Monday, May 30, 2005

The World is a Dangerous Place...

I got the following quote from a newsletter from Tim Larkin:
 "The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do 
evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing."

-Albert Einstein

Friday, May 27, 2005

How Hard to Push Kids

This is an excerpt from an article by Matt Furey:

How Much Pressure Should We Put on Kids to Be Great Athletes?

I would have never believe it, but attending a P-K graduation brought tears to my eyes. And next year I'm sure when Frank graduates from kindergarten, it'll be more of the same.

In the olden days, (back when I went to school), there certainly was no pre-K, and kindergarten was optional.

Frank's pre-K hours are 8-3. In a couple weeks when we go to China for the summer, his school hours will be 8-5, six days a week.

All this got me thinking about my own childhood, exercise, sports, and so on. I started in competitive swimming when I was 8 years old (same goes for wrestling). I wanted to be on the swim team because my older brothers were on the team and they brought home blue ribbons all summer long. The walls in their bedrooms were lined with blue ribbons, and I wanted some of my own.

Training, if you could call it that, consisted of showing up at the pool in the morning, swimming some laps, playing some water polo, some more laps, going off the diving boards, and then heading home for lunch. After lunch we would walk back to the pool, get some sun, swim some more, dive some more, get some sun, and then walk back home. This was the routine all summer long. What a life! The competitive swim meets were just an extension of summer long fun. The only time it was serious was when the starter's gun went off to start the race.

We only swam in the summer.

Today, if you want to play basketball for instance, you start at 8, and play year round. You travel all over, and by age 12 it has become very serious business, with trainers, and specialists, and crazy parents; and by age 14 some 80% of the kids who started in sports have quit. That is tragic and it's a sign that the plan many parents have their children on is "the wrong plan."

Why? Because parents, coaches, trainers, and others have sucked out the fun.

In their quest to have their child be the next Michael Jordan, or Diana Taurasi, they have forgotten that sports are supposed to be fun.

Exercise and sports are good for kids. But they have to have fun doing them and the desire to be a champion, to be numero uno and to succeed has to come from the child. Yes, the parent and coach can help increase the kid's desire - but he cannot force it. If he does, eventually you end up with the 14-year old who won't be involved at all.

Sort of coincides with the old line, "The man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still."

Frank has been doing all sorts of exercises with me since he was 18 months old. He has done a little of everything in the catalog at Furey Central. But I don't push. If I'm going to exercise and he says he'd rather go in the pool, he goes in the pool. If he wants to do some pushups at 10 PM I do some with him. During a regular week he gets plenty of exercise, but there are no set times, I don�t care if he does 5 reps or fifty, or if he does 1 exercise or all the ones I do.

And if he has the desire, maybe someday he'll have a whole wall full of ribbons and trophies like I did. Lord knows he lives with someone who models success - and that alone is key, I think. The little guys may not appear to be watching, but they are.

Now, if and when my son gets competitive and ends up with a room filled with ribbons, medals and trophies, I want him to look back at them and say, "That was a whole lot of fun. I really enjoyed whooping all those people."

Thursday, May 26, 2005


I got back to Salt Lake on Sunday. I've spent a lot of time at GoodGame the past few days. The other day I watched Equilibrium at a friend's house. I rate it 5 (out of 5) stars. It starred Christian Bale (he plays Batman in Batman Begins) and Taye Diggs. It had a really good story and some incredible fight scenes. You can buy it at

Monday, May 23, 2005

Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith

On Saturday we saw Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith. I rate it 4 (out of 5) stars. I would have rated it higher but it had a very dark story to it. Even though I knew it was coming, I still didn't enjoy seeing Anakin Skywalker turn into Darth Vader. I liked Episodes IV, V, & VI better than Episodes I, II, & III. The story is more important than the special effects. I still want to see Unleashed.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Kombat T-98

I found my dream car tonight. It's the Kombat T-98. It's like a Hummer on steroids. They are made in St. Petersburg, Russia. These armored luxury vehicles cost between $105,000 and $145,000 depending on armor level and model (sedan or wagon). The most expensive model, the Hit Pro.S, can take a hit from a RPG-7 anti-tank weapon and keep on rolling. Take a look at the specifications. I am going to get one as soon as I can afford it.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Haim Harari & An Innocent Marine

2Slick has some good news for us. In this post he told us that Haim Harari has turned his speech into a book titled A View from the Eye of the Storm : Terror and Reason in the Middle East (I've added it to my Wish List if you want to buy it for me). He also told us that no charges will be filed against the U.S. Marine who killed a wounded and unarmed Iraqi in a Falluja mosque last November. The Marine Corps determined that the Marine fired in self-defense and will not face court-martial (I told you all he would be found innocent!).

"Killing Floor" by Lee Child

I recently finished reading Killing Floor by Lee Child. Killing Floor is the first Jack Reacher novel by Lee Child. Jack Reacher is an ex-military policeman. In Killing Floor, Jack is arrested for murder shortly after arriving in Margrave, GA. After he proves his innocence he helps the police track down the real killers.

Killing Floor is a good book. It wasn't as good as the Rogue Warrior series by Richard Marcinko or the John Rain series by Barry Eisler, but I liked it and intend to read the rest of the books in the series. I am currently reading The Taking by Dean Koontz. I have read several of Dean Koontz's books. I am going to read Vengeance by Richard Marcinko and Killing Rain by Barry Eisler when they are released ((I've added both books to my Wish List).

Piranha & Bawls

My 2 favorite energy drinks are Piranha and Bawls. Both of these drinks get their caffeine from Guarana, a berry containing caffeine that is 2.5 times stronger than the caffeine found in coffee, tea, and soft drinks. Piranha is made by EAS. The 8 oz. can comes in Fruit Punch and Orange Pineapple flavors. The 16 oz. can comes in Watermelon Kiwi and Sour Apple Flavors. Piranha is the best-tasting energy drink I have ever had. Bawls is a cream soda flavored energy drink that comes in a 12 oz. bottle. I like the taste of Piranha better, but Bawls seems to give me more energy.

Kingdom of Heaven

We saw Kingdom of Heaven yesterday. I rate it 4 (out of 5) stars. It wasn't as good as Gladiator or Braveheart, but it had a good story. Orlando Bloom played his role well. I really want to see Unleashed, which comes out on Friday.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Desert Sky

Desert Sky on DVD is now available for purchase. Desert Sky is a documentary about the 159th Aviation Brigade in Iraq. The 159th Aviation Brigade is the world's largest Air Assault Helicopter Brigade. You can purchase Desert Sky on DVD here.

Desert Sky began as a side project by former Army Aviator Captain Eric Simon of the 159th Aviation Brigade when he arrived at Fort Campbell in February 2003 just two weeks before they shipped off to fight in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Taking his miniDV camera with him, Eric began shooting footage of the deployment and war whenever the chance arose, with the hopes of producing an hour long 'Wings' presentation for the Discovery Channel. This changed in November 2003 when a helicopter crew from the brigade's 5th battalion was shot down north of Tikrit. A week later, two more helicopters collided over the city of Mosul raising the casualty toll in the brigade to 12. The brigade would never be the same. After the memorial ceremonies, Eric began searching for stories within the brigade that would tell a broader view of the unit's experience. With the help of Flight Operations Sergeant Jason Rhoades he collected thousands of photographs from throughout the brigade showing hundreds of stories. It was no longer a 'Wings' production but a human interest story - a documentary. In December 2003 Eric contacted Dan Smith a producer in Phoenix, Arizona and told Dan his idea for the film. They agreed to meet upon Eric's return to the States. In the interim, Eric produced a short trailer for the film to bring to Dan and in May 2004 they met in Phoenix where Eric showed his footage and trailer. Don Enevoldsen a writer and Robert Allison an editor and technical specialist were also at the meeting. They were stunned by the pictures and footage Eric brought back with the stories and immediately knew there was a film to be made. Upon returning to Fort Campbell, Eric arranged to interview several members of the brigade. One surviving family member of a killed crewmember was available for interview as well. Once approval for the film was given by the Department of the Army Public Affairs in Los Angeles, interviews were shot and secondary footage was gathered from the 101st Airborne Division's Public Affairs cameramen and the 101st Museum. When the smoke had cleared, over 1200 minutes of footage and interviews had been compiled. The challenge would be to narrow it all down to just 90 minutes.

Lightning & Jake

I lived in Gang Mills, N.Y. (near Corning, N.Y.) from 1977-1980. I was between 2 and 5 years old during this time. We lived out in the country at the end of Rafferty Road.

We had a black labrador retriever called Lightning. We called him Lightning because he was so fast. I remember when Lightning ran way. My brother, Peter, and I were down by the railroad tracks that ran in front of our house. I remember Lighning running down the railroad tracks. We called him but he wouldn't come back. We never saw him again.

Shortly after Lightning ran way, our dad bought another black lab from our babysitter's neighbor. They had named him Jake. Jake was a fun dog to play with. We taught him how to jump through a hoola hoop. He would also jump through the lower part of our screen door when the screen was removed. Jake would often go play in the woods behind our house. Sometimes he would catch a rabbit and bring it to us as a gift.

When I was 5 years old we were coming home and we saw Jake limping on the side of the road. His leg had got caught in a sickle mower. His foot was dangling from his leg. We took him to the vet and they operated on his foot. They replaced some of the parts in his foot with artificial parts. While Jake's leg was still in a cast, our dad told us that we were going to be moving to North Carolina. He told us that we were going to have to give Jake away. I hugged my dad and started crying. I really like dogs, but we never had any more dogs after Jake.