Wednesday, January 1, 2014

So This is the New Year (2014)...

Carolyn and I at dinner during our honeymoon in St. Lucia (November, 2013).
Hold on, I need to get the cob webs off of here...

There, that's better. Sorry for being MIA... glad that wasn't one of my resolutions for the 2013 ;)

So this will be the eighth, yes, eighth time I've written a blog for the new year and made resolutions. Regardless if they are (all) actually completed, I'm at least happy that I take the time to write them down...

First, I would like to take a moment and reflect on 2013... What a year eh? The most obvious event, Carolyn and my wedding in July. We could not have asked for a better day. Catalina Island was beautiful, our friends and family were wonderful, the food was epic, and Carolyn looked BEAUTIFUL! We went on the Honeymoon in November to St. Lucia, and that was just wonderful! We didn't leave the Rendezvous resort, which was on the beach... can you blame us? ;) We also sold "The Penthouse," my condo in Broomfield, and moved into Carolyn's Sister's Rental in Cherry Creek between October and November... Yeah, the commute to work is longer, and Bozley doesn't care for the hardwood floors, but it's nice and the location is pretty sweet. Speaking of Bozley, he's doing pretty good. He had a rough September, hurting his back again, but he's back to normal. We're going to be giving him acupuncture in 2014 to help with his back and,this might even help with his anxiety. The Monday after the wedding, Carolyn started her new job as Director of Fellow Development at Rocky Mountain Prep and is loving it (it doesn't hurt that her commute is literally eight minutes). Long story short, life is good!

So, without further adieu, let's review my 2013 resolutions...

Carolyn and I got married on July 17th, 2013, on Catalina Island.
Get married!: Success! Not that it is a surprise... but no complaints... and I'll never have that on my resolutions again.. 1/1 ;)

Volunteer (more): This one I wouldn't call achieved. I did another CSUnity project in April, but that's all I did. I really need to do better on this in the future, and as you can imagine, this one will be included in the 2014 resolutions.

Complete at least two home improvement projects: Um... fail? With the move, I did have to do a few things, but nothing I would call big, at least I can think of... A little paint, a few repairs, but nothing big. With us now renting, I guess this one will be on the back burner for a bit...

Learn at least two new skills and things: Well... no, another miss. At least I can't think of anything... But I like to use moving and getting married as excises as to why this didn't happen. I won't be able to do that next year...

Make some positive moves professionally:... No comment.

Physically, I want to be 150 lbs by the wedding and be in better shape that I am now: Actually, I think this was partially achieved. I think that I was over 150 lbs around the time of the wedding, but have gone down a little since then. With the move and the changes, my working out took a hit, but we're getting back into the routine. I don't think I'm in better shape than the beginning of 2013, but I don't think I'm (much) worse. Health will be a continuing goal of mine.

I want to do an even better job communicating and updating with all my friends: Okay, I have to give myself credit on this one. Did a pretty good job. The happy hours continued throughout the year, and we actually did pretty good having dinner with a different couple each month... you know that will continue.

So what about 2014? Well...

Volunteer!: CSUnity will be something I do every year, but I want to to do more. If anyone is doing any volunteering with an organization they like, and they are looking for additional help, well, you know how to get a hold of me :)

Even though we moved, Bozley is still the boss at our place... Though we should teach him some trick in 2014.
Learn at least two new skills/things and/or start a new hobby: So, I have no mortgage, no car payment, no kids... yeah, I need to do some things for me as this window of opportunity is closing. Beer brewing will still be happening, but on a limited basis as I no longer will be brewing at our place (until we move again), so it will only be with other people. Guitar and CPR are still the top two new skills I want to learn, but I wouldn't be surprised if something else came up as the year goes on... But if you have any suggestions or know of any resources, you know I want to know.

Make some positive moves professionally:... no where to go but up :)

On school nights, be in bed by midnight: As Carolyn will tell you, I am notorious for falling asleep on the couch watching TV, waking up, brushing my teeth, and then coming to bed sometime between 1:00 and 5:00 AM. Probably not the best was to get a good night sleep. So, I will be ready and in bed by midnight every night before work, not just for me, but for Carolyn.

Keep working out: I feel like I need to keep working out, get rid of some holiday fat I added on. That and I want to get into better shape for my soccer team. And, now that I'm finally getting acquainted with my new gym, I want to do something more. I want to play outdoor soccer this summer, I would love to play some basketball (pick up or otherwise), and I might even try to do a 10k race this year.. we'll see.

Even though we're growing up, I still se 'The Tribe'.
Keep in touch with friends: Happy Hours and dinners will continue. Like every summer, we'll be doing the Fort Collins Brewery Bike Tour again (tentatively Saturday July 26th, come one come all). I'm willing to do more and participate in things, so keep me in mind.

I think that's it for the resolutions. I have to wonder what 2014 holds, and it's going to be different as 2013 had a ton going on going in. With that said,

Happy New Year! Hope your 2014 is the best for everyone!

Clint
Clint.crockett@gmail.com
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Monday, April 1, 2013

Starbucks Appreciation Day: Sunday, April 7th, 2013

Starbucks Appreciation Day is Sunday, April 7th, 2013, so make sure to visit to show your support of them and equal rights.


Hello again readers. In case you haven't heard yet, I am advocating that everyone visit Starbucks on Sunday, April 7th, 2013 for Starbucks Appreciation Day. I'm not saying don't go anytime before or after that (in fact, go as much as you like), but make sure to visit this establishment on the 7th. Why? Well, Starbucks is one of the most vocal companies that approves and encourages the equal rights of people. No, their not the only business that supports equal rights, but they are one of the biggest and one of the easiest to visit. By visiting anytime on Sunday, April 7th, 2013, you are showing your support for a progressive business, and, more importantly, for equal rights of human beings. This needs to become viral, so make sure to share every and all ways that you can. To help, when using social media, use the hash tags #StarbucksAppreciation and #ShareTheLove.

I bet this sounds familiar to most of you. That's because this isn't a new technique to send a message. Back in August 1st, 2012, Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee urged people to eat at Chic Fil A to show their support of the "Bibical Definition" of marriage, meaning that marriage can only exist between a man and a woman (You can read my blog post from that day here). The was a ton of media coverage and a lot of talk about this, and when the actual day came, every Chic Fil A restauarant was swamped. Since then, Chick Fil A has sent mix messages about their feelings towards gay couples, have not been contributing to organtiaztions that discriminate against the LGBT community, and really haven't pressed the issue. Regardless, It was sad to see such a negative and close minded perspective have such a response. So, this time, we want to encourage and acknowledge a business that wants to change the world for the better, all while gaining some positive attention and, hopefully, adding some actual statistic to a the steam of a hot political subject.

In addition to drinking coffee, I suddenly want to use my iPhone more, buy an electronic of some sort, maybe get some close, and watch a movie with my favorite Jim Henson Puppets...As I mentioned, there are a number of important and big businesses that are supporting equal rights. George Takei recently shared the picture you see to the left. Obviously this is becoming more and more acceptable, as evident by Colorado's recent signing of Civil Unions into law. I have no idea what the latest polls show in support of equal rights (which will always baffle me that we need polls), but I wouldn't trust any of those numbers. Hence, a planned visit to a national business is going to add "fuel to the fire" to encourage businesses of equal rights.

'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness...' Makes sense to me.Another way you can continue to show your support of equal rights is to support the Human Rights Campaign, or HRC. That equal sign you're seeing more and more of, especially last week? Yeah, that's there logo. And seeing it become more popular and seen more in different ways is heartwarming... Anyway, check out their website for ways you can contribute and continue to show and grow support.

So for those reasons, and more, Make sure to stop by Starbucks on Sunday, April 7th. Not a fan of coffee? That's okay, they have lots of other beverages, including teas, smoothies, and cider. They also have food to check out (I hear their cookies are really good). Can't get to a Starbucks on Sunday? That's okay too. Check out their website for products there as well. And if you don't want anything from them (which I find hard to believe), get someone a gift card, as those are VERY popular gifts. The way I see it, there are no excuses to not go. With that all said, I hope you'll join us at your local neighborhood Starbucks for #StarbucksAppreciation Day on Sunday, April 7th, 2013, to show your support and #SpreadTheLove.

Cheers to a great company and to equal rights!

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Lent 2013: My Time Away from Television

As Homer would say, 'TV, let's never fight again.'

Hello readers! Another year of Lent come and gone. In the tradition of giving up something I hold "near and dear," for Lent (like facebook, chocolate, coffee, and alcohol), I gave up television, movies, and videos. Why did I give these up? Well, I spend way too much time in front of the "idiot box" and need to spend my time doing other things instead...

... What kind of other things? Well, clean, read, sleep, anything really. Little more on that later.

I discovered giving up TV was harder than I thought... And I knew it was going to be hard. It is EVERYWHERE... for example, I go running at the gym, and the TV is set up right in front of every treadmill. If I go out to eat, it seems a TV is always near by. Even at home, the majority of my home has the TV visible when Carolyn is enjoying some (quality) programming. I really didn't realize how it was everywhere until I couldn't watch it.

A few things I missed while not watching the tube:

Homer loves sports as much as I do...
  • The Oscars
  • The Denver Nuggets 15 game winning streak.
  • The majority of March Madness and Colorado State Men's Basketball's rise (and fall) to (and from) the top 25 in the nation.
  • New episodes of Community, The Simpsons, Bob's Burgers, SNL, and Raising Hope.
  • The Bachelor Finale (we had money on the winner and guests over to watch, yet I kept myself occupied with other things)

  • Now, unlike past "sacrifices," I didn't do a great job with this one. Usually, I completely abstain from the temptation and go without a taste, peek, etc, but I can't claim that this time. The temptation was in all directions and I did watch a little and listened to a lot more. I feel like I was more engaged in the Oscars this year than I ever was before, even though I didn't "watch it" (though I did see Jennifer Lawrence fall while going to accept her best actress award in a wedding like dress). I saw a little of JT on SNL (which I look forward to seeing again/more of), and I even saw some of The Biggest Loser. But, for the most part, I was good. I never turned on the TV or played an internet video, so I like to think I did okay.

    There were positives with this experience though. I actually got some things done while I wasn't watching TV. Things I should do, like my taxes and working out, and things I don't usually do, like read (Carolyn got me some boks for Valentine's day I've been working on). I got motivated to do a little pre spring cleaning and organizing of my files, my closet, my cabinets, and my kitchen. One other aspect I really liked about giving up TV was I pulled out some old CDs I haven't listened to in a long time... Some I like more than I did before, others I liked all over again.

    So what's going to come of this? Well, I have missed TV and going to the movies, along with video games, and I look forward to watching and playing again, but I'm hoping I can slow down a bit late on week nights and some other times. I wanted to read Game of Thrones, but haven't started that yet, hopefully I will soon. And if I'm not watching as much TV due to new habits formed during Lent, well, I might actually get that done. Wish me luck. So there you go, another year of Lent in the books... what will I give up next year? Who knows, I have a few other things to focus on in the meantime ;) Hope you're all well and to see you soon!

    Hope this isn't me too often anymore...

    Tuesday, January 1, 2013

    So This is the New Year (2013)...

    Adorable, right?
    ... You know, this is the 7th time I've posted a new year blog, so I'm going to quit referencing the Death Cab for Cutie Song "The New Year"... starting next year. If you would like to see those lyrics, which are very fitting, see my "So This is the New Year (2008)..." post.

    Wow... could 2012 have been any better? Seriously, lots of awesome stuff, starting with Carolyn and My engagement (read about the The Proposal if you haven't yet). But lots of good stuff with friends and family, with 2013 looking even more phenomenal...

    So, without further adieu, let's review my 2012 resolutions...

    Dianna and I planting a garden at the Botanical Garden on April 21st.
    Volunteering... SOMETHING! Let me say this... This will be on the list again... I did better than 2011 I think, but LOTS of room for improvement. With that said, I did join CSUnity this year at the Botanical Gardens with some garden planting. This is something I plan to do every year and hope to expand for years to come.

    Complete at least two home improvement projects... Hmm... I don't think I did much here. I stopped the toilets from running... Ya, I can't think of much for this one this year.... Guess what's on the 2013 list?

    Learn at least two new skills and things... Another fail. I have no great excuse on this, just never got to it... Well, I've already learned that I should check in with my new years resolutions more often... I'm not going to make that a resolution though.

    Make some positive moves professionally... Well, working for Staples as I have for the previous seven years, doing the same work, but my position has changed slightly, and I think I've reacted to the change favorably, so I'm going with my with a win on this... go me... Am I satisfied? Of course not. Will this resolution continue? Absolutely!

    Physically, I want to be 150 lbs by the end of the year and be in better shape that I am now... Well, I was at 150 this summer, but then the fall took over, and my work out regiment slowed down... so, a few pounds short on this... maybe the wedding will get me motivate...

    Candid happy hour photo on June 14th.
    I want to do an even better job communicating and updating with all my friends... I think this has gone well. Love social media (obviousness, right?), and have "hosted" a happy hour every month this year, each month at a different place (like Prohibition, Beatrice & Woodsley, and El Diablo, for example). The happy hours will continue. Game nights and BBQ didn't happen as frequent (or at all) as I would have liked, something to do in 2013.

    To go along with that last one, I would also like to spend a good amount of time with family... I had some help on this one. My rents did a great job coming up and seeing us a lot (which was wonderful) and Zach lived with us over he summer! Saw lots of them, raised the bar, hoping to continue on that in 2013... I have a feeling it'll work out.

    Book of Mormon is awesome!
    I'm hoping I can catch more shows and observe more culture... Success! My parents, Carolyn, and I bought season tickets to the Denver Performing Arts complex musical season... and Thrilled we did. Saw Wicked again, dug it again. The The Addams Family was surprisingly entertaining, and Memphis came out of no where to end the season in style. But, of course, the show of the year is Book of Mormon... LOVED IT! See it if you can. Hope to check out a few museums and shows this upcoming year, since we didn't this year, but making strides is always important.

    Finally, I would like to Blog at least once a month... Another yes! Happy to have completed this resolution. And I blogged about everything from politics and Gay Marriage to Thoughts about the Broncos and about Peyton Manning. I like blogging, and want to continue doing it, but I will not be adding it to my 2013 resolutions...

    one additional resolution, we got a puppy! We adopted Bozley in February and we haven't looked back. I only mention this because, if you've ever read my resolutions on my blog, you've seen I've mentioned adopting a pup once or twice... and happy I finally did.

    Moving on to my 2013 resolutions...

    July 17th is going to be a great day, don't you think?
    Get married! Duh, right? I agree. But not only get married, but make sure things are in order and go as smoothly as possible. Carolyn's done a wonderful job getting things ready and is way ahead of the game (I think), but I need to get on the groom and groom's man stuff, like suits/tuxes. I'm also in charge of the reception. Anxious to do some food tastings... it's not all bad ;)

    Volunteer (more)... Duh! To help make myself feel better, I will mentioned that I raised money for Junior Achievement and Movember last year, with the intent to do so again. But in addition to CSUnity, I would love to do more in 2013. Anyone who doing something or needs someone, don't be shy to reach out to yours truly.

    Complete at least two home improvement projects... I don't see this being a problem. Care and I are thinking of moving in early 2014 (after the wedding and we save some cash), so we will need to do some updating beforehand. What exactly, I do not know yet, but I have no doubt there will be little things (like some painting), but some other things might pop up (garbage disposal? Furnace? Carpet? Who knows)...

    Learn at least two new skills and things... I still have a guitar I still want to learn to play... and Maybe it's time we expanded on our beer brewing into more customized recipes or to full grain versus partial grain or just extract... And really, I need to know CPR (why not, right?)... Open to other ideas.

    Make some positive moves professionally... Should this ever not be a resolution? I mean really? I should always try to improve, right? And that's the plan this year, more so than previous years I think.

    We'll be taking lots of walks with our boy in 2013.
    Physically, I want to be 150 lbs by the wedding and be in better shape that I am now... Another resolution everyone should have (some variation of) every year. Hopefully, the motivation of the wedding can get me to be in the best shape of my life at an ideal size. Still going to keep the soccer team going, so that will help keep the fat off, but gotta turn something into muscle, right? Glad I joined the gym for another year... now just to get there more consistently. Also, we need to make sure to keep my little boy in shape with walks and lots of playing.

    I want to do an even better job communicating and updating with all my friends... As I said, happy hours will continue (on Wednesday, January 23rd at Renegade Brewing Company around 6:00). Hoping to have at least one game night this year (hopefully more), and, with the wedding, hoping to see and hear from lots of friends. Also want to start doing dinner once a month with a new couple that we don't get to see too often (Alex and Rachel, you're up). We'll see what happens.

    I think that's it for the resolutions. Lots going on this year so I don't want to have too many resolutions... Too many goals and resolutions will be tough to do, am I right? Either way, 2013 is going to be big and full of change and fun, and I'm excited for what the future holds... But that doesn't mean I won't enjoy the ride.

    Happy New Year! Hope your 2013 is the best for everyone!

    Clint
    Clint.crockett@gmail.com
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    P.S. Couple photos from Layna Gaffield (New years eve picture) and Janelle Van Houw of Jnelly Photography.

    Thursday, December 20, 2012

    Politics...

    Anyone else think Joe Quimby is the stereotypical politician?
    ... Isn't this one of the topics we're not suppose to talk about?

    Well, I figured it was time for me to talk about it... again! Yes, again, I wrote about it YEARS ago on MySpace (remember Myspace?.. You're old) If you want to check out my writing from five years ago, here's the link: http://www.myspace.com/clintcrockett/blog/160710669 I'll tell you this much though, a lot hasn't changed...

    Still leaning very liberal... In fact, probably more so than five years ago. I feel that right now, "Small Government" would lead to a lot more corruption and greed since there would be fewer checks and balances... Right now, we need innovative actions and we need the Government's help to get there. The American people need politicians who will do what's right for the U.S.A., not for themselves. We need politicians that will get off their high horse and see how the average family lives... and we need politicians who will push for the tough decisions and unfavorable calls... I've mentioned that I'm a registered Democrat, but I do not want to call myself that... In fact, I want nothing to do with either party... That's part of the problem, "I'm doing this because my party" is WAY too common in politics and needs to stop.

    The outcome of facebook political debates...
    Before I go any further, a big shout out to all my facebook friends who jumped into a political discussions on my post about voting. I hope this blog does the same thing and generate some discussion, not arguing... I've given you a topic, now discuss!

    One of the biggest debate in politics right now seems to be taxes, the fiscal cliff, and the debt ceiling... And I, for one, am willing to have more money taken out of my paycheck to add to programs and create new programs to help American's poor and rich. Obama recently mentioned a plan in one of his speeches that major corporations and individuals making over $250,000/year don't pay the same tax percentage as the 98% of the nation does... I still cannot figure out why that's fair or who thought that was a good idea. Why would the people who make the most money not have to pay as much in taxes? Please, seriously, tell me. Okay, maybe their kid's don't go to public schools, but I have a feeling that they take advantage of other tax programs, including libraries, law enforcement, and roads, to name a few. I bet some of these people are enjoying the benefits of medicare and social security. I would wager some of these people like to check out the state parks and have seen monuments like Mount Rushmore and the Statue of Liberty. I am even willing to say that some of them indulge by going to a high school football game or high school production/play (I'm aware these are not 100% tax funded, but you better believe there's some tax payer money in there)... So why don't rich people have to pay taxes like everyone else? I know we've all heard how Warren Buffet pays less in taxes then his office assistant, both percentage and actual amount (and I'm not going to confirm that's true), but just the thought that could be possible should outrage you as a citizen. And why are these mega corporations, that treat their employees worse than even, getting tax breaks? Where's that money going (we know the answer)?.. I hear the concern that raising taxes will cause more cuts from businesses and people could lose their jobs, but isn't that happening now? And if consumers take back the power, corporations are going to be forced to find other cost cutting measures besides layoffs and reduction in quality, because consumers will not stand for that... In Addition, with more taxes, the Government could help people out more if there were lay offs (temporarily as things balance out). I know some of you are thinking "there is no way this could work"... Well, it has once... When Clinton was President and he had the Reagan/Bush years to compensate for... Think about that. There's no doubt that we need to keep our credit rating and actually start adding money rather than making more and more cuts ... because that seems to be working oh so well...(it boils down to a balance sheet: Assets = Equity + Liabilities... Keep that in mind). Long story short, pay your share and do what's right for everyone, then a huge chunk of this mess, if not al of it, would go away... I Like this article from Warren Buffet in the New York Times, by the way...

    Enough with taxes. moving on...

    There are some people who shouldn't have guns... Like Homer Simpson...
    Guns: With the major shootings in the United States over the last 6 Months (The Aurora Theater Shooting, the Oregan Mall Shooting, and the more recent Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting), the debates for and against firearms have increased dramatically. Listen, I'm not a "gun nut", but that doesn't mean I don't believe guns have their place. The 2nd Amendment states that we are entitled to "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." Keep in mind that this was written during the american revolution and was originally intended to keep his majesty and his army out of your home. With that said, I'm all about having a gun or guns for protection, but basically only of your home/possessions. I don't think carrying one outside for protection is a good idea for anyone. More on that later. I'm okay with guns being used for hunting. I'm not a hunter, but I get it. Especially if you are not just letting the animal hunted go to waste (most hunters I know use a good portion of the animal... and I like deer jerky). To go along with that, I'm fine with guns being used for recreation. I've only shot a gun once in my life (that I remember), but I want to do it again. I want to practice hitting a target, I think it would be fun (nothing like a video game, not as much fun). Other than that, no reason to have a gun. Why do people want to add a firearm to a dangerous scenario? Listen, in theory, I get it. You're attacked, you defend yourself. Now let's look at in a more realistic view. If you're in a public, and a threat presents itself, are you going to freeze up and do nothing, making that gun useless? Or are you going to overreact and hurt yours and/or others? I hope you all realize how often police officers are suppose discharge their weapon (not very often, and the ones that do you hear about getting in trouble)... I remember how many people were saying "If I was in the Aurora movie theater, I could have saved lives"... BS. Between the fast movement of the gunman, the darkness and the light, the commotion, and the sounds, you couldn't have a clean shot (and even if you did, the guy was in body armor)... Maybe it comes down to more regulations/training, that would be an ideal start for everyone. The other part I don't understand are the degree of strength of the firearms available to the public. Hunting rifle, got it. Hand gun for home protection, no complaints. But then you get these multi burse semi-automatic weapons that can shoot a ton in a short amount of time and/or use insane firepower and/or bullets. Why would a civilian ever need those? I get the armed forces use, but why anyone else? For recreation? Why not leave the gun at the event location, locked securely so no one can ever get it? "That's what I was trained on.." So you're saying you can be trained? Why not on something else and more practical for "normal" use? I know what the second amendment says, but I think people (and the gun manufacturers) are taking it 9,000 steps too far.

    With all this said, I will say that I do not think Sandy Hook shooting would have been prevented with tighter gun regulation. The guns used were obtained legally, then stolen (maybe they should have been more secure though), and the type of guns used I believe were standard hand guns, no an assault rifle (though I could be wrong).. But, I feel like the Aurora shooting would have been prevented had it not been so easy for the gunman to get his firearms... Check out this link from the Washington Post for some great insight into my thoughts.

    We need to do more in the country for mental health, besides adding a label and throwing the sick in a cell.
    I feel the bigger problem in this country when it comes to this mass shootings isn't the guns, but how mental illness is treated. It's treated the same as a crime, not as a condition like it should (see what I mean?) I think we are all a little insane, so why can't we get some kind of treatment for this? It blows my mind that insurance companies don't have any additional mental health care coverage anymore. Yeah, I know, it's not cheap, but either is going to the hospital, ER, or any other place for treatment, ESPECIALLY after an attack happens. Obviously, mental health goes way beyond any recent events, but just think what could have happened had any of these gunman had a therapist... And as the link above mentions, they are not affordable, and maybe they should be... "Guns don't kill people, I kill people" does have some validity to it, so instead of doing the "band aid" method and worrying so much about the symptom, why not cure the illness itself? Crazy concept, I know. Here's a reactions to the link above.

    One other discussion point that has surfaced recently with the shooting at a school is allowing prayer in schools... really? I know that no where in the constitution does it say anything about the separation of church and state, but come on, we're the USA! We are built on freedom! And religion should be included in that freedom. Are you really that inconsiderate/closed minded that you want to push your religion on other people? What gives you that right? You know your religion is the right one? How? I'm not Catholic/Christian, but isn't it God's role to judge, not yours? I'm not saying don't have your faith, in fact, I'm saying have your faith (some good stuff there), just don't force it on those that don't share the same beliefs.

    Homer Simpson did pot when he had his eyes pecked by a murder of he was cured...
    Marijuana... Ah yes. Coming from the great State of Colorado (and I mean that), this has been a hot topic lately. I for one welcome the legalization of the most mild previous illegal drug. I love that the tax money is going schools! I love that a drug can be used to help stimulate the economy. I love that by legalizing it, we can do a better job regulating it (from inception to use). I love that law enforcement will have other priorities to focus on. What's not to like? "It's a gateway drug..." In the same way tobacco and alcohol are, especially now. "Marijuana is bad for your health...". So are the two previous drugs mentioned. In fact, this one might be the healthiest of the three, especially since it helps with relaxation and stress. And by taking Marijuana out of the hands of the illegal growing, the number of illegal drug dealers could shrink because they don't want to be involved with the "harder" stuff or, when caught, they could suffer harsher consequences... win win baby. Did I miss anything?

    Gay Marriage: You really think I need to express my views on this again? Check out the previous post...

    There, my thoughts on some of politics' most popular issues. Comment, discuss, whatever. Regardless, hope you have an awesome holiday season and you ring in the new year (and/or the apocalypse) in style!

    'Christmas at Ground Zero' is a 'Weird Al' Yankovic Song from November of 1986, yet has relevance this year...

    Sunday, November 25, 2012

    Movember: Where Mustache is King

    Mustache is King!

    For the second straight year, I've grown out some facial hair in order to raise awareness and money for Men's health. Last year, I bent the rules a little and did "No Shave November"... This year, I went all in and did just the mustache, which was a "bigger" sacrifice, since I usually have some kind of beard in place anyway. This blog is all about Movember and my adventure participating the last few year.

    My Mo as of Movember 24th, 2012.
    So a little background on Movember, via http://us.movember.com/about/ and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Movember. Started in in Melbourne, Australia in 2004, Movember has always raised money for the Prostate Cancer Foundation, originally of Australia and now worldwide. In 2007, the charity expanded to the United States and added LiveSTRONG to the benefiting organizations. Since then it's grown and grown worldwide (pun intended). I started in 2011, but have noticed between now and then how much more popular Movember has gotten. I've had a half dozen friends participate this year and have noticed a lot of mention in the media, including mentions on The Office and many NFL players joining the movement.

    Learn even more about Movember at Movember.com
    Thought I would share some thoughts on Movember with near two Movembers under my belt:
    • The timing isn't exactly ideal in the United States. Thanksgiving at the end of the month, followed Black Friday and Cyber Monday, donations can be limited and interest at a minimum. Thanksgiving happens in May in Australia (Movember's birth place), so it can be a different story on the southern hemisphere.
    • With that said, I am thrilled with the generosity of friends and co workers! Each year I have been pleasantly surprised with who has donated and how much they have donated. My goal of $1,000 is realistic. Only missed it by $50 last year, and though I'm a little behind this year, hoping for a push this last week of Movember (see below on donation information).
    • I have to admit, I am jealous of how well Komen and other organizations raise money for breast cancer awareness and a cure. I know that breast cancer affects more woman than prostate/testicular cancer affect men, but I would love to have that name and support with fundraising... maybe in time.

    As I hope has been obvious even last year, this is a cause that's important to me. I know men who have been diagnosed with Prostate Cancer, and just like other cancers, I would love to find a cure. If would like to support Movember, please check out my "Mo Space" @ http://mobro.co/clintcrockett to donate. Any amount is appreciated as every little bit helps.

    Thank you all for your time and support. Hope you have a wonderful holiday season and hope to see or at least hear from you soon!

    If I could get my Mo to look like this...

    Tuesday, October 16, 2012

    Denver Broncos: At the Bye

    the Denver Broncos are 3-3 at the Week 7 Bye of the 2012 season.
    Here we are, week 7 of the NFL season, and the Denver Broncos are 3-3 after an incredible second half vs. the San Diego Chargers on Monday night. The team is feeling pretty good right now, and they should. Coming back despite what felt like a million mistakes in the first half against a division foe/rival and, in theory, against a decent team on the road, Bronco fans will take it.

    So what are my thoughts on this 3-3 team? Well, before I can talk about that, I feel we need to discuss the entire NFL season so far.

    After the win against the Chargers on 10/15/2012, The Broncos can celebrate... a little.
    The above listing of standings is from the playoff picture page at nfl.com as of Tuesday, October 16th, 2012. What do you notice? First of all, in the AFC, there are only two teams above .500 (The Texans and the Ravens, who, coincidentally, play each other in week 7). There are seven teams (of the 16 in the AFC) that are 3-3, with two more at 2-something (due to bye weeks). So. really, the AFC is wide open right now; no one is really taking off. I'm loving the parity in the NFL this year. The NFC has a little more seperation, with one team at 4-2 not making the cut if the playoffs were today (I see San Fran still making the playoffs, so don't get too excited). The final thing I will mention is regarding the Broncos' AFC west opponents. Right now, the Kansas City Chiefs are in shambles at the bottom of the rankings with the Oakland Raiders not doing much better (though they have been more in the game recently). That means the AFC West is shaping up to be a two team race between the Broncos and the Chargers... and with the win last night, the Broncos own the division with a better division record... Still, anything can happen and EVERY team needs to keep playing... Lot of football left this season.

    Based on last seasons records, the Broncos are expected to have the second toughest schedule in the NFL (second to the New York Giants). Based on this season, the Broncos have played the fifth-toughest schedule in the NFL to this point, defined by opponents' won-lost percentage (.588). The Broncos have defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers 19-31, Chargers 35-24, and Raiders 6-36, and have lost to the Atlanta Falcons (in Atlanta) 21-27, the Houston Texans (in Denver) 31-25, and the New England Patriots (in Foxborough) 21-31. According to the ESPN power rankings for week 7, the Broncos have lost to the #1, #2, and #7 teams (two of those while the Broncos were on the road), and defeated the the #14, #16, and #29 teams (two of those wins at home). The Broncos are ranked #12 this week. What does this mean? Well, it means the Broncos are winning the games they should against "lesser opponents", which is something you have to do to be a contender. But you have to finish games, which they failed to do during all three losses... the good news? They did it last week against the Chargers, which is a step in the right direction.

    In theory, the Broncos schedule "gets easier" for a bit (they have what stands as the easiest remaining schedule defined by opponents' won-lost percentage (.339))., with games against the 1-4 New Orleans Saints (in Denver), the 1-4 Carolina Panthers (in Charlotte), and the 1-5 Chiefs (both home and away) to name a few, but the one thing the Broncos CANNOT do is play to a lesser teams level. They have to keep the momentum and progress going if they want to do well this season.

    The defense will make or break the Broncos' season.
    What else do the Broncos have to do this season to succeed? Well, first of all, the defense needs to improve. Denver only has six interceptions, four coming against the Chargers, to be ranked in the middle of the pack at 15 (of 32). The Broncos are third in forced fumbles with eight, but they need to recover them (only four have been recovered, putting them at 12th overall). I'm not sure what the third down conversion rate is for the Broncos, but it seems high, especially in the losses. There are good things happening that the Broncos can work on, including their 18 sacks (fourth best in the league), but forcing turnovers is how you're going to rest your defense and get Peyton Manning and the offense on the field.

    Speaking of the offense, it seems to be coming along, but 2012 is turning into 2011, where scoring for the Broncos starts happening later in the game rather than sooner. It seems that most of the games have involved an attempt at a comeback, which is not easy to do and not something any team wants to rely on. Remember the Mike Shanahan days when the team would come out fast? The Broncos need to do that (without tapering off as the game goes on). There's a good mix of old and young talent, and things seem to be clicking more and more every week. Let's hope that continues. Bigs ups to the Offensive line, which has only allowed nine sacks (seventh best in the NFL) and 21 hits on the Quarterback (ninth best in the NFL).

    Not going to really touch on the special teams. Yes, they screwed up royally in the Chargers game, but otherwise, they've been mediocre (nothing bad, nothing great). Love to see a little more out of them, but as long as they don't allow turnovers and scoring, the fans will be content.

    John Fox and the coaching staff (including Manning) have adjusted well in the second half...
    Some props to John Fox and the coaching staff for making great adjustments at halftime during games, but they need to get things going just as well if they want to contend. Something I hope they remember: there are MANY playmakers on offense. You can run the ball, but when you have Peyton Manning throwing to Eric Decker, Demaryius Thomas, Jacob Tamme, Joel Dreessen, and Brandon Stokley, to a name a few, feel free to throw the ball a little more (especially on third down).

    So, if the team continues on the path, I see good things happening. I feel the Broncos will win the division, especially after the statement win against the Chargers in week six. Saying that, I'm guessing that the Broncos will go 10-6. Looking at the remaining schedule, I could see the Broncos losing to the Cincinnati Bengals (in Cincinnati), the Baltimore Ravens (in Baltimore), and another team due to a bad week. With that said though, I could see Denver beating every team remaining on their schedule, depending how they prepare and plan. Thrilled that the final two games of the year are at home vs. the Cleveland Browns and the Chiefs. Hopefully, the Broncos will be in good shape before those games. I don't think they'll get a bye in the first week of the playoffs, but I could see them winning the first round at home and the second round elsewhere. Guess we'll just have to see.

    There you go, my Denver Bronco analysis thus far. For additional Bronco coverage, make sure to follow the AFC west blog on ESPN, along with the Denver post. Twitter has some great follows, including the more obvious handles like @JohnElway and @Denver_Broncos, but @VicLombardi, @BroncosGameday, @MileHighReport, and @bylindsayhjones are all great follows that you might not think of (the AFC West blog from ESPN can also be found at @ESPN_afcwest). Love to hear what you think as well, so share away... But the one thing we can all agree on...

    GO BRONCOS!


    GO BRONCOS!