Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Cool clock, Ahmed. Should we cut off your hands?

In this weeks news and hashtags that make my eyes roll, I, like many of you, read a story about a 14 year old boy named Ahmed Mohamed who brought a clock to school and was arrested. That's about all I could gather of the story the first day the news broke. Public figures like Mark Zuckerberg and President Obama invited Ahmed to Facebook and the White House respectively. Companies like Microsoft sent Ahmed thousands of dollars worth of hardware.

And for what exactly I ask. To make good PR?

Then when I looked past just the feel good headlines about the story blowing it up into a race issue I found pictures of the clock.

According to sources, he had it on him the entire day and his sixth hour teacher finally asked Mohamed to put it away. He refused and kept arguing that it's just a clock. He was sent to the principal's office, the police were called, and Ahmed was arrested.

Many liberals are crying "If they thought it was a bomb why wouldn't they evacuate?" Let me get this straight, you think it's profiling for him to be arrested but you'd be fine with the school being evacuated? It sounds like the school and teachers were treating it like a hoax bomb. If someone at an airport made a joke about a bomb they would be detained. The entire airport wouldn't be evacuated over it. "Islamaphobia" has made us second guess every procedure in order to not look racist. The Eiffel Tower was scaled by a few men with duffel bags earlier this week yet authorities hesitated to evacuate the building. Pretty scary, right?

All over public transportation there's signs that say "See something, say something" and provide numbers for local authorities. Really, what that should say is "See something, say something unless that person is a Muslim in which case you're a xenophobic, Islamaphobic, bigoted, racist and you should check your white privilege."

Which brings me to my next question: if you were sitting next to him on a plane and he had this as his carry on but he assured you it was "just a clock" would you be fine with it?

Let's make one thing clear, Ahmed didn't invent anything. Clocks have been around for awhile now so he's a little late to that. There's clear evidence that he took apart an alarm clock from RadioShack and threw it in a pencil case. In one interview Ahmed even says he had it in a bigger case but thought it looked too threatening. Why would he think it looks threatening but then get offended when his teacher and classmates thought the same thing?

Ahmed's father Mohamed Elhassan Mohamed is a Sudanese immigrant. You know Sudan, that country we have trade sanctions with because of their involvement in terrorist activities. Yeah! That's the one! He has ran for President in Sudan twice now and failed. While he has been vocal about reforming the country's apostasy laws he still embraces Sharia.

Under Sharia law, if one is found guilty of theft his/her hands (sometimes feet) may be cut off. The Qur'an does permit lying though, especially lying to unbelievers and infidels. But if his fraud involves copyrighted equipment being passed off as something he built himself is he not guilty of theft?

I think Ahmed and his father who most likely came up with this publicity stunt should feel pretty lucky right now to be living in a country where corporations are giddy about giving Ahmed free shit rather than a court system that would grant RadioShack the right to cut off Ahmed's hands.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Why the Kardashians are the Worst Family Known to Mankind

Before I begin this rant I'd just first like to say I'm not exaggerating in my title. I truly believe the evil the Kardashian bestows on the world is worse than any other family. If Hilter had children, I might make an exception. Might.

My reasoning is thought out and I don't consider myself someone that's just annoyed by their fame. I actually hate even mentioning them by name because by doing so I'm only one of the billions of people adding to their relevance. Negative attention is still attention.

So let's begin with how they rose to prominence:

In the mid 1990s, a football player named OJ Simpson murdered his ex-wife. The court case People v. Simpson was highly publicized and is somehow one of the most prolific court cases since the Scopes Monkey Trial.

Acting as his lawyers were Johnnie Cochran and his friend Robert Kardashian. Simpson spent several nights at Kardashian's house during the trial. Kardashian garnered national fame as the man seen carrying a mysterious bag belonging to OJ Simpson that many have speculated to have held the murder weapon or bloodied clothes.

As we all know, the court (somehow) found OJ Simpson innocent even though he's now in prison for later committed felonies. So that's what the name Kardashian is known for. A man who is essentially an accomplice to a murder.

Then we have Robert Kardashians kids: Kim, Khloe, Kourtney, and Robert. You would think it would look a little odd that he named his daughters KKK. I digress.

Robert Kardashian died in 2003. That same year, daughter Kim would go on to become a socialite for her friendship with Paris Hilton and a sex tape with rapper (or something, I don't really know) Ray J.

Like Paris Hilton, I thought Kim would slowly fall out of the public eye as most socialites do. But after her sex tape was released in 2007 the whole family got a reality TV deal all thanks to porn star sister Kim.

After several marriages with NFL and NBA athletes, the family has somehow maintained the fame they started with. All without any actual talent might I add. We're not talking about a family of singers or actors. This is solely a family of decent enough looking women (Bruce included) that people find entertainment from watching.

Recently we've seen Bruce "transform" into Caitlyn sparking national attention and debate. Ze's (that's a gender neutral pronoun) also made headlines for killing someone in a car crash and is facing manslaughter charges. Not too many people seem concerned with the latter part. (Is it manslaughter if it self-identifies as "womanslaughter?")

The youngest daughter Kylie Jenner is known for being in a relationship with a rapper that's 24 while she's 17.

This family has essentially proven you can circumvent any law as long as you have celebrity status and that celebrity status can be obtained easily by getting naked on camera. They're far more dangerous role models than we give them credit for. But you'll still watch them on TV, download their apps, buy magazines with any of them on the cover, follow them on social media, etc.

Even if you're like me, you'll end up complaining about them in a blog only boosting their relevance on the internet. No one's safe and there's no escaping them.

Friday, September 4, 2015

How to Save 5 Million People a Year (and Quit Giving Me Road Rage)

As I write this, I'm boiling with rage from a near accident in a roundabout. The average California driver seems to have slept through that portion of a driver's ed course. In this particular case, it was a group of older women in a Buick considerable in proportion to that of a moderately sized yacht.

I'm reminded of the Calvin and Hobbes quote "You would think the elderly would drive faster since they have less time."

As we dawn on a new industry of self driving cars and other modes of getting around pioneered by Google, Tesla, Uber, and perhaps Apple road safety will drastically improve.

Currently, 17% of all fatal traffic accidents involve someone over the age of 65. This might not seem like a shocking number but keep in mind that those over 65 only make up 16% of the driving population in the U.S.

Most opponents of self-driving cars and new technology are the elderly. They don't want to embrace it mainly because of the tradition of driving themselves around or they just don't trust something they don't understand. I remember when my Grandma saw a sign at Wendy's that said "Free WiFi" and she thought it was a new dessert. (She also pronounced it "Wiffy.")

Because of the initial opposition that most will have against self-driving cars I'd like to propose an incentive plan to put the elderly behind the wheel first. Subsidize the pricing of these cars for those over 65. With each passing year, driving becomes more and more dangerous for the elderly. Yet, there's about the same number of 85+ driving as there are 16 year olds. (A little more by most statistics I found. They're just not driving as many hours.)

A model like a credit of $5,000 for 65-75 and $8,000 for 75-85 year olds would encourage older drivers to buy a car that drives autonomously. It would also create independence and could allow for the elderly to live in retirement they way they planned.

I'm not one for government subsidies but this is something I'd consider in the name of public safety. Every year there's approximately 34 million traffic deaths with 5 million fatalities involving a driver who was over 65.

Just my thoughts,
Pete the Juggler

Friday, August 28, 2015

My Conversation with my High School Guidance Counselor

When, I was 13/14 I was like most other kids and didn't know what I wanted to do with my "life." Even the ones who already knew what they wanted to be at that age have probably chosen a different route by now.

I've yet to decide for myself and have honestly just been getting lucky getting some of the "big breaks" I have gotten. So as I sit here in my quarter-life crisis, writing a blog entry that maybe a dozen people will read, trying to think in more specific terms of where I see myself in 10, 20, 30 (if I make it that long) years I've been thinking back to my conversation with my high school guidance counselor.


In 2007, I moved to a town 10% the population of the city I had resided in and didn't know too many people. So after giving me a tour of the school I would be sentenced to for the next four years (most people who graduated there were lucky to do it in five) the high school guidance counselor sat me down for that discussion everyone must have.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

"Retired." I quickly responded.

He laughs and then says "Okay, well before that. What are your interests or something you could see yourself enjoy doing as a career?"

I then gave a serious answer and said "I like to think I'm entrepreneurial-minded."

He kinda stared at me for a little bit. Almost like he felt like I had said a joke that went over his head. He started to write down "E-n-t-" then looks up and says "Okay, I can't spell that."

So as to accommodate him I said "Just write that I'm business savvy and waiting to find something that interests me enough to turn into an income."

He went back to writing and again looked up and said "Is savvy one or two v's?"

I then paused and said to him "You know what? Just put that I'd like to be a high school guidance counselor. You've inspired me."


Still trying to decide what's next,


Sunday, November 2, 2014

Joggling the Indianapolis Monumental (Half) Marathon

Last year post-race
Courtesy of Laura Neidig and Indianapolis Monumental
This weekend I returned to Indy to run their annual Monumental Marathon. Last year the race caught my attention after posting wanting some entertainment during the race. Now they do a 5k, 10k, half, and full marathon. I had done several 5k's and 10k's so I thought I'd mix it up so I messaged them saying if they wanted I could juggle the half marathon (13.1 miles). With very little experience at long distance running I impressed even myself by running the course in about 2:03.

This year however, (yes, here come the excuses...) I was even more out of shape and battling a cold all week. Luckily, there were two kleenex stops along the course! They were prepared for everything! While driving to Indianapolis I ran into the "s-word" along the way. Snow that is. Although I think I did step in the other s-word too.

All the runners were quite trepidatious about the cold weather and prepared accordingly. If you've ever watched a big, long race you'll see people dressed in all sorts of fancy layers of running clothes stripping them off once they start exerting enough body heat. I'm the guy behind them checking to see if they dropped anything in my size.

Being a guy juggling three balls for the duration of the course makes it a little tough to remove clothes so I just stuck to a long sleeve shirt, shorts, and leggings. I have to thank Laura Neidig, one of behind-the-scene ladies to the event for providing me with gloves to wear during the race. If it wasn't for her I probably would still have my hands thawing in a pot of boiling water right now.

During race photo courtesy of Sarah Gibson
Needless to say I didn't PR but that doesn't matter because it's still good PR to just be a part of such a huge race and joggling in it. I think my finishing time was somewhere around 2:17 but I'll have to check on that.

Indy is still one of my favorite cities to run in. Anywhere with that flat of a course is definitely a plus and the race is extremely well-organized. I can't think of a race with customized bibs, a participant T-shirt, finisher medal, Jimmy-John's, and chocolate milk after the race.

Not only did they have an incredibly good-looking, yet extremely modest guy like me running the race while juggling but they also had a 92-year old marathoner, a 17-year old soon-to-be Olympic medalist I'm sure, and an amputee all running the race.

Definitely inspiring and pushing me to get back on the treadmill until next year.

Thanks Indy!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Meeting Mary Hartline

Mary Hartline.  Google that name real quick.  Okay are you back on this page after looking her up?  Excellent.  As you can tell Mary Hartline was a TV star in the 1950s.  She was the host (or more of a Vanna White) of a show called Super Circus and even had her own show The Mary Hartline Show.  She's had dolls and figurines made of her.  Amazingly, I am from the same little town as Miss Mary.

About two weeks ago she came into the gym I work and asked me a few questions.  I've read about the local celebrity before but wasn't able to recognize her when she was talking to me.  Luckily some members of the gym told me who she was!  I was shocked that at 84 years young she's still out and about driving herself in a vintage maroon convertible.

A couple days later she came in again and I told her that this time I knew who she was and that it was a pleasure meeting her.  About three days later she came in not even wanting to work out but to give me an autographed picture of her.  She had seen a picture of me in the local paper and was happy to see I'm a juggler.

The happiest little boy in the world AKA Pete the Juggler

Sunday, January 22, 2012

A convenient way to save time, money, and the planet.

I'm sure you're tired of know-it-all college kids, hippies, and Al Gore telling you to change your lifestyle in order to make the world a better place.  I have a polite proposal on how to make your everyday lifestyle more convenient and save the planet at the same time.  That proposal is... peeing in the shower.  Think about it!  You've probably already done it (just admit it!) once or twice yet didn't realize with every leak in the shower, you're conserving water, saving time, and even fighting fungus that can develop on the shower floor.

If you routinely wake up, take a piss, flush, and hop in the shower, I'm asking you to do one thing.  Hop in the shower, lather, rinse, repeat, etc, AND relieve your bladder.  It won't take any longer seeing as you will be lathering your handsome body in the finest of soaps and suds while also urinating.  You multitasker you!  I don't know about you (and it would be creepy if I did) but I pee like a racehorse in the morning.  A racehorse with a large bladder.  A racehorse that could put out the Chicago fire with his pee.  It would take me a whole 'nother minute in the bathroom if I was to stand in front of my toilet and do my business there.  If I had to wait for my shower to get warm after flushing the toilet it could take even longer.

Fun Fact: the longest time spent peeing is 508 seconds.  That's over eight minutes!

The average toilet flush uses 11 liters (3 gallons) of water.  Prices vary place to place but let's say you're from New Jersey (America's toilet).  Price per gallon is two cents.  Within a year you've saved $7.30!  May not sound like much but hey... that's Jersey.

Not only will it save time, money, and the planet.  It could also save you a "Who left the seat up?!" mystery in your household.  Now you get to say "Pee?!  Who me?  Couldn't be!  Then who?"  You'll rarely have to hear your significant other nag you about leaving the seat down and bruising her tush on the fine white toilet bowl and dipping her rump in the cold water.

I just find peeing in the shower extremely relaxing.  I feel the urge to pee as soon as the warm water hits my manly chest so why would I bother hopping out of the shower when I can just do it then and there and let it go down the drain?  (Also, has anyone noticed that peeing immediately after taking a shower makes the bathroom smell like wheat?  I've noticed it and a few people I know have as well.)

I leave you with these wise words:  "I don't mind if you pee in the shower, but only if you're taking a shower." - Marge Simpson.

Don't be a worthless peon, but a resourceful pee-er.  - Pete the Juggler