The Daily Dose of Buffa

Greetings ladies and gents,

Let’s roll down a few topics as we get into the last few days before Christmas.   Always a good time of the year to reflect on what has went down in the past 12 months.   Excuse me if I load a round into the chamber and discuss a few things here.  This is the second day I have worked on this blog because when I finished typing on the first night, it felt flat, full of hot air and I was literally falling asleep as I typed it.  I’m not calling it shit, but I will say I needed another round of energy to come back, put a stamp on it and move on.  Enjoy and happy fucking holidays friendo’s.

Shootings Epilogue

In a way it’s hard to put a wrap on this subject.  The feelings that pour out every time I put my kid in that spot still sting and spar with my brain.  You can’t just forget about it.   20 kids died because they went to school.   The topical discussion is endless.   Gun Control?  Mental health?  What to do about the effects from the trauma of the event?  That’s for the suits to decide and me to fire out a few ideas.  Every great realization comes from a fierce discussion with my trusted ally and editor, Mr. PJ Nolan.   Today, in a few emails and confident debate, we put a few nails in the coffin.  First, the two biggest issues at play here.  Gun control(freedom to bear arms) and the idea of mental health coming into play with mass murder.  It’s impossible to outlaw guns.  Forget about it.  Attack the personal freedom of Americans and you will lose the world in a second.  Restrict, tighten and focus instead on monitoring gun owners.

Since you can’t outlaw guns, you have to fight fire with fire.  Taking away a man’s gun is dangerous territory. As I mentioned what seems like a week ago, the time has come to arm up the schools. If my coffee warehouse has more security than a school something is wrong. When are humans at their most fragile?  Teenage wasteland. All the shooters in these horrible massacres were as old as 26 and as young as 18. Put armed guards on schools. College, high school and especially elementary. Stopping these things from happening is like I said impossible. All you can do is defense it.

 Owners need to rethink their home casing. If these gun people want to own multiple guns then buy better cases to keep them in.  When I buy my gun for the house I will only do it if I can buy a hand sensor case. Like the hard target gun nut did point out, if you keep a gun in the case and by itself nobody gets hurt. Lets say I didn’t and Vinny went batshit crazy and grabbed my gun out of some unlocked case and decided to play with it, bad things would happen. That’s the risk we took when we were given the right to bear arms. If the mother had better cased her guns, she and 26 other people would be alive. If there was a single armed security guard on the school this may not have happened. You see, there’s two steps towards restricting a recurring incident.
Here’s more. When someone buys a gun, do an extensive background check. If this is already done, go fucking deeper and more extensive. See why they want it. Ask certain questions. Make sure they buy a proper case. If kids are in the house they must buy a sensor case. Yeah thats right. Squeeze them. Tax them like you said especially if you want to own more than one gun.  Make it harder. My brother in law Brian,myself, and others can handle it because our country produces crazy more than anybody else. This will happen again but it can’t happen to kids. Protect the young. Start there and work up. That’s what creates the talk. Gets people taking desperate measures. Hearing 20 kids died because they went to school. It’s still a scar in my head.
I’ve known for years what causes it. Having a gun and being crazy enough to use it on innocent people. Now it’s time to stop it. To do that you need to restrict, trim and rework the laws of this country without taking away people’s rights.  That’s our job to talk about it and other people to act on. I can help in a small way by buying the correct safe and preaching to others to do the same. Baby Steps.
That’s all we can do. Disregard the other forwards and stick to my words here. You can’t stop it but you can contain and restrict it. Unlike recycling, people could come together on safe gun control and limit a recurrence and actually do something meaningful.
The painful reality of all here is the human instinct.  Every time I think about those shootings, I get violent thoughts.   Violence breeds violence.  When we think of something happening to our babies, we don’t think about talking to that person afterwards.  The idea is hurt, kill or confront and do harm.  We can never change that.  They don’t make a drug to restrict the pure internal bond of protection over family.  Try to not feel bad for the parents of Daniel Barden.  Daniel wanted to be a firefighter when he grew up, like his uncle and cousin.  He idolized NYC firefighters.   At his funeral this week, several firefighters from NYC showed up to remember Daniel.   He was 7 years old.   Young Jack Pinto loved the Giants and Victor Cruz.  In a town of New England Patriots lovers, Jack loved Victor Cruz a lot. The Giants WR was his favorite player.   When Cruz found out about the six year old Pinto, he dedicated the day to him by writing Jack’s name on his cleats.   You might think, “Wow, that is it”.  Cruz drove to Newtown and visited Jack’s parents and other parents of victims.  He made an effort because he cared and the loss of one of his youngest fans struck him straight in the heart.   It’s something that we won’t soon forget.   Losing 26 people at a school isn’t as bad as losing 3,000 people in NYC.  However, the lingering shit cloud hanging over our heads comes from the fact 20 of those victims were 6 and 7 year kids.  If this is bothering you and the subject is closed and shut to you, then forget you read this part.  Read on.   This is my blog.  I can write about this all day and night.  I told you in the first blog on Saturday.  I’m done for now.
NRA ruling: Armed Guards on Schools
You know how I feel here.  I like NRA President Wayne Lapierre(weak name for a gun army leader) voting for putting armed guards on schools.    It carries risk to put an officer with a gun in a school but it also improves the chances of a horrible shooting being stopped from repeating.   Yes, Michael Moore can rant about armed security not stopping Columbine or the massacre at the army base two years ago, but you still improve your chances.   What happens when a bank is robbed with armed security present?  Do you pull the guards off and let it be wide open for a second shot?  NO.  You keep the guards there and hope for a positive result.   Kids and parents will feel uneasy with a gun outside the door, but isn’t it better if that gun in question is pointed the other way instead of at the heads of teachers and students.  Come on people, the time has come to toughen up.   Let me repeat what I said above.   You can’t outlaw guns.  The NRA won’t allow it and the US government doesn’t want to pick that fight and mess with people’s rights.  All you can do is defense the important foundations of education and the future by arming up schools.   Put the good guys outside the door.   If a young kid asks who that man is outside the door, tell him it’s Robocop.  Tell him or her that he or she is a good person meant to protect.  The time has come to get serious about protecting schools.  Sandy Hook pulled that trigger of defense.   The gloves are off and a process of reaction is in motion.  Just like 9/11 putting a stranglehold on what comes onto an airplane, we can’t let the death in Newtown fail to teach us anything.  We must remember the Sandy Hook 26 and prevent this from happening again.  This is a first step.
Steven Jackson Add On
Revisiting something from my frenzied rant on Tuesday, Steven Jackson deserves consideration for the Hall of Fame one day because of his consistency with very bad teams.  The best record of his teams during his 8 year career.  8-8 in 2006.   Jackson’s career rushing yards per game average of 71.8 ranks 19th all time and fares better than Hall of Fame member Franco Harris.  Jackson has been a marvel with the Rams, kept his head down and had a great career.  However, he would be smart to check the free agent market after the season. As much as I want this rampaging beast to finish his career in St. Louis and wouldn’t object against it, a decent part of me hopes he finds a contender and hooks his teeth into them.  Win some games, acquire more credibility and maybe, just maybe, grab a Super Bowl ring.  That’s his ticket into the hall.
Buffa Film-Addict Exclusive
Jack Reacher-The movie delivers.   This is the kind of action film that has a familiar plot, characters and dialogue and only survives on convincing returns.   Filmmakers and a cast following through on a punch.  Tom Cruise tackles the role of Reacher, and when it was announced he was taking Lee Child’s famous action hero from his novels and making it his next movie, Child’s fans were mad because Cruise was shorter than the 6 foot 5 inch 250 pound fictional man.   Unless those fans wanted the Rock to fill those shoes, they were best settling on Cruise, a man dedicated to the creation and sophistication of film.   He produces Reacher and didn’t take a salary up front.   Cruise only puts his time into films that he cares about.  He doesn’t show up for a job.   It surrounds him like a world of thought.   He kills it as Reacher and makes the role his own.   Like Joe Pesci in Goodfellas, Cruise comes in short yet leaves larger than life.  He is a military investigator who chooses to figure out a multiple homicide with the help of an attorney who knows he is digging for a deeper truth.   A drifted known only by his last bus stop, Reacher travels light and hits hard.   Cruise is the reason to see the film, along with the best car chase in years located at the midpoint of the movie, which sets the story in drive mode.  Judd Apatow’s new film This is 40, drags and has no idea how to end.   Reacher runs nearly the same length and entertains and is more confident about what it is doing with your time.  See it.  Believe it.  Head over to film-addict to find out more.
Rust and Bone is a powerful film that will rock you.   Ladies and gents, look this film up and see it when it arrives in expanded release in January.   Marion Cotillard and Matthias Schoenaerts, a pair of wonderful French actors, are sensational as a wounded whale trainer and a fighter in this passionate romantic drama.   A slow building poignant look at the ability of a person to help another through a traumatic event and build a future.   This movie sneaked up and floored me yesterday at an afternoon screening with its unpredictability.  A scene near the end with Schoenaerts and his son, played by Armand Verduce, is as gritty and heartbreaking as it gets and won’t leave your head for hours.  End of Watch and Intouchables just got company for the best film of 2012.  It’s strength lies in the simplistic storytelling, acting, and sneaky design.   While Reacher is action fever delight, Rust and Bone cuts deep and kicks you in the gut.   Great soundtrack as well, featuring Bon Iver and Bruce Springsteen.  The one thing my grandmother’s passing has done to me is heighten my appreciation for French films.  A sexy language that always breeds passionate tales.
The Random Thoughts(Wind Up, running out of structured ideas so here comes nothing)
*It sucks when the wind chill tries to rip your face off.   Suddenly on Friday,  the temperature dropped in St. Louis 20 degrees in one hour and in came sleet and strong winds.  Walking into it is like walking towards Paul Bunyan with his arms outstretched and holding you back.  I love the cold and welcome it.  What I can’t tolerate is the ever changing temperatures causing my body and sinuses to go wacky batshit crazy on me.   You ever wake up one morning and you can’t breathe and your head feels like a bowling ball?  That’s me right now.  You would think the weather gods were punishing us for having a weak winter so far and I could only respond with, “Excuse me, weather gods, you kind of control this sort of thing.”  I don’t mind the cold, but the wind chill can die a slow death, like my cheek bones on a quick walk.
*Drug testing for a job is getting interesting if you happen to work in the warehouse field.   You don’t just come in, piss in a cup and leave.  Now, warehouse workers go through an HPE test, consisting of different lifting exercises and tests.   Laughable for a guy like me who is in great shape and loves to work out.  The experience lasted 45 minutes and ended with me passing and becoming a full time employee at Ronnoco.  Yay for me entering the official rundown of the working class.   I’m getting dirty.
*Getting up at 4am is rude and not something I can recommend unless a lot of money is paid.  In my case, a simple income that doesn’t include big money but gives me the benefit of providing for my family.  Unless you are a millionaire, you work for someone else in this life.   In my case, I get up early.  You wake up and suddenly realize that everybody you know is still asleep, suspended in a dream state.   You warm up the car with the cold wind blowing at your back and hope to get going as soon as you can.   The early wake up time insures that the arrival will be rough and bright lights won’t please you one bit.   All I can say is I like the hours but wish I had more time to rest.   Life doesn’t wait.
*Rent Killer Joe on Redbox this week.   That dirty dark thriller comedy is a true gem and holds a spot on my top ten movie list.   Director William Friedkin’s masterpiece left everything on the table and will get people talking.   It also features the best performance of Matthew McConaughey’s career and won’t be nominated for an Oscar because it was full bodied and devilish.
*The Rams can’t make the playoffs, but can do damage to others and finish the season with a .500 record if they win out.   They aren’t mathematically eliminated but logically  are out of playoff consideration.   I never thought this team would make the playoffs.  A 2-14 trainwreck doesn’t find the track that easily.  A 6-7-1 record is tolerable while the play on the field isn’t at times.  Sam Bradford’s numbers have improved, but he still makes horrible decisions that result in game changing throws.  Steven Jackson is producing but wasting away.   Brian Quick is a big time tall receiving target, but barely plays.   Chris Givens is a rookie receiver with skill to burn.  Danny Amendola changes the offense when he is on the field, but throws his small body around so hard that he spends plenty of time in street clothes on the sidelines.  The defense deserves better, but gives up the big play too often.  This is still a team in transition so be patient and await a big season ending matchup in Seattle, where the Rams could spoil Pete Carroll’s loud scoring bunch with a heartbreaking defeat.
*Peyton Manning and Adrian Petersen are MVP candidates.  No other player has a bigger effect on a team than these two men.   Please don’t say Tom Brady.  A drunken soldier could perform well in that offense, hence Matt Cassell when Brady went down with a knee injury.  Manning has turned a preseason full of doubt surrounding his fourth surgery on his neck into a mesmerizing display of skill and use of playmakers.  Tebow did it last year, but Manning isn’t backing the Broncos into the playoffs.  He is winning divisions and leading comebacks that he didn’t even do with Indy teams.   The Broncos offense doesn’t have a ton of big names, but just as Manning did in Indy with Austin Collie and Pierre Garcon, he is making great use of his assets and working extra hard to cover a flawed defense.  Petersen only chumps up 200 yards a game and makes Christian Ponder’s job rather easy.   He is a game changing player.  Without them, their teams would sink.   Low.   Robert Griffin III will have to settle for rookie of the year honors.
*The Cardinals bringing Bengie Molina on as their assistant hitting coach is good news to the real deal fans.   Having a seasoned professional like Yady’s big brother in the dugout and hanging around the players will only help this team.   John Mabry took over as Cards hitting coach and Molina comes in after his retirement to be his assistant.   For years, Bengie was a decent hitter with power and a very polished catcher.   He will play big brother to Yady and to the young hitters like Descalso, Carpenter, Craig, and Freese who are entering the established talent zone of their careers.   Just a cool hire.
*The NHL cancelled games through January 14th and if you ask me, the rest of the season is going to disappear soon after.   The biggest loser in this ordeal are the St. Louis Blues new owners, including Tom Stillman.   He is a new suit in control of a team that needs NHL action in order to be prosperous and carries no cards in the Owners greedy game.  Last season, while earning one of the top spots in the Western Conference, the Blues lost money as a team and franchise and need hockey badly to stay on track.   You have a hometown owner in Stillman, a young team on the verge of something special and yet no hockey.   The players aren’t guilt free, but if you read everything, the owners are the ones who won’t settle.   Ask yourselves who wants to get this thing done and out of the way and I will tell you the players do.   It’s a shame this has gotten this far.   The players are going to dissolve the union and that affects the details of any labor deal because player rights will change and you can’t judge them as one party any longer.  In the past, the players have voted to break the union and it is saved by a labor deal falling into place.   If the players dissolve the union, the chances of a deal decrease considerably.   The date of death has to come soon.   When there is less than 50 games played, a season looks a little lame and useless to cram in before the summer.  This is a fault on the players and owners for failing to drop their greedy desires and carve out a deal.   Each side has to give in the end.  In this case, neither did enough to find an answer.  More than likely, there is no NHL hockey in 2013 until the new season fires up in the fall.   For many fans, including myself, that is a crying shame.  2nd time in 7 years.   Smack the other sports but this would have ended a long time ago if we were talking about MLB, NFL or the NBA.   People wonder why hockey isn’t regularly on major networks or get a ton of US acclaim.  Well, look at the two extended lockouts in the last decade.
What else…..let me see before I decide to close the curtain and click send.
Final Thoughts
On Christmas eve at the Buffa’s, a little somberness will feel the house.   My grandmother Meme died last year on December 24th so this one will be tough.  She was old but died because she made a mistake and was only the rock of my family.   I am listening to Black Rebel Motorcycle Club’s rock n roll blues but also turning to Bon Iver this week. Good music carries any name if it grasps your emotions.  In less than 2 months, I turn 31.  Another year in the life that saw plenty of change and development.   I lost my job, launched a movie website, watched my baby turn into a kid, and got another job and still love my wife like I met her yesterday.  Things are looking up and soon, the Buffa house will include a healthier eating lifestyle.   My wife wants to lose weight so I am going down that road with her.  I have kept myself in good shape but can always carve up the body a little more, so this will be a joint exercise.  It helps if you want to lose weight to have an ally work that route with you.   What would we do without teamwork?
That is all for now.  3,700 words and I am done.  Have a good Christmas.  If you are Jewish, have a good day.  If you hate Christmas, then screw you.  It’s my favorite part of the year.   The cold digs in deep, the family comes together and a little reflection is in order.  We all need to be checked up on every once in a while.
Goodnight and good luck,
D. Buffa
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Author: D. Buffa

A regular guy who feels a journalistic hunger to tell the news. I blog because its wired into my brain to write what I think in print. I offer an opinion. A solo tour here. Take regular stories and offer my spin on them. Sports, film, television, music, fatherhood, culture, food, and so on. Commentary on everything. A St. Louis native and Little Rock resident who wants to write just to keep the hands fresh and ready.

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