October 20, 2017

Head shaking sadness

Dead soldiers deserve more than to be mere pawns in a he said/she said political war.

Happy dance

Friday! This has been one very long week. I will be ecstatic come five o'clock, but I am giddy as a fly on a dog turd this morning.

Yeah, I know the Cubbies lost. Down at one point 3-0 in the series with the Dodgers, it was inevitable. I stated at the start of the playoffs I did not think Chicago could get past LA. You can't win it all every year. I didn't think it would be that ugly though.

I finally got the money my old employer has owed me since February. It is not a lot of cash, about a normal bi-weekly paycheck, but welcome as a drink of cool water in the desert. Too bad it is earmarked for bills. The tiny bit extra? Well, the wife dropped her phone yesterday and cracked the screen into a spiderweb of destruction. Sigh.

I did get a $10 credit from Amazon for the e-book price fixing settlement. Free books!

I'm off to work, enjoy your Friday.

October 19, 2017

Dear NFL

You are the National Football League, not the National Reform the Criminal Justice System League. Not the Equal Pay League. Not the Hands Up Don't Shoot League. I guess you just don't get it. We want you to provide needlessly violent sporting events for our entertainment. If I want politics, I will tune into the Sunday Talking Heads political shows that air on TV before your Sunday games.

If that means no more pink shoes and sweat bands during your cancer awareness weeks, I can live with that. I think we are all aware cancer sucks anyway. If the athletes that play your game want to do community activism, good for them. They can do it on other days of the week. I don't participate in my pet causes at work, and the players shouldn't either.

Just like the stupid anchor on ESPN who advocated a boycott of NFL sponsors, you are destroying the source of your income. The NFL cannot live on ticket sales. Focus on football, it is your core mission. Anything else is a waste of time, money, and energy.

October 18, 2017

Stuff I think about

Why is it the only people in America without an ubiquitous cell phone poised to capture every moment in pictures and video are the people who regularly have encounters with space aliens and Big Foot-like creatures?

Going to bed angry and disappointed

I know you don't care about baseball. That is OK.

The Cubs are down 3-0. There is no way they can come back from that deficit.

No matter how bad the bullpen or the Skipper's head scratching decisions, if the Cubs cannot score runs they will not win.

The idea we could see a Dodgers/Yankees World Series leaves me wanting to puke. I would even root for the Cardinals over the Dodgers, and I would root for just about anyone playing the Yankees.

October 17, 2017

Words to live by

Thomas Payne’s once wrote:
“You will do me the justice to remember, that I have always strenuously supported the Right of every Man to his own opinion, however different that opinion might be to mine. He who denies to another this right, makes a slave of himself to his present opinion, because he precludes himself the right of changing it.”
That pretty much sums it up.

A whole post devoted to stuff you do not care about

Almost all of my children came to dinner last night. My middle one is living in Colorado, so dropping by for some lasagna was not really an option. Other than his vacant chair (figuratively), we had a great time. It was nice to all be together, reminiscent of the great summer crowded house adventure *.

It seems none of my favorite sports teams can manage to play in the second half of a game. The Cubs have choked away opportunity after the fifth inning in the past two games. The Cots presented us with another horrible second half performance, par for the season so far. I'm not sure getting the star QB back will change anything. Tennessee managed to score on every possession but one, that one a lucky pick six by a Colts linebacker. Other than that errant play, the Titans scored on every other possession. I'm not sure if you created a hybrid Manning-Montana-Brady quarterback clone he could overcome a defense that gives up 30+ points a game, mostly in the late 3rd and 4th quarters. Sheesh.

I said at the beginning of he season the Colts would win five games. I am not sure that was correct. They have won two. I don't think there is anyone else on the schedule they can defeat. Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

  Go forth and prosper on this beautiful fall Tuesday.

*check the archives, but you really outta be reading every day

October 16, 2017


Here we are on a chilly fall Monday. Naming the weekend unremarkable is an understatement. I mowed the lawn Saturday. Yesterday was wet and gloomy. I think it is clear that my choice in shirts has nothing to do with the performance of my sporting team. Who knew?

Looking in the mirror yesterday while shaving I came to another conclusion; at 35 I looked 25. At 55 I look 65. Stuff always averages out in life. And yes, I was still getting carded at the beer store when I was in my mid-thirties. I always looked young in my youth. I paid kid prices at the movies until I got caught. The same clerk sold me a "child" ticket on Friday and remembered me when I wanted to see an "R" movie on Saturday. I was old enough for the adult movie, but my days of cheap kiddie tickets were over. I bought a senior ticket the last time we went to the cinema, even though it said you had to be 60. I'm not into Senior discounts, except the movie theater is so darn expensive.

Enough empty rambling. Have a good Monday.

October 14, 2017

Dear California

I thought you were going to take your ball and go home in a fit of secession fever? You don't want the evil US of A telling you what to do on immigration and stuff. The very notion the rest of us ignorant flyover country rubes ignored your wishes and elected the Trumpster was just too much.

Now you want Trump to send you money and help because you managed to fall asleep while smoking and set the place on fire?  Isn't it strange how those icky red staters are willing to help? A whole bunch of nasty Republicans control the money spigot.

Keep in mind Uncle Sam will not be sending any "sorry about your big fire" baskets of goodies after you secede.

October 13, 2017

The Chicago Cubs are Trying to Kill Me

Come on, other than last year's Game 7 has there been a crazier elimination game? I have no idea who will pitch Saturday, but the Cubs pulled out a miracle. It looked for a while like neither team wanted to win. It's like the pitchers from both teams said " we carried you this far, now let someone else do it". We saw It all, balls hurled to the backstop like a Little League game. Catchers throwing the ball into right field -- again shades of 9 year-old baseball. Walks, hit batters, dropped fly balls.  It was ugly and exciting and nearly killed me.

Now I'm struggling to get to work. Getting to bed after 1:00 in the aye em does not make for a productive day at work. Thank goodness it is Friday.

How about that post yesterday? It had it all, just like the good old days: pictures, links, the works. Don't get used to it. I'm back hunting and pecking on my crappy, outdated iPad once more this morning. Enjoy your Friday and if you see me slumped at my desk, please wake me up when it is quitting time.

Speaking of quitting time, wouldn't it be cool to slide down a brontosaurus at the end of the day like Fred Flintstone?

October 12, 2017

Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Cynical...

I am an Eagle Scout, a Firecrafter, OA, the works. I was a Boy Scout until I was 18, holding every leadership position possible in the organization. After college I started out helping a local troop as a merit badge counselor. That role quickly morphed into Assistant Scoutmaster. The boys loved a young twenty-something leader that was a bridge between the "dads" and themselves. I was closer in age to the boys and could relate with them better in a lot of ways.

After a couple of years I was approached by the professional Scouting types about becoming one of them. I interviewed at a couple of councils, was offered a couple of jobs. The only problem is I figured it out by the second offer. The Boys Scouts of America didn't really care about the boys, "scouting" was ancillary. They were interested in numbers; sign up more boys, raise more money. The program was a means to an end, not the driver of the organization. I said no thanks.

Suddenly, the move of Boy Scouts in the seventies to a more urban-centric program made sense. The camping, hiking, knot-tying culture of Baden Powell depicted in traditional  scouting (See the Disney flick "Follow Me Boys") appealed to rural boys. The population centers were in the cities, places without fields and campgrounds. The sixties were hard on the Boy Scouts, they needed more members. Thus the change to more urban-themed programs. To get my hiking merit badge I had to do a "city hike" ? I had to march up and down every street in my little town to get in the requisite miles.

I am not astonished the Boy Scouts of America is inviting girls into the ranks. My only surprise is that it didn't happen earlier. They let women become scoutmasters decades ago. The constant pressure from the LGBT community and cut-off from corporate funding and access to public accommodations resulted in changing the rules a few years ago. This new announcement was just another step to remain viable in the modern age where camping, cooking, and hiking in the woods has less appeal to modern teenagers. Why march around when you can play a cool video game?  Heck, neither of my sons joined the Boy Scouts, only one was even a Cub Scout.

To be honest, nerdy perpetually horny 16 year-old me would have loved a couple of chicks in the tent next to me at summer camp. "Let's go for a hike in the woods, Baby". I was taught four ways to start a fire without matches, maybe now they will teach coed scouts three ways to have sex in the woods without getting preggers. Identifying poison ivy is probably still a valuable skill, though.

October 11, 2017

Up on the North Side

The Cubbies were rained out yesterday. They resume their battle with the Nationals late this afternoon. I'm off on a little jaunt to visit a local customer this morning and I scheduled myself for a sales training webinar this afternoon. I do not anticipate either event will interfere with me getting my baseball fix. Yes, I intend to knock off work a little early. Don't tell my boss.

I am so happy to see my favorite team competitive and winning. Just a few years ago I remember watching and listening to the Cubs losing as a regular course 90 and 100 games in a season. Now they win that many!

I can't help myself, I fully expect the worst in every playoff game. Every inning is torture as I anticipate the big breakdown. I drop into despair with every dropped ball, every bloop single by the other team. My wife gets sick of reassuring me all will be fine. A lifetime of disappointment will do that to you. When it comes to the Chicago Cubs one unimaginable wonderful season cannot erase a lifetime of "wait until next year".

Will they repeat as Champs this year? Probably not. Back-to-back World Series is hard and rare. Yet, I know I am a pessimist when it comes to my favorite sports team. Win one more against the Nationals and then we will see how the Northsiders do against the evil Dodgers.

They have to win today first.  Arrieta takes the bump. We know he will have one bad inning. He always does. The question is how much damage is done before he gets his location back. Will it be a few base runners, a lone homer? Will it be a big five or six run inning? We shall see. I know my emotions will bounce from happy to sad like ping pong ball.

October 10, 2017

They way it should be

Reasonable people can disagree. You can have a dialogue. We each present our position. There is no name calling. There are not insults and epithets tossed like hand grenades.

I knew my take on the Pence walkout would not be popular. That is OK. I gave my reasons. Most of you disagreed. We had a good discussion. That is how it should work. There was no mention of "tea baggers", no one was called a fascist.

Look, I disagree 100% with the kneelers. Anyone who does not think the movement is a protest against America did not listen to Kaepernick the day after he started this nonsense.

The NFL has let this tarnish their brand. Those who are angry at Cowboys owner Jerry Jones have it wrong. There is no free speech at work. When you are getting paid by the man, you follow his rules. You are on his time. You don't get to stage a sit-in at work, neither do athletes. Unless the owners let them. It is their company. They make the rules.

Anyway, thank you for he polite discussion. You gave me plenty to think about.

If you disagreed with me, you are wrong. 😎

But that is OK.

October 9, 2017

This position will not go over well

VP Pence's walked out of the Indianapolis Colts game after members of the 49ers knelt during the National Anthem. His actions were pure politics, obviously pre-planned and a waste of taxpayer monies. It was, in plain words, horse crap.

Of course players were going to kneel, the Veep knew it when he came to the game. San Francisco is the team where the protests started. Pence came to make a grandstanding political point. Nothing more. The fans of the Colts paid the price in extra security to get into the game and ultimately for the pane trip and security through taxes. You did too.

I'm no fan of the kneelers. I think they should choose a different venue to make their point. But I'm also not in favor of Pence's publicity stunt. My first take of the event was smug self satisfaction. Then I wondered what I would say if Obama or another lefty wasted my tax money like this? I would bitch and rant.

Pence injected politics into football. What he did was no different than what the kneelers are doing. I'm tired of it. Politics is intruding into every facet of life, is it too much to ask for three hours of entertainment free of political commentary and protest?

Yes, yes, I hear you. If the kneelers have a right to their free speech so do President Trump and Vice President Pence. They do. I just don't want them wasting a bunch of taxpayer money flying their family and crew across the country to make a political point. Pence upstaged a tribute to the Colts greatest player; Peyton Manning's  jersey was retired at halftime, and that upstaging is sad in itself. It demonstrates a level of egotism and assholery not previously exhibited by the VP.

I swear I'm convinced every elected official should get "it is not your money" branded on their forearm as a condition of taking office.

October 8, 2017

In the year 2055

A statue of Peyton Manning was placed outside the Colts stadium in Indianapolis yesterday. If ever there was an athlete that deserved to be honored in his city, number 18 is that guy, and not only for his feats on the gridiron.

I wonder if future us will look back years from now and see something else in that chunk of bronze? By then football will be banned as a brutal, nasty sport loved and viewed by craven right-wingers and Southeners. A sport just removed from gladiatorial contests of ancient Rome, a sport where men bashed their heads to the point of brain damage, where limbs and backs were broken, where injuries left the participants nearly crippled in old age. The statue will harken to a time civilized society would want to forget. The statue will remind many of the suffering of their grandfathers, the glorification of violence. Will future us see the statue as a representation of the corrupt NFL owners who blackmailed the public to finance their coloseums and practice facilities? Will that statue of old number 18 represent the fabulous wealth some players got at the expense of the balance of the roster? Will it be a symbol of the enormous amount of money colleges made from athletes who got little in comparison in return for their pain and sacrifice on the playing fields? Will future us wonder why a predominance of the rosters of this dangerous activity were minorities?

Will there be a movement to rip this statue down, to put it in a museum where "context" can be applied? Will it just be tossed into a park full of old broken statues like the one on Moscow that is littered with pieces of old Lenins and Stalins? Will we be ashamed of that statue of old number 18? Will there be clashes of old clingers in their faded football jerseys fighting modern soccer fans and their enlightened scoreless games, where fans and participants leave with self-esteem intact and bellies full of prepared slices of organic oranges? "Save the statue!". "Tear it down!".

Will future us be able to view history through a cloud of modern bias? Probably not. Don't worry, though. By the time that stadium is fifteen or twenty years old the owners of the Colts franchise will demand a new facility and the statue will be chucked right along with he perfectly good building it stands beside.

October 6, 2017

Bad attitude blogging

It is a crappy day. You don't want details. Let's just agree that it sucks for a Friday and leave it at that.

Mom always told me if I cannot say anything nice then I should not say anything at all.

Anything at all.*

Baseball playoff games that I actually care about start this evening. That is a good thing, so all is not lost.

I ran to the store at lunch. Walking back to my car I passed a woman in the parking lot talking on her phone under a large plaid umbrella.   It was not raining.

I don't feel too bad about this post, you actually got the content of two posts yesterday combined into one omnibus of genius and insightful commentary. You did, I don't care what you say.

I'm not going to post Friday music. You will get over it, if you even notice.

Enjoy your Friday

* there are so many negatives in the sentiment I am unsure if I wrote something smart-assed or not.  I intended to.

October 5, 2017

Is there a translator app for pig Latin?

Did you know Custer won the Medal of Honor? You know, the Custer who died at the Little Big Horn, who fought as a young man in the civil war? The Custer in the 7th Cavalry? Indeed, he won the nation's highest award for valor. Not the Custer you are thinking of, not George Armstrong Custer, but his little brother Tom. Honest, look it up. I would not lie about stuff like this.

Edit: in fact, he was the first to earn the Medal of Honor twice. 

The Senate is moving closer to speeding the process to get driverless cars to the market. Can I get a show of hands? Who wants a self-driving car? Isn't a vehicle where you are along for a ride just a bus? You know this is going to backfire. The auto manufacturers think this will open a whole new market and increase sales. Über and others envision a fleet of cars hovering around just waiting to drive you where you need to go, eliminating the family vehicle. The cost of paying for a ride will be cheaper than owning a car as you dispense with insurance, fuel, and paying for a depreciating chunk of steel and plastic sitting unused for hours at a time in your driveway and parking lots. If you insist on driving, dangerous human you, who makes bad decisions, will pay outrageous insurance rates. GM will scream wait, we did not intend for this to happen, but it will be too late. Unfortunately, I doubt I will be dead before all of this happens, so I can bore my granddaughter with tales of how I used to drive myself to school, in the snow, uphill.

I do not possess the vocabulary to adequately express my loathing of the idea of self-driving cars.

October 4, 2017

Snarking down the Highway

It is raining. I'm pretty sure no one predicted that. Maybe they did. I was in Chicagostan Monday and Tuesday so I might have missed it. I got home late in the evening and went to bed a couple of hours later, before the weather report came on the late night news.

I wish I had some interesting tales of travel to relate. It was an uneventful drive, a standard room in a cookie cutter hotel, an unremarkable burger for supper, a day of meetings at the corporate office and drive home. Ho hum. Ho hum. I did see a woman at the truck stop when I stopped to pay my coffee rental that was testing the stretch limits of her yoga pants. The only stretching she did in those britches was to reach for some more ice cream and Oreos. I could almost hear the nylon and rayon blend fibers screaming in pain like a heretic on the rack in Inquisition-era Spain. The flesh jiggling and bouncing in her rear end resembled a couple of raccoons fighting in a burlap bag.

I just read where a city in Georgia offered to change the name of their burg to "Amazon" if the retail giant agrees to move their headquarters there. I hope, if that comes to pass, the name change will have more relevance 50 years in the future than the morbid gambit Mauch Chunk, PA made when they offered cash and a city name change to the widow of Jim Thorpe if she allowed his remains to be buried in the town cemetery. How's that tourist attraction working out these days? "Kids, would you rather go to Disney World or Jim Thorpe?". Yeah.

Look it up, I wouldn't lead you astray.

I have to get to work. Enjoy your hump day.

October 2, 2017

About last night

Every day I'm reminded that man is an animal, the top predator, and one that kills just to kill. There is evil in this world.
Consider everything here that is of original content copyrighted as of March 2005