Hey everyone, I’m on vacation this week, but I’ve still found bits of time to write, mostly during kids’ naptime on days when we weren’t chasing Mickey Mouse around some really expensive theme park. Also, I hope you enjoyed the Dimoko experience podcast with Dave Sterling and Brian Spaeth talking about a variety of topics.
The moment of truth has arrived and in the end I just couldn’t get myself to buy tickets to go to Sea World. I absolutely love that place. I grew up about 15 minutes north of the one we had in Aurora as a kid. I remember when they added the penguin exhibit and all the advertising that surrounded it. I remember going to Sea World and just wanting to sit and watch in amazement at the sheer size of the killer whales. This is rather instructive in hindsight, of course. Giant salt water creatures that live in bodies of water called oceans don’t have a lot of business hanging out in Aurora Ohio, regardless of the size of the tank.
In fact, after seeing Blackfish, it would seem that killer whales just don’t belong in any kind of captivity, at least with regard to the versions of captivity we’ve seen executed so far. It’s still all really sad for me to not go to Sea World though. I’m just very conflicted about the whole thing.
My not attending the park keeps my dollars out of their pockets, but it’s a long way to go before that leads to any kind of change. In the meantime, I’m denying myself a chance to see something that will be there for the foreseeable future whether or not I pay my money and go or not. I really do understand the idea of making a difference, but it’s hard not to wonder how big a difference I can really make by choosing not to buy tickets.
Also, aren’t I just a giant hypocrite anyway? We went to Animal Kingdom, jumped on a “safari” bus and paraded around lions, elephants, rhinos, zebras and giraffes yesterday. If it’s so wrong to go stare at whales and dolphins at Sea World, isn’t at least in the same realm of unacceptability to go do the same thing with land creatures that don’t belong in smaller environments in the middle of Orlando? Where and how do you draw lines while also not living your life as some sort of constant activist?
I’m not expecting answers here. I’m not expecting anyone to give me a free pass to go ahead and go to Sea World either. I’m just saying it’s a difficult road to try and set acceptable boundaries based on principles. This time, my wife and I have decided that it means saying no to Sea World. I’m still not really happy about it though. Selfishly, I just want to go and say that it won’t make a big difference anyway.
Maybe instead, we’ll head on over to Gatorland… oh wait. Is that O.K.?
This is one of the weirdest stories I’ve read in some time…
According to the Dispatch story, before Johnson signed his seven-year, $30.5 million deal in 2011, he granted power of attorney to his mother, Tina Johnson, that gave her full control of his finances.
Jack Johnson claims that Tina Johnson and his father Jack Sr. bought a house in Manhattan Beach, California, with his money but without the player’s knowledge, according to the report. In addition, Johnson’s parents borrowed $15 million against their son’s future earnings. Many of the loans carried high interest rates, according to the Dispatch. The mortgage on the house carried a 12 percent rate, while a loan for $3 million was at 24 percent, leading to huge fees and, ultimately, default.
First things first, who signs people up for a 12-percent mortgage? I didn’t even know one of those existed. Secondly, who signs a customer up for that based on the future hockey earnings of a person’s son? I mean, do you just walk into a bank and ask for a branch manager? I know that any financial planner worth their salt wouldn’t work with anyone to do this, let alone lead anyone down this path. Additionally, what loan shark offered them $3 million at 24-percent? The story in the Dispatch discusses “nonconventional lenders,” but I don’t know that I’ve seen an example of one other than in some car dealerships that offer some interesting financing on auto loans.
This is one of those times where I wonder if everyone forgets that player contracts are described in pre-tax dollars. Their agents make three to five percent as well. I know we’re playing with huge sums of money, regardless, but these loan values are even bigger and as a finance major, I find it all so very astonishing. I wouldn’t want to be at his family’s Thanksgiving this year… you know if he hadn’t cut off all ties to his family.
No jokes about that. That’s really really sad. Money is important because we’ve created so many systems around it, but when you get with your stoner friends or get in a “Joe Rogan Podcast” kind of conversation to really break it down, it really is kind of an arbitrary thing… money.
NFL player movement is nothing new and we’re used to former Browns littering NFL rosters all over the rest of the NFL, but it’s getting downright weird in Indianapolis.
Last year the Browns traded Trent Richardson to Indy. This off-season they signed D’Qwell Jackson after the Browns cast him off. They have Mike Adams playing safety. This past week they signed Josh Cribbs to help their special teams. Then after the Browns cut Ben Tate, they put in a waiver claim on the running back. The Colts missed out as the Vikings were ahead of them in the waiver wire, but it doesn’t stop there. One-year wonder Rob Chudzinski found a landing spot as a “special assistant” for the Colts. These Colts also make an appearance in Cleveland on December 7.
None of this is to say that the Browns should be specifically afraid to go against these castoffs. While the narrative around notorious good guy D’Qwell Jackson is that he escaped the losing conditions in Cleveland, it’s important to remember he was a key component to those conditions. That’s not to blame the guy completely, but when the Browns let him go, we all kind of agreed that he was a ceiling type of player. As the “quarterback” of the defense, it can be the kiss of death to have a player who is simply solid.
And I’m not saying Pro Football Focus is the authority on everything about everything, but it’s at least a decent indicator of what kind of games a guy is putting together. Here’s D’Qwell Jackson’s season.
Here’s Karlos Dansby’s.
It just reinforces what we think we’ve seen with our eyes so far this season and what we saw out of D’Qwell Jackson in the past few years. I still love D’Qwell Jackson, but you know, I love watching Dansby on the field a whole lot more.
This isn’t a new pass, and I know I’ve done a “thread the needle” pass before, but I’m nearly positive it wasn’t this one. Love seeing this kind of ball make it through though.
I know I’ve told you about this band two times already, but they just released their live session on Audiotree, and I think it really puts their abilities in perspective. It’s true to the recording, but it also is illuminating to see how they pull off all their parts to make those songs sound so huge with so many layers.
That’s it from me this week, and maybe even for next week. My day next week would be “Black Friday” or whatever. I’ll leave you in unending suspense as to whether or not I’ll be doing WWW next week. See if you can even stand it! 🙂
Also have a nice weekend and an even nicer Thanksgiving.