Posted on: July 10, 2010 6:36 pm

Pop quiz

From The Niagra Falls reporters, 3 years ago, this article makes sense to me.

Pop quiz: Name five things that are illegal for sale in the United States

Got your answers? Let me guess: Does your list contain drugs like marijuana, cocaine, acid, ecstasy or heroin?

Maybe you thought weaponry and came up with items like flamethrowers, Tec-9s, AK-47s and Bangalore torpedoes.

The dieters among you may have thought of Ephedra, while smoking enthusiasts might have, with a heavy heart, listed Cuban cigars.

Whatever five items your list contains, I'm willing to bet dollars to pennies that the following product wasn't one of them: Jarts.

That's right; it has been 19 years since the Consumer Product Safety Commission banned the popular summer lawn game after a child was accidentally killed by being hit by an errantly thrown Jart. It's time for America to unite and bring back this thrilling game to lawns all across this great nation of ours.

Jarts, or lawn darts, is to horseshoes what Jumble is to crossword puzzles: close cousins cut from the same cloth. In Jarts, players use an underhand motion to toss their footlong lawn dart at a yellow ring some 35 feet away. Players score three points for a Jart in the circle and one point for the closest Jart to the circle. The first player to score exactly 21 points wins the game.

Although it has been some 20 years since I last tossed a Jart, I can still clearly recall the sensation of letting the big dart fly and knowing instantly that the shot leaving your hand is heading directly to the center of the yellow circle. The trajectory and looping arc of a lawn dart is almost poetic in nature. When you're in the zone, sinking ringer after ringer (to borrow from the horseshoes terminology), you feel a bit like Keats rhyming couplets or Rembrandt laying oils to canvas.

Dammit, it's a sensation I want to feel again, but must I become a criminal to do so?

Jarts, after all, are part of my heritage. Growing up in the city's North End during the 1970s, we always had a box of Jarts in the house. I can still remember the thrill of opening up a new set -- the stark white box with the cartoon-like logo and the two sets of darts, one red, one blue, each set of plastic wings resplendent in bold colors.

Many a summer day was spent playing hours and hours of Jarts. The game was a multi-generational affair in my family, as often my father, grandfather and I would all participate. We usually played in teams of two players to a side and had an additional pair of players waiting to take on the winner. The sport had a sense of congeniality about it. Players routinely oohed and ahed each other's shots and might even offer a symbolic tip of the hat for an exceptional two-ringer round.

One thing we never felt while playing a game of Jarts was danger. The game, when properly supervised, is about as benign as a nap in a summer hammock. The only danger can come from letting small children run underfoot while a game is in progress. You can plug the phrase "letting small children run underfoot" into almost any activity and the bridge to "danger" will be drawn immediately.

Three kids were killed by being hit by a Jart. Three. While the hearts of all decent folks go out to parents who have lost a child, it seems highly unfair that Americans should lose a right because of three isolated incidents.

Consider these facts from the Institute for Preventative Sports Medicine Injury Prevention:

  • Injuries kill more than 142,000 Americans each year.
  • Injuries of individuals ages 1-44 cost the nation approximately $133 billion each year.
  • Accidental injury remains the leading cause of death in youth, and sports injuries constitute an important number of these.
  • The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has reported that as many as 5 million medically treated injuries occur in the 15 most popular sports each year.
  • Between 1983 and 1989, the CPSC documented 2.66 million injuries treated at emergency rooms due to baseball and softball. This does not include non-hospitalization physician visits and thus underestimates the number of children injured.
  • A 1981 CPSC study of sports injuries to children ages 5 to 14 found more deaths in this age group due to baseball than any other sport. From 1973 to 1983, the CPSC reported 51 baseball-related deaths in children, including 12 children hit in the head with the ball and 21 children hit in the chest.

Those facts would seem to support the argument that American kids are injury-prone in general and that a kid is six times more likely to be killed by a baseball than by a Jart.

Should we ban baseball? Of course not.

Then why do we still have a ban on lawn darts?

The ban on Jarts is so ridiculous that one cannot even sell a set on eBay. Even listings for Jart T-shirts include such phrases as "Caution: Lawn darts are highly dangerous and are illegal in the United States."

To paraphrase an old NRA chestnut: Jarts don't kill people, people kill people.

Fortunately, one group has had enough of ridiculous government over-policing. A group of renegades in Piqua, Ohio, celebrates the Fourth of July by claiming their independence of inane federal laws. The group holds a Jart tournament every Fourth at which participants party like it's 1987. In the 16 years the tournament has been held, there have been plenty of whoops and hollers, thousands of laughs and smiles and -- can you believe it -- not one death.

Take a moment and drop your congressman a line demanding the return of Jarts to the great national landscape. It's as American as apple pie.

Category: NFL
Tags: Jarts
Posted on: March 8, 2009 5:27 pm

I McGivered a couch!

So the black lab likes to chew, unfortunately the litte SOB saw a loose thread on the couch. After 2 months of attempting to deter the dos with sheets, covers, and even an upside down laundry basket, he found the foam and destroyed my couch. It is a 3 pc. sectional with a sleeper, corner, and a recliner end. The part that got ruined was on the relcliner end, the spot next to the recliner  that connected to the corner, this couch seats five. So I figured chuck out the couch even though 4/5 of it was still good. With the recliner the end piece weighed a few hundred pounds and just cumbersome, I did drag it out of the house onto the deck myself. Now I am looking at the couch and the pickup truck, No way Jose am I young enough anymore to ho-ho a couch into a pickup by myslef. All my friends are at work, no neighbor is home.

Tools at this point come in handy, so I figured if I took the sawzall and cut the sucker in half, I could lift each piece into the truck and head to the dump. Upon further examination, the one destroyed section was connected to the recliner section with some oak boards, tacks, fabric, and some screws. So I sawed the sucker in half with the sawzall, but did not destroy the half with the recliner. It looked okay and the other section was obviously destroyed and I started unscrewing it and pulling the fabric off to make it lighter. Now I am thinking, what if I don't saw the half with the recliner up, but attach some fabric onto the bare plywood frame on the side. So I got the staple gun out and fired up the air copressor. Bingo, easy job. Now it looks okay but is missing balance, It has two out of four legs, so it tilts to one side. So I grab the legs off the broken part, unscrew the brackets and then make a side frame them affix the legs onto the other end of the recliner. Then I took the corner unit, about 100 lbs. and move it to the basement. I put the busted up pcs. into the truck and the recliner back into the house. It fits perfectly to the sleeper end, now I have a 3 person couch that has a sleeper and a recliner, and nobody can tell unless I pont it out to them. Smile

Category: NFL
Tags: Genius
Posted on: May 8, 2008 10:44 am

Why I hate Hillary, the highway, and the store

I wish their was a candiate I could trust in the White House for the next 4 years, one thing for certain, Hillary Clinton is the absolute worse choice. Not only does she lie and deceive, she is physically very annoying to me. He smile is a phony as a three dollar bill, her voice is close to the AFLAC duck. (stole that one from Bigbenslady08). I hated her when she was the first lady, now I hate her even more. She waffles on every GD issue and then instead of having insight into a resolution, she attacks her opponents. Hillary is what is wrong with this country, she is the queen of the sour punch that is poisoning America.

Every day people get nastier and nastier, nobody holds open doors for me, when I sneeze, almost nobody ever blesses me. I try to sneeze in church, that way I have blanket coverage and don't have to rely on strangers. Our highways are filled with inconsiderate losers who are either too rich,too poor, or just plain obnoxiously inconsiderate to care about me and the people they share the road with. Our stores are filled with people who would push past you to gain a lousy minute in the checkout line.

On Sunday I had this old b!tch cut ahead of me in the Express ailse. FIrst off she had 20 items easily and was very slow to put them on the belt. Then she watches the scanned groceries pile up, never thinking to help bag any of them, and then whips out a food stamp card. She screws up the PIN number, not once but twice, both times the head cashier had to come over with a key.  Maybe I should feel sorry for her that she had a food stamp card and was obvioulsy elderly. However, since she was a total assh0le to begin with, no sympathy from me. My mom is in her 70's, worked hard all her life, she pays cash at the counter and tries to help make her transactions go expediotiously as to not impeed the progress of those behind her. I feel the same way, when my transaction is held up, I apologize to the person(s) behind me in line, and it is not even my fault the cashier messed up, I just feel bad that I was somewhat repsonsible for adding to their wait. I won't change, I still let the person behind me go ahead of me if they have a significant amount of items than I do, but I have altered my approach. I tell them if they are paying cash they can go ahead of me, because I am also in a hurry. I refuse to let them screw me over because if they are using an ATM card for a loaf of bread, they just ain't worth my time.

Category: NFL
Posted on: March 12, 2008 11:10 am

Why I hate my State

I live in Taxetticut, (CT),where everyone either hates us, or thinks we are rich........ Well I can be likeable,  provided you are not a homer Patriot fan trying to get me to root for your team....  Gas prices just went up, AGAIN... It cost me 850 dollars to fill my oil tank on Monday, talk about BS, man I cannot wait until I put a wood stove in. I actually split some firewood yesterday for the fireplace, kinda enjoyed being outside with nature doing man stuff. My wife is the greatest, she actually asked about the wood stove and how easy it would be to maintain. Hallalujah, at least she is willing to chuck a few logs in while I am at work.

Also, I definitely be getting a good chain saw, I have a lot of trees in my property that are hardwood. I am thinking the Husqvarna Rancher, good H.P. 20" bar. I have a 16" Husky now, but it is more for trimming and small jobs, I want a MAN SAW. Not sure if I want to spend all my free time splitting wood, I can earn the cost of a cord of wood working at my part-time job on Saturday. But then again, how much free time do I have to spend doing what I need to, enjoying life. All I do is work, that is all I know, lately though this posting has gotten me off-track, but that is only because the weather is crappy. I still do one project a day, even if it is as simple as intstalling light bulbs or fixing a door knob.

With that said, when will winter be over. I hate snow to begin with, plus cold weather limits your outdoor fun unless you are a skier or go ice fishing. My days of riding a tobagan down a slippery hill are over. Heck, one bad crash on a sled and I am out of a job, it's funny how as you get older and your Bills become bigger, you take less risk. I guess that is what comes with age, wisdom and a huge mortgage.

Category: NFL
Posted on: February 21, 2008 11:08 am

Money is stressing me big time

Here is my deal............ I just bought another house, my old house has not sold. I am dying here, every week the checkbook gets lower and lower. I do not want sympathy, a lot of people cannot afford even one house, the wife and I make good money but in no way shape or form do we drive a BMW or a Audi. I worked hard for the downpayment, I took a gamble that my old house would sell within a reasonable time frame. GUESS AGAIN. Now my car needs a catylitic converter,,,,,,, there goes a grand, man when it rains it pours.......

The problem is that with all the talk of recession, and the media saying that house sales are down, they are screwing me and everyone else. It is a great time to buy, you can get a good deal and you can get a good rate. My house is priced right, already dropped it down twice, is it the weather or the idiots panicing about the econonmy? I hope to he11 that the warm weather comes soon, people get out and look at my old house. I spent a lot of money and time on that place, it is not perfect, but it has been updated and well maintained. My biggest fear is that I will have to give it away for a pathetic price so I don't lose both houses. I just put in new carpet, painted, but everyone wants perfect for next to nothing, this is making me think about hitting the booze again........ J/K.

Thank Goodness my tax refund will cover the 2 mortgages for 2 months, past that I dunno............ I would hate to do something desperate. I already work my regular job and will be working part time in the spring.... This is weighing on me heavily right now, I am keeping the heat at a low tempature because oil is so expensive. I can afford the house I am in, but cannot afford the old one, the utilities, and the thought of just eating macaroni and cheese for the next few months, THIS SUCKS.

I tried the St. Joseph picture, burried in the yard, still early. I was also thinking of spreading little organge aspirins all over the grass, St. Joseph is supposed to help you sell your house. Now I am told I have to buy a statue of St. Joseph, hey I am getting desperate, I just want to go back to waking up each day worrying about one set of Bills, normal everyday stress, not this double duty crap.

Finally, I am through whining, my hearts and prayers go out to the real people in need, the homeless the jobless, and the physically impared. May the good Lord help us all in one way shape or form.

Category: NFL
Tags: home, money, stress
Posted on: February 15, 2008 11:12 am

A man's perspective around the house

I gotta admit, I have power tools up the wazoo. I love chainsaws, weed whackers, and my Echo hedge trimmer. I like fixing things and destroying things both. I love gas appliances to death. Just got a gas stove, ....... "now I'm cooking with gas".... I cook on my Weber Grill 12 months out of the year. I don't give a happy crap if it is 10 below and snowing, I want my steak on a grill. Anyone who takes a piece of meat and broils it in the oven, you need to be  executed. I also love my air compressor, when 18V Dewalt or a wratchet won't do, go with air baby. I rotate my own tires, it's my version of the NASCAR pit crew. Yeah snow blowing sucks, but I do love to shoot the stuff 30 feet into the air, I feel like I am exacting revenge for it having the nerve to land on my driveway. And I cannot wait until the warm weather, I want to detail my car like nobody's business..... My water feed line for the outdoor faucet runs directly through and insulated area, so until we see 40 degrees, I have to have the line off. It is killing me not to be able to wash, wax, and shine the living bejesus out of my tires.

And who does not love Bacon. I can have it any time, any day. Bacon and Eggs, BLT's,. Bacon Cheeseburgers. And if you have not tried this combo on your pizza, you are missing out........... sliced tomato and bacon, holy mother of gawd is that to die for. I make a dip too, cream cheese, bacon bits, diced tomato, and shredded lettuce on Townhouse Crackers. When I go to Chuck's Steak House, they have a salad bar with a entire bowl of bacon bits! I usually take about half the bowl dump it on my salad and my potato, until the only color you see is reddish-brown.

Finally, as a man, some things I just don't get. WHO CARES if the toilet paper unrolls front or back, it all goes to sh1t anyhow........ And I do all of our shopping, but gave back the laundry to the Mrs.  She was smart at first, washing my red t-shirts with the socks, I ended up with, no wait she ended up with a whole lotta pink socks. I do not wear pink, the color just reaks of potential orientation issues I would rather not leave up to discussion. So now I got smart and folded the clothes like an animal, so now I don't have to do laundry anymore.

Category: NFL
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