Taking Note of a Few Things,  Episode 3: Guns Don’t Kill

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Top photo by Tim Forkes

Home Depot is making me regret trading in my truck for a smaller and more economical SUV a few years ago. For each item it delivers, Home Depot charges a fee. If you do not want to wait all day for an eight-hour delivery window, for an extra fee, they will offer a four-hour window. If you do not want to sit around for half a day, for another higher extra fee, they offer you a two-hour delivery window. I am guessing for an even higher extra fee; they guarantee everything you order arrives undamaged.

I really enjoy physical labor, even at my current age. There is a certain satisfaction I get from seeing the result of my physical labor I do not get from desk work or other more sedentary labor. I think I might have been happier career-wise had I owned my own business where I was able to work outdoors.

Should I apply for unemployment? I am struggling with this question after being told my position at the motel I worked at was being eliminated by the new owner. I know I am eligible for it, and I have paid more than my share of taxes over the years. Still, here I am collecting a monthly pension and with plenty of money to live on. I feel I am just taking money that is not needed.

In elementary school, I used to race the bus home from school. There was a bus stop at the foot of my driveway, and I enjoyed seeing if I could beat the bus to my house. While running this morning, I wasn’t even concerned if I passed the woman ahead of me taking her dog for a leisurely walk.

Ozark is back and I am happy it is. It’s right up there with Breaking Bad.

Eric Clapton has gone off the rails. He’s right up there with Aaron Rodgers and several other nut jobs when it comes to Covid.

Maybe unvaccinated people feel the need to sound like they know more than those of us who are vaccinated because they know we think they are stupid to risk their lives and the lives of others. They just don’t realize their crazy talk convinces us even more.

Whoever invented the Sawzall deserves to be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom — only because there is not a Nobel Prize for Tools.

Angels CF Mike Trout at the 2018 MLB All-Star Game. He is most definitely a first ballot Hall-of-Famer
(Claudia Gestro)

Don’t feel sorry for Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens. Both missed out on their final shot at being voted into the MLB Hall of Fame, well. Both knew what they were doing and anyone who supports them by saying they were only doing what everyone else did misses the point about cheating. The sad part is, neither one had to cheat because they already had established strong enough careers to warrant admission.

Good players do not belong in any hall of fame. There is a difference between guys who had long careers because they were good players and those who were great. The great found ways to dominate the game and force opponents to plan around them. The good found ways to benefit off the adjustments made for great players but were never able to carry the teams they played for.

Guns are not the problem, if you believe what rabid gun owners claim. What is a problem, if you are like me, is owning one is too easy.

Thanks to San Jose, California, this may change. If you are a gun owner there, you can expect to have to carry liability insurance. Since gun owners love to say cars also kill, why not make it a requirement to help defer the cost of gun deaths by making owners do what drivers are required to do?

The way to rid society of guns is to tax them to death. Annual licensing, passing gun safety classes, taxing the hell out of ammo, and increasing the price for hunting licenses will make gun owners rethink how many guns they want to own. Requiring state-approved gun lockups for each weapon owned is another measure to implement.

More guns are used on family members or suicide than for self-defense or hunting.

We live in a society where most folks can’t use their cell phone responsibly. What makes people think we can use guns as our Founding Fathers intended?

Guns don’t kill, but without them, drive-by shootings become nothing more than a joy ride.

Johnny Cash sang, “I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die.”  Am I the only one who has wondered why then is the guy doing time in Folsom, California? Doesn’t Nevada have prisons?

If Kamala Harris was white and male, no one would care about the job she is doing as VP. It’s not like she is Dan Quayle.

If there are real concerns about Harris being a heartbeat away from the presidency or being able to win a general election if Biden steps down, there is an opening for her on the Supreme Court. I hear it is not a bad gig.

The NBA playoffs should get started. Forget the All-star break and get on with the postseason. The top nine teams in both conferences are not going to change much so what’s the point in playing another thirty meaningless games?

Buying replacement parts is one reason why we are such a wasteful nation. For the second time, I have purchased a new Ryobi trimmer because it was cheaper than buying replacement parts. I now have three trimmers in my garage. I figure if I buy one more, I might be able to start my own replacement parts business.

It’s easier to fall in love with that photo of a cabin in the middle of nowhere that randomly appears on your Facebook page than it is to live in it as you claim you would. Once you realize the nearest store, coffee shop, and restaurant are an hour away and you are left trying to catch fish in the stream that runs through your property, you are packing your bags and moving back to your home.

This year’s nominees for the Rock Hall make for a weak class. Dolly, Lionel, and Eminem are all great musical artists, but they are not rock musicians. There are good arguments to be made for Pat Benatar, Eurythmics, and Rage Against the Machine. However, since the hall has become more of a celebration of music in general, it no longer requires being a rock musician to get in.

For the most part, I love life here in Ventura County. However, I get tired of what I call the windy season, which arrives in October and doesn’t leave until spring. It’s not just the Santa Ana winds, but the constant wind that makes doing anything outside miserable.

Weather forecasters are a perfect example of men calling the shots on television. Male viewers are often treated to gorgeous women dressed like they are ready for a night out on the town while women get to look at the likes of Al Roker.

The best weather forecaster ever was KABC’s Dr. George. If you never saw one of his forecasts, check him out. Considering he was usually cast with anchor teams consisting of a failed actor and bubble-headed bleached blonde along with an ex-jock doing sports, Dr. George was a gem.

The best weather reporter today is my body. If I wake with a stuffy head, it’s going to be windy out. If my joints ache, there is a storm heading our way. If I feel good, it’s going to be gorgeous outside.

The second-best forecaster ever was Al Sleet, the Hippy Dippy Weatherman.

It’s so nice to see Michael Avenatti and Stormy Daniels back in the news again. This time, instead of double-teaming Donald Trump, they are going toe-to-toe against each other. One is a complete and total sleazeball who will do anything for money while the other is just a porn star.

If you want an excellent example of an oxymoron, read what Arizona Republicans have proposed for a voting law. They actually call it the “Election Subversion Bill.” It’s another example of the GOP wanting to make voting difficult while allowing them to toss out election results without any proof of wrongdoing. You can add subversion to the list of words they have bastardized. American, patriots, brave, courageous, pro-life, and countless other words they use to describe themselves are nothing more than a foundation of lies they have built their party on.

Neil Young is awesome. He has refused to lower his standards as he has aged, unlike many rockers who have sold their souls to the corporate world that has destroyed classic rock. His ultimatum to Spotify to pick between him or Joe Rogan is an example of how he refuses to associate himself with any organization that hops in bed with people who insist on spreading lies.

Young recognizes Spotify is free to do business with whoever they want, but before you hate him for making them choose, remember he also has the right to pick who he does business with. Freedom works both ways.

I do wonder why Neil Young has focused on Joe Rogan and not included fellow musician Eric Clapton. Afterall, let’s face it, Eric has jumped the shark with some of his comments about COVID.

Joe Rogan is not the problem. The problem is Spotify wants to capitalize off the creative work of everyone. Neil Young, and now others, have said they can’t have it both ways. They can’t expect artists who are diametrically opposed to the thinking of someone like Rogan to want to be associated with him just because Spotify is willing to pay artists a bunch of money to look the other way.

If President Biden’s announcement that he will fill Stephen Breyer’s Supreme Court seat with a black woman is an example of affirmative action as conservatives are claiming, then maybe Trump’s insistence on filling vacancies with whites is an example of racism.

People who are angry that Biden is only considering a black woman for the Supreme Court opening probably find nothing wrong with the NFL’s continued lack of hiring blacks as head coaches or General Managers. The NFL seems fine with their plantation mentality and the average fan doesn’t care either. I’m hoping Brian Flores’ lawsuit changes this.

Brian Flores will be to coaching what Colin Kaepernick was to quarterbacking; blackballed.

Now that Rafael Nadal has won his 21st grand slam tennis title, I wonder if Novak Djokovic regrets his decision not to get vaccinated. Nadal stands to benefit if Djokovic has to miss grand slam events and remains stuck at 20 titles.

Has Tom Brady retired? (Claudia Gestro)

It looks like Tom Brady has decided to retire. Unlike a lot of football fans, I do not fall into either the love him or hate him camps. I’ve always been indifferent toward him as a ball player. I felt the same way about Peyton Manning. Brady and Jerry Rice are the only two worthy of being in the conversation as the G.O.A.T. in pro football. That said, his style of play was something that never resonated with me.

At the top of my list of all-time favorite NFL players is Steve Young. He’s followed by Earl Campbell and Gayle Sayers. Fourth would be Bo Jackson. I’d close out my top five with Jerry Rice.

Watching Brady play was like watching an artist paint. Watching my five favorites was like looking with amazement at a masterpiece.

LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers
(Claudia Gestro)

LeBron will be next. Age has caught up to him and he is now dealing with constant injuries that take longer to recover from. It’s not easy chasing another title when Father Time is weighing you down.

The problem with podcasts is not that anyone can have one nearly as much as idiots will believe anything someone tells them that is designed to come off as the truth.

Celebrities do not sell the truth. They sell themselves or the products they are paid to sell and nothing more. It’s amazing how fast they disappear when you stop worshiping them.

Speaking of celebrities, Whoopi Goldberg knows about as much about race as Sean Penn knows about gender roles. Both would be wise to stick to scripts before speaking.

Washington finally has a new name for its football team. Looks like they passed on my suggestion, Foreskins, and went with Commanders. All that is left is for Washington to play Kansas City for what will be billed as the Commander and Chief Bowl.

Instead of Commanders, they should be called Commandeers since all Washington manages to do is take our hard-earned money and waste it.

If Roger Goodell thinks the Super Bowl will make Brian Flores’ claims go away, he is wrong. If he thinks it will make the new claims against Daniel Snyder go away, he is wrong. Once the season is over, this is the sort of stuff that drives NFL stories during the offseason.

It just takes one look at the coaching record of Hue Jackson when he coached the Cleveland Browns to realize he is right, he was paid to lose games. Three wins in 40 games is nothing to brag about. He should return any money that the team paid him.

It occurred to me; I have been writing for LAPX for more years than I taught at any single school site. My longest stretch at any school was seven years and I recently realized I am now into my eighth year with the Los Angeles Post-Examiner. I owe a lot to Tim Forkes for taking me on. He owes me a lot too. I want a pay raise.*

*Editor’s comment: “Dually noted.”