Friday, November 17, 2017

The Week In Review

1). Geez, raise your hand if you haven't sexually assaulted someone.

What kills me about it is:

It's fine if the guy is R/D or it's horrifying if he's D/R.

Make up your mind!

You're either horrified by it or you don't care. I've said it before, I was shocked that Bill Clinton and Trump both did not lose their base...

...accusations didn't seem to matter.

On the other hand, Cosby, Weinstein and Spacey are cooked, and Louis C.K. might be too.

Franken and Stallone on Thursday...

...who gets lit up on Friday??

2). Big story in Buffalo as Tyrod lost his job as starting QB. The family was split on it. I agreed with Jake in thinking, "Why not?"

Kathy and Sam were against the move so we touched base with Matt.

"Stupid," he said.

So, there you have it. Jake and me are on the right side of it because no matter what the sports subject is, Matt is always on the wrong side. He's a Bills, Sabres, A's and Pelicans fan.

Yeah.

Pelicans.

He's zero for everything.

3). Thanksgiving next week.

Hard to believe.

It's been a year filled with chaos.

I don't think that my life has changed all that much, but I'm thinking that one scandal after another, the hurricanes, the mass shootings.

Ugh!

I said, "Damn, we need a quiet week!"

It wasn't this past week as there are fights over everything, the Attorney General was embarrassing, the senator to-be was calling children in their trig cases. The sitting senator has fish lips...

...everyone is fighting!

And the Bills are starting a new QB.

Let's all just rest a little, huh?

One quiet week?

Next week?

Say a little thanks and appreciate things.

Yeah.

Good luck with that!

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Quick Stop

At least a couple of times a week I'll swing by the Dollar General store to grab a few things.

Melky and Paris like their dog bones, Sam likes the bags of popcorn and Kathy likes the small 100 Grand bars.

A quick stop to break up the day a little, and make the people around here a little more comfortable.

On Tuesday, at one such Dollar General Store a 53-year-old man was shot, by a guy who had an arsenal of weapons, and seemed intent on killing a whole bunch of people that he didn't know.

I've stopped at that particular store a few times as it was right beside one of the active jobs.

The store is less than 8 miles from my home.

The guy who got shot was 53...

...maybe he just stopped in to make his family's day a little better.

And thankfully the Cheektowaga police department intervened and saved lives. The guy had vests, additional guns...all the stuff necessary to kill.

Struck me down sad the more I thought about it.

In these shootings we hear about the victims. The media shows us little snippets of their lives, but they all blend together.

Faces of the Dead at Five.

But I started to put myself in the shoes of the shot 53-year-old guy.

It wasn't me that I was scared for.

Ever since I got married and had kids it was no longer about me...

...but my imagination ran wild and I thought of not coming through the door because some cowardly, miserable, deranged bastard had to pretend he was playing Call of Duty in real life.

My dogs are so fired up when I walk through the door.

My beautiful wife and kids certainly have their moments of aggravation with my routines and demands...

...but I bring the popcorn and 10 Grand Bars around...

...more than I aggravate.

And I thought about a quick stop and a sudden end because we can't figure out how the hell to live...

...and some son-of-a-bitch...

...ah man.

I stopped imagining because I couldn't think about my kids being in pain or being short-changed because someone has a fetish with a gun and a two cent brain.

We gotta' be able to make this better, don't we?

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

The Streaker

The guy who ran on the field at the Ralph or Rich Stadium or New ERA or the cap or whatever the hell they call it...

...was the best Buffalo performer of the week.

The Bills got absolutely hammered (as they usually do in November) and late in the game the guy ran out Buck naked.

He went about 90 yards, got into the end zone (the Bills hadn't yet) and then tried to head back out. He was tackled hard.

Of course, I didn't see it on television, but his run was captured on video and flashed on all the social media outlets.

He was roundly congratulated for his efforts, but as per usual I took some time to think about his motivations.

His name isn't important, but he's 29 years old. He's also in good shape and has tattoos. I'm not sure how endowed he is.

I saw the g-rated video.

But, at 29, I wondered what sort of profession he was in. I'm not sure, but I think my boss and my company might frown on my participation in such an event.

Wife?

Kids?

I doubt he'd take such a jaunt if his immediate family was in the stands.

How about his Mom?

He probably has a Mom, right?

"Looked like fun," Sam said. "I'd do it."

"I'd kill you," I said.

And for the record, all of my kids are afraid of their own shadows. I don't think any of them could make such a run.

"I thought it was you," someone chided me on Facebook (Hi Kim).

"I wouldn't make it 5 yards," I answered. "They'd be taking me out on the cart."

The man was led into Orchard Park Court yesterday.

Criminal Trespass and Public Lewdness.

That's gotta be good on the resume.

He probably won't be allowed back into Rich Stadium again.

Banned for life!

Lucky bastard!!

If they really wanted to punish him they should make him go every week...

...no clothes for him.

Make him sit there on that frozen bench bare-assed.

He'd be the last streaker ever if that were his punishment.

That place is cold!!

Go Bills!!!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

My Weekends

They're becoming routine.

I feel so beat up by the end of each week that most of what I do is in an effort to just get off my feet.

I limp into each weekend all worn out and hope to find some relaxation for the tired mind and body, and in an effort to do that I've found that I've turned into my Grandma and My Dad.

My job is to now make sure that everyone has something to eat.

"I can make you some eggs," I'll say to the first person I see.

Because I also get up hours before anyone else.

Sunday was the day of the big dinner.

Jake was home from school, Sam was kicking around and Kathy and Mom were heading to Bingo. I planned on sleeping until 7:00 (which is considered sleeping in) and then getting what I need for steak, and shrimp scampi over linguine.

There was a hiccup though.

I woke up at 5:00!

So, by the time everyone else woke up I'd already eaten two meals and was ready for bed.

The Bills were on, so the kids took the big television and Melky and I went to sleep. I was up by halftime and headed down to a deathly quiet living room.

"How's it going?" I asked.

"It's not funny," Sam said.

So, the Bills had pooped all over their day.

Ah well.

I had dinner to make!

I also had plenty of time, so in short spurts I marinated the steaks, got the shrimp scampi sauce ready, and finally got the text from Kathy:

"We're on the last game."

Which is my cue to get everything on plates.

And this is where the thoughts of Dad and Grandma kick in.

You don't need anyone to say, "This is good."

You just watch the plates empty.

And you're eating yourself so you know when it tastes right.

That's where you get your inspiration for the week, I guess.

A quiet weekend, an hour of getring things ready and a nice, relaxed dinner with the family.

"Back to work tomorrow," Kathy said.

"Yep."

Everything barking a little less, but it's getting colder now...

...time to start thinking of what I can make next weekend.

What else is there?

Monday, November 13, 2017

Putin Says He Didn't Do It

So, we're all good now, right?

Judge Judy often says:

"If it doesn't make sense than it's not true!"

She often yells it.

Let's try and grasp the Russia "Hoax".

"The F.B.I. Is lying. So is the C.I.A."

The New York Times and Washington Post?

"Fake news...run by liberals."

The Clintons and Obama?

"Liars!"

Comey, Brennan, Clapper???

"Political hacks!!"

Mueller?

A lifelong Republican is now a shill for Hillary because they sold uranium to Russia?

Speaking of Russia...

..."never had anything to do with them!!"

Campaign manager indicted and charged for making deals with Russia.

Papadopolus?

"Never heard of him!"

Kushner and Flynn...

..."hardly know the bastards."

But Putin???

The KGB spy????

"Seems like a straight-up guy. I believe him. We could all be great friends!"

Does that make sense to you???

If you voted for him...

...do you still believe that it's all a witch hunt?

If so, one more piece of advice from Judge Judy.

"Put on your listening ears!"

And, as per usual, I'm aggravated that I'm even writing this post today, but I really have a horribly nagging feeling.

This is gonna' end badly, isn't it???

How badly, I guess, depends on whether or not we can find someone trustworthy to save us.

I don't think that will be Putin.

Do you?

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Wild Hair

My son, Sam, has a lot of hair.

He's not sure what to do with it, but he likes to wear it a whole lot longer than I might like...

...if I had a choice.

The thing is, my hair has been pretty much gone for a long time. I was in my 20's when I had this exchange with a pretty, young girl who was cutting my hair.

"Will I be bald or grey?" I asked.

"It'll be a good race," she said.

And it was.

The little hair I have left is grey.

The thing is, I mentioned to Sam that I had the same crazy hair back in the day.

I actually had a whole lot of angst about how I should wear it. I'd part it in the middle. I'd try to tamp it down. I wore it long. I tried it short.

I didn't know what I should be doing.

So sometimes I looked ridiculous.

And then it fell out, and all my problems were solved.

Sam has endured a lot of teasing lately.

He kind of rolls with it.

"I have great hair," he mentioned to me when I said something to him.

Then I showed him a photo of 18-year-old me.

"It falls out," I said.

Sam glanced at the photo.

"Well, at least I've never looked THAT ridiculous."

"I like shorter hair," I said.

"What choice do you have?"

TouchΓ©

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Chickens

There are a whole lot of uncomfortable men out there.

In Hollywood, in Congress, in work places all across the country.

It appears that the downfall of Harvey Weinstein has allowed victims to find the strength to step forward and obliterate those who once left them powerless.

Well.

It's about time, isn't it?

Way back I felt amazed when Bill Clinton sort of skated through his episode. Yes, he was impeached. He certainly was hammered on a lot of fronts, but I heard a lot of people say:

"What he did had nothing to do with his job performance."

The Access Hollywood tape of Trump just locker room talking also surprised me.

He received a lot of votes from women.

It was a shock to me.

I've worked in a lot of places. I can certainly tell you that there has been a cultural shift since the 1980's and 1990's.

But, certainly there is still a lot of room to improve.

I've witnessed women being verbally abused by their bosses.

I have also known a whole bunch of men who, drunk with power, acted like first-class a-holes.

It's about respect.

It always is.

Those men who stand accused didn't have any respect for the women...

... or for themselves.

They felt entitled to take whatever the hell they wanted...

...consequences be damned.

Well, eventually the chickens come home to roost, right?

For a lot of years the chickens stayed in hiding, afraid of what speaking out might do to them.

Kevin Spacey, Louis C.K., Jeremy Piven, Congressman Moore, Charlie Sheen, Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein...

...Trump and Clinton too.

If there's a price to pay...

...if they're found to be guilty...

...well..

The chickens are home.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Nothing Left to Say

I went the entire week without writing about the massacre in Texas.

There's nothing to say.

"It is what it is," as they say, but as the week went along I was absolutely horrified by the reaction.

"Prayers work," Paul Ryan said.

That's the response????

Prayers?

I've been a good catholic boy all my life. I learned all the prayers as a kid.

I still say them.

But that's the answer?

Why don't we have morning prayers before the start of the day...

..."Dear God, please stop all Americans from shooting one another today. We especially ask You to make sure that the mentally ill people with a hundred guns only shoot cans today. Thank you!"

Paul Ryan think that will work?

I'm skeptical!

And Facebook and Twitter were alive with the debate.

People arguing for the rights of the shooter.

The president checked in:

"Not a gun issue! A mental health issue."

The mentally ill were reinstated as gun owners by his decree earlier in the year.

Dude was kicked out of the Air Force.

He fractured the skull of his child.

He beat his wife.

He broke out of a mental health facility.

He beat a dog.

Then he bought 4 guns...

...because of a "glitch".

Because he passed the stringent background check.

I guess prayers is what is left...

...because we are absolutely helpless here.

Nothing left to discuss.

I'll get us started.

"In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit...

...please don't let anyone slaughter 100 people today."

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Doc

Back in 1978 a young outfielder with the California Angels, Lyman Bostock, was shot dead in a case of mistaken identity.

I was just 13 years old at the time, but was as big a baseball fan as you could be. I'd seen Bostock hit a homer at a game between Toronto and Minnesota at exhibition stadium. Bostock had been with the Twins then. It was the first homerun I'd ever seen live.

So, his death shook me.

Was the first wave of thinking about death, in what has become a lifelong dance. The new book is called The big D.

The dance continues.

My son, Jake, texted me during the day on Tuesday.

"Roy Halladay died."

I was on a shuttle bus on the way to the airport in New York. I hadn't seen any news of the day. (No wonder my mood was good).

"WHAT!!!"

"Plane crash. Man, Doc was great," Jake wrote.

And he was a great pitcher for Toronto and Philly.

Not good...

...great.

He caused the Yankees fits, but as a baseball fan, I enjoyed watching him perform.

As per usual, I didn't go read any of the coverage.

(Just dancing).

I boarded the plane.

When I landed there were two more texts from Jake:

"Man, this is so sad!"

And

"He donated $100,000 to kids in Toronto and Philly, every year!"

Jake was feeling as I felt when Bostock passed, and my poor kids started their dance earlier than I had, and they still ache when they think about lost family members.

I needed to be wise for him.

But I was out of wisdom.

Takes me a whole book to arrive at conclusions!

So, we simply commiserated.

Talked about Halladay's playoff no-hitter.

His family.

His life-long passion with aviation.

Celebrated what we knew of his life...

...'cause that's all you can do.

And as I closed my eyes on Tuesday night I considered Bostock rounding the bases back about 40 years ago.

A big, strong athletic kid.

Gone. A short time later.

Dance.

RIP, Doc.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

What Color?

I had a bright idea.

I'd handle the 3 New York City area jobs by flying out, renting a car and flying home.

Promised to be a long day, and it was, but it's awfully odd to be in New York and then be home to the same bed you woke up in.

And no matter how many times I've been there I'm always surprised by how big it is. We were flying into LaGuardia and the city was right there to be taken in.

From up above, you can still see how massive it is, but it also seems a whole lot less intimidating. You make up for that when you get on the ground.

"Where the hell is the rental car station?" I kept asking myself as I wandered around. I finally asked a man who looked to be in a uniform of sorts.

"Purple," he said, and was gone.

Think of that:

"Where the rental car station?"

"Purple."

Moments later a bus pulled up:

"Purple Route," it said.

"Where you going?" The driver asked.

"Rental car," I said.

He looked as if I'd just said 'purple.'

"Which one?"

"Alamo," I said.

He opened the door.

"Red," he said.

Are you freaking kidding me?

I was about to ask him when the Red Route bus would be by, but he closed the door.

The red route bus was there a minute later.

"Where?" This driver asked.

"Alamo," I said.

I was waiting for him to say 'Green,' so I just kinda' stood there.

"You wanna' sit or you gonna' stand by me?" He asked.

I laughed.

He didn't.

New York is a big scary place, but about 10 hours later I returned the rental car, got on the purple bus and got back to the correct terminal.

"If you can make it there, you'll make it anywhere."

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Sixty-Three Cents A Day

Was watching a rerun of Law & Order on Saturday and a commercial for the ASPCA flashed on the screen. Melky & Paris were hanging out with Me.

Both were snoring, up on the couch.

"Look at the doggies," I said.

But the dogs on television were sad.

The woman was speaking softly, letting me know that many of those dogs needed to be saved.

"You two had steak scraps for dinner," I told my dogs.

There was a boxer with big eyes in a small cage.

"You went for a ride in the car."

A German Sheperd looking emancipated.

"Melky took a late morning nap on a heated blankie."

The narrator was reminding me that just $19 a month would save those poor dogs.

I think I spend $19 a day on these two.

The commercial was really working on me though.

I love dogs.

"There's no one singing songs to those poor dogs," I said.

Melky and Paris didn't even look up at those poor dogs in the cages.

They've won the doggy lottery.

Wish I could save a hundred of them.

63 cents a day.

Guess who wrote down the number.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Seriously? Isn't that Enough?

It's so aggravating to me that I've become so wrapped up in the daily drama. I absolutely hate writing about politics.

But there's so much there every single day.

On Friday, Trump woke up and started tweeting. He sent out about 20 of them. One nastier than the next. The majority taking aim at Crooked Clinton, Screwball Bernie and Pocohantas. He wants to throw them all in jail again over the democratic primary deal and a uranium deal with Russia that Clinton may or may not have participated in as a member of a panel. The uranium never left the country and was not to be used for nuclear weapons, but nuclear power plants.

Details.

He straight up lies.

He calls people names.

He starts fights, goes golfing, and whines, whines, whines.

Exactly what I expected.

Could there have been ideas that might have worked?

Certainly. He could have advanced the changes through policy, by including everyone, and by offering reasoned arguments that led America "back to greatness".

Can't do it!

Calling someone 'Pocohantes'?

That's certainly something that you would have received detention for back in 7th grade. Honestly, let it sink in!

He's an adult calling other adults names.

It's not normal!

He has golfed more than 90 times!

He's not paying for new tees at the clubhouse. Rather, a hundred people have to ride along and he's charging them (and the government) to rent a cart to ride along!

He's collecting all that money because he's going to his properties!

Obama golfed 90 times in 8 years!

This week he called the American Justice System a "joke" and a "laughingstock".

That's something that someone might argue at a bar, 8 drinks in. He's the president! It's all supposed to work in concert.

Is it a joke?

Maybe...especially if there's someone digging into your finances and connections with a foreign government, but he also cried about the fact that he should be in charge of it because he's the president!

Come on, now. We learned in 3rd grade that there were three distinct branches of the government and that they were separated for a reason. He can't be in charge of all of it!

And it makes him cry.

Yet, what really got me was when he was asked about working with the members of his team. His excellent, excellent team filled with great, great, exceptional people.

"Doesn't matter what they think. It only matters why I think."

I cringed.

Way back, before the election I mentioned that it would be crazy and dangerous to have him leading our country. I hear from a lot of people through the course of a day after he destroys a long-standing American policy.

"Is this possible?" A professional buddy of mine asks.

I ask it every day.

Isn't that enough?

Sunday, November 5, 2017

A Life

My job can be cool.

You see, wherever I go, I usually know between 5-10 people on every job. In some places, it's a lot more. Many of the men I've known for years and years. I know a little about their families and home lives.

Guys who immigrated here. Others who've been here all their lives. Republicans and Democrats. Black and white.

Hundreds and hundreds of men and women who work hard.

Last week, I was on the road and after walking the site with the superintendent we headed to the job trailer as he wanted to show me some photos of the storm that passed through and hammered the project.

We looked at those and then a photo of him and a woman and  couple of children filled the screen.

"Sorry," he said.

"No, that's a great photo," I said.

He went back to it.

"That's my wife and my niece and nephew. My wife passed away last year."

I had known that. She'd been lost to cancer.

"It's a great photo," I said.

And that sent him off and running.

He showed me photos of them doing karaoke. There were charity races, and Christmas celebrations.

One photo after another.

He was smiling in all of them. His wife was so alive in each shot, and before long he was showing me shots of reunions with his Marine brothers, and biological brothers.

There was also a photo of his first wife...

...who had also passed away way too young...

...yeah, cancer.

"You've had a rough go," I said.

"Nah," he said. "I've lived a life."

He lingered on the photo of his first wife and the kids they'd raised together.

"I've had a lot of love in my life. It hurts, for sure, but I learned a lot about living from the time I spent in Vietnam."

He quickly passed through a number of photos and put up a shot of him and a man from a time and place long ago.

"That's me and Max back in the fighting days," he said.

Both were big, strong, healthy men.

They were smiling and their arms were draped over one another's shoulders.

"Lost Max this year," he said. "Agent orange."

He pointed at a photo on the wall.

The same two men...

...some 40-some years later.

Grey hair, a little heavier than their original fighting weight. Both smiling. Arms around one another....

...still.

"A tremendous life," I said.

He laughed.

"When you look back like this it sure seems that way," he said. "I was just living. I miss the hell out of a lot of people now."

I felt that one for sure.

"But making new friends is great too."

"The best part of all of it," I said.

We shook hands.

I'll see him again shortly...

...and I'll be looking forward to it.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

There You Have It

You could feel the excitement building in Buffalo.

The Bills were actually looking good!

Playoffs?

Hell no!!

Super Bowl!!!

And the one son who's left roaming around here was counting up the wins left on the schedule. (At least 11) and the son off at college was texting me.

I was encouraging them, but I was also cautionary.

"Gotta' keep working. Don't read about how good you are. You do that and you can get embarrassed quickly."

"Not these guys," Jake responded. "They're well-coached."

Welp, they read their press clippings it appears.

And in Thursday's Buffalo News the writers recapped the Bills long history of going belly-up in prime time.

We actually read through the games and Sam was getting highly agitated hearing about ones that got away.

"They have a history," I said.

"Different team," he answered. "I'm a little nervous, but they'll win."

They were manhandled.

I only watched the first quarter, but it appeared it might be a long night. Years ago, I went to a Bills game with my buddy Kimball (RIP).

"Watch the line play," Kim said. "The line that's pushing the other line back. That's the team that'll win."

The Bills lines were getting hammered.

"It'll be fine," Sam said as I left the room.

"I hope they do it, buddy," I said.

But they didn't.

The team will be torched in the press and doubted mightily.

I hope they read those clippings too...

...and come out hungry again...

...for the sake of my boys, who are drifting towards adulthood, and have never seen the hometown team play in the playoffs.

"SMH," Jake texted me.

SMH.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Taking Our Lives In Our Hands

An interesting week that started with a Sunday trip to beautiful Iowa.

Then a 15 hour day that started in Iowa and ended with me stopping at 4 hotels looking for a room in Rhode Island. There was a power outage and at 11 p.m. I was being told that there was no room at the inn. Kathy ended up finding me a place by looking around on the Internet as I drove aimlessly.

"Who's your savior?" She asked.

So, long days.

And with the rain pouring down on Thursday morning I decided to start slowly. I put on the Today Show.

First story was about a guy who went into a Wal-Mart and starred shooting customers.

Second story was about the ISIS idiot who ran over people on bikes in NYC.

A month ago a man shot people at a concert as if he were at a fair shooting yellow ducks.

And as it happened, I heard my boy close the door as he went out into the world.

My wife works at a hospital where one of their doctors shot a receptionist a few years back.

Stopping for a coffee these days may be your last stop.

Thoughts and Prayers.

All we can seem to do.

Thoughts and prayers!

I don't even think that most people could give you the name of the Vegas shooter!

Not that his name is all that important, but they're all blending together.

American citizens going about their days...

...getting slaughtered.

For no reason.

Thoughts and prayers...

...indeed.

There has to be a better answer.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Can't Do It!

So, the World Series is over.

I watched here and there, but didn't much care for either team.

The celebrating made it a miserable experience for me.

Yeah, yeah, I know...

...get with the times old man!

But did you see Correa jump out of the dugout to greet his teammates?

Or how about Joc Pederson doing pirouettes as he got between third and home?

The guy on the mound certainly noticed.

And I thought about some of the pitchers from my youth:

Bob Gibson, Roger Clemens, Pedro, Nolan Ryan...

...when I considered Ryan facing Joc on the day after he pulled that little dance...

...I smiled.

Ryan would've smoked him as many times as he could before getting tossed.

If Pederson would've challenged him Ryan would've pummeled him at the mound.

And I know.

The kids don't mind it.

Baseball supposedly needs excitement.

Not to those of us who enjoy it anyway.

To us the celebrating is absolutely annoying.

Bat flips...

...I don't like em but I can see getting caught up in the moment.

Admiring a .500 feet bomb...

...Mantle did it. Reggie did it.

Called it styling.

Correa and Altuve were out of the dugout and dancing on an RBI groundout last night!

Dancing!!

Damn.

Want excitement?

Ryan would've made the next batter an exciting at-bat.

Why do they have to change my game?

"Hey you kids get off of my lawn!"

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

I Might Have A Problem

You see I picked the Buffalo Bills to be bad.

I'm thinking I said 6-10 on my official blog entry.

If they win tomorrow night they'll be 6-2 and they won't have clinched a playoff spot for the first time this century, but they'll see it from there.

And every win they get is a reason for me to get lambasted by Bills fans and most especially, my boys.

I have no one to blame but myself.

I've had a lot of fun over the past 17 years just torturing people while they're down, and they can't win any of the arguments.

"The Yankees haven't won a World Series since 2009," some clueless bastard will try.

"Ah, but they've won 5 and played in 7 and they've made the playoffs about 17 times since the Bills last won a playoff game."

This year the Yankees were eliminated one win away from the series and some Bills fans jumped me.

"Nothing to be embarrassed about," I said. "They won 7 playoff games. They weren't beat with one second on the clock on a 98 yard kickoff return in their last playoff game."

Shooting fish in a barrel.

But they were supposed to go belly up against the Raiders!!

And they're making the right moves...

...they cut the big dopey druggie who didn't care.

They like each other.

They say the right things.

What the hell am I going to do?

"Bills won," Sam texted over and over again on Monday.

"Want to impress me, win a playoff game," I said.

Which was lame!

Life will be tough for me if they go on a run...

...I might have to jump on-board, but I'll be promptly kicked off the wagon...

...that's been going around in circles for years.

Let's Go Buffalo!

Only 27 titles before you catch my Yankees!

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Mueller Time

I could've gone with Game 5 of the World Series which was an epic affair, but MLB, in its ultimate wisdom starts the game at 8:30 on a Sunday night so anyone who works for a freaking living can't watch the end.

I made it to the 7th inning.

I was also a little aggravated with the celebrating whenever someone hit a single, but I've been told that I'm a cranky old bastard.

I still enjoy the Yankees who mostly act like professionals and don't look like they just climbed out of a tree stand.

Yeah.

Cranky old bastard!

Woke to the news that Manafort and others were arrested in the Russia election interference garbage.

Mueller really hammered them with his first strike and it's going to get a whole lot worse.

Who could've possibly predicted that a Trump presidency would have bumpy moments?

There were reports late in the day that Trump is throwing tantrums in the Oval Office.

Two things:

Mueller made it clear that past financial crimes will be examined...

...and Mueller also let everyone know that he has emails of people within his camp who were dealing with Russia.

The what-about-Clinton arguments were ringing hollow.

If the cops show up and arrest you for a crime...

...you don't get out of the crime by saying, "My neighbor ran a red light and everyone saw her."

This appears to be day one of a real mess.

I'd use baseball to distract me..

...but I can't stay up until dawn to watch it!

And then people wonder why I'm a cranky old bastard.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Eddie

North Collins, New York is a beautiful town, and through the years I've endured my children's jokes about taking the lawnmower to school, or graduating with only 11 people in my senior class (there were 83).

The beauty of the town is in the people who made it up all those years ago.

It seemed more like a club than a town!

And dead-center of the town was Speedy's Bar.

Behind the bar was Eddie Or Foxy, and later Eddie Jr.

All three men are now gone after Eddie Sr. passed away this weekend.

"You better knock it off, Fuzzy, or I'll call your father!"

That was a danger of living in the small town.

You'd walk in the door and your mother would say:

"I already heard what you did."

And there were so many men who were friends with my Mom and Dad, and they all treated us wonderfully.

Eddie was certainly in that group.

In fact, he was a legend!

As we both got older we actually got closer. Eddie would tell me stories when we got together; but the stories were often about my Dad as a kid.

He loved North Collins, baseball and reading. We exchanged books. Eddie sent me newspaper clippings about writing and the Yankees.

My buddy Chris, who's Mom was married to Ed for a lot of years, broke the news to me that, in recent years, Ed became anti-Yankees as he started rooting for the Rays.

I'll let it pass!

I made a trip down to Florida with Chris and we had a chance to play a round of golf with Eddie. After the round, Ed took us into the garage, and as he did so many times in his bar in North Collins, he poured us a shot...

...from the bottle he had in the ceiling tiles.

I'm going to miss Knowing Eddie is out there in the world, but of course, he made his mark.

Legend.

RIP Buddy

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Humpty Dumpty

My college roommate, Fluffy, who we all agreed was a tad off was fond of saying:

"Humpty Dumpty was pushed."

Well, perhaps, but what we do know is that he had a great fall.

Friday night brought some news.

Mueller has indictments. The arrests would be happening as soon as Monday.

Who do you have in the office pool?

Manafort? Flynn? Carter Page?

They seem to be the low-hanging fruit.

Yet, Saturday morning was crazy on Twitter and Facebook because there was all sorts of wild theories being bantered about.

"It's for Obama and Clinton!" A number of hopeful people mentioned. "They sold all out uranium!"

Mueller wasn't working on that investigation. Also, that particular item had been investigated twice already.

Most of it has been pored over and debunked.

So, speculation is a weird thing.

"Trump is going to jail!"

Is probably a tad premature as well.

But who knows?

Jared Kushner?

When it comes to politics it's probably true that most everyone is a tad dirty.

The microscope has been on a whole bunch of people.

Someone is in a world of trouble...

...and if one goes...

...they may all have a great fall.

And all the King's men are going to have to work hard to put Humpty back together again.

Pushed or not.

This week promises to be a real mess.

Stay above the fray...

...try and not fight with people you love...

...over dirty politicians...

...who get what they get...

...'cause they deserve it.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Craig Lehner

We hear a lot of negative, don't we?

Stories about heartache, and political garbage every single day.

Mix in stories about mass shootings, daily murders, drug overdoses..

...and it's easy to get down.

Here in Buffalo there was a real tragedy.

A young officer was killed during a training exercise. He drowned. It took an eternity to find his body.

You could feel the heartbeat of the city beating as the sadness lingered.

It was a story that I couldn't directly follow. I kept it on the periphery because as they searched for his body...

...I didn't want to let it all in.

The funeral procession started in the Southtowns and stretched to the hockey arena where thousands gathered to say 'Goodbye.'

I watched that part.

And I thought about a little of the angst.

People fighting on social media?

Didn't even think about it.

GOP versus Dems?

No one in that procession cared.

Pro-cop or Anti-cop??

Everyone was pro-cop for a few hours.

I'm very often proud of Buffalo...

...and it has nothing to do with the Bills or Sabres.

It's all about being human.

And that's when I know that we're going to be all right in the long run.

Deep down...

...people are good.

I was watching the news with my boy one day. The story was about a horrific murder. I didn't make it to the clicker fast enough.

"There are a lot of bad people in the world," Sam mentioned.

"That's true," I said, "But there are millions of people who didn't commit a crime yesterday. Millions and millions, actually. Remember, there are way more good people than bad."

Thousands filled the streets in Western New York who gathered to say goodbye to an officer that most of them never met.

Forget the negative stories.

In one ear and out the other.

Hold onto this one.

RIP Craig Lehner.

A good man.

Gone too soon.

You reminded me that people are good.

Friday, October 27, 2017

The End Is Near?

Tuesday was an interesting day.

I moved around from site to site...

...limping like a son-of-a-pup...

...and I listened to news programming.

I kept hearing about the fight between Bob Corker and Donald Trump.

"He has trouble with the truth," Corker said.

That was an odd thing to hear as a news blast. Normally, Trump does something ungodly and his "people" go out and say things like:

"Ignore his tweets."

Or

"That's not what he meant."

Instead, we were basically hearing:

"He sucks."

By the time I was writing reports Jeff Flake was telling the world that he wasn't running again because he didn't want to be complicit in the garbage world that he was living in.

Flake's voice was cracking with nervousness as he absolutely ripped the president.

Both guys are republicans!!

And immediately following Flake's words Sarah Sanders stood up and defended Trump.

She doesn't mind being complicit.

It was an odd day.

The start of something?

The end is near?

"It's about time that someone spoke up," Sam said when I casually mentioned it to my youngest boy who knows zippo about world affairs.

"Donny Boy pisses off a lot of people."

Yeah he does!

Even republicans it seems.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Mad At God

He won't go away.

Bill O'Reilly was bounced off television.

Like Cosby, Weinstein, Ailes...

...he couldn't keep his hands or his whatever to himself.

He allegedly forced his way into women's lives when they wanted nothing to do with what he was pedaling.

He settled lawsuits...

...one to the tune of $32 million.

You don't settle for $32 million because you're being exploited. Don't you defend yourself against such blasphemy?

If it's all a damn lie don't you at least pay less than however the hell how many figures are in $32 million?

But Billo is pissed!

At God!!

I laughed out loud when I saw that headline.

God???

God made him harass the women he worked with?

God evidently owns The NY Times because they've been on a witch hunt!

Damn fake news!!

They reported the terms of the settlement because...

...get this...

They didn't want Bill to be successful.

You know why Bill settled all those suits against him?

Yep! To protect his family. They are innocent! He didn't want them to suffer needlessly and since he had all that damn money laying around.

God, fake news and family!

No spin!!

I honestly wonder what God will say when a guy like Bill, or Cosby, or Weinstein, or Trump arrives and is looking for admission.

"You blamed me????" God might ask.

"Hope you like it warm."

There's going to be no fake news when all is said and done.

Good luck, Billo. Couldn't happen to a bigger blowhard.

How about naming the next book:

"Killing the Gas Bag?"

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Marketing

I will get the first copies of the new book this week.

The big D.

It's my 12th book, and the new way to get the word out about it is a whole lot different than the old way!

Here's a little secret for you.

The publishers never do a whole lot unless you're Stephen King or John Grisham, and they aren't the guys who need it.

Whatever.

I don't much care.

Sure you'd like to get it into as many hands as possible, but, and I was talking about this the other day, most people don't want to pay for art anymore.

They think it should all be out there for free.

Music, newspapers, books...all free!

Like I've said, I've made peace with it.

The writing is about the journey. Yet, I couldn't help but think about the early days.

My first publisher sent out a post card to 200 people that I'd provided the addresses for.

I had to call people and ask them their address so the could get the post card. I wonder if anyone actually bought a book off that card.

Then I did a lot of signings. Some were actually very good. Others were lonely affairs. If the host group allowed me to talk I had a lot more fun, and in those days I was invited to book clubs after everyone read the book.

Good questions came from those events.

I always came home with baked goods!

There were a lot of articles written and I appeared on radio shows all across the country.

Fun.

I signed books in Chicago, Boston and New York.

Some of those signed copies later showed up on the Internet.

Weird.

And here we are now.

I used to lose sleep over it.

Now I move on to the next thing I want to write about, but don't get me wrong, there's a piece of me that wants the reader to enjoy it.

I've just always felt uncomfortable talking about it.

"What're your books about?" I sometimes get asked.

"Look 'em up," I say.

"How much you get paid?" Is ALWAYS the next question.

In what other walk of life is that a question?

"Well, it took me about 6 months to write it. At least 2 hours every Saturday and about 5 hours every week thinking about it, jotting down notes, rewriting. I'd say about $4 an hour."

No one knows what to say to that.

It's pretty true.

And then they read it in the matter of a few days and send you a message:

"When will you finish the next one?"

Which is all good, believe me!

I can know get the word out with a Facebook post, or a tweet.

And then just hope...

...that someone gets it the way you write it.

"I laughed and cried. I just loved it," one woman said to em.

How much is that worth?

Way more than minimum!

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Theeeee Yankees Win (Nope)

πŸ‘Ž πŸ‘Ž πŸ‘Ž πŸ‘Ž πŸ‘Ž

Didn't happen.

The Yankees had a golden opportunity to close out a good Astros team, but just couldn't catch a break in Houston.

During a magical season they often got clutch homers and fine pitching. A lot of breaks went there way during the season, and they won games by coming back late, scoring in bunches, and wiggling their way out of jams by striking out batters.

πŸ‘Ž πŸ‘Ž πŸ‘Ž πŸ‘Ž πŸ‘Ž

Didn't work out that way on Friday and Saturday.

Runners thrown out at the plate.

Balls being caught at or over the wall.

Pitchers almost escaping a jam, and then giving up a bouncer through the infield.

That's baseball.

And I kept waiting for them to have the big inning, but they swung over curves...

...as Houston played their aggression against them.

That's what happens with young players.

A couple of years from now, Bird, Judge and Sanchez will lay off the off-speed stuff...

...and hopefully strikes will be called strikes....

And there will be more consistent hitting.

On Saturday, in the 7th inning, down 4-0, I was feeling a lot of angst.

"It's been a great season," I thought. "They played really hard."

And Paris, my slap-happy dog, came over and jumped in my lap.

She was happy.

And the angst went away.

Just like that!

I watched the rest of the game in relative peace.

And then the texts, posts and messages came in...

...busting my chops.

"Theeeee Yankeeeeees lose!"

"Start Spreading the News!"

One close friend, who hates the Yankees because I love them asked, tenderly:

"Are you okay, Muffin?"

Take a wild guess how I answered him.

Things will be okay.

This one didn't even sting a little.

Would've been really special, but was proud of the effort of the Baby Bombers.

I have a feeling that I'll be sending a "Are you all right, Muffin?" Message back fairly soon.

It was a fun season.

I'm okay.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Fighting the Fans

I don't attend many sporting events anymore. I haven't been to a Sabres game in years, and it's been even more years since I went to a Bills game.

I catch a Yankees game maybe once a year if I can make it work in my schedule and I happen to be in a city where they are.

Usually it's an enemy city and I make sure not to wear any Yankees gear because there are some goofy people out there and I don't need to be harassed.

What caught my eye on Saturday was that a number of the participants were involved in altercations with their "fans".

DeMarcus Cousins (basketball player) gave a two-word salute to a fan that was heckling him. The second word was 'You.'

Cousins was fined by the league.

Kyrie Irving of the Celtics requested that a fan perform a sexual act after the fan yelled out:

"Hey, Kyrie, where's LeBron?"

Even coach Jumbo Fisher got in on the act as he went off on a fan following a loss.

It's an odd dynamic and it's become worse through the years.

I once watched a drunken fan obliterate Yankees pitcher, Steve Howe, over Howe's troubled drug past.

It was way beyond what one human should say to another, and Howe, who was about 30 feet away, had to have heard every word. It went in for twenty minutes. Howe ended it by going into the dugout, retrieving a sharpie and signing a ball. He then tossed it up to the guy.

"I love you, Stevie!" The guy yelled.

It's a shame too because years and years ago, as a kid, I had an all-access pass. I used to go straight to the court at the Braves games. I walked right up to Celtics legend Bill Russel and asked him for an autograph.

"I don't do that," he said.

I thanked him anyways and walked away.

I spent 20 minutes taking to Yankees legend Ron Guidry. Bobby Murcer gave me a pinch of Skoal when I was 20.

Now?

You won't get near them!

And why would they let you?

The fans are paying a lot of money for the tickets. Around here they don't win a lot. The fans feel free to be as nasty as they want.

One year I was walking along with Jim Kelly at the free event that the Kelly family throws around Valentine's Day in honor of their son, Hunter.

Kelly signed autograph after autograph when he was called, over the PA system to report to the area where he was going to toss passes to children.

"Okay," Kelly said. "I have to stop signing now. I'm being paged."

A 40-something man shoved a football out at Kelly.

"I'll be back," Kelly said. "I'll sign some more when I get back."

"You're a f****ng c******er!" The guy yelled out.

Kelly actually turned and looked at me.

"That's ridiculous," I said.

The guy was screaming Kelly down.

"Happens every day," Kelly said.

Yeah.

They get paid a lot.

But they aren't your whipping boys!

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Just So Stupid

I suppose I have to check in on the Trump-Wilson-Kelly-Johnson deal.

Let's check the story out:

1). Without prompting Trump attacks Obama and other presidents about not calling the families of those killed on the battlefield. He did it in his "I'm not sure, but I heard" bullshit way of being nasty. That's so he can deny it later when he's proven to be wrong.

Whatever. It's petty and nasty and so stupid. In such a horrible circumstance what happens between the president and the family should remain there. The world doesn't need to know.

2). So, then he called the family of David Johnson and tried to relay a message that General Kelly had told him. When Kelly expressed the idea that Johnson died doing what he wanted to do, it sounded beautiful and honorable. Evidently that message was lost in translation as Trump's words, as reported by the congresswoman Wilson and then the family, sounded callous, as reported by the media.

3). Trump jumped on it calling the congresswoman a liar. Then the family backed up her story. Kelly tried to clean it up and attacked the congresswoman, claiming that he was "stunned! Stunned!" By someone being mean enough to listen in and then call out Trump.

All so freaking stupid and so demeaning to a soldier, 4 soldiers, actually who died tragically.

My thoughts?

First, Trump started it with nastiness by attacking past presidents. Then, the congresswoman should've let the family make the statement about Trump's words of "comfort." The congresswoman happened to be in the car. The family put the call on speaker. It wasn't like she put a tin can up against the wall to listen in.

Second, if Trump screwed up the message, so be it. What's wrong with calling the family and saying "I was trying to honor your son. It's a tough call to make. I'm sorry if it didn't go like I thought it should."

(He doesn't apologize though. He attacks!)

So, thirdly, he sent out Kelly, who is supposed to be above reproach, I guess. Except, he may have blew it when he attacked Wilson.

It was his "Stunned! Stunned!!" Comment that got me.

He was "Stunned! Stunned!!" That Wilson supposedly made a speech about herself when she was supposed to be honoring fallen soldiers?????

Does he realize who he works for????

Trump makes everything about himself!!!

When interviewed immediately following 9/11 he said:

"I have the tallest buildings in Manhattan now."

He could turn a conversation about an orphan, handicapped, deaf mute into a plug about how well he golfed on the 3rd hole!

He's the most selfish human any of us have ever listened to!

So, fine. It's all really stupid!

4 men died.

(Kind of like Benghazi).

There are no answers.

The men who died deserve dignity. Their families deserve to hear words of comfort. Does anyone need this garbage???

I listened in on Jeff Sessions being grilled this week.

The people questioning him sounded like 3rd graders saying "you did it!"

Sessions couldn't or wouldn't give a straight answer on anything.

And I thought:

"This is what these people are paid to do?"

Argue like idiots?

Tell lie after lie after lie??

Be nasty?

And it's all of them.

Spoiled bastards.

If they were my children I'd cut them off about 8 seconds into their inane explanations of how "it wasn't me, it was him."

"Get to your room," I'd say. "Come back out when you're ready to tell the truth, and stop acting like a baby."

Can't we do that?

With all of them????


Friday, October 20, 2017

Game 7

So, the Yankees battled but couldn't get the big hit off Verlander.

Them's the breaks.

And now we're all set up for a winner take all game to go to the World Series.

Fun, right?

Maybe!

I immediately started thinking of Game 7 scenarios.

The big one was 2003.

Yankees-Red Sux.

Clemens versus Pedro and everyone in the world was on the Pedro bandwagon. I had a long drive to Syracuse that day and although it was a busy work day I couldn't concentrate at all. As I drove I listened to all the pre-game hype and no one was giving the Yankees a shot. Pedro was that good.

And in the game, Clemens immediately puked all over his shoes. Yanks were down early and Pedro was dealing. Giambi hit two solo homers, but at 5-2 it didn't look good.

I'll spare you all the details, but Pedro stayed in too long and Posada doubled to tie it.

What seemed like 2 days later, Aaron Boone hit a walk-off homer to win it and at 1:45 in the morning, my cell phone rang so many times that I couldn't keep up!

The thrill of winning such a game.

Yet, I also considered 2001 and Game 7 of the World Series against Arizona.

Jake was being operated on the next day. We used the Yankees as our rallying cry...

...and Mariano lost on a bloop and a bleeder.

I still can't think about that dumb game.

The agony of defeat.

And now we have tomorrow night.

Yankees-Astros for chance to play the Dodgers.

If you'd asked me before the season if I'd take a one game deal to go to the final series...

...oh yeah!

I'm prepared for either circumstance.

I'll be disappointed, of course, if they don't do it.

But, I'll get to bed a whole lot earlier next week if they lose.

At 53 years old that has to be factored in.

I think CC and the pen get it done.

Don't call me today.

I'm going to be cranky all the way up to game time...

...and if things don't work out, I might just try to find Joe Buck...

...and kick him in his Altuve.

Answer to God

Stumbled upon Rick Pitino on ESPN as he tried to explain that he didn't do anything wrong even though he was the coach of the Louisville basketball team that got caught up in some trouble with the FBI.

I felt bad for Coach Rick for a moment there, but a couple of times he mentioned that anything that might have happened was between him and God.

He was good with his actions and assured us that God was too.

Maybe.

Maybe not.

What if God has a no tolerance deal with escorts, sex in restaurants with women who you aren't married to, alumni paying players, or $800 suits?

Pitino is certainly right. He needs to make amends with any and all of his personal weaknesses.

We all do.

It just kind of makes my skin crawl when someone who is in trouble kind of lets the world know that it's all in God's hands.

Sorry, but some of it sounds like something of a cop out to me.

And Pitino looked sad.

Is he sad because they were caught, or because feels victimized.

"Will you be vindicated?" The interviewer asked him.

"I already am," he said. "In God's eyes."

How'd that conversation go?

Pitino: "God, I didn't do anything."

God: "I know. Don't worry about it."

I may sound a little unforgiving but there's a back story. When Pitino started coaching I was a fan. His teams were fun to watch. They worked hard and went fast. He was in the coaches box looking confident and flawlessly dressed.

He even wrote a book about his early success...

...and I bought in.

Then the big money, the accusations of cheating, the cheating on his wife, his defiance.

Suddenly he was less than squeaky clean as he portrayed himself in that book...

...but now God and family are back in the equation.

Good for him.

He's vindicated.

Too bad God hasn't told the FBI about it yet.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

How Exciting!

Was a little down in the mouth in Game 4.

Yankees were down 4-0 in the 7th inning and I was working on my, "They were such a fun, young team. Their future is bright speech."

Judge was up and Buck was telling me how many times he's struck out. (Buck does that every single time the kid comes up).

And πŸ’₯

Dead Center. Into the monuments.

"Okay, 4-1. At least they scored," I thought.

"They're going to win," Sam said.

I looked at my boy sideways. Young fans are the best.

The next inning had me out of my seat (no small feat with my back aching).

One tough AB after another. When Judge blasted another ball off the wall (after Buck told me he was susceptible to striking out).,.

I yelled out:

"There's the MVP! Not the cute little guy!!"

By Birthday game day...

...we knew what would happen.

Tanaka hardly broke a sweat.

The fans going crazy.

When the playoffs started I said that the Yankees would be in the World Series this year.

"Crazy!"

"Maybe next year!"

"They don't have enough pitching!"

I heard all those things.

One more win to get.

Bashing Verlander around the yard would be perfect.

I want to see Kate Upton put her Yankees hat back on next week.

All Rise.

πŸ‘Ž πŸ‘Ž πŸ‘Ž πŸ‘Ž πŸ‘Ž

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Fifty-Three

Today's my 53rd birthday.

"You don't look a day over 70."

I heard that already a couple of times this week, and I had to agree.

Back pain was the culprit this time. Been that way since Friday of last week.

Birthdays have turned into a bit of annoyance with social media, I must admit. I, thankfully, get a lot of messages on Facebook and being OCD I have to answer them all.

No blanket announcements for me.

I have a Barnes & Noble gift card...

...courtesy of Mom....

She knows me well.

"What kind of cake you want?" My beautiful wife asked.

Doesn't matter.

"How about dinner? Pasta? Right?"

She knows me well.

The Yankees will be playing so I know what I want more than anything else.

Reggie hit 3 on my 13th birthday.

Maybe Judge can do it 40 years later.

And time flies when you're having fun.

The back needs to improve.

Yankees have to get to 4 wins before Houston does.

Ah well.

If neither of those things happen I'll be reading books...

...and eating cake and pasta.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

"He Wants to Hang 'Em All"

Every day there's something nasty.

So sick of the nasty.

Sometimes the nastiness is passed off as a joke. Other times it's locker room talk. Or it's just a horrible misunderstanding.

Making fun of a handicapped guy?

He made that move before. He wasn't making fun of the guy's hand!

2nd amendment people could do something about the political candidate that isn't pro-gun.

Didn't mean it that way!

But on Monday, there was no getting around it.

The president and vice-president were bantering about gays.

"Don't ask him. He wants to hang all of them," Trump said about Pence.

Hahahahahahahaha!

Funny stuff, right?

And it's all been normalized.

The "How many died?" To the leaders of Puerto Rico followed by the "that's not too bad. You should be proud."

To the:

 "We had a great time in Las Vegas."

Nasty, stupid and accepted!

"The grab 'em by the p***y" comment wasn't enough for women to give pause to voting for him?

I don't quite get it.

Dan Quayle was extinguished for spelling potato wrong.

There are gay people in America.

There are Mexicans, Blacks, Asians, Jews, Muslims...

...women.

"No one wins unless everyone wins."

I heard that a long time ago...

...at a concert.

It stuck with me for a lot of years.

I'm not gay, or Hispanic, or Black or Female.

"We're 21, white and free," we used to say as a way of feeling great about our standing in America.

Yet, now, a bit older, I don't find much of the discrimination all that comical.

Imagine a gay man listening to that jocularity yesterday.

Does it bother you at all...

...that people are being seen as disposable?

It bothers me.




Monday, October 16, 2017

I'll Make You A Star

So, Harvey Weinstein has shown us that Hollywood is sleazy, huh?

Shocking!

I immediately thought of the old Stones song that has the chorus, "I'll take you to the top, baby."

It's from 1980 and talks about a guy begging a young actress, asking her if she wants to be a star in return for favors.

Look at Harvey, (who ran a business here in Buffalo promoting concerts before hitting the big-time), he isn't exactly Brad Pitt.

Yet he had money and influence and he spoke out and donated and...

...everyone knew he was a sleazeball (allegedly) and they all let it go.

Wink and a nod.

'Disgusting Harvey being disgusting Harvey.&

And man, that's a life falling apart!

His wife, his job, his company, his reputation, seemingly every friend.

There was a quick news story saying that he was suicidal.

Ya' think?

The thing about bad behavior is that the dude doing it knows it's wrong. We've all questioned ourselves from time to time throughout our lives:

"I'm all done doing that!"

We tell ourselves as our conscience guides us.

But here's one thing that the nuns lied to me about.

Not everyone has a strong conscience!!

I swear that's been a great lesson in my life. To learn, as an adult, that people will behave badly and not feel a moment of regret!

It was supposed to all be as the nuns laid out.

"We sin because we are weak. We confess. We don't do it again. We're free to sin some other way. Rinse. Repeat."

Eventually we get to the person we want to be.

Harvey is off to rehab to work on becoming a non-slob.

That's lovely.

Do they implant a conscience?

Good luck to him on his great comeback.

What do you figure, a couple of years?

One thing that shocks me, though?

The shocked and horrified people who knew all along.

Their conscience doesn't bother them.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Flat-Out....Again

Got cortisone injections in my hip on Friday, and it was kind of comical because I was tossed a pair of paper shorts prior to the shots.

Couldn't get the ones she gave me over my thighs. I checked the tag: "Medium."

WTF?

I rifled through the drawer where the doc had grabbed the shorts, found what I thought were a bigger pair, and was pulling them up (and getting them stuck in the same spot) when the door opened.

Had my own tighty-whities on or it might've been like the George Constanta shrinkage episode, but doc laughed anyway.

"I haven't been a freaking medium for 30 years!" I said.

We both laughed.

"Doesn't matter. I have to cut them anyway."

Took the shots, reminding myself that I was in for a nasty backache for 48 hours or so. Happens every time, but a funny thing about it. It still sneaks up on you!

So, highly uncomfortable on Friday night and all day Saturday.

"That sucks," a buddy of mine tweeted. "You've suffered a lot with that."

"Better than cancer," I said.

We all have our battles.

Yet, as I was dressing after the shot I saw my computer file on the screen:

"Herniated disks in back and neck. Osteoarthritis in hip and feet. Left foot complication from surgery. Further treatments required. No timetable for full relief."

Still better than cancer.

Not great for golf, or everyday life, but it was the weekend.

Baseball was on.

Melky is good with time in the rack.

It's all in how you look at it.

(Happy Birthday to my buddy Jeff Renaldo...I've known him since I was a medium...

...I know he's root, root, rooting for the Yankees).

NOT!

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Fraud

I've read some reviews on Bruce on Broadway. He starts the show much as he started his awesome autobiography by telling us he's a fraud...

...or a magician who fools his fans with sleight of hand...

...to a certain extent.

I know of what he speaks.

Back about 16 years ago I arrived at a conclusion when it came to writing books:

"I can do this anytime I want."

That was following "In Real Life."

A book that made me cry when I was writing it!

I had figured out the learning curve. I was doing it rather effortlessly. Fiction was a piece of cake.

Then life intervened and I wrote 3 non-fiction books...

...all really difficult to write.

All made me kind of hate the process, but all three books were my best efforts. But the fun was gone.

Yet, in the back of my mind I still had a secret.

I could write a 70,000 fiction story whenever I wanted to...

...and I would do it well.

(Sometimes readers don't like the effort...nothing I can do about that).

But here's where the feeling of being an imposter slips in.

"Oh My God? How do you do that?"

Sometimes I mention discipline or passion. I tell people about the "starts with a single idea that you build on" garbage.

When I get a big compliment, I am extremely appreciative, of course, but I also have this feeling that I'll one day be exposed as a complete fake.

'Cause it's easy to me.

Not to say that it always was!

Oh no!!

It took a lot to learn it and I feel badly for those who are just beginning the journey because there are so many reasons to quit doing it.

I'm out of reasons.

I write, write, write, write...

...all to figure out my thoughts with a little nagging voice that says:

"Make it interesting so other people like it too."

And at 52...4 Days Away from 53...

I don't know why I'd ever stop writing books.

Why the hell not?

I know how to do it.

And like any other artist, I guess...

...it's kind of a magic trick.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Pins & Needles

I didn't enjoy watching the baseball game on Wednesday night.

It was a good game, mind you, but I was so tense all the way through.

I enjoyed it at a little before midnight.

For about three minutes before I went to bed, and I woke up with a singular thought...

...a great thought....

...as I've done since the age of 12 after a big game:

"The Yankees won."

And a long time ago, George Steinbrenner was asked why he cared so much about winning:

"Because Yankees fans have better days when we do," he said.

Well, Uncle George forgot the other side of the coin:

"Non-Yankees fans have bad days when they win."

And judging from the heat I take when the Yankees do lose...

...well, good for them.

Suffer a little.

Because the Yankees are back.

It was a long and painful rebuild...

...the Yankees had to trade Andrew Miller to the Indians so he could get a ring since the Yankees weren't going to compete...

...now he can watch the Yankees play for the chance to go to the series.

Oh.

One other thing:

Yankees fans are a tad obnoxious with the whole winning and rings thing:

So.

Start spreading the news.

Theeeeeeee Yankeeeeeeees Wiiiiiiiiiinnnnnn!

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Fires, Fury & Scouts

So the girls can join the Boy Scouts.

Am I missing something here?

Can boys join the Girl Scouts?

Why is this a issue?

Ah well. Do as you will, I guess.

I saw a couple of crazy viral videos on Tuesday night.

First, there was the horrible images from Northern California...

...the fire raging through, destroying everything and everyone in its path, and they have no idea how it started or how to contain it.

Just tragic and coming off massive hurricanes, the Las Vegas massacre and soldiers getting killed...

...makes it tough to even watch the news.

 I do know that seeing the images of destroyed lives was almost too much to take.

And the fury.

My son sent me the viral video of Eminem doing a freestyle rap that absolutely destroyed the president.

It was more than interesting.

It was a protest song in the new format of what music has become.

I'm not the biggest fan of the medium, but my boys have set aside songs that they might think I can handle because of the writing.

The Eminem video was well done.

Fans of the 94-year old grandma (as he referred to the orange one - another reference) will not be down with what was said...

...but, and this is the important part, we have to allow him the space to create the message.

"This Land Is Your Land" is a protest song.

"Born in the U.S.A." Had a protest-sentiment attached.

Neil Young, Roger Waters, Bob Seger, Bob Dylan, John Fogerty...

...protest songwriters.

It's important to the process of a free country...

...as is a free press.

Fake News?

Crooked This or Crooked That.

Suck it up.

Take the shots.

Donald didn't respond.

He wouldn't dare, I don't think.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Game 5 - Do Or Die

Three times this past week the Yankees had to win or they were done for the year.

They won all three.

Wish I could say that I enjoyed every minute of it. The tension is almost too much, and while this year's team wasn't supposed to be there yet.

They're there. Might as well win.

There was a moment in the Yankees 1-0 win on Sunday night when I thought:

"Damn, what a great game."

It was a specific at-bat, actually.

Tanaka versus Jay Bruce. Tanaka throws the ball to the low part of the strike zone. Bruce is a great low-ball hitter.

The first pitch was low, Bruce swung through it. The next pitch was lower. He missed that too. I was thinking about Tanaka changing the eye level to get strike three.

He went lower.

Another swing and miss.

I actually laughed.

There's not a better game.

And tonight there's a Game 5.

Cleveland is home with their ace on the mound.

Yankees are starting the old dog, and playing with house money.

Winner takes all.

The intensity within the family will be too much to take. My father-in-law and brother-in-law are rabid Indians fans.

They thought it would be an easy series.

They're learning what I've known all year:

The Yankees are good.

Thursday will be a tough day in someone's house.

May the game be decided by the guys on the field who are actually playing the game, and not the umpires.

And, oh yeah:

Go Yankees!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Snorting Something On Video

If you're a working professional it's probably not a grand idea to let someone video tape you snorting a white powdery substance while you talk about your love of a "model".

Especially if you're a professional coach of a NFL team.

The Monday morning news was dominated by the video that hit the social media feeds and then was talked about everywhere.

The coach was a line coach for the Miami Dolphins and I'm pretty sure that he was promptly let go.

Like everyone else I caught the video on Twitter and immediately wondered what the hell was wrong with the guy.

Evidently he didn't think it all through.

He made the video to pledge his love and he got burned by it.

Big time.

How does he get another job?

"I built a line with young athletes and I molded them into a cohesive group."

"Yep, yep. I see that. Why did you leave your last job?"

"I got filmed snorting coke and the woman who I thought I loved released it to the world, but that was just a one time thing."

He may not work in the league again.

Hell, how does he show his face anywhere?

Lots of pointing and whispering I'm thinking.

People do some goofy things, don't they? Hopefully he works out his personal troubles and it's truly not funny, but man, he was getting kicked around pretty good in every format.

Video taping yourself acting like a dope...

...isn't a great idea.

Especially if you wanna keep your job!


Monday, October 9, 2017

War On Women

Harvey Weinstein is allegedly facing his own Bill O'Reilly and Bill Cosby.

Creepy bastards.

And it really blows my mind when I hear such stories. I've mentioned it a lot of times, but I've always been surrounded by strong women...

...who were treated respectfully.

Mom and Dad would battle a bit, but Mom was always an equal in the partnership and was the strong one.

"Make sure you thank your mother," Dad would remind us.

But the attacks are real!

News came down that birth control is going to be more difficult for woman to obtain.

I don't quite understand that.

I thought that the agenda was to eliminate choice on abortion. Doesn't it stand to reason that eliminating the opportunity to get birth control result in MORE abortions?

And why are old, white men regulating women's bodies and decisions?

"It's funny hearing a woman talking about pass routes," QB Cam Newton said at a news conference.

A colossally dopey thing to say.

Women have been covering sports for a long, long time. Newton was forced to apologize.

I also wonder why everyone acted so horrified when Newton said it, though.

This week was the anniversary of the Access Hollywood tape where the locker room talk was about making women into toys for creepy men.

It's 2017!

We're really debating women and what rights they should or shouldn't have? Or what decisions they should make about their own lives?

Pure craziness.

I mentioned that if men could get pregnant that birth control pills would be sold in drums at Costco. Abortions would suddenly fit into the religious narrative somehow.

You know the religious narrative...

...that is adjusted to justify their bad behavior.

Bottom line?

Women are great...

...should be celebrated.

And respected.

They can think for themselves and they deserve healthcare.

My God.

They deserve healthcare.

What the hell are we doing?

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Gross Incompetence

I'm a demanding guy.

Much of the frustration I've felt in life has been based on incompetence. I get irritated very easily when someone is supposed to do something and they do it badly.

Then it's worse when they don't own up to it, and instead act as if you're the problem because of the irritation.

I try to hide it most of the time.

It all boiled over on Friday night during the baseball game that was started at 5:00 and was supposed to be over at a manageable 8 or 8:30.

It started with the incompetence of the home plate ump who jumped out from behind the plate and adamantly pointed the Indians batter to first because he was hit by a pitch.

Turns out it wasn't. The ball hit the bat and the catcher hung on.

Officially, the batter was out.

Unofficially he was on first to load the bases, bringing the best Indians hitter to the plate.

More incompetence!

The Yankees manager didn't ask for the replay. He may not have because the guy who is paid to
Make quick decisions about asking for a review...

...didn't do his job!

We're up to three guys not doing their jobs...all with built in excuses as to why they couldn't.

The Yankees manager compounded it (as often happens) by not making the next decision he should have made!

He was too frazzled by his first screw up.

And the worst possible scenario played out. Grand slam. Coughed up the lead and lost.

Okay, deep breath, let's see who stands up and takes responsibility.

The ump????

Hahahahahahahahahaha!

They're never called out. They are defiant in their response. First time an official apologizes will be the first time!

The manager?

Nope, he tried to explain it away. Some believe he was covering for his employee, which would be admirable, but he should have stood up, after the game, and said what he said 18 hours later.

"It was my fault and I feel horrible."

Maybe it's all MY problem.

I don't like the lowering of standards.

Been happening a long while.

Politicians lie, steal, cheat...

...stand up and say "what're you going to do?"

Bankers robbed their own banks...

...didn't have to pay for their crimes.

Sales people treat their customers poorly. Shrug if you leave.

Defensive linemen show up obese and still get their hundred million.

Ah well.

I'll get over it.

Incompetence is what aggravates!

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Baseball ⚾️ Playoffs

It used to be an annual thing.

I'd be so tired in October from watching the Yankees battle deep into the night that when they finally didn't make it to the World Series in 2002, I was actually a little relieved.

This year's team has been so much fun that I would've been disappointed had they not won the wild card game.

I wanted more.

So, the matchup with the Indians was something I was looking forward to.

But I forgot about the being tired part!

Been getting up at around 5:15 every day.

That's no good when the game ends at 11:15 like it did on Thursday.

"Sleep fast," my Dad used to say.

And everyone keeps talking about the games taking too long. They do, I suppose, but make no mistake, it's not all about the game.

Way more commercials!!

Way more pitching changes!!!

Way more throws to first and walks to the mound to talk!!!

And the announcers talk and talk and talk and talk.

Baseball doesn't have to be over-analyzed. Just let us watch them play.

I enjoy baseball at the old leisurely pace.

Playoff baseball is great because of what's on the line, but man, take a breath! We don't need to know the name of the batter's dog.l

We don't need to know how many pitches the guy throws or how fast the last pitch was, or that the guy hit .575 in high school.

But, hopefully I will be tired this October, and that it pays off.

In number 28...

...so I can aggravate the hell out of all non-Yankees fans for 12 solid months.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Broken-Hearted

It's been so difficult to watch the news coverage of the survivors speaking about the Vegas massacre.

Friends losing friends, wives losing husbands, boyfriends losing girlfriends...

...and thankfully the news is concentrating on those lives that were cut short, and sparing us some of the details of the madman who did this.

It's all so heartbreaking.

And the people who survived, talking about ducking and running for cover.

There's really no way to fully comprehend all of it, but I must admit that when I saw U2 last month, I actually considered something of the sort happening. It crossed my mind when I sat down and looked around.

Sitting ducks.

"Nothing you can do," a guy on one of the jobs said. "He planned it for months and months, had it all worked out. When evil plots, there's no stopping it because none of us can conceive that someone would do such a thing."

He had a point.

"There has to be something we can do!" I said.

Wayne Newton was interviewed.

"I pray that there are no copy cats out there," he said.

Why did he bring that up?

But I must admit, that this time it's all a little different for me.

Hearing the heroic stories isn't helping.

Listening to hypocrites offer thoughts and prayers isn't comforting me.

All the "warmest condolences" mean zip to me.

Because we are smart enough to figure this out.

We have to be.

"Sir, I guess there's just a meanness in this world."

Those words were uttered by Charles Starkweather years ago after he grabbed his girlfriend and went on a murderous rampage through Nebraska.

They had asked him why he did what he did.

Yet I can't imagine the heartbreak involved with losing a loved one in such a manner.

All so damn senseless.

Happy one minute...

...listening to music...

...having a beer...

...and then gone!

Because there's a meanness...

...and either we're too dumb, or we don't care enough

To stop it.

Heartbreaking

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Your Phone Is Pissing You Off

At least mine is.

They actually did a long research study on the way we use our phones...

...and that's what they came up with.

While we enjoy receiving notifications from our friends...

...everything else is driving us insane.

Let's see:

This is what beeps and/or buzzes for me:

Phone calls, texts, emails, Facebook notifications, Twitter messages, Yankees scoring changes, major news alerts, and any alarms that I might set.

That's a lot of information coming at you in the course of a day.

And of course, that's how business is done these days.

I actually don't get a lot of straight up phone calls anymore.

My beautiful wife prefers to call, some of the older owners call, but if the phone rings it's usually someone I haven't met yet.

I have Bruce for a ring tone...

...I actually alternate between Bruce, the Stones and Mellencamp because I don't want to leave one song there too long because I'll end up hating it.

Is there any sound you hate more than your morning alarm???

Lately there have been days when I've dreamed of not looking at my phone for hours.

Never happen...

...but I do set it aside now and then because I know that the research is true:

My phone pisses me off.

To be fair, though, I now wake up even earlier so that I can check things out (and get my leg stretching done) before I get up.

And I read the news and sports from the night before.

And if the news doesn't piss you off these days..

...well, then you aren't paying close enough attention.

Someday.

I'll take a day and set the phone down.

All those chimes, alarms, beeps, vibrates...

...will be silenced.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Free Falling

Damn!

The big D claimed Tom Petty.

Another hero from my youth...

...gone.

Corinne actually introduced us to Tom Petty before 1980. She bought his record and played it for us.

I was an instant fan.

I bought every record. Listened to them over and over. I had a chance to see him perform, and he tore the place down while drinking a bottle of Jack Daniels.

Turned into a 30+ year love affair with all of his stuff.

It's shocking when a 66-year old man drops dead.

And to top it off, it all came down on the day when Las Vegas and the horrific news of that horrible event was crushing all Americans.

"What the hell?" My friend texted me.

"I don't even want to pick up the phone anymore," I said.

The greatest hits listing of songs raced through my brain.

And one stuck:

Runaway Trains.

Back in 1987 I really thought about death for the first time. A young girl passed away in a car accident.

"She's up there all alone. I'm down here changing lanes."

And the chorus:

"I'm depending on time, babe, to get you out of my mind."

Over and over I listened to it.

"And it's something you can't explain, like when someone dies, like runaway trains."

Sixty-six.

Clock stops for everyone.

Rich, famous, brilliant...

..makes no difference.

RIP to a jukebox.

Damn the torpedoes!

He was a talented guy.


Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Just Stop It

What a bunch of idiots we have become.

How many died last night in that mass shooting?

58?

That seems to be the latest count with hundreds more wounded.

And what is on social media?

Almost instantly?

Fights!

About guns, about religion, about politicians.

And then the thoughts and prayers.

Stop it!

I didn't even want to look at any of it.

Woke up on Monday morning and grabbed the phone. there were ten news alerts.

Ahh shit!

How can we not do something to improve our lives????

Are we free????

Really?

We can't even guarantee that people can gather for a freaking concert of a marathon or in school...

...and we don't want to do anything about any of it!

Just go off to our corners, dig in and call the guy or gal who don't agree with you an idiot.

I have news for all of you.

We're all idiots!

We're watching it crumble...

...and we can all gather in the debris of what we once had...

...and argue about who the hell's fault it was.

Idiots.

Just Stop!

Monday, October 2, 2017

Stand Up

Woke up on Sunday morning to the news that Orenthal had been released from prison.

I clicked on and read the article about where he might choose to live, and when he will grant his first interview.

Why are we drawn to him?

What should happen is that he lives his life free of any our speculation. He's a rotten human being...

...yet people will remain interested.

Then we have the hurricane Maria response argument, and regardless of whether or not people think the facts are being skewed or not, the Donald railed on a Twitter about those people wanting everything done for them.

A colossally dumb thing to say...

...kicking people when they're fighting to stay alive.

What got me about it was that immediately after the tweet was published a Trump supporter was on one of the news shows breaking down why it was the right thing to say at the right time.

The guy was spinning himself into the ground trying to make the nonsensical make sense.

"They should try and help themselves instead of looking to be saved."

Really???

Later on someone posed a question on social media asking:

"Why don't people condemn the president when what he says is absolutely wrong?"

And that's an interesting question.

The line that separates what is right from what is wrong has become so blurred that there really isn't all that much risk in behaving badly.

Don't you think that down deep Tom Price knew that taking a private jet to Philly to Washington was wrong?

He did it anyway.

Isn't the fact that people are financially benefitting off being in office still wrong?

It used to be.

Now it's shrugged off.

And emails!!!

Dear Lord, there was a wild cry to lock up a user who used a private email for government business.

Well, guess what?

Six members of the current cabinet have been busted doing the exact same thing.

Ho-hum.

Who cares?

One of my kids busted a minor rule at school about a month ago. He was mad because the rule was dumb.

My wife sided with him.

"Did you know the rule?" I asked.

"Yeah, but it's dumb."

"You think it's dumb," I said. "And you broke it, knowing it was there. You have to live with the result."

"Don't you think it's a dumb rule?" Sam asked.

"Doesn't matter," I said. "Can't just pick and choose which rules to follow."

I know I'm right!

Can't keep blurring the lines.

Right is stil right and wrong is still wrong.

Pushing the envelope, not calling out bad behavior...

...well, it leads to chaos.

20 or 30 years from now when someone asks me about 2017 one word will come to mind:

Chaos.

We have to go back to calling out bad words, behaviors and actions...

...or we're in big trouble.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

⚾️ Baseball Playoffs! ⚾️

Here we go!!

I'll be honest here...

...if you would've held a gun to my head in April I would've said that the Yankees weren't going to make it.

I had them pegged at 84-85 wins and thought they'd fall short of the wild card game.

They won more than 90, and would've won the East had the Suck Sux not used Apple Watches to steal two games.

Whatever.

I'm good with all of it because I really believe that the Yankees are good enough to win it all. I'm not saying they will, but they're good enough.

The shame of it all is that because of those watches we are going to have to watch the two best teams in the AL play in round one.

The Yankees will beat the Twins in AL Wild Card

Arizona will beat Colorado in the NL Wild Card

Then I have Washington beating the Cubs and Arizona beating the Dodgers.

Washington will beat Arizona to make it to the World Series where they will play???????

The Yankees!!!

New York will beat Cleveland 3-1.

(Yankees have better starters 1-4, a better bullpen and a better lineup).

Houston will beat Boston 3-1.

Yankees over Houston in 6.

Nationals versus Yankees.

Who wins???

Can't tell you.

Gotta' wait until it happens.

**** This blog is dedicated to Mr. Zero ****

Saturday, September 30, 2017

He Did it Right!

My Uncle Len passed away this morning.

He was 87 years old, and that number doesn't tell much of the story...he packed about a thousand years of life into those days because his legacy will thrive in the hearts of a beautiful family for a long, long time.

My Dad and his siblings were close. Dad and Aunt Carolyn were real buddies to be sure, and although the Switalas moved down to Baltimore, we saw a lot of them as we grew.

There was real excitement when they came to town!

"You're a real pain in the ass, Leonard."

I can hear my Dad saying that.

And they would laugh.

The Yankees-Orioles discussions were legendary and even years and years later, if I was with Dad and the Yankees were pummeling Baltimore, Dad would get a little giddy.

"Let's call your Uncle!"

And the card games.

It's funny what you remember from your childhood. I can certainly recall Mom or Dad being tired and as a kid, I'd be wondering why.

"We played cards last night. We laughed until it hurt."

And Uncle Len was good to all of us too. He offered guidance on all subjects, all the time!

I distinctly recall conversations about golf, pealing potatoes and eggs. When I suddenly released a book (Waldorf & Juli), got married and had a child all in the same year he said:

"I'm happy you finally got going!"

And I put Uncle Len in Waldorf & Juli as a fictional uncle who offers directions to the lost couple.

Uncle Len gave the best driving directions! Not a single detail left out!!

I can remember him telling me that he laughed at that. He laughed a lot! I defy you to find a photo from the last ten years where he wasn't smiling!

Back in 1991, I was working in Baltimore.

It was tough to be away from my immediate family, but the Switala family welcomed me in. On Easter of that year I stopped by for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

I watched Aunt Carolyn, in amazement, as she hammered away in the kitchen. I sat with Uncle Len all day, talking sports, politics and life...

...and then we all ate together.

Had to be 30 of us!

The food seemed to be multiplying!

I still dream about the zucchini dish Aunt Carolyn made...

...and we laughed and laughed and laughed and laughed.

I remember having to stand up and yell "Stop!" Because they had me laughing so hard.

And that laughter is a direct result of love.

Only love can teach you pure joy.

That's the legacy that Uncle Len and Aunt Carolyn built.

A thousand year life.

RIP.

Well-done.

We'll miss your physical presence...

...won't ever forget the rest.

The Week In Review

1). Geez, raise your hand if you haven't sexually assaulted someone. What kills me about it is: It's fine if the guy is R/D or i...