Thursday, April 06, 2006

About Me.

Now that I've hooked you into reading my little fledgling blog, It's time to expose the man behind the blog. Who is this man of mystery and intrigue? What makes him tick? What gives him the right to hold court on any and all subjects under the sun despite not knowing anything about them? And is it true about the incident with the dumptruck, the 10,000 gallons of whipped cream and the llama???

I can't answer the last question because the Statute of Limitations hasn't quite run out yet, but I will tell you that there were no llamas injured in that stunt. AAAAAAnyhoo, like I said in my opening post, my real life name is Pierre. No, I am not French, and no I cannot do a Maurice Chevalier impression. That's the name my dear mother tagged me with when I popped out, and at the very least, it's a conversation starter. I hail from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, home of the 5 TIME, 5 TIME, 5 TIME Super Bowl Champion Pittsburgh Steelers, of which I am a dyed in the wool fan. I have multiple occupations, none of which provide nearly enough to live on, but together allow me to actually live in a house instead of under the 7th Street Bridge. I am a security guard, which is chimp work, but it pays the bills. But I also am Treasurer for The Church of the Holy Cross which is my home parish. I also am a commissioned Notary Public for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and I also volunteer to run the bar at my American Legion Post. I think that's enough jobs for now.

Academically, I hold two degrees. I earned an Associate of Science degree in Computer Information Processing from the Community College of Allegheny County, and I also hold a Bachelor of Science degree in Sport Management from Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh. As you can see, a fat lot of good those credentials did as I am doing basically what I was doing before I went to college. But I don't consider the pursuit of those degrees a waste of time, as I did learn a lot about myself and that I possessed this latent gift of writing that had been lying dormant for many years. I can also call myself an educated man and not have to cross my fingers. So the 7 1/2 years I spent as a non-traditional adult student didn't totally go for naught.

I consider myself a ideological schizophrenic in terms of politics. I don't like to label myself as totally Democrat or Republican or liberal or conservative. I have views going all over the table. For example, I happen to find abortion to be utterly reprehensible, and totally preventable. Simply keep your Johnson in your pants and your legs closed. But I also know that accidents do happen and people are stupid enough to succumb to their passions without thinking. When that happens, one of the by-products of such actions are unwanted pregnancies. I can't even try and tell a woman what I think she should do with her body. Such a decision rests between her, her family, and her God, if she chooses to subscribe to a religion. If she were my adult daughter, and found herself in this situation and wants to abort, I would be disappointed but it is her decision. She has to make it and live with the outcome. Another situation: I am totally against this war in Iraq. It wasn't necessary, the proof was overwhelming that none of President Bush's reasons for going to war were viable, and that we should be spending more time trying to find Osama Bin Laden, who was the real force behind 9/11 and not trying to impose a Western style of democracy on a country that clearly isn't ready for it. But I am also one of the most pro-military people you'll ever meet. I served this country in the Navy from 1980-1986, and I am a firm believer in a strong national defense. I totally and to the hilt support the men and women who are fighting this misguided war. I can separate the war from the warrior. If you are going to commit this country's finest men and women to put their lives on the line in combat, you better make damn sure that your intelligence is rock-solid, that the reason for war is genuine and clearwith no bullshit and no spin, and that you provide those men and women with the best weapons and equipment to fight and win the war in the shortest amount of time and then GET THEM HOME!!! And then once you get them home, this government should spare no expense in insuring that those who return battered in body and mind get the medical care they need and deserve. If our soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines are going to put their lives on the line wearing this country's uniform and fighting under Old Glory, then do right by them and don't cut VA funding at the same time you're fighting a war.

I am an advocate of personal responsibility. Be an adult, and own up to your obligations. If I screw up my life with drugs, alcohol, or other irresponsible behavior, I'm not going to blame my childhood, nor my living environment nor my race nor anything else. I will blame myself because I should know better. It's too easy to pass the blame to others for our failings, and I'll be the first to say that I've not fulfilled many of my expectations. I have not attained my fullest potential, and it is my fault.

From a religious perspective, I am a Christian of the Episcopal persuasion. If you would have characterized me as a Bible Thumping Hellfire and Brimstone Fundamentalist, you'd be right...if this were the 1980's. Back then, I was pretty on fire. But I'd like to say that I grew out of that phase, and now I'm an Episcopalian which to most born-agains means that I'm some mushy headed, wishy-washy, fence sitter who really doesn't believe much of anything. Actually, my theology hasn't changed all that much. I still believe the main core Christian tenets, I can say the Apostles and Nicene Creeds without crossing my fingers. But a lot of the peripheral beliefs that aren't central to salvation, I believe are up for debate, and are subject to change. Example: I believe that the Bible is the Word of God given to man through divinely inspired authors, but I don't believe it is inerrant as the fundamentalists would believe. There are too many inconsistencies. I have no problem reconciling evolution and creation. God created everything, and then allows evolution to be the vehicle by which those species adapt to changing environments. How hard is that? I'm just into all the judgementalism that occurs in much of organized religion. Everybody has a label and is spending waaaay too much time trying to stick their label on everbody else. I just wish that we'd all just leave each other alone and not try to convert each other. One of the bad things about Christianity is that our God tends not to play well with others. And his people are even worse. I have no problem with Jesus, it's his disciples that drive me crazy.

Enough of the heavy stuff. As for sports, I love football, hockey, and soccer. I'm too old and fat to play any of them. But I like to watch them fine. I can handle baseball in small doses. Part of that is because I am a Pittsburgher which means that I have to put up with the Pirates as my hometown team. The Pirates are the poster child of all that is wrong with Major League Baseball. the Bucs are a small market team that gets little revenue from it's media rights. Despite having one of the coolest ballparks in the country, the Pirates have not been able to transform that advantage into success on the field. The front office management hasn't always helped matters with the signing of players of suspect ability, and the mishandling of promising minor leaguers. As a result the Pirates have not had a winning season since 1992. There are times during the season when the Bucs show some promise, but they just can't get all the elements together for an extended period of time. The pitching shines, and the defense suffers. The defense gets it's act together, and there is no offense. The bats get hot and the bull pen leaks like a sieve. This year the Pirates will host the All-Star game, and I hope for their sake, they can parlay this into at least a season where they show promise. I'll comment on the Stillers and Penguin in later posts, as well as the meaning behind the handle City League Advocate
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