31 July 2007

When good laws are interpreted horribly

By now, most of you probably have seen the footage of the two Phoenix, AZ news stations helicopter crash. Here's a view from a competing station's 'copter. Now, news comes out that the District Attorney is going to prosecute the guy who stole the vehicle for the deaths of all in the helicopters. He is citing the "If anyone dies in the commission of a felony, they will be prosecuted for their murder" routine.

Now, I actually agree with that law, however, I do believe the "spirit" of that law (and we all know how that doesn't mean spit anymore) is for when someone is innocently in a bank and a felon is robbing the bank and shoots them, or, for the innocent bystander in a 7-11 who is killed from a robber.

The key words are innocent. The news whores who have started chasing these police chases not only continue to sensationalize and encourage criminals to run, but also assume the risk that they will run into each other. They are flying too low for FAA regulations and therefore have a responsibility to the public AND each other to ensure that they aren't stupid. If they weren't so damn concerned with getting the "best shot" which would win them either local or national emmy's for "news coverage", we wouldn't have this. Frankly, these things should be a pool camera and that way ALL stations have the same feed. Don't get me wrong, I'm not blaming these four men in the helicopters, they were doing what their employer told them/encouraged them to do.

It's not just car chases; each of these stations are under such pressure to produce something that the public wants to see that they endanger the lives of their own employees to get it. Whether it's getting closer to a building fire, buying "stringer" footage, or investigative reporting undercover, it's the "wow" factor that they believe gets them noticed.

Well, for the two men from KNXV and the two from KTVK, who are dead, I would think that the families of these men are more angry that their employers put them AND ENCOURAGED them to put themselves in harms way. NEWS STATIONS, wake up!! This truly is getting rediculous. I heard that these copters fell very close to a VA Hospital and honestly it's amazing that they ended up in a public park and not on top of further victims who might be in traffic or at home WATCHING THE COVERAGE!!!

27 July 2007

It's almost football season!

The fresh smell of cut grass, the crunching tackles, and the chants of "The referee's a wanker" lets one know that footie season is again, upon us. As you can see from the links to the right, I'm a supporter of the English club, AFC Wimbledon. Most of you know the history of how this lifetime Chicago Bears fan took up interest in "The Beautiful Game", but for those who don't, let's just say that we can blame close friends and late nights drinking. 'Innit how all good things start?

This season marks the 10th season that I've supported a club from the Borough of Merton, London, England. It's stated that way because of the introduction of "franchising" to English Football when Peter Winkleman bought Wimbledon F.C. and moved them 70 miles to Milton Keynes. From the ashes, rises the Phoenix and AFC Wimbledon was born on May 30th, 2002.

And so we start another season on our way "back" up the Football Pyramid.

But this brings me to my real point for this post. The overhype about David Beckham coming to play for the L.A. Galaxy just gets to me. Last Sunday, I flipped over to ESPN to see his first game and figured he'd be coming on around the 77th minute, (good guess on my part). It's great to have him here and in the sport. I just don't understand what he has to gain by doing this other than being a huge ambassador to the sport in this country (and all that money). I just wonder outside of LA, how many NEW fans he's bringing to the sport since that's what is seriously needed versus whipping the "already faithful" into a frenzy.

In response to the big name signing it seems that the other MLS clubs are trying similar tactics as Cuauhtemoc Blanco appeared against Celtic for the Chicago Fire on Sunday (and scored) and he's a big name out of the Mexican league. So I do think it will elevate the desire to compete with stronger players, but does the MLS do this at the expense of their budgets? If we could get a competitiveness here to keep our own US stars home, that'd be the best long-run strategy (however I like having Americans to root for in the English Premier League).

What is the MLS' business strategy here though? After the initial burst in attendance and influx of cash to the local clubs, what is the two-to-three year vision? I don't hear anything of it and there's no reason for the MLS to keep it secret (again, IF they have a vision), but it's THREE years to the next World Cup in South Africa and that's a long time to try to gain new supporters and build a club that can compete. Remember, it has to be a squad that WON'T have Beckham or Blanco (duh, it has to be comprised of Americans), so unless these moves are bolstering U.S. talent, it's just gotta be "All about the Benjamins". We have to stop roller-coastering in our appearances in the World Cup, otherwise, it's destined to be a third tier sport in this country.

So in the meantime, I'll keep my focus on AFC Wimbledon and our push to be promoted out of the Ryman League Premier League into the Conference South. C'mon you Dons!!!!

Death Cat

I've always known that animals are smarter than humans. They run from danger, carefully pay attention to what they eat and just live to make us happy. But seriously, a cat that can detect when an old person is going to die??

As a gambling man, I mean, Oscar definitely has increased his odds by being a resident of a nursing home, but there has to be something more here. Maybe the cat sees the nurses playing with pillow cases prior to going into rooms? Okay, so I'm just being funny, but seriously, all the talk I've heard of is how they bring pets into the homes to help with recovery and with mobility. This is the weirdest twist on that theory I've ever heard.

If I was a resident there, I think I'd be pretty sure to keep a slingshot or something next to my bed so that the damn cat didn't curl up next to me for sure.

I've never been a big fan of cats. I'm a "dog guy" as most people know, and believe that cats are really just an irritant. Chalk this one up to yet another nail in the "Brian will never love cats" coffin.

25 July 2007

It's a Boy

Yesterday, Mary Kay and I got the happy news that our baby is a boy. It's weird really; I had convinced myself (pretty deeply) that we were having a girl. It's just the way life works.

Even though I didn't admit it to my wife, I had already been narrowing down girl names in my head. I love Brianna, Kelly, Katie, and Erin. But now, that's not to be.

When we were told it was a boy, I have to admit, I wept. Although my wife's tummy is covered in gel for the ultrasound, and she was on her side (Baby Boy LoCicero was spining and moving quite furiously), I had to keep it to myself. A thousand thoughts fly through your mind when you hear the gender of your unborn child. Sure, it's the continuation of the patriarchical surname (not like there's not thousands of LoCicero's out there), but I immediately thought of what sports he might play (if he plays any), what his interests will be, my fear that I'll be 60 when he heads off to college, and of course, the usual, how in the hell are we going to pay for all of this?

Admittedly, Mary Kay and I are consummate planners, and the college fund is already in place and growing (thanks to a bullish market right now). As some of you know, we already have our unborn child registered at The Goddard School to start in March '08 and we are likely the ONLY homeowner in Moose Lake Estates with decent equity in our home. (Hell, with two foreclosures in our neighborhood, one across the street from us, we're probably the ONLY ones with more than 20% equity!!). So our own disciplined behavior of money management means we really shouldn't have much to worry about, but you just never know. With escalating costs of education, with technology taking over our lives and with the massively increasing debt that the United States is accumulating, I'll be surprised if gasoline isn't $5.00/gallon in the next 18 months.

Don't get me wrong, for the 30 minutes in the dark during an ultrasound, I definitely celebrated this happy day of our lives, but isn't it sad that one's mind goes to worry and concern so quickly? America is still the land of dreams that so many immigrants try to make true but our leaders have me very very worried about the future for my child, my boy, my son. As any Father must do, I will do everything in my power to ensure he doesn't make the same mistakes I made and that he cherishes family over anything else in life, but the variables we cannot control, well, I guess we're going to just have to face them together.