A Gun Guy

Baby with a GunI met one heck of a guy the other day. A bunch of us were hanging out in a group and like any great hang-sesh, politics came up. I don’t generally like to debate politics with people because it never ends up going anywhere. However, I sensed, at least somewhat correctly, that this was a good crowd to at least joke about Donald Trump with.

We had a few laughs and this guy blurted out that he’ll do what he always does, abstain from voting in the presidential elections. Now, I’m fine with that. In fact, I can give the guy a little credit for being able to acknowledge that he’s too uneducated about politics to vote (and I don’t mean that facetiously). His rationale was that he wasn’t voting because his life will be the same either way. Admittedly, it’s debatable whether one person’s vote really counts in the electoral college for a non-key state but, “life will be the same either way,” is more of a stretch.

So anyways, he’s not a political guy. We all moved on, the conversations splintered, I’m no longer talking to him. Now I’m on to talking to a similarly minded person about owning a hand gun for warding off potential home invaders. I’m not necessarily anti-gun, but I am pro-common sense and I said something like, “You’re more likely to shoot yourself than stop an intruder,” which is mostly true (more on that in a second). From fifteen feet away I heard this guy yell, “That’s so dumb, you’re wrong,” which I wasn’t.

I found it disturbing how many results came up when I later Googled, “hand gun more likely to kill self than stop intruder.” I won’t get into the numbers or examples here (please see Google for that) but as Politico notes, “gun owners are far more likely to end up…accidentally shooting an innocent person or seeing their weapons harm a family member, than be heroes warding off criminals.” Which is only slightly semantically off from killing yourself (and might even be worse for those able to feel guilt and remorse).

The guy in question also yelled something about how he owns a hand gun and hasn’t shot himself (yet). My response was to ask him how many home invasions he had stopped. He didn’t have an answer for that.

photo credit: _MG_7310 via photopin, cropped by Matt Aromando (license)

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Sad Froot Loops

Sugar LoopsI find cereal fascinating. What magnifies my fascination with cereal is the fact that I don’t even eat cereal anymore!

Socially, the way we treat cereal says so much about the world. Adult-oriented cereal is on the top shelves at a grocery store, putting it at eye level for adults. Kid-oriented cereal is in the center shelves, putting it at eye level for kids. Additionally, kid-oriented cereals use mascots that were designed to stare at children in the eyes (so creepy, advertising specialists). Finally, discounted, generic cereal is on the bottom shelf, where you have to bow down to the grocery store gods to reach them and their low prices.

Anyways, I made up a dumb name (and slogan!) for one of those dumb generic cereals for a local grocery store chain:

Go loco for Localpuffs – remember, it’s Localpuffs!

Make sure not to forget, it’s Local-puffs!

photo credit: Sugar Loops via photopin (license)

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Comerica Park

Matt at Comerica ParkA couple of weeks ago I visited Detroit to see my Boston Red Sox take on the Tigers. (The Sox won, which is rare this year.) I’ve had a little difficulty in describing exactly how I feel about Comerica Park. Don’t get me wrong, I like it, but I can’t put it into one adjective why. Instead, I came up with an analogy to describe it: Comerica Park is full of lots of pretty and cool stuff. It’s like my apartment, full of junk that’s sentimental or not, like (in my apartment) posters, bobble-heads, knickknacks, Legos, stuffed animals, toys, et cetera.

Labatt BlueThe food and drinks were a little all over the place. Comerica Park doesn’t have too many options and the options are pretty basic. I’d say it’s not really a place for foodies or craft beer fans. The beer was mostly macro-brewed, other than Magic Hat (a beer from Vermont) which I was told by my friends, isn’t common in Detroit. There were daiquiri stands throughout the park, which I don’t believe I’ve seen before. For food items, I had some nachos, a hot dog, and a bag of sugar-coated roasted almonds. The almonds seemed to replace the peanuts most ballparks have in the stands. There was also Little Caesars pizza available, as that is how the Tigers’ owner made his fortune. I did not partake in that.

Comerica Park EntranceComerica Park is covered in statues of tigers, including one that is 15 feet tall near the front entrance (which is flanked by giant baseball bats. The exterior is partly lighted by tigers with baseball-shaped light bulbs in their mouths and claw marks down the sides of the building. The park is covered in Pewabic tiles, a Michigan specialty. Center field has a display promoting the Motor City with cars from Chevrolet and a set of fountains that go off during celebrations (I didn’t see any home runs by the tigers but I did see some fireworks).

Home Plate Panorama at Comerica ParkThe park is dug deeply into the ground. The main concourse is almost street level with the field and more of the lower seating area below ground. This makes the park fit into the city better and keeps it from looking like a behemoth (unlike Ford Field in the background of the park). The skyline in center field shows downtown Detroit, I wish more ballparks were able to show off their downtown area but many aren’t built that conveniently to the city they represent. The exterior of the park was lit up, alternately, in Tigers’ blue and Tigers’ orange.

DSC_0041In the concourse, there are also several areas dedicated to kids that are the best I’ve seen. There is a ferris wheel with baseball shaped gondolas, and a merry-go-round with all tigers for animals. Here there are other statues like one for legendary announcer, Ernie Harwell, and a statue of liberty painted in Tigers’ colors (I have no clue why that exists, other than, America!). Also in the concourse are displays that show the “Tigers through decades” with artifacts from the past starting in 1900. In a different part of the concourse, behind center field, they have statues for all the Tigers players who’ve had their numbers retired.

The other nod to the past was the flag pole just beyond the left field wall. This was originally in the field of play as an homage to the old Tiger Stadium but was put out of play when the outfield wall was moved in, changing the park from pitcher-friendly to more hitter-friendly.

After the game, there was a fireworks show, which apparently happens every Friday and Saturday night all summer long. It was a substantial show, much more than I would have thought, and a nice treat to end the game.

Check out all my photos from the trip to Comerica Park in this gallery:

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I don’t need a bag

I’ve almost lived in Brooklyn for a year now and I’ve found some differences living in New York than what I’m used to as a lifelong Bay Stater. More observations to come.
Plastic Bag
I’ll admit that I’m a card-carrying liberal (not like that’s outrageous these days). The environment is a big deal to me. I hate littering like few others. I recycle everything I can. I hate wasting resources. So, I almost always decline having my groceries or other purchases bagged. If I do end up with a plastic bag, I either reuse it or make sure its recycled (which is not particularly easy to do).

In New York, though, people react strangely to the notion of not needing a bag at stores. Maybe it’s because this city is already covered in trash, I dunno. Whenever I buy items like a drink, a candy bar, or a ream of paper, I normally tell the clerk that, “I don’t need a bag.” I’m perfectly capable of carrying one or two items. Everywhere else, this has worked fine. It’s just accepted that I don’t like plastic bags. In New York, I’ve been given strange looks on more than one occasion but the weirdest response was a clerk at a 7-Eleven sarcastically thanking me for saving them the trouble. Listen, fella, this was way more about my bleeding heart liberalism than it ever was about saving 7-Eleven the cost of a plastic bag.

Also, I really look like an adult wearing a backpack everywhere I go.

photo credit: wind blown #1 via photopin (license)

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The city that never sleeps but needs to rest sometimes

I’ve almost lived in Brooklyn for a year now and I’ve found some differences living here than what I’m used to as a lifelong Bay Stater. More observations to to come…

Chicken EscalatorFirst of all, New York sleeps (at least as much as any other city). The subway becomes unbearable at midnight, especially when taking more than one train with the schedule becoming once every half-hour. During the day, the city is hectically busy but there’s definitely a resting period most days. That isn’t so strange, again since every city is like this. What’s strange is that despite New York’s reputation as a busy city, people don’t walk on escalators.

People don’t walk on escalators? New York is known for people speed walking to the point of running. It’s known for bumping into people and acting like it’s the bumped’s fault. It’s known for rushing around everywhere even if it’s to get in line at a Starbucks. It’s known for beeping car horns as soon as a light turns green. When it comes to escalators? Everyone just gets on it for a ride, a metal lazy river. I’ve seen this all over the place, in stores and subway platforms, and I don’t get it. People are rushing around everywhere but an automated staircase seems like the one place people take breathers. It doesn’t matter if they are wearing sweatpants or a suit. The escalator is place for people to rest.

This isn’t to say that I always walk up escalators or that everyone outside of New York walks up escalators but no one walks up escalators in New York. No one! I guess it’s a trick to spot tourists.

photo credit: Halloweekend 2009 via photopin (license)

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