Dallas police to test for performance enhancing drugs.

11 06 2008

Police capDallas police have announced that beginning in July, they will begin testing for illegal anabolic steroids among their force.  This announcement comes in the wake of convicted steroids distributer David Jacobs’ death (ruled a suicide by local authorities).  Jacobs admitted providing such drugs to 5 area police departments: Dallas, Garland, Richardson, Plano, and Arlington.

Regardless of the unusual circumstances and timing of this announcement, they are apparently going to start random steroid testing within the police department.  My question is…why, exactly?  I mean, I am all about cleaning up illegal activity within the police force.  And, I am totally against the use of performance enhancing drugs within all areas of sporting competition.  But, why exactly does the use of anabolic steroids among police officers warrant a periodic and unscheduled pee test of our city’s finest?

Of course, I don’t really think that police officers should be using illegal drugs of any kind, but what is the worst case scenario if an officer is, in fact, using steroids?  Is the Dallas police department worried that a detained criminal will object that he was unjustly arrested because the arresting officer gained an unfair advantage elevate his ability to execute the arrest?  Will other officers point to the steroids usage as somehow providing the guilty officers with the ability to achieve a higher level of success within the department?

I guess I am just not completely grasping the importance of this announcement.  What am I missing?

Advertisements




2008 NBA finals

6 06 2008

NBA Finals

I feel like a kid again watching the NBA finals this year.  I remember watching the Lakers and the Celtics back in the 80s.  Man, I loved the Lakers.  I was a HUGE Kareem Abdul Jabbar fan.  And, I loved watching Magic Johnson work his magic.  Loved everything about the Showtime Lakers.  James Worthy, Byron Scott, Kurt Rambis, AC Greene, Michael Cooper.  I loved all those guys.

 

And, I absolutely hated the Celtics.  Larry Bird drove me crazy.  Even then, I respected him as a basketball player which was why I couldn’t stand him.  I didn’t like Kevin McHale or Robert Parrish or Dennis Johnson.  The one I hated the most was Danny Ainge.  Really, there was no reason not to like those guys, but I didn’t.  I guess that’s sports.

My, how times have changed.  I do feel like a kid again watching these two teams square off.  But, it’s funny how my loyalties have completely changed.  Don’t get me wrong…I am still not a big fan of the Celtics (although I have always been a KG fan).  But, I hate the Lakers now way more than I ever hated the Celtics as a kid.  I do not like Kobe Cryant at all.  I don’t like any of the present day Lakers.

Leading up to this series, I have been reminiscing about the old 80s Lakers v. Celtics series.  But, I didn’t really think this series would feel like those did.  I didn’t really think there would be that much of a rivalry feeling between these teams.  But, I do have to say after watching Game 1, that there was a unique quality to this series that does kind of remind me of the rivalry that I knew as a kid.  It will be interesting to see if it lasts for the entire series.  I hope it does!

Watching Kevin Garnett pound that rebound through the hoop over Pau Gasol was awesome!  And, Paul Pierce was the man tonight.  Wow!

It’s fun feeling like a kid again.

My wife and I went to see the Mavericks play in Boston in ’06.  The Mavericks have great arena fan fare and atmosphere, but they can’t touch the Celtics.  The Celtics don’t have to do anything but point to the rafters.  It’s easy for them to create a video montage that can generate energy, excitement, and enthusiasm from their crowd.  Afterall, they have footage from 16 previous championship journeys to choose from.  When I saw that in person, I was blown away.  What a team legacy.  I just sat there and wished for one…just one…championship from my team.  They can’t even think about building a legacy at this point.  But, they are still my team and I will keep pulling for them.  Go Mavs!

Anyway, back to the point of this post…this series is going to be fun to watch.  Short of Dallas winning the title, the next best thing, for me, is to see Kobe cry before these playoffs are over.  Go Boston…you are my last hope!





This was the kid

20 05 2008

Today was a very sad day. I have posted before about the Jubilee Kids Club program Hurricane Cupcakesthat my friends and I have started at the Samaritan Inn here in McKinney. Well, today we got word that one of our little buddies at the Inn was involved in an off-site accident in which he drowned. This little boy was one of the first kids we met back in February. He was so vibrant and full of life.

This was the kid that was so full of life and energy that we had to keep a special eye on him because you just didn’t quite know what he was going to do next.

This was the kid that nearly had to be restrained inside the building one cool morning in March while we made him wait for someone to bring him a jacket.

This was the kid that just wanted to go outside and play. He just wanted to play. He just wanted to play and play and play.

This was the kid that couldn’t wait to get outside in the sun. He played on the swing. He played in the yard. He played football. He played kickball. He played soccer. He played basketball. He played all of the above…at the same time.

This was the kid that played basketball with me on a make-shift basket out in the playground over and over and over again….and then we played again. We must have played 20 times. And, guess who won every game? That’s right, and he not only beat me every time, he smoked me.

This was the kid that made me laugh because he liked to make up new rules each time I got the basketball… the same rules that for some reason or another might or might not have applied to him when he got the ball.

This was the kid that when I asked him which basketball player he was, he said Reggie Bush! I asked him what NBA team Reggie Bush played for, but he didn’t hear me because he was already on to something else.

This was the kid that wore slippers for his Air-Jordans and a white tank top for his jersey.

This was the kid that had two beautiful sisters that we all thought were twins. But, it turns out, one was his twin and the other was their older sister.

This was the kid that came to Dallas with his family from New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. They were trying to make their way in a new place and in a new school and in a new kind of whirlwind.

This was the kid that we brought cupcakes for in April because we knew we were coming on his and his sister’s birthday. We were sad when they weren’t there that day. We had to enjoy the cupcakes without them.

This was the kid that ultimately left this world too young, too early, and with too much playing left to do.

This is the kid that my friends and I will dearly miss.

This is the kid that I will think about everytime I shoot a basket in that make-shift goal out in the playground.

This is the kid that I will remember everytime I see Reggie Bush run for a touchdown as I wonder if he would make a good basketball player.

This is the kid that I will honor with every cupcake I eat.

This is the kid that I hope to see again someday in a better place. A place without homeless shelters, a place without hurricanes, a place with no need for jackets to go out and play, a place where everyday is a celebration of someone’s birthday, a place where his smile will last for a few thousand years and then a few thousand more.

A place we can both call home together.





B-Rex feels hungry, scientist claims

12 05 2008

B-Rex is hungryToday at lunch I asked my son what I should blog about today.  He said I should talk about his toy dinosaur, who he has named B-Rex (don’t ask me why).  He said I should talk about B-Rex because B-Rex wants to eat but he can’t because B-Rex is just pretend.

Which leads me to a thought that I often have.  I don’t trust everything scientists tell me.  Why am I expected to take everything a scientist tells me as fact?  My kid is really into dinosaurs and he has books that tell him all about life on this planet as it was x million years ago.  And, everything is written as fact.  When I read these books to him, I always add in the caviet phrase “according to scientists” at the end of each statement that strikes me as utterly unprovable.  I mean, there is no way to prove or disprove some of the statements made, and yet, we are expected to accept all of it as fact.  And, not only that, but we are expected to just start teaching it to our kids.

My son had his 4th birthday party at the Dallas Museum of Nature and Science.  It was a terrific party and he and all his friends had a super time.  (I recommend it if you are looking for a unique party idea for a young child).  But, even there, I remember thinking more than once, “How can they possibly know that?”

And, it certainly isn’t limited to theories on dinosaurs.  I have heard and read all kinds of crazy things stated as fact.  I have heard all about how the planets came to be.  There are detailed accounts of how our own planet has evolved and changed over the millions of years.  Give a scientist a rock and they can tell you its age.  (Carbon dating in particular is something that gets on my nerves because it is so widely accepted as complete and utter fact beyond any possible debate).  They can categorically state when the Artic will run out of ice.  They know how much our climate is warming and can tell us with amazing precision how temperatures will change over the next 10 years, 20 years, etc.

A quick google of “scientists claims” gave me the following results:

Life on Mars Likely, Scientist Claims

Black people ‘less intelligent’ scientist claims

Scientists Claim Infrared Helmet Could Reverse Alzheimer’s Symptoms

Men Smarter than Women, Scientist Claims

And, these are just on the first page!  The list of unbelievable and un-provable claims goes on and on.  (Of course, Men being smarter than Women is really more of a commonly accepted fact than any sort of breakthrough scientific discovery…just kidding).

I remember the exact moment about 5 years ago when I finally decided to officially quit believing anything that was stated in the name of science.  I read a headline that “There are more stars in the sky than grains of sand on the earth.”  Come on, how in the world can they possibly know that?  And yet the article fully documents the total number of stars in the sky (70 sextillion to be exact) as compared to the much smaller number of grains of sand on the earth, which ironically they don’t even state…it’s as if we are to assume that they have known that all along.  I knew when I read that article that they are completely full of crap.

Don’t get me wrong.  I do think there is validity to a lot of things that scientists discover.  Many advancements and truly proven discoveries have been made in all areas of science.  But, my point is, that our society is expected to just fall in line with whatever is said in the name of science.

Well, I, for one, can’t do that.  In my mind there is always room for other explanations no matter how remote they may be.  For instance, I believe that God created the world.  It is certainly possible that the Grand Canyon was carved into the rock over millions and millions of years by the Colorado river.  But, it is also very possible in my mind that God created the Grand Canyon in just a single instant in all its beauty and glory.  But, I have never heard the latter as a possible explanation to how the Grand Canyon came to be.

It’s possible that Dinosaurs roamed the earth millions of years ago, sure, but isn’t it also possible that God created the world with fossilized dinosaur bones and footprints and even droppings just because He’s God and He can create the world anyway he chooses with dinosaur droppings and all?

I personally think that the Grand Canyon was, in fact, formed over thousands of years and that dinosaurs actually did roam the earth.  But, I would just once like to see scientists to acknowledge that there are other possibilities when they start to make their informed statements of fact.

This entire blog started because my 4 year old said I should talk about his pretend hungry dinosaur.  Here’s hoping he will continue to be interested in dinosaurs.  Here’s hoping he will continue to ask questions that will lead him into a further thirst for truth.  Here’s hoping he will channel his interests and his curiosities into finding out more about this world and how it came into being.  Here’s hoping he will always keep his mind open to a whole “world” of possibilities.





Greatest moment in Mavs history

5 05 2008

What is the greatest moment in Dallas Mavericks history?  Well, it is pictured to the right.

When that moment happened 2 years ago, I thought the Mavs were on their way to winning a championship.  Honestly, I thought that they would be contenders for a title for several years to come.  For those of you non-sportsnuts like myself, Dirk made a 3-point play (See Ginoble’s foul there?) to push Game 7 to OverTime and an eventual win going away on the Spurs homecourt.

Boy, how times change.  They end up beating Phoenix that year in the conference championship series and then go up 2-0 in the Finals to Miami.  Then, they choke it all away.

Then they fool us all again, winning 67 games in the regular season the next season and locking up the #1 overall seed in the playoffs.  Then comes Golden State.  Another huge embarrassing collapse.

I remember reading Jerry Stackhouse’s quote at the beginning of this year.  To paraphrase, “Either going to the finals was a fluke or getting knocked out in the first round was a fluke, this year we will find out”.  Well, I think he was right.  We all found out. 

Dirk said last week, “For me, personally, I feel like it’s another wasted year”.  I feel exactly the same way as Dirk.

As a die-hard Mavs fan, I don’t have a lot to put my hope in either.  I think they do have some flexibility in their roster that might give them the ability to make a deal or two in the off-season.  But, I am not sure I see anything that can put them back to an elite contender status right away.  Maybe I am just a glass is half empty kind of guy, but I definitely need something big to happen to renew my excitement and get me out of this funk. 

And, hiring Rick Carlisle is not exactly what I am talking about.  I think he will be fine, but he doesn’t make me excited again.  I need to see something big.  And, I just don’t see what it could be.  But, I hope that Cuban and Little Nellie can come up with something to renew my excitement in a team that had me so caught up in excitement this time two years ago that I could hardly stand it.

Please, Sports Gods, please make things right for the Mavs.  They were the worst franchise in all of sports in the 90s and they got exactly zero #1 overall picks to show for it and only one in the top 3.  Meanwhile, the Spurs got two #1 overall picks exactly ten years apart (David Robinson and Tim Duncan).  They have 4 titles to show for that.  Coincidence?  I think not.

Which brings me back to the greatest moment in Mavs history.  When that moment happened, I thought for sure, it wouldn’t be their greatest moment for very long.  Now, it really looks like I am going to have to wait awhile for something better.  As a Mavs fan, I guess I should be getting good at waiting…