Ethos for January 2017

I am entitled to my opinions, beliefs, and emotions. I am required to defend these to no one, and will not unless I feel particularly compelled to do so. 

I will choose to not fall prey to an unproductive argument in defense of my beliefs. These beliefs are valid and cannot be made less so by those who attempt to belittle or demean them. 

I will hold empathy and compassion as the highest of virtues and beacons of hope, and I will strive to not allow the light of either to dissipate through apathy or fear of defeat. 

I will dwell in that which makes me uncomfortable because I know that it is at that mental precipice that the most profound personal changes can occur. I refuse to fear that which I do not understand, rather I will challenge myself to embrace it and grow from it. 

I am aware of my privilege and the inherent advantages it provides. I am also aware of the responsibly that it bears: that I may do for those who do not possess the same. I will strive at each turn to use that privilege for the benefit of those who cannot. 

I will listen. 

I will learn. 

I will love. 

-A. 
(Follow me on Twitter: @aaronmoore1322)

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Baby, I Was Born To Run (aka Worst Blog Title Ever)

Recently I have felt a strong urge to write more often. I’ve been unsuccessful thus far, but I think maybe I’ve found a way to combine a couple things that I’d like to make a habit of: writing more often and doing some type of daily physical activity. This will likely be boring as all get-out for anyone not named Aaron Moore, but if I can log my physical activities, it gives me a chance to write more as well as document my running, Tabata, yoga, etc. I hope it also jars loose some idea for posts that aren’t about exercise. 

Last Monday I decided that I had had enough. I have dabbled with getting my pudgy ass in shape since January of this year, but haven’t done anything with enough consistency to matter. Last Monday was a breaking point, though. I was sitting at my desk at work with my polo tucked into my jeans and I felt like a sausage stuffed into cotton. I was done. I’d dicked around long enough and made more than my share of excuses. It was time to make some changes. Starting that night, and 9 of the last 10 nights since, I have either run (ran?) or done some type of interval training. (If you haven’t heard of Tabata, check it out. It’s a killer. Amber has made up the workouts for me. I think she’s trying to kill me.)

I’ve been pretty consistent with running every other day. Distance has been generally 2 miles, though I’ve tried to step that up over the last couple runs. I still feel slow and sluggish. It feels laborious to do it. Whereas I had good form and ran smoothly 20 years ago, I feel like I’m dragging myself through each run. I’m trying not to read too much into this and chalking it up to still being fairly out of shape. Some days are certainly better than others. Regardless of difficulty, I feel great each time I do it. 

Here’s a look at one of the interval training nights:  

Fun stuff right here.

 
Primary goals are to lose weight, build muscle, eat better, and exercise 5 or 6 times a week. Goal weight is 160, but I am fine with that number as long as it isn’t in the form of love handles and a pooch.

I regularly read these sayings about the importance of being comfortable in ones own skin. I have reached a point where that is no longer the case for me.  It’s time to do something about it. Tally-ho and giddy-up. 

You know what would be radical? If you followed me on Twitter: @aaronmoore1322. There are more totally gnarly posts @ aaronmoore22.wordpress.com. K, luv you, bye.  

The Dumbest Thing I’ve Seen On Facebook Today – June 23, 2015

 
How do people make these correlations? Someone please explain how this make sense. 

(Disclaimer: if you can answer that question or explain it in a way that attempts to justify it, you’re an insufferable racist.)

I don’t think I’ll ever stop being amazed at people who are just blatantly racist J.O.’s. It just blows me away. I mean, a person I know put this out on social media as a visual representation of their beliefs. If anyone was ever wondering, “hey, I wonder what that guy is up to these days,” they need go no further than Facebook to see that he has, in fact, been busy hating black people. 

Let’s clear some things up: the visual on the top is a flag that represents something that marginalizes and dehumanizes people. In stark contrast, the gentlemen at the bottom of the frame are wearing their pants below their waist line. If you can tell me how these things equate to each other, I’ll give you eleventy billion dollars. Right now. Right damn now. Wait…only if you can give an answer that isn’t “I don’t like black people.” 

Also, I know those fellas in the picture could be white people. But, you know they’re not. That’s the defense a racist would use to get out of being called a racist. You know that’s not how you meant it, racist. 

Lastly, as my sister Jordan so eloquently put it, “I am more offended when men wear their jeans so tight I can see their wiener through their jeans.” Here, here, sister. Here, here. 

Thanks for reading. I hope your day is outstanding. Let’s interact on Twitter: @aaronmoore1332. That’s my handle. Obvs. 

Pete Rose Is Not A Victim

In March of 1989, Pete Rose told us, “I’d be willing to bet you, if I were a betting man, that I have never bet on baseball.”  

Never.

In January of 2004, Pete Rose told us that he did. As a manager, though. Never as a player.  

Never?

In June of 2015, we learned what we likely knew all along. Pete bet on baseball as a manager, and Pete bet on baseball as a player. Which means that Pete has been lying to us for 26 years.  

For the first 15 years of his charade he wanted us to believe that he was the victim. He was tricked, he told us, into signing away his professional baseball life under the guise that he could someday be reinstated. Then, when it was convenient for him (he had a book coming out), he told us the “truth”. Well, as much of the truth as The Hit King thought we should know. He then proceeded to lie to us for 11 more years.  

Since yesterday’s news broke, people across social media outlets (especially in the Greater Cincinnati area) have bent over backwards to defend Pete. The very man that didn’t think enough of his adoring fans to come clean has once again spit in their faces. And we knew. We knew all along. We knew he bet on games as a player. Doesn’t it just stand to reason? We’ve fooled ourselves into believing that Pete Rose somehow personifies this region. He’s our working class hero. Except the reality is that he’s a cheat. A crook. A liar. An ex-con.  We’ve mythologized his headfirst slides and All Star Game Ray Fosse-barreling heroics to the point that his legend can’t be tainted, dare not be tainted, even when the mountain of evidence to the contrary is literally piled up and dumped over our heads.  

Pete isn’t our hero. He isn’t our misguided son or brother. He’s the asshole uncle that used to fart on your head and give you tittie-twisters.

For years he’s put on his sad, puppy dog face and talked about walking through hell in a gasoline suit to be a part of the game again. We lapped it up. We talked about Pete having served his time and spouted that ‘enough is enough’. We compared his plight to the HGH heroes of the late nineties and we wondered how it was possible that one thing tarnished the game more than another. Certainly steroids are a far bigger issue than some measly gambling, right?  

The problem is that we continually give Pete breaks and he give us none. He wants to be the revered hero of Cincinnati and Major League Baseball but he’s done nothing except serve his own interests all along the way. He’s expected us to do his heavy lifting while making zero effort to paint himself in a positive light. By all accounts, Pete is still a “betting man”. He lives in Las Vegas. He signs autographs for money every day right next to a casino.    

I’m done feeling sorry for Pete. He’s no victim. We are, for foolishly believing that this miscreant wasn’t who they said he was. As it turns out, he’s exactly that.

This is an addendum to a piece I wrote in February 2014. Thanks for reading. Follow me on Twitter: @aaronmoore1322. Have a lovely Tuesday. 

The Dumbest Thing I’ve Seen On Facebook Today – June 19, 2015

Okay, so I saw this gem this morning and I thought for sure that it would EASILY be the dumbest thing I’d see on Facebook all day. I think maybe it was the comment about “urinating in its blowhole” that got me. 

  
But, as luck would have it, I’ve since seen something WAYYYYYY more dumb: 

  
Hey, Brian Hyder, whoever you are…how in the hell you managed to equate Ferguson/Baltimore with Charleston is beyond me. Uh, hey, man, these things aren’t related at all. And, the fact that you so ridiculously tried to pair them only outs you as an insufferable racist and moron. 

Ferguson, Baltimore…these uprisings, whether you agree with them or not, were reactions to feelings of social injustice. What happened in Charleston was a massacre. How can you not see the difference? How can you not see that they aren’t and can’t be related. You took a beautiful moment of, like you said, multiple races coming together and turned it into an unnecessary political statement. What other reason could there be for you to have pulled President Obama and Al Sharpton into it for? 

You want to make a political statement? Fine, I guess. But to do it at the expense of the recently deceased is gross. Just gross. 

Oh, and dumb. Don’t forget dumb. 

The Dumbest Thing I’ve Seen On Facebook Today – June 18, 2015

I really could have called this The Dumbest Thing I Have Seen A Million Times On Facebook.  

 

For the love. Just for the love. At what point is this nonsense going to stop? How long will it take for this to spread far enough to where people know that it’s not freaking true? Sweet mother of all things holy I just can’t take it anymore.

We’re not getting microchipped. Not me. Not you. Not anyone. Not ever. President Obama has not required it. His predecessor didn’t, nor will his successor. It’s. Not. Going. To. Happen. 

Since people don’t like to do research, I’ll take the 9 seconds and do a quick google search: 

http://www.snopes.com/politics/medical/microchip.asp

http://www.hoax-slayer.com/all-americans-microchipped-2017.shtml

http://www.truthorfiction.com/nbc-rfid-chips-prediction/

At this point in our evolution I would have hoped that our B.S. detectors would be better. I’d like to think that one could read something like this and just instinctively know it was patently false. But, alas…

  
Thanks for reading. Have an elegant day. Hey, follow me on Twitter where I say dumb things that I find entertaining: @aaronmoore1322

The Dumbest Thing I’ve Seen On Facebook Today – June 17, 2015

I see dumb stuff on Facebook every day. In fact, I see lots of dumb stuff on Facebook every day. Facebook has taught me that many people I have known a long time are, in fact, insufferable racists, bigots, and/or jerk faces. It’s disheartening, really. But, I digress. Today’s dumb thing from Facebook is:  

There are multiple reasons why this is dumb, but I think the most glaring is that it doesn’t even make sense. Taken literally, if your son adorns his bedroom with items from the Ohio State University, this should be an early warning sign to you as a parent that he will soon change his name to a traditionally female name. 

Taken as it is intended, it…well, it still doesn’t really make sense.  The gist is that if your son is a fan of the Buckeyes, he will grow up to be like Caitlyn Jenner. This is supposed to be an insult. But, instead, it’s just dumb. Juuuuust dumb. 

What if you see this, but you’re under the assumption that Caitlyn Jenner is a well-adjusted and happy person who, after a long and arduous struggle with identity, has transformed herself into a person that she is finally comfortable being? Well, in that case, for the first time in my life, I say…

Go Buckeyes. 

Thanks for taking the time to read. I hope you enjoyed. Are you on the Twitter? Let’s follow each other: @aaronmoore1322. I hope your day is a giant ray of sunshine. 

Nine-Year-Old D1 Prospects?

Roughly a year ago, I was forwarded an email from the parent of a nine year old kid. The baseball team he had just played for was disbanding, and he was looking for a new team. Some of the old team had splintered off to join a new team, so these parents reached out to one of those parents who, as it turns out, was now the head coach of the new team. (Note: I have edited to remove any names. This includes the names of people and teams. Everything else is exactly as it was forwarded to me.)

“i am coaching a new team. It is an existing franchise without a 10 U team so we will be filling that gap. I would be willing to take (your son) on if he is willing to commit to only baseball. I’m only interested in baseball players who want to strive toward Division 1 college baseball. I’ll tell you what I’ve told all the parents who have asked about the team, the boys on this team are going to need to be tough and ready to work. It’s not going to be anything like what the (other) team did. We are going to have no less than 2 practices a week and only 1 game. The practices will be long (usually) and no doubt, a bit grueling for the boys. This will be good for them. Winning ballplayers work hard. It’s pretty much that simple. I want you and (your son) to know what your getting into before you commit. The reason I decided to leave the (other) team was because of this very thing. We wasted an entire season and did NOT teach our boys how to play or what it takes to be winners. I could not step up because (the Head Coach) wouldn’t allow it. So be it but this new team will not be this way. We’re going to work hard and we are going to win. If this is the kind of team you are looking for, then you are welcome to join. But be sure because I promise you it won’t be easy. Talk it over with (your son). This team will take priority over everything except a players faith and academics. Here is the player/parent expectation sheet that was passed out at tryouts. Already some have found these requirements too much for them and that’s fine. There is a team for every boy. This team will be filled with boys who want to be great ballplayers.”

Kinda makes you feel weird, right? You’d like to think maybe I just made that up, right? I wish I had. But, alas, here we have a grown man talking about conducting “grueling” practices for 9 and 10 year old boys. Kids! I’d like to dissect this a bit, if I may. Obviously, one can read this once and realize it’s ludicrous on its own merit. However, I enjoy beating dead and ridiculous horses, so here we go:

1 – “I would be willing to take (your son) on if he is willing to commit to only baseball.” Couple that with: “This team will take priority over everything except a players faith and academics”. 

Okay, so Coach Hardass would like for all of his future D1 prospects to give up everything they love to commit to baseball. He expects that they will quit anything that could interfere with baseball. In 2011, I coached a kid who was a concert pianist and had a perfect ACT score. He just happened to also be a hell of a pitcher. The summer I coached him, I was getting calls from Harvard and MIT about him. I guess Captain Tough Nuts would have liked him to give up on that silly piano playing. Surely Harvard isn’t good enough, eh?

Here’s the deal…if you think your kid should specialize, wait until they can make that decision on their own. At 9 or 10, there is 100% no reason to commit to one sport. That’s silly. No, silly doesn’t even explain it. It’s stupid. Let them be kids. Let them have fun. Don’t push them into select leagues where the season lasts 8 months and they play 764 games. It’s outrageous. Let them explore other sports and activities. It will make them more well-rounded. Unless your daughter or son is literally Mike Trout-incarnate at age 9, the Big Leagues aren’t coming to scout them this summer. Relax. 

2 – “I’m only interested in baseball players who want to strive toward Division 1 college baseball.” 

If I had a nickel for every coach or parent that thought they had a D1 kid…gee whiz. Do you know what a D1 kid looks like? At bare minimum, half of “D1 makeup” is size. Little Billy gonna be 5’6″ and a buck-thirty? Yeah, Division 1 isn’t likely, old chap. And that’s okay. See, there’s outstanding baseball at D2, D3, and NAIA, too. Outstanding baseball. But everyone gets hung up on D1. I’ve been coaching high school baseball for a decade. You know how many D1 kids I’ve seen in our area? Not very many. 10, maybe? 12? D1 athletes are a different breed. They look different. The ball sounds different off their bats. Their fastball pops more. They carry themselves differently. They look like grown men playing with children. They aren’t the norm. So, for Coach Big Britches to want to assemble a team full of D1 kids? Not happening, champ. But, what he could do is teach kids fundamentals and a good work ethic.

I hate the stigma that is attached to collegiate programs below D1. It’s nuts. There are so many good programs at the other levels that can actually offer a good amount of money for sports and academics. Fun fact: D1’s split 11.7 scholarships across an entire program. There are 298 D1 NCAA baseball programs in the country. These programs can carry a maximum of 35 players. If my NKU math is correct (and I used a calculator, so it should be), that’s 10,430 D1 roster spots. Sounds like a lot. But, think about how many kids are on your son’s team. Then think about how many teams are in the league. Then think about how many age groups are in that league and how many teams there are per each age group. Then think about how many leagues and teams there are in your state alone. Then multiply that by 50. Oh, and add in Canada. And the Dominican. And Puerto Rico. You get the point. That 10,000 and change isn’t looking so good anymore, is it?

3 – “The practices will be long (usually) and no doubt, a bit grueling for the boys.”

Grueling? For 9 year olds? Dude…

Baseball has a bit of a problem right now. See, with kids’ attention spans being what they are, and the pace of baseball being what it is (especially at the instructional levels), baseball is having a hard time gaining traction in certain areas. Competing with football and basketball can be a problem, especially when it can cost upwards of a thousand dollars for a summer baseball team that plays for two months. It costs the price of a basketball to go play pick-up hoops. It costs the price of a football to play backyard football. Conversely, think about the space and equipment required to play pick-up baseball. And coaches like me wonder why we can’t get kids? So, Captain Ass-Hat wanting to run grueling practice for kids while molding them into division one athletes can prove problematic if he wants the majority of them to still like baseball when they’re 11. Burnout is real. And, berating them while pushing them mercilessly isn’t going to magically make them Giancarlo Stanton. It’s going to make them walk away from the game for good. I’m not saying practice should be easy. I am saying that it can be challenging and fun. It has to be. It absolutely has to be. When it stops being fun, it’s time to stop playing. Does Coach Dummy-Dick’s email seem like he’s willing to have some friggin’ fun? 

It’s guys like this that make guys like me look ridiculous. It’s the Johnny Hardo guys that eventually turn kids away from the game. I’m not saying that striving for the highest level of collegiate baseball is a bad thing at all. It’s a hell of a goal. But pushing 9 and 10 year old kids to that end while asking that they sacrifice fun in exchange is a ridiculous proposition. That said, I know this coach fielded a team this year. That means that a sizable group of parents agreed to let this wild-man lead their children onto a baseball field. That makes me sad. For them, I can only hope for a couple things: one, that they wise up and eventually flee. Two, that they don’t grow up to hate the game. 
For what it’s worth, I sent this email to several of my coaching colleagues. This list of gentlemen includes former college and minor league baseball players. To a man, they all said the same things: “No way in hell would I let my kid play for him,” and, “Tell them to run far away and fast.” 

Grueling? Come on, man. 
Enjoy? Sweet. Feel free to share. Follow on Twitter: @aaronmoore1322. Have a glorious day. Goodbye now. 

I’m Graduating College 

I graduated from Lloyd High School (pre ‘Memorial’ days) in 1997, and enrolled at Northern Kentucky University. This would be my first foray into higher education, but would certainly not be my last. I remember my first day at NKU. Specifically, I remember the morning of. I can’t remember what my first class was, but it was a Monday-Wednesday-Friday class at 8:00 AM. Bright and early that first day, I got up, got dressed, and was ready to walk out the door. And then I sharted. That’s right. First day of college. Nervous stomach. I shat myself. Some may call this foreshadowing. I would call it an auspicious beginning at best. 
I stayed at NKU for 2 years before I decided to call it quits. Obviously, hindsight tells me what a mistake this was, but at the time I was rocking vocals in a band and we were for sure going to be big stars. That whole scenario fizzled out roughly a month after I quit school, and that left me to join the real world and get a job. 
Not long thereafter I enrolled at National College of Business. This place, as far as I can tell, doesn’t exist anymore. I was enrolled in their Business Administration program. I finished roughly a semester there before I decided it was lame. 
My next venture into college was Thomas More’s TAP program. This was also a Business Administration program. I actually completed the whole program with one exception… I came up one class short. What can I say? Baseball season rolled around and I just didn’t have time. 
My love of baseball and coaching have actually been a major player in my educational process. More to the point, it has often given me an easy excuse not to finish school. For a handful of years I coached both high school and summer baseball. There just wasn’t time for much else. 
There were actually two more NKU enrollments before my most recent one. The timeline for the first one is a little fuzzy, but I enrolled as a Journalism major. That lasted a semester before I pulled the plug. The second enrollment was in the Fall of 2009. I quit a job I held for roughly 8 years so I could go back to school. My wife, Amber, and I were struggling to make ends meet on her salary and my Montgomery Inn server tips, so I had to can it mid-semester and look for more steady work. 
Two and a half years ago, at the urging of Amber, I enrolled again at Northern Kentucky University. I was determined to make this the last round. Well, as of 5:00 this evening, I am finished. I completed my last undergraduate exam (FYI: Stats sucks). This Saturday I walk in the commencement ceremony. 
A college degree is something I have been chasing for 18 years. More than half of my life. The thing I started and stopped so many times, spanning into three decades, has been realized. I remember running into an old friend during one of those various NKU enrollments. When he asked what I was up to, I told him I was working and schooling. He just laughed and said, “Why? Not like you’re going to finish.” He was right for a long time. However, I may have waited until I was in my 30’s. I may have waited until I had a wife, a kid, two car payments and a mortgage. I may have had to balance family, a 40 hour a week job, a varsity baseball team, and a full college course load, but I did it. I finished. 
Damn it, I did it. 
I’m graduating college. 
This Saturday morning at 9:00 AM I will don a black cap and gown and grace the stage of Bank of Kentucky Center, completing a long-held goal. Let’s just hope I don’t shart this time around. 
Thanks for reading. Follow on Twitter. Read more here. Later. 

Songs I Loathe: Part II

Part II: Old Time Rock and Roll by Bob Seger

When it comes to music, I am a judgmental turd. I know it. I often think I hate more music than I enjoy. In that spirit, I present a running list of Songs I Loathe. Feel free to tell me just how terribly wrong I am. 

If it were up to me, and I had the ability to do so, instead of turning the page, I’d turn a cement mixer over onto Bob Seger and/or The Silver Bullet Band.  

However, ‘Turn The Page’ isn’t the problem. (Is anything more disappointingly soul-crushing than Metallica covering ‘Turn The Page’, by the way? That single act hurt my heart in ways I’m not ready to deal with yet.) Rather, it’s ‘Old Time Rock and Roll’ that makes me want to climb something really high and swan dive off of it. Onto pavement. Pavement covered in glass. And Ebola. 
Do you know why Bob Seger wants to sit and listen to those old records by himself? No one likes him, and he smells funny. Sure, he’s playing it tough by insinuating that he doesn’t need anyone to listen to records with, but the real truth of the matter is that Bob Seger stinks and is friendless. 
‘Old Time Garbage and Puke’ is always played at wedding receptions, and I don’t know why. The only people that dance to it are toddlers, and they get a pass because they don’t know any better and they look cute while doing it. 
You ever wonder which records ol’ Bobby is listening to, by the by? As luck would have it, I actually have that list. And, here ’tis: 
Spandau Ballet – True
The Monkees – The Monkees
The ‘Grease’ movie soundtrack
Tracy Byrd – Greatest Hits
Don’t insist to me that Seger is awesome. He’s not. He’s another useless turd in a sea of useless turds making less than mediocre butt-rock anthems that make me want to kill myself. I’m tired of being told that he’s some kind of rock hero. He’s not. He’s a chubby nerd with a bad haircut and a penchant for producing garbage that gets readily lapped up by ignorant dolts with zero musical taste. 
He’s no hero. No hero at all. I’ll gladly turn the page…on his career.  

 

Thanks for taking the time to read. There are more of my inane ramblings here. Feel free to follow on Twitter: @aaronmoore1322. Good day, now.