BJ Shea

 BJ Shea


BJ'S BLOG 10/22/14 "Breaking Bad Action Figures"

Hey, kids! Are you looking for a new role model to add to your action figure collection? How about legendary entrepreneur Walter White from "Breaking Bad", the popular children's show?

Surprise, surprise…a mother in Florida doesn't like that idea very much. She's started a petition to remove Breaking Bad figures from the shelves of Toys 'R' Us, despite the fact that the toys are clearly marked for ages 15 and up.

Breaking Bad is about a man who decides to make and sell methamphetamines in order to secure his family's future; I'm not saying that's a hero for kids to admire, but I also don't imagine that many young kids will even look twice at these figures. They very likely don't know what Breaking Bad is, so they're going to pass right by these toys and head to the aisle with all the Avengers and G.I. Joe figures.

The concerned mother, who claims to like the show itself, has managed to recruit 5,000+ petitioners for support, and has successfully managed to get the toys pulled off the shelves!

In case you don't know, grown-up themed figures are nothing new, and they're growing in popularity. I have some Doctor Who figures that would be perfectly appropriate for most kids in principle, but their appeal spreads to a much wider demographic. On the adult end, Todd McFarlane has been producing toys based on Teen+ rated video games, and horror movies for two decades now. I find it funny that we haven't heard this kind of uproar about McFarlane's ultra-successful line of figures from The Walking Dead.

Here's a suggestion: MAYBE YOU JUST DON'T BUY THESE TOYS FOR YOUR KIDS.
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Topics : Human Interest
Locations : Florida
People : Todd McFarlaneWalter White




 

BJ'S BLOG 10/21/14 "Pulling Over A Cop"

Good afternoon (or morning, evening, or night), fellow Rock-A-Holics. Do you know why I pulled you over to the blog today?

Actually, I wanted to share an interesting item: a Washington state citizen recently pulled over a cop in an unmarked patrol car, asking him for I.D. and threatening to have him written up. This ordinary citizen wanted the officer to explain why he was using the car, because Washington law prohibits their use. The officer was taken aback by the challenging approach, but he complied with the request to see his I.D. and registration.

You can see the video below, and I encourage you to check it out.



I'm a bit flabbergasted by this man's snarky, self-righteous posturing. It speaks to the professionalism of the officer that he didn't respond in kind, and chose instead to respect the citizen, and prove himself as an officer of the law. I fully understand that the officer may not have been in compliance with Washington law, and that should definitely be corrected, but this would-be do-gooder is lucky his roll of the dice didn't end with him ruining a stakeout, or worse yet – finding out that the man in the unmarked car was something quite the opposite of a policeman.

I've been accused of being a "rules lawyer" when I play games with my pals, because I'm a stickler for the technical details…but I can't get behind this approach. What say you, good people?

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Topics : Law_Crime
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BJ'S BLOG 10/20/14 "An Illusion Called Time"

Today's blog comes from one of my mentors, Dan Sanders.

The old one stands proud and beautiful in the moonlight. Such great beauty often hides deep secrets. Softly she rocks on the water, her bones groaning but still strong. The very bones are the timbers that rejected the British cannonballs in the war of 1812, defeating four of their best warships, the timbers on which 308 sailors lost their lives and gave their bones to mingle in Old Ironsides forever. The voices of those long gone have been heard to speak in whispers, and visions of a young cabin boy have been seen. Do souls still linger on the ship they loved and died for? Many say they still walk the planks of Old Ironsides, the USS Constitution. It is reported that some sailors refuse to descend into the lower decks at night, fearing that would send them hurling through time and space into her resting past—or is it resting?

While sailors may be reluctant, I have a group of friends that went running (pardon the expression) hell bent to investigate these bumps in the night and disembodied voices, the vision of the boy and the eerie knowledge that these souls were indeed still protecting their beloved ship. My friends are well known as S.P.I.R.I.T.S. of New England and are the only crew who have been allowed to spend the night on Old Ironsides. While investigations of this type never contain absolute proof, I know this group well enough to believe they have probably experienced what the sailors who would rather stay above deck fear. You can check them out here: http://spiritsofnewengland.org/

My friends believe that the souls they encountered were as curious about them as they were about the spirits. Curious about them, hmm, curious about them—it makes me wonder if there is truly overlapping time. Are these souls people just living in their own space and place in whatever great design there is? Could it be we are the spirits and don't know it? Is our time being visited by those from some distant future or past world? Are they paranormal investigators, hundreds of years into tomorrow, trying to understand why there are voices from the year 2014? Are we the present, the past, the future, or all of these at once?

The Time Machine by H. G. Wells was instrumental in moving the concept of time travel to the forefront of the public imagination, but it is well known that Einstein, in his theory of relativity, sited that time travel was possible. Einstein said he wished he could ride a lightning bolt, and then he would move fast enough to travel through time. (What Albert planned to use as a saddle is unknown.)

Perhaps there are no so-called spirits, just different people living in different periods in the illusion of a man-made system of counting minutes, hours, and days called time.

I hope you will spend a little time on the shores of Rambling Harbor with me as we continue to explore spooky October.

http://dbsanders.podbean.com/e/an-illusion-called-time/
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Locations : New England
People : Dan Sanders




 

BJ'S BLOG 10/17/14 "My kid wants to be WHAT for Halloween?"

It's time for some trick-or-treat Group Therapy, gang…

Kevin and Rachel have a 14-year-old son who wants to be Kanye West for Halloween. Sure, the kid's parents could be concerned about the fact that their kid wants to dress up as a complete jackass…but they're leaning towards a different worrisome aspect: they're white, and the kid wants to wear blackface as part of his costume, because Kanye West masks don't seem to exist.

Hoo-boy, this is a tough one. If the kid is 14, I feel safe in saying that he probably has no concept of the offensive implications that come along with wearing blackface. To follow that point, the son's costume plan doesn't have any sense of insult or inappropriateness behind it. So, what's the solution here? I'm really not sure.

Is this offensive, Rock-A-Holics? Or can we let this be an innocent choice on a costume holiday?
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People : Kanye WestKevinRachel




 

BJ'S BLOG 10/16/14 "Lying on Your Dating Profile"

Youthful, attractive, filthy rich radio personality in great shape seeks Rock-A-Holic companions for Group Therapy.

(What? It's mostly true.)

We expect truth in advertising, but we don't always get it. Case in point: Annie met a guy online, and they seemed to really hit it off. After a few weeks of exchanging messages, the guy disappeared, and she didn't hear from him again. A few weeks after that, Annie's roommate came across the same guy online; this time, though, his entire life story had changed. This sparked their curiosity, and they did some digging.

It turns out the guy is married, recently bought a house with his wife, and the kid that he'd passed off as his nephew in his dating profile pictures was actually his SON. Annie wants to know if she and the roommate should take the big, final step and contact the guy's wife to reveal his secret life.

Annie, I have to wonder if you have a little too much time on your hands. Sure, the guy is almost certainly a heel, but what do you hope to gain here? This jerk won't be yours, and you can't undo the feeling of rejection that you (unfortunately) had to experience after your exchanges with him.

I think you should spare yourself the drama and leave this guy in the rearview mirror. As always, I'm interested to hear what the Rock-A-Holics have to say about this one, so sound off!
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Topics : Entertainment_Culture
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BJ'S BLOG 10/15/14 "Sharing Money With Your Partner"

Hey, Rock-a-Holics! I hope you don't mind, but I need to take a fairly sizable amount of money out of the joint account…but don't worry, I'm spending it on Group Therapy!

Wait…what do you mean "We need to have a talk"?

We DO need to have a talk with Lisa, who sent us an email that…well…pisses me off a little. Hold on to your seats, folks.

My views on relationships can be viewed as harsh sometimes, but my whole approach is about prevention. When I read about problems that could have been avoided with common sense, I move into varying degrees of the Relationship Rage State.

Lisa and her boyfriend have been together for 12 years, and have two children together, but they're not married. She's a stay-at-home mom AND a full-time nursing student, which is a juggling act that I consider foolish at best. I'm not saying it's impossible, but claiming to be a stay-at-home mom when you're a full-time student seems to be a contradiction in terms.

The two halves of this couple share a common bank account and each have a debit card. During a recent grocery trip, Lisa's card was declined. The boyfriend responded to her call for help by showing up with a card from a bank that they don't use, paying for the groceries, and then telling her they can talk when she gets home.

When they do have the talk, Lisa discovers that her boyfriend cleaned out their mutual account – leaving only $100 – and moved the money to his own personal account. He told her that he was taking control of the money because she spends too much, and will be expecting receipts for all purchases.

How do you have a 12-year relationship AND KIDS with someone without knowing that they might go off the deep end, and suddenly take drastic action like this? On the other hand, we don't know if the boyfriend is correct in his assessment of Lisa's spending, so it's hard to say if this martial law financial action was completely warranted.

How would you react to this, gang?






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Topics : Human Interest
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BJ'S BLOG 10/14/14 "Twerking Teacher"

Hello again, friends.

There's a woman in Florida named Jessica Vanessa who has been making Vine videos in which she shows off her Twerking skills. She has TWO MILLION Vine followers, and her view count is outrageously high as well. I'm no expert, but my short period of…uh…research for this post has sufficiently sold me on Jessica's skills.

Jessica Vanessa is also apparently making some money for herself in this little business venture, thanks to endorsements, sponsorships, and video product placement.

I wish I could make money using a natural skill like this…but who wants to look at me dancing in a Vine video? Of course, I would also avoid this particular plan of action because too many people would be outraged by me being so horribly objectified by the fans.

What's that? No one would rush to condemn my personal Twerking videos on Vine? Oh. Well, I'm sure that means that no one will be outraged by Jessica's videos. After all, it's a perfectly normal avenue for a school teacher to choose for herself, and it definitely won't offend anyone.

The people who watch and enjoy them will probably be called to the mat for some judgment, though…
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Locations : Florida
People : Jessica Vanessa




 

BJ'S BLOG 10/13/14 "Blood on the Moon: The Day of Darkness"

Today's blog comes from one of my mentors, Dan Sanders:

May 19, 1780, was the Day of Darkness. On that day, the sun rose as usual in the town of Boston, Massachusetts. A few dark clouds hung off to the west, which was not considered unusual as many storms move in from the west, but this morning seemed different. The air had a different feel, and those dark clouds kept moving closer and closer. By 1 p.m. total darkness had spread from New York to Boston.

Roosters began crowing as if saying goodbye, and not good night, to the world. People feared the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse were riding behind those clouds. In order to compensate for the darkness in the middle of the day, people lit lanterns, but instead of the usual glow, the lanterns gave off a greenish color.

Night was no different from daytime. There was no moon, and no stars were visible, but if you were still awake at 1 a.m. and looked out windows, you could see a blood-red moon rising. Soon stars would follow, and by the next morning, the sun was at its brightest best.

The Day of Darkness really did happen. According to Professor Samuel Williams of Harvard College, the darkness was seen at least as far north as Portland, Maine, and extended southward to New Jersey. For several days before that day, the sun appeared to be red in New England and the sky yellow.

What brought on this Day of Darkness? Was it an atmospheric phenomenon, or something stranger still? To this day, no theory fully explains the events of May 19, 1780.

The most recent Blood Moon was on October 7­-8, after I wrote this. Come ashore and find out if I'm still here, or if I'm now wandering the shores of Rambling Harbor with old Blunderbuss Billy, looking for sunken rum ships.

http://dbsanders.podbean.com/e/blood-on-the-moon-the-day-of-darkness/
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BJ'S BLOG 10/10/14 "Dance with the Bride, Anger Your Girl"

Dearly Beloved Rock-A-Holics, we are gathered here today for some blessed Group Therapy.

Today's topic comes from John, who contacted us on Facebook. He was asked to be the best man in a wedding, and his girlfriend was asked to be the maid of honor. At some point before the ceremony, the bride-to-be got pissed at John's girlfriend, and bumped her from the wedding.

During the reception, John was told that he needed to have a dance with the bride, while the maid of honor did the same with the groom. John's girlfriend saw video of this, and got angry about it. She continues to hold it over his head, and the problem just can't seem to go away.

Sigh.

Are you kidding me with this? Bad blood is bad blood, but there are formalities and requests that come along with a wedding; what was John supposed to do? It seems logical that John must be a pretty good friend of the couple, if he was asked to be the best man. This is hardly an unnatural, or inappropriate, aspect of a wedding.

Ladies, I wish I could understand why some of you are so fixated on solving your problems by creating even bigger, more dramatic, problems. If you think you can convince me that I'm wrong for siding with John, I'm happy to hear you out, but this one just seems completely ridiculous to me…
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Topics : Human Interest
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People : Anger - Dearly Beloved




 

BJ'S BLOG 10/09/14 "Jennifer Lawrence"

The fallout from the hacking of private celebrity photos continues with a statement from Jennifer Lawrence, and I'm feeling a little ambivalent about it. Lawrence says that she struggled to come up with a public statement in the early days of the scandal, but found herself emotionally unable to see it through. She even contemplated an apology, but felt like she had done nothing wrong, and had no reason to apologize. For the record, I completely agree.

Jennifer said that the pictures were taken for a boyfriend, with whom she had a loving, devoted relationship, noting that the boyfriend could either be looking at porn, or at pictures of her. Personally, I think I could swear off porn if I had Jennifer Lawrence taking sexy photos just for me.

Here's the thing that I'm struggling with. Jennifer said, and I quote:

"Anybody who looked at those pictures, you're perpetrating a sexual offense. You should cower with shame."

That's a big thing to say, and seems a little excessively damning in some ways. She's obviously very upset, and I still believe that this whole photo leak scandal has been a terrible thing. On the other hand, I feel like I'm a big hypocrite. I don't think we're bad people for having a curiosity about sexy photos of a very attractive celebrity.
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BJ'S BLOG 10/08/14 "Collecting Texts From The Exes"

Group Therapy is all about Rock-A-Holics helping Rock-A-Holics, and it's time for another session!

Peter is a little worried about his wife's habit of keeping old cell phones. Peter wanted her to give up the phones, and maybe recycle them in one of those mall kiosks so that people who need a phone can benefit. After no small amount of back-and-forth on the subject, Peter has learned why his wife insists on keeping the phones… it's because she doesn't want to lose text messages from her ex-boyfriends!

This one has left me scratching my head, folks. I probably have a couple of old phones hidden away in my house somewhere, but I didn't keep them around for sentimental data reasons. Peter doesn't know how to feel about it, either. Is it weird? Do people do this regularly? Can anyone help him out with some advice?

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BJ'S BLOG 10/07/14 "Asking Your Ex For A Sexual Report Card"

Welcome back, gang! Put on your heaviest pajamas and that weird green facial cream – it's time to get tucked in for some good old-fashioned Group Therapy After Dark.

Here's one we don't get every day: Helen is still good friends with her former boyfriend. They dated for a couple of years, but decided they were better off as friends. Helen is dating someone else now, and she's worried that the new guy doesn't think much of her bedroom prowess. She insists that she has total confidence in her abilities, but some recent weird, drunken sexcapades have put some doubts in her mind.

Naturally, Helen decided to ask her good pal, the ex-boyfriend, for an appraisal of her skills. He gave her good marks overall, and offered a couple of…uh…tips for improvement.

Helen's best girlfriend thinks that this whole exchange is weird, so Helen wants to know if her fellow Rock-A-Holics think that she was out of line for asking her ex-boyfriend for a sexual report card.

In my opinion…well, this is a bit odd. I have female friends, but they're more like guy-buddies; we play board games, have some snacks, and that's about it. I don't engage in deep, personal conversations with women who aren't my wife or daughter…and I certainly don't keep in close contact with former bedmates, few and far between though they are. It sounds to me like the boyfriend is still on the hook, and Helen might be keeping him as a convenient fallback. Sure, modern relationships are very different than they were back in my day, but this one still seems like it colors too far outside the lines.

If you think I'm wrong, I'm sure you'll tell me. Sound off, good people!
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Topics : Human Interest
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BJ'S BLOG 10/06/14 "'Monster Mash'-ing in the Marsh"

Today's blog comes from one of my mentors, Dan Sanders:

They are mashing in Rambling Harbor, that is, doing the "Monster Mash," which was the number 1 hit for Bobby "Boris" Pickett & the Crypt-Kickers in 1962. There are a lot of songs either about Halloween itself or the spooky dark side of life or not life, the ifs, and just maybes. It is even rumored that the ghost of old Blunderbuss Billy dances around in the moonlight. Most people have a spooky story or two, some passed down for many generations. My father use to tell a story of seeing a woman around dusk in an open field who after he walked by and turned back a few seconds later was no longer there, and there was nothing to hide behind. I have heard enough "ghost stories," if you will, to start thinking yeah, just maybe, sure.

The people of Rambling Harbor are most likely descendants of prehistoric Paleo-Indians who lived in eastern North America at the end of the last Ice Age, some 15,000-30,000 years ago. A midden mound, which is a deposit containing shells, animal bones, and other refuse, has been found that indicates the site of a human settlement. Also fishing weirs, which are wooden fence-like structures built to catch fish, have been discovered in the city of Boston. Much of Boston is landfill and Boylston Street is pretty much the center of the city and nowhere near water today, but a fish weir was found there.

Not far from where I call home, wedged between the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the foggy bogs in back where at night the coyotes play, owls hoot, and mourning doves cry, is a Native American burial ground. In fact there are several such sacred places around Rambling Harbor. Rambling Harbor was settled around 1630, and some of the original houses are still standing, no doubt inhabited by spirits. It's easy to imagine ancient souls roaming along the shore at night, perhaps looking for the rum ship sunk by Blunderbuss Billy so long ago.

Here's a quick quiz and pretty easy, I guess. Do you know what the number 1 scary song is? Get ready for this…. It's "Thriller," which hit number 4 on the Hot 100 in 1984 and is the most downloaded Halloween-themed song of all time with digital sales to-date of 3.4 million, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

I still think my all-time favorite is "Monster Mash," which is so much fun for the tone deaf to sing. But the scariest song has to be "Dragula" by Rob Zombie, one of the spookiest musicians ever. Look at the video. It is whacked, crazy, weird, and unsettling, and it is the number 10 most downloaded scary Halloween song of all time.

There are more shadowy thoughts on the shores of Rambling Harbor. Join me there, but watch out for my plant, Audrey 2.5. She's OK as long as she's not hungry.

http://dbsanders.podbean.com/e/monster-mashing-1412519187/
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BJ'S BLOG 10/03/14 "Disciplining Your Children"

Happy Friday to you, friends and fellow Rock-A-Holics! I know you're probably in a hurry to start your weekend, but if you could stick around for some Group Therapy, we can always use the help.

Michelle wrote in, looking for some advice about a recent incident involving her 10-year-old son Jason and another parent. Jason went with a friend and his dad for some post-football ice cream, and the kids were…y'know, being KIDS…and playing around in the car. The father apparently felt that the horsing around had gone too far, so he turned around and slapped Michelle's son on the arm, telling him to stop.

As you might expect, Michelle was extremely unhappy when she and her husband heard the story from Jason. The slap left no mark, and Jason wasn't hurt, but Michelle is furious at the idea of someone else disciplining her child. Michelle's husband doesn't think it's a big deal.

Oh, boy. I know I'm from an older generation, but I am rolling my eyes all the way back in my head at you, Michelle. I appreciate you listening to our show, and we always try to help those fine people who come to us for advice…but you're going to have to let this one go.

I can see your point about not wanting anyone to deploy some corporal punishment on your kid, but I see this as a father being a father, and laying down the law with some seriousness when he felt that the car horseplay had gone too far. I'm honestly surprised that you're not more concerned about the fact that your kid was acting out of line – to any degree – when he was essentially a guest of another family.

This is a topic that could end up turning into a heated debate, so let's hear what you have to say, folks!



 (4) Comments
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People : Jason




 

BJ'S BLOG 10/02/14 "Will Saying 'Redskins' Start Earning People FCC Fines"

I've said this before, but it seems like people don't take it as seriously as I do: the term "Redskin" is a racial epithet, and is unquestionably offensive. I don't want to debate that particular point right now, but there is an issue related to the Redskins name controversy that I'd like to bring to your attention.

Apparently, there are some people who are calling for a Washington, D.C. radio station to lose its license for using the term "Redskins", and it seems that the FCC is taking it seriously. FCC boss Tom Wheeler says they're looking at the petition on its merits, and will respond appropriately. We don't have all the information regarding exactly why people are targeting this station specifically, but how much outrage will it take before the offensive nature of the term becomes obvious to everyone?

(In case you don't already know, the FCC governs broadcast standards for TV and radio. Personally, I think that radio broadcasters fall under much more serious scrutiny than our television counterparts, but that is yet another discussion for another time.)

If the FCC is looking at possible fines and shutdowns for broadcasters who speak that controversial team name, maybe it's time for everyone to agree that the word needs to leave our shared vocabulary. I'm not sure how much more discussion is required on this subject, especially under the increasingly stressful circumstances.

The season premiere of South Park deals with the Redskins controversy, and I thought the show was totally on the mark. If you haven't checked it out yet, I highly recommend it.
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People : Tom Wheeler




 

BJ'S BLOG 10/01/14 "Should I Tell My Dad..."

Greetings, Rock-A-Holics! You're just in time for a new session of Group Therapy! We've got a guy here who could really use some advice, so let's try to help him out, shall we?

We heard from Ron, who said that he never expected to be in a situation that would require Group Therapy help. He's here now, though, and he doesn't know what to do.

Ron's father is a 57-year-old widower, who is back into the dating scene after Ron's mother passed away three years ago. Dad recently revealed that he's been on a couple of dates with a woman who is closer to Ron's age. This didn't bother Ron in the least…until he saw the woman's picture, and recognized her immediately.

Ron dated this woman in college. Well, okay, they didn't date, but they spent a night together, if you get what we're saying. Ron says he's not even bothered by the fact that his father is dating the woman, but he isn't sure what to do about the fact that it's a woman he once hooked up with.

We don't have all the information here, so we can't effectively run the numbers. Maybe Ron's night with this woman was decades ago, or maybe it was a few years ago. There's no real way to be sure.

Should Ron tell his dad, or just wait to see how things play out? BONUS HONESTY POINTS if you've been one of the parties in a situation like this, and can speak from experience…
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