Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Big Fight

So, who's going to watch the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight?

I have not been excited for a boxing match since the times when George Foreman was fighting...or Mike Tyson, right?

I really want to see this fight for one reason:

I want to see Floyd Mayweather on the deck.

He just doesn't fit in with my sensibilities.

Last week he said that he's the greatest of all-time...and it wasn't cute like when Ali said it. He was an arrogant jerk about it...which is what he usually is...

...about everything.

We all know the Mayweather stories.

He went to jail for battery.

Of a woman.

In fact Pac-Man recently said that he's going to beat up Mayweather for all the women who Mayweather beat up.

How can I not root for Manny?

And we decided to bite the bullet and pay for the fight.

We're gonna' have a pretty full house for the event so the social side of it will make it all interesting.

My older brother, John has studied boxing for years and years and he will be ready for this fight.

He's rooting for Manny as well.

In fact, I really believe that most of us will be cheering on Pacquiao.

And there is a real risk when it comes to ordering a pay-per-view boxing event. The last time I attended such an event was when Tyson fought Michael Spinks...

...for about 20 seconds.

We didn't even get to finish the first beer we opened.

Then there's a chance that the fight will end up being decided by the judges and that's usually a dangerous deal.

Boxing...ahem...might be rigged a certain way.

Is there a chance that it all might be set up so that these two guys can have a rematch and make even more money off a dim-witted public?

Certainly.

But I gotta' watch...

...'cause there's a chance that Mayweather may get knocked on his ass.

And it'll all be worth it.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Disheartening


I spent the best summer of my life in Baltimore.

I really have a soft spot for the city as my wonderful cousins live there. My sister lives there and my college friends settled there after we left Gannon.

So it is truly disheartening to see what's going on there.

Yet it is not a reflection on just Baltimore.

Things are going on all across this great country.

Who ever thought we'd see such scenes played out in the United States...more than a few times a year?

Not me.

Yet people are becoming disconnected, disenchanted, discouraged and disoriented.

And that's disheartening.

As it all played out I sorta sat back and just read the reactions. I'm afraid to say anything at all because I'm not a man who is harassed by the police. I'm not a man who has a reason to be, either.

Yet the reactions to all of it may be even worse than the tragic issue that is becoming the absolutely strained relationship between those who are supposed to keep the peace and those who threaten it.

The protesters are wrong. Their reactions are ridiculous.


The fight for civil rights was never truly about torching the local CVS Store after robbing it blind.

Yet there are reactions to the protests that are sickening as well.

Folks calling the protesters every single name they can think of.

I was talking through the situation with a smart man the other day.

Neither of us has an answer.

It's gonna' be a long walk home to the place where the rights of all Americans was respected.

Folks are sick of a lot of things.

There's a sub-city where laws don't seem to matter....

...to either side.

And that's disheartening.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Nope! There's No God!!

Reading a book written by an astronaut, Chris Hadfield.

I actually first heard Hadfield speak on the Opie & Jim Norton Show and I found him to be unbelievably interesting...and intelligent, of course. He's been in orbit a whole bunch of times and he spoke clearly about what some of those trips around the universe were like.

Hadfield reminded all of us, who are down here worrying about parking spots, what Bruce Jenner is doing, and endless work days, that there is so much more out there to consider.

One of the more interesting questions posed had to do with the subject of God.

Does Hadfield find spirituality when he makes his trips among the stars?

The astronaut was fairly non-committal.

He didn't come right out and say that he saw the face of God on one of the adjoining planets, but he did say that what folks feel here on Earth can certainly be enlightened up there.

Which I took it to mean that there was more there...or that Hadfield believed as much.

Yet, as soon as that interview was over I was kicking around Twitter when I came across a gallery of folks who are "on record" as being atheists.

I also find a list such as that to be interesting because I often wonder what those folks are gonna' do when they wind standing there in front of God.

"Uh, whoops!"

But the folks on the list were fascinating to me.

Morgan Freeman.

Yeah.

He played God!

Lance Armstrong.

The arch-enemy of this blog as king douche, Lance, of course, doesn't believe in God.

How could God possibly exist when we all know that it's Lance's world and we are just allowed to live in it?

Jack Nicholson.

Herrrrreeee's Johnny!

Good old Jack has often walked around spinning in his own orbit as well.

There were a dozen others on the list.

I'm not certain that the list was proven, of course, but if it's on the Internet it has to be true, right?

And no matter how long we debate the issue there most certainly won't be a definitive answer.

Is there or isn't there?

I find it difficult to think in absolutes when it comes to this question.

Hold a gun to my head and ask me.

I won't deny either point of view.

Yet I certainly am more inclined to side with Hadfield than I am to side with King Douche, Lance.

I guess we'll all find out one day.

In the meantime...

...Let it Be.

Monday, April 27, 2015

The First Golf Outing of the Year


Jeffy rolled a 35-foot putt to the lip of the cup...just missing the par.

"Ahh, that's a shame," came from three different mouths.

We were all tipping our caps to my bro with one of his best lines.

And that's how the early part of the first golf outing of the year went.

The scores weren't close.

One guy shot a 73...the rest were all right around the century mark.

(Yeah, stupid Miller had to show off with an eagle, some birdies and a lot of pars).

Me, you ask?

I can roll out of bed and hit my drive right down the middle and that's what I did all day.

Erratic with the chipping and putting...consistent everywhere else.

The thing that about my round is that I might have set the course record for saying:

"This is perfect."

I love the game.

I love wondering what we should do on the next hole, and talking about nothing other than, 'nice shot' and 'which way does it break?'

Of course, there was something that I knew was coming.

My body got real tired around the 13th hole and by 17 I was limping across the course. I was in air casts to chase some of the pain from my feet, but nothing was going to stop me from smiling.

Great friends.

The sun even showed up.

Two hot dogs at the turn.

And I broke 100.

Did I mention that Mildew picked up the tab as well?

Great day.

Hoping it doesn't snow again this week.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Happy Thoughts

Was recently reading an article that spoke of a guy named Peter Thiel. He's a billionaire. He is the creator of PayPal...worth $2.2 billion.

Good work if you can get it.

Thiel was in the news because he's intent on changing the way we live.

To be more specific...how and when we die.

Thiel said that he was gonna' try and work out a few solutions that would allow for humans to live to the age of...oh...150 or so.

Can you imagine?

"How old are you?"

"I'm only 112. You?"

Of course, throwing a billion dollars at it may get us closer to such a goal, but after I finished the article I turned to my beautiful wife.

"Can you imagine what sort of shape I'd be in at 120 years old?"

She laughed.

Not a pretty picture.

Yet I do hope that Thiel is onto something. Doubling the life span would allow for a whole lot of changes, right?

Imagine these types of Facebook posts:

"We're celebrating our 100-year wedding anniversary!"

(What kind of sick joke is that!).

"This is my baby! He's only 91!"

Of course, there would certainly need to be some changes made.

The retirement age would have to go up, right?

Otherwise...

"I've been retired for 62 years," would be a routine statement.

You think social security is in the shitter now, huh?

And I put it all into perspective after hearing Louie C.K. discuss the idea of life after death.

"There's life after death," he said. "You just ain't in it. The Super Bowl will still be played. There will be barbecues and picnics. You just aren't here for them."

And therein lies the fascination posed by Thiel.

I imagine that he got tired of counting his money and that it dawned on him that he would expire in a relatively short time and that his life of leisure would be over.

When you have $2.2 billion dollars the days most likely seem to end too quickly.

Of course, strides have been made.

The life expectancy grows with each passing year.

Someday celebrating your 144th birthday may certainly be the norm.

Then again...

...we'll probably blow the whole freaking thing to smithereens by then.

Happy thoughts.

Think happy thoughts.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

The Week That Was

I miss listening to Paul Harvey do the news.

What happened in your week that was?

Well...it snowed again.

Even as I write this on Saturday morning, I'm cold.

Had a great idea last week to set a golf tee-time, thinking that it was time to move around a little. Mid-way through the week one of the Grape Apes sent me a photo of a snow event:

"Still golfing on Sunday?"

It blows!

So, MeDreamy is dead, huh?

In all the years I've watched about 6 minutes total of Gray's Anatomy. I was out of town when this week's episode aired, but rumor has it that my beautiful wife was crying in her bed as the episode wound down.

The boys thought it was pretty funny.

Did you catch the Bruce Jenner interview?

I missed it, of course, because much to the aggravation of all I strictly watch baseball from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. on most every night. Yet there is no getting away from it.

The thing that amazes me about the story is that Jenner was the man. He was the Olympic athlete of the century. It's still crazy to think...yet...live the life you wanna' live, right?

Whether or not I agree with his choice for his life shouldn't matter to him.

I have a feeling that I'll grow weary of his journey, however.

Oh, speaking of athletes....

I've exacted my revenge.

The 27-time World Champion Greatest franchise in the History of Organized American Sports had a great week...winning 7 of 8...after starting the season in a pretty ghastly fashion.

I refused to be quiet about it!

I took so much heat in week one that I turned the tables a bit. During last night's thrashing of the hapless Mets one of my oldest friends in the world nearly blocked me from his TEX-message feed when Mark Texieria sent two over the wall.

I wish he had.

That would've been great.

Yet he took his lumps and went to bed.

My dogs and I survived a couple of days on the road.

"They're so into the routine when you're at home," Sam said. "It's almost like they know exactly what time it is."

And I mentioned to Sam that we all need routines.

"The more organized you are, the better it goes," I mentioned.

"Nah," he said. "I'm gonna' live my life like Mom...there's more surprises."

And I suppose there are.

Wouldn't Paul Harvey mention something about 'Page 2' here?

Not me.

Just one page of news today.

Have a good weekend.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Buried in Manure

There's a horrible story making the rounds in the Buffalo area this week.

A local woman allegedly smashed her long-time husband over the head with a blunt instrument, loaded him onto a skid steer, took him to a corner of the farm and buried him in three feet of manure!

Then she joined in the search for the poor guy, but apparently 'fessed up when the cops put the heat on.

Why did the story horrify me so?

Certainly not because I can see my beautiful wife getting rid of me in such fashion.

(We don't own a skid steer or a manure pile).

But.

Man!

You live your whole life, work hard, help raise the kids, get up each day and go to work, battle injuries, illnesses, the sadness that living brings...

...and you end up buried under a pile of manure on your own freaking property!

What a horrible end to a marriage.

And unfortunately we watch a whole lot of true crime drama around our house.

Let me tell you the plot of all these shows:

1). Husband or Wife is on the screen talking about their dead spouse. There are tears at the wedding day is discussed.

2). Husband or Wife is on the screen talking about how the marriage was perfect.

3). Cop is on the screen saying that husband or wife was having a torrid affair.

4). Husband or wife is back saying they shouldn't have cheated, but that doesn't make them a murderer.

5). Cop is back talking about the $3 million life insurance policy that had just been issued for dead spouse.

6). Husband or wife is on saying that money wasn't a motive and that the new younger love was not important.

7). Cop is back telling about the blunt instrument found in the possession of living husband or wife.

At this point in the program my beautiful wife will look at me and say:

Do you think he/she did it?

I'll answer by saying:

We need to get you some life insurance.

The drama will play out and the husband or wife will be carted off in handcuffs, screaming about how they were being railroaded.

Cut to fade.

Sad stories.

One after another.

Why didn't they just get a divorce? my wife will ask.

Thought they'd get away with it, I say. Wanted to keep the money.

L-O-V-E in the U-S-A!

Buried in a pile of manure.

Holy sh*t.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

D.B. of the Week - Britt McHenry

A fairly easy choice this week.

McHenry made it a no-brainer, of sorts, and my dear friend, Diane, made the request.

So.

Here goes:

The tape was edited. The towing company may be out to 'screw' folks who have to pay heavy fees to get their cars back.

That's all McHenry has going for her and I bring that up because there are people out there who are trying to defend her actions and words!!!

There are folks who say that her privacy was violated and that we are all prone to such huge shows of emotion!!!

Some folks believe that she shouldn't be suspended by ESPN!!!

And she's sooo sorry.

But none of that takes away the coveted D.B. of the Week Award from her.

Because we've all known folks like her.

And they suck.

McHenry's tirade included a reference to the trailer that the service worker lives in. It touted her own entitled life and then paid special notice to the fact that she was pretty and the girl was not.

"Lose some weight, honey," she chided.

(The 'chided' is for my dear friend, Kim).

Yet that's not chiding someone.

That's being a colossal bitch who has no idea what it means to work a day in her life.

Yeah. I'd be pissed if my car got towed. I might even lash out.

But not like that.

I do know that I would be able to show enough restraint.

I have a job that allows me to correct men who are toiling in jobs that are less than ideal on some days. There are moments when the men I'm talking to don't feel much like listening to the words of a guy who's hands are not calloused.

Sometimes they push back.

Sometimes they get mean.

I work real hard not to get mean back...because the interesting thing is...in a whole lot of ways I know that they have better talents than me.

The talents are just different.

McHenry's main talent is that she looks like a Barbie doll, I suppose, and I say that not to be mean, but just because of the face that she has now put forward.

She went on the attack.

I travel a bit to the same hotel in the same city. There is a service staff at the hotel, of course, and they clean the room after I leave.

I get up to leave so early when I'm there that I often see them gathered in the front room before they head off to do their work. My mind will sometimes drift to the personal battles that they face each and every day. They're cleaning up after folks who supposedly have more important days ahead of them.

I'm not naive enough to romanticize it, but no matter what happens, I make sure to leave a tip on the dresser.. Some will do their jobs sloppily. Some will put every ounce of everything they have into it.

None of them deserves even one of us looking down on them.

Where does anyone possibly get off doing something like that?

Get over yourself, Britt.

You're not all that special.

Where Britt really loses me is when she fails to even consider one single thing about the woman that she's berating.

When we fail to find compassion in our own hearts for total strangers we are giving into everything that is absolutely hateful that lives in our own heart.

Britt is so sorry.

It's not enough.

You don't care for the fact that she's suspended?

Well.

I'm not sure what to say to that.

I certainly don't deny her right to work.

But maybe she should work in a soup kitchen for the week she's off.

It might do her some good to know...

...that the people she looks down on are still people.

We're all riders on this train.

The blondes don't deserve to sit up front.

Enjoy the D.B. of the Week honor...

...you really earned it.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Telling Stories

I have always enjoyed the music of Tracy Chapman.

Which brings me a lot of strange looks from some of my friends. Yet my sister Carrie Lynn loves her as well...so that should tell you that we're right and you're wrong!

It also almost got me thrown out of Connecticut bar in the late 80's because I had played her entire record on the CD player. The bartender had left his post, came around the bar, and unplugged the machine, glaring at me as he did so.

"Listen to the words!" I called out.

He wasn't interested in doing that.

"Play that sh*t again and you're leaving," he said.

He was wrong.

Tracy is awesome.

The lyrics I chose for today's entry mean a whole lot to me. I listen to the record a lot when I'm writing...

...because I'm just Telling Stories.

Telling Stories by Tracy Chapman

There is fiction in the space between
The lines on your page of memories

Write it down but it doesn't mean
You're not just telling stories

There is fiction in the space between
You and me

There is fiction in the space between
You and reality

You will do and say anything
To make your everyday life
Seem less mundane

There is fiction in the space between
You and me

There's a science fiction in the space between
You and me

A fabrication of a grand scheme
Where I am the scary monster
I eat the city and as I leave the scene
In my spaceship I am laughing

In your remembrance of your bad dream
There's no one but you standing

Leave the pity and the blame
For the ones who do not speak

You write the words to get respect and compassion
And for posterity

You write the words and make believe
There is truth in the space between

There is fiction in the space between
You and everybody

Give us all what we need
Give us one more sad sordid story

But in the fiction of the space between

Sometimes a lie is the best thing

Sometimes a lie is the best thing

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Kurt Cobain

I wasn't much of a Nirvana fan.

I actually thought Kurt Cobain was a bit weird. He seemed to be always drugged up and his voice grated on me a little. Add that to the fact that grunge music was sort of taking over for rock and roll...and I didn't much want any part of any of it.

Since those days though, I've kind of adapted and I must say that the records were good...if not great.

I appreciated Cobain way more after he killed himself.

Which is a danger, I suppose.

Cobain's daughter, Francis Bean, is now 22 years old. She reminds all that her father wasn't a victim. He made the choices that led him into a drug-filled suicide at the age of 27.

Yet there's still a lot of sympathy that goes into thinking about a life that was left mostly not lived.

The documentary about Cobain's life was made with home movies...and interviews that go deeper into his life than what folks might see on a concert stage.

There were a number of interesting things about it.

All have to do with the frailties of the human spirit.

Cobain was a musician that a lot of people in the Northwest knew about. When they finished the record that would skyrocket them into the national spotlight Cobain played it for his mother.

She told him that he wasn't ready...

...for what might happen.

I find that profoundly sad.

Her son was about to take off into the stratosphere and his Mom just knew...that it might kill him.

And it did.

Then there were the fears.

Cobain was afraid of being treated like a god by the adoring fans.

He was afraid of being broke.

He was tortured by the immense love for his young daughter and was so afraid of losing her.

Instead, she lost him without ever really knowing him.

And Francis Bean seems to be the one who is speaking frankly about it.

The drugs.

The pain.

The music.

It's pretty interesting, but not for the pure love of the music, but for what was left of a tortured soul...

...who wasn't ready.

Monday, April 20, 2015

The Teenage Years

We've had a lot of other people's kids at our house lately.

Which is exactly how we want it, actually. In the middle of last week my wife heard the shower running and knowing that I wasn't home and that one of her sons was at college and the other two were sitting next to her, asked:

"Who's' in the shower?"

"Quinn," Jake said.

Quinn, you see, is always over. He's a funny kid who can really eat. He actually helps out a lot by driving Sam home from school, and shooting hoops with them in the driveway.

When I would put pressure on Matt as he grew he'd remind me that he had time to grow.

"I'm enjoying my childhood," he would say.

The other boys have taken up the mantra.

They are enjoying it, too. I can assure you of that.

Yet there is a bit of angst at this time of year because Jake will be graduating in mere months, and his college choice is being discussed. He's also just weeks away from his prom.

Yeah.

The prom.

The great dance where high school kids go and act like adults...or act like stupid kids trying to be adults.

The tensions run high in the schools as everyone tries to pair up.

I recall being all upset about it when I was a senior and my Dad telling me:

"Toughen up. You'll barely remember it when you get older."

(Dad wasn't one for whining).

But I am blessed with an unreal memory and I do remember all of it. The uncertainty, the drama, the arguments, the wondering, the sadness, the happiness, and ultimately knowing that it all worked out okay...

...but Dad was right in a way.

There was a whole lot of living left to do and while I cherish the high school memories...it's pushed out by moving forward.

But my boys are cursed.

They are sensitive sorts who really take it all to heart.

(Some may have said that I was a bit of a puppy dog back in those years as well).

I would much rather have them that way...then being calloused or mean.

My beautiful wife was telling me a little of the drama.

"What do you think?" she asked.

"They'll get through it," I answered.

"I hate to see them feeling hurt."

"You ain't gonna' stop that," I said. "That's how it goes."

And we might want to protect them from all the hurt that life will bring...

...but we can't.

They just need to figure how to cope.

Toughen Up.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Change the World!

Went to a great Italian Steakhouse in Syracuse at the tale end of the week.

First off, Sinatra was playing in the background.

My appetizer was longboat peppers...olive oil and garlic and bread that was dipped in another bowl of olive oil with spices.

Perfect.

The waitress headed over and introduced herself. It was easy to pick up on the fact that she was of Italian heritage. She was also very young. She spoke of her Mom and Dad and her brothers and sisters.

We started talking about the menu and I explained that there wasn't a single thing on the menu that I didn't want to eat! She mentioned that pasta was on the menu at her house, as she grew up, every Sunday and Wednesday.

I knew the feeling.

"When were you born?" I asked.

"1996," she responded.

"Wow."

The girl spoke of her plans. My dinner companion was from Texas and the girl was planning a trip to his neck of the woods for a music and arts festival. Her eyes were wild with the excitement of all of it. She was going to school, she was studying hard, she was looking forward to the fun. She'd find what she was looking for, but she wanted to see a lot of the world.

We ordered dinner:

6 ounce filet, 8 ounce pork chop and a piece of chicken marsala served over a bed of angel hair pasta in a garlic-themed sauce.

The chef's special.

Too much food.

"That's what it was like growing up in my house," she said. "Mom is right from Sicily. We always had way too much to eat, but we tried!"

It was a lot like that around my childhood home as well.

The young girl shared her grand ambitions with us. She spoke of making a difference out there somehow.

"Ah to be 19 again," I said to my dinner companion as she walked away.

"Yeah," he said. "As time goes by, you sorta forget about all the big plans and just remember the simple times, right?"

Sinatra was booming 'All of Nothing At All' over the loudspeakers.

I cut a big hunk of the pepper and twirled it with the pasta around my fork. If I closed my eyes the scents and sounds would transport me back to when I was just 19 years old.

All...

...or Nothing At All.

"Full of piss and vinegar," my buddy said. "World beats it out of you after awhile."

Frank sang.

We got quiet for a moment.

A piece of filet, a pepper, a taste of the chicken.

"Good kid. Dreaming big," he said. "Huge meals with her family. A closeness with her mom and dad and her brothers and sisters."

"She's already changed the world a little," I said.

The young waitress came by the table to laugh at the fact that we were indeed working our way through the big meal.

"That's what I love about this place," she said. "It reminds me of being in my own kitchen."

Amen.

We left a huge tip for her.

We did it to help her fund her trip to find what she wanted.

Neither of us had the heart to tell her that a lot of what she needed was right there in the kitchen where she grew up.

And no.

I couldn't finish all of it...

...but I got pretty damn close!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

What A Waste


None of us, hopefully, can understand the mind of a psychopath.

Aaron Hernandez was found guilty of first-degree murder.

Another football guy just doing his thing, I guess, but this is way more than just football.

Aaron Hernandez is a poster boy for how to completely destroy your God-Given talents.

He was a good football player. He could've been a great one. He had $40 million in his immediate future.

He decided to play Scarface instead.

Hernandez is also the prime suspect in a couple of other murders. He supposedly shot another guy in the face.

Thank God he had the right to bear arms, huh?

And that's the problem.

Looks are certainly deceiving.

Hernandez is a clearly mentally sick human being. He had no value for someone else's life. He had no regard for his own life.

God gives us all talents.

I really believe that.

The talent that God gives us is His gift to us.

What we do with our talent is our gift to Him.

Aaron Hernandez was given a gift that was extremely over-valued in our sports-obsessed country.

He crapped all over it.

And he killed people.

What a waste.

What a disgrace.

Enjoy your one-hour a day out of your cell.

He'll probably still live his life in absolute turmoil.

Scumbag.

Friday, April 17, 2015

May You Please

It's funny but one of the real benefits to having children is that you are allowed to order them around a little. I can still hear my Dad calling out for one of us to help him with something.

Of course, now I'm the one doing the calling:

"Sam!"

Sam is our go-to-guy.

His legs are young.

He grabs water for me. The remote for my beautiful wife. He fills the water dish for the dogs. He locks the doors at night and empties the dishwasher.

He's a little worker bee.

The best of the three!

Matt was actually pretty handy as well and would go out of his way to retrieve our stuff.

Jake?

Not so much.

But Sam has rules.

We have to ask him nicely.

Here's one of our exchanges from just a couple of days ago.

Me: Sam!

Sam: Yeah?

Me: Can you grab me a water?

Sam: I can. Can you ask correctly?

Me: May you please?

Sam: May I please what?

Me: Grab me a water.

Sam: Put it all together.

Me: Sam, may you please grab me a water?

Sam: I'd be happy to.


It sounds like he's being difficult and I'm sure my Dad would've knocked his head off, but he has rules!

We have to ask:

May you please...

That's not so bad...

...because he spends most of his evenings running through the house, doing everything for us.

I would be lying, however, if I said that I find it all amusing all the time.

May you please....

...please!


Thursday, April 16, 2015

D.B. of the Week - Rebecca Francis


How did you feel when you looked at that photo?

Disgusted?

I did.

And I am not a hunter. The reason that I am not a hunter is because when I was about five years old I opened the door to the garage where I came across a deer that was hanging upside down from the rafters. My Dad and Grandpa had been out hunting and Dad had shot the deer. I stared in those dead deer eyes for a long time. I vowed to never kill anything.

I get it.

I don't believe that hunting is a bad thing. We'd be overrun with deer if there weren't people who hunted each year.

I just can't do it.

Call me sensitive. Call me a *&ssy...I don't care. I once struck a groundhog with my car and I thought I'd have to pull over and weep.I shoo flies out the door. I don't ever want to have to set a mouse trap.

But that's just me.

OK.

Maybe I am a *&ssy.

Anywhoha...

...The woman in the photo is named Rebecca Francis. She's an avid hunter from Utah. She went on a hunt and spent time in a faraway land, hunting exotic animals for sport. She said that she was asked to shoot the giraffe by the townspeople. Evidently the giraffe was utilized by all the poverty-stricken folks who live there.

So.

Why am I choosing her as the D.B. of the Week?

Because of the smile.

It rubs me the wrong way.

A majestic animal laying dead and she poses next to it with that shitty grin?

I'm not alone.

Ricky Gervais, who is a huge animal lover, tweeted out the photo to millions of people and the outrage against Francis was tremendous.

Millions argued the merits of the hunt.

Gervais attacked.

Gervais' fans attacked Francis.

She received death threats.

I will argue a point with anyone and everyone. I often do.

Even if you agree with Francis' ability to hunt and kill exotic animals in an almost arranged scheme that takes a lot of the sport away...

...how do you defend that shitty grin?

Doesn't feel right.

I think it's a D.B. move.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The Masters Winner is 21 Years Old

Jordan Spieth was born on July 27, 1993.

He won the Masters on Sunday.

You know, I did okay as I grew to adulthood. I graduated college by the time I was 21 years old.

I published my first book just a couple of years after that, but man, how the hell does that kid win the Masters at 21?

There was a lot of publicity given to the fact that he had mentioned, back the the age of 14, that it was a goal of his to actually do what he did on Sunday.

But he only set his big goal seven years ago!

What do you say to your 14-year-old who tells you that he wants to win the Masters?

This is what I'd probably say:

"All right. Clean your room."

Of course, the kid was probably absolutely driven with such a goal. I love reading about sports stars who know that their fate is set out for them at a young age.

I've heard it said that Wayne Gretzky could skate before he could actually walk. The Dad in the equation usually whips the kid into shape...

...practice, practice, practice.

And Spieth seems like a rather well-adjusted guy.

What he did is actually fairly amazing, right?

If you wrote it as a movie they'd send it back to you saying that it's a little too hokey.

Good for him.

When I was 18 years old I once golfed a 79.

I was in San Francisco on a course that I played every single day after working construction. I golfed a 40 on the front 9 and a 39 on the back.

I was never stronger than I was back then. I was actually way underweight!

I kinda knew, at that time, that I'd never do anything like that again...and just to prove it...I golfed a 95...the very next day!

Yet I wonder how much fun golf is for Spieth.

I bet he had a really great time over the weekend.

21 years old.

My God.

I said this to my son, Jake:

"He's only 3 years older than you."

Jake wasn't giving an inch.

"I'd probably crush him in Maddon."

Beautiful.

That's my boy!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Keith


I saw a funny photo of Keith Richards a couple of weeks ago. It was tied to an impassioned plea that said:

"We need to take care of our planet for Keith Richards' future."

A lot of folks believe that Keith and cockroaches are all that will remain after the big bomb hits.

Well...he has had a colorful life.

And he really should have gone the way of a lot of rock stars who didn't exactly pay attention to their blood pressure levels or cholesterol counts.

Yet, Keith is still kicking.

And he's coming to Buffalo in July...and it's confirmed!

I'm going to see him play those great riffs.

(If he hangs on until then!)

I remember when Richards was arrested back in the late 70's as he tried to enter the country. He was busted with carrying pot. There was a real concern that he might never be allowed back in.

There were rumors that he has his blood changed out on a regular schedule.

(Not true).

There were rumors that he snorted his father's ashes.

(Also not true).

Keith hasn't done drugs in a long time...regularly.

He still smokes and drinks Jack Daniels, I hear.

Yet, Keith is an almost mythical figure, right?

It's funny, but I went online to look at the Stones tickets.

Just for fun I clicked on the available seats.

I was awarded with a pair of seats that were in the lower level - closest section to the stage - 27 rows back.

"Damn!"

I had some reward points. I could save a lot of money off of the really high price.

But the prices aren't just high...they are really high...like Keith in the 60's high!!!

I thought of the hours and hours of Stones music I'd listened to.

I considered all of Keith's riffs and running home with the new CD's as soon as their music came out.

I'd seen them live twice.

I let the tickets pass.

I checked in on my beautiful wife.

"They had seats 27 rows back," I said. "I didn't get them even though I don't have to pay the full price."

"Why not?"

"It's a lot of money."

"You don't buy yourself anything...ever...go if you want."

Yet I had let the tickets go.

I logged back in.

The tickets were still there.

I thought of Keith playing the guitar in the middle of Just My Imagination..a song that I listened to a hundred thousand times with my college buddy Rosie as he pretended to strut like Mick.

I clicked 'Yes.'

Damn!

I'm going to see the Stones!

Monday, April 13, 2015

The Rubber Tree Plant

They're talking 70 degrees in Buffalo today, and it's funny, but the mood will be great.

Folks will be smiling.

Everyone will forget...

...that we haven't had back-to-back nice days in 8 months!

I'm not ready to forgive and forget yet.

Baseball season started and I've taken what people call it as a rash of shit, because the 27-time World Champion Greatest Franchise in the History of Organized American Sports has started sluggishly.

Whatevs...as the kids say.

They have been a really good team for 20 years! The great players they had got old! What the hell are they supposed to do? Everyone cycles through it, but the Yankees have the responsibility of always being great.

Hard to do.

And who is giving me shit?

Red Sux fans...they have finished dead last in 2 of the last 3 years.

Dead last!

Bills fans...

...they haven't won a playoff game in 20 years! Haven't played in one in 16! But lots of soothsayers out there who say they are on the verge...despite not yet having a QB that can throw to the other side of the line of scrimmage!

Sabres fans!

Yeah.

Two historically horrendous seasons and cheered for finishing, uh, dead last!

Sunny days are on the way!

And that's the thing...

...we are filled with hope.

I'm guilty of it with the Yanks, of course. The first five games are not indicative of future results.

The Bills will make the playoffs and go on an epic run!

McDavid will score 75 goals in his rookie year and the Sabres will raise the cup!

Didi will have us all saying Derek who?

And the sun will continue to shine here in Buffalo, New York.

Straight 75 with nary a snowflake in sight!

And I'll get that hole-in-one!

And no more pins and needles in the feet!

That's what makes that ant...

...move that rubber tree plant!

(P.S. - if you must send me 'Ha-Ha Yankee messages' be prepared to see the 27 trophies and listen to my bitter tongue regarding your favorite team. It's just how this works. Don't take offense).

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Lost In Space

Was listening to a radio show this week and the conversation swung around to the great unknown that is out there. The group was talking to a scientist type who had some insight into black holes, life on other planets and the such.

I don't know about you, but when I start thinking along those lines I'm sort of lost in the enormity of it all.

The smart guy mentioned that there was a radio burst of sorts that seemed to speak to the fact that there are other life forms out there...maybe ones that are even more sophisticated than what we have here on Earth.

Weird, right?

The conversation gathered steam and it sounded like the discovery of such another group would most definitely happen in the next 20 years or so.

Stands to reason, in this vast universe that perhaps we are not alone.

But it's all so strange to me.

Who are we and why are we here?

Was there a creator of all of this?

L. Ron Hubbard?

Joe Smith?

Jesus, Mary and Joseph?

And in those moments of reflection I am confused by all of it.

The science dude talked about astronauts who travel way out there and get back to tell the tale.

"Even though they are science-based, they feel infinitely more spiritual in some respects," he said.

You think?

I imagine looking down on the planet might allow you a greater perspective.

Yet.

When I start thinking big picture like that it sort of makes my head hurt.

Is there a plan for each and every one of us?

Will there be a Mars Attacks! type day in the future, or will the aliens be more like E.T.?

Next they got on the subject of debris floating around and how it could crash into us one day and end it all.

From there they spoke of the heat of the sun and how getting out of whack in our orbit could turn us all into crispy things.

Thankfully it was a comedy show and the two comedians kept the conversation from getting heavy, but when you think of it, we're all just floating around...hoping the Yankees win...eating fried shit...trudging off to work...wondering how and why...why and how.

We're all just sort of lost in space.

I wonder if the other dudes on the other planet have the same sorts of problems.

There.

Think about all that today.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

A Hole In One

I watched Jack Nicklaus hit a hole in one at the par 3 during the Master's festivities on Wednesday.

He's 75 years old!

I know a great lady who's hit a hole-in-one at a par 3 course out in Syracuse.

A buddy of mine has one - so he says...let's see the ball, Millie.

Well...I have a story.

Let me set the scene.

I was invited to play in a company tournament in Syracuse. I was scheduled to tee-off at 10 a.m.

10 a.m. is not a problem - even with a 2.5 hour drive in - normally - but this was a different Saturday.

I spent Friday night at my 25-year high school reunion.

I didn't get home until after 3 a.m. - (This was year's ago! I'm not up at 3 a.m. these days - unless I have to pee).

Anywhoha...

I drove into the parking lot at 5 minutes to ten.

The other members of my foursome were at the tee yelling at me to hurry up.

I set the tee in the ground and chose a low iron for the 185 par three...years ago...I don't even swing low irons anymore...

I swung.

We couldn't see the green, but my cart partner and buddy, Tim, was fired up:

"You're on the green!" Tim shouted.

We got closer.

"Dude! I think it's a tap-in for birdie!" Tim screamed.

A little closer!

"Dude! It's stuck between the flag and the hole!" Tim yelled.

I started to shake.

Finally!

A f&%*ing hole-in-one!

"We pull out the flag, it's gonna' fall in the hole!" Tim exclaimed.

I started looking for my phone.

We arrived at the green.

The ball was on the lip.

It wasn't stuck between the flag and the hole.

What it needed was one more revolution.

It seriously was not a blade of grass away from falling into that damn hole!

We stood over the top of it.

We both jumped.

The ball just sat there.

Tim put his arm around my shoulder as we stared down.

"It might as well be a mile away," Tim whispered.

F&%*ing Jack Nicklaus!

Friday, April 10, 2015

The Winner of the Masters!


Just have to share this beautiful story - written by Jason Sobel, Senior Golf Writer:

I really hope that Kevin Streelman wins the Tournament!


AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Jennifer Couch first noticed some irregular behavior in her 11-year-old son, Ethan, two years ago. His hands trembled. His feet were sore. His balance was so poor that he struggled to put on his pants and tie his shoes.

She took him to see their pediatrician on a Friday. Her voice quivering, she explained her concerns. By the time she offered her own diagnosis, tears were rolling down her cheeks.


Between sobs, Jennifer told the doctor, "I think he's going to need brain surgery."

Tests confirmed their deepest fears. Ethan had a tectal glioma. A brain tumor was blocking his body's ability to circulate spinal cord fluid, causing hydrocephalus and all of the other symptoms in his behavior.

Streelman wins Par 3 Contest
Maybe it was karma. Maybe it was a message from the golf gods. Or maybe Kevin Streelman was the beneficiary of a good-luck charm.

Alongside his caddie for the day, Ethan Couch, a 13-year-old Alberta native with an inoperable brain tumor with whom he was paired through the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Streelman won the annual Masters Par-3 Contest on Wednesday.

Following a 5-under 22, Streelman defeated Camilo Villegas in a playoff to claim the crystal.

Of course, that's considered a curse by many players. Since the Par 3 Contest began in 1960, no winner has later won the Masters Tournament in the same week.

-- Jason Sobel
Four days later, he underwent surgery. Doctors discovered that the tumor, though benign, was inoperable. There was nothing they could do but continue monitoring him on a regular basis.

When Ethan awoke from the surgery, a nurse entered his room. "I heard you were a champ," she told him. "So I want you to go home and think of a wish. Pick anything."

He didn't need to go home to think. This was a boy who'd been carried around the golf course by Jennifer as a newborn while his father, Jeff, a former golf professional near their home in Spruce Grove, Alberta, would play nine holes. He'd grown to love the game. And so when offered one wish by that nurse, Ethan didn't hesitate.

"I want to go to the Masters," he said.


Kevin Streelman says his daughter's struggles after her premature birth has given him a new perspective and inspired him to ask Ethan Couch to caddy for him in the Par 3 Contest. AP Photo/Matt Slocum
Kevin Streelman didn't know this story when he called Ethan on the morning of March 7, two days after his 13th birthday. The truth is, he knew absolutely nothing about Ethan, besides the fact that the boy had a wish to attend the year's biggest golf tournament and he wanted to make that wish come true.

This week marks Streelman's fourth Masters appearance. The first time he played, in 2011, he invited his father to caddie for him in the traditional Par 3 Contest. The next time, his mother got the call. Last year, it was his father-in-law.

Not long after qualifying again by winning the Travelers Championship, Streelman decided he wanted to offer the opportunity to someone who really deserved it. His daughter, Sophia, was born the previous December amidst pregnancy complications. She'd spent seven days in the NICU before coming home. Enduring that afforded him a matured perspective.

"That changed a lot of the ways I see children," he says. "I have an entirely new appreciation for what parents with children having tough times are going through."

Streelman contacted his local chapter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation. He asked if there were any kids who had a wish to attend the Masters.

Soon enough, he was calling Ethan with an offer.

"Yeah, I know who you are," the boy replied when the pro golfer introduced himself.

He didn't know why he was calling, though.

Streelman explained that, as a Masters competitor, he was allowed to choose his caddie for Wednesday's event. He was choosing Ethan.


Ethan practices his victory trophy kiss. He'll look for another title with Streelman in Wednesday's Par-3 Contest. Courtesy of the Couch family
The boy fell silent. His parents, each listening over speaker phone, began crying. When Ethan finally spoke, his voice was shaking.

"I just wanted to go to the Masters," he'd later say. "I didn't expect this."

He's now in Augusta, along with his entire family, two years removed from making his Masters wish, preparing to wear the famous white jumpsuit given to all caddies.

The boy who owns a career-low score of 82 won't be bashful in the role, either.

"I'll definitely make sure he's hitting the right club," he says with a confident laugh.

As Ethan spends the afternoon with Streelman, he won't worry about the brain tumor. He won't worry about the MRI he'll undergo next week or the unknown long-term prognosis.

He'll be too focused on having his wish come true.

As for the man alongside him, he's just hoping to brighten the life of a kid who could use it.

"I just want to open the door to someone and hopefully give him a great day after going through some rough times," Streelman says. "This isn't about me. It's about giving back. It's about using the opportunity that I have to make someone's wish come true."

Thursday, April 9, 2015

D.B of the Week - Kentucky Basketball

What a great story it was going to be - the undefeated Kentucky Wildcats.

The shirts were ordered...they were ordained....hell, they were talking about being anointed as the greatest college team ever!

One basketball mind, Larry Brown, said that they could contend for a spot in the NBA Eastern Conference Playoffs!

Well, another basketball mind, Sam, my son, didn't buy into it:

"They aren't going to win it," he said. "They're overrated."

I thought it might be a nice story.

Their coach, John Calipari had taken a group of All-Americans, molded them into a team, taught them to be unselfish. Work together and you can do it!

Go undefeated!

Except I hadn't watched them play much at all.

In one of the early tournament games Kentucky was winning by 5 at halftime. The reporter cornered Calipari as he headed to the locker room.

"We're winning," the coach snapped. "Aren't we up by 5?"

"That was a little cocky," I said to Sam.

"That's how they are," he said. "The whole team is arrogant. That's what's going to ruin it for them."

Still...nice story...could they do it?

We watched the Notre Dame game together. Kentucky was behind all game but won it with a clutch shot down the stretch. They praised themselves, mostly, after the game.

Suddenly I wondered:

"Maybe they shouldn't be so full of themselves," I said. "Notre Dame was the better team."

"Oh, they're going to get theirs when Wisconsin plays them," Sam said.

During the week I listened to the undefeated talk...there were just two more games...a mere formality...

...except it wasn't.

Sam was right.

Wisconsin was better.

(Jake had also picked Wisconsin to win it all...so both kids have great pools).

Yet...where does the D.B. of the Week come in, you ask?

Well...it was after the game.

The Kentucky players didn't shake the hands of the Wisconsin players as they left the court.

Strike One.

Calipari was short and nearly dismissive in a couple of his interviews...that tone...as if it were an aberration...agitating anyone who clearly saw that Wisconsin was flat-out better (as Notre Dame also had been).

And then the Kentucky program clinched the D.B. of the Week honors when one of the Harrison Brothers was asked about Wisconsin's terrific player, Frank Kaminsky.

"F*&# that N&*@a" Harrison said, under his breath, while sitting at the Press Conference.

Strike Two.

It's a college sports program!

What are you teaching?

How to be a prick?

I get it...the kid was upset...they throw that n*&%@ phrase around easily, but man...your team is a reflection of your coach and the entire deal is a reflection of the program.

Maybe it's time to start paying these folks...because that display had little to do with education.

Then...to top it all off...

The Kentucky fans...

Rioted and blamed the refs.

Strike Three.

(It was a poorly officiated game, but Wisconsin was also victims of the bad calls).

In the end, my boy was right.

They got too cocky.

Then they got their asses kicked and then they acted poorly.

That's usually how it goes.

D.B.'s of the Week.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

A Woman Referee???

Sarah Thomas is set to become a full-time NFL referee.

Yeah...a woman in a man's game.

Sports Illustrated posted the story on their Facebook page and the very first comment was by a man who asked if Sarah would be making sandwiches for the regular refs, or if she would be tasked with ironing their clothes.

Couple of things there:

Where does the comment-maker get off in assuming that because she's a woman that she'd be making sandwiches?

I've been with my beautiful wife for over 20 years now...she's never made me a sandwich.

Secondly, my wife doesn't iron my clothes either...there's actually no reason to iron Yankee shirts.

Yet, I spent quite awhile reading through that comment section mostly because Sports Illustrated responded to the first ignorant comment.

Sports Illustrated went on the defensive, taking up the call to defend women.

Uh, yeah...the same magazine that touts the swimsuit issue with predominantly naked women being responsible for the huge sales.

Personally I think it's all rather silly.

If Sarah Thomas can do the job...let her do it.

It's not like the men refs are great at it anyway...in fact...they suck.

Sarah might just bring their grades up a little.

Still in the comment section there were a lot of concerned bigots who claimed that she would one day have to take a hit out there because she won't be athletic enough to get out of the way of one of the steroid-addled runners.

One guy went far enough to say:

"I want my women to be feminine! They don't belong on the same field as men. They aren't strong enough!!"

I really wish the comment sections had photos of the guys who are typing such drivel.

I'm picturing about a 300-pound guy...who is woman-less, plays Madden all day with Dorito chips staining the front of his wife-beater.

"I want my women feminine!"

Look...if Sarah Thomas is qualified for the job...she should have it...and she should also be paid on par with the men who are doing the same job.

That simple.

Women aren't inferior, folks.

In fact, I tend to believe that they are the far superior sex...despite the differences.

Really...men are worried about the sanctity of the NFL refs?

Please.

Go get 'em Sarah Thomas.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

"Stop Your Stupid Sh*t!"

The boys had some friends over for the NCAA Final Four Games.

Melky was a little agitated that they wanted her seat on the couch.

Melky eventually won that fight.

Yet, a whole bunch of things kept bouncing around in my head as we watched the games together.

My Dad used to love when we stayed home with him for a big event. Of course, he was excited to be able to make us food and I had that instinct going early on.

"We have to get some pizza's for the game," I said, as we were eating dinner.

"We're eating now," my beautiful wife reminded me, but I was thinking of Dad...and how he wanted to make sure that everyone was having a good time during the night's events.

The first game was calm enough.

Duke just crushed Michigan State and by the middle of the second half the boys were already looking for the pizza and they had switched it to the Justin Bieber roast.

We all laughed at it again.

And then they started getting a little goofy.

They were tossing stuff back and forth.

Jake and Sam and Quinn were insulting Matt and back and forth.

This time I thought of my Mom saying something that she said about a million times:

"Stop Your Stupid Shit!"

Thankfully, I got the pizza done and the second game captured everyone's attention.

We were all cheering hard for Wisconsin as Jake and Sam were both alive to win some money on the pools.

We all went to bed happy.

Yet as I closed my eyes for the night I thought about games gone past.

We had all watched the Bills lose the first Super Bowl at the big house on the hill.

Dad had made sauce, including meatballs shaped like footballs.

I thought of Mom screaming at the television during the Douglas-Tyson fight:

"Go! Buster Go!!" She chanted.

The games don't really matter, folks.

The 'stupid shit' kinda' does.

I was texting my buddy Gag as the game wore on:

"These kids are driving me nuts!"

"LOL," he wrote. "That's great."

It is great.

Wisconsin winning helped.

So did the pizza.

The boys' guest ate 6 pieces.

Oh to be 17 years old again.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Baseball Preview - 2015

It's opening day!

You wouldn't know it with the freaking snow on the freaking ground, but the best day of the year has arrived!

Say it with me!!!

Let's Go Yankees!!!

So far this spring I'm a little agitated with the down expectations for the 27-Time Greatest Franchise in the History of Organized American Sports. To hear the sportswriters say it, they have no chance.

Well...I'm here to tell you that they do.

I'm not a pie-in-the-sky guy though so I must say that there's also a chance that they don't win it all. Too many "I hope he stays healthy" guys on the roster.

Yet...if it all breaks right... they can win.

Their pitching will be good. Maybe great. They have a whole bunch of power arms.

So...here we go.

A-Rod's 20 homers aside...the:

2015 Predictions.

(And I must tell you...my boys go back to these blogs as my predictions fall apart...they beat me over the head with it...telling me how stupid I am).

Fair enough:

NL East:

Washington - they will edge out the Mets. Yeah, the Mets! Yet Washington spent a ton of cash in an effort to buy it. They bought the division at least.

NL Central:

St. Louis - This is usually Cards just over Pirates - same this year, but if Pirates win it...I wouldn't be surprised.

NL West:

Dodgers - Their payroll is $72 million higher than any other team. Mattingly still has a place in my heart. They'll beat out the Giants and Padres.

Wild Cards:

Pirates and Mets - Yeah...kills me to pick the Mets to even sniff the playoffs, but they won't last long. Pirates finally win a wild card game.

NL Champion - Dodgers over Nats in NLCS

AL East:

Yankees - See above - yeah...everything goes right. The division is no great shakes this year. I think Tex and Beltran hit just enough to support their great pitching. Goes right to the wire.

AL Central:

Indians - My father-in-law and brother-in-law are rabid Indians fans - my son says: "It wouldn't bother me if the Indians won it all, for Grandpa." Well, it would sort of bother me, unfortunately, because my brother-in-law wouldn't shut up if it happens. They will win the division though.

AL West:

Seattle - Still pissed at Cano. I don't wanna' talk about it.

Wild Cards:

Baltimore and Angels with the Angels winning the game.

AL Champion:

Indians - it pains me to say it, but the Yankees season might be a success, as they transition, by just making the playoffs. So, will my father-in-law be thrilled?

Nope.

'Cause the Dodgers will win the World Series.

$270 million in payroll will do that for you.

Worst part?

We get to see stuttering Magic Johnson at the ceremony pretending he knows what a ground-rule double is.

But Don't Be Surprised:

If Girardi gets 90 + out of the Yankees and they win it anyway!

Final Thoughts:

The A's won't be .500 - you can't keep dumping your whole roster and win 90 games every year.

The Phillies won't win 65 games - Philly sports fans gotta' wanna' puke. 76ers are better than the Phils.

The Mets still suck.

The Suck Sux are the suckiest bunch of sucks who ever sucked.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Happy Easter!

An Easter story


A holy man was having a conversation with the Lord one day and said,
"Lord, I would like to know what Heaven and Hell are like."

The Lord led the holy man to two doors.

He opened one of the doors and the Holy man looked in.

In the middle of the room was a large round table. In the middle of the table was a large pot Of stew, which smelled delicious and made the holy man's mouth water.

The people sitting around the table were thin and sickly. They appeared to be famished. They were holding spoons with very long handles that were strapped to their arms and each found it possible to reach into the pot of stew and take a spoonful. But because the handle was longer than their arms, they could not get the spoons back into their mouths.

The holy man shuddered at the sight of their misery and suffering.

The Lord said, "You have seen Hell."

They went to the next room and opened the door.

It was exactly the same as the first one. There was the large round table with the large pot of stew which made the holy man's mouth water. The people were equipped with the same long-handled spoons, but here the people were well nourished and plump, laughing and talking.

The holy Man said, "I don't understand."

"It is simple," said the Lord. "It requires but one skill. You see, they have learned to feed each other, while the greedy think only of themselves."

"Remember this, when Jesus died on the cross, he was thinking of you."

HAPPY EASTER, EVERYONE!

An Easter Poem

On the Third Day
-- by Margaret Wideyke


As pale streaks of coral open
The closed, dark, nighttime skies,
Two women trudge the dusty road
That leads to the place where He lies.

Bring burial spices, they enter,
Subdued by all that happened before.
As they near the tomb they remember
The rock that blocks the door.

But when they reach the site,
The rock stands at one side,
And within, an angel dressed in white
Speaks of their Lord who was crucified.

"This is the place where they laid Him,
But He is not here. He is not dead.
Carry the word to His friends:
He has risen as He said."

Joyful, astonished, afraid to believe,
For a moment, they stand paralyzed.
Then they rush to report what the angel said
As the glorious sun is on the rise.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

A Touch of Rain

A Touch of Rain - Anonymous

A little girl had been shopping with her Mom in Wal-Mart. She must have been 6 years old, this beautiful red haired, freckle faced image of innocence.

It was pouring outside.

The kind of rain that gushes over the top of rain gutters, so much in a hurry to hit the earth it has no time to flow down the spout..

We all stood there, under the awning, just inside the door of the Wal-Mart.

We waited, some patiently, others irritated because nature messed up their hurried day.

I am always mesmerized by rainfall.

I got lost in the sound and sight of the heavens washing away the dirt and dust of the world. Memories of running, splashing carefree as a child, came pouring in as a welcome reprieve from the worries of my day.

Her little voice was so sweet as it broke the hypnotic trance we were all caught in, 'Mom let's run through the rain,' She said.

'What?' Mom asked.

'Let's run through the rain!' She repeated.

'No, honey. We'll wait until it slows down a bit,' Mom replied.

This young child waited a minute and repeated: 'Mom, let's run through the rain..'

'We'll get soaked if we do,' Mom said.

'No, we won't, Mom. That's not what you said this morning,' the young girl said as she tugged at her Mom's arm.

'This morning? When did I say we could run through the rain and not get wet?'

'Don't you remember? When you were talking to Daddy about his cancer, you said, ' If God can get us through this, He can get us through anything! '

The entire crowd stopped dead silent.

I swear you couldn't hear anything but the rain.

We all stood silently.

No one moved.

Mom paused and thought for a moment about what she would say.

Now some would laugh it off and scold her for being silly.

Some might even ignore what was said.

But this was a moment of affirmation in a young child's life, a time when innocent trust can be nurtured so that it will bloom into faith.

'Honey, you are absolutely right. Let's run through the rain. If GOD let us get wet, well maybe we just need washing,' Mom said.

Then off they ran.

We all stood watching, smiling and laughing as they darted past the cars and yes, through the puddles.

They got soaked.

They were followed by a few who screamed and laughed like children all the way to their cars.

And yes, I did.

I ran.

I got wet.

I needed washing.

Circumstances or people can take away your material possessions, they can take away your money, and they can take away your health.

But no one can ever take away your precious memories...So, don't forget to make time and take the opportunities to make memories every day.

To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven.

I HOPE YOU STILL TAKE THE TIME TO RUN THROUGH THE RAIN.

Take the time to live!!!

Keep in touch with your friends, you never know when you'll need each other --

And don't forget to run in the rain!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Erasing E-Mails

So Hillary is in some trouble again, huh?

Seems the old e-mail server had been wiped clean.

This isn't the first time that a politician has been called on the carpet to answer for something only to have the memory slip.

Well, let me tell you, I'd be in a little bit of trouble if someone asked me to produce something from even the most immediate past, and that's because I'm a tad mental when it comes to things.

I do not currently have a single e-mail in my mailbox.

Not one.

The way that I figure it is that if I don't tend to it quickly...I may forget about it. Also, knowing that there's something to do...and not doing it just doesn't sit well with my mental condition.

At the end of last week I returned from a trip and there were still three reports to write.

This is what I told my beautiful wife:

"I don't have to write the reports tonight because there won't be anyone in their office to read them until Monday morning. I'm just gonna' catch the movie and relax."

She thought that was a great idea. She also knew that there was no chance that I'd close my eyes until those reports were written and sent.

After the movie, mind you, I was at the computer, typing away.

(The entire movie had been miserable because I kept thinking about the reports!)

"Writing the reports tomorrow, I see," she said.

It just can't be done!

And to leave an e-mail out there...just sitting in the box...not taken care of???

Never happen!

So, perhaps that is all it is with Clinton.

Truly doubtful though...

...people delete emails at that level for a completely different reason and I must tell you, for full disclosure, that I have a place where emails that I send are archived...so my work isn't just gone forever.

You have to keep a record in most businesses.

On the other hand I know folks who have about 950 emails in their in box. Others keep all the text messages that they exchange with people.

Here's how my text messaging works:

You send it.

I read it.

I delete it.

I have been in the process of deleting someone's text to me as they were sending me another...I delete that too.

And I'm not hiding anything...I'm just crazy.

Do I believe for a minute that a politician simply suffers from my mental state?

Uh, no.

But then again...

...the next honest politician I hear about will be the first.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

D.B's of the Week - Selfie Takers @ Disaster Sites


What the hell is wrong with people?

This woman is taking a smiling selfie at a gas explosion site in NYC.

People died.

Folks lost their homes.

It's a horrible tragedy.

Of course, giving out the D.B. of the Week award to such D.B's is probably an honor for them.

We are a strange society now, aren't we?

Folks have cameras and turn them on at every possible opportunity.

You know how many selfie's I've taken?

Yeah.

Zero.

First off, I can't figure out the phone. I tried one with a buddy after we finished a round of golf, but he had to take the selfie and send it to me because I had the phone backwards or upside down or something.

I ended up with a shot of the parking lot.

Yet I really can't fathom some of the folks...and the girl in the NY Post photo...was really sorry after her face hit the news...but there were plenty of others.

Don't you know the story?

Do you even care?

A lot of people go to Ground Zero and check it out as well. They take photos of themselves standing there.

I've stopped by Ground Zero a couple of times.

It actually never occurred to me to break out my phone....and perhaps it's because I'm a little older.

We didn't take photos of everything imaginable as I was growing up.

We had freaking Polaroids or we had to take the photos, take the film to be developed and then wait until the pharmacy called to tell us the pictures were done and then we'd get the big pack of photos and find out that we had cropped off the top of everyone's head or we had our thumb over the damn lens.

But all my whining won't get us away from the photo-obsessed, self-obsessed world that we now live in.

Do you know that some young people take photos of their own junk and send them out to people they like?

Can you imagine?

I don't think anyone over 30 or 40 years old can grasp doing such a thing, but like I've said, it won't change.

Perhaps what can change though, is public shaming after taking your photo at a tragedy scene.

D.B's of the week?

Most definitely.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Religious Freedom?????

I am really confused by the laws that were passed in Indiana and Arkansas.

I shouldn't be, but I am.

In fact, every time I think that folks can't sink any lower in the way they treat one another, they do.

I have a colorful religious background.

I joke with one of my best friends in the world about the guilt that I still feel from the mental beat-down the nuns put on me during my formative years.

We were scared to death of life because we were afraid that we were going to be trapped in eternal damnation that would result in constant suffering.

Yet.

I did learn one thing about my faith.

That it was love-based.

And that only love could teach me joy.

Hate can't do that.

Yet...that was what I learned.

That was what I decided to hold onto.

Judging my fellow man, and casting stones in their direction was strongly discouraged by my Christian faith.

Evidently, I missed the memo where that was repealed.

Stones are flying all over the place, striking the faces of those who don't feel the way some folks feel.

It confuses me.

It really does.

As the media part of the story goes the law in Indiana was based on the fact that a baker didn't want to bake a cake for a gay wedding. This new law protects the baker from persecution based on religious beliefs.

Hence the 'religious freedom' law.

Here's where I get confused.

I don't normally seek out the religious background of the guy who is selling me food at a restaurant, serving me cold cuts, cutting my hair, or changing the oil in my car.

Yet if I were living in Indiana as a Christian man, and that dude was a part of a religion that didn't believe in Christianity...

...he could refuse to serve me?

It begs so many questions:

1). There are about a zillion religions out there. How do we know whether or not someone is truly passionate about their religion, or if it's a religion that they made up on their own while having a psychotic episode?

If it is such a religion...could they say...ban red-headed, fair-skinned folks who wear gold crosses?

2). Where does one cross the line in judgment of another?

Those who are for the law are fond of saying that their freedoms are being impeached because they can't act the way they want to when it comes to their treatment of others.

But the baker in that situation made the judgement. He judged the lifestyle of the gay couple and deemed it to be below his standards of what HIS God might want.

Does the gay couple get a chance to present their view of their God to the baker...or is it simply one-sided?

Can a gay baker cite the law in refusal of selling cake to a straight couple?

3). Religious Choice?

I think a lot about the first folks who came over to this country.

They headed here because of religious reasons.

They were being persecuted.

They wanted religious freedom.

They didn't want to be told what God they had to worship.

What is the net goal of these new laws?

To get the gays to renounce their lifestyle and adopt the same religious life of those who own the businesses they frequent?

4). What's Our Capacity to Hate?

We are no longer tolerant of anyone.

Wars are fought because one group of people doesn't like that another group of people believes something other than what they believe.

That will happen until the day this freaking planet explodes.

"You don't agree with my thoughts? Well, I want to kill you."

That's how it goes, I guess.

The law disappoints the hell out of me.

Because it is not about freedom.

It's about restriction.

Name the law 'Religious Restriction' and I might just understand it a little more.

Of course...

...my writing, my confused thoughts, will probably get me angered responses.

Perhaps someone, somewhere, somehow will decide that my religious outlook doesn't deserve respect.

You get me here?

They legislated a law to respect someone's 'religious freedom' by allowing them the 'no-questions-asked' ability to strip someone else of their own free thought?

Early on in my collegiate educational career a wise man who taught theology at the 'Catholic' University told me:

"When you examine the faith of all people it's like we are all sitting around a huge campfire. You can be staring into the campfire, at just about the same angle as the guy seated right beside you, and you will see completely different things. The base of the fire may be similar, but you could be concentrating on the smoldering coals while he could be watching a piece of wood break down. It's the same fire, but it's completely different."

I never forgot that lesson because that professor summed it up perfectly.

"As long as you interpret what you see, and live a good life in your mind, you've lived up to your God's expectation. The one thing you should not do, is to tell the guy next to you what he's supposed to be looking at...because you can't see it from his angle."

Being allowed to see it differently...by both parties...without restriction...

Well.

That would be religious freedom.

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