Sunday, February 05, 2012


I am now tweeting. Come find me. @fidlerjohn


Thursday, May 05, 2011


I've always been a big The Daily Show fan. Not only that, but I think that Bill O'Reilly is an ass. Meaning, I could not be more excited for Jon Stewart going on The Factor to debate the appropriateness of Common being elected to a young poet gathering hosted by Michelle Obama at The White House. Surprise surprise, I completely disagree with the Republicans' fake outrage over some questionable lyrics for a couple of reasons: 1, He is one of the most tame, thoughtful rappers out there. 2, if he has said questionable things, so what? He's a poet/artist. They do that. 3, Fox News has friends (see: Nugent, Ted) that have said way more controversial things than Common did. To me this screams of racism. Common is black and sometimes angry. Therefore, he is not to be trusted and not to be invited to the White House where children could be present.

1. Allie and I are quickly coming up on our two year anniversary. With the relationship going well, I have naturally let myself get into relationshape. It's not a real word, but simply the way that men get when they get comfortable in the relationship. The treadmill? Yeah, that's for the single guys. Those twenty-pound dumbbells in the corner? Um... I could maybe lift those once now. Unfortunately, as I barely could put on my "summer" shirt for the first time, I quickly realized that maybe enjoying a diet of Chipotle for lunch followed by two hot dogs for dinner is not a healthy way to lead my life and. Sigh. And so diet season begins...

2. Currently listening to "Never going back again" by Fleetwood Mac

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

weird week

It's been a weird week in the world. In a way, Sunday night was a day I never saw coming. I am, of course, referring to Bin Laden's death. As I was watching CNN, it was like I was watching a movie. Two dozen of our secret forces fly into a secret compound going after America's number one most wanted for ten years. Like any movie, there were set-backs when one of the helicopters started malfunctioning and had to make an emergency landing. However, the Americans prevailed, storming the compound, first to engage in a battle with Osama's "henchmen". After a victorious firefight, the American forces broke through, engaged in a firefight with him, and when he would not surrender, literally shot him through his eye socket. As I watched the TV I didn't know how to react. Do I respond, like a human, and feel bad about a death? No, I didn't really feel the need to feel sorry for Osama. However, I also thought it was mildly inappropriate to run into the streets chanting USA and celebrating like it was VE day. I suppose at the end of the night, primarily, I felt relief. Meaning, I hope this is the beginning of the end of the "War on Terror". Many, including me, thought with Obama's inauguration, that would be the beginning. Unfortunately I was incorrect. I hope that this is a wake-up to many Bin Laden wanna be's that Bin Laden's evil terrorism will only result in pain.

This morning Obama said he would not release photos of Bin Laden's death. I applaud that decision. Obama said, "It is important that very graphic photos of someone who was shot in the head are not floating around as an incitement of violence or as a propaganda tool. We don't trot this stuff out as trophies. The fact of the matter is, this is somebody who was deserving of the justice he received." Plus the conspiracy theory supporters will never be satisfied. They could simply claim photoshop, or maybe that it was not really Bin Laden that was killed. I think Obama did the right thing.

The world is safer today now than it was a week ago.

Side note. Obama's approval rating is 11 points higher today (57%) than it was this time a month ago.

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Ridiculist

If you're like me, you have always thought one thing about public universities in Texas. They are too anti-straight people. Thank goodness that state house representative Wayne Christian, sponsored by the Young Conservatives of Christian, created a new law for any public universities in Texas that if they have funding for "alternative" centers that promote information and awareness for the LGBT community, they must now provide equal funding for a "traditional" center. This bill passed the Texas house by a 110-24 vote. Let's be clear about this. This is a slap in the face of the LGBT community by the Republican lawmakers in Texas. It is amazing to me that in 2011 we still have states in our union that are this bigoted. The goal is not to actually provide funding for a traditional center but limit any funding for the young LGBT community. Sigh.

1. Beer of the week: Samuel Adams Summer Wheat. Absolutely delicious and a bargain for $9.99 for 12.

2. I saw the movie Water for Elephants this weekend. I liked it. I give it a B. I have not actually seen Robert Pattinson act (I have not seen any of the Twilight movies) and it turns out the guy actually does have some real talent. Good story, good writing, and a solid movie. I wouldn't necessarily say you have to rush out today to see it but definitely rent it if you have a chance.

3. Please google Skyline Chili. That was my lunch today.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Lucky in Kentucky

Refreshed. In the past 12 months of work I had only used one day of vacation. I think that is why I really enjoyed spending the past five days in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. For those who are not aware, Allie's parents moved a few weeks to a suburb 17 miles South of downtown Cincinnati in Northern Kentucky. We spent the long weekend there exploring the area and helping them move in. Here were some of the highlights:

A) I really liked exploring downtown Cincinnati. The Queen City reminded me a lot of Saint Paul. Not just in size, but it's lay-out is very similar. It was clean, the people were really nice, the city is well-organized and has a beautiful skyline. I do have a slight criticism though... We drove around downtown at 9:30pm on Friday night and it was really quiet. It's nightlife left a LOT to the imagination.

B) With Lexington and Louisville only been an hour and an hour and a half from Allie's parent's house, we headed to southern Kentucky to explore the area. I never thought I would enjoy the South so much! The drive was very pretty - horse farms everywhere, cool old houses, lots of historic sites, and only the occasional confederate flag. I also did not know that 95% of the world's bourbon is made in Kentucky. So... naturally we had to check out three different distilleries. Which, I might add, is a lot of fun. I don't even really care for whiskey but seeing how it's made is just plain cool.

C) Being a college basketball fanatic, it was cool being in Northern Kentucky when Xavier, University of Cincinnati, Kentucky University, and University of Louisville, are all in the tournament in the same time. Unfortunately I picked Pittsburgh to win it all. That should tell you how I am doing on my bracket!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

10,000 spoons when all you need is fork

I have been feeling like an old man recently. Not physically, but in my spirit. As I read the papers about Republican Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and his Republican controlled congress stripping away the rights of various unions to negotiate through collective bargaining, the passion that might have existed in me five or six years has disappeared. Despite Madison only being a two hour drive from Chicago, I am, in a way, surprised by how little I care about the plight of the union workers in Wisconsin. I suppose that this could be attributed for several reasons:

A) I feel many of the nation's unions are out of control... i.e. Teacher's Union, United Auto-Workers, and others.

B) The purpose of collective bargaining is a lot different than it was 50 or 60 years ago. Back then, let's say you were part of a local meatpacking union. You were most likely poor and undereducated. So you pooled your money, hired attorneys to conduct collective bargaining with the city or state on your behalf. Times are a lot different now. People are better educated. The need for collective bargaining is not as strong. This, is no doubt, because of the success of a strong union to protect its workers. It provided benefits, overtime pay, mandatory vacation days, sick days, and much more. The Unions worked. They made America a better place! But times have changed and possibly some of the unions do have too much power. Possibly some of the benefits, like lifetime health insurance or phenomenal pension plans, are absurd and outdated and need to be stripped.

This is not to say that I don't sympathize with the workers of Wisconsin who are getting benefits and pay cuts stripped away by a Governor who cares more about a 2012 or 2016 Presidential run than he does about his own people.

At this point, my opinion is that I don't have an opinion... yet. I can see both points and I am curious to see what happens. I will also say though that this is an area which I am particularly ignorant and if you have any interesting columns or articles that might sway my opinion either way, I am interested.

1. It is my day off so I decided to be completely unproductive. Allie and Lauren came over this afternoon after work and we took advantage of Nimit's Netflix to watch movies. I was unaware of the legendary 1986 children's film Labyrinth - starring David Bowie and a very young Jennifer Connelly. It is isn't bad... but certainly would have been more enjoyable if I were 11 or at least not completely sober. However, I am glad I saw it. However, after they left I decided to watch the movie Amadeus. I had only seen it one time 10-15 years ago. I forgot how awesome it is! The acting, the writing, and of course the music are all incredible. I have since spent the past 30 minutes learning that almost the whole movie was fiction. However, I have learned so many interesting facts about Mozart. For instance, did you know that the song Twinkle Twinkle Little Star is in fact a highly simplified version of his song, "Ah Vous Dirai-Je, maman"?

2. I recently finished The Associate by John Grisham. Grisham is kind of my go to author when I want to read something fun. It's not his best book but if you enjoy his novels, in particular The Firm, than The Associate will be a good fit. I liked it but it had an unsatisfying ending and lacked some of the wit of some of his earlier books like The Rainmaker.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

The Bob Jones University: Utah branch

Brigham Young is one of the finest academic institutions in the United States. Besides in the classroom, this historic Mormon university has had legendary football teams and currently a top five basketball team. However, the decision to suspend center Bob Davies for the remainder of the season for coming to the team and admitting that he had pre-marital sex with his girlfriend is absurd. Instead of welcoming him back with an open hand, they punched him with a closed fist. I have read before about BYU's "honor code". Besides no pre-marital sex, there is no alcohol, drugs (including caffeine) or my favorite... cursing. Not only is Davies kicked off the team, he might be suspended from school. Now you me, I'm a big 1st amendment/free speech/free market kind of guy and I believe that a private institution like Brigham Young University should be able to operate as they please. However, the kid made a mistake, owned up to it, and I feel that the punishment should be a slap on the wrist, not a suspension for the whole season. I might think it's silly if they did something like suspend him for 1/2 of a game, however, this punishment is beyond absurd and I think sheds an awful light on the University.

1. Regarding the opposite of BYU, I have secretly enjoyed watching Charlie Sheen's mind completely disintegrate before our eyes. Here are some of my favorites:

- "I am on a drug. The drug is called Charlie Sheen. It's not available. If you try it once, you will explode and your children will weep over your exploded body.

- "I mean, what's not love? Especially when you see how I party. It's epic. The run I was on made Sinatra, Jagger, Richards, all of them look like droopy-eyed, armless children.

- "I'm tired of pretending I'm not a total bitchin' rock star from Mars. People can't figure me out... they can't process me. I don't expect them to. You can't process them with a normal mind.

There are others but I think those three are my favorites.

2. I've been watching a lot of documentaries recently after Nimit got Netflix. Some of my favorites included this fantastic documentary about the horrendous, immoral dolphin killing in Japan in a movie called The Cove. I also enjoyed the documentary Exit Through the Gift Shop about graffiti legend Banksy and other street art legends. I was really excited to watch It Might Get Loud. But it was basically just watching Jimmy Page, The Edge, and Jack White sitting around talking and jamming a bit. The premise sounded really interested but it came across way too disorganized and I got bored.

3. Imagine my surprise when I pick Allie up from work and she and her co-worker are talking about the sex scandal at her alma mater, Northwestern University. To summarize the story, there is a popular class on campus (which Allie actually took) called Human Sexuality. The controversy, which I now bring up because I have the TV on and they are discussing the story on CBS's national news program, involved Professor John Bailey's decision to bring in guest "lecturers" to discuss the female orgasm. After the two guest speakers declared that a video on the female orgasm was not wholly accurate, they decided to have the female demonstrate live orgasm while he stimulated with her with a "variety of devices" in front of approximately 100 students. I don't actually know whether to be amused or be shocked that this Professor, apparently known for his controversy, thought this was a sage idea. Yes, I understand that the demonstration and class are completely voluntary. Everyone is an adult here. I get that. Apparently before the demonstration, Professor Bailey asked, "Is everyone ready for a live sex show?" However, I do think I agree with Northwestern's president who told the Associated Press that he was "troubled and disappointed" and felt that Professor Bailey represented "extremely poor judgment". I actually took Human Sexuality while I was at ISU and I thought the class was fascinating and certainly one of my more memorable classes. It opened my eyes on not just different sexualities but also about my relationships with different people. I like that the class is offered... I just think maybe Professor Bailey needed to have toned it down a bit. Demonstrating what a "sex saw" is in front of a bunch of college students is not education... it's porn.