for their thoughts or record on contraception, health care, or personal relationships.

Santorum seems to be the most solidly and (relatively) unblemished conservative (hence, the fabricated contraception issue), but he is often clumsy and awkward when challenged. Gingrich is clearly the most polished and skilled debater, but who knows how many votes that wins (especially in light of how many votes his marital blemishes lose)? Romney is supposedly the most electable, but count me among those that are hesitant to buy into and trust the unwitting author of Obamacare.

At the end of the day, the field is far better than Obama and far better than the 2008 GOP field. Once Thompson dropped out and Huckabee's spending record came to my attention, I settled on Romney as the most conservative and semi-electable candidate available in the 2008 Georgia primary. Unfortunately, the old man so skilled at "crossing the aisle" was crammed down our throats. Though I'd still prefer someone with a more impeccably conservative record, the fact that someone I was prepared to accept in 2008 is perceived as the most moderate of the field is a promising shift indeed.

I wish someone would step up with Newt's expertise, Santorum's record, and Romney's supposed electability (or that one of them would demonstrate some semblance of the finer points of the other two), but it doesn't look like it's going to happen. They're all human and each is engaged in his own dogfight to stay alive in this thing. I'm not one that thinks the process needs to end ASAP to have a chance of winning, but honestly, none of them is running away with the thing.

Obama has done everything to get these guys elected but drop out of the race and yet none of them wants it badly enough to just step up and be a confident, unapologetic conservative. Quit worrying about every little soundbite and state your case. Win the battle of ideas instead of trying to be everything to everyone. That's how you lose elections. Ask Bob Dole and John McCain.

I wish one of them would inspire me to do something more to get them elected than just showing up on Election Day. Sadly, I think I'm resigned to turning off my television, focusing on things more local and personal, and hoping for the best in November, whoever the guy with an "R" next to his name ends up being...

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

I'm Not Promising Anything

It appears that I still have one person checking this blog that would like to see new content. I'm not going to make any wild promises to blog every day, week, or even month, but I have some interest in blogging again.

I'd like to focus on something more specific than "Whatever Interests Mike Sprayberry" because I know few of you are interested in everything that interests me. I'm thinking I may still post here from time to time, but am kicking around ideas for another blog. Or two. Yeah, right. I can't even maintain one blog.

Anyway, whether my blogging adventures continue here, elsewhere, or both here and elsewhere remains to be seen. Thanks for reading so far and please feel free to make suggestions for specific directions to take new blogs, this blog, or other people's blogs. Amusing blog title ideas would also be appreciated. Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

I Am Superman

OMG...what a dork...who strikes this pose?

Let's get one thing straight. I have never liked Tim Tebow. I could not stand Tim Tebow when he was at Florida. It wasn't personal, but anyone that helps the Gators beat the Dawgs year after year is never getting a friend request from me. To this day, I'll never understand why A.J. Green gets a personal foul for a phantom gesture after a touchdown and Tim Tebow gets off scott-free after every post-play Gator chomp celebration.

All that said, the media's determination to see him fail has absolutely mystified me. They all seem to preface their criticisms with "he's a great guy, but..." But that doesn't change the fact that most of them haven't played a down of football as an NFL quarterback. Nor does a "but" change the fact that countless players have revolutionized the position by defying conventional wisdom (see Fran Tarkenton, Joe Montana, Steve Young, Tom Brady, Michael Vick, etc.). I'm not a conspiracy theorist that thinks it's an anti-Christian movement in the media (though I don't think that scores him any points).

Criticize his throwing motion or his decision-making. That's all fair game (though I trust NFL quarterbacks with this analysis more than Merrill Hodge, Colin Cowherd, or Scott Van Pelt). But when the media and various analysts say anyone "can't" do something, I have a problem as an American. I still believe this is a land of opportunity and anyone can work to better themselves and their standing in society. God forbid an NFL team give their first round draft pick a few years to develop.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not pretending his performance against Miami was good in any way. Nor do I pretend that the "W" in the win column for the Broncos is evidence that he is the answer. All I am saying is that as someone that watched him defy the odds for several years in the SEC and as someone that has heard all the raves about him working his tail off at the pro level (as many of you have), I'm not counting this kid out until he's over 30 and unemployed (in the NFL...there's nothing wrong with being over 30 and unemployed in other careers, of course). If there is one annoying jerk-face that can overcome physical limitations (a la Tom Dempsey, Doug Flutie, Barry Sanders, etc....not that they're annoying jerk-faces), it is Tim Tebow. I don't say this with any pleasure, but rather begrudgingly. This kid is a freak of nature that works really, really, really hard. He cries like a baby when he loses, but he works really, really, really hard.

As a Dawgs fan, I wanted nothing more than for the Dawgs to beat him and the Gators. When Matthew Stafford and (eventually) Tebow went pro, I wanted nothing more than to see Stafford have a better career. I still do. That being said, the fervor around the Tebow debate has become ludicrous. What other player has been told they could not succeed at this level by this many people, this often, for this long? What dog do any of these analysts have in this fight? They may be correct, but their pretentious and sanctimonious certainty reeks of elitism. I have no patience for that. Let him succeed or fail on the field. Then judge his career on its merits. Until then, shut up. You don't decide his fate. He does.

I hate the media for countless reasons. Liberal bias, Big Ten bias, anti-SEC bias, and overly dramatic puff pieces during pregame shows...that's all annoying. The one thing for which I'll never forgive the media: making me pull for Tim Tebow.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Republicans Hate Puppies

"I don't want to be jet fuel."

I've been fighting the urge to post on the debt ceiling debate because it makes me so angry and I can't possibly do all the lies told by Democrats justice in a few hundred words. To do so would require a huge post or multiple posts and I honestly don't want to write about it that much. And I doubt many of you want to read about it that much. But it is an important issue in which everyone should be engaged (at least beyond the superficial "all-politicians-suck-so-I-don't-vote-why-can't-they-just-compromise-I-wish-they'd-just-get-SOMETHING-done" response from Joe Schmoe in Times Square). So, here's my best effort at summing up what outrages me about the situation.

1. Obama and the Democrats are dishonest, lying, socialist tricksters that feast upon the stupidest people in our country. They COUNT on the uneducated and disengaged catching a soundbite here or a speech there and becoming incensed that this whole problem would just go away if the mean, nasty, rich Republicans would only think of the children that need scholarships instead of their fat cat corporate jet owner pals. His childish prime time speech the other night went something like this:

Obama: "My loyal subjects, let me be clear: I am the good guy just trying to help all you little people. The Republicans just refuse to let me help you because they hate you. Never mind that the proposed tax increase on corporate jet owners would not put a dent in a single percentage point of our national debt. Never mind that there are literally millions of other things and people the federal government can cut. It all comes down to a handful of selfish rich guys fueling their golden jets with cute, newborn puppies versus all our sweet, innocent children. It really is that simple, America. I mean, you don't hate babies, do you? Well, the Republicans do. And I like babies. And puppies. Do you like puppies, stupid, little boys and girls? I like puppies too. Republicans don't. Republicans want to punt extra puppies off bridges when their diamond-encrusted airplanes don't burn them all on their way to their money bonfires. I want to pet them and feed them and make sure no puppies ever die. Ever. Repeat after me: 'Republicans bad. Democrats good.' Now go call your congressmen and demand that they compromise the values you elected them to uphold. Because I said so. Thank you, and Obama bless the United States of......hmm...wait just a second...teleprompter went out.........are we live?......oh shoot......well, I've got a round of golf in Martha's Vineyard tomorrow morning, so I better run. Hey, Joe! Can you wrap this thing up for me? And try not to screw it up like you do everything else!"

(Vice President Joe Biden sprints to the podium and slicks back his thin, gray hair. He takes a deep breath, clears his throat, and belts out his best guess as to the ending of the President's speech).

Biden: "Sausage biscuit!...What?...What did I do?"

The oversimplification and condescension from this President and his cohorts is painfully clear. Americans should be insulted and demanding the whiny baby behind the big boy's desk step down.

2. Oh forget it. I guess I'll just make this into several posts no one will read.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Coke or Pepsi?

"Mr. President, we have a situation. The terrorists have really painted us into a corner this time. They demand an answer and millions of lives are at stake. We have three minutes to answer and all your vast foreign policy expertise and economic prowess is required of you. Please handle this question with great care, Mr. President. The future of the entire free world could depend on your answer to what otherwise might seem a trivial question: Coke or Pepsi?"

As a political junkie and staunch conservative, it would stand to reason that I would have marked the CNN Republican Presidential Primary Debate on my calendar and counted the days, hours, minutes, and seconds until the glorious moment. I didn't.

In all honesty, I was mildly interested and made a mental note of it last week, but for a number of reasons, it slipped my mind tonight. Maybe it was work, sorting out plans for the week and weekend, or maybe it was buying cat food and meeting up with a buddy to play guitar.

Having witnessed the last 30 or 45 minutes of the debate, I'm now convinced that it was none of the above. The trivial nonsense I pried my eyes open to witness a few minutes ago only made me regret regretting that I forgot to set my DVR. While I'm curious to see some highlights, I'm now thankful that I didn't subject myself to the full two-hour prank that was this CNN "debate."

I can almost appreciate CNN's efforts to keep the "action" moving, but question after question directed at one or two candidates, cutting each off almost immediately, and ultimately wasting valuable air time on questions like "Coke or Pepsi?" almost made me throw my friend's Fender Telecaster at my (thankfully) outdated TV.

Seriously? Three wars and you ask Tim Pawlenty "Coke or Pepsi?" Gas prices flirting with $4 a gallon and...Coke or Pepsi? Nine percent unemployment and...Coke...or...Pepsi? $14 TRILLION national debt and you think I give a crap what soft drink a candidate for PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA prefers?

I should have known better. Apparently, deep down inside, I did (or else I'd have two hours of that crap wasting space on my DVR instead of invaluable episodes of Cheers, Smallville, and Swamp People). CNN, you owe me 45 minutes of precious life that I'll never recover. I've seen all I need to see of the hilarious joke you call "political coverage." Thanks for nothing, CNN. Next...

Friday, June 10, 2011

Trouble Sleeping? Read Sarah Palin's Email

Take 24,199 pages of these and call me in the morning.

Never mind for a moment that this suddenly eager media that is tripping and falling all over itself to investigate Sarah Palin's email (without a single credible allegation of wrongdoing, filing 600+ open records requests to sift through it the moment they heard her name three years ago) is the same media that REFUSED to investigate Barack Obama's relationship with admitted communist and domestic terrorist Bill Ayers. Never mind that this is the same media that ROLLED THEIR EYES at any questions raised about Obama's antisemitic, America-hating preacher of many years, Jeremiah Wright. Never mind even that this Palin-hunting media is the same one that just days ago INSISTED on shooting the messenger when someone else (Andrew Breitbart) did their job and investigated Anthony Weiner's inappropriate PUBLIC tweet (and subsequent false claims of hacking).

Never mind that the media's sudden interest in investigative journalism only applies to squeaky-clean, former conservative politicians that MIGHT run for office some day rather than those liberal ones that are obviously suspect and are actually in or seeking office. The only thing more unbelievable than the enthusiasm with which the liberal, mainstream media has dived into more than 13,000 of Sarah Palin's emails (24,199 pages-worth) is the fact that they're actually writing stories about the incredibly boring and uneventful contents of the emails (click here for a painfully comical example). I've never read more about less contained in more boxes of paper in my life.

Among the more riveting revelations: She did NOT pay for her daughters' tanning bed with state funds (shockingly to crooked liberals everywhere, she paid for it herself). She REMOVED alcohol from the governor's mansion at prom/graduation season rather than risk the temptation for the minors that may be in and out of her residence (rather than tweeting pictures of herself to them...cough cough).

Basically, countless media outlets are scouring 24,199 pages of Sara Palin's email, desperately seeking scandal, misappropriation of funds, and any remotely sharply-worded sentence in an effort to destroy her. Unfortunately for them, they have found absolutely nothing inappropriate to this point. Much to their frustration, they are only exposing that she consistently went an extra ten miles to be above reproach. Yet, they continue to write never-ending stories reporting non-scandals (though the length of the stories and coverage itself would seem to imply scandal, wouldn't it?). Oh yeah...and she appears to be a little suspicious of the media. Go figure.

Make no mistake: the story here is NOT the contents of the emails themselves. The story here IS the media frenzy to devour any and every word ever sent or received by a FORMER governor of Alaska--all with zero hint or suggestion that she has done anything wrong. least they're finally investigating someone, right?

The media frenzy that took the nation by storm yesterday began with over 600 records requests from media outlets almost three years ago. Why?

Were explicit pictures sent out publicly from her Twitter account? No. And if such a thing ever happened, we now know with absolute "certitude" that the media would positively crucify any thug that dared investigate such a potential story (see Breitbart, Andrew).

Did she associate with known terrorists, kicking off campaigns in their living rooms? No. But we also know that such behavior raises nary an eyebrow from The New York Times, The Washington Post, MSNBC, CNN, or any of the major networks' news outfits. In fact, befriending violent socialists would apparently make her better suited for the office they are terrified she will pursue.

Did Sarah Palin spend two decades in a church with a racist, hate-mongering, socialist preacher? No. But if she did, there would certainly be no story there either. "Nothing to see here," they'd say. "And why are you being so nosey, Mr. Breitbart?"

No, Sarah Palin's crime was far worse than any social media scandal or questionable associations. Her crime was that she was selected as the Republican Vice Presidential candidate. Worse, she is a smart, successful, CONSERVATIVE woman. In the liberal world view, women are not supposed to be conservative (so much for diversity). And if they are, they are dismissed as dumb (so much for tolerance).

So, it stands to reason that a woman daring to be smart, conservative, AND a Vice Presidential candidate demands 24,199 times the scrutiny applied to the inappropriate relationships and lies of a Democrat congressman or the racist, socialist, and violent terrorist associates of the Democrat candidate for President of the United States.

The audacity of that woman...doesn't she know her place?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

P90X Days 15-21: No, I Haven't Quit

Fat boy still sweatin'...

Sorry I haven't updated in a few weeks, but as you'll hopefully see over the next few days, I most certainly haven't quit and I've stayed relatively on track. I'm about a week and a half behind schedule because believe it or not, even I have a busy day every once in a while. If the generous folks that have offered to motivate me with various rewards feel that this disqualifies me, I understand, but I still fully intend to finish. If I do all 90 workouts in 100, 110, or even 120 days, I'll still be in the best shape of my life and that's worth something, right?

Since I have to get you up to speed on three or four weeks worth of workouts and unflattering pictures, I'm going to break it into one-week segments and try to post one every day or two until I'm caught up. I'll also try to keep text to a minimum for any specific workout I've already covered (which will mostly be the week this post covers--Week 3--and the week I'm actually finishing up right now: Week 6).

Most important non-workout related information: I lost a net of about 10 pounds in the first month, hit a bit of a wall with the weight loss (probably because I really got off schedule during weeks 4 and 5, only getting three or four of the six workouts in per week for several weeks), and just recently lost another 2 pounds for a total net of 12 pounds lost. Assuming I've gained any small amount of muscle, I like to think I've lost something close to 15 pounds of fat. Still a long way to go, but I don't think it's a bad start for someone that's a little off schedule and has only monitored his calorie intake for three or four of the seven plus weeks since I started.

Yep...still Christmas around here on Day 15 (mid-February).

Day 15: Chest, Back, and Abs: Week 3 was the same schedule as Weeks 1 and 2, so if you want to know more about this workout (and any of the ones below), please check out my previous P90X posts.

Still standing after my third round of Plyometrics on Day 16 (Plyo was the one that had me laying on the floor on Day 2).

Day 16: Plyometrics: Hated it the first two weeks, hated it here, and still hate it. But I hate it a little less every week.

Man, I'm hungry...on Day 17 and every day.

Day 17: Shoulders, Arms, and Abs: Except for the abs workout, I kind of like this day. Isn't it obvious?

Nothing like a fat, bearded guy dozing off while taking a picture of himself after celebrating Christmas in February with a little Yoga...Day 18 is in the books.

Day 18: Yoga: Still can't do everything in this workout (some of these positions and postures are just not fair), but getting better. I just wish it wasn't 90 minutes wonder I couldn't hold my eyes open afterwards.

Day 19 might have produced the most sweat yet...I bet.

Day 19: Legs, Back, and Abs: Not a big fan of this one, but then again, I wouldn't call myself a big fan of any of them. Why am I doing this again?

No, I didn't just go swimming. I just finished Day 20. And yes, I keep clothes on my recliner nearly all the time. Clean or dirty? Your guess is as good as mine.

Day 20: Cardio (still subbing for Kenpo): Brian, the buddy that originated this fiasco and loaned me the DVDs and pull-up bar, was just here Tuesday night. Did he bring the Kenpo DVD? Of course not. At this point, I don't know if I want to do it anyway. If it ain't broke...

Day 21: Rest or X Stretch: Forgot to take a picture of myself on these rest days for the last few weeks (probably because I got a little too comfortable and took a few too many rest days made snapping a picture of myself sitting or lying down seem like a lot of work). Anyway, take my word for it. I rested.