Howdy. I'm Matt Todd. My wife and I have four kids and a dog,. I'm passionate about orphan care. I'm a die-hard fan of the Evansville Aces, the Indiana Hoosiers, and Star Wars. I'm trying to live life by the Todd family motto: "It behooves us to live!"

Howdy. I'm Matt Todd. My wife and I have four kids and a dog,. I'm passionate about orphan care. I'm a die-hard fan of the Evansville Aces, the Indiana Hoosiers, and Star Wars. I'm trying to live life by the Todd family motto: "It behooves us to live!"

This is not the Rogue One post you’re looking for

*This post contains affiliate links. You can read more in my Disclosure Policy. Thank you for your ongoing support.*

Rogue One a Star Wars Story movie Poster

A Star Wars Backstory:

Bear with me, this backstory is a little long. But it’s worth it. I think. In early 1997, George Lucas and friends released the Special Edition of the Star Wars (original) Trilogy. My friends and I geeked out. Many of us were too young to really remember watching A New Hope (still my favorite Star Wars movie) . We heard stories of people camping out in front of movie theaters to see Star Wars. Growing up, I thought that was pretty cool. As a child, I resolved to camp outside a movie theater in order to be one of the first to watch a Star Wars sequel.

For a moment, I considered camping out for the opening of the Special Edition. But I couldn’t. I had classes to attend and I couldn’t justify skipping class so early in the semester. So I did the next best thing. I served as a go-between for an underclassmen who did camp out the night before and a group of a dozen or so friends, including a professor (or two – I think). I placed the ticket orders and collected the money. He stayed out all night, got a special first-screening with employees, and was first in line to buy all of our tickets. Remember, this was long before the days of buying your tickets online.

To reward myself for coordinating such a logistical feat, I bought myself two tickets. One for the matinee showing of A New Hope with my buddy, Scott. The second one was for the showing immediately after the matinee. That one was with my good friend, Mike, and my roommate, Matt. I knew this would be a day long-remembered. So I wanted to do something extra-special and watch A New Hope twice in one night. It was my destiny.

Matt, Mike, Scott, and I were pretty good friends. They were even in our wedding.

our-wedding-party

It was only fitting that I celebrate this great night with all of them. Right?

Scott and I arrived early and grabbed the best seats in the house before everyone else showed up. The next thing I knew, our theater was packed and abuzz with excitement in anticipation of watching the film that defined an entire generation (or two) on the big screen. We even invited everyone to join us in singing happy birthday to our professor. It was the same professor who participated in my mass ticket buying extravaganza. Thinking back nearly twenty years later, I probably should’ve given him his ticket for free, since it was his birthday and all. Unfortunately, I don’t think I was very clear-headed at the moment. I mean, I was about to see STAR WARS ON THE BIG SCREEN!


Fandango - Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Sweepstakes

So we sang, we laughed, and we waited. When the 20th Century Fox fanfare announced the film’s beginning, I’m pretty sure we clapped. And I was bouncing on my seat like a giddy schoolboy as the introductory paragraphs crawled across the starlit screen. I was in heaven. There were a few additions that bothered me (don’t get me started on the re-inserted Jabba scene or the Ronto, and can we please go back to Han shooting first? He was a scoundrel, after all), but I still loved watching the movie again. For the first time. Or something like that. It really was everything I had hoped it would be. And more.

As Scott and I left the movie theater, we were greeted with cheers and thunderous applause from a line of people. OK, thunderous might be a bit excessive. Work with me here. They were next in line to watch the movie. And they were just as excited as we were. There were high fives and claps of joy and still more cheering. It was quite a communal experience. I saw Matt and Mike in line so I scurried out the theater so I could re-enter the theater and take my rightful place by their side.

“WWJD?”

As I leaf the building, I stopped to talk to Christy and our friend Angie. They he’d just finished watching a non-Star Wars related movie. I don’t remember which one. I bet they don’t, either. Because this was Star Wars night. That was all that mattered.

So I was talking to Christy and Angie for a moment when I overheard another Milligan student say that Star Wars was sold out for the night and he couldn’t get a ticket. He was walking toward the parking lot and was obviously pretty bummed.

So I stopped talking to Christy. “I’ll be right back,” I said.

“What are you doing?” Angie asked. “Are you giving him your ticket?”

“It’s what Jesus would do,” I said as I walked toward him.

I have no idea if that’s what Jesus would do or not, if I’m going to be honest. I’m not sure if Jesus really cared that I sold the guy my ticket at face-value. But I did it. And I wound up standing up two of my good friends on an important night. After giving him the ticket, I went back in and broke the news to Matt and Mike.

They were bummed. I was bummed. I had been looking forward to watching it with them. Since we’re being honest, I found myself questioning this decision all night long.

Renewed buzz. And hope.

Almost twenty years later, Star Wars fandom was abuzz once again. This time, it wasn’t a re-release. It wasn’t even a new episode in the Star Wars saga. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story promised to be different. It centered on an entirely new set of characters. As a stand-alone film, it also promised a grittier feel than the Star Wars saga. With fresh blood in the creative team, it had the potential of infusing some new, energetic, and creative juice into the Star Wars film franchise. It also promised a hearty amount of nostalgia.

The nostalgia was there. In droves. The ships, weapons, sets, costumes, overall design, and, of course, the storyline all tied directly into A New Hope. There were a lot Easter eggs and cameos that tie this film directly into the Original Trilogy. But I stopped counting them because I lost track.

I have a few problems with some of the special effects efforts. But since I want this to be spoiler-free, I’m not going to go into any more detail than that. These concerns, however, are minor in the grand scheme of the film. It’s nothing atrocious like Jar Jar Binks or Greedo shooting first or the introduction of midichlorians. So we’re good.


Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Tickets

A reunion at Rogue One

Through a series of events beyond my control, I wound up with a group of people at the opening of Rogue One, sitting right beside my old college roommate. We entered a new age of Star Wars films with the arrival of stand-alone “Star Wars stories” together. So while I might not have shared in the revival of Star Wars on the big screen almost twenty years ago, I did get to usher in this new era. It will be a day long remembered, for sure.

With my reputation of taking selfies before people knew what selfies were, you’d think I would have thought to take a selfie with Matt while we were together. Unfortunately, I didn’t. So you’re going to have to settle for this one:

star-wars-selfie

As we sat through the closing credits, I turned to Matt and said, “That was amazing. In fact, t was so amazing that I don’t think I want to watch it again.” This puts the film in some pretty rare air. I think only Saving Private Ryan and Schindler’s List fall into that category. Now that the dust has settled, I don’t think it’s quite on that level of film, but it’s still pretty great. And I’m ready to see it again.

Does this make me excited for the upcoming stand-alone movies? I’m not sure. I think the thing that made this film so special is that it didn’t include any of the regular characters from the saga as the main characters in Rogue One. A Han Solo film might not be as magical. I hope I’m wrong.

Because Rogue One was pretty special. I’d love to see that magic happen again.

Have you seen Rogue One yet? What did you think? If you haven’t, what are you waiting for? Get your tickets today.

Still looking for Christmas gifts? Try these!

*This post contains affiliate links. You can read more in my Disclosure Policy. Thank you for your ongoing support.*

We are exactly one week away from Christmas! If you haven’t gotten your Christmas shopping one, you might want to get started! Here are some pretty sweet deals to get you started. And you don’t even need to leave your house to take advantage of these great deals for the sports fan in your life!

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Amazon Prime Photos has new features! Plus, you can win a $500 gift card provided by Amazon.com

*This is a sponsored post. You can read more in my Disclosure Policy.

amazon-prime-photos-family-vault

My wife and I have boxes and boxes an boxes of photos stored throughout our house. We’ve been together for over twenty years and have accumulated countless memories archived in those pictures. A few weeks ago, I found myself tearing through some of those boxes, looking for a specific picture. I was relentless. I would not stop until I found that picture. It would have been so much easier if all of my photos were kept in one place. Fortunately, Amazon Prime Photos has the answer. With Prime Photos, you get unlimited photo storage for up to five family members. An they’ve bulked up the experience, too. Here are some new features:

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  • Order prints, cards, photo books, and calendars directly from your Prime Photos account

Prime Photos to the Rescue!

Prime Photos makes it easy to find and rediscover some great family memories. And it’s free for Prime members!  It’s a safe way to store and share your photos. So go ahead and download the app – available for both iPhones and Androids – and free up space on your phone.

Photo albums are obsolete with Amazon Prime Photos

No more digging through old photo albums on a blind search for that one picture you know you have. Prime Photos can help save the day. Finding the photo you think you might remember can be a mere image search away. That, friends, can save you from a lot of stressful searching. And cleanup. Believe me. I know from experience. I may or may not have made a big mess looking for that one specific photo.

It’s worth your while to check out the new Prime Photo features.

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To help celebrate the new features Prime Photos has to offer, I’m participating in a special giveaway. Simply enter below. First prize is a $500 Amazon gift card. Second prize is one of five $100 Amazon gift cards.

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Thanks to Amazon for sponsoring this post and providing prizes for the giveaway!
Amazon, Fire and the Amazon Fire TV logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates.

Crazy Indiana laws

Indiana State Capitol, Indianapolis, Indiana (63614)
As part of my ongoing celebration of Indiana’s 200th birthday, I think it’s fitting to take a few minutes and discuss some of the crazy laws that help make the Hoosier State unique.

The fine people of Kokomo, Indiana, have recently discovered a law that has been on the books for decades. Apparently, pinball has been outlawed in Kokomo since at least the 1970s. There’s actually a good possibility that the law has been on the books since the 1950s.

It was an attempt to curb gambling efforts. But now it’s just a silly law. And and it isn’t even enforced anymore. Although many old, forgotten, unenforced laws just law because nobody bothers to repeal arcane laws like this. Amazingly enough, Kokomo is looking to repeal this law.

I think it’s safe to say that every state has crazy laws like this on the books. Indiana certainly has its fair share. And I’m not even talking about the ridiculous ‘blue’ laws that we still have in Indiana. Some lawmakers seem to think they are still relevant in the 21st century. I wholeheartedly, but politely, disagree. But that’s neither here nor there at this point (although it should probably be addressed in a separate post at some time in the near future). But stores cannot sell on Sunday. Drinks on the house are illegal. Liquor stores can’t sell cold soft drinks. Or milk. I know I said I wouldn’t dwell on it, but it’s kind of ridiculous.

As a public service, I’d like to share some of the crazy laws that are still on the books in Indiana. You never know when someone decides they should be enforced. So consider this a touch of good ol’ Hoosier Hospitality.

Here are just a few of the crazy Indiana laws that are still on the books:

No passing a horse on the street.

Baths may not be taken between October and March.

It’s illegal to catch a fish with your bare hands.

Men are not allowed to stand at a bar.

If any person has a puppet show, wire dancing or tumbling act in the state of Indiana and receives money for it, they will be fined $3 under the Act to Prevent Certain Immoral Practices.

The Act for the Prevention of Gaming calls for a three dollar fine per pack will be imposed on anyone playing cards.

Oral sex is illegal.

Thinking about crossing a highway? Make sure you don’t wear tail lights. It’s illegal for pedestrians to wear them while crossing a highway.

Backing your vehicle into a parking spot is illegal.

For guys who have a tendency to habitually kiss other people, mustaches are strictly forbidden.

If you’re going to visit a hypnotist for any reason other than quitting smoking or losing weight, a referral from a licensed physician is required.

“Spiteful gossip” and “talking behind one’s back” are also illegal. Man, I wish more people knew that.

All males 18-50 must work six days a year on public roads.

Crazy.

There they are. Some of these laws are pretty crazy. But they’re not as crazy as some laws. You know, like the one that bans carrying an ice cream cone in your back pocket in Alabama. Or the urban legend about throwing rocks in New Mexico.

I’ve broken a few of these. You probably have, too. But I’ve never crossed the highway while wearing tail lights. That’s a new one I might have to add to my bucket list.

Thanks to Weird Facts, Dumb Laws, Valpo Life, 106.1 fm in Evansville, and Real Police for sharing these laws with us.

Happy 200th Birthday, Indiana!

Flag map of Indiana

OK, it’s not quite Indiana’s birthday. But it’s close. It’s only a few days away. December 11, to be exact. That’s the date Indiana was admitted into the Union in 1816. So we’re celebrating 200 years of being a state!

While there are many things that frustrate me about Indiana, I also have a deep, deep appreciation for the Hoosier State. I will openly criticize my home state, but I will defend Indiana with all my heart if you aren’t a Hoosier and try to say something negative about the State I love. That’s probably a fault of mine. But I’m OK with that because I really do love our state. Honest to goodness.

I have been to many parts of Indiana over the years and here is much to love about our state. As we celebrate Indiana’s 200th birthday, I want to share with you some of the great things that make our state amazing. There really is more than corn in Indiana. There’s also more to this state than a race track. Amazingly enough, there are some people who don’t really care that much about the Indianapolis 500, even though it’s been part of the state’s story for more than 100 years.  And although basketball has a pretty special place in our collective consciousness, there’s more to Indiana than just basketball.

Indiana is a special place. And I want to relish in its specialness. So, in celebration of Indiana’s 200th birthday, I’ll be publishing several posts during the month of December that will hopefully remind us how great this state can be. Because that’s what happens when you wander Indiana. You find some great stories. You also find some pretty amazing people and some beautiful scenery. I hope these things are reflected in our journey through the Hoosier State. I also hope that I’m able to figure out a way to share a heapin’ helping of Hoosier Hospitality as we wander through the state together.

Get your Rogue One tickets NOW!

*This post contains affiliate links. You can read more in my Disclosure Policy. Thank you for your ongoing support.*
Rogue One a Star Wars Story movie Poster

The release of the first stand-alone Star Wars film, Rogue One, is just around the corner. And I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty excited about it. In case you aren’t familiar with the storyline, Rogue One is about the Rebellion’s attempt to steal the plans of the Empire’s ultimate secret weapon: the Death Star. If the trailers are any indication, this movie is going to be one wild ride. The movie opens on December 16, but advance tickets are available NOW through Fandango.

Will there be Bothans?

There has been a little bit of confusion about when this story takes place. It is not the mission Mon Mothma is referring to in Return of the Jedi (it’s my favorite, you might remember) when she says that “Many Bothans died to bring us this information.” That was for the second Death Star. This story takes place immediately before A New Hope (also my favorite). It’s presumably the plans that Princess Leia hides in R2-D2, which leads to a swashbuckling adventure unmatched by most (if not all) films.

I secretly hope Bothans are part of this story. I hope they’re tucked away in the background somewhere. But I also hope none of them die. Because it sounds like far too many of them die later on.

“Rebellions are built on hope.”

Hope. That’s what the original trilogy is full of. Obi-wan Kenobi is Princess Leia’s only hope. It’s clear that Luke Skywalker becomes the Rebellion’s new hope. And by the end of the trilogy, it’s the hope that there is still good in his father that compels Luke to journey into the heart of darkness. There’s hope in friends. The Empire has misdirected hope in power and technological terror. There’s hope in the mystical unknown. The original trilogy is fueled by hope. And it sounds like Rogue One taps into that same spirit. We are surrounded by reasons to have hope.

I look forward to another reminder of how much hope we can have in the midst of darkness.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Tickets

The trailers.

In celebration of the upcoming release of Rogue One: a Star Wars Story, I’ve compiled the film’s trailers below. I don’t know about you, but watching them really makes me excited about watching this movie. I hope (there’s that word again) it lives up to my expectations.

I’m sure it will.

Buy your Rogue One tickets today.



Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Tickets

TV Spots

If that isn’t enough to get your blood flowing and your adrenaline pumping, here are some of the trailers that have popped up on TV over the last month or so.

I have to admit, I wasn’t that excited when I heard of  Disney/Lucasfilm’s plans to release stand-alone films that are outside the main Star Wars saga storyline. The story of how the Rebellion stole the plans to the Death Star is the perfect way to kick off these stand-alone Star Wars films, in my opinion. This movie looks good. Very good. I’m excited. And I hope you are, too.

What are you waiting for? Join the Rebellion today.


Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Tickets

Don’t miss these Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals

black-friday-and-cyber-monday-deals-2016

Please note: This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. Learn more in my Disclosure Policy. Thank you for your ongoing support of this site.

It seems that Black Friday shopping is still pretty popular amongst members of the Life in the Fishbowl community. I hope y’all have a great time fighting the lines and finding the great deals. After you’ve worn the soles off your shoes, check out these deals online. I don’t think you want to miss them.

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Why battle the Black Friday crowds when all you really want is some new Christmas decor? Tree Classics is offering up to 60% off and free shipping to make things even sweeter.
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Fanatics

Fanatics.com is also running some great deals for Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday, including Holiday Door Busters with up to 50% off. You might even be able to save enough money to buy yourself that ugly Christmas sweater you know you’ve always wanted.
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eCreamery

Between now and November 30th, you get two free pints of Cinnamon or Candy Cane ice cream with any 4 or 8 pint purchase.
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I’m sure I’ll find more. So be sure to keep your eyes glued to Life in the Fishbowl!

Happy Thanksgiving! And happy shopping!

 

Well done, David

David Rinehart playing the grand piano at the Villa Philmonte at Philmont Scout Ranch, 1990
David Rinehart playing the grand piano at the Villa Philmonte at Philmont Scout Ranch, 1990.

One of the few bright spots from my middle school experience was my involvement in Boy Scouts. Scouting had a huge impact on my life because of the adults who were there to mentor me. We also had a great group of older Scouts who would guide us and teach us. One of those older Scouts in my early days in Troop 322 was David Rinehart.

I looked up to him. A lot.

I know he was flawed. We all are. This is no hagiography. I know David wasn’t perfect. But to a kid entering his preteen and teenage years, David was about as close to the embodiment of the Scout Law that you could get. He ultimately went away to a small Christian college in Kentucky and then came back to our home church to serve as a worship leader.

I hadn’t really been in contact with him after I left Evansville. Unfortunately, that does tend to happen. Even in this hyper-connected age of social media. I was still happy to see him whenever I returned home. I think it’s safe to say that I still looked up to him. And I thought about him often.

In fact, I think about him every time I use a Dutch Oven or a cast iron skillet.

I think I was in seventh grade, serving as Assistant Patrol Leader. It was late one evening and we had just finished dinner. I’m not sure why, but I was the one in charge of my Patrol. The Dutch Oven we had used had burnt food that was caked onto the bottom of the pot. We decided to fill the Dutch Oven with water and sit it on our camp stove. This was somewhat standard procedure. The idea was that the hot water would help release the burnt food while you scraped the bottom with a metal spoon.

Shortly after turning our camp stove to a high flame, all patrols were called to an evening Troop meeting. Thinking it would be a quick meeting, we left the camp stove on so the water would reach a boil. I know. Big mistake. But I wasn’t really thinking. And even if I was thinking, I’m not convinced I would have known better, anyway.

With the stove set to high, the water started boiling pretty quickly. During the Troop assembly, I forgot about the Dutch Oven. We took our time getting back to our campsite. When we did finally make it back, I was shocked to discover that all of the water had evaporated and the camp stove was just burning the burnt food even more. Our Dutch Oven was a carbonized, unusable mess.

I went to the adult leaders. They asked David to come to see if there was any way he could help salvage the Dutch Oven. Late into the evening, we scrubbed and scraped and rinsed. At one point, as we started to make some progress, he stopped, looked up at me, and chuckled, saying,

“Don’t ever do this again.”

Then he continued scrubbing and scraping away.

cast-iron-skillet

This moment is etched in my memory. I think of it every time I cook with cast iron. In my mind’s eye, he looks up at me and says “Don’t ever do this again.” Then I chuckle and go back to cleaning the skillet or Dutch Oven. It reminds me of his servant’s heart. And the more I look back at those middle school and early high school days, the more I realize I really looked up to him.

Things will be different now.

In the early hours of Sunday, November 13, David, his mother, and one of his daughters died in a horrific traffic accident. They were on their way home from an amazing, season-ending performance at the Bands of America Grand Nationals here in Indianapolis.

Since learning of the news, I’ve seen countless testimonies about how David led worship with all of his heart, ushering others before the Throne and joining them in praise to Our Father. I’ve been reminded of how passionate he was when he directed a choir. And I can only imagine what kind of choir music he might be directing in heaven. What a glorious sound that would be.

David Rinehart leading worship
image via the Crossroads Youth Choir & Babd facebook page

After seeing David kneeling down with a servant’s heart, I hope I see this image in my mind’s eye the next time I’m cooking with cast iron. I hope to see him leading worship with everything that was within him. Maybe I’ll even catch a hint of the melody. And I’m sure I’ll have to swing and sway along with the beat. Just like he did.

In that moment, I will remember that there will be a day when He will wipe away every tear, as I shed a tear of my own. And I will long for a day when there will be no more death, no more mourning. No more crying or pain. I will see the beauty that will rise out of these ashes.

But for now…Now I weep. I weep for a man I haven’t seen in over a decade, but who had a much larger impact on my life than I ever realized. And I know he touched countless others with his life, too. So I join the chorus of those countless others, saying (or singing) the words that I long to hear someday. I am confident he heard these words early that Sunday morning.

“Well done, David. Well done.”

Now, if you’ll excuse me. I think I need to find a cast iron skillet and fix some dinner tonight.

Some thoughts about the upcoming election

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I’ve made it clear that I cannot support the Democratic and Republican nominees for President of the United States. If you support one of them, it’s OK. I really do understand. Both of them have policies that are appealing. And I really do understand the underlying fear that both parties have relentlessly stoked during this political cycle. I won’t condemn you for voting one way or another. I might not agree with you, but I understand. I honestly do.

I also understand the “lesser of two evils” argument. Some of you have chosen to follow this path. You believe that both Hillary and The Donald are horrible choices. The majority of the United States voting population agrees with you. But as you’ve analyzed this decision, you believe that one candidate is horrible and the other is only slightly less horrible. So you’ve decided to vote for the slightly less horrible candidate so the horrible candidate does not become President. I understand that dilemma. And I understand your choice. That major party candidate you don’t want to become President? I don’t want that person to win, either. I promise you that.

I almost chose this side. This Summer, I watched bits and pieces of the Republican National Convention and wasn’t very thrilled with what I heard and saw. And the I watched the Democratic National Convention. I listened to Tim Kaine. Having lived on the border of Virginia, I was familiar with him and his policies. I listened anyway. He invited disgruntled Republicans to consider joining them because there was room for them in the Democratic Party. It sounded appealing. A Big Tent Party sounds like a beautiful thing. So I cracked open that door just a little bit. Mrs. Clinton slammed that door shut in her acceptance speech. She and her running mate could talk a good talk, but it was made very clear that there is no room for someone like me in their party.

I’ve decided to abandon the major parties during this presidential election. Because it’s pretty clear they’ve abandoned me. It’s pretty clear that many other Americans feel abandoned, too. That’s what happens when you nominate the two most unpopular candidates in American history. I will not accept the false dichotomy that has been presented to the American public. I wish more voters felt the same. Because we are going to keep getting awful candidates if we accept the idea that we only have two choices.

“But, why do you want to throw your vote away like that?”

I’ve heard this argument a lot. In fact, I used to believe this argument. I have toyed around with voting Third Party for several years. I just couldn’t get over the notion that my vote wouldn’t matter. I realize now that I was wrong.

First of all, to the people who are making this claim, how dare you?

How dare you tell people it’s their civic responsibility to participate in the electoral process and then say that their votes don’t matter because they don’t agree with yours?

Are you telling me that some votes matter more than others? I realize within the context of the Electoral College, this really is the case. But this isn’t what you’re saying when you accuse me of throwing my vote away. You’re telling me that some votes are more equal than other votes. And that’s not OK?

Sounds like you’re trying to rig the system. That’s deplorable.

Voting for a non-major party is hardly throwing my vote away. Not voting at all would be throwing my vote away. Staying home – that’s how you throw away your vote. Voting is a right that I do not take lightly. I’ve spoken with people who live in countries where they do not have this freedom to choose our government. It’s a right I do not take lightly. Nor should any of us. Staying home and ignoring your civic responsibility to vote is throwing your vote away. Throwing support behind a candidate who is not a member of a major party? That just might be the most American thing you can do. After all, we say we’re big fans of the underdog. Right?

Besides, we aren’t gambling here. I don’t win any type of prize by voting for the winning candidate. The point of participating in the election process is to support a candidate, not necessarily to team up with the winning side. If I believe in a candidate and the candidate’s platform, does it really matter if anyone else votes for that person? I have nothing to lose by voting for the person with whom I agree.

I get it. We love winners. We probably love winners more than we love the underdog. That’s why there are so many bandwagon fans in the sports world.

But this isn’t sports. It’s our government. So how dare you say I’m throwing my vote away.

How. dare. you?

“Ok, why not just vote down ticket and skip voting for President?”

That’s one way to say you’re dissatisfied with the candidates. And I did that in the Primary.  But I cannot do that during this election. Because my silence does nothing. Nobody hears my voice. Because I don’t use the voice I’ve been given. So I’m ignored.

You know what happened when the conservatives stayed home and didn’t vote for President because they didn’t like Romney?

Donald Trump.

He’s what happened. People didn’t vote and the pundits tried to decide what the nonvoting American public wanted. It doesn’t sound like he was their expected result. And now that we’re presented these two choices from the two major parties, we have to realize that if we keep voting for candidates like these, we’re going to keep getting leaders like these. It’s time to break the cycle. Silence won’t work. Placing support behind a different candidate, a Third or Fourth Party candidate, is the only way I believe my voice will be heard.

vote-1286584_640

“But a Third Party vote is a vote for Hillary.”
“A Third Party vote is a vote for Trump.”

Stop it. Just stop it.

I’ve heard both arguments. Both are bunk. Talk about fear-mongering. This isn’t 1992 when Ross Perot took votes away from George HW Bush.

You’re assuming that the majority of the Third Party voters were going to vote for either Clinton or Donald. We weren’t. Neither one of them was going to get my vote, so voting Third Party does not make my vote magically support your opponent. So you can use all of the fear-mongering tactics that you want, but I’m going to sleep well Tuesday night, knowing that I was not complicit in electing either one of these candidates. You know, the two most unlikeable candidates in US history.

A third (or fourth) way.

Do I think a Third Party candidate will win the presidential election? No. Probably not. It’s my sincere hope, however, that a candidate or two will make enough noise to pass the 5% threshold that will qualify them for Federal funding in the next election cycle. It’s also my sincere hope that Third Party candidates receive enough support that it makes the Republican and Democrat leaders have a panic attack.

I’ve thought for a long time that we don’t really need just a major Third Party. We probably need a Fourth Party, too, if we’re really going to have politicians who listen to their constituents. We’re nowhere near that now, but we can make a start by giving rise to a Third Party. Do I agree with everything the candidate says? Nope. But I’m pretty sure the only person I agree with 100% of the time is me, myself, and I. And I don’t even think I agree with myself 100% of the time.

So I’m voting Third Party this year. And I’m hoping for a better future four years from now, where people will actually want to vote for a candidate instead of against one.

That, friends, would be huge and would make the country win. Bigly.

A photo posted by Matt Todd (@mattdantodd) on

 

Holy cow, this Cardinals fan is flying the W. Kind of.

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Chicago Cubs championship celebration

I’m a St. Louis Cardinals fan. I always have been. Always will be. It’s how I was raised.And I’m pretty OK with that. I’m a proud supporter of the Redbirds. I realize that this might be unacceptable to some Cardinals fans, but I really don’t despise the Cubs.

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Anthony Rizzo Chicago Cubs Autographed Baseball with Go Cubs Inscription – $239.99
I get it. They’re the Cardinals’ arch rival. I should hate them with the burning passion of a thousand suns. But I don’t. In fact, there are several other teams I dislike more than I dislike the Cubs. The Yankees, Red Sox, and Braves come to mind. Of course, when it comes to the world of athletics, KY takes the cake. But when it comes to the Cubs?

Eh.

I can take them or leave them. I guess you could say I’m usually generally ambivalent towards them. Unless they’re playing the Cardinals, of course.

When the Cubs and Indians finally  made it to the World Series, I could watch with little emotional attachment. I was just happy that one team’s streak without a championship was going to end. There was a lot of hype. And drama. And emotion. The games did not disappoint.

I have several friends who are Indians fans. Many more who are Cubs fans. So I found myself leaning towards the Cubbies. And then I remembered that a former IU great now plays for Chicago. It’s always a good thing to root for a former Hoosier.

Well, actually, he’s still a Hoosier. Because once a Hoosier, always a Hoosier. That’s how it should be, anyway. Right?

But I knew. Deep down I knew. I had found myself all in for Chicago, hoping the Cubs could exorcise the demons that had been around for many generations.

It Happened! Get your 2016 Chicago Cubs World Series Champs Fan Gear and Collectibles at Fanatics!

While I feel awful for my friends who are Indians fans, I’m overjoyed for my friends who have cheered for their Cubs during some pretty difficult seasons. Am I still a fan of the Cubs? Nah. I’m still a die-hard Cardinals fan. It’s not like I’m really going to buy a flag with a big W on it and fly it in my front yard. Of course, you can do that if you want to. Such a product does exist.

Congratulations to the Cubs an their fans. It’s been a long time coming. Soak up every minute of this offseason. The Cubs are tied for first place and they’re World Series champions. So buy that October Legends shirt. Find some memorabilia to give as Christmas gifts. Your team is no longer the Loveable Losers. Now they’re the Loveable Winners. Have fun with this!

It Happened! Get your 2016 Chicago Cubs World Series Champs Fan Gear and Collectibles at Fanatics!

My brother thinks this makes me a traitor. What do you think?